How many websites do you need?

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Aspiring author websites

A few reminders today: we’re almost done with our website review series—just two reviews left. Several people have asked about getting on the list. We took volunteers back in July—but Kathleen and I are both surprised at how well-received this series has been. We’re planning to do this again, but it probably won’t be for a couple months. (So subscribe to make sure you don’t miss this call for volunteers!)

Another reminder: don’t forget to vote for the writing craft book club book. Don’t make me just choose one!

How many websites should you have?

frustrateA writing blog. An in-world children’s picture book website. A website for your steamy romance ebooks. A site for your nonfiction aspirations. A personal blog. How many websites can one person have?

The answer, of course, is as personal as your websites should be—you can have as many websites as you can handle (and please, no more! A neglected website is sometimes worse than no site at all.). But how many do you really need?

I’m of the opinion that you should try for as few sites as possible. At its simplest, this would be one website, with a blog as part of that website (if you truly feel you can maintain a blog).

However, in some situations, you will need separate or nearly separate sites. These situations might include:

  • Genres that are completely incompatible—where writing in one genre could permanently alienate readers in another genre (like the above example of picture books and hot romance).
  • Writing under different names—especially in conjunction with the above example.

Note that I also said “nearly separate” sites—rather than completely separate sites, you could try doing “minisites.” For example, if you’re writing in very different genres but under the same name, you could have and . The sites would have at least one or two links to one another, and to your main site, but would remain mostly separate.

a-novel-characterAnd then there’s the question of personal stuff: does it have a place on your professional site(s)? That also depends on your genre, the tone of your personal stuff, and your audience. If you have a “lifestyle” blog before you get published, then it’s fine to keep that and maintain the personal tone and the insights into your personal life.

However, if that’s not the kind of site and community you’ve already built, be cautious about sharing personal stuff. Introducing too much information, unprofessional presentation, or flat-out boring content can hurt your brand.

On the other hand, sharing some information about yourself—on a limited, interesting, professional basis—can help to make your website more personable and appealing. It’s a fine balance—and sometimes it takes some practice.

What do you think? How have you shared personal information in a way that appealed to your visitors? How many sites do you want/need?

Image credits: frustrated—John De Boer; character—Svilen Mushkatov

Series NavigationHow to set up an aspiring author websiteFree guide for aspiring author websites

3 thoughts on “How many websites do you need?”

  1. Yes, I also like to see a unique site for an author. Otherwise I do get confused and I feel I am deprived of a whole image of that author. In my view, if one person can embody different genres or types of activity, then one site should be able to contain the image of that person. Unless they prefer it otherwise. Image is a matter of personal preference after all.

  2. I started off with blogs every where. Eight, to be exact. I’ve curbed my enthusiasm and narrowed it down to four. I guest blog once a month on the fifth. It seems to be working. My readership has gone from five a day to approximately 18 a day. Call me nuts, but I’m happy with that. 180 would be better though.

  3. @Lori—I agree!

    @Joylene—Yeah, eight is a lot. I’ve had a tough time just keeping up with the three I’m writing for. I want to get more guest posts out there, too—but it’s especially hard while drafting!

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