Resources

I field a lot of questions from authors on how to build their personal brand.  Fortunately, today we have more resources than ever to communicate on a national and international level.  With this ease of communication, more people are doing it so it is harder to be heard.  It is not important to have mass appeal as an artist or author but it is important to find your audience.  Once you find your audience, you have to stay in touch.  Here are some resources I recommend.

Full disclosure, I am an affiliate for some of the resources listed below. I only recommend products I personally use and find valuable. In many cases, you may qualify for special offers.

  • GoDaddy-If you have not purchased your domain name yet and it is available, go do it right now.  Many companies offer domain names for sale. I personally use GoDaddy since 2008. Once you get a domain name, you will need to build a website and have it hosted. It does not have to be complicated but there is a learning curve.  I started off with GoDaddy’s Website Tonight website builder and would recommend it for beginners (I believe it is now called InstantPage). There are a lot of different templates and it can be easily customized and have you up and running with a simple site in under an hour. I recently changed from using Website Tonight to WordPress hosted by GoDaddy to allow for more customization.

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  • WordPress-the #1 Blogging platform and highly customizable. This website is designed in WordPress. There is a WordPress.com and a WordPress.org. The .com address is where you can create a WordPress account and have it hosted. The .org allows you to download the WordPress program and host it wherever you like (I use GoDaddy).

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  • Aweber – I cannot emphasize how important it is to build your email list. The ability to connect with people who are interested in your work is critical and must be portable.  When you depend on other platforms (Facebook or other social media) to keep you connected to your readers, they make the rules and can change them at any time (remember when MySpace was relevant? Or when all of your followers on Facebook saw all of your posts without paying to “boost” your post?). There are a lot of email providers out there and I encourage you to check them out. My choice was Aweber and I have been very happy with how robust their program is and their customer service.
  • E-Junkie – Excellent payment and digital delivery provider.  Would you like to deliver downloads of eBooks and digital content? Just upload your digital files to host it on their servers and they take care of the rest. They do have simple auto responders you can customize for your customer and inventory control for physical product. You can list up to 10 items with them for only $5 per month at this writing.
  • Mint-online cloud based super easy personal finance software. I have used it for my personal finances since 2009. The best part is it is 100% free.  You do have to put up with a few ads (such as “you travel a lot, check out this rewards card”) but the value is well worth it.

I will continue to add more resources to this list so check back.

All the Best!

SF Varney
Publisher