Updated: Jul 10
If you plan to pursue writing as a professional, long-term career, I recommend starting and maintaining an author website, even if you’re unpublished. Your website serves as an online home and hub for everything that you do, whether in real life or in the digital realm. You fully own and control it, tell your own story, and connect directly with the media, readers or influencers. It’s hard to overstate its importance over the long term. Consider it the cost of doing business in the digital era, a necessary business card and networking tool. In some cases, it can also be a creative outlet and community area, especially for writers who blog (to be clear, having an author website does not mean blogging, or require blogging.)
Your first attempts at creating an author website probably aren’t going to be that great, and that’s okay. Plus, it’s unlikely you’ll get much traffic. Instead, the point is to practice your skills at expressing who you are, and what you do, in a public space. Over time, your ability to do this will improve, assuming you tend to your website periodically and don’t abandon it. (And why would you, if you’re still writing and publishing?)
If you start the website development process early, before you really “need” a site (before people seek it out), you can enjoy a gentler learning curve, as well as the power of incremental progress. You don’t have to launch and perfect everything at once. Start small, and build your skills and presence over time. You want something doable and sustainable—and sustainability is key.