I know why you are here and trust me; I am not going to disappoint you. In this article, I will share with you seven simple steps to set up your poetry website and claim your digital presence. You can have a beautiful site to share your work, document your achievements, discuss the works of other poets, sell your books, and so much more. With a significant digital presence, you are on the world wide web and easily searchable for poetry festivals from around the world.
Honestly, blogging is not a difficult thing. You may think that “Oh, I am good with my free blogger account on WordPress, Google Sites, or Blogger.” But it is up to you if you think It is suitable for your branding. I know you want the world to know your works, and why not? So, keep aside your guilt feeling and reclaim your space. Whether you are good enough for the world or not, let the world decide. But since everything is going digital, you better come out of your cave.
To build your website, you do not need programming or coding skills or any special software. If I can do it, you can do it too. I learned how to build a website from my brother Donnie Ashok (a lawyer turned full-stack coder based in Berlin). Even my brother trained himself outside a degree in computer engineering. So, dear one, do not worry. As long as you have a computer, internet access, and the will to come upon the stage and announce your presence, you are right.
7 Simple Ways to Start your Poetry Website
It is not enough to get your poems published online. Once they are published, they must be indexed too. This indexing works great when published poets share those works on their website, thus creating a vast network of links. You do not know, but by indexing your works online, you also help online magazine publishers to rank your content. For example, if you keep repeating a lie, over some time, it becomes a truth. This is undoubtedly not about lying, but I am drawing an analogy to the act of repetition. When Google search engine finds a particular piece of work shared too many times, Google upvotes it algorithmically.
1. Think of a Domain Name
You are a wordsmith. You know how to do it best. The right word will take you impressive miles and build your literary persona. So the word you think of will be your website domain like mine is lindaashok.com. Search for a domain name on Google. Remember the domain name you select should be simple and easy for easy recall. And because you are a poet, if you can make this recall sweet better, it is your credit.
2. Select your Host Server
The place where you will select your domain name, you can very well buy hosting from there. There are plenty of companies like GoDaddy, Hostinger, Big Rock, Blue Host, etc. Why go elsewhere when you have Google? Yes, Google is providing website services also. You have a Google account, and you use Google to mediate many transactions. Google can very well take care of the renewal of your website too.
3. Build your Poetry Website
Remember, there is a vast difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org. For your poetry website, I would highly recommend using a wordpress.org builder because it is terrific on the search engine. They call it SEO. So now that you have a domain name, and you have hosting already. Create your CPanel account. When you enter your Cpanel account, you’ll have the option to launch your WordPress site.
4. Design your Poetry Website
Once you are logged in your WordPress account, you’ll notice a black panel to the left. Going down, hover over Appearance, and click on Themes. When you are in Themes, you have the option to Add New. Browse through the free themes or buy a premium one from Envato. I know you still need help, so head on to Fiverr and pay $5 to a WordPress designer. Do not give them your CPanel access but login password from your WordPress only.
5. Your Website Content
Once your Fiverr service provider set up your website with dummy content, time to update it all. Ideally, as a poet you should have five pages namely, About (who you are), Publications (links to all your online work), Books (if any), Contact (mention for what you can be contacted), and then your Blog (the most important section). Your blog is the engine of your website. When you add fresh content, Google is like, “Mmm, seems they know it!” 🙂
6. Blog Content
I know you are non-commital. Most poets are. I too suffer from committing time for my work. You know it is not easy to be a poet. Starting from writing brilliant poems to getting them out in the world, to build a portfolio, is not easy. But does it seem too difficult now that you are on the sixth point? At least if you are interested, get it done. Author new articles. Create great visuals for enhanced readership. Take the help of Google News or Harriet.
7. Promote your Poetry Website
I know you are awesome at it. Don’t even lie to yourself. I know the number of likes you got the last time you shared your selfie. 🙂 But yes, I know why people should be interested in your website? So, to interest people, create value for them. Build up a Mailchimp Email list and email your readers every time you release a new blog. Do not spam. Maintain a calendar. Share on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.
Wow, that was a lot. Isn’t it? But give yourself time. Revisit this blog and acquaint yourself with the process. Then one beautiful day, jump from the topmost floor of all your inhibitions and login to Google and buy that domain and hosting. Don’t forget to give me a party because you should know that I have revealed all of it for you to get started with your digital presence. How to say Thanks? You can send me a digital copy of the latest American or Vietnamese poetry. Did you just say that it is too much to get a website? I hear from you. If you would like, I do the whole stuff for a fee. I have set up for the Indian English poet Babitha Marina and the editor of Crab Orchard Review, Jon Tribble. Contact Me to connect on this.