Here is the question: how to build a unique website?
Back in 2010 there were less than 250 million sites. Today we are well over one billion.
With that much information getting generated by that many sites, how do we stand out? How do we build a unique website that speaks to people?
How to be Unique
For me, tracking everything I learn and come across on my self-publishing journey will be different than anyone else’s. It will be different because it will be my own experience. But to think nobody has done this type of thing before is silly.
Kevin Kruse over at An Authorpreneur’s First 100K is one site I’ve followed for a while now. He tracks his author journey as he shoots for $100K (he made it and then some already). Although to be fair Kevin already had a New York Time’s bestseller before he started and he made most of his money on speaking fees.
Not this shy, introverted nonfiction author. My money is all going to come from my books. That is one way I intend to standout.
If you’ve studied the Kindle book business you know the blueprint is you pick a genre, publish multiple books, build an email list and eventually sell that list all the other products you’ve created.
Books serve like a loss leader. Make them cheap and make your money on digital classes or webinars or any type of digital training that can scale. Or you can write about how to publish books on Amazon even if you don’t have any books that make money on Amazon. You’ll see a lot of that.
I’m going to play to my strengths though. I know I can write – just OK now, but trying everyday to get better – and I love consuming and organizing massive amounts of information.
If I can position myself as someone who knows where the helpful stuff is and share that with you I think I can build a author platform and business out of that. If I can show how all that information helped me write and sell bestsellers even better.
Things Not to Do
What I’m not going to do is try to be everywhere on social media. I’m on Twitter and that is it for now.
No blog tours or guest posting or podcasts for me. I’m very comfortable writing every day and researching every day. All that other stuff is not in my wheelhouse.
Unique is not Doing What Everyone Else Does
Yet, if you listen to the self-publishing gurus they will tell you that you have to do those things. I’m going to be contrarian and go the other way.
Every time I think about this I think about Peter Thiel and what he said in his book Zero to One. He said that when he interviews someone his favorite question is what do they believe that the majority of people think is false.
Here is how I would answer that question.
I think you can be successful in self-publishing by putting out great books, letting Amazon do the marketing heavy lifting and focusing like a laser on things you excel at.
Trying to be everywhere and shaking hands and kissing babies may work for some people but it wouldn’t for me.
Also, one of my major constraints is being a stay-at-home dad with a schedule wholly dictated by my two sons. I get bits and pieces of my day to get my personal stuff done. I have to make those windows count. Jumping into Google Docs and typing out a blog post is something I love doing and comes naturally to me.
Going through all the effort to try to guest post or get on a podcast or bombard social media does not appeal to me.
I’m also old enough to know that while I can fake the outgoing, pumped up persona for stretches of time in the end I like nothing more than a good book and peace and quiet by myself.
Knowing all these things I’m trying to build a platform that reflects and leverages all those inputs.
My site can be unique by showing this to other introverted and shy would-be authors. We can play by our own rules and still succeed. It might not be as fast or as glamorous as those other authors, but you have to be in this for the long haul.
I think this can work. I’m not positive, but that is part of the fun. If I’m wrong then I’ll change course and try something different.
At least my site will be unique.