Now that you have your mailing list set up (did you ask your friends and family to sign up?), the next step is to establish your online presence in the form of an author website.
I’m quite often stunned at the number of self-published authors who don’t bother with a website. But this should be rule number one. Like the mailing list, you shouldn’t be renting – you should own your own digital real estate. Then make your fans and potential future fans come to you – not the other way around.
When setting up an author website, the domain should ideally be your name. Any web hosting company is more or less fine, but I now use Siteground. They’re pricey, but their service is outstanding. Get a professional site made, but don’t cheap out with a crappy design – potential readers are going to be judging your professionalism and seriousness by what they see on your website. Get WordPress installed, then get a professional website designer to come in and smarten the place up.
I highly recommend Caro Begin for this job. She charges quite a bit but she more than delivers on what she promises, and everyone I know has only good things to say about her. So it is definitely money well spent – you’re paying for quality. She has saved me on many occasions when I thought about “just tweaking something on my site.” (spoiler alert – don’t tweak, get Caro to do it.)
One thing you should NOT forget to do is embed a sign-up form for your mailing list on your new site. That way, you can advertise your freebie, collect email addresses, and own your fans. Have you figured out yet what your reader freebie should be?