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Why There Are No Perfect Author Websites

So you’re thinking about actually making the big step and buying an author website, or maybe you’ve already taken the leap and signed the check.

At Author Media, we understand what a big deal this is, and how scary it can seem.

However, there’s one trap that authors tend to fall into when building a website (or maintaining one, for that matter).

The perfectionist mentality

One thing every serious aspiring author knows is that he isn’t perfect, and that learning the craft of writing publishable work is a long process. If you don’t accept this fact, you become so tied up with making everything you write perfect that you’re unable to write anything. Progress begins when you accept imperfection and decide to write anyway.

What many authors don’t realize is that this applies to websites as well.

There’s no such thing as the perfect website.

That includes ours. We’ve tried very hard to make it a beautiful site with amazingly helpful content, but is there room for improvement? Sure.

You may stress over every single aspect of the website process, from the appearance of the sidebar to the logo to the wording of your first blog post, but this will serve only to frustrate you without really improving your site.

God doesn’t expect perfection.

Something we’ve heard from our authors before is that since they are building this site for God, it needs to be done right. While that is a commendable perspective, the danger in that type of thinking is a tendency to fall into the perfectionist trap.

While we should our best at everything, God gives grace to grow and fail and succeed, and that grace extends to our websites too. So give your website grace. Remember that we are all works in progress, so relax and enjoy the ride! :-)

What are some ways you have struggled with perfectionism in your writing or your website? What did you do to overcome it?

About Hannah Hill

Hannah is the Director of Customer Happiness at Castle Media. If Author Media builds you a website, you'll work with either Hannah or a member from her team to get your site built. She works from her home in the hills of South Carolina and blogs about politics at InHenrysWake.com. You can follow her on Twitter @HannahHill_SC.

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6 Responses to Why There Are No Perfect Author Websites

  1. You’re so right — not only about perfectionism, which many authors suffer from — but also about the whole concept of a “perfect” website.

    There are some foundational decisions a writer can make to build an effective website from the ground up: What do I want this site to do? Who is my target market? How do I reach people with my message? If an author has at least begun to think through those questions, then the whole process of creating a great (not perfect) site is smoother — whether the author is a do-it-yourselfer or decides to get help in the quest.

    A great site does what the author needs to do, speaks to the author’s ideal readers, and is able to grow and change as the author grows.

    A “perfect” site is finished — which on the web means it’s dead.

    • Hannah Hill #

      Jan,

      Right on!! Every website is a work in progress and is always growing and getting better. I love the way you summed it up – “perfect” sites which need no further refining are dead sites. So true!

  2. I just wanted to thank you for writing this post. It’s so easy as a newbie in the world of blogging to kind of muck around until you decide where it is you really want to go, who your target audience actually is, and what your calling is. I guess the bottom line for me of a great blog site is am I giving something of value to my readers? If I’m doing that then it’s successful, not necessarily perfect, but serving it’s true purpose.

    • Hannah Hill #

      That’s an excellent observation, Christina. The inventor of the bulldozer, R.G. LeTourneau, tells the story in his autobiography of how he was constructing a model steam engine and kept throwing away parts he’d built in favor of newer, “better” designs.

      Finally someone pointed out that a poor steam engine that works is better than a good one that was never finished. He later realized that the second half of that lesson is that once the steam engine is actually built, its development can begin. That’s a lesson that’s always stuck with me!

  3. Really enjoyed this post – several great points made! Thanks!

    • Hannah Hill #

      Thanks, Dani! So glad you enjoyed it.

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