The Pros & Cons Of Linktree For Authors

The Pros & Cons Of Linktree For Authors 

In this post, we look at what Linktree is and discuss the pros and cons of Linktree for authors.

Guest Post

Can this handy ‘biolink’ be all you need instead of a website? We look at what it is and how it works.

As authors start to get work published and build a readership, they’re often advised to get a website or start an email newsletter.

A Website Is Still A Must

A website or a blog is still an essential marketing tool. It’s great for search, and it’s a go-to destination where people can find out all about you and your work.

But a website means thinking about hosting, design, and content. There’s the issue of keeping it up to date but also of attracting traffic. If you have limited time or resources, or you’re just getting started, it can seem like hard work.

Linktree offers what looks a quick and easy supplement or alternative. Here we look at what it is, how it works, and the pros and cons for authors.

What Is Linktree And How Does It Work?

Linktree summarises you and your work in a single landing page of key links. It rests on the idea that most of what you want to tell people can be captured in a list of links.

Here’s one I put together in researching this article: Dan Brotzel. It took just a few minutes and was very easy and intuitive to do. Writers Write uses one for their Instagram page: Writers Write.

For an author, you might well be presented or featured online in lots of ways already, for example:

  1. Pages on book websites (for example, Amazon) promoting your titles.
  2. Litmags that have published your work.
  3. Social media, such as Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or LinkedIn.
  4. Reviews of your books on GoodReads, NetGalleys and other review sites.
  5. Interviews and reviews on media sites such as newspapers and magazines.
  6. Sites detailing any writing-related courses you run.
  7. Sites detailing news of upcoming events you’re taking part in, such as readings and panels.
  8. Sites where you already post content, such as Medium.
  9. Your own website or blog if you already have one.

What Linktree does is allow you to, as it says, ‘create a personalised and easily customisable page that houses all the important links you want to share with your audience’. It gives people easy, single-click access to all the author stuff you want the world to know.

The Pros & Cons Of Linktree For Authors

Pros

  1. Quick and easy to set up and update.
  2. Free for basic version.
  3. One-click access to your key content across all your touchpoints.
  4. Great as a single-access link for Instagram.

Cons

  1. Limited content – just a list of links.
  2. Pricing model could be subject to change?
  3. Potential UX challenge – too many links could get lost, no space for additional signposting info.
  4. Not a replacement for a website showcase.

How Would I Use My Linktree Page And Link?

In social media profiles and elsewhere, you can only usually only provide a single link in your profile. So that’s just one place to point to for people to find out more about you.

On Instagram this is extra problematic because you’re not allowed to put web links in any of your posts. And on top of that, you can’t guarantee that your posts will be presented chronologically. So trying to link people to the right destination can be tricky.

Linktree is what’s known as a biolink tool. It gets round all that by giving you a single link to a page that is itself a list of links to all the other content you might want to point people to. You can build it in five minutes for free, customising styles and colours within a basic range. And it’s very quick to update whenever you want.

Then you can use your unique Linktree link anywhere you want to promote yourself: in social media, on your email signature, business cards, and more.

Many authors with established websites still use Linktree for Instagram. And one of their Linktree links will always point to their own website.

Is It Free?

Linktree operates on a freemium model. The basic features are free, which for all the writers I’ve spoken to is perfectly adequate.

But there is a Pro plan which offers a range of advanced features, such as additional customisation, link scheduling, email and phone number collection, and traffic data stats. These analytics can tell you which links perform best, for example, or where your audiences live online or in the world, so you can tailor your page further.

What If My Links Are Out Of Date?

The beauty of Linktree is that you can swap links in and out, change their order and add as many as you like. So you just update your Linktree page, as often as you like – much quicker than updating a website. You could do this I between website updates, or if you’re in between websites.

Are There Any Disadvantages?

Linktree is a single landing page. While you can add a great many links, there’s a good chance that they won’t all get read so you really need to prioritise your top links.

How you label them is important too. You need scannable titles or they could easily get missed. That might not always be easy if your story (or the litmag that published it) has a cryptic title.

Some people worry that you are directing traffic away from your own site, or giving all those links to a third party. But for many authors, it’s the fact that they don’t have much traffic anyway that’s the challenge. And much of your online presence – for example, on Medium or social media sites – is ‘owned’ by someone else anyway.

A big bestselling author probably wouldn’t need to bother with Linktree, but for the rest of us it looks like a very handy tool.

What Do Authors Say?

  1. ‘I use it exclusively for Instagram, since they only allow the one bio-link,’ says fantasy author Kyle Massa. ‘I’m perfectly happy with the base features. The premium features are tempting, but so far I haven’t paid.’ Kyle’s Linktree, which he describes as ‘a tunnel between my Insta account and my website’, looks like a great way to do it. It’s a short, punchy list of links, including a free fiction offer and a link to an important cause.
  2. Sunyi Dean, author of The Book Eaters, loves the simplicity. ‘Definitely get one. It’s very handy to drop in lots of places and can even be a standing website.’
  3. And Drew Gummerson, author of indie smash Seven Nights at the Flamingo Hotel and You: From Pissed to Publication, is another big fan. He first came across Linktree on Twitter, and remains surprised that more authors don’t use it. ‘I used to have a website but these days I think people spend more time on social media sites rather than visit stand-alone static sites,’ he says. ‘Linktree and Twitter work well together. I can promote myself whenever on Twitter but as it’s so fast-moving I can link to articles on Linktree that are more permanent.’ So how does he organise his Linktree? ‘Firstly, I link to places where my books can be bought. Being an indie author from a small publisher there are only a few shops that stock my book. So I want people to be able to find it. Then I link to reviews. Then over the last year, I’ve done a number of articles and blog posts to promote Flamingo Hotel. There are links to those. And then finally I’ve got some links to short stories I’ve written. If I write an article I have my Linktree address at the bottom. And if I do a Twitter thread, I’ll often put the Linktree at the end. I only really maintain it when I have something new to add. I like it. It’s really easy to use.’ Does he have any tips about how to get the most out of Linktree? ‘Don’t have too many links. It’s the Internet, so you have to grab people’s attention quickly. Use pictures. Make it clear what your page is about. And keep the title brief.’

Summary: The Pros & Cons Of Linktree For Authors

Pros

  1. Quick and easy to set up and update.
  2. Free for basic version.
  3. One-click access to your key content across all your touchpoints.
  4. Great as a single-access link for Instagram.

Cons

  1. Limited content – just a list of links.
  2. Pricing model could be subject to change?
  3. Potential UX challenge – too many links could get lost, no space for additional signposting info.
  4. Not a replacement for a website showcase.

The Last Word

I hope this article helps you navigate the pros and cons of Linktree for authors.

Dan Brotzel by Dan Brotzel. Dan is the author of Hotel du Jack, a collection of short stories, co-author of a comic novel-in-emails about an eccentric writers’ group Work in Progress (Unbound), and a solo novel, The Wolf in the Woods.

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Posted on: 21st January 2022
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