Apps To Make Your Photos Pop On Social Media | Web Design Relief

If you want to pack your readings and book signing events and sell more books, you need to grow your audience on social media. At Web Design Relief, our social media experts know this requires cutting through the clutter of everyone else’s posts, tweets, and pins! The most effective way to stand out on every social media platform is to use visual media: creative graphics, eye-catching photos, and dazzling videos. And how do you turn your ordinary images into must-see media? It’s easier than you might think! Here are the best apps for making your photos pop on social media:

5 Apps That Will Make Your Images Stand Out On Social Media

Snapseed (iOS & Android)

The Snapseed app is a photo editing app that gives you a wide variety of controls to edit your images. This app is for the mobile photographer who wants something more than the filters offered by Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. While Snapseed does have easy-to-use filters for quick editing, they also have plenty of fine-tuning options such as: Spot Repair (which lets you remove or smooth out parts of an image); Selective (for editing and focusing on very specific parts of a photo); and Details (which helps increase the sharpness and structure of your image). Snapseed is perfect for writers on the go who want to dive into mobile photo editing.

VSCO (iOS & Android)

VSCO is currently one of the top fifteen most popular photography apps on Apple’s Top Free Photography Apps chart. This app offers a large variety of filters that allow you to edit quickly and emulate classic film stocks. While VSCO does have some extra editing capabilities, they’re not as comprehensive as Snapseed’s offerings.

Over (iOS)

Over is a fantastic app for adding unique text and image overlays to your photos! You simply pick the image you want to overlay text on, type out your message, and have fun playing with colors, fonts, spacing, and alignment. This app makes putting text over an image incredibly easy—just shoot, create, and post. Over gives you a great way to share your poetry or lines from your writing through visual mediums like Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook.

InShot (iOS & Android)

This app has both the versatility of Snapseed and the best features of Over. With InShot, you can crop your image, change your canvas size to fit a variety of social media standards, overlay stickers and text—even edit video! This is a great app for writers who want a one-stop shop for their image and video editing needs. While the photo-editing tools may not be as comprehensive as Snapseed or VSCO, they’ll do the trick for anyone who wants to make a few simple edits before posting online.

Glitche (iOS)

This app is a bit more avant garde and allows you to do some unusual things with your images. As its name implies, Glitche offers a variety of filters that simulate technological malfunctions. You can “glitchify” your image with a static haze, or use the VHS filter to make your videos and images look as if they had been created during the ’80s and ’90s. You can also try the blurring options, mirroring, pixelating, color inverting, and more. The app is great for editing a photo to look like it’s from a decade long gone or to make it seem as if something eerie is about to rise right out of the phone in your hand.

 

Question: Let us know which apps you’re most eager to try, and which apps you already love!

How To Turn Your Author Website Into A Book-Selling Machine | Web Design Relief

Sure, you have an author website—these days, what smart, proactive author doesn’t? As the marketing experts here at Web Design Relief have often said, an author website is now synonymous with “online business card.” But unlike a flat, unchanging paper business card, your author website shouldn’t be a static “poster” site, existing just to give information. Not only does a static writer website make your Google Analytics sink like a stone, it also defeats an important reason why many authors have a website in the first place: to sell books!

5 Tips For Turning Your Author Website Into A Book-Selling Machine

Offer A Clear Call To Action

Although it’s tempting to stuff your home page with every detail, an overload of information doesn’t offer direction. A smarter strategy is to focus on a single, clear call to action that directs readers toward what you really want them to do.

For example, if you have a new or upcoming release, you’ll want readers to buy the book. Craft your call to action to funnel visitors toward online book sales.

  • Use the imperative mood, such as: Read An Exclusive Excerpt Here, Buy Now, or Preorder Today!
  • Hot-link the call-to-action text.
  • Use larger type, a box or border, and/or a pop of color to bring attention to the call to action.

Write Text That Sizzles

Writing marketing and promotion copy is a unique skill. A novelist who has written dozens of books may struggle to write a short, sizzling book blurb that makes the novel sound irresistible. Traditional publishing houses hire professional copywriters to do just that, because they know that good copy can make the difference between a skip and an online book sale.

Take a good hard look at the text on your website to determine whether it’s effective for selling books.

Invite Readers To Join Your Mailing List

Because the road to a long and healthy writing career starts with gathering a tribe of fans, many author websites focus on building a mailing list rather than making an immediate sale.

  • Use a prominent, front-and-center “Sign Up For My Newsletter” call to action to harvest the emails of fans who are already checking out your work.
  • Some authors run monthly contests on their websites to entice readers to join their mailing lists.
  • Even if selling your latest book is your primary call to action, you can also use a pop-up dialogue box to offer bonus material or other reader magnets in exchange for their email, without messing up the website design.

Add Social Media Buttons

Not everyone who lands on your home page is going to immediately buy your book or sign up for your newsletter. Beyond the primary call to action, an equally important purpose of your website is to parlay reader interest into more connections. Adding a flight of social media icons somewhere on your website makes connecting easier and will increase online book sales down the line.

Develop Clear And Easy Navigation

Many readers may arrive at your website with a very specific goal in mind, whether it’s figuring out the order of your series, determining which of your books they may not yet have read, or learning the time and place of your next personal appearance. Website design that offers clear menu navigation will put the necessary information at your visitors’ fingertips quickly.

Author websites should offer at least:

  • Home page
  • List of your books
  • Contact information for the author
  • Author bio

But may also include:

  • Latest news
  • Upcoming events
  • Blog and/or newsletter

A professionally designed author website can be a powerful marketing and promotion machine to grow your online sales. If you’re considering starting or refreshing your writer website, make sure to choose a website designer who fully understands the unique challenges and needs of the book business—like Web Design Relief. Schedule your free consultation call today!

 

Question: What’s the primary call to action on your author website home page?

Strategies To Keep Your Author Website Safe (For Yourself And Your Visitors) | Web Design Relief

When building your author website, you’ll carefully select your theme, typeface, and color scheme. As a writer, you’ll agonize over every sentence. But, while the creative elements of a website may be well in hand, many writers are not as savvy about the technical security aspects of smart web design.

If your author website isn’t protected and secure, it can be dangerous—not just for you, but for anyone who visits your website. Web Design Relief presents the 411 on website security issues.

How Your Author Website Gets Hacked

An author website is basically made of files stored somewhere in the world on a computer. That computer then publishes those files for everyone to see in the form of a website. But, for any computer connected to the Internet, skilled hackers can gain access and control over the files inside your website. They can then upload their own nasty files and redirect your website to scam other websites—damaging your website’s credibility.

At this point, your website’s host company will take action. Many hosting companies do not claim responsibility for the files you host. So when they realize your site’s been compromised because the files are deemed inappropriate or potentially dangerous, the hosting company can—and will—end your service contract. You’ll lose access to your website and possibly all of your files stored on their servers.

Until the security breach is fixed, your website will be deemed unsafe. Your host company will freeze your account and unpublish your website.

Ways To Keep Your Author Website Secure

Strong password protection. Make sure your website has strong password protection. This includes the login information with your webhost.

Quality web hosting. Confirm your webhost is providing a firewall for your server that will help mitigate the typical hacker attacks.

At Web Design Relief we recommend running your website on WordPress, which has an amazing Content Management System.

Smart security plugins. Having the right plugins in place will help fight hacker attacks. At the very least, a good plugin will notify you about attacks on your website. Using plugins such as Wordfence Security and Anti-Malware will safeguard both you and your visitors.

Up-to-date software. Check that your website is always running the latest software releases. Keeping your author website current is one of the services offered in our Web Design Relief Hosting Care Package.

Secure contact form. You want to have a way for your website visitors to contact you. Rather than listing your personal email on your website, use a contact form. This will protect you from spam and dangerous phishing attempts on your personal information.

One way to weed out spam is to use CAPTCHA on your website’s contact form. This tool will protect you against thousands of spam attacks, which could debilitate your email inbox in minutes.

A New Day…A New Spam Attack—And What To Do About It

Unfortunately, new and unpredictable ways of breaking your website security are constantly being developed by hackers. No website is 100% immune to attack.

But if you remain vigilant and informed, you have a better chance of staying a step ahead of hackers who want to hijack your author website.

If you want to put your website security into the hands of caring tech experts who understand the unique needs of writers, Web Design Relief can help. We host the websites we create for our clients and take full responsibility for the safety and protection for the sites under our care.

We take your website’s safety seriously and are up to date with the most recent security techniques. Schedule a free consultation with our experts today!

 

Question: What are some of the ways you protect your website?

6 Author Website Elements On Publishers’ Wish Lists | Web Design Relief

  Traditional book publishers are always on the lookout for the next best seller, whether it’s a topical nonfiction project or the latest Great American Novel. But before they accept a manuscript, book publishers want to know whether the author will also be a good business partner. Web Design Relief knows that publishers have a… Continue Reading

How To Choose The Right Author Website Design Company | Web Design Relief

In today’s online-focused world, an author website is a must-have. Whether you’re ready for a new author website or a redesign of your existing site, hiring the right website design company is vital for the best results and long-term effectiveness of your site. Web Design Relief’s Insider Tips For Choosing An Author Website Design Company… Continue Reading

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