Category Archives: Author Website Design

Ready To Launch! 7 Signs Your Website Is All Systems Go | Web Design Relief

Most writers understand the importance of having an author website to act as an online business card and an information hub. But at Web Design Relief, our experts know that before you press the button that launches your website, it’s important to make sure everything is all systems go! You don’t want to make your author website live, only to discover functional or navigational issues and typos that will make your visitors cringe—and bounce.

Start The Countdown! Questions To Ask Before You Launch Your Author Website

Have you proofread your site? Yes, proofreading is as vital to website-building as it is to poetry, prose, or books. Typos will make your website look amateurish. This is especially true if you’re an author! Make sure your Oxford commas are in order and your proper nouns are properly capitalized before launching. Learn how to become a master proofer here.

Do you have something to attract visitors? Your author website should showcase your writing and broaden your readership. Make certain that you have pages featuring excerpts of your book, blog posts, or links to your literary publications. You may also want to have a dedicated page where visitors can purchase your books, or you can include “Buy Now” buttons to third-party sellers to increase book sales.

Is social media integrated into your website? While it is unlikely that visitors would spend several hours a day on your author website, the opposite is true for social networking apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Have social media buttons prominently featured on your author website that link to your various social media platforms so visitors can follow you.

Pro Tip: Verify that your social media pages are ready for the public. This means that your social media accounts aren’t set to private and aren’t flooded with personal posts that don’t pertain to your writing. In fact, don’t link to your personal social media—create separate accounts for your author persona, including a Facebook author page!

Do website visitors have a way to contact you? Having a contact page is essential—literary agents or editors may want to get in touch with you! It also gives your fans and followers the opportunity to reach out to you through an easy-to-use form. A contact form is a safe way for you to connect with your audience while limiting spam and protecting your privacy. Which brings us to our next point…

Is your website safe? To protect yourself and your visitors, limit the personal information you share, especially your email address. This can attract unwanted spam from automated bots and leave your site vulnerable to hacking. Make sure you have effective Internet security in place by installing security plugins and captchas.

Did you optimize your website for mobile use? Almost all websites are built via desktop computers, and while it might look perfect on the big screen, your website may not translate well to mobile use. As more people view websites on their mobile devices, it’s important for your website to look good on smartphones and tablets. Be sure to check that your author website is legible and functional on mobile devices before you make your site live.

Does everything work? Perhaps the most important step before launching your website is to check that everything works! And we mean everything. Does your domain lead to your actual website? Are your hyperlinks live? Does your website work on multiple browsers? Do all of your buttons take visitors to the right location? Be your own guinea pig! Test your entire website prior to launch.

Once you’ve confirmed all systems are go, you can rest assured that your readers will enjoy visiting your author website and learning more about you and your writing. Ready to help your writing career take off? 3…2…1…launch!

 

Question: Which item on the checklist do you think is most important?

Writers: Fun New Ways To Design Your “About Me” Page | Web Design Relief

One of the most frequently visited pages on your author website will be your “About Me” page—and, luckily, that page doesn’t have to feature a standard author bio in a basic, humdrum presentation. At Web Design Relief, we know there are fun, new ways to design your “About Me” page so that readers and fans can discover more about you as a writer and as a person. Do you ski? Collect antiques? Wear Hawaiian shirts? Have a few great writing awards on your bookshelf? Use engaging widgets and eye-catching elements on your “About Me” page to let your readers know!

Here’s How To Make Your “About Me” Page Stand Out

Share Social Media

Showing off your social media posts is one of the most effective ways readers can learn more about you. Your Twitter feed, Facebook timeline, Instagram posts, and other social media will connect web visitors to your latest thoughts, activities, publication credits, events, updates, and more in real time. Use widgets and plugins to offer live integration to your social media.

Slide Into Your Story 

Instead of using only words to tell the story of who you are and what you do—add images! Just because website design is trending toward minimalism doesn’t mean you can’t have multiple photos on your “About Me” page. Use photo-based widgets like sliders, galleries, and photo stacks to express your interests and personality. Many of these widgets also offer the option to caption each photo, which you can use to add some biographical info to the page while maintaining a clean design.

Listen Up! Audio Posts And Podcasts

Audio posts are an easy and creative way for your audience to hear your message in your own voice. Grab your phone or laptop and record your voice—you can give your visitors a unique welcome to your author website and thank them for stopping by. Then upload the recording to your “About Me” page. Podcasts have become one of the most popular forms of storytelling on the Internet, so you might want to consider starting your own! Just remember: If you read any of your work on a podcast, it could be considered previously published. Learn more here.

Get Graphic With A Timeline

Of course, we mean create an infographic about you for your author website! Timelines are a visually intriguing and concise way to tell visitors the highlights of your life. Use a timeline to give potential fans and followers a map of your educational, professional, and publishing history. Make it fun and include some not-so-pertinent-to-writing but intriguing facts: If you write horror, perhaps include the day you saw your first vampire movie. If your genre is cookbooks, maybe note the day you discovered 101 uses for chocolate chips. Set up your timeline the way you would create an outline for a story—but this story is all about you!

Take A Look! Videos And Vlogging 

Posting a video or videos to your “About Me” page can help you create a more personal connection with your website visitors than is possible with just a written bio. You can film a welcome video or “listicle” video to tell viewers a little bit about yourself. You can even film weekly vlogs to keep your fans up to date on your writing, book-signing events, readings, or other ventures. Not sure how to start? Quickly learn the ins and outs of vlogging.

It’s time to bring your “About Me” page into the 21st century! This frequently visited page on your author website is the perfect place to showcase different mediums like audio, visual, or video posts. You’ll engage your visitors in a way that a few written paragraphs could never accomplish. And if you need help creating or updating your author website, schedule a free consultation with Web Design Relief today!

 

QUESTION: Which one of these “About Me” page ideas are you most likely to try?

How Writers Can Be More Googleable (So People Can Find Your Writing Online) | Web Design Relief

Have you Googled your author name lately? What shows up in your search engine results? If the first page doesn’t include your website or other sites mentioning your books, you may want to reconsider whether your efforts to build an author brand are working. At Web Design Relief, we know that your being “Googleable” makes it easier for readers, editors, and literary agents to find you.

7 Tips To Help Writers Boost Their Google Results And Discoverability

Search Engine Optimization

Every writer needs an author website. Without it, you’re losing a valuable opportunity to create a hub for all your marketing and promotion activities. You’re also missing the chance to optimize that author website to boost your “Googleability.” Your website should be the first Google result that pops up when someone types in your name to find you.

Optimization can be both technical and content based. Techie back-end improvements include the effective use of header tags, metadata keywords, alt-tags on photos, and smart use of hyperlinking. Front-end, content-based improvements that you can do yourself include frequent updating with new content, providing easy connections to social media, and taking advantage of multimedia tools such as photos, videos, and slideshows.

Blogging

Blogging is a great way to keep content fresh and draw traffic to your website—a quality that search engines love. But setting a regular schedule to post is not the only way you can boost your rankings by blogging. You can also:

  • Guest blog on other writers’ sites
  • Promote your blog on your social media platforms
  • Do blog launch tours and interviews when you have a new book release
  • Follow and comment on other people’s blogs

Byline And Book Listings

Authors who quickly release a lot of books tend to have a strong presence in search engine results. It just makes sense that the more bylines you have, the more Googleable you become.

If there’s a big gap of time between releases of your books, you may want to consider doing some short-form publications to keep your name visible. These could include publications in magazines or newspapers or writing short stories or novellas for an indie-published anthology, etc.

Social Media

Social media is so important to Google results that several publishing houses have included a clause in their contracts compelling authors to engage with followers on one or more platforms. Active engagement provides search engines with lots of mentions to feed algorithms.

The bigger social media platforms are preferred by Google because of their massive reach. Consider engaging with your readers wherever they hang out most: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, etc. YouTube is owned by Google, so if you’re comfortable with “vlogging,” YouTube will give your search engine results a big boost.

Deep engagement on a few social media platforms is far preferable to shallow engagement on many, but there are some sites where book authors should at least claim their profiles. These would include:

  • Goodreads
  • LibraryThing
  • BookBub
  • LinkedIn (particularly for nonfiction writers and journalists)

Google Account Optimization

You already have a Google account if you have signed up for Gmail, Google Drive, Google+, etc., but how long has it been since you checked your Google profile? Make sure to include a tagline and an introduction about your work in the personal information section. Integrate relevant keywords to help improve your Google results and rankings.

If you use Gmail, create an email address that includes your author name, rather than “bookwriter234” or something equally unspecific.

Writing Contests

Finalists and winners of writing contests are often publicized by the contest coordinators, adding another listing of your name to search engine algorithms.

Indie Writers Go Wide

If you’re a self-published indie writer in control of your own book distribution, consider “going wide” rather than being exclusive to a certain vendor. When your work is available on Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, Ingram, OverDrive, Scribd, Tolino, Playster, Bibliotheca, and Baker & Taylor, your Googleability will rise.

If you want to build a brand and get your writing in front of readers, editors, and agents—being Googleable is mandatory. Discoverability depends on increasing your visibility in search engine rankings, and the results can make all the difference in your writing career.

We just typed your name in the search bar. What will we find?

 

Question: What methods do you use to increase your visibility in search engine results?

5 Simple Ways Your Author Website Can Give Back | Web Design Relief

Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others. —Booker T. Washington Whether you’re a writer, baker, corporate executive, stay-at-home parent, or professional dog walker, this is the time of year when many people from all walks of life are looking for ways to give back to their communities. If you are… Continue Reading

Unpublished Writers: Strategies For Creating An Impressive Author Website | Web Design Relief

If you’re an unpublished writer (or a writer with only a few publishing credits), you may think an author website is an extravagance you don’t need. But you couldn’t be more wrong—an author website is the modern-day equivalent of your business card! If your fans, potential new readers, and literary editors and agents want to… Continue Reading

Poets: The Easiest Way To Build An Author Website—Start Here | Web Design Relief

For poets, building an author website doesn’t have to be an arm-twisting exercise in self-promotion. Instead, creating an author website to showcase your poetry should be an opportunity for self-expression—one that just happens to grow your fan base, sell more copies of your poetry collection, and improve your professional networking! And the experts at Web… Continue Reading


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