Category Archives: Author Websites

Are People Visiting Your Website And Clicking Like You Want? | Web Design Relief

You just launched your brand-new author website and you’re posting on your blog frequently. Now the question is: How can you know for sure that people are visiting your website—and how can you get more to do so? At Web Design Relief, our designers know all the online tools that will track whether people are visiting your website and who they are. You can also learn which pages of your website are most interesting to viewers and are visited most frequently. One of the most comprehensive online analytic tools available is Google Analytics.

Using Google Analytics To Track Your Author Website Visits

Google Analytics is one of the most powerful free-to-use tools online today. With Google Analytics, you can measure everything from real-time site visits, to social media referrals, to average time spent on any particular page, and much more. Google Analytics even gives you tips on how to optimize your site for better results. Everyone from self-published authors to large publishing companies use Google Analytics to keep track of visitor data.

At first, the Google Analytics interface can seem a little intimidating—but once you know what kind of information you’re looking for, it’s quite easy to find. Google will help you to set up your new Analytics account, and in most cases, you will receive your own unique code that will help your website and Google Analytics communicate. After setting up your Analytics account, you’ll start receiving data in just a few hours.

On the front page of Google Analytics (as of July 2017), you’ll find several charts:

  • Audience Overview
  • Users By Time Of Day
  • Real-Time Report
  • Acquisition Report
  • Location Overview
  • Active Users Report
  • Cohort Analysis Report
  • Mobile Overview
  • Pages Report
  • Goals Overview

Each of these categories delivers very specific data that you can use to evaluate your author website. Most of these reports are fairly self-explanatory, and you can even change dates to cover a specific time frame. For example, there may be an instance where you would like to see a larger timeline of data—so you can switch from a seven-day report to a thirty-day report. Most of the data is presented in line, bar, or pie graphs with accompanying key charts.

Two Google Analytics Charts You’ll Want To Check Daily

Audience Overview

What is it? The Audience Overview includes the number of sessions during a time period, Page Views, Average Session Duration, Bounce Rate, and New Sessions.

How to use it: This analytic lets you know how many people are coming to your site and how long they’re staying. Obviously the more Sessions and Page Views the better—but also pay attention to your Bounce Rate. If your Bounce Rate is high, the majority of people coming to your site aren’t staying very long. This could be due to lack of engaging content or maybe a slow-functioning website. Make sure your website is fast and mobile friendly. Also include more engaging blog posts and website pages to entice more people to visit your site and stay on longer.

Users By Time Of Day

What is it? Here’s where you’ll find the times of day during the week you have the most visitors.

How to use it: Plan your posts! Knowing the times when your author website has the most visitors and capitalizing on that is a great way to keep your site active. If you find that 4:00 PM on Wednesday is the busiest time and day for your website, then that would be the perfect time to post new blog entries or news.

 

Question: Do you have a blog on your website? How often do you post new entries?

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7 Signs That Your Writer Website Will Impress Literary Agents, Editors, And Readers | Web Design Relief

Your author website is the hub of your online identity. It’s the first place curious visitors will check to learn more about you and your writing. Are you sure your author website will make a good impression on literary agents, editors, and—of course—readers?

Signs Your Author Website Will make A Good First Impression: Insider Tips From Web Design Relief

Your call to action is clear. Your site turns idle browsers into connected, focused buyers by pointing visitors very clearly toward something they can doa specific action they can take—now that they’re on your website. Often, authors like to direct visitors to sign up for their mailing list (a freebie is a great way to encourage visitors to share their email addresses). Other authors prefer to focus their website’s call to action on encouraging visitors to buy a book. Whatever your “call,” use your author website to funnel guests toward the first action you hope they’ll take.

Your website design supports your author brand. Moody and mysterious? Comedic and lively? Introspective and literary? Your author website will make the right impression on readers when you use colors, fonts, and images that echo the tones and themes of your writing.

Your headshot is a great representation of you. Your author headshot is not just an image of your face; it’s an excellent opportunity to reveal who you are without saying a word. Learn more about how to create a great author headshot on a budget . Then, pair your headshot with a “dear reader” letter or an intriguing author bio for maximum impact.

Your website tells your personal story. Smart marketers (and smart writers) know that story is one of the most compelling elements of making a sale. Your personal story—the story of how you became you—can help you connect with other people (people who also happen to be literary agents, editors, and lovers of the written word).

Your social media is integrated into your author website. Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads feeds are woven into your author website in multiple ways, giving your readers the opportunity to connect with you via live updates. You can use static icons to direct people to your social media pages, or you can incorporate your status updates and posts directly into your website. Here are some tips from our designers about how to integrate your social media profiles into your author website.

Your website functions properly. Broken images, out-of-date text, and typos can send the wrong message to visitors. Even well-constructed websites can “break” due to server, hosting, or technology changes. Smart writers regularly check in on their author websites to make sure that everything looks okay and to avoid the mistakes that “bounce” readers fast .

Your visitors can easily contact you. Your website is more than just a digital poster; it’s a way for readers to reach out and interact with you. Learn about the contact form safety protocols that will protect you, your website, and your fans.

Remember: You Don’t Have To Spend A Fortune To Create An Impressive Website

It may be human nature to think that investing a lot of money into a project is the “best” way to go about it. But how much money you spend will not predict the success of your author website. Instead, it’s important to be sure that you’re working with a Web design company that specifically understands the needs of writers and the etiquette of the publishing industry—expertise is priceless.

Learn more about how to create an author website that fits your budget.

 

Question: What element of an author website is most important to you?

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The Top 5 Problems Of (And Solutions For) Maintaining A Writer’s Blog

One of the most important self-promotion tools available for writers is an author website—and, more specifically, the writer’s blog featured on that website. A blog gives you the opportunity to connect directly with your readership, to contribute to the literary community, and, of course, to promote your writing.

But maintaining an effective, interesting blog that keeps your readers coming back for more can be harder than you might expect. Just because you’re a writer and have a certain mastery of words doesn’t mean you’ll be a successful blogger. Blogging requires an additional set of skills, such as putting on your marketing hat and considering what will hook your readers.

Here are the top five problems writers face when maintaining their blogs, and the tips that will help overcome these obstacles:

Problem #1: Lack of inspiration

As a writer, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of staring at a blank screen while waiting for inspiration to strike. But as a savvy writer, you should also know that writing only when you’re feeling inspired is a recipe for slow progress, wasted time, and wasted potential. Keep writing, and make sure your blog looks sharp with interesting designs and graphics.

Solution: Dive into it!

If you’re not sure how to begin your latest blog post, there’s one foolproof way to overcome that obstacle: Just start writing. It doesn’t matter if what you’re writing isn’t polished—use this time to explore ideas. In short, when inspiration can’t find you, you should go looking for inspiration instead. And remember to stay motivated and on track using these smart blogging tips.

Problem #2: Scheduling conflicts

Between work, family, friends, and writing, it’s no wonder that maintaining a blog is the first thing to fall to the wayside for many writers. There are only so many hours in a day!

Solution: Plan ahead

Create a schedule for yourself that includes dedicated time for your blog. No need to go overboard—an hour or two a week should be enough time. Be sure to make your blogging time something you look forward to by including a special treat for yourself: Schedule a walk or an indulgent snack for when your blogging is completed. (Okay, you can have the snack while you blog!)

Problem #3: No audience

Of the many difficulties associated with maintaining a blog, the most frustrating is the demoralizing effect of having little or no audience.

Solution: Consistency and patience

An audience does not pop up overnight. To be an effective blogger, you must put in the time and effort to cultivate an audience. And to do that, you’re going to have to consistently provide your readers with compelling content.

Problem #4: Not showing up in Internet searches

When you search for your blog on the Internet, it doesn’t show up at the top of the search results—and maybe not even on the first page.

Solution: Utilize SEO

Make sure search engines can “see” you by using SEO (search engine optimization). Always include the keywords or tags in your article and headline that will make you more “findable” by the top search engines, Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Problem #5: Technical hurdles

For many writers, the hardest part about having a blog is dealing with the technical demands of running your own curated space on the Internet. After all, you’re a writer, not an IT specialist! (Unless, of course, you’re an IT specialist who also happens to write poetry or prose.)

Solution: Ask for help

Enlist a tech-savvy friend to guide you, or check out helpful online resources. And if your author website is built on a user-friendly platform like WordPress, it will be much easier for you to navigate.

Final Thoughts

While it may not be easy to maintain your blog and keep it current, fresh-looking, and interesting—it’s definitely worth the effort. A blog is a great way to reach new audiences for your writing and to increase interaction with your existing fan base.

 

Question: What are some of the problems you’ve faced while maintaining your blog, and how did you overcome them?

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Doing This One Thing On Your Author Website Could Kill Your Shot At Publication

It can be very tempting for writers to post short works on their author website and other social media platforms. But if you want that poem, essay, or short story to be published in a literary journal or magazine, be warned: Posting it online could kill your shot at publication! Literary journals and agents generally… Continue Reading

Sounding Off: The Dos And Don’ts Of Recording And Adding Sound To Your Website

In an increasingly crowded bookselling marketplace, the challenge du jour for every hardworking author is discoverability. How on earth do you distinguish yourself from thousands of other authors, and your book from thousands of new releases hitting the real and virtual shelves? The answer lies in your ability to communicate your unique brand—the special, amazing qualities… Continue Reading

Eek! Scary-Good Author Website Decorating Ideas

Halloween is right around the corner! Homes and storefronts are all decorated with skeletons, ghosts, and spiderwebs—in fact, one home near our office has a skeleton bedecked in a Santa hat clinging to the chimney! You may even have a mini pumpkin or two perched on your writing desk. Now it’s time to add a… Continue Reading

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