Category Archives: Author Websites

Terrified By Technology, Writer? Here Are 4 Tips For Die-Hard Digiphobes | Web Design Relief

There was a time when all a writer needed was ink, paper, a little bit of candlelight, and, of course, a great idea. While most writers are thankful that we’ve ditched our candles in favor of electric lights and our quills for pens or keyboards, Web Design Relief knows that not all writers are happy with the plethora of changes brought on by the digital revolution. If you’re a writer who’s also a digiphobe—someone who fears digital technology—here are a few tips to help you deal with your techno-jitters:

Use Technology That Lets You Keep It Old School

Fewer and fewer literary publications are accepting snail-mailed submissions, so writers who prefer to use typewriters or handwrite their manuscripts will feel more pressure to type their final draft into a computer in order to submit their work via email or a submission manager.

The good news, however, is that programs like Evernote or Microsoft’s OneNote mean you don’t have to change your writing habits. Writers can simply upload a picture of their handwritten or printed manuscript, and the app will convert it into an editable Word file that is ready to be submitted! Be aware, these programs often work better with typed text than handwriting.

Focus Only On The Elements You Need

Writers who aren’t comfortable with computers often shy away from using them because they feel overwhelmed by options. The seemingly endless series of tabs and drop-down menus can leave you feeling paralyzed by choice. But there’s now a solution, thanks to programs like FocusWriter, which offers a no-nonsense, distraction-free experience emphasizing simplicity above all else. It’s perfect for any writer who wants to get back to the basics, and it even includes optional typewriter sound effects for the nostalgic among us!

Ask For Help From Someone Tech-Savvy

While it’s possible to write without having to interact with a computer, the same cannot be said about the submission process. The vast majority of publications require that submissions be made through online submission managers or via email, and they often require that your manuscript be formatted according to a particular set of specifications. If you find the technical aspects of making online submissions are totally out of your wheelhouse, ask a tech-savvy friend or family member to guide you through every step of the process. If you’d rather turn to professionals for assistance, the submission strategy experts at Writer’s Relief can help!

Face Your Fear—And Conquer It!

The more you know about computers and how they can make your writing life easier, the less scary and frustrating computers will be! Computers and the Internet can be great time-savers. No more correction tape or scribbling out—just hit delete and type in your edits! And on a cold, rainy day, conducting research from the comfort of home has great appeal. If you want to take the first step toward dealing with your computer qualms, here’s a beginner’s guide to using a computer. You can also sign up for a computer course at your local library or community college.

 

Question: Do you prefer using a pen and paper or a computer keyboard?

How To Pick The Right URL Or Domain For Your Author Website | Web Design Relief

At Web Design Relief, we know that choosing the right URL or domain for your new author website is just as important as designing and developing the actual website. Your Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is the web address that people will use to find your website on the Internet—it will represent you to your fans, visitors, and even literary editors and agents.

Choosing A Memorable URL For Your Author Website

It is essential that you pick a domain that is easy to remember. If potential followers can’t easily remember your URL, they will be less likely to revisit your website. What makes a domain easy to remember? So glad you asked! Here are a few simple rules to help you choose a catchy name for your writer website:

Keep it short and sweet. Long URLs are tedious to type and difficult to remember. Which would you rather remember (and type out on your cell phone): JoeyDavidAuthor.com, or JoeyDavidWriterOfTwinPeaksFandomAndOtherTopics.com?

Don’t include numbers or special characters. In today’s world of cybercrime and Internet spam, you don’t want your author website to look suspicious. Having numbers or symbols like hyphens or hashtags in your URL will look questionable to visitors: Is this really your author website, or a ploy to steal their information? Stick to using letters. Remember: You want people to click on your website, not shy away from it!

Use your name (if possible). You want people to know they are in the right place, so it’s a good idea to make your name the focal point of your domain! If your first and last name as a domain is already taken, try a variation of your name and keywords related to writing. For example, YourLastNameWrites.com is easy to remember and clearly states who you are and what your objective is for your website. It’s also a good idea to use a keyword if you have a name that’s difficult to spell.

Keywords are the words your audience will use when searching for you as a writer and your website. Because keywords are tracked by search engines, they can increase your website’s traffic. There are hundreds of ways to combine keywords and your name for a writer website, so put that creativity to work!

Decide on the best website extension. When coming up with your author website URL, you should also think about which website extension you want to use. An educational website would prefer .edu over a .co extension, and most nonprofit organizations use .org. Typically, we recommend that writers use the familiar .com extension, but other options include .net and .ink extensions.

Follow these tips and tricks and you’ll have an unforgettable, practical author website domain. And the time to act is now, before someone else nabs your URL. If you’d like more help with building your author website and purchasing the best domain, talk to the experts at Web Design Relief today!

 

QUESTION: What’s the most interesting, unforgettable URL you’ve seen?

How Do You Spell SEO? Tips to Help Search Engines Find Your Books | Web Design Relief

With thousands of books published every day, one of the biggest hurdles for up-and-coming authors is discoverability. In order to successfully sell your book, an interested reader has to know about it! So how do you get the word out about your book? The experts at Web Design Relief know that one of the most effective methods is to improve your author website search engine optimization (SEO).

The Importance Of SEO For Selling Books

SEO is the process of optimizing certain elements on your author website, most importantly the text, in order to boost your site’s ranking in relevant web searches. A higher rank on a web search means more readers will discover your book, increasing the opportunities for making a sale.

Relevancy is key. If you’re selling books, you don’t need to be highly ranked in searches for dishwashing liquid or dieting tips—unless that’s what your book is about. You want your dark contemporary potboiler to be seen by people searching for their next thrilling read.

The best way to raise your website’s ranking is to skillfully pepper your text and metadata with the precise keywords and phrases that accurately describe your book and will attract an audience that’s looking for your genre.

Choosing the right keywords and keyword phrases can take some time and practice. It’s a good idea to brainstorm in order to come up with more keywords than you need, then trim the list to only the best.

Home In On The Keywords Your Readers Are Searching For:

  • Define your book’s genre in a way that will attract specific readers. Instead of fiction, for example, consider “dystopian young adult fiction.”
  • Break out the thesaurus and come up with synonyms for the above, like “apocalyptic young adult fiction,” or “dark young adult fiction.”
  • Fiction writers: Search for lists of fitting tropes, such as “tragic genius,” “love triangle,” or “manic pixie dream girl.”
  • Nonfiction writers: Drill down to the specific problem your book addresses that your reader is trying to solve, such as “dieting without hunger” or “city gardening for apartment dwellers.”
  • Consider the keyword phrases your ideal reader might use when searching for a book like yours, such as “perfect beach read,” “children’s book about siblings,” or “vegan recipes for Thanksgiving.”
  • For inspiration and guidance, check out similar books on e-retailers to see which genre categories have been chosen and which keywords your competitors use in their book descriptions.

How To Optimize Keywords

Once you have a list, it’s time to select the best of your keywords. There are several ways to determine their strength and popularity:

  • Search Engines. Type your keyword phrases into Google and note the websites that come up on the first page. Are the websites similar in content to yours, or are they utterly irrelevant? Choose the keyword search terms that sync up most closely. You can also try this on Amazon, which acts as a big search engine for books.
  • Google Ads and Bing Ads. Signing up for Google or Bing Ads gives you access to their keyword planner tool. Type your keyword into this tool and you’ll get information about the average monthly searches for that keyword as well as a rating of the competition on their ads platform. A relevant keyword that has a lot of searches and low competition will likely help your website rank higher.
  • Amazon Incognito Search Function. If you start to type a keyword in Amazon’s search box, Amazon will auto-populate a drop-down list of keywords. This list is a measure of the most popular keywords that begin with the string of letters you’ve typed. It’s important, however, that you do this search in an “incognito” window so that the results aren’t warped by the data Amazon has collected about all your previous searches.

Using Keywords Effectively To Maximize SEO

Once you have a short list of highly relevant keywords, it’s time to use them in your text and within the back matter of your website. Use keyword phrases in important places for SEO, such as:

  • Author website title
  • Blog titles
  • First and last sentences of blogs, bios, etc.
  • First and last paragraphs of blogs, bios, etc.
  • Headers and subheaders

The more thoroughly you can use these keywords in the text on your website, on the landing page, on the author page, in the blog, and in the book descriptions, the better the chances you’ll rank higher for those Google search terms.

SEO is an effective way to raise your website’s visibility, which in turn increases your opportunities to draw more traffic to where you sell your books. Remember, however, to avoid keyword-stuffing, which can render your copy robotic. Smooth, compelling, and effective writing trumps all, so use keywords wisely.

 

QUESTION: Which keyword phrases would you use to describe your most recent project?

How To Help Your Author Website Designer “Get You” And What You Want | Web Design Relief

You’ve looked at other author websites and you know what you like and don’t like. Now you have a pretty good idea of how you want your author website to look and function. But making your ideas a reality isn’t always easy. The experts at Web Design Relief know that effectively communicating with your web… Continue Reading

Behind The Scenes: 10 Secret Tips For Creative Writers Who Blog | Web Design Relief

Creative writers who blog tend to drive more visitors to their author websites than those who don’t. But what are the secrets behind a successful blog? The experts at Web Design Relief offer ten insider tips for writers who blog! 10 Tips To Help Creative Writers Boost Their Blogs Post original content. While this may… Continue Reading

5 Biographical Elements NOT To Include On Your Author Website | Web Design Relief

Whether you’re a New York Times Best Seller or a new writer ready to self-publish your first book, the moment your author website goes live—you’re a public figure. Your readers will want to get to know you better, and you’ll be eager to tell them your life story. But along with true fans and interested… Continue Reading


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