Category Archives: Author Websites

The Surprising Things You Need To Know To Launch Your First Author Website | Web Design Relief

Creating an author website might initially strike you as a pretty straightforward process: 1) Find an author Web design company, 2) fork over some money, 3) get your website. But there are a few “hidden” facts about the specialized website design elements required for an author website that you should definitely keep in mind before you sign with a Web design company.

Web Design Relief Reveals The Unexpected Things You MUST Know Before Launching Your Author Website

There’s a difference between an artist and a Web designer. While many website designers do have an artistic eye and lots of talent, they are not always artists who create artwork from scratch. Website designers can create beautiful websites for you using existing stock artwork, but they won’t necessarily create that artwork for you. Help your Web designer help you by having a clear idea of your artistic preferences.

Web hosting costs extra. Most writers expect to pay for the creation of a website. But some are surprised when they discover that they also have to pay for that website to actually appear on the Internet. For your website to exist, the data has to be stored somewhere—and that storage is provided by a Web host. Learn more about how to make sure you have a great Web host for your author website.

You might have to regularly update your website. Websites that are built using popular CMS (content management system) interfaces often need regular updates—not just to text and pictures, but to the hidden structure that makes a website possible. These updates keep you (and your visitors) safe from malware and viruses, and also ensure that your website doesn’t “break” as Internet protocols change.

The tricky part is that, occasionally, installing the necessary updates to your website can cause it to malfunction (or even totally crash). Unless you’re comfortable taking a DIY approach to Web fixes, it’s important to connect with a Web host that will manage your updates and create regular backups for your website.

It can be dangerous to post your creative writing on your website for all to see if it’s unpublished. While excerpts of poems, books, stories, and essays are generally safe to share on an author website, posting full versions may hinder your ability to find a publisher later on. Learn more about the issue by reading this detailed article: What Is Considered Previously Published Writing?

Make Sure You’ve Taken All The Right Steps Before Launching Your Author Website

You could spend ages becoming an expert on the subtleties of creating an effective author website. OR you could reach out and work with people who are already experts. The team of website designers here at Web Design Relief work specifically with creative writers. With close ties to our sister company Writer’s Relief, we combine technical know-how with effective marketing and publishing strategies. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you!

 

Question: Our team is standing by to answer your questions about creating an author website. Feel free to share your thoughts in our comments section!

 

Is Your Author Website Sending The Right Message? | Web Design Relief

Visitors to your author website make instant judgments about you—who you are, what you write, and whether they are interested in reading it. You only have a few seconds to snare their attention and convince them to stay awhile. Improve the odds by making sure your writer website creates an immediate, distinct impression.

Web Design Relief Asks: Does Your Author Website Send A Strong, Clear Message?

When was the last time you updated your website? If the front page of your author website announces that your book is “coming soon in 2003,” it may be time to refresh your website. A strong author platform is vibrant, relevant, and current. Plus, regularly updating your text encourages visitors to look you up more often—and that can increase your search engine rankings. Fresh text says: I’m here, I’m meaningful, let’s connect!

Is your text designed for online reading? Writing copy that’s going to appear online is different than writing for a literary journal or future book. Why? People expect a different kind of reading experience when web browsing than they do when sitting down with a book or literary magazine. Here’s an important primer on writing for the web .

 Is your text error free? We shouldn’t have to point out the value of proofreading your website! Send the message that you’re an expert wordsmith with clean copywriting.

Does your author website work in tandem with your larger author brand? When your website works in conjunction with the other elements of your author platform (cover art, social media feeds, marketing materials), you send readers a consistent, memorable message about who you are. But when your website design conjures one mood and your cover art another, readers will receive mixed messages. Learn more about how your brand is supported by your platform.

Is your author headshot clear and unique? While you don’t necessarily need a professional portrait session to create a nice headshot, it is important that the image you use supports the same message as your website. For example: Are you going for “funny and lighthearted” or “moody and thoughtful”? Also, be sure that your image is appropriate for the Internet (fast-loading and not pixelated, etc.). Here’s how to create a great author headshot on a budget.

Does your website design encourage a single, powerful call to action? A call to action is, essentially, a directive to visitors to perform a task of your choosing (buy a book, join a mailing list, etc.). Too many calls to action and your visitor will be confused and take no action at all. Send a clear message about the BEST thing your author website is offering them (and learn more about creating a call to action here).

And The Most Important Message Your Author Website Can Send Is…

The story you tell about who you are as a writer might just be the lynchpin on which the rest of your author platform hangs—after all, everything about your writing career stems from you. Who you are as a writer—your interests, hobbies, passions, and goals—informs every choice you make, from font style to website layout to supportive text. So before you begin tinkering with text and images, zero in on the core story that makes you the writer you are! That’s the foundation you’ll need to send a strong, consistent, memorable, unique message across your entire author platform.

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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

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