Category Archives: Blogging Tips For Authors

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 reject work that has been posted online—they’re looking for fresh, new, unpublished content—and if your work is featured on your author website or blog, it’s considered previously published.

What is considered previously published writing?

In this digital world, “previously published writing” has an entirely new meaning compared to the days of print publishing. Today, if a poem, short story, or essay is posted anywhere online where the public can access it, it’s considered published. Which means it’s highly unlikely the piece will ever be picked up by a magazine or journal editor.

What if I want to publish a short work online anyway?

Again, it’s tempting to showcase your work on your author website, to introduce readers to your work and possibly get the attention of an editor or agent. But proceed with caution.

If you’re a novelist, creating a short excerpt of your book (here’s how) and posting it on your website can actually be a good way to generate interest—as long as you maintain the copyright if you’re going to post before the entire book is published. An even better way to create a buzz is to submit the excerpt for publication in literary mags!

You can also write poetry or short prose specifically tailored for your author website—but keep in mind that these pieces will be considered previously published. And you can post poems that have been already been published (once the rights are yours again). Many poets and short story writers are self-publishing collections of their work—which means it doesn’t matter if a story or poem has been posted online.

I want to feature some of my best work on my author website. What else can I do?

Nothing says “here’s an author worth reading” like having your poems, essays, or stories published in a reputable literary magazine. Highlight your credibility by providing links to websites that have published your work rather than posting the work itself.

Can’t I simply remove my online work and THEN submit it for publication in lit mags and journals?

If you plan to submit your writing elsewhere, don’t publish it online. Sure, you can take posted work down and then submit it for publication. But old Web pages are often archived, your work may have been copied somewhere else, and it may appear on a search engine—even after you’ve deleted it.

The moral: Online content never truly dies. If an editor happens upon your “unpublished” work online, it makes you look unprofessional and shady.

What about posting my work online for other writers to critique?

For authors who don’t have access to local writing groups, the Internet is a great way to share your work with other writers for critique. Just be very careful where you post. If, for instance, you post an essay to a small writing website with limited members for constructive criticism, or use a message board to post a poem for critique—this probably won’t deter some journal editors and literary agents. But there are also some who will consider the work previously published. Read submission guidelines carefully.

The publishing industry is struggling to keep up with the nuances of online publishing and copyright laws, and literary agents and editors are going to differ on what is considered previously published writing. Our advice? Until the rules are a little clearer, your best bet is to avoid posting complete short works on your author website. Why take a chance of killing your shot at publication?

 

Question: Have you ever posted work on your author website?

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7 Strategies To Get More Guest Blog Post Invitations

Book bloggers who have popular websites can provide powerful promotion opportunities for book authors. Bloggers can help authors drive up sales and build their reputations. Here are our expert marketing tips for how to get featured as a guest blogger on more websites in order to promote your writing: How To Get More Invitations To Be A… Continue Reading

8 Tactics For Guest Blogging To Promote Your Book

Many book bloggers love inviting authors to “pay a visit” to talk about their hot new read. But if you treat a guest blog post opportunity like a megaphone to shout “Buy my book!” at unsuspecting visitors, you’ll lose your audience fast. The key to writing an effective promotional guest blog post is to find… Continue Reading

8 Mistakes That Can Get Your Author Website Banned

Google encourages authors to raise their websites’ search engine rankings through organic search engine optimization (SEO). But what Google and other search engines don’t like is when you try to “play” the system in a deceptive, “black hat” way. SEO scams come in several varieties, and trying any of these questionable tactics can quickly get your author website… Continue Reading

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