Category Archives: Blogging Tips For Authors

Writer: Create Your Own Author Blog Editorial Calendar | Web Design Relief

So you have an author website and blog? Great! But are you posting interesting, new content on a regular schedule? Life can get busy: A few long days at the office, extra carpools to violin lessons and soccer matches, binge watching that show everyone’s talking about…and before you know it, you’ve neglected your blog. The experts at Web Design Relief know that one of the best ways to manage your blog and increase your website’s readership is to use an editorial calendar. Here are smart, simple tips to help you create your own author blog editorial calendar.

How To Set Up A Blog Editorial Calendar

First things first…before you start planning your editorial calendar, you’ll need to consider the following things:

Goals: What is the goal of your author blog? Maybe you want to market your self-published book, gain more readers, or promote a cause that is meaningful to you and your writing. Once you know what you hope to accomplish with your blog, you’ll have the foundation for your editorial calendar.

Scheduling: The next step is determining when and how often you expect to post on your blog. Scheduling conflicts are one of the biggest problems writers face when maintaining a blog. If you know you work late on a certain day or are preoccupied with other commitments, avoid scheduling posts on these days. This will prevent blogger burnout and make it easier for you to post regularly!

Topics: If you don’t have any ideas or topics to write about on your blog, it will be difficult to stay on track! Plan as many topics as you can in advance. Here are a few blog post ideas that can apply to almost every genre of writer: a day in your writing life, what inspires you, or your latest project. Really stumped about what to post next? Try out some of these 40 blog post ideas.

More Elements Of A Successful Editorial Calendar

Due Dates: For blogging consistency, include a section to schedule both the date you need your blog post completed and the date you want the post to go live. This will give you ample time to edit and adjust the post while still keeping to your schedule. Check out how to stay sane when you’re on a writing schedule.

Blog Post Title: Every professional blog post needs a title! You’ll definitely want to add a section for titles and even subtitles in your editorial calendar. Engaging, clever titles can be tough to come up with, so if you need some inspiration, check out this guide on how to title just about anything.

Content Details: When you outline the details of your blog post right in your editorial calendar, it makes actually writing it so much easier. You’ll have the basis for your post readily available, and a few key points to get you started. For more easy tips, take a look at this weary writer’s guide to better blogging.

Keywords: Keywords give the SEO of your blog post a boost! When readers search for the keywords that appear in your article, having good SEO improves the odds that they’ll find your blog and visit your author website. Make a list in your editorial calendar so these keywords are included in your post!

Target Audience: Knowing the type of reader you want to attract to your blog helps you focus your blog posts to best appeal to your audience. You may wish to reach longtime readers with your content or connect with new fans. With targeted posts, it can even increase your number of comments.

How To Create Your Actual Calendar

There are many programs available that you can use to create your editorial calendar. The most popular is Microsoft Excel, which boasts an extensive array of options, layouts, tabs, and more. Google Sheets is an online alternative that lets you create an editorial calendar where you can upload files. And there are many other programs available that will help you create a blog editorial calendar that works best for you as a writer.

An editorial calendar can keep you organized and consistent—and make it easier for your author blog to effectively function as a powerful promotional element on your website.

 

Question: Which type of calendar do you use to track your blog posts?

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?

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 not exactly be a big secret, it’s important to offer readers fresh content on a regular basis. (Google loves original content too!)

Provide relevant metadata. Metadata is the text that is visible to search engine algorithms. When you provide a relevant metadata description, it’s easier for people to find your blog. These 156 characters represent the first point of contact with your author brand, so make them count! Learn how here: Through The Eyes Of A Search Engine: Metadata And Your Searchability.

Get new traffic to old posts. At a loss for new content? Promote your older blog posts on Twitter by using special hashtags like #WaybackWednesday or #ThrowbackThursday.

Use a great blog post title. Don’t let an awesome post languish because of a boring title! A great title sells the content of your post to people who see it on social media, RSS feeds, etc. Use a web analytics tool like Google Analytics and URL shorteners to see which titles drive the most traffic to your site.

Comment on other blogs. When you comment on other blogs, you gain backlinks and a higher volume of traffic, all while building your author brand. Leave thoughtful comments that show you’ve read the post, and use a Gravatar—an image that follows you from site to site to help cement you in readers’ minds. Don’t forget to add your site name next to your own name to further increase traffic when you comment!

Use keywords. These are the words or phrases people are mostly likely to type in when using a search engine, and successful bloggers know that incorporating keywords in their blog post titles and strategically throughout their post content can help boost their rankings. Just beware of “keyword stuffing.” (Hint: Use the Google Keyword Planner for suggestions. It’s free!)

Optimize your images. You have the option of adding alternate text for the images you upload to your blog, which can also boost your SEO efforts. Image-alt text describes the image for search engines, so it’s important to provide descriptive and informative filenames for your images. Include keywords and use hyphens between the words for best results.

Discover the secret of the Yellow Box. Yellow is a color that draws the eye. Consider presenting your call to action in a yellow box (or whatever color matches your brand) within your blog post, and make it easy for readers to subscribe, download a PDF, or buy your book!

Aim for clear, concise posts. You have limited time to interest readers before they get bored and bounce to another site. So make sure you’ve eliminated the clutter of filler words and long, rambling sentences.

Connect with readers. End each post with a question or a call to action to encourage interaction. Here’s more about how to engage your readers.

Ready to optimize your author website’s blog? Before you dive in, check out more tips from Web Design Relief: How To Revise Your Author Website For The Better.

 

Question: Do you have a tip to share when it comes to driving traffic to your blog?

Say Cheese! 8 Modeling Tips For A More Flattering Author Portrait Or Headshot | Web Design Relief

Whether you’re hiring a professional photographer or relying on a friend to hold the camera, you can make the most of your author headshot photo shoot by following these simple tips from the design experts at Web Design Relief. Looking good never looked so easy! Steal These Modeling Tips To Take A Great Headshot Or… Continue Reading

6 Author Website Elements On Publishers’ Wish Lists | Web Design Relief

  Traditional book publishers are always on the lookout for the next best seller, whether it’s a topical nonfiction project or the latest Great American Novel. But before they accept a manuscript, book publishers want to know whether the author will also be a good business partner. Web Design Relief knows that publishers have a… Continue Reading

Online Marketing Tips For Writers Who Have More Than One Pen Name | Web Design Relief

There are several reasons why an author would use multiple pen names. Perhaps you write in three different genres and don’t want to confuse your separate audiences. Or you are published with a traditional publisher but also self-publish under a different name. Maybe you just want to start fresh. But the experts at Web Design… Continue Reading


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