Category Archives: Build Friends, Fans, And Followers

Apps To Make Your Photos Pop On Social Media | Web Design Relief

If you want to pack your readings and book signing events and sell more books, you need to grow your audience on social media. At Web Design Relief, our social media experts know this requires cutting through the clutter of everyone else’s posts, tweets, and pins! The most effective way to stand out on every social media platform is to use visual media: creative graphics, eye-catching photos, and dazzling videos. And how do you turn your ordinary images into must-see media? It’s easier than you might think! Here are the best apps for making your photos pop on social media:

5 Apps That Will Make Your Images Stand Out On Social Media

Snapseed (iOS & Android)

The Snapseed app is a photo editing app that gives you a wide variety of controls to edit your images. This app is for the mobile photographer who wants something more than the filters offered by Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. While Snapseed does have easy-to-use filters for quick editing, they also have plenty of fine-tuning options such as: Spot Repair (which lets you remove or smooth out parts of an image); Selective (for editing and focusing on very specific parts of a photo); and Details (which helps increase the sharpness and structure of your image). Snapseed is perfect for writers on the go who want to dive into mobile photo editing.

VSCO (iOS & Android)

VSCO is currently one of the top fifteen most popular photography apps on Apple’s Top Free Photography Apps chart. This app offers a large variety of filters that allow you to edit quickly and emulate classic film stocks. While VSCO does have some extra editing capabilities, they’re not as comprehensive as Snapseed’s offerings.

Over (iOS)

Over is a fantastic app for adding unique text and image overlays to your photos! You simply pick the image you want to overlay text on, type out your message, and have fun playing with colors, fonts, spacing, and alignment. This app makes putting text over an image incredibly easy—just shoot, create, and post. Over gives you a great way to share your poetry or lines from your writing through visual mediums like Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook.

InShot (iOS & Android)

This app has both the versatility of Snapseed and the best features of Over. With InShot, you can crop your image, change your canvas size to fit a variety of social media standards, overlay stickers and text—even edit video! This is a great app for writers who want a one-stop shop for their image and video editing needs. While the photo-editing tools may not be as comprehensive as Snapseed or VSCO, they’ll do the trick for anyone who wants to make a few simple edits before posting online.

Glitche (iOS)

This app is a bit more avant garde and allows you to do some unusual things with your images. As its name implies, Glitche offers a variety of filters that simulate technological malfunctions. You can “glitchify” your image with a static haze, or use the VHS filter to make your videos and images look as if they had been created during the ’80s and ’90s. You can also try the blurring options, mirroring, pixelating, color inverting, and more. The app is great for editing a photo to look like it’s from a decade long gone or to make it seem as if something eerie is about to rise right out of the phone in your hand.


Question: Let us know which apps you’re most eager to try, and which apps you already love!

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?


The First Thing To Do Every Morning To Build Your Writing Reputation

As a writer, there are a few things you should do every morning: Have a good breakfast and a cuppa joe (or tea) and jot down a few lines, for starters. But one of the most effective ways to build your reputation as a writer should also be happening right after you rise and shine—generating great social media content on a consistent schedule. By adding new content to your social media accounts at the start of each day, you’ll soon be reaping the benefits of gaining more friends and fans, all while building your writing reputation.

Social media users have plenty of stimuli to catch their attention, so even your most diehard fans might forget about you if you only post sporadically. To keep yourself and your work front and center in the minds of your followers, update your social networking accounts regularly. Remember, the early bird catches the worm—so post something each morning to ensure that this important task becomes a habit you won’t forget!

The Right Way To Update Your Social Media

Consider the rule of thirds when planning your updates: Post one-third brand-new content; one-third reposts or links to other sites; and one-third self-promotion. (But first, check out these tips to avoid alienating your readers!)

Alternate between short and long posts. Social media users tend to like quick tidbits, but you can also throw in a longer post (via Facebook, for example) about your writing process, a funny story about a writers group, or wisdom gleaned from your publishing or self-publishing journey.

Tailor your posts to specific social media accounts. Twitter users respond to different content than Facebook or Goodreads users, so keep your audience firmly in mind when creating your posts.

Respond thoughtfully to comments or questions and engage your audience. Social media is called “social” for a reason, and readers will appreciate it when you interact on a personal level!

Maintain a balance between personal content and the business of writing. (TMI is a no-no.)

Offer content that is useful to other writers or readers—but keep in mind that there are plenty of “experts” out there, so let your advice come across with humility rather than arrogance.

And proofread your posts to ensure they’re grammatically correct!

Most importantly, let your personality shine through. Your followers will appreciate your unique ideas, perspectives, and humor.

What To Post On Social Media When You Run Out Of Ideas:

  • Share an interesting article or a link to one of your favorite blogs.
  • Promote other writers and their events. (They may even return the favor!)
  • Offer a writing prompt based on an intriguing visual image.
  • Snap a photo of your cat “reading” a book, what you plan to wear to an upcoming book signing, or even your workspace. And don’t forget your book’s cover or a photo of the literary magazine where you’d most like to publish your next poem or short story.
  • Post an interesting fact related to your work or the writing life.
  • Visual content is always popular…so if you’re at a loss for words, let a picture do the talking for you.
  • An inspirational or funny quote can work in a pinch!
  • Share something valuable you’ve learned about literary agents or submitting to literary journals.
  • Post an excerpt or a link to a blog post from your author website.

Tips For Easier Daily Updates

A social media calendar lets you plan a week, a month, even a year’s worth of content in advance. Start with a blank calendar and fill in the obvious tie-ins—the release date of your book, holidays, writing or publishing events, and anything that relates to your work. Then include varied content—photos, funny memes, serious posts, a shout-out to an editor or industry professional who helped you, a thank-you to your fans, and of course a moderate dose of self-promotion. When you sit down each morning for social networking, you’ll already know what you’ll be posting for that day—a great help if you’re not a morning person!

Tools like Hootsuite can help you manage all your social media accounts at once and schedule posts in advance. And remember, if this all seems like too much work, our Virtual Assistant Program can do all your social networking for you!

One Final Tip

When it comes to social media followers, your goal is quality, not quantity. So make sure your social media updates are pertinent to the type of followers you want. Soon you’ll see your writing reputation grow!



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Your author website is the hub of all your marketing and publicity efforts. And the more fans who visit your website—the more newsletter sign-ups, event attendees, and book sales you’ll get! Since about 75% of searchers never scroll any further than the first page of search engine results, it’s important to optimize your website to… Continue Reading

5 Ways Professional Social Media Consultants Can Help Writers

Post, tweet, blog, repeat. Share, respond, retweet, repeat. As a writer, you may feel like you’re spending more time writing content for social media than writing your novel, short prose, or poetry. Yet social media engagement has become so vital that many traditional publishing contracts now have clauses that require writers have author websites and… Continue Reading

Can Instagram Really Build A Writer’s Fan Base?

For many writers, the social media website Instagram and its focus on photos and videos may seem to be outside their wheelhouse. And it can be hard to imagine how this visual, image-oriented social network would appeal to readers, bibliophiles, and die-hard grammar geeks—which are the very audiences writers want to attract. But if you… Continue Reading

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