Category Archives: Grow Your Author Platform

11 Web Design Tips That Self-Published Authors Must Know | Web Design Relief

Cookie-cutter author website templates with little functionality might be cheap—but “cheap” is still a waste of money if your author website doesn’t actually grow your writing career. At Web Design Relief, we know that self-published authors need a website that acts as a hub of connectivity and works as a powerful sales driver.

The Best Website Design Tips for Self-Published Authors

Define your mission. What specific goal must your author website accomplish? Are you hoping to sell books? Do you want to grow an email list? Do you want to point readers toward your social media profiles and build your following there? Although your website may offer visitors various opportunities, you as an author should have a clear mission of your top, primary goal.

Send out the call. Once you know your website’s essential goal, you can design the layout of your individual webpages to support that goal. Every page of your website—especially your author homepage—should offer a clear call to action that makes it easy for visitors to do what you want them to, whether it’s sign up for your newsletter or buy your book.

Choose a great domain name. The URL of your author website could be your name, your book title, or something else entirely. Here’s how to pick a domain name that’s right for your writing career.

Build your branding. From your author headshot to your website’s footers, every element of your author website should support your author brand. Each component should embrace the same mood, tone, and color schemes so that all elements of your website tell the story of who you are and the types of books you offer.

Make a mailing list. Although much emphasis is placed on the power of social media for generating word-of-mouth sales, the fact remains that your email list essentially belongs to you—but your social media platform does not. For that reason, building a private mailing list—that you own and control—is an important long-term strategy for advancing your writing career. Learn more about how to entice people to join your email list.

Socialize. Integrate your social media feeds into your author website so all of your posts and pictures will automatically appear on your site as you share them. It’s a great way to ensure that your author website remains fresh, lively, and up to date.

Tell your own story. The story of who you are and how you came to be a writer may be one of your most powerful marketing tools. Learn more about how to tell your personal story on your author website.

Cater to the media. Make it easy for bloggers and reporters to download a media kit that includes all your basic information, as well as free press releases and your author headshot.

Use your cover art. If you have fabulous cover art that stirs up strong emotional reactions, be sure to feature it on your website! The bigger a reader’s emotional reaction to what they find on your website, the better.

Create a website that sells. If you’re hoping to sell books directly from your author website, check out this article: Nine Author Website Tips To Increase Your Book Sales.

At Web Design Relief, we specialize in creating affordable websites that suit writers and their unique needs. Schedule a free consultation call today to find out how we can help you!

Keep yourself safe. Most visitors who come to your website will be avid readers searching for a great new book to buy. But not everyone who types your URL into a browser is harmless. Here’s what you need to know to protect your website, yourself, and your visitors from hackers, spammers, and thieves.

 

Question: Which of the elements on our list do you think is most important for writers who are building an author website?

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?

Writer: Turn Your Acceptance Letters Into Online Marketing Gold | Web Design Relief

If you’ve been making creative writing submissions and getting your fair share of rejections—an acceptance letter is cause for celebration! And while you’re doing your happy dance, tango on over to your computer keyboard to share the good news. The marketing experts at Web Design Relief explain how getting an acceptance letter offers you a golden opportunity for effective brand building and promotion!

Here’s How Writers Can Promote Their Acceptance Letters And Publications On The Web

Share your struggles. You may find that people are more eager to spread the word about one of your acceptances if they’ve shared the submission process with you. That means posting on social media about how you were up filling out submission manager forms until 2:00 AM. Or how you just got a new batch of rejection letters but are sharing a motivational quote that helps you stay positive.

Your online presence is an opportunity to tell the story of who you are as an aspiring writer. By letting followers see your authenticity and willingness to be vulnerable, they’ll be just as excited as you are about an acceptance and eager to spread the word. And your posts about successes won’t come across as bragging.

Post a screenshot of your acceptance letter. It may be a while before your accepted submission is published in the literary journal. In the meantime, share your acceptance letters! A photo or screenshot of key language in your letter is a great way to spread the word—especially on social media, where posting images increases interactions.

Think outside the letter. Apart from running in circles and gleefully jumping up and down in the privacy of your home office, how are you going to celebrate your acceptance? Go out to dinner? Reward yourself with a trip to the bookstore? Whatever you decide, document it on social media and let others celebrate vicariously with you.

Share works by other writers associated with your literary magazine/literary agent. Is your future literary agent supporting other writers you admire? Does the journal that accepted your work feature writing you love? Share this info on your social media pages. Not only can a “recommended read” post remind your followers that your published work is forthcoming, it can also be a great way of networking with other writers.

Post an excerpt on your website. Tease readers by featuring the first few lines of your poem or a paragraph or two from your short story or book on your author website. Then, if/when possible, link readers to the full piece. (Caveat: Read this before you publish anything online!)

Feature visuals or links when the piece comes out. Your publication date is cause for online celebrating! Be sure to link directly to your published work on your website announcements page or on your social media profiles. If the image that pops up from the URL doesn’t directly show your byline, post a screenshot that does.

And If You’re Feeling Squeamish About Self-Promotion…

Remember, spreading the good word about a fabulous literary magazine or a wonderful literary agent isn’t simply boasting: It’s a PSA offering helpful info to others. Include links, encourage support from fans, friends, and followers, and let editors and agents know what you are doing to help their cause. You may discover additional cross-promotion potential!

 

Question: How do you celebrate an acceptance letter?

5 Ways To Digitize Your Writing Conference Experience | Web Design Relief

There was a time when workshops and seminars for writers were limited to what was discussed and reviewed in hotel conference rooms or classrooms. So if you weren’t an attendee, you’d have to wait weeks or even months to pick up the few crumbs of information available when summaries of the conferences finally showed up… Continue Reading

5 Things Writers Don’t Know About Instagram—But Should | Web Design Relief

 Since its launch in 2010, Instagram’s popularity has been growing by leaps and bounds. Today, Instagram is one of the most commonly used social media platforms in the world, with a reported 500 million daily active users! And while other social media platforms have peaked and are trying to reinvent themselves, the social media experts… Continue Reading

The 6 Personality Types Of Your Followers (And How To Engage Them) | Web Design Relief

The better an author knows his or her own social media followers, the easier it will be to connect with them on a deeper level. However, no matter how organically you’ve grown your social media following, your audience will be made up of many different personality types. At Web Design Relief, we know that effectively… Continue Reading


Sign up to receive our FREE four-part series, The Writer’s Essential Guide To Reputation-Building In A Digital World—the ultimate resource for building your online author platform.
YES! Send Me My FREE Guide!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
close-link
Live Chat Software