Author Archives: Blog Editor

Writer: Using The “Wrong” Social Network Can Hurt Your Readership Growth | Web Design Relief

Writer: Using The “Wrong” Social Network Can Hurt Your Readership Growth | Web Design Relief

Social media is one of the best ways to build your author brand. While your author website provides a hub for information about you and your writing projects, using a good social network also lets you effectively engage your audience in real time. You can promote new projects, receive feedback, and build your fan base. But with so many platforms available, how do you know which are the best to grow your readership? It’s important to choose wisely, because utilizing the wrong social network can actually hurt your readership growth! Here are the pros and cons of each social network from the social media experts at Web Design Relief.

Social Network Pros And Cons For Writers Targeting Readership Growth

 

Facebook

Facebook is an obvious choice when it comes to social media networking and building your author brand. It’s a technological giant that offers a wide range of options, including author pages, organized event planning, dedicated Facebook groups for every genre, and more. And Facebook’s wide user base and search functions let you make connections with your writing networks. However, life on Facebook moves at a measured pace, and too many posts from you can easily irritate your followers. This is one of the reasons younger audiences are moving away from Facebook.

Pros:

  • Allows multimedia content
  • Very high character limit
  • Broad user base

Cons:

  • Less popular with younger audiences
  • Not considered cutting-edge

 

Twitter

This is the platform for writers on the go! Twitter encourages short, frequent updates to keep followers current with your latest thoughts, activities, and event news. Whether you want to talk about your writing process or post reminders about upcoming publications, Twitter can help you send terse but powerful messages to your audience. Using hashtags can help group your tweets with similar content from other users, making it easier for followers and new readers to find you. The downside is that Twitter’s culture of quick updates and character limit won’t allow you to post long excerpts or full event information. Also, Twitter is most successful when you tweet often, which requires a significant time commitment.

Pros:

  • Thrives on frequent updates
  • Popular
  • Easy tagging with hashtags

Cons:

  • Frequent engagement can be time-consuming
  • 280 character limit

Instagram

Even for writers, a picture can be worth a thousand words! Instagram is easy to use and great for book cover reveals, printed excerpts of your writing, and visual updates on your life as a writer. This social media platform does impose a limit on the length of captions, but it’s not as restrictive as Twitter. However, if you are more inclined to post longer messages, Instagram may not be the network for you.

Pros:

  • Photo-based
  • Low maintenance
  • User-friendly

Cons:

  • Prefers shorter captions
  • Doesn’t promote sharing

 

Pinterest

While this photo-based social media network may seem similar to Instagram, Pinterest works very differently. Rather than posting mainly original content, Pinterest is more focused on “pinning” content from other users and websites to your board. You can easily pull from a wide range of sources to create a unique collection of ideas. A great way to build your author brand on Pinterest is to gather and pin content that’s related to your writing, especially if it shares common themes or aesthetics. Keep in mind, though, that Pinterest doesn’t provide the same level of direct audience engagement as other social media platforms. Followers may interact with your boards, but not with you personally, and Pinterest is not well-suited for personal updates or event announcements.

Pros:

  • Browsing-based
  • Promotes sharing with followers
  • Unique engagement

Cons:

  • Difficult to interact directly with followers
  • Very little text content

 

LinkedIn

Though not often seen as a social media platform, LinkedIn is definitely useful for networking with other writers as well as editors, agents, and publishers. Use your LinkedIn profile to brag about your accomplishments and skills—you can even share blog articles from your author website! On the other hand, LinkedIn isn’t the most effective resource for building or interacting with a community of fans, since many users don’t check it every day.

Pros:

  • Professional atmosphere
  • Shows off specialties and accomplishments
  • Good for making business connections

Cons:

  • Not as effective for fan networks
  • Not the best place for event promotions

 

Goodreads

Specifically created for readers and writers, Goodreads lets you gather a collection of book titles (from books you’ve read and loved to those on your TBR list) and share your thoughts and reviews. Talking up books that are like yours is a great way to generate interest in your book, and cross-promotion is a powerful tool to get your name in front of a fresh group of readers. You can create an author page and build lists of your books or books in your genre to let followers know what to expect from your writing. There is not much direct interaction with your audience on this site, and it doesn’t support any sort of event planning, but Goodreads can still be a powerful marketing tool for promoting your writing to interested readers.

Pros:

  • Designed specifically for books
  • Built around promotion and recommendation
  • Audience of readers

Cons:

  • Little direct interaction
  • Not good for event/business promotion

There’s no doubt that social media is important to growing your online presence, but it’s important to choose the networks that best suit you and your work. Rather than trying to be on every social media network, choose two or three platforms and focus on building a good following. And take advantage of a social media management system like Hootsuite to make your life easier.

 

Question: Which social media platform works best for you as a writer?

 

How To Build A Strong Author Brand If You Write In Multiple Genres | Web Design Relief

How To Build A Strong Author Brand If You Write In Multiple Genres | Web Design Relief

While some writers focus on a single genre, there are many writers who dabble in multiple genres. You might write poetry as well as short stories, and possibly even essays. Or the differences in what you write may be more obvious: spine-tingling thriller novels AND warmhearted children’s books. At Web Design Relief, we know that writing in multiple genres can make your marketing strategy more challenging. Is one website right for you? Do you need multiple websites? Should you use a pen name to separate your genres? Here’s how to build a strong author brand when you write in multiple genres.

The Best Ways To Build A Strong Author Brand If You Write In Multiple Genres

It’s important to build your online marketing based on your own unique content and voice. Here are a few important questions to consider if you’re a multi-genre author who is trying to build a strong brand.

Should you use a pen name (or multiple pen names)?

Separating your brand identity will be easier if you use a different name for each genre. This way, you’ll avoid the confusion of your horror fans stumbling upon your children’s books or (eek!) vice versa. With a specific pen name for each style of writing, you’ll be able to create a unique online persona to suit each individual genre.

When you choose to use a pen name or multiple pen names, be sure you want that name associated with you for the long haul.

These articles can help you decide if you want to use one pen name or several:

Pen Names And The Internet: 5 Writer Problems—Solved!

How To Handle Multiple Pen Names On Your Author Website

Pen Names: What You Need To Know About Using A Pseudonym

What about having multiple author websites?

If you write any combination of poetry, essays, and short stories in the same style, you probably don’t need to have separate author websites. You can have separate pages on one author website for each style of writing.

But if you write some romance, some thriller, some cookbook recipes—multiple author websites may be the best answer. When you maintain a separate author website for each genre, your fan base will be able to quickly find and navigate your online content to access information about you and that specific genre.

If you decide to create multiple author websites, read this: How To Juggle More Than One Author Website.

Whether you have one author website or several, there are design and function elements that should be carefully considered:

  • Simplicity

Consider using a single tone and similar design elements for your author website(s) that won’t conflict with any of the styles you embrace in your writing or book cover art. Use minimal colors in your design and stick with classic serif and sans serif fonts rather than decorative ones. This way, if you want to consolidate your author websites in the future, the process will be easier and less jarring to your fans.

  • Dedicated Pages and Sections

You might want to create different pages or sections on one author website. This gives you the best of both (or many) worlds!

  • Separate Contact Forms

You can strategically place multiple contact forms on different pages or sections of your website so visitors can inquire about a specific genre, book, series, or project you’re working on. Remember: A contact form shouldn’t reveal your e-mail address. All the contact forms can connect to the same inbox so that all of your correspondence is in one place, and you don’t have to try to monitor several different e-mail locations.

Does a strong author brand require multiple social media platforms?

Similar to the benefits of having multiple author websites, creating a separate, distinct social media platform for each genre you write in might best serve your various groups of followers. You’ll have a more definite idea of what each audience wants to see and can target your posts, photos, and tweets accordingly.

Keep in mind, creating several platforms, keeping up with posts, and interacting with various audiences can take up a lot of valuable writing time. And if you don’t use different pen names for each genre, your followers may be bewildered by the different styles present on each separate social media platform.

If you’d like help managing your social media, you can hire your own Virtual Assistant! The Virtual Assistant team at Writer’s Relief will handle every aspect of managing your Facebook page, Twitter profile, and/or Pinterest boards—so you can spend your time writing. We have packages for every budget!

Must you use more than one URL?

Even if you use only one author website (but especially if you have more than one), keeping several domain names on hand can improve your branding when you write in different genres. Consider having a domain for your real name, another for your pen name, and even another for the title of your book. Separate URLs can help define each genre-focused website. If you have one author website, the various URLs can direct your audience to the same place—no matter which URL they choose!

Here’s how to choose the right URL or domain for your author website.

And if you don’t have an author website yet, what are you waiting for? The experts at Web Design Relief will have you (and your brand) up and running in no time. Schedule a free consultation today and see for yourself!

 

Question: Do you know any authors with multiple pen names or websites? Do you find it confusing? Let us know in the comments section.

5 Ways To Make Your Author Website More Searchable And Visible Online | Web Design Relief

5 Ways To Make Your Author Website More Searchable And Visible Online | Web Design Relief

Every writer should have an author website; it acts as your online “business card” and information hub. If a literary agent, editor, or reader wants to know more about you and your writing, they’re going to look for you on the Internet—so it’s important that an online search engine like Google quickly brings your author website to their fingertips! At Web Design Relief, our experts know the tips, hacks, and strategies that will make your author website easily searchable and visible online.

How To Make Your Author Website Searchable And Visible Online

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will help your author website show up at the top of search results lists. To start, pick 8-12 keywords that best describe your writing, your themes, and your author brand (don’t forget to include your name). Then, make sure those terms appear as often as possible on your site. Don’t overdo it or force keywords where they don’t make sense—you’ll end up with text that sounds stilted and poorly written. Simply make a point of using your keywords in blog posts, headers, your bio, even in the backend of your website. The terms don’t even have to appear on the page for Google to pick them up: Adding titles to your images can do wonders for your online visibility.

Marketing

One of the most reliable ways to direct traffic to your author website is to simply let people know you’d like them to visit! Choose an easy-to-remember URL and include  your website address in your correspondence signature and on promotional materials: bookmarks, posters, postcards, and giveaways. Mentioning your website in your author bio with your published writing is another great way to help readers find their way to your site.

Cross-promotion is also a powerful way to expand your audience. Talking about your writing as a guest on someone else’s blog or podcast exposes potential new readers to your content. And if they want to know more, invite them to visit your author website!

Social Media

If your author website is where readers go to learn more about you and your writing, your social media platforms are where readers go to engage with you in real time. Maintaining an active social media presence lets your followers develop a personal connection to you and your author brand. Your social media accounts can show up in Internet searches for your name, so they serve as another landing point for new readers.

In order to bring your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest followers to your author website, be sure to have a prominent link to your website on your social media platforms (and vice versa) so that followers can connect with just the click of a button.

More Publication Credits

It may seem obvious, but your writing is central to expanding your brand as a writer. What better way to get people interested than to get your writing in front of as many readers as possible? Literary journals and magazines are ideal for this purpose, since they have already spent time building reliable audiences. Each journal that publishes your work introduces you to another new audience, so making carefully targeted submissions to a wide variety of journals is an excellent way to increase interest in your writing and bring more visitors to your author website. And online journals offer the opportunity to link directly to your author website in your author bio.

If you need help researching the best markets for your writing and developing an effective submission strategy, Writer’s Relief can help!

Giveaways

Who doesn’t like free stuff? If you want to build traffic and help your author website rank higher in online searches, consider offering an incentive. Contests and giveaways are easy ways to generate clicks, and the prize or freebie doesn’t have to be expensive. A free copy of your e-book or a subscription to a journal that has published your work won’t break the bank, and they’re the kind of reward that readers can get excited about. You can even tie the contest to your mailing list to keep those new visitors coming back to your site again and again.

With the Internet now the go-to information source for most people, your author website serves as your online identity and reader resource. Use these tips to help your website move higher in search results so that you—and your writing—are more visible and easy to find!

 

Question: What strategies have you used to attract visitors to your website?

7 Ways To Support Literary Journals Via Your Author Website (And Make Friends Too!) | Web Design Relief

Literary journals are an important, fundamental part of the publishing community. At Web Design Relief, we know that a good literary magazine will not only provide entertainment and inspiration for readers and writers, but will also offer writers the opportunity to build up their publication credits. And with tight budgets and hardworking, often volunteer staff… Continue Reading

How The Right Content On Your Author Homepage Makes Visitors Stick Around | Web Design Relief

One of the most important features of an author website is the homepage: It’s your business card, welcome mat, and first impression all rolled up in one! But with so many possibilities for content, it can be quite overwhelming to determine what does—or doesn’t—belong on your author homepage. Make the wrong choice, and visitors will… Continue Reading


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