New Year; New You: How To Revamp Your Author Persona And Grow Your Fan Base | Web Design Relief

It’s the start of a new year! What better time to give your brand identity a facelift? The experts at Web Design Relief know that a fresh approach to your online author persona can help you achieve your goals as a writer, increase the size of your fan base, and find the right voice for your author website and social networks.

5 Ways To Revitalize Your Author Website And Online Presence

Make A List: Check out your favorite authors and how they portray their personas online; then create a list of the qualities you want to exemplify through your online activity. You’ll be able to use it as a reference every time you make a website update or put up a new post. This will help you maintain consistency and develop your author brand.

Watch Your Words: Because almost all of our online communication is through text on websites and social media, your words and phrasing are incredibly important. Whether you are trying to appear friendlier, more approachable, or dark and mysterious—adjust your word choice to uniformly reflect this and stay on brand. Your blog updates and social media posts should all sound like they were made by the same person. Here’s what Neil Gaiman has to say about writing in your own voice.

Change Your Imagery: The images you use to engage with your fans online are also key elements of your author persona. Consider Instagram: Successful Instagram accounts tend to focus on a theme. Your theme should relate to your books or the genre in which you write. Make sure your images embrace your overall author brand, are high quality, and are tasteful!

Engage, Engage, Engage: Any author who’s been reaping the benefits of online success is one who actively engages with fans, friends, and followers. Be sure to answer questions, respond to messages, and acknowledge comments so that your visitors and supporters feel heard. Keep all of your responses kind, courteous, and as interesting as possible. Remember to interact in the same way you’d want your favorite author to respond to you! An active social presence will keep fans and followers returning to your accounts.

And if you end up with a few trolls to deal with (it’s an unfortunate reality of the Internet today), here’s how to keep your cool and protect your online reputation.

Keep It Real: It’s vital to keep your online persona sociable and interesting, but that doesn’t mean you should over-embellish. Your fans will be able to tell if you are being inauthentic. Also, if you put on a performance or establish yourself as an incredible character, your marketing attempts might actually backfire and turn off your target audience. Instead, be the best version of yourself. By being genuine and thoughtful in what you share and write, you’ll create a realistic persona that can enhance your author brand.

Once you decide to revamp your online persona, be careful that you don’t overwhelm your followers with too many changes all at once. Gradually incorporate any new elements and strategies to your online usage, and success will follow.

 

Question: What is the most important element to update on an author website?

12 Author Website Design Trends That Will Be Outdated In 2020 | Web Design Relief

Each year, website design trends shift, and what was once popular becomes stale and outdated. It’s important to keep your author website’s style and technology current with the latest trends to give your content more validity and make it easier for visitors to navigate the information. But with so many options and new developments, how do you know what to keep and what to toss? The experts at Web Design Relief pay close attention to what’s hot and what’s not. To ensure your author website is on trend, consider updating any outmoded design elements.

Say Goodbye To These Author Website Design Trends

Clip Art: Those illustrated symbols, images, and pictures preloaded on your computer may be your go-to favorites (they’re just a few quick clicks away), but clip art can make your author website look old-school—and not in a cool ’70s-retro way. There are better ways to incorporate images and art on your website. You can use your smartphone to take high-quality photos, purchase stock photos, or hire a freelance artist to create custom artwork. Check out this article about banishing clip art.

Multiple Font Combinations: Yes, Google now offers countless fonts to choose from, and it can be difficult to select just one or two. However, using multiple fonts—especially a mix of serif, sans serif, and decorative fonts—can look unnecessarily busy and amateurish. Instead, we recommend sticking to one font or font family to make sure your website meets professional standards and current design aesthetics.

Infinite Scrolling: While having all of your content on one multi-leveled page was once very popular, scrolling…and scrolling…and scrolling is now falling out of favor. Many web designers realize it’s not as efficient and organized as using separate pages—plus having one large page can increase loading time, causing impatient visitors to bounce.

Autoplay: Have you ever been busy working or web browsing (or been web browsing when you should be working)—and suddenly unwanted audio blares from your computer, smartphone, or tablet? Autoplay videos and audio are annoying (and potentially embarrassing) to visitors who simply want to view your website’s content without unexpectedly hearing your voice echoing through the library or your favorite song suddenly serenading the entire office. If they want to view your videos or listen to your podcasts, they will! In addition, having autoplay content can cause unwanted data usage for mobile websites.

Separate Locations: Many website owners initially kept their main website content separate from their mobile sites and blogs. This multisite approach is becoming less popular than having a more convenient all-in-one website that allows visitors to easily find all of your content and establishes a strong brand identity.

Too Many Widgets: Widgets can be extremely helpful, but using an overabundance of these applications will make your website harder to navigate and can interfere with its functionality. It is possible to have too many widgets. Instead, use as few applications as possible per page, whether social media widgets, mailing list, chat bot, etc.

Splash Pages: A splash page is a logo, image, or message that launches your website prior to your interior pages. While these pages were once considered a great way to establish a brand identity, they are often slow to load and keep website visitors from getting to the content they came for. To keep your audience interested and engaged, speed and efficiency are key!

Not Having A Pleasing Color Palette: Two color trends are quickly making their exit: One is cramming as many colors as possible onto a website; the other is using monochromatic black and white. The first is much too distracting, while the second can be too boring! Instead, thoughtful use of complementary shades with pops of color can make your website look professional and appealing. Check out some color combination ideas here.

Animations: While animations can draw attention to certain spots on your website, they are losing their place on modern websites. Animations aren’t mobile-friendly, and nowadays most people view web content using mobile devices. Nothing looks as tacky and dated as an unresponsive graphic.

Default Themes: Default or standard website themes may look nice, but they aren’t an effective marketing strategy. They do not show the uniqueness of who you are as a writer or what you create, which can hurt your brand identity. A custom website is a marketing gold mine!

No Contact Form: Having your e-mail address on your author website is a big no-no—it’s a dangerous security risk that opens your e-mail and your website to spam. Communicating via contact forms is the better alternative. Always keep your website and your web visitors safe.

Customized Cursors And Scroll Bars: Does having a cursor of a book or a scroll bar shaped like a pencil seem like a good idea for your author website? It would be, if it were still 1995! Custom-designed cursors and scroll bars are now considered awkward and unwieldy, and they can divert the attention of your web visitors from what you actually want them to be noticing.

Keeping up with the latest trends will help you maintain a fresh, professional-looking author website—one that your readers and fans will visit again and again. If your website features some outdated elements, now’s the time to update and give your website an overhaul. Or, schedule a free consultation and let the experts at Web Design Relief create a new, great-looking author website for you!

 

Question: What website trend are you ready to say goodbye to?

The Best Social Media Platforms For Building A Writer Fan Base | Web Design Relief

With the advent of the Internet, it’s become easier for a writer to build a fan base. Information about your work is just a click away for every prospective reader! But with this accessibility comes a tidal wave of options. How do you know which social media platform is best for building your writer fan base and brand? And which option aligns best with your online skills? The social media experts at Web Design Relief have put together a list of the most well-known brand-building websites and social media platforms and spelled out how well they work for writers.

Social Media Platforms That Can Boost A Writer’s Online Presence

Facebook: This social media platforms is probably the one most people think of first, and for good reason—the number of options on Facebook is staggering, including (but not limited to) the ability to post countless pictures and large blocks of text, host live events, create accessible community…the list goes on. Facebook has had a lot of time to perfect the art of getting in touch with people, so if you’re looking for the jack-of-all-trades, this might be a good place to start.

Instagram: Another very versatile social media platform, Instagram is more narrowly focused than Facebook. If you often find yourself wanting to use images to express yourself, Instagram may be the place for you. Its streamlined, efficient timeline lets followers stay updated on your projects. And if utilized well, Instagram can definitely increase your fan base. Instagram also allows you to post “stories” that disappear within 24 hours, so if you’re looking to give more off-the-cuff updates, it has that too.

Twitter: While Instagram relies heavily on images, Twitter opts instead to focus on words. Brevity is key on Twitter, and if you believe that the best way to get your thoughts across is via a few carefully tailored sentences, then this social media platform will work well for you. In addition, Twitter is incredibly fast-paced. Tweets reach a wide readership and are commented on almost instantly, which gives the platform a conversational vibe. Twitter also sees a vast amount of traffic and allows for cross-communication between users who have something to say and those who want to listen. For writers, it can also show off your writing chops; good tweets have the potential to go viral! Here are 11 ways to gain followers with a tweet.

LinkedIn: A much more niche platform, LinkedIn is still a good place to have a presence—especially if you’re building a readership for your professional endeavors. LinkedIn is entirely business-oriented; it lets you put your best foot forward by showing off your credentials and focusing on your skills and résumé. LinkedIn also enables you to make long-lasting professional relationships and plan ahead for future career opportunities.

Tumblr: Though its user base tends to be younger, Tumblr can still be a great way to get in touch with your readership. This platform supports all the typical social media options: text, photos, memes, etc.—but it features a progressive atmosphere filled with a lot of love for the arts. There’s also plenty of crossover between those who like to read and those who use Tumblr, so it’s a great opportunity to connect with like-minded people! Check out these tips for making Tumblr work for writers.

Pinterest: This is another wonderful site geared toward a more creative demographic. Pinterest allows you to assemble “boards” geared toward whatever interest you may have. For writers, it’s likely to be something along the lines of writing quotes, book covers, book recommendations, etc. The only drawback is the limited amount of user interaction; there’s no real way to connect with the people who post things on Pinterest, or to interact with viewers. However, it’s a wonderful way to compile some of your favorite images and maybe even get ideas for something new!

Snapchat: This social media platform is best utilized after you’ve built a presence and fan base on the more well-known platforms, as it’s difficult to start a presence here from the get-go. But if you’re a fan of quick, casual commentary and don’t mind being in front of a camera, Snapchat is a wonderful way to engage with a younger audience and make yourself seem more relatable at the same time. They’ve also got a host of  filters to try, so have fun!

Goodreads: This one’s a favorite of writers and readers! Goodreads can certainly function as a social media platform, but its biggest use is simply as a wonderful site for booklovers. You can peruse genres, authors, or specific time frames to find books you may be interested in reading. You can also read reviews by other bookworms! Goodreads is perfect for sharing the books that inspire you and to discover new books to read—after all, the best way to become a better writer is to become a better reader!

It’s best to use a mix of some (or all) of these platforms and websites to establish your author brand. You’ll reach the most people by being active on multiple sites and by cross-promoting your social media.

Keep in mind: Social media platforms can help you gain a following, but you’re still bound by the rules and parameters set up by the companies that control them. If a social media platform suddenly disappears overnight—so will all the followers you’ve carefully added. That’s why you should also have an author website and a mailing list that are yours and yours alone.

 

Question: What social media do you normally use?

Pen Names And The Internet: 5 Writer Problems—Solved!| Web Design Relief

Many prolific authors use pseudonyms (pen names) in order to write in multiple genres without muddying brands. And some writers with long or difficult-to-pronounce names may opt for shorter, easier-to-remember monikers. Pen names can also be used to build walls between day jobs and writing ventures, or to provide a fresh start if a writer’s… Continue Reading

Free Author Website Worksheet: Every Question Writers Need To Ask | Web Design Relief

Creating an author website involves making a lot of important decisions. From choosing a web host, to selecting the home page design, to determining which font you want to use, there are a lot of questions writers need to ask! Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be. The experts at Web Design Relief know exactly what you need… Continue Reading


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