Category Archives: Author Website Design

12 Author Website Design Trends That Will Be Outdated In 2020 | Web Design Relief

Each year, website design trends shift, and what was once popular becomes stale and outdated.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?

How To Juggle More Than One Author Website | Web Design Relief

Sometimes the idea of having two of something sounds wonderful! (Unless it’s a paper cut, of course.) Yet many writers might think that maintaining not one, but two author websites would be exhausting. At Web Design Relief, we know there are major benefits to compartmentalizing your online content. Not only will it make your books more searchable by doubling the search engine optimization (SEO), but you’ll also increase your readership and visibility—and possibly sell more books! Here’s when it pays to juggle more than one author website.

Reasons For Having More Than One Author Website

You Write In Different Genres

One of the best reasons for having more than one author website is that you write in multiple genres. Fans of your children’s book series may not be in the market for your new bloodcurdling horror novel. This also applies to authors who write both books and short prose or poetry. And you may want separate websites if you write academic, scholarly, or journalistic pieces in addition to creative works. Having separate author websites lets you target each audience with a different site, allowing you to build your fan base in each genre.

You Use A Pen Name

Authors use a pen name for a variety of reasons. J. K. Rowling has written under a different pen name to separate her smash-hit Harry Potter series from her venture into the mystery and crime genre. If you write using more than one name, having author websites for your real and pen names will help all of your readers easily find you and your books. 

You Need A Website With A Specific Purpose

Do you want an author website that focuses on your blog, or one with the primary purpose of selling your books? Maybe you just want a website that acts as a portfolio to display your publications. Having multiple websites may be the best way to boost your reach, laser-focus your call to action, and make your information easy to find online. Web visitors will land exactly where they want to be, instead of clicking through page after page on one overstuffed website. 

You Have More Than One Writing-Focused Career

Many authors also moonlight as editors and proofreaders. Keeping your business side separate from your creative side helps you provide each audience with the information they are looking for. Literary agents want to know about your novel—not how much you charge to proofread a manuscript. Likewise, someone looking for an editor will want to know about your grammar skills and be less interested in your irreverent humor book series.

You’re Thinking Outside The Box

Marketing-savvy authors sometimes create websites specifically for a character or a significant setting in their books. This allows readers to connect with their stories on a more realistic level. A great example is John Watson’s Blog, written from the perspective of Sherlock Holmes’s assistant. 

You’d Like To Do Some Good

If your writing sheds light on an important topic, you might consider creating a website to increase awareness of a particular charity or cause. While your author website acts as your online business card, a separate website can focus on educating visitors and offering opportunities to provide assistance. Novelist, poet, and prose writer King Grossman has one website dedicated to his writing, and another for his foundation, Occupy the Word, which aims to support emerging writers.

Having more than one website can help you keep your message and call to action centered on the right audience. And the easiest way to create multiple websites is with the help of tech-savvy experts like the ones you’ll find at Web Design Relief. Contact us for a free consultation today!

 

Question: What writers do you know have more than one author website?

 

The Best Author Website Strategies Of Professional Writers | Web Design Relief

If you want readers, editors, and literary agents to take you seriously as a professional writer, you must have an author website. And when your writer website incorporates smart marketing strategies, you reap the double bonus of also proving that you’re committed to building your reputation through enthusiastic outreach. If you want to boost your reputation and your marketing power, Web Design Relief shows you how with tips hacked from the author website strategies of successful writers.

Author Website Content Strategies That Show Publishing Professionalism

Professional author website domain name (URL). Your author URL is your professional address; it should be relevant and memorable (with no extensions that indicate that your website was built using free software). Here’s how to decide which author website domain name is right for you.

Custom, ad-free layout. Cheap or free websites often seem like a good deal—except that many of them contain advertisements. Visitors to your author website shouldn’t be distracted by spammy ads that give off the wrong vibe. Your website should also be personalized as much as your budget allows; after all, your unique voice is your best selling point in your writing career.

Integrated social media feeds. Regularly updating your social media feeds is a great way to grow your audience. But did you know that you can also set your social media updates to appear automatically and instantly on your author website? Not only does this tactic demonstrate to agents and editors that you are committed to marketing, but also keeps your author website fresh and interesting with very little extra effort on your part.

Links to your published works. Whether your published works are poems in literary magazines or full-length books, make it easy for visitors to read your writing. Linking to your published materials demonstrates pride in your work.

Opportunities to sign up for your mailing list. By creating incentives that tempt visitors to sign up for your mailing list, you send a message to industry professionals that you are happy to embrace smart marketing strategies—and you are also setting the stage to support a wide readership. Learn more about which tactics can get people to sign up for your writer mailing list.

Easy-to-use “contact me” page. Make it easy for a literary agent or editor to reach out to you with career-building opportunities by creating a simple “contact me” page. You don’t have to give away your personal information in order to be easy to reach (and it isn’t recommended to do so online). Instead, you can use a plugin to hide your private info, minimize spammers, and facilitate easy outreach for website visitors.

Good headshot. You don’t need to fork over a ton of money to have a great author portrait taken. While a professional photographer can help ensure good lighting, focus, and flattering retouching, you may be able to create an author headshot using nothing more than a simple point-and-shoot or one of the amazing phone photo apps available now. Learn more about how to create a professional-looking DIY author portrait.

And The Best News Is…

Having an author website—even if it’s very basic—is a huge indicator of a writer’s dedication to building a reputation in the publishing industry. So even if you have a very simple author website, you’re already ahead of the game.

If you don’t have an author website, there’s never been a better time to get one! Web Design Relief offers a range of author website design options for writers of all genres and budgets. And our publishing experts can advise you on the strategies that readers, literary agents, and editors love to see.

 

Question: What has been most helpful to you in building your reputation as a committed writer?

Should You Renovate Your Author Website Or Start Over? | Web Design Relief

Visit a few of your favorite author websites and you’ll see some that just need a little touch-up, while others need a complete overhaul. Where does your author website fall on the spectrum? Is your author website a fixer-upper, or does it need to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch? The experts at Web… Continue Reading

How To Start A Book Review Blog—And Score Some Free Books! | Web Design Relief

If you are a ravenous book reader, you may be able to turn your passion for the written word (and your love of sharing your opinion) into a rewarding book review blog. Not only do book review bloggers get the satisfaction of reading and critiquing, they also often score free books from writers and publishers… Continue Reading

5 Mistakes Writers Make On Their Author Websites (And The Easy Fixes) | Web Design Relief

Did you know that every website needs regular care and housekeeping? So unless you have a fairy godmother or can sing well enough to inspire woodland creatures to assist you with your chores, you should keep a virtual broom and wrench handy. Even the most meticulous author website design may experience issues that arise over… Continue Reading


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