Category Archives: Author Website Design

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?

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 quickly bounce. The experts at Web Design Relief have put together a list of design tips and key elements to help you build an effective, good-looking homepage that will encourage visitors to stick around and explore your site, check out your books, and sign up for your newsletter or mailing list.

Author Homepage Content That Readers Can’t Resist

A Clear-Cut Author Brand

Your homepage should clearly present your author brand: who you are as an author and the genre you write in. This can be reinforced by your homepage theme and layout. For your font and background, choose a style, color, or image that relates to your work. You can use elements that reflect your genre; for example, a dark, eerie mansion in the woods for horror, or hearts and flowers for romance. Or you can focus attention on your latest book by using the book cover in the banner the way Bella Andre does:

This is also a good place to bring your credentials to the forefront—don’t bury the lead! If you’re a bestselling author, now’s the time to mention it. If you have a great quote from a book reviewer, you want to get it in front of your audiences as well. You can also use this space to tell the story behind the story. But remember, clean and simple is much better than cluttered and distracting. You want your audience to know they are in the right place and be intrigued enough to continue reading.

The Scoop On Your Latest Book

If visitors are coming to your author website because they want to know more about your latest book—make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for! Use an eye-catching image of your book cover art, and be sure to feature any great quotes from reviewers. If you have a new book coming out, be sure to showcase it. Include a short book blurb to hook readers and turn them into buyers. Encourage visitors to go deeper within your website by offering the release date (if your book isn’t published yet) and linking to an excerpt. Or you can have Buy buttons that link to sites where your audience can purchase your book. Take a look at how Harlan Coben’s author website handles his pre-release info on his homepage:

An Irresistible Call To Action

Your call to action should be obvious on your homepage. You want visitors to easily perform the action you want: Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Read your blog? Buy your book? Whatever you determine your call to action will be, make sure it’s clear and engaging. And regularly check your analytics to determine how readers are coming to your author website and what pages they visit most. This will help you market more efficiently.

Keep things simple: If you want visitors to read your blog, include it as a page on your author website, rather than in a separate location. Have a link on your navigation bar for quick access. For newsletter sign-ups, you can have the sign-up box be a constant element on your sidebar so that it’s available to your reader on any page on your site. This way, you’ll provide a convenient opportunity without being too aggressive. Another option is to have a newsletter widget on the homepage that pops up whenever your site detects a visitor is about to leave. You’ll be surprised at how well it works! Here’s how author James Patterson gets more newsletter sign-ups:

Quick Connections To Social Media

While visitors are hanging around on your author website homepage, make sure they can also easily connect to your social media. Place recognizable Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter buttons or widgets in the sidebar, the book showcase section, or in the banner. The widgets will offer a sneak peek of your latest tweets, posts, or a few photos from your Instagram. You want your fans to be able to follow you on social media as well in order to get updates in real time. Here, Rita Woods has her social media buttons right next to her latest book on her author website homepage:

News About Upcoming Events

Showcase the latest news, publications, and upcoming events on your homepage: book tours, signings, or readings at local bookshops. You can add photos or videos from previous events as well. Fans enjoy reading about and meeting their favorite authors—and a meet-and-greet is a great opportunity to hand-sell your book! Engage your audience with news about contests, raffles, gifts, and refreshments. J.K. Rowling may not be serving any pumpkin juice, but her fans can catch up on her latest news right on her homepage:

With the right elements on your author homepage, you’ll entice visitors to stay longer and become dedicated fans.

If you don’t have an author website yet (and really, you should!), the experts at Web Design Relief are ready to help. There’s a package for every budget—schedule a free consultation today!

 

Question: What makes you want to spend time on an author’s website?

10 Easy Ways To Drive More Traffic To Your Author Website | Web Design Relief

Once you have an author website that works well for your genre and acts as your online business card, it’s time for the next step: getting your readers and potential new fans to visit! Your author website should act as an online hub where you can showcase your latest publication credits, offer links to purchase… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading


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