Category Archives: Author Websites

A Guide To The Best Navigation Menu Bars For Your Website | Web Design Relief

A Guide To The Best Navigation Menu Bars For Your Website | Web Design Relief

The menu bar on your author website controls how visitors navigate your site and access your important interior content: your biography, publications, contact form, and more. So while the menu bar may not be the most exciting element in your author website design, it shouldn’t be overlooked. A poorly designed navigation bar may seem cluttered, unclear, and dysfunctional to your visitors—definitely not the first impression you want to make! The experts at Web Design Relief have created a guide to the best navigation menu bar options to help you choose the style that’s right for your author website!

The Best Navigation Menu Bar Choices For Your Website

 

Standard Menu Bar: Horizontal menu bars are the standard in website design. Usually featured at the top of a web page, they can also be placed in the footer or beneath a customized header. The standard menu bar looks professional, is straightforward and easy to use, and works best when offering navigation to three to eight web pages within your website.

 

Sidebar Menu Bar: The vertical menu bar is another popular choice in web design. It is typically placed on the right-hand or left-hand side of the page in a separate column. By having your menu bar off to the side but still visible and functional, you can bump up the focus on your other content—like your book cover, buttons, and personal images.

Hover-Activated Menu Bar: A modern twist on the traditional horizontal menu bar, this type of navigation only appears when users hover their mouse near the top or side of their screen. It’s ideal if you have content or images you don’t want obscured by a menu bar. The downside is that hover-activated menus are not immediately visible and may potentially add a layer of difficulty to navigating your website.

 

Hamburger Menu Bar: Three little lines have revolutionized the way we use menu bars! Most web-users recognize the three lines, reminiscent of a stacked hamburger, as an indication to click. The Hamburger Menu keeps all of your navigation tucked away until it is clicked; then it opens into an optimized menu bar. This navigation option is very mobile-friendly and the standard for most mobile and tablet-based websites and apps. 

Mega Menu Bar: Submenus—menu items that drop down and expand once clicked—are a staple of Mega Menus. This menu bar style is best for large-scale websites that require expansive navigation to dozens of pages and is a great way to avoid clutter. A Mega Menu isn’t usually necessary for a typical author website, but could be a good choice if you have a lot of published works or projects to feature.

 

Multimedia Menu Bar: Swapping or pairing text with icons and images is a fun approach to a menu bar. You could use a mailbox icon for your contact navigation, a book icon to connect to your publications page, and so much more.

 

Choose The Navigation Menu Bar That Works For You

Different menu bar options will work for different writers and genres—and still fall within professional web design standards. You might even consider using different menu bars for your home page and interior pages. But don’t go overboard—consistency is key in a professional and effective author website design!

If you want help choosing the best navigation bar menu and other design elements for your author website, the pros at Web Design Relief are ready to help. Schedule a free consultation today!

 

Question: Which type of navigation menu bar do you prefer to use?

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

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 putting in long hours, literary journals definitely deserve our support. As more and more well-known literary magazines are making the switch to online publication, using your author website to support literary journals has never been easier.

How Your Author Website Can Help Support Literary Journals

Feature Your List Of Publications: Showcasing your publication history is an author website must-do. Whenever possible, be sure your list of publications includes direct links to the magazines where your work is featured. Your audience will be able to read your work right in the publication, and then they can browse around and discover what else the journal has to offer. By linking to your published work, you’ll be helping to increase the traffic flow and readership of the literary journal as well.

Write About Journals On Your Blog: Blogging is a surefire way to bring attention to your favorite literary magazines. You can review your favorite pieces they publish, or talk about what it’s like to be published in them yourself. You can even reach out to a literary magazine to see if there’s interest in having you write a featured blog post about the publication for your website, or post an interview with the editor.

Engage With Journals On Social Media: You’ve integrated your social media accounts through links and widgets on your website—now put them to good use! Network and interact with literary magazines and journals so your website visitors are exposed to new publications. Retweet, reblog, or pin their posts to support and share their content. When a literary journal’s audience grows, so do the opportunities to gain more subscribers!

Focus On Cross-Promotion: The entire writing community thrives when we all collaborate with each other. Make friends—don’t be afraid to reach out to the editorial team of a magazine you like to see how you might be able to help each other out. If you give their latest call for submissions or contest a shout-out on your website and social media, they may be interested in mentioning your latest book or book signing event on their website. Networking expands your own potential audience while helping to boost awareness of the journal you want to support.

Use The Power Of Your Podcast: More and more authors feature their podcasts and vlogs on their author websites. These offer great opportunities to name-drop literary magazines! You can talk about which ones you’re reading or those you’ve been featured in as a means of leading your viewers and listeners to these publications.

Share Donation Links: It is not uncommon for literary journals, especially nonprofit magazines, to have donation links on their websites. You can give back by dedicating a portion of your website to sharing these links too. If a magazine does not have a donation link, consider linking your website visitors to their subscription pages instead.

Host A Giveaway: Nothing drums up interest and excitement like free stuff! Host a giveaway of the latest issue of your favorite journal (if your writing is published in that issue, even better!) or a contest for a yearly subscription to the magazine to drive traffic to both of your websites. You’ll attract visitors to your author website while helping to get literary magazines into the hands of more readers and writers!

Remember: authenticity is key when it comes to cross-promotion and networking. Editors who think you’re just trying to sell something (or just selling yourself) might turn a cold shoulder. Do what you do out of your love for writing—not just because you’ll benefit too!

 

Question: What are some literary magazines you would feature on your 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


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