5 Simple Tips for the Writer’s Website

If you’re a writer with your own website (or a blog supported by WordPress or another platform) you probably have the basics down when it comes to building a compelling online presence. This post is just to remind writers that sometimes we all miss the obvious. By implementing these fast and simple strategies, you can powerfully boost the impact of your site.

Make It Easy to Sign Up
Of course you have this button somewhere on your site, but where? It should be easy to find, easy to see, and easy to recognize. Don’t make readers scroll down or hunt through a packed sidebar to find it.

The best placement for your signup button is near the top of your homepage.

Once readers land on your site, it should take them no more than a flick of the eyes to find out how to sign up for your updates and keep in touch with your progress.

Make It Easy to Share
Have you ever read something great on a blog and tried to tweet it, only to find no share buttons at the bottom of the post? Yeah, me too. And if you’re like me, you probably also gave up on sharing the content because it was going to take more than a few seconds and you had another blog on deck waiting to be read.

When it comes to sharing your content, people have the attention span of only a few seconds.

Make it easy for readers to use those seconds to hit one button and share your stuff with all their peeps. And for bonus points, make sure your twitter handle is included in every tweet that someone shares from your site.

Let Them Know You’re Alive
I know a lot of writers who started blogs and then gave up on them because the need for fresh content every week was too demanding. But many of these writers are being too demanding on themselves. They have the expectation that every post should be kind of long and definitely dazzling. It’s cool if that happens naturally, but blog posts are like the rest of the internet: Here today, gone tomorrow.

Write and post something new every week.

No matter how small your updates are, keep your blog and/or website updated regularly. Even if it’s just an awesome picture you want to share that reminds you of one of your characters. Keep the content flowing.

Be Easy to Find
If you have your own website or blog going, then you probably have Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social media accounts going too. Make sure that when a new follower checks out your profile, they’re just one click away from checking out your website too.

Include your website in each and every one of your social media profiles.

If you only have a Facebook author page, include that in your Twitter profile and vice versa. And of course you’re already including your website in your email signature in all emails sent to other writers, agents, fans and potential readers, right? Right.

Put Your Best Face Forward
People like pictures. And people really like pictures of other people. It helps us to form a connection with the person on the other end of the internet universe. Whether someone is considering hiring you for editing services, or buying your latest release on Amazon, chances are high that they will want to know what you look like.

The best pictures show your full face, have clear resolution, and use good lighting.

You don’t have to have a smile full of rainbows and be riding a unicorn, but an approachable image goes a long way toward people feeling like they want to connect with you. Don’t make people guess as to what you really look like. Just be yourself.

If techie stuff overwhelms you, take it slow and implement these changes piece by piece. But make it a priority. Because each little piece has the power to significantly extend your reach as a professional writer.

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  • Reply Phillip McCollum 23 January, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Great advice, Lauren. Letting people know you’re alive is one of those easy things to do, but like you said, many of us want every post to be the most magnificent and thought provoking thing yet… That’s a good way to sabotage our regularity.

    I really ought to put my mug shot up one of these days. *cough* Just haven’t gotten around to it.. *cough*

    • Reply Lauren Sapala 23 January, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Phillip you should! After being blogger friends for a while now I’ve definitely wondered what the person behind the blog looks like! 😉

      • Reply Phillip McCollum 23 January, 2014 at 3:09 pm

        Ok, ok, just for you.. I updated my About page.

        • Reply Lauren Sapala 24 January, 2014 at 8:58 am

          YES!!!! That is awesome! I am on my way over to check it out right now…

  • Reply Chris Pawelski 23 January, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Great suggestions!

  • Reply Kara 24 January, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Thanks for the info. I have the facebook like button at the bottom of my posts but I am not on facebook myself. People can still click the facebook button and like me that way if they are on facebook, righ? I am new to blogging, so I just wanted to be sure. Maybe I would reach more people if I was on facebook, I just hesitate to join.

    • Reply Lauren Sapala 24 January, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      You know, I was also very hesitant to join Facebook, but I finally did. It was a little overwhelming in the beginning, but now I find that I’ve struck a balance with it. I have an author page and a personal page, and I post my blog posts on the author page and not much on the personal. It’s definitely an interesting experiment to try out. And if you don’t like it, you can always delete your page/account.

  • Reply hilarycustancegreen 25 January, 2014 at 4:35 am

    Hi Lauren, I assumed that your not having a Like button was a considered choice, which I respect. But just occasionally, I would have liked you to know that I read and appreciated your post, but was not able to post a comment.

    • Reply Lauren Sapala 27 January, 2014 at 9:26 am

      Honestly, I’ve just been busy and haven’t gotten to it yet! So I guess I need to walk my own talk there and take it “piece by piece” and get a few more little things configured on this blog of mine 😉

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