One of the first things any writer needs to do is to establish a web presence. Following are a couple of tips to help you do it the right way.
* Buy your own domain name.
The friend that will develop your website or your blog may be your best friend — or your sister — or your brother — or your business partner — or your book collaborator — or your editor — or fill-in-the-blank, it doesn’t matter. Reserve and pay for your own domain name. By owning your domain name, you can exercise options to change it in any manner that you wish.
This applies to any domain you want to use as a web presence, including your blog or book title/s. For example, I use the tagline of “Grandpa’s Heart” because most of my writing is based on interactions with my grandchildren, so I own “GrandpasHeart.com” and it redirects to my website “www.MichaelLeeJoshua.com”.
* Build a clean website or blog
Friends will read your blog or website even if it is not reader-friendly. Visitors won’t. A reader that googles your name and finds your blog is already a fan. The goal is to add new readers to your fan base.
Many ACFW writers have used web designers. Ask for referrals, we’re a very helpful bunch.
1. Do have fresh content — on the web, content is KING.
2. Don’t launch a music player when your site opens. Many people will leave your site within seconds of landing there without reading one word you have written.
3. Do have a link to purchase your books or a product relevant to your site. If your blog is about writing, provide links to great writing resources or other sites like Writer’s Digest.
4. Don’t fill your page with rotating banners or advertising. It’s tempting, but your goal is to sell books or your freelance writing, not google ads. “Easy on the eyes” — as the saying goes.
5. Do build relationships with your readers. People that comment on your blog will likely come back to see if you have responded. Be attentive.
6. Don’t join a link farm. Reciprocal links will not help you get ranked in search engines. In many cases, they actually hurt your rank.
* Consistently update your site
Add fresh content on a regular basis. If you are seeking an agent, the agent will certainly check out your blog. One of the things they might consider is whether you can write to a deadline or if you must wait on your ‘muse’ to develop a new post.
* Professionals are not out of your reach
Hiring a web designer or a contractor to develop your SEO strategies will not have to break your bank. I have been known to restore a website and move a blog to WordPress for nothing more than a testimonial.
Michael Lee Joshua is a happy grandpa and a freelance writer. He is also skilled in SEO techniques and can help you find and dominate your niche on the internet. Visit his blog or contact him through his website at www.GrandpasHeart.com or his SEO site at www.PayNoPostage.com.