Blog Page Content: 4 Essentials to Remember

Most everyone needs a blog to be successful online and with their websites.  And while it is important to have a plan for what to blog about,  have you noticed what content that is essential for every page despite the subject or industry?

Every blog page needs to have several essential content pieces to make it successful with your readers.

There are 4 things that are essential to your blog being successful:  Search function, social sharing button, comment ability, and topical keywords.

a magifying glass to show that we are searching for content that you are adding to your blog posts

The first thing you need is the ability for your readers to search your posts to find other posts that you have shared with them.

Having this feature allows you to entice your readers with more of what you have to say!!

 

social media icons to help readers share your content from your blog page to their favorite platform

Making sure your readers have the ability to share your posts that you work so hard to write only makes sense.

Why wouldn’t you?

Having social sharing buttons on every blog post will enable your readers to share with other readers.

speech bubble to show that your readers want to leave comments on your blog post page

I guarantee your readers have something to say.

Don’t freeze them out by not giving them a place to comment on your blog posts.  They will thank you for it.

A comment feature doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult.

If your readers feel like they’ve been heard, they will return the favor and share your book with other readers.

word cloud for keyword content for blog posts

If you’ve done your SEO right, then you have a list of keywords that your blog posts are about.

Having this somewhere to be seen will help your readers to check out what other topics you have been talking about.

It’s also a fun thing to look at.

 

So there you have it.

4 things that your blog post page needs in order to be able to help your readers; search abilities, sharing buttons, commenting and keywords will help you to help your readers!!

 

3 Pieces of a Well-designed Book Page

3 Pieces of a Well-designed Book Page

Dear Authors,

Let’s face it, product pages are boring.  But every business out there needs to have a product page.

You’re no exception.  You need a page where you can show your books and you can convince a reader to buy your books that you’ve worked so hard to write.

Your product pages are your book pages.  The pages where you are trying to sell your books.

And as a romance reader, I can say, your pages are horrible.  They don’t excite me or persuade me into buying your books.

As a reader, I want more.

As a copywriter, I want to help you give your readers more!!!

Here are…

3 pieces of a well-designed book page

For many this is going to be a new idea.

But as an author, you can’t hide behind your books anymore.  Your readers want to know more about your book, more about your characters and more about you.

Your readers crave more information!!

Let’s start with…

Design

What you put on your pages is important.

You need several things to make it work.

  1. High resolution images of your book covers, as well as any other pics you added.
  2. Background colors that are neutral help your book covers to stand out.
  3. Easy navigation to buy your book.

Give your readers more and they will pay you back by sharing your stuff all across social media!

Formatting

How you add details is just as important as what you add

Keep these in mind as you write your page.

  1. Headlines and subheads.  These help your reader to know exactly what they are buying but also helps search engines to know too.
  2. Keywords and phrases.  While your readers may know what your book is called, you need to guide the search engines to the right spot.  Identify your keywords to Google to help your book pages be found easier.
  3. Product description.  Using keywords and phrases that you want the search engines to use to find your book.
  4. Call-to-Actions.  Your reader needs to be guided to the next step.  Give them clear instructions in your CTAs.

Copywriting

The role of copywriting is to convince your website reader to do a particular action.  To persuade them to do something.

On your book page you need to persuade your readers to buy your book.  The best way of doing that is by giving them the WHY.  Why they should buy your book?  Why should they care about your books?  Why your books are a better read than another author!

When you tell your reader the why, you are sharing the benefits that they will get when they read your book.  They may be all intangible benefits, but the benefits are very real!!

There are several things that you can do to help your page.

Use headlines and keywords.  This helps the search engines find you and will help your readers find you.

Informative copy will further convince your readers that your books are wonderful.

Additional product info will help you help them.

You can also give additional downloadable gifts that can convince your readers to buy, maybe even buy more.

 

Selling your books is the ultimate purpose of your whole site, with the book page being the one page that should finally persuade your readers.

Other pages (home page, about page, contact page) are used to pull them to your book page.

Let me know if I can help you with yours!!

Your friend in romance,

Shental

5 Ingredients to a Well-Developed Contact page

5 Ingredients to a Well-Developed Contact page

Dear Author,

There are 4 pages on your site that are the most important and most visited.

Your:

Each page is important to have a well developed website.

Let’s talk about the Contact page.

It’s essential that your readers have a way to contact you, and what better way then your Contact page.

If formatted correctly, you are in control of how they connect with you.

This doesn’t mean that you leave your phone number and your personal email.

Many successful authors have certain things on their Contact pages to ensure their readers are heard.

5 Ingredients of Your Author Contact Page

Because your Contact page is one of the most visited pages on your site, it needs to be a priority when developing it.

Don’t just throw up any old thing on your page and call it done.

Your readers want to hear from you.  They want to get to know you.  And this page can help you.

Typically…

The best Contact pages include:

  1. Images.  Typically this would be a picture of you, a good one.  But you can also include pics that go well with your brand.
  2. Personal blurb.  Share something with your readers, for example: how appreciative you are of all their support.  Or for following you.
  3. Include either your author email or add a form that readers can fill out.
  4. Links to your social media accounts.  You want them to share on social media.  Make it easy for them.
  5. End with a CTA (call-to-action).  You want them to do something when they are done reading, show them with a simple CTA.

While these are certainly not all that you can put onto your Contact page, these are the basics.

They can be put together in any way that you like.

But please…

Don’t forget formatting

Because I am an editor at heart, I think about the way it is written as well.

Here are tips remember:

  • Grammar.  Make sure you’ve spelled things correctly.  Well written copy goes a long way.
  • Above the fold.  Make sure your most important stuff is above the fold so readers don’t have to scroll to know how to contact you.
  • Don’t complicate it.  This page is not meant to be difficult.  Be specific and get to the point quickly.  This page is about connecting, not going into your full story.  Save that for your About page.
  • Show off your personality.  Include something else that really shows who you are.
  • Add high def images.  Always use good quality images to convey what you are doing.
  • Look gorgeous.  Make sure this page is just as pretty as the rest of your pages.  Mobile responsive is essential too.
  • Have fun!!  It’s not meant to be a difficult page.

 

Hopefully that helps you in creating a page that will wow your readers.

Let me know if I can help.

Your friend in romance,

Shental

 

Sources:

Hubspot

Search Engine Journal

WordStream

Canva

 

3 Essential Parts of your About Page

3 Essential Parts of your About Page

Dear Author,

Writing your About Page is an essential part of your online presence.

Did you know that your About page is the most visited pages on your site?  Why?  Because readers want to know who you are and how you came up with the story that they just read.

So how is your About page doing?

Do you have a well thought out paragraph that tells your readers who you are and why you do what you do?

Why do you need to have a detailed About page?

Because authors can no longer hide behind their books.  Readers want to know more.

 

To help you with what to include, I have found some great articles on About pages.

Here are…

3 essential parts to include on your about page

While there is no wrong way to write an about page, there are definitely some things to include that will help your site be more interesting, more convincing, and more entertaining for your readers.

 

Picture of a hand holding a card with the words About Page on itWhat to include

While you don’t have to divulge every detail of your personal life to feel personal to your readers, you do need to share things that are personal to you.

Here are some ideas:

Pic of you

Include a nice shot of you.  This doesn’t have to be a professional head shot.  Readers would love to see you in whatever environment that shows who you are and what’s important to you.

Share your story

Every reader wants to know more about you.  How you got started?  When you wrote your first story?  What made you start writing romance?

This doesn’t mean that you are giving out very personal details about you or your family and friends.

All this means is that you are sharing more of you and how you came to be.

If you focus on the things that make you human, your reader will feel that and feel more inclined to get your next book.

Describe your values

Almost every writer has a WHY behind why they do what they do.  Sharing this will help your readers feel closer to you.

It’ll endear you to them.  Causing them to want to feel that again.  And they’ll buy your next book, just because they felt that with you.

I know, it sounds weird but try it and see what happens.

Add book reviews

Your About page is a great place to have extra testimonials about your books. (By the way, testimonials can go just about anywhere on your site.)

This gives other readers a thumbs up for your new book coming out next year.

Including a list of what books that you’ve written and a small snippet about the book,  adding links to your book pages.  This is great for your site to have internal links

Additional info about you

I’m sure that you are not just an author.  I’m sure you are involved in some other exciting adventures that you would love to share with your readers.

Adding them to your about page lets readers know that you are well rounded and are actually human!!!

This is also a great place to add external links that are good for your site.  Add the links to the pages of the places that you are involved in.

You could also add a list of your favorite authors (and the links those other author sites).  This is a great way to add external links that are good for your site.

A call-to-action

When your readers are done reading, what do you want them to do?  Make sure to include some sort of action that will bring them further into your site and giving them a better opportunity to engage with you.

 

 

I found a picture of a statue that is thinking and asked Think about this?What to think about when you write your page

While your site is all about you, you need to direct your pages to your readers.  They are they ones that you need to impress upon.  When you do that, they will be more inclined to buy from you again and again.

Consider your audience

I know that this is your site.  But you need to direct your pages to your readers.  What would you say to them if they were standing right in front of you?  Each page should be directed with them in mind.

Forge a connection

Take the time to forge a connection with your readers.  Your readers will feel connected with you by reading your story.  Now you need to connect with them through your site and even through social media or in your newsletter.

Be interesting

Don’t just write the same thing on every about page (across other platforms) that you have.  Take the time to share things that make you YOU!!  Be interesting to your readers.

You want your readers to be interested in you because when they do, they will buy more books from you.  So be interesting!!

Get personal

Your about page is about you.  But is also about them.  You are giving your readers these amazing stories that you have put a lot of yourself into.  So get personal and deep with what it takes to be the writer that you are.

Use different forms of media

Just like in any web content, you need to make it appealing to your readers.  Add pictures, videos, music links.

Anything to make your page more interesting and entertaining.

 

 

A picture of something that is being formatted on a page with the "formatting is important too"How to format

Just typing words onto a page is not the way to send a page out for your readers to see.  Take a moment to format your page for optimal reading.

Lead with best info

If you have a lot to share, make sure your best stuff is “above the fold”.  This means that your best information is right at the top before they even scroll down.

Add headlines and subheads

Break up your text with the appropriate headlines and subheads when you need them.  Don’t have just a clump of words for your readers to read.  They won’t like that.

Add rich media

Make a point to add pictures, videos, charts, or music so your reader will engage with your page.

Add a call-to-action

Make sure your call-to-action is noticeable and easily understood.  This could be in the form of an actual button but it can also be a text link that will send your reader somewhere else.

Add social media buttons

Make sure your social sharing buttons are above the fold and easily seen.  This will give your readers the opportunity to share to the platform of their choice.  Don’t hide your social buttons just on this page though.  Having social sharing on every page gives your reader the ability to share what they want when they want.  They will like that.

Test Test TEST

No page is written in stone.  If you try one way and it doesn’t work, try another way.

Test to see what your readers want and like to hear.

 

So there is a whole list of things that you can do to make your About page all the more exciting.

Also keeping this page up to date and looking fresh will benefit your site and keep the search engine bots happy!!

If you would like my help to fix your page, head on over to my consultation page.  Fill it out and we’ll chat.

Your friend in romance,

Shental

Sources:

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/remarkable-about-us-page-examples#sm.00004ioq1sfymdpwv7m1h2l1q417r

http://www.copyblogger.com/how-to-write-an-about-page/

http://www.susangreenecopywriter.com/articles/write-killer-about-us-page.html

https://moz.com/blog/9-simple-tips-for-making-an-about-us-page-that-works-for-your-brand

http://diythemes.com/thesis/amazing-blog-about-pages/

http://thestoryoftelling.com/10-rules-for-writing-about-me-page/

8 Key Elements of Your Home Page

8 Key Elements of Your Home Page

Dear Author,

Your home page is a very important page to your website.  It is the most visited page.  Why?  Mostly because you use your home page URL in your marketing.

Anybody you talk to you send to your home page.

Do you have the right things on your home page to convert your readers?

Here are…

8 key elements to add to your home page

Out there in the marketing world, there is only a little debate as to what is needed on a home page.  But for the most part many of the gurus agree on a few basics.

What they all agree on is that your page needs to convert your reader.  Convert your reader into doing something.  What that something is, is up to you.

 

Let’s start with your…

Logo

While many companies spend too much money on developing a logo, you are lucky that you can use your own pic as your logo.

I have found that this is what most authors do.  They don’t have a logo, per se, but they do have a really nice photo of themselves on their home page.

Some have taken some part of their book design and made it into a fancy logo that represented what they were doing.  Some have taken their name or initials and created a creative logo

No matter what you decide, you need to take that same design and use it all across your online presence, so when someone is looking for you, they will know by your logo.

 

Headline

Your headline is likely going to be: “Bestselling Author (your name)”.  And that’s okay.  I would consider adding what type of romance you write.  Such as “Queen of Paranormal Romance”.  This is what Christine Feehan has been dubbed!!

So consider an additional word that you can use to describe yourself.

This will give an added word to be used in search engines that you can be found under.

 

Sub-headline

Not many authors have an actual sub-headline.  But I have seen a few that take a testimonial and added that as their headline!!

This does a double whammy of using social proof and keywords in your subhead to help you in the search engines.

But this could also be a statement about who you are and what you do.

 

Navigation

Your navigation should be easily noticeable and above the fold of your home page.

You want readers to know exactly where they can go to get your books.  So make your navigation easy to use and easy to understand.  Don’t use words that they will have no idea what you plan on doing on that page.

Strive for intuitive navigation.  This is where your site is designed with the user in mind with a flow from page to page.

Use words for each page as close to what you are wanting that page to do.

 

Content Promotion

Do you have a blog that you write for your readers?  If so, having a link to that blog right on your home page will mean that more readers will know where to look for what you have to say.

This can be just a link in your navigation but it can also be a separate text link to your blog page.

This could also be linked to your product page, your book page.  Your readers need to know right away where to go to get your books.

This could also be a place to sign up for your newsletter.

 

Resources

Do you offer any other services other than your novels?  Add this link to your navigation.

 

Social icons

This seems to be the biggest one that is missing on author sites that I have seen.  There are social icons but they are buried on the contact page or the about page.

Having the ability to share on whatever platform your reader’s choose, will enable your readers to share with many others if you make this easy for them to do so.

Having this on every page helps them to do that.  You want them to do that!!

 

A Clear Call-to-Action

Each page has a purpose.  What is the purpose of your home page?  Then you know what your call-to-action should be.  Using keywords will help your reader decide what to do.

 

While there are other things that you can include on your home page, these are the essential elements to include when you are wanting to convert your readers more often.

 

And because I like things to look pretty.

Here’s some

Bonus formatting tips:

  • Keep your most important information above the fold.
  • Choose your fonts wisely.  Don’t have several different ones, pick one or two complimentary ones that work well together.
  • Pay attention to color.  Avoid too many bold colors.
  • Include white space.  This helps the reader be able to scan your page with ease.  Break up the text so they can easily scan your page.
  • Go with simple before you add too many things.
  • Don’t waste the footer.  Put some of these in the footer, the ones that are not as essential but still needed.
  • Set up your analytics so you can keep an idea on who is doing what and for how long.  This helps to develop future marketing plans.

 

One thing that I have learned is that a website is never completely finished.  It is a work in progress.  I know that mine is!!

Let me know if I can help.  Give me a shout if I can help.

Your friend in romance,

Shental

37 Blog Ideas to Engage Your Readers

37 Blog Ideas to Engage Your Readers

Dear Author,

Writing a weekly blog is not easy to do.  I can’t even imagine what it would take to do one daily!!!

And I know that it isn’t easy coming up with blog ideas.  So in this post, I am going to share with you a bunch of post ideas.  Some from other authors, some from the marketing world.  And some from me.

Here are ….

37 blog ideas to keep your readers coming back

Please note that there are not many authors that differentiate between a blog post and a regular newsletter.  They seem to be the same thing for many.

So my list could be used for either your regular newsletter or the blog post that you need to write.  While some should be in a newsletter and some ideas should only be in a blog, please decide that yourself.

Ideas from other authors

I am on the list for several dozen email newsletters of authors that I enjoy following.  Here are the types of newsletters/blogs that they send out to me.  This list is in no particular order.

  • News about your new book, with links to preorder
  • An offer of a free book
  • Giveaways for only readers
  • Updates on their website
  • A new cover reveal
  • An author chat that readers can chat with them on
  • Affiliate links to other products
  • Things that the author likes to do
  • Events happening in the author’s life
  • Features another author and their new book
  • What else the author is doing on other social media platforms
  • Post where they are asking their readers their opinions
  • Up-n-coming events that they author is participating in
  • Excerpts for an upcoming book
  • Notices about a virtual book tour
  • Explanations of why they do what they do, their journey
  • News about the latest conference they’ve been to
  • Announcements of awards they’ve received
  • Deals from other authors
  • Favorite recipes and stories
  • Deleted scenes from their book
  • Tips on being an author

 

As a reader, I would love to hear about:

  • more details about your characters, personality profile
  • how your characters are connected from book to book
  • details about the communities in each series
  • actual pictures of characters
  • background info about your characters
  • maps of your communities
  • what is your underlying theme of the story
  • how did the story come about
  • what details are from real life and what aren’t
  • any personal details that you would like to share
  • testimonials from other readers
  • what other causes and communities are you involved in
  • what motivates you to keep writing
  • what are your favorite authors and why
  • what future plans do you have for your books

 

 

Since I have become a copywriter and have been learning marketing strategies, I have come to realize that many authors do not use strategies in their emails or online.

I wonder, if they used modern marketing strategies, would their books sell better?

Strategies like:

  • Email Marketing.  This plan would include knowing which email to send out at what time.  While using email copy ideas to convince readers to buy your books.
  • Content Marketing.  This plan would be about what content to add to your site and where.  How it is put onto your site.  Formatting of the content, making sure to use SEO strategies to be seen really well in the search engines.
  • SEO.  Making sure everything on your site would be optimized so when a reader was looking for your type of book, your site would be the one that comes up.
  • Analytics.  Making a point to know who is coming to your site and what they are looking for.  And finding out what is working and what is not.  Then adjusting accordingly.

It is definitely something to think about.

Not only can these ideas be taken and used in blogs and newsletters, you can also make some of these ideas and create actual pages on your site that don’t change.

 

Wherever you choose to use them, I know if you add more content to your site more readers will enjoy hearing from you.  And you just might find that more readers link up to you and start to follow you.

I can certainly help you to write any of this content.  Contact with me here.

 

Your friend in romance,

Shental

8 Tips to Make your Site More Exciting

Dear Author,

I think one of the biggest reasons why I am doing what I am doing is because whenever I would go onto an author’s site, I wouldn’t enjoy it.

The colors would be waaaayyy off.

The font would be really small, to the point where I couldn’t read it.

There would be no other content on the site other than the back blurb of their book.

To say I didn’t enjoy their sites would be an understatement.

And I wanted more.  I wanted to know more about the characters.  More about the story.  More about the author.

But more often then not, I couldn’t find it.

 

I found a great article about websites and user experience by Hubspot.  It’s called 8 Guidelines for Exceptional Web Design and Usability and User Experience.  I’ll reference it and then point some things out.

 

8 tips to improve your reader’s experience on your site

User experience is a huge thing when it comes to your online success.  If you have a crappy site, you most likely don’t have many visitors to your site.

If you don’t have many visitors to your site, the chances of you selling your book are slimmer and slimmer.

 

Let’s make sure that other readers have a good user experience by implementing some of the following tips.

The first one they talk about is simplicity.

Simplicity

The idea behind simplicity is that when readers come to your site, they enjoy what they see and how your site makes them feel.

How many different colors do you have?  Hubspot recommends a max of 5 different colors.

How many font types do you have?  And what size is your fonts?  They recommend using a font that is legible and only going with 3 different sizes.

How many graphics do you have?  As I reader, I would love more graphics.  More often than not, there is no other graphic other than the book cover.  And while that is not wrong, only having that is kinda boring.

 

They call the next one…

Visual Hierarchy

This is related to the simplicity of the site pages.  But this one is more about the user experience (this is abbreviated to UX) that your reader will have when they are on your site.

On a well formatted page, you, as the reader, are guided from one thing to the next. (I am still learning this one.  Even my own site is a work in progress.)

So the color, position, content, visual elements and calls-to-action are all placed in a certain order to convince your reader to navigate through your site a certain way.

How does your site rank for those kinds of thing?  I can tell you that not many authors actually get this.  Some do but most don’t.

 

The next one should be a given…

Navigability

Having your navigation that ensures that your readers find what they are looking for is called intuitive navigation.

This is when a reader comes to your site and doesn’t have to think too hard about where to find what they are looking for.

This one is actually not a given.  It is amazing how many authors sites have either not enough of a navigation to share their books.  Or they have more than one line of navigation links that leave you confused.  This makes your site have so much information that it gets very confusing.

 

This takes us to….

Consistency

Each page of your site needs to look like the rest.  Don’t have one page completely different with different fonts and colors and backgrounds.  Make a point that you have a consistent feel of who you are and what you stand for.

This actually goes with developing your brand.  Your brand is your visual picture that you present to the world.

That certainly doesn’t mean that each page must look exactly the same.  That is not what I’m saying.  Each page needs to have it’s own purpose.  Be consistent in your color schemes, backgrounds, and fonts.

It’s the layout that is going to change.  Each page is going to have a different layout because it is going to have a different purpose.

 

The next thing to think about is …

Accessibility

The accessibility is all about how well your site is accessed by your readers and how it responds to them.

Is your site mobile responsive?  When your reader is standing in the bookstore and wants to look up your books, is she going to be able to find your books using her smart phone?

I have actually done that.  And guess what, I couldn’t go onto some sites.  They were not mobile friendly.  I didn’t end up buying any books.  A lose-lose situation for sure.

Another thing to think about is the meta data that you can’t even see.  When you make a point to include the alt tags, your readers, that are visually impaired, can enjoy your books too.

 

Next is

Conventionality

This brings a subject that I have found very predominantly in the Romance Industry.  Many authors think that they need to be different and have their sites be different to stand out.

As I have been learning things about marketing and copywriting, there is a proven format to what format sells and what format does not.

I can’t help but wonder if, because they are not selling, is the format of their sites part of the problem?  If they changed their sites to be following standards set out by marketing gurus, would their books sell better.

I don’t have an answer to that one yet.  I’ll get back to you on this one.

Some of the conventions are:

  • the main navigation is at the top or left side of the page
  • the logo is at the top left (or center) of the page
  • is that logo a clickable link to bring your reader back to the home page
  • do links change color when your reader hovers over them

Even you, as an author, know that there are some format conventions that you are familiar with.

 

A big one to consider is …

Credibility

I’m sure there is a credibility factor that you have had to earn to be an author.  I’m sure that you have had to earn your reader’s trust with your books and how well they are received by them.

But there is another type of credibility that needs to be earned online.  And it is going to be largely due to how your site is formatted and what type of user experience your readers will have while on your site.

Your site needs to be clear in it’s message.

You need to be honest about your books that you are trying to sell.

You need to make sure your readers don’t have to dig to find your books or how to find you in social media.

 

The last thing is …

User-Centricity

While I know your site is to showcase the books you have written and to introduce yourself as an author, you need to make sure that your website is designed with the reader in mind.

If you don’t believe me.  Take a moment and send out an email to your email subscribers.  Ask them for an honest opinion of your website.  You might actually be surprised at some of the answers.

c

If you would like help updating your site to be more reader friendly, give me a shout.

Your friend always in romance,

Shental

5 sections of an awesome blog post

Dear Author,

Do you do a blog?  A blog can do several things for you and the content on your website.

Google likes to see fresh content on the internet.  It keeps track of sites that add regularly.  So this one can help you with your site ranking.

But most of all, your readers would love to know more about your books and what you’re up to.

It doesn’t have to be long.  But there is a structure to a blog that will help you to write one quick and easy.

 

5 sections to remember for each blog post

When you have a blog post, you add great value to your site.  When you make a point to adding a new post on a scheduled basis, your site is indexed more times.  When it get indexed more times, there is a greater chance of your books being found more often, using your relevant keywords.

So, making sure that you have a blogging strategy for your author business is only good business sense.

Here’s a look at the outline of a good blog post.

The outline

If you think about your blog post as an outline, just like one of your books, then filling that outline will be easier and take less time.

And just like you can use an outline for your book, an outline for your blog post will increase your productivity, enable you to add more content, and make it easier for your readers to read.

 

1. Headline

Crafting a headline that catches your reader’s attention is one of the biggest challenges any blogger has to do.  But it is one of the most essential copywriting tricks that you must do to be seen by more readers.

There are several copywriting formulas that can make this easy to do.

 

2. Introduction

The first sentence or two is where you tell your reader what your blog is going to be all about.

This is the hook.  Just like you have to write a hook into your storyline, you need to convince your readers that what they are about to read will be of value to them.

 

3. Body

The body of your blog is where the meat of your content is going to be.  This is where you share all your best stuff in.  This is where you can add several types of content to show your readers the value of hearing from you.

This could include:

  • pictures
  • music
  • videos

This should be built on your introduction sentence, just like your story.

 

4. Conclusion

Just like in your story, you need to end your blog post with some sort of summary that recaps what you have been talking about.

This is also an ideal spot where you can convince your readers to become buyers to buy your next book.

 

5. Call-to-Action

Each blog post needs to have a purpose to the post.  And that purpose needs to end with an action that you would like your reader to do.

You put this action into a picture or a text link or a button.  This gives your reader the next step to do.

While the action is up to you, sending them to your site helps search engines to know that your site is important.

 

Bonus Tips:

Make sure that the font size is easy to read.  Having the size between 14 and 16px makes the text easy to understand and read.

Please, please remember to edit your posts.  Don’t just send them out.

Use bullet points when you can and it fits within your blog post.

Make sure your social sharing buttons are noticeable and easy to use.

 

If you include these different sections into your next blog post, you will have a much more reader friendly post.  And your readers will appreciate not having an ad in every post from you.

Give me a call if I can help.

Your friend in romance,

Shental

9 pages every author needs on their site

Dear Author,

Your website is a biggest part of your online business.  And there are certain pages that you need to make your site function like you want it to.

Here are:

9 essential pages to include

 

What to include:

Yes, you need to showcase your books, but if you don’t give each page on your site more value then just your book, your readers will go elsewhere.

 

Home page or index page

Your home page is most likely the first page your readers will see when they put in your name into the search engines.  This page needs to introduce yourself to your reader and then show then where the can go to see your books.

This page needs to be clear on what type of books you write and how they can sign up to hear more from you.

 

 

About page

Your about page is where you can really show off as an author.  This is the page where you can give your achievements and the different associations that you are a part of.  You can share the hows and whys you became an author.

 

Contact page

Having some way to have your readers contact you is vital in knowing what they like and dislike.  So whether or not you have a moderator take care of the email, your readers like to be able to reach you.

 

All books page (products page)

Your products are your books.  Have one page that shows all that you have to offer.  Then link this page to the individual book page.  This helps your reader to know

 

Each book series can have its own page

While you could put the list of your book series on your All Books Page, if you choose to give each book series its own page, this gives search engines your book series keywords.  Your book series name is an essential keyword to being found in the search engines.

 

Each book gets its own page

Each book needs to have its own page to showcase that book.  Details about the creation of that book and the research that you have done for that book can be included on that page.

 

Blog page

Do you write a blog for your readers?  Make sure there is a direct page to the daily/weekly/monthly blog that you do.

 

Testimonial page (reader reviews)

Other readers like to know what other readers have to say about you and your books.  Include these on your site to increase your credibility and to show that your stories have been enjoyed by others.

 

Media page

As you become more successful as an author, having a separate page to show your professional pic and portfolio helps readers to know what you have accomplished.

 

 

 

Each page should not…

Look different

Each page on your site needs to have the same look and feel.  You need to have consistency flow from page to page.  The look and feel and tone of your whole site is the brand that you have created.  This should be noticeable across all platforms.

Have hidden navigation

Your readers want to know where to go when they get to any particular page.  You need to guide them along the way using calls-to-action and text linking.

NOT have social media buttons

Having your social sharing buttons on each page helps your readers to share each of your books with whichever platform they choose.  If you have this one page, your readers have to dig to find how to share your books.  And if it takes more work for them to do, then they most likely won’t share anything at all.

Be sitting alone

Each page needs to be connected to another page or even better, several pages on your site (this would include outbound links as well.)  Google likes to see your pages connected.  This helps for Google to connect with the pages that you want connected.  Don’t let this just happen.

 

 

Each page on your site needs to be clearly thought through and planned.  Don”t throw any page up just for fun.  Have a plan.  Give me shout if I can help.

Your friend in romance,

Shental

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3 formatting tips to improve your website

Dear Author,

Your website is a showcase of your accomplishments of your success as an author.  It should reflect who you are.

But the stuff you put onto your site should be formatted with your reader in mind.

And the biggest thing you will deal with is the content.  The content should not just be slapped onto your site.  You need to think about why you have it on your site.  You need to think about what your reader would want.

And that is more than just adding words to your site.  To be an effective seller (of your books) you need to have an website that has marketing techniques that are effective.

To be effective, you need to have a strong foundation of good content.  Content that your readers want to read.

You also need to think about the purpose of your site.  Knowing why will help you in what direction you should be taking your content.

Ask your self these questions:

  • Do I want to improve my SEO rankings in Google?
  • Do I want to add more readers to my email list?
  • Do I want to convert more readers to buyers of my books?
  • Am I looking for more readers to view my site?

The answer to these questions will help you to take your content in what direction.

No matter which direction you choose, you can…

Improve your website by adding these tips

that will help you to make sure your content to what your reader wants to read.

While I could have added pages and pages of improvements, I am only going to touch on 12 things that need to be improved to help your readers enjoy your site more.

I have lumped them into 3 different categories:  Formatting of your site.  Actual content on your site.  Adding rich media for a better user experience.

 

How you format your site is essential

There is a way to format your site that will help your reader to enjoy being on your site more.  This is called user experience.  It is vital to your site being seen again and again by your readers.

 

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Headline

Your headline is the first thing your reader will read.  Are you catching their attention?  Are you pulling them into your site where they are compelled to read more and want to stay?

The headline is the first step in converting your casual visitor into a frequent visitor and ultimately a buyer.  When you do it right, you will have a loyal customer that will shout praises for every book that you write.

 

Your content

Okay, really truly, your content is everything that you put onto your site.  From the words that you use, to the pictures that you add, including the music and/or videos.

But the placement of everything should be given some thought.

For example:

  • Place your most valuable content above the fold.
    • This means the content that you see right when you come to your site before you start to scroll down.  This is what is above the fold.  If you think about where the phrase came from, newspapers penned the word so you would know what is the most valued information in that day’s paper.
  • Don’t add long paragraphs to your page.
    • Each page needs to be scannable for your readers.  The internet is not the same as writing your book, so you have to change the way you add it.  This means that you can throw out every rule that your English teacher ever taught you.  Instead go with how you talk.  Write online like you talk to your friends or your family.  This way you sound like you are a human.
  • Don’t add the dates to your blog posts
    • You are lucky because your books are timeless.  They will always be new to someone new.  When you add the date to your blog posts, you are dating yourself.  Don’t do that.  By the way, this is not your publication date.  Yes, you can add that.  Just don’t add the date to updates or blog posts about your books.
  • Add a call-to-action (CTA) on each page.
    • Each page should guide you to another one with a final destination of buying your book.
  • Don’t add your actual email address to your contact page.  I have heard some controversy about this one, but the gist of it is this.  If you add your actual email with the @ sign (youremail@yoursite.com) then the Google bots that scan your site will take your email and give it to those that send out spam.  Instead do either:
    • Add your email address like this:  your email (at) yoursite (dot) com  This way it is not read like an actual address but humans will still understand it.
    • But what would be better is to have a form on your site for your reader to fill out.  This way you can keep track of sign ups in your analytics.

Another thought is to make sure that you add something new to your site on a regular basis.  This will help you to be seen by the search engines and thoroughly enjoyed by your readers.

 

Testimonials

I have heard of different thought when it comes to placement of your testimonials.  Some have said that you should have a whole page dedicated to them.  While others have said that you should have them dispersed throughout your site.

I happen to like the idea of having them dispersed throughout your site.  Why?  Because each testimonial is going to be about a particular book.  Take that testimonial and add it to that particular book’s page.

What happens if you don’t have any testimonials.  My answer is:  Do you have an established email list?  If you do, you can send out an email asking your readers to give you a testimonial of any of your books.  Then add that to your site.

 

Other pages

There are many different types of pages that need to be on your site.  Each page has a purpose.  You need to have:

  • a thank you page
  • a contact page
  • email sign up page
  • author page

You know what??  I am going to do a whole article on this.  Look for this next week.

 

What you say is just as important as how you say it

Please don’t just put the back cover blurb onto your site.  Please add more.  I say this from a reader’s perspective.  The majority of authors only add the back blurb.  Now while that is a good thing.  Add your blurb, but add more.  Your reader wants more from you.  More about your stories.  More about your characters.  More about you as an author.

Does it have to be hard to find more content.  Nope.

Give me a shout and I can let you in on a new idea that I am coming out with!!!

 

Give your readers a better experience by adding rich media

Your readers want to have more of you.  They want to have more of your books.  More of your characters.

Take a moment to add:

  • videos
  • music
  • maps of your communities
  • family book tree
  • pictures of your muse
  • a pdf of your family book tree or a map of your community

Each of these things will help your reader to have a richer experience on your site.

Don’t forget to add the alt tags to each of your images.  This helps for search engine rankings but is also helps any reader that needs the extra assistance.

 

Okay, I know that this is not all that you need to be thinking about for your site.  But it is a start.

Please let me know if I can help.

 

Your friend in romance,

Shental

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