Authoring a Website or Blog

Writing-Authoring-Person at computerToday, being a writer includes maintaining a website or blog (another thing to learn). I did my homework. I knew what I wanted when I started my blog. I wanted it to look professional and be easy to navigate. Your site should look like you took time to think it through. As writers, I believe our platforms should shine. I am no webmaster sensei, but I do know this: You devote resources to getting people to visit your platform. Here are a few things I’ve learned about keeping them coming back.

Avoid Home-Page Hang-ups – First make sure your page loads quickly. Avoid pop-ups that block the view of the page before it has even loaded. I don’t know why visitors would join a mailing list or download your report before they’ve seen the website. If they do, what value is it to you if they haven’t first evaluated your site? Opinions might vary, but I believe there are better ways to encourage people after you’ve let your writing engage them.

If people encounter two or three pop-up ads in the first few minutes on a site, many will leave assuming the site is going to waste their time.

Pleasing/Appropriate Header: A header at the top of the page that looks pleasing is central. It should also be appropriate. For example: You may want to plaster your child’s artwork all over your homeschool page and it might even be appropriate. However if you’re writing and selling homeschool curriculum the look of you site could make some people uneasy about security and using a credit card on your site.

Strive to look as professional as possible.

Clear Navigation: Sometimes, people want you to tell them where to go. Clear tabs on the top and links along one side give people easy access to your content. If the layout is Writing- Authoring a site-Enter Buttonconfusing, too flashy or cluttered people will find another page. People will read your latest content first. The second most visited page is the About (Me-Us) page. Make sure it is done well (show off your ability).

Fewer bells and whistles; let your writing shine.

Not Enough/Too Much Description: If you don’t write enough, people won’t spend time on your pages. On the other end of the spectrum, you do not need to weigh people down covering every detail on each page.  Not that any writer would do this (rolling eyes); I just mention it for the sake of completeness.

Paint a good picture, and then put your brush down.

Clear Contact Page: Yes, I know. I’m working on this one. I have links to my other spaces online, but I do not have a clear way to contact me other than leaving a comment. This coming week I am going to set up an email that is especially for this blog and commit to answering emails that come to it. Let me know what questions you have.

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5 comments on “Authoring a Website or Blog
  1. Just great advice! I completely agree that blogs/websites should be as professional as possible.

  2. Steve @ FPO says:

    It’s good to see more talk about blogs which are free of spam, pop-ups, redirects and other things distracting to the reader. One more thing I would add is the importance of orignality of content. I see too many of the large commercial sites re-hosting each other’s material to the point where they get hard to differentiate.

  3. Hi Peter, will definitely use these tips as I upgrade my site.

  4. glendrews says:

    Hi Peter, these are all solid tips. I have to tell you, those pop ups are seriously annoying. And you’re right – I would opt-in before I checked out the site prior.

    I guess when you get to guru status the pop-up probably doesn’t drive off too many people.

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"A writer looks at a screen or piece of paper like a canvas. They see a country unexplored, a picture unpainted, a tale not told. They dare to venture into the barren land, explore its dark corners, and paint its pictures. Then they unveil the epic with the goal of compelling people to visit their newly discovered territory.”
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