Tag Archives: Web Design Relief

Authors: 22 Quick Tips For Getting More Retweets!

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Authors: 22 Quick Tips For Getting More Retweets!

Thank you to good people at Web Design Relief for today’s guest post.

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Web Design Relief, a highly recommended author website design service. We understand writers and their marketing goals and seek to design websites specific to those needs. Visit our site today to learn more.

Previously posted on February 12, 2015 by Web Design Relief Staff.

Authors-22-Quick-Tips-For-Getting-More-Retweets2_WDR

When it comes to spreading the word about your writing, you may already know about the power of Twitter. But tweeting regularly is just the first step in making Twitter work for you—you also want your Twitter followers to retweet (or RT) your tweets. To get more retweets to boost your reach, increase followers, and build your readership, try these tips!

How To Get More Retweets (For Authors)

  1. Share shortened links. Twitter users love interesting content. Just be sure to shorten links using a site like bitly.
  1. Ask for retweets. Though it may feel presumptuous, you’re more likely to see your tweet retweeted if you ask readers to “Please RT!”
  1. Talk about something other than yourself. What you had for breakfast may be interesting, but mundane tweets don’t offer practical info that’s fun to pass along.
  1. Be clever, funny, and surprising. If you are going to share observations from your daily life, be sure your commentary is scintillating. In other words, tweet like a creative writer! The wittier your tweet, the more likely it will be shared.
  1. Spread breaking news. When news hits the headlines in your field, be among the first to share it with your followers, and you’ll be more likely to see your tweet retweeted.
  1. RT other people’s links and news. Not only does this show you’re a community player, but YOU could get more followers by sharing other people’s cool tips, links, and news.
  1. Share quotations (using quotation marks). Twitter users love pithy quotes, especially when those quotes use quotation marks. Punctuation wins! And if the person you’re quoting is on Twitter, use their Twitter handle: @AUTHORHANDLE.
  1. Vary your content. Keep your readers coming back to your feed by posting lots of different kinds of posts, from personal observations, to videos, to retweeted news.
  1. Offer practical, helpful info. When a reader can actually make practical use of info in a tweet, it’s more likely to be retweeted.
  1. Share promos and good deals. Heard of a great deal on a book? Or is your own book on sale? People love to save money (and RT deals, contests, and opportunities).
  1. Be conversational but grammatical. Avoid stiff language. Be smart about your grammar—no one wants to retweet a mistake! Learn to write shorter tweets.
  1. Use one or two hashtags (and no more). Find out more about hashtags here.
  1. Ask questions. Engage your followers with simple questions (Example: Do your prefer pen or pencil? E-book or paperback?) that can be easily retweeted. And leave room for a reply. Include a short hashtag too!
  1. Come up with ideas for RTing games. Start an online rhyming game or a poetry game, and ask for retweets from players.
  1. Give prizes for RTs. Host a contest with a giveaway. Users must retweet to enter to win.
  1. Don’t overcapitalize. Twitter readers tend to prefer tweets to be capitalized the way that sentences are capitalized. Avoid ALL CAPS.
  1. Share videos and images. Posts with a visual component are especially popular.
  1. Tweet on the weekends. To reach individuals (as opposed to businesses), some experts suggest tweeting on the weekends. You can schedule your tweets to boost your efficiency.
  1. Tweet during the day. There’s a bit of disagreement about the best time to tweet, but many experts point to afternoons (Eastern Time) for the highest activity. Experiment to discover what works best for your audience.
  1. Tweet a lot. Twitter success can depend on the volume of your tweets. In other words, the more you tweet, the more likely you’ll get retweets.
  1. Don’t commit any of the eleven deadly sins of social networking.
  1. Be excited! When you share an exciting piece of news (with exclamation points), people are happy to pass along the happy!

Photo by marek.sotak

QUESTION: Are you on Twitter? Post a link to your profile!

34 Issues That Will Scare Readers Away From Your Author Website

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34 Issues That Will Scare Readers Away From Your Author Website

Thank you to good people at Web Design Relief for today’s guest post.

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Web Design Relief, a highly recommended author website design service. We understand writers and their marketing goals and seek to design websites specific to those needs. Visit our site today to learn more.

Posted on October 15, 2015 by 

scare readers

Would your author website pass the blink test? According to marketing specialists, you have about three seconds—the approximate amount of time before one blink—for visitors to judge your website and decide whether to stay or move on. If the answer is “no,” your potential audience will quickly leave and be off to the next site. So it’s vital that your website doesn’t have any issues that will frighten people away, such as unattractive, dated design elements; super-slow loading speed; or confusing navigation. And a homepage that greets visitors with a black background and flashing advertisements will have people clicking away from your site in seconds flat.

Don’t scare your potential readers away! Here are thirty-four issues to avoid on your author website:

  1. Your site has no clear purpose. Visitors must click through several pages and read too much text to figure it out.
  2. Users are forced to read something or watch something before they can move on.
  3. It’s unclear what you write, what your genre is, or what you’re promoting.
  4. Your site doesn’t have an author bio so that visitors can learn more about you.
  5. The design elements of the site don’t reflect you or your work: For example, your thriller’s cover is featured against a flowery backdrop with lots of hearts.
  6. You don’t allow visitors to buy your book on your site, and there’s no link to an external sales page.
  7. There’s no way to contact you—which means you have no way to harvest interested readers’ contact information.
  8. Readers can’t comment or interact with you and other visitors.
  9. There’s no current activity on your blog—all the entries are weeks (even months!) old.
  10. You’ve copied and pasted articles from other websites onto yours without permission.
  11. Your content is displayed in huge paragraph blocks. Remember: Using headlines, bullet points, and short paragraphs helps visitors to read through and take in your information.
  12. The website doesn’t have any social media buttons. See our article on How To Cross-Promote Your Author Website And Your Social Media Pages For Max Results.
  13. There’s nothing to engage the reader. No contest to enter or sample chapter to download. No sign-up for mailing lists. No way to follow you on social media or “like” your site.
  14. Your favorite song immediately starts playing—and your visitors immediately leave.
  15. You have no press kit or information for literary agents who may be checking out your site.
  16. The domain name doesn’t make sense. It’s the name of your first book (but not any of the others), or you’ve chosen some “writerly” name like WindWhisperer.com that has nothing to do with your work. (Learn more about choosing a professional domain name.)
  17. Your author photograph is unflattering, unprofessional, or cropped from an old (bad!) Halloween photo of you. (Check out how to create a flattering headshot.)
  18. You’ve made the wrong color choices…really wrong.
  19. Your site has been proofread by a friend, who needs new glasses—not by a professional.

Other design problems that will send visitors running:

  1. An all-black background with white text.
  2. Teeny, tiny text, unreadable fonts, or ALL CAPS! (See How to Choose the Right Font for Your Website.)
  3. Too many images and not enough text.
  4. Too much text and not enough images.
  5. Text is overloaded with keywords.
  6. The writing is unnatural; heavily SEO-driven.
  7. No links; broken links.
  8. Links that aren’t underlined or a different color, so they don’t stand out.
  9. Overly long links that are 10 to 20 words or more.
  10. Too many pages to navigate.
  11. Too many pop-up ads, animations, whistles, and beeps.
  12. Amateur, poorly done photographs and cartoonish images.
  13. Too many unnecessary design elements cluttering things up.
  14. The site isn’t mobile-device friendly.
  15. Readers are forced to install plugins.

Most of these mistakes may seem like no-brainers—things even brain-deficient zombies would know to watch out for. But the design issues that might scare visitors away from a website aren’t always so obvious to you, the website’s owner. So don’t be afraid to ask trusted friends or total strangers to give you some honest feedback about your site before it goes live. Your author website is a reflection of you and your work—make sure it passes the blink test!

At Web Design Relief, we design author websites with readers in mind—the people who will actually use them—and we know what converts visitors into fans. Contact us if you need a spook-tacular site to showcase you and your writing!

QUESTION: What design issue scares you the most in an author’s website?

6 Creative Ideas For Your “About Me” Page

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6 Creative Ideas For Your “About Me” Page

Thank you to good people at Web Design Relief for today’s guest post.

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Web Design Relief, a highly recommended author website design service. We understand writers and their marketing goals and seek to design websites specific to those needs. Visit our site today to learn more.

Posted on September 5, 2014 by  • 2 Comments

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6 Creative Ideas For Your “About Me” Page

It’s important to include the time-tested, standard author bio elements in the “About Me” page on your author website: professional headshot, education, career, and publication credits.

But you may want to offer your visitors a more intimate portrait than a basic professional bio offers. So what can you do to make your “About Me” page stand out in the crowd? (And trust us—writers on the Internet are a humungous crowd!)

6 Ways To Spruce Up Your “About Me” Page

Write a welcome letter (perhaps in your own handwriting!) Visitors click on your author website to learn a little more about you. Why not greet them with a personal touch?

Writing a letter to your fans is a great way to do just that. You can even scan your own handwriting into your computer and use it as a font. It doesn’t get more authentic than that!

Use candid photos. Instead of having a professional headshot, consider creating a slideshow of some candid photos. If the photos reflect on themes found in your writing, so much the better! For instance, if nature is a source of inspiration, you can include your Galapagos Island vacation photos. Is your adorable dog your writing sidekick? Feature Fido in a photo!

Incorporating informal photographs into your “About Me” page adds a personal touch and gives your visitors a glimpse into what you do in your free time. Say cheese!

Embellish your headshot as if it’s in a scrapbook. If a slideshow’s not in the cards, consider adding some creative flair to your headshot. Giving your author photo a scrapbook-style background will add a unique element to your author website while showing off your artistic side.

Here’s a great example of how a simple scrapbook layout can dress up your “About Me” headshot.

About Me

Interview or Q&A. Posting an interview with yourself is an interesting way to spice up your “About Me” page while offering a lot of information. Think of questions your visitors will want answers to:

When did you start writing?

What drove you to write?

Who are your inspirations?

Post a video. Want to give the illusion that you’re having a face-to-face chat with your visitors?  Post a short video introducing yourself and thanking visitors for coming to your page. Then tell them a little about you.

Use your video as an opportunity to guide them around your website. Is your latest novel available for purchase on your “Books” page? Let them know!

Keep in mind that some of your visitors may be lit agents or editors wanting to learn more about you. This is an excellent opportunity to show them you’re serious about marketing yourself and your writing.

Include a personal anecdote. Along with writing a letter to your visitors, you can also post some personal stories—perhaps a funny memory from your childhood that inspired you to write; a vacation that provided the perfect subject matter for your work; or a book you read that influenced the way you write. 

How A Unique “About Me” Page Can Enhance Your Author Website

By showing a little personality on your “About Me” author website page, you reveal another side of yourself to visitors and make yourself more “real” in their eyes. When it comes to checking out a new writer (or a favorite writer), it’s nice to get the facts…and even nicer to get something more.

Here are a few of our favorite “About Me” pages—incorporating videos, image slideshows, and other fun techniques—straight from Web Design Relief clients. [ARHtistic License’s note: click on the pages below to view on the actual websites.]

About Me
About Me
About Me

Photo by CollegeDegrees360

QUESTION: Which of these helpful tips do you find to be most useful on an author “About Me” page? Any other ideas?