What’s wrong with your (author) blog/website #MondayBlogs #AuthorMarketing #Marketing

At a recent networking event, I handed out my business card like candy thrown from a carnival parade (slight exaggeration as it is such a pain to carry a shovel with me everywhere). Naturally, I took all the business cards that were graciously handed to me as well. Instead of shoving those business cards in a drawer somewhere and forgetting about them, I decided to strengthen those in-person connections with social media. What did I discover? It wasn’t as easy to connect as I’d hoped.

Although most of the business cards had email addresses, I didn’t bother with those. I didn’t have a specific enquiry, I just wanted to connect for possible future enquiries (book review requests, author collaboration, etc.). Instead, I went to the websites listed on the cards and discovered several common problems with the websites. Here’s what I discovered wrong with most of those blogs:

social media linksNo Social Media Links If you have any sort of business in the 21st Century, you need to be on social media – not every single platform but at least one or two. And before you start to argue that being an author isn’t a business, let me just stop you. If you want to sell your books, you are most definitely in business.

Hidden Social Media Links The entire point of social media is to be visible. I don’t want to have to scroll through a menu to find your social media links, which are hidden somewhere on your blog. Personally, I think your social media links should be visible on every single page of your website/blog. I have mine on my main sidebar. My main sidebar is on the right-side of my blog, but you can put it anywhere you want – just put it somewhere!

Difficult Navigation Your menu should be placed in a visible location and be obvious. Personally, I’m not a fan of a menu that is only visible when you click upon it. I don’t always notice those three horizontal lines floating somewhere on the page. Maybe I’m just plain old, but it isn’t obvious to me that it’s a menu!

share blog postUnable to share blog posts There’s no point in having a blog – in my humble opinion – if others can’t share your posts. There’s nothing worse than reading an interesting post and wanting to share it but being unable to because there is no option to share or the sharing option doesn’t work.

Blog post share without your tag Sometimes it’s possible to share a blog post but the blog owner is not identified in the share. Make sure your handle is included! Having a tweet end with @wordpressdotcom instead of your twitter handle looks unprofessional.

Pop-ups I know there are tons of marketing advisors out there who insist that you include a pop-up for visitors to sign-up for your newsletter on your blog. I am not a fan. In fact, I think most people are fed up with pop-ups. Maybe this was a good gimmick a year or two ago, but it’s past it’s prime. We are inundated with pop-ups while online. I don’t even read them anymore. Click! Gone!

What other issues have you found on websites/blogs? Let me know.



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  1. In no particular order of importance, 🙂 …
    White, or light text on a black, or dark background.
    Header images that I have scroll through for 10 minutes before I get to the body/text of the blog.
    No email sign-up option.
    No ‘About me’ page.
    If there is an ‘About me’ page it’s either a treatise on existentialism or three words long.
    No ‘contact me’ information
    A static landing page that is at least three layers/pages/clicks away from anything useful.
    A landing page that is so cluttered my eyes glaze over before I’ve even started.
    ….and all the things you listed. 😀

  2. You always put questions in my head, and I have to know about this one.
    You mention blog post sharing without tags, so can you explain? Not sure if I do this, and it sounds essential…

    1. When I share this blog post, you see the following: “What’s wrong with your (author) blog/website #MondayBlogs #AuthorMarketing #Marketidehaggerty /dehaggerty.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/whats-wrong-with-your-author-blog-website-mondayblogs-authormarketing-marketing/ via @dehaggerty”

      It’s the via @dehaggerty to which I’m referring. You have to add this option. Otherwise, it will show @wordpressdotcom or – even worse – nothing. It’s a missed promo opportunity if you don’t include your handle.

  3. Opinionated stranger here: I see the Internet dividing into people who set up their computers to look/sound like TV (they find it easiest to absorb information by watching movies) and people who set them up to resemble books as much as possible (we find it easiest to absorb information by reading words). My guess would be that a majority of book buyers prefer words.

    I read, with astonishment, wails about “a wall of words,” and now wail “Don’t block me from your ideas with a wall of *pictures*!” If I open a blog and see a scrapbook-like screen of pictures, I’m not likely to go back. If I see a lot of content I want to read, I’m likely to print it; I can still read fine print on paper and like to paste text into Word documents for densely printed, two-sided, paper-saving printouts.

    The way my Blogspot is set up is the way I like a writer’s blog to look. (Well, since its “job” is to promote used books, mine does have a lot of Amazon links; I hope that’s not a problem for book buyers.) Mostly words, mix of short and long posts, small static pictures in between paragraphs where they actually explain something in the text–refer to a book or recording, show what something looks like, etc.–but no huge, memory-hogging, full-screen picture, ever. And NO audiovisual content.

    I like scrolling easily from one post to the next, without having to go back to some wretched index page and load each post individually. I wish Blogspot/Blogger, WordPress, Live Journal, and Weebly had the option of reading blog archives in chronological order rather than reverse chronological order; I’ve become accustomed to the fact that they don’t, but when interested enough to print out a blog so I can read it, I print it in chronological order.

    I used to read audiotapes for the blind and be conscious of the need to publish things in audio-format…I’m glad to read that apps now do that for online writers, reading most content in robot voices that are probably more familiar and easier to understand than our own voices would be. All we have to do is remember not to fall back on images, but put all the important content into words.

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