Tuesday, September 01, 2009

On Branding and Your Web Site

Gayle Trent is guest blogging today on how people can upgrade their Web sites. Most of us need to do at least a little tweaking.


How Can My Web Site Help or Hinder My Writing?

By Gayle Trent, author of cozy mysteries

Before you go thinking you’ve heard all you need to know about Web sites, you might want to take a look at this article. I thought I knew everything I needed to know about them, but I found I was horribly wrong when I had my ite overhauled by a professional.

Blogs

We’re told every writer needs a blog. So I had blogs. I had a WordPress blog, a Tripod blog and three Blogger blogs. This scattered me and my brand all over the place. While it’s good to be found in a number of places, I learned that search engines don’t recognize free sites as well as they do hosted sites. Therefore, it’s better for your main blog to be a part of your Web site.

More Than One Site

I had sites for different books, different names and different ventures. As a result, the web designer told me I was too fragmented. Your one site should act as a funnel, directing attention to you, building your brand as a writer and bringing everything together. Your site should define who you are and what you do. First and foremost–careerwise–I write cozy mysteries. I also do coaching and speaking. Those two features now have tabs on my main Web site. That way, someone who goes to a site and learns about Gayle Trent, the writing coach, will also be aware that Gayle Trent writes cozy mysteries and enjoys speaking.

What Will It Take To Get YOU To the Next Level?

Basically, you need to ask yourself where you want to be and what it will take to get you there. Do you need a more professional online image? Do you need clips to entice editors and/or agents? Are you effectively promoting your books, your writing or your coaching talents? Is your site clear and easy to navigate? If you’re not sure, ask someone to go to your site and tell you how quickly and easily they found your book; learned what your book is about; learned where to buy your book; learned how to become part of your community; learned what else you do; learned about your upcoming appearances, if any. Then, take a look at a number of sites of writers you admire to see what they’re bringing to their site that your site may be lacking. Discover how you can add something similar to your own site.
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Guest blogger Gayle Trent is the author of
MURDER TAKES THE CAKE published by Bell Bridge Books. Find her book trailer on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGnKwHYlPCQ and her blogging at Fatal Foodies .


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Her FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

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