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Monday, July 22, 2013

FIVE MUST-HAVES TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE & BLOG

by Lena Hart


I have to admit I‘m not the tech savviest person around. I‘m always learning and re-learning when it comes to my website and blog. But I through trial and error, I think I almost have it figured out. At least what the essentials are to having an effective web-site and blog. Here are the five must-haves I‘ve learned along the way that will improve your site and better engage with your visitors.


WEBSITE

1. Contact and connect. Be sure to have a visible ―Contact‖ page with buttons and links to your social media platforms. You want to be sure before they leave your site, they have other ways to find and connect with you.

2. About/Bio page. You visitor should be able to quickly spot an ―About [NAME]‖ page to learn who you are, what you write, and a bit about you as a person outside of writing. I saw an author page that included an interview on the site for media kit purposes but I thought what a neat idea for an ―About‖ page.

3. Books on display. Have a page with a list of all your books. It should be like a showcase of all your work with a direct link to where they can buy and perhaps even a tagline to entice them. Separate pages for each book or series can be set with more detail, but you want to have a single section that has your ―product‖ front in center.

4. Email sign-up to capture visitors contact info. You can do this with a newsletter or blog sign-ups, guestbook, or a con-test or giveaway. I typically send ―thank you‖ emails to those who‘ve entered a blog hop giveaway and if I happen to have a special promotion or sale, I send them an email blast. **But do not become a spammer and bombard your subscribers with emails, alerts, etc., especially if that is not what they expected to get when they signed up. That is a quick way to irritate a subscriber—and lost them.

5. Blog or other regularly updated content. This keeps the visitor coming back to your site and having something new and fresh to read regularly. Many sites allow you to have a blog on your site but I found I like to keep these two separate so I just include a link to my blog on my website and a link back to my website on my blog.


BLOG

1. Graphics. Pictures are worth a thousand words. And it‘s true. A blog post can generate substantial interest when there is something visually appealing to look at. Other multimedia's, such as videos, will also lure readers to engage with your con-tent.

2. Catchy headlines. This is probably the most someone reads from your blog and will definitely be the reason why someone decides to read your post so make it count! Snare them in with something that catches their attention quick.

3. Short, relevant posts. Feel free to share your thoughts, experiences, expertise. But just remember to be brief. It‘s more effective to keep your content short, sweet, and to the point or else risk losing your visitor to other web distractions.

4. Interview someone exciting. It‘s a great way to give back and connect with others and gain traffic by those who may not have otherwise visited your blog.

5. Call-to-actions. Don‘t let your reader leave without asking them to do something specific next. Whether it‘s subscribe, follow, or comment on your blog post.#




Lena Hart is an author of sensual interracial romances with several novellas and short stories published. Her first short novel, BECAUSE THIS IS FOREVER, is slated for release this September through Secret Cravings Publishing. To learn more about Lena and her work, visit newly redesigned website at www.LenaHartSite.com or find her rambling at www.scatblogging.blogspot.com.

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