Hello writers, it’s Adair Heitmann here, is everyone gearing up for a happy 4th of July? I hope so. Today I’ll continue sharing my suggestions, joys, trials and tribulations on my journey of creating my new writer’s website. Please refer to the June 3, 2011 blog for A Writer’s Website: Part One.
I’ll talk today about the importance of themes and the value of time. First off, when you create your own site you’ll need to decide on a theme. A theme is simply a template that has already been designed, as to color, style, typeface, etc. Give yourself a chance to review several themes but beware! If you already have a blog, as I do, when you click on “Activate Preview” it changes your existing site. Yikes, I ran into this the hard way and had to re-build my blog site.
On your road to making your own website, make friends with “LiveChat!” and “Forums.” LiveChat! is a way to ask a real living and breathing human being in real-time a technical question. It’s a little spooky at first conversing via computer keystrokes with a stranger in some faraway land but the help is valuable. You can also ask questions on “Forums.” Forums are not in real-time so you may have to wait for someone to respond but many times someone else has asked your same question before, you can reap the benefit of that answer immediately.
This leads me to point two, time. Since I have a day job, my time is limited for building my new writer’s website. This is actually good news because it forces me to consider my options before diving into them. The upside of being able to make your own website is that you can do it for free and quickly. The downside is that many writers sadly publish a site that isn’t ready for primetime.
Points to remember:
1. Keep your folder of ideas active and going. Just this morning (while sipping coffee in my sun-filled living room) I gained clarity on the titles of my new website tabs. This hastily hand-written note will go in my website development folder before I leave for work.
2. Tabs Navigation makes sure visitors can properly navigate through the website. You control how simply and easily site visitors understand where they should be clicking.
3. The big picture: what is it you are selling? Is it your book, or services, your speaking platform? The tabs direct the visitor to where you want them to go, like Hansel and Gretel following the breadcrumbs out of the forest.
To sum up, research themes and decide on which one graphically portrays who you are as a writer. Choose the words for tab navigation deftly. Be cognizant of what it is you want to promote on your site and clearly communication that.
This brings me to the next very important step. Write your website content out ahead of time. For clarity and focus run it by your writing critique group, friends or relatives. Fiercely spellcheck, then and only then publish it on your new website.
Stay tuned for A Writer’s Website: Part Three in August. Until next time, keep on writing!