Archive for the ‘website design’ Category

Many of my blogs have dedicated domain names – and some don’t – mainly because I have about 40 blogs and am adding them as I decide what to use :)

But for anyone who wants to use a blog platform as their primary website — I highly recommend that you bite the bullet and buy a custom domain name – and its great if you get a domain that contains your primary keyword.

If you use a free WordPress blog – it is very easy to add a custom domain and its less than $15 a year. Your business or your book is worth $15 a year.

These are detailed instructions on how to add a custom domain -

I went through the process and these are step by step instructions on how to register the domain – fill in “www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com” — with your chosen domain. If you try to register an address that someone already owns, the site will tell you that there is a problem – so its not a bad idea to have several possible ideas.

Directions to Register a Custom Domain

Go to www.wordpress.com and enter your log in info. That should bring up your dashboard – if it doesn’t — look at the top of the page and you should see “my dashboard” – click there and click on People Side of Business – that brings up your dashboard. The reason I’m not sure is that I have so many blogs, I get a couple of different pages when I log in, so I don’t know what you will see — but I think you are on the dashboard when you log in. Or if this is complicated I can enter the credit card info – but I’d prefer not to do that.

You will see a long list of links in the left column, scroll to the bottom and click on “settings” – then click on “domains”. Then in the box near the top of the page enter “www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com” — that must be exact. Click add domain and enter all contact info – click ‘register domain” and it will ask for a paypal account info or a credit card number. Follow all prompts and when its done -

I can change the “primary domain” to that address and you’re ready to go :) Or, if you all want to do it, you go back to the “domain” page and click on the primary blog URL — this needs to be the primary address and save it. BUT — anywhere you listed the other address is still fine. It can be changed – but that is not necessary. BOTH addresses will take people to the correct page.

I just got a new review for my book Book Promo 201 and wanted to share it :)

Nikki Leigh pushes you off the dock into the ocean of the deep web and takes you to a new shore of Internet book marketing. So, get yourself out of your little local pond and let Nikki Leigh show you how to market on the seas of every continent.

Take this book to its highest power and you will be working weeks and weeks to do all the things Nikki Leigh tells you to do, go to all the places she tells you to go, and get a presence on all the sites she says are important to promote yourself to as many people as possible.

Follow Nikki Leigh page after action-packed page and get busy soon after you go to http://www.ebooksonthe.net and buy your download of Book Promo 201: Harness the Power of the Internet with Web 2.0 and Social Media Marketing.

Barbara Garro, MA, NY’s Painter of Flowers
Abstract Synchronism Artist and Author
“From Jesus to Heaven with Love: a Parable Pilgrimage”
Grow Yourself a Life You’ll Love

Call on us to Improve Your Motivation to Paint, Write or
Reach the Weight You Feel Comfortable Weighing

Book Promo 201 Digital Copy – http://www.writewordsinc.com/bookpromo201.html — $6.50

(Kindle Compatible PDF)

Book Promo 201 Print Copy – http://www.writewordsinc.com/bopr20poofin.html — $22.95

Have you visited unprofessional promotional websites? There are some I’ve seen, but I won’t post the links. Some sites were designed by amateurs and it shows. I’m not saying that amateurs can’t design sites. We were all beginners at one time. An unprofessional appearance can drive people away from a site. I’ve talked to many business people and one thing most of us agree on – is that a business should avoid using a free site – that looks like a free site. Let me explain that in more detail.

Free Promotional Websites For Authors

Some free sites include their name in your domain name.

For example:
www.geocities.com
www.angelfire.com
www.freesite.com
www.bravenet.com
and many more

How Will Readers View Your Free Author Website

The majority of website users know these sites are free. I personally have 6 sites online and each costs less than $60 a year for my domain name and hosting. For $5 a month you can have a website which has a more professional appearance. There are other service that are even less. Isn’t it worth $5 a month to look like a serious business? Two of the big benefits are that there are no pop up ads and the word “free” does not appear in the URL.

Create An Effective Author Website To Promote Your Books

Recently, I was working on a promotion for local bed and breakfast business and I visited all of their websites. One was cute, but looked like a family website that was targeting children.

Several others were very attractive and professional. One was an award winning site. I should add that the area is expensive, influential and targets wealthy tourists who want a quality location for their vacation. If you were going to spend good money, which one would you choose?

Think about how visitors will view your site. Also, think about what you want to sell to your visitors. Does your site have the appearance and presentation that you want? If not, it is important to make adjustments in order to create the web presence that offers the best exposure for your books.

Nikki Leigh – Fiction and Non Fiction Author
Author of the Book Promo 101 Series
www.nikkileigh.com/book_promo_101.htm

Is your author website easy to navigate? I’ve been to websites where it was a nightmare to find specific information. One key in sales is to make it easy for people to buy from you. Make it simple and keep it uncomplicated.

Create A Consistent Author Website

One thing that I like is a consistent layout on each web page. This is my preference and you can feel free to disagree. But, when I visit a site and want to look at all the content, it is much easier to keep track when the links on each page are identical. On each site that I design, the layout is consistent and I get many compliments from visitors about how easy it is to find their way around the site.

Encourage Readers To Examine Your Author Web Pages

When a person clicks on one of my promotional websites, I want them to stick around and read multiple pages. I track my visitor stats, and most visitors click on at least 10 to 15 pages out of 25 to 45, depending on which site they visit. In some cases one page leads to another. This encourages them to spend more time and to see more of my work. Your site can work the same way.

When you visit other websites, pay attention to the way they are designed. Are your page links on one side, across the top or across the bottom? Is one layout easier to use than another? You can also ask friends what type of website layout they prefer. It never hurts to get a variety of thoughts and input from others.

Use a Site Map For Your Book Promotional Website

It is helpful to use a site map for your website. When your site gets very big, it is impossible to create a link to every page. In this case a site map can be invaluable. There have been many times when I needed a page and the site map was the easiest way to find the information.

Another benefit to a site map is that search engines like them. This is an additional way to attract search engines and help your visitors by creating a site map.

In closing – make it easy for new and repeat visitors to find what they want. If you make it too complicated, they will find another place to make their purchase.

Nikki Leigh
Author of the Book Promo 101 Series
www.nikkileigh.com/book_promo_101.htm

Is your author website “dial up” friendly? High speed internet is very popular, but there are many people who still use dial up. This may be their choice or they could live in areas that don’t offer high speed access. Either way, we need to create websites with dial up visitors in mind.

Create a User Friendly Author Website

When you click on a link and the website loads slowly, what do you do? I click the back key and find something else. Not the most admirable quality, but I usually have limited time to surf the internet. When I’m looking for something, I want the page to load quickly.

Learn To Make Author Web Pages Internet Friendly

What things slow down your webpage? Consider the graphics on your site. Do you have large picture files? It is best to save your pictures as jpeg files and optimize them before including them on your site. This helps the page load quicker. Do you have a background picture? That can also slow down your page.

Audio files can discourage some visitors from staying at your website and they slow your page loading speed. If there are audio files you want to include, let visitors make the decision to click on the files. Many websites include a time estimate of how long it will take to load the files. This allows visitors to make an educated decision about whether they have the time to download or open a file.

Is Flashy Best For Your Author Website

There are many bells and whistles that you can offer to your visitors on your website. Flash animation makes your website move slower. I read another article that said 70-80% of the people who click on a website with a flash opening, leave before it loads. That is critical information for website owners. Bells and whistles aren’t necessary and sometimes they actually hurt you. If there is something on your site that encourages people to leave, it will hurt your sales and your site.

When you create your website, visit a friend with dial up and check your site. Find out how quickly or slowly it loads. This can be critical to your visitors. Remember you want to attract visitors and your site is for their benefit.

Nikki Leigh – Fiction and Non Fiction
Author of the Book Promo 101 Series
www.nikkileigh.com/book_promo_101.htm

What are you trying to accomplish with your website? This may sound funny, but do you have goals for your website? One common goal for an author website is to sell books. Another goal could be to promote your books and to make money. Do you have other goals for your website?

What Do Readers See On Your Author Website

Take a fresh look at your website.

  • What do your visitors see?
  • Does it have an appealing appearance?
  • Did you use “friendly” or “harsh” colors?
  • Do your pages load quickly or do they move slow with dial up service?
  • Can visitors navigate through your site easily or is it confusing?
  • Is your contact information available?
  • Does your site “teach” your visitors anything?

These are all important questions which need your attention.

What Does Your Author Website Offer

The first item to consider is – What do your visitors get from yourwebsite? Do you offer things they can use? Find items, details and articles that are useful for your target market. To do this, you need to determine what type of people make up your target market.

Learn To Determine Your Target Audience For Your Books

Who do you want to attract to your site? Many people say they want to attract “everybody”. It’s more complicated to attract “everybody”. A good approach is to determine what sort or category of people would be attracted to your books. Then, include bonus items, articles, links to helpful info or anything else that would be helpful to your visitors.

Many times people will share your website link with their friends when you have helpful and interesting information. This will help you find ways to give visitors information about your books and encourage them to return. It will help you draw their interest and convince them to buy your books.

Nikki Leigh – Fiction and Non Fiction
Author of the Book Promo 101 Series
www.nikkileigh.com/book_promo_101.htm