Writers: Create Your
Own Easy-to-Edit Website
for Editing Your Site
(Detailed information about how to update your AlaskaWriters
site — from entering text, to sizing and uploading images.)
common mistakes writers make when creating a Web site
“Your Web site
is just as important as that first handshake or phone call, and is often
the first impression that your potential customer gets of you. ”
— Sharon Romine
By Sharon Romine
Every writer needs a Web site. Following the chat-room protocol,
the statement should be in all caps, shouting at you, “EVERY WRITER
NEEDS A WEB SITE!” But, a writer needs to make sure the site is
designed in an easily understandable format, proofed and edited to prevent
typos, grammar mistakes and such.
Your Web site is just as important as that first handshake
or phone call, and is often the first impression that your potential customer
gets of you.
Following are five of the most common mistakes writers make
when putting up a Web site. Use this list to ensure that you don’t
send your visitors away before they even put a foot in your door:
Not choosing your domain carefully. It
is important that you consider what your visitors are looking for. It’s
also better for writers to have more than one domain: One that is your
name, ie., www.sharonromine.com, for those that know you, and one that
has key words that may be used in a search engine, ie., www.writer--designer-small-business-tips-web-design.com.
A domain with the key words in the domain name, the title, description,
and the first sentence of your site all combine to improve your chances
of being one of the first sites listed in the search results.
Not defining what you want to gain with your site
before it’s designed.
Is it to market you as a writer to publishers? Focus on the type of writing
you offer, clips of past pieces you’ve written, and information
about awards or other recognition you might have received. Is it to market
your latest book? Have an excerpt from your upcoming book to stimulate
interest. Provide a sign-up for a monthly newsletter, so they can receive
e-mails with updates and news. Have a forum where they can discuss your
books with both you, as well as other readers.
Not realizing the significant marketing opportunities
a Web site gives to your career. Many writers decide to do a
site only because everyone else is doing it. With this frame of mind,
they tend to put it up and forget it. Your Web site deserves as much attention
as you would give a regular storefront. Your Web site needs to be changed
and updated frequently. The domain name needs to be on every method of
communication you use. Every query you send out, your business cards,
your letterhead, your book covers, and of course, your e-mails. By having
a Web site filled with information about your writing, your resume, clips
and such, publishers can see that you are serious about your writing.
The fact that you have a past experience with other publishers also tells
them you are more likely to complete an assignment on time and as directed.
Going with a host that bombards your visitors with
pop-ups. Watch for the inexpensive or free hosts. Many times,
this is how they recover their costs. (Editor’s note: Alaskawriters.com
will never do this.)
Last, but not least:
Not editing and proofing their Web site thoroughly.
As a writer, you naturally will be judged by the writing on your
Web site. ALWAYS have someone proof it — and no, we’re not
talking about your grandmother or your 13-year-old brother. Get someone
that knows the rules of grammar and will be truthful with you.
Having a Web site can be the most significant thing that
you do for your career. A writer who takes time to create and maintain
their Web site is a writer who is serious about their career. Common mistakes
like these can cause visitors to question the truth of your content, your
ability, and even your integrity.
Copyright © Sharon Romine,
Sharon Romine is a freelance writer
and graphic designer based out of Sitka, Alaska. She says she “most
loves taking your words and twisting them and turning them until you say,
‘Hey! That’s what I meant to say!’ Her goal is to make
you look good. And, she wants to do this without editing out your personality
and passion. If you’d like more information on her services, which
include writing, rewriting and proofreading Web copy, visit Sharon’s