Easy Ways to Make Your Website Look Professional

Make your website more professional with these tips.

Make your website more professional with these tips.

As a self-published author, you already have a to-do list that is a mile long. Having a professional web presence is definitely at the top of the list, but since time is short here are some quick tips that make you look like a pro without taking up precious writing time.

Get Your Own Domain Name

You’ve probably heard this before, but having your own domain name conveys your seriousness about about your craft, your books, and your image. This is increasingly important as Amazon is flooded with sub-par self-published books. You can bet authors who don’t care about quality are going to throw up free blogs via blogger, if at all. Having your own domain is both easy and cheap in addition to giving readers a place to find out about you and your books on the web. It has the added benefit of great Search Engine Optimization and gives you complete control over your content.

If you don’t already have your own domain and hosting, HostGator offers cost effective hosting that is easy to manage. Plus you can use the code SELFPUBLISH to knock 25% off of your order. Complete instructions for setting up your website (even if you are non-technical to the extreme)  are in the The Self Publishing Toolkit.

Clean Up Your Site

A simple website looks professional. Ditch anything that blinks or shifts. These types of widgets and gadgets distract readers’ attention from your site and make it appear unprofessional.

  • Toss any ads that are for books other than your own.
  • Use your author name in your header  instead of a cutesy title.
  • Use a light background with dark text for easy reading.
  • Review your sidebar content and make sure that everything is relevant to your site.

Use Professional, Royalty Free Images in your Posts

There are lots of places on the internet you can get royalty free professional images. Some are free (like those at Dreamstime free) and some cost money (my favorite place to go is Dreamstime). But whichever direction you go in, make sure you choose clear, relevant graphics. Name your images with your post name and make sure they are royalty free. Nabbing an image from another site can get you in a lot of hot water with the original creator. So make sure you know the terms of use before your post it on your site.download full movie Sausage Party

Give Your Navigation a Check Up

Make sure your navigation is clear and easy to follow.  It should be located across the top of your site, either under or over the header or in the right sidebar. All author sites should have the following pages:

  • Contact
  • About Me
  • Books
  • Blog
Make sure any images of your books link directly to a buy link on Amazon, B&N or any other site you have your book for sale. You should also have a mailing list sign up form available for readers to subscribe to for future updates. Don’t put up pages that say ‘coming soon’ or are just dead ends.

There you have it. Four easy things you can do today that will improve your website visitors’ experience. Contact me if you’d like me to do a personal review of your site. (No cost, no strings attached.)