Five mistakes you should avoid on your author website

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If you’re a new author, it’s important you start profiling yourself on your website, but if you haven’t tried creating websites before, you can easily make some mistakes. Here I give you five mistakes I have made. Don’t do like me.

p.s. If you’ve had a website for a long time, you shoul read on, too, cause some of these errors I’m still seeing on websites of established authors.

Five mistakes you should avoid on your author website

Mistake # 5: You make a lot of fancy styling

What you shouldn’t do: With my first blog I had a lot of ideas of how I wanted the page to look like, but the options in the theme I used was limited. So I learned CSS styling and used it to style my website like I wanted. I made a lot of styling, but it took a long time and many fixes to make the page look nice. Sometimes the styling stopped working when WordPress or a plugin was updated. That sucks! It can certainly be solved by creating a child theme. But then it becomes quite technical, as though the CSS styling itself wasn’t.

What you should do: Instead, go find a theme that has the setup options you need. This makes it much easier for you to change the layout of your page, and updating your website becomes much smoother. In addition, you can avoid having a child theme.

Mistake # 4: You choose a WordPress theme that has too few options

What you shouldn’t do: At this website, I didn’t want CSS styling, so instead I switched to a better theme. It only takes a few clicks to change the WordPress theme, but since the themes work differently, I still had to change quite a lot to obtain a nice page.

What to do instead: You need to choose a theme with many setup options, even if you don’t need them right away. If necessary, purchase a professional theme. If you’re not ready to throw money after a theme, then choose a free theme that has a pro version. For example try Pinnacle, which I use for the time being, or the Sydney theme. You’ll also find other free themes that have a purchased version.

Five mistakes you should avoid on your author websiteMistake # 3: You create a website for your blog and another one for your books

What you shouldn’t do: At first I created a blog that I called Wibellus. When my first short story was published, it hit me that I also needed a website with my author name, and all of a sudden (also by virtue of mistake No. 1), I had four different websites. I had wibellus.dk, wibellus.com, vibekemouridsen.dk, and vibekemouridsen. com. All in all four different websites to maintain. Smart – well, not.

What you should do: When you create your website, I recommend that you choose your author name for the URL. You still have the option to have a blog. You can have your blog on your website as a sub-page. I’ve spent three months joining my blog and my author website into one, so you see, it’s a lof of work, and a mistake I wouldn’t want you to do.

Mistake # 2: Make a website per Language

What you shouldn’t do: I write and blog in Danish and English, so I thought that I had to have a website for each language. Thus, I created one for each, each with its own domain name. But thas was not wise because, in addition to paying for two domain names, the disadvantage was that I also had to maintain both websites.

What you should do: You can avoid having to create a website for each language by using the WordPress plugin called Polylang. The plugin is free, and with it, you can translate and manage blog posts and subpages on your website in multiple languages. With Polylang, you can also send a blog post or a page to a machine translation server, and you’ll just need to correct the text for minor errors afterwards. This saves time in the process. I use Polylang now.

Mistake # 1: Using a too small font size

What you shouldn’t do: Most themes use a default font size of 10 or 12, but try reading font size 10 on a mobile. Not easy, right? If your target group is over 40 and has reached the reading glass age, then your problem is even worse. I have just unsubscribed from a newsletter because I couldn’t read the text. Stupid to lose readers that way.

What you should do: Instead, choose a minimum font size of 14 and maybe even 16. I’m using 14 on this page. In some themes, you have the option to choose a different font size for smaller devices.

Make time to write

The main point of this article is that you need to create a framework for your website that gives you the least possible maintenance. This way you can spend the time writing instead.

You need to set up an easy environment for your website, so you get more time to writeClick To Tweet

Do you have a website? What is the worst mistake you have made there? Talk about it in the comments.

Love Letters to Writers by Andi Cumbo-Floyd

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Love Letters to Writers: Encouragement, Accountability, and Truth-TellingLove Letters to Writers: Encouragement, Accountability, and Truth-Telling by Andi Cumbo-Floyd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As soon as I started to read Love Letters to Writers I felt embraced as a writer. Andi Cumbo-Floyd’s wise and vulnerable storytelling about every aspect of writing and a writer’s life gives you comfort and encouragement. With great kindness and yet persistence she tells you not to give up when you struggle, but to hold yourself accountable and keep on writing what you need to write.

From the many wise words (and it was a hard choice) I’ll mention these from chapter two: “… write wild. . . . big and wild, like a fire.” This is what the spirit of writing is about.

You should buy this book and keep it bookmarked or placed very close to your writing space, so whenever you feel lost in your writing life you can instantly grab it, read a bit, and feel hope again.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

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The Wind-Up Bird ChronicleThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Apparently, this is the story of an ordinary man, whose wife throughout six years suddenly leaves him for another man and doesn’t want to see him ever again, but little by little Haraki Kurakami reveals that nothing is quite what it seems to be. And apparently, the genre of this book is magic realism, but then, maybe not. Read More

How to get high on writing – five lessons learned from a writer’s retreat

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Being a writer is usually a lonely job (or a hobby as it is for this writer). You get an idea, you write some, you plot, you write more, and then you write, even more, you rewrite, you edit and at last you proofread. You are the lone wolf writer – until finally the day you have something to show the world.

But from getting the idea till you hold a product in your hand, you want to show to others, you have spent many hours in solitude. And you can easily give up. I almost did. Read More

When the villain shifts gender

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Have you tried to start writing a book or a story and got stocked? Either because you started writing and didn’t know what to write next, or because you created a plot and got bored or blocked? I have, too, but now I’m using Writing Law No. Five.

Throughout the last three years, I have begun four novels. The three of them are located in the drawer (the virtual one) and will probably no longer come out. With the two of them, I just had an idea and started writing. The third I made an outline and a timeline. Common to all three of them is that I stopped writing after two chapters. Read More

My top 10 (and more) list of movies about writers and writing

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What should you do on a rainy day when you get tired of writing? You should watch movies!

In addition to a big love for books and the stories they have enriched me with since I learned to read in the 2nd grade (kindergarten class didn’t exist at the time), I also love watching a good movie. Great stories are told not only through books, but also through the film medium, and it’s obvious that screenwriters throughout time have based the next movie on their own pains of writing. Read More

How books can make you a writer

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Do you know Sophie Kinsella and her Shopaholic series? I have a confession to make: I am that kind of person. I am a shopaholic. A book shopaholic. When I see a bargain for a book, I buy that book right away. An ebook for free? Even better!

In every other matter, I am a very responsible and economical person. But not when it comes to books. Read More

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