Category Archives: Uncategorized

Five Useful Elements for Your Website

Photo shows two laptops with photos on both and the post title,, "Five Useful Elements for Your Website" superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Through the years, I’ve run across a lot of author websites.  When I see something really useful, I’ll add it to my own.  Here are five things that I’ve found worthwhile to add.

A book page for each book

This is important for SEO for your books.  If you look up my books on Google, you get ‘rich results’ in the sidebar showing the cover, ratings, publication date, my name, etc.  This wasn’t the case until I had a separate page on my site for each title (I also used some schema markup on book WordPress pages to help search engines read my page elements. More on how I did that here).

 

A coming soon page

A reader in suggested back in 2016 that I should create a ‘coming soon’ page on my site because she kept losing track of my releases and what series was launching a book next.  I’ve made sure to keep it updated (which is, of course, the danger of having a page like that).

A nice link to add to the Coming Soon page (along with other pages on our site) is a link to our Amazon Author Central page with instructions to follow us there.   I just put a simple: ” Follow me on Amazon for release updates” up. Continue reading Five Useful Elements for Your Website

5 Things About Being a Writer

A woman's hand is holding a pen as she writes on a notebook on a writing table. The post title, "5 Things About Being a Writer" is superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

The writing life can be a wonderfully rewarding one.  But there can be headaches along the way.

Here are five things I’ve learned about being a writer: some of them apply solely to self-publishing and some to both traditional and self-publishing.

There is always something else to consider with self-publishing. 

This might be expanding your formats (print, audio, translation, digital, hardcover).  This might be expanding your distribution (to aggregators like Draft2Digital and Smashwords, to the library market through Overdrive via PublishDrive or Street Lib, to international markets through PublishDrive or Street Lib), or it might mean expanding your social media presence by exploring Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Continue reading 5 Things About Being a Writer

Blogging as a Writer

Scrabble pieces spell out'blog' and the post title, "Blogging as a Writer" is superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

My first blog post was in August of 2008.  Along the way, I’ve tweaked the content and changed from Blogger to WordPress.  I’ve also played with the number of posts I run a week.  Aside from that, the blog is pretty much the same as it was nine years ago.

But along the way, I’ve seen lots of changes: some writers who used to blog no longer do.  Some folks never started. Some rarely post at all.  Which leads me to this post.  :)   Should writers blog?  If you decide to blog, how do you keep it up?  And how do you get a blog started?

Why should you consider blogging?

One big reason why I like blogging is because I bring traffic to my website (which also lists my books).  As Belinda Griffin put it in her article, “10 Rock-Solid Reasons Why Every Indie Author Needs an Author Blog“:

Regularly updated websites, ie ones with a blog, are crawled more often by search engines and will appear higher up in search engine results, meaning a website with a blog is more likely to be found by someone searching using Google. Continue reading Blogging as a Writer

Writing a Better Reader Newsletter

Desktop picture showing a computer, mouse, keyboard, speaker, and the post title, "Writing a Better Reader Newsletter" superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

I’ve mentioned before that I always feel a little apologetic when I send a newsletter to readers. I’m so inundated by emails that the idea of wanting more emails seems impossible to me.  But that’s just the thing we need to remember: readers do want to receive our newsletter.  That’s why they signed up for them.

I only send my newsletters when I have a release, which means that I’m sending a newsletter out about three times a year.  My newsletter include buy-links for the new book, a few recipes (I don’t enjoy cooking, but I like passing along easy recipes), and updates on my life and what I’m working on now.

I’m always on the lookout for ways to make my newsletter better. I came across three articles on the same day and saved all of them for future use since each one had at least one helpful takeaway.  I thought I’d pass the information along here in case it helps others. Continue reading Writing a Better Reader Newsletter

Single-Tasking for Productivity

Stressed woman puts both hands to her head as the post title "Single-Tasking for Productivity" is superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

I used to think that I was a fairly adept multitasker, as long as one of the tasks was something completely mindless (I could stir things in a pot and make a list at the same time.  I could vacuum and brainstorm).  But after instances  where I’ve spattered supper on the stove and vacuumed up things that weren’t supposed to be vacuumed, I’ve come to the realization that I really shouldn’t multitask at all.

I’ve made an effort to dial it back and become more effective at focusing on a single task.

Is it really multitasking?

In the article “Brain, Interrupted” by New York Time columnists Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson, they stated:

In fact, multitasking is a misnomer. In most situations, the person juggling e-mail, text messaging, Facebook and a meeting is really doing something called “rapid toggling between tasks,” and is engaged in constant context switching.

The danger in this, as stated in the article, is that we may never really return to the main task we needed to work on.  The other tasks act as distractions … or maybe, more accurately, deterrents…to our productivity. Continue reading Single-Tasking for Productivity