Tag Archives: Author Blogs

Author Presence: Choosing a Theme for your Author Blog

Author Presence: Choosing a Theme for your Author Blog

The last article talked about Creating a Blog as in just getting your name set, and your Twitter Bio. The Creating a Blog part is pretty important as today we begin to look at Themes for our Blog. Yes, I said OUR blog. I am creating one right along with you.

“What is a Theme and why is it important that I pick any certain Theme?”

The Theme is the layout of your blog and the options you have. You can look at LitWorldInterviews and then  compare it to RonovanWrites.

You will notice first that LWI does not have a Header Photo but RW does, the typewriter. Also LWI has a slider image option where you see the most recently interviewed Authors scroll by like a slide show. RW does not have this feature. The RW Theme is the Coraline Theme. This a good option for an Author.

The Coraline Theme gives you the option for different side bar layouts. It also has footer areas for Widgets, and you can even make the background to your text area transparent so if you have some image in the background you can have the words appear on top of it. Not really my preference but it is an option if you were doing some special event. So you have a lot of flexibility with this them. Click Here to see the details of the Theme and if you scroll to the bottom you can see other blogs that use it.

The Twenty Fourteen Theme is used by one of our resident Authors, PS Bartlett. Click Here to see it in action. I’ve played around with the Theme but not to the success that this site has going for it. Okay, so I haven’t played with it THAT much. I don’t know if there has been any premium upgrades made. It’s a nice layout and looks good. This looks like a professional site.  She has made her landing page, her first page you go to on the site be about her. That’s fine. Many site owners do that. It’s all a matter of preference. Click Here to see the details of the Theme and scroll down for other blogs that use it.

The Mystique Theme is one I used for the longest time on RonovanWrites until I just wanted a change. I set it up on my RonovanRants site, a site that I haven’t really done anything with as of yet. You will notice that the header does not have a photo, you can have one or not. There are different layouts for the sidebar . I put it here as the right and put some widgets in the footer areas. A friend is looking at changing up their Author site and this was an example I gave them. They wanted something that did not appear cluttered. I advised for the About.me widget to be in the sidebar, possibly along with the Mystique Tabbed Widget which is at the bottom in a footer on the right. This makes for a clean look, with a slightly different background feel to it. If you have a book cover or a series of books this might be very nice. Basically Mystique is another versatile theme. Click Here to check out the details and other sites using it.

These are just three Themes you can choose from. This is the beginning of your journey. Some like to say they want a simple, clean and minimalist Theme. Okay, I get that. But you know what? Why not have a Theme that can be simple but can also give you flexibility in the future? Why do I say that? If you change from one Theme to another Theme you will often have to rebuild all of your Widget areas and do some other customizing. What I have done is found a Theme for my own personal use that I can change around any time I want, it will look different, and I don’t have to fix things all the time. And yes, sometimes variety and change is good when you’ve had a site for a while and you want to wake up your fans. Just make it easy for you to do it.

That’s why I go with the Coraline Theme. For the purpose of this exercise that is the Theme I will use. You don’t have to do that. You can choose what you like and apply what we do moving forward to it.

For the next time you will want to have an image for your Header Photo ready. That would be like the typewriter on my RonovanWrites site. One thing I did was make it so I did not need a Header Text Line by putting the name of my Blog on the Header Photo itself. The dimensions you need are 990×180 pixels.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

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Author Presence: About.me-What and How To.

Authors: Let’s get started setting up your web presence.

Each day this week I will have an article about another piece to setup. I am not into doing everything at once in one article. We’re not in a hurry. Doing everything in one article makes people feel overwhelmed when all they really need to do is come back to that article the next day. So what I like to do is . . . one thing at a time. Call it the reasonable teacher in me. Yes, I was a History teacher and a corporate trainer type among other things.

Something important to remember as we begin this process together; I want you to know that I will be giving ADVICE here. Take it or leave it. After I give it you then make it work or not. Everything I or anyone else tells you won’t do miracles on its own. YOU have to work it. I have social media things out there that I don’t ‘work’ and they are not doing anything for me. Actually putting all of this together for you is going to make me begin to ‘work’ what I have more.

I strongly advise you to sign up for a Twitter account. I know you might never use it but set one up. For one thing you want to get your Twitter Handle, your Name you like saved by you. But the real useful thing is that you will be able to use it in other accounts you set up. And you will be amazed at how many social media services out there will allow you to simply log in with Twitter. I tell you it comes in handy when you can’t remember a password. I have problems with remembering things, long story, amnesia’s a bummer.

This one account is what I have showing on my Twitter account for people to click on to find out about me.

It’s the About.me account.

Why set up an About.me Account.

Yes, that’s a big font there for this. I want you to know why you need one of these.

  • It’s a great place to point people to for all the basic information they need about you or you want to share and they can find links to everything else about you they might want. All of this is explained below in more detail.
  • You can connect to other authors and start networking by seeking them out and uniting. Building that platform.
  • People can find you based on your interests. Someone might be looking for a freelance writer and you have that down as an interest. Someone might want an interviewer and find me. You would be surprised at how many authors do NOT ask to be interviewed for free publicity for their books.

About.me

Think of your About.me as your central hub, the Grand Central Station of your social media empire.  From this one account people can find all the connections to your other media from one page.

What all can you include here?

I am going to give everyone credit for being able to sign up for an account. Once you’ve done that you will want to Edit Page. You do this by clicking your name in the top right and then Edit Page. If you are just signing in for the first time it may take you right to the Edit Page.

I’ll go in order of the tabs on the edit screen where you would actually be putting information you want to share.

As you are choosing images, links and information to share just remember that anyone can see this including agents and publishers.

Photo

  • Background Photo (You can choose from your computer, facebook, Instagram, or any you have saved with about. me so far.) This is the large full screen image. I have a photo of myself as my background. Why? Because this site is linked to my blog and I can use this photo or another photo mentioned later as my photo that I want people to see when the first show up to my Blog. One is professional and the other is casual and more of that sports guy in a baseball cap thing. You get to see two sides of my personality. Some people use a scenery photo as the Background Photo. It’s up to you.

Biography

  • Name-How do you want your name to appear. That’s right, just because you registered one way doesn’t mean it has to appear that way on the page. Don’t worry about the Font size now, you can change it later as well as for everything else in the Biography sections.
  • Headline-Think subtitle that appears under your Name. Ex: Author of the McGregor Trials Series.
  • Biography-This is where you get to tell everyone about you. You can put links in the Biography to any interviews you’ve been in or your books on whatever sales site you have them on. Brief or Long it’s up to you. But know this; the About.me is can appear on your blog and this Bio can appear there as well. Keep that in mind as you compose it.
  • Location-Don’t worry, you don’t have to be specific.
  • Work-Put what you want. I have writer, blogger, interviewer.
  • Education-Again, put what you want to.
  • Interests-You can have these displayed or not. I don’t see why not. People will find you based on these interests. Choose wisely.
  • Bio Photo-Uploaded from your computer and it’s best if it’s a head shot. Think Profile Photo. This is the other photo I was talking about earlier during the Background Photo explanation. This is my all American guy photo with sunglasses and baseball cap and looking a bit scruffy. There’s a reason it’s my smaller photo.

Colors-(Play around to see what looks best on your page.)

  • Page Colors-You can do both colors and patterns. Also choose the opacity.
  • Bio Box and Font Colors-You can choose the opacity. This is a tricky section. I have my box somewhat opaque instead of completely opaque because my words would not show up properly against the Background Photo. Think about that when choosing your Background Photo. One that has a lot of different colors in it will make choosing font colors difficult. Also remember there are people that are color blind so there are combinations that won’t work well.

Fonts

  • There are four different font areas on your About.me page. You can choose the font style you want and the size. The recommendation is no more than two font styles on the page. Play with it. Just remember people are looking at you. Don’t get so ‘fancy’ with your fonts that people have a difficult time reading them.

Apps

  • Apps are things like Twitter and Google+, in other words this is where you chose what Social Media Buttons will show up on your About.me page. They have three pages of apps/social media outlets for you to choose from. One thing to remember is, the About.me account is an app itself of sorts. When you set up your blog you can have a widget app for the About.me page. This is a great way to have all those media buttons for people to follow without cluttering up your blog.

Links

  • Featured Content-This will show recent content from the links you share.
    • Soundcloud-I don’t have Soundcloud right now but I have seen it out and about during my travels among various blog type platforms. You never know what will attract someone to follow you.
    • Links-My most recent blog post titles show on this page and people can click them to go to my Blog and read them.
    • Youtube or Vimeo-I have a Youtube account and am looking into doing something with it. Stay tuned for . . .  something. I really have no idea what.

Contact

  • Contact Info-This is just what it says it is, including your address. Doesn’t have to be filled out.
  • Settings-This is what you want to appear on your screen and what kind of compliments are possible. Yes, people can compliment your page. People will read your Bio and possibly be inspired by it or think you are creative or cool.  Groovy, right? Wait, I’m from the South. I spelled that wrong. Gravy, right?

 

Well that’s it for today. This should take you some time to set up if you do it properly and you know what? You can always make changes to it. I do all the time. And bonus tip time: Make sure to update your About.me page when things change About.YOU.

Come back tomorrow for the next step of setting up your web presence. It’s an easier one. Kind of. And it’s the next step closer to a Blog.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

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2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com

 

Basics for Linking up with Readers.

Being a success: It’s not all about your writing.

These days to be a successful author you have to be more than just a great writer. You have to be savvy about the ways of marketing and social networking. I can feel the cringe vibrate from your keyboard to mine. But how do you think you found this article if you didn’t have some bit of that working for you already or me either?

 

Today I just want to discuss a couple or few basics.

 

As I look for people to interview some of the things I remind bloggers of keep coming up with authors. After fall, aren’t we writers/authors bloggers of a sort as well?

 

Broken links:

They happen to us all. You’ve clicked one and it takes you nowhere. Imagine as I am clicking a link on someone’s Twitter profile to get information about them to approach them for an interview and I get the error message that the page can’t be found. I am a guy wanting to help authors out and simply wanting to see more information. But that also means I am acting as a fan and wanting to look at information about people I think fans want to learn about.

 

So imagine that if it is a fan, they see your great header photo that looks way cool, you have an amazing and very professional profile head shot and then . . . the Click of Doom. Some might search the internet or I might personally search Amazon, but this is like being at the checkout line at the grocery store and you see all the candy and the little things. That’s right . . . This is Impulse Clicking you just gave them the empty box of Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. Will they search, will I go to Amazon, will we step out of the checkout line for you? Would you for us?

 

 

No Links:

What’s worse than a Broken Link, maybe no way to connect at all? You have a great site that you’ve set up but you haven’t put it out there on you various connections for people to see. You don’t have it on Twitter, you don’t have it in your email signature. You don’t have it anywhere! No matter who you are or what your fame is, you are your best advertising and you are the only one you can always count on 100% of the time. So if you fail yourself, how can you count on anyone else?

 

 

Nothing to Link To:

You need a site of some type to link to. This sounds a lot like the No Links point but there is a difference in not noting your links and not having anything to link to. There are free platforms all over the internet. I personally have a ‘Blogger’ account at blogspot,com and of course my main one is here at WordPress.com, and I am branching out as I explore more and more platforms to discover what is best. For me personally, I recommend WordPress. Perhaps I like WordPress because I am simply accustomed to it, but it is an easy platform and you can get involved in a good community. Writers tend to support each other a great deal on WordPress in giving ‘shout outs’ about each other.

 

I will be putting together a ‘How To’ of creating an author blog/site very soon. Each person here at LitWorldInterviews (LWI) has their own particular talents. We all enjoy writing. We are all at different stages of our writing careers. My other talent is an enjoyment of how to make friendly or professional looking sites and getting your name out in the public. You will be seeing the LWI site change very, very soon as it has grown into something more than I thought it might be at first.

 

One thing to Remember:

Don’t spread your focus too thin. Give your attention to two, maybe three outlets. A blog, a social network (I use Twitter), and one other thing, perhaps facebook or Google+. I know people think of facebook as a social thing but a lot use it as their primary author page. I still use more than three but only because I have them built in. Which you can too and I will be showing you how.

 

Until Next Time,

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

Ronovan

 

 

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