Monday, October 3, 2011

FAMP: Have Some Depth

Alright, one more FAMP before blog reviews begin next week. Let's talk about depth. When I say depth I am talking about pages on your website or blog in addition to your home page.

You may have noticed that I recently added pages to this blog. Before, I simply had my blog. Now I have a page for Blog Awards, Contact Info, and Blog Critique. This is considered depth because you can now go "deeper" into my website. 

Why should we have depth?

Because there are critical pieces of information that should be easily accessible to readers. 

Those of you who are thinking that blog awards is not critical info, you are correct.  I simply moved them to their own page so that they wouldn't clutter up the home page. Critical information for an author includes:

  1. Contact Information. Please give people an easy way to find you. If for any reason an agent or someone who could help your career is looking for you, don't you want them to find you easily? And what about later when you are published? Shouldn't your readers have access to you? They want to be able to connect - online media makes this possible. Do your part make it easy for them. Yes, usually they can click on your profile and get your email (if you have it listed) but that takes more work. A contact page including an email is better. Even better than that is a contact form so people can leave you messages directly from your site. (This is different than being able to comment because they can talk to you privately.)
  2. About Me Page. I don't have this info on my blog yet. I don't know why - maybe I haven't figured out who I am. Again, a blogger profile button can give this info, but a page dedicated to telling all about you is preferred. It's easy to find and is searchable. Include what you write and your FULL NAME or PEN NAME in a clear location. You'd be surprised how many people's blogs I visit that have their name hidden away. It's frustrating. Don't let your readers be frustrated!
  3. A Link to Your Books. This is mostly important if you're books are on sale or on the way to being on sale. Make it easy for people to buy your books. That's critical. Also important is letting people know what you write for easy identification. If someone sees your name and book title and synopsis a lot, they start to say, "Maybe I should read that..." If you are published, make sure you have your cover posted.  If you aren't published, you should have writing samples. This gives people pre-agent buzz (yes, it can happen) and gives agents and publishers easy access to your work. Many agents research your blog on a query. Make sure they can find your material. (Again, I haven't done it yet. Ooh, I'm a slacker!)
  4. Anything else you want people to get to easily. I want people to get to my blog critique info. Maybe you have appearances or events you want to notify people about. Or you offer editing services. Or you have good reviews of your books. Or you have won writing awards. Or you have a really popular blog post. Maybe its contests. Or photos. You get my drift.
One more thing - please make your navigation to these pages easy to see. Top of the page is best.

Any other things you want to see in on a separate page of a blog or website? Do you have depth?


Krista said...

What a great way to put it! I never thought of adding pages as adding depth. Great post!

I have some depth, but not much. I need to work on that!

Stacy S. Jensen said...

It took me forever to add the extra pages to my blog. I'm glad I finally did. I think contact and how to buy a book information are crucial. Recently, I wanted to share a contest with a fellow blogger, but couldn't find her email. It turned out that a blog post fit in with the topic, so I didn't feel too bad about posting a link in a comment. It took me four tries to find a link to purchase a Twitter friend's book. I mentioned it to her, because I was determined to buy her book. Someone else might have clicked away.

Laura Barnes said...

Thanks, Krista. And we could all use more depth, couldn't we? :)

Stacy, excellent examples! Thanks for sharing.

Laura Barnes said...

Just a note: Two other readers left great comments here and have unexplainably disappeared. I am working to recover them. Sorry guys!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

I've already added an about me page and a page for Would You Read It, but I don't have a contact page (although I have an email me button in the sidebar) and I am thinking about one or two other pages, depending which direction I decide to go with my blog next. But how to decide???

Sher A. Hart said...

Hey, I didn't even know I could add pages to my blog until I saw Dierdra Eden Coppel's blog, and then I didn't figure out how until after the campaign started. So I did, but don't have enough awards yet to make that page worthwhile. I added a chocolate follower contest, permanent until the world runs short on chocolate, and a new book review tab, plus one for my book website which includes my contact page. I guess I need to make an about me page though. I've been putting that off in favor of visiting all the people in my campaign groups, including you. Are you doing challenge 2? If so, better hurry. I'm number 52. You might as well start with a critique of my blog. I can't for the life of me make my google+ widget show I'm in any circles and I know there are other problems.

Michelle Fayard said...

I love the Pages feature of Blogger; it's like having a Web site without having to stand one up right away. This is a great post, Laura!

Carol Riggs said...

Thanks for this reminder! I'll probably add some pages to my blog at some point. Although I have a website with contact info too.

Kelly Polark said...

I do want to add depth to my blog at some point, when I have a book for sale most likely!
And good idea to remind people to have their name in a prominent place on their blogs. Sometimes when I comment on a new blog, it's hard to find (which is not good if you want your author name to be known!).
Great tips!

Laura Barnes said...

Oh, Susanna, (I had to do that :) direction is always the question, isn't it? Good start on some depth.

Sher,I am seconds away from running to your blog and reading your entry. I, alas, am not doing an entry. My daughter has had a myriad of medical problems and I haven't been able to keep up with everything. The campaign has been what has suffered most for me, but I'm glad for the people I have met in the little I've participated! (And I even wrote a whole blog post about being able to commit to blogfests. I'm a hypocrite.)

Michelle - have you tried out Google's new websites? I haven't had the time to mess with it, but I bet they're easy like Blogger.

Carol & Kelly - Thanks for the comments!

Bonnie Way aka the Koala Mom said...

I just recently discovered the "Pages" feature with Blogger, thanks to a fellow writer/blogger, and added my resume and friends' links in their own pages. As you say, this lets me add extra important stuff about myself (my resume) and declutter my main page(friends links don't take up space on my sidebar). Thanks for the other great tips here. :)

Matthew MacNish said...

This is such great advice. I do want to add an About Me page, but I'm not sure what I would say yet. I think I worry that without a book out, it would sound pretentious, but that's probably not true.

LauraBarnes said...

Me too, Matt. That's why I don't have one up either :)

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