Do Authors Need a Website and Blog?

by Jami Gold on March 14, 2013

in Writing Stuff

Blackboard with http://www and text: Do Authors Need a Website and a Blog?

Today I’m opening two workshops to help beginners set up websites and blogs. With that in mind, I want to go back to “step one” and review why authors might need a website and blog.

Years ago, authors could get away with pounding on their typewriter in seclusion and never interacting with the public. Now the expectations that go along with 24/7 connectivity mean we don’t get that choice. Our choice instead is: How much interaction do we want to have?

Do we want to keep it to a minimum, or do we want to build an online network? Do we just want to play with other writers and soak up the atmosphere? Or do we want to connect with others who can help our writing become a business that provides income?

As with many things, there’s no “one right answer” to how far we should emerge from our writing caves. The best choice for us will depend on our goals.

Are We Serious about Our Writing Career?

If we’re serious about our writing career, especially about making it a business, there’s one answer that’s close to a requirement. We at least need a website.

Yes, I’m making a statement and saying that as soon as we’re serious about becoming a career-focused writer, we should make two decisions:

It’s okay if we each put that “I’m serious about writing” line somewhere different. Some of us will know we’re serious as soon as we obsess over a story idea. Some of us won’t know until much later.

But by the time we’ve completed a manuscript that we’re submitting to agents or editors, we should have an online presence and be Google-able. Of all the different ways to create a Google listing, only a website makes us Google-able and gives us an online home with minimal maintenance.

Whether we take that website one step further and add a blog depends on our goals once again. Either way, using our author name (pen name, if applicable) in the URL (the http://ourname.com web address) will help people find us.

Goal of a Website: Make Our Author Name Google-able

Being Google-able is one of the most important goals for writers who treat their career as a business. Published authors use a website to be Google-able so their readers can find more stories to read. Unpublished authors use a website to be Google-able to other writers—and to agents and editors.

Wait…Agents and editors might Google our name, even when we’re a “nobody” unpublished writer? Absolutely, especially once we’ve completed and started submitting a full manuscript. They might search on our name to see if we’re professional, understand the industry, or have other stories they find interesting.

Goal of a Blog: Make Our Author Name Show up in Related Searches

The main difference between a website and a blog is that a website has several “static” (rarely changing) pages and a blog has a single page with the most recent post on top. If we simply want to be Google-able in case someone searches for our author name, a website is enough. If we want potential readers to find us when they search for things related to us, a blog will show up in wider search results.

The best way to make our website—and thus our author name—show up higher in search results is to attach a blog to our website. Like the proverbial squeaky wheel, Google pays attention to sites that change more frequently, such as those updated with regular blog posts.

If You’re Going to Blog, Do It Right

Some writers want to blog for personal reasons, like an online journal. Personal blogs that aren’t about building up their author name can be run as the author sees fit (to a point). But if we blog to help spread our author name and/or improve our Google-ability, we have to learn which techniques will produce the best results.

For example, some authors have blogs on Blogger or another platform and a website somewhere else. That set-up doesn’t help their ranking in Google as it would if their website and blog were integrated.

The stand-alone blog’s traffic, no matter how high, won’t help the unrelated website rise in the search results. In many cases, visitors to the blog won’t know the author even has a website, so they won’t be tempted to click around and discover what the author has to offer. My website and blog are an example of how they can be connected, giving readers more to explore.

Another issue to watch out for is that a bad blog—unused/abandoned or unprofessional—can be worse than no blog. Google likes seeing regular updates (new blog posts), and agents and editors like seeing a writer who won’t be difficult to work with.

So if someone with no experience decides they want a website and blog, where do they start?

No Experience with Websites or Blogs? No Problem

Last summer I presented the workshop “Develop a Free Author Website in 60 Minutes (or Less!)” at the National Conference of Romance Writers of America. At the request of Kristen Lamb, I’m bringing that workshop, along with a twin workshop, “A Newbie’s Guide to Building a Self-Hosted Blog or Website,” to WANA International for two separate live webinars.

These two workshops are designed for people who have no knowledge of WordPress, websites, or blogs. People should sign up for only one of the workshops:

Readers of my blog can get $5 off by using the promo code: Jamisave. (*psst* My newsletter subscribers will receive a special code for twice the savings.)

In future posts, I’ll share more information to help the undecideds figure out whether they want to take the path of a free website or a paid website. As I said at the top of the post, it all depends on your goals. *grin*

Those of us online tend to forget that a huge percentage of writers aren’t online. Many local writing groups are filled with writers who don’t have a clue. People who attended my workshop at RWA last summer thanked me for making the information clear and non-intimidating. With your assistance in spreading the word, I hope to help more writers embrace their online potential. Thank you!

Do you have a website or blog? If you have one and not the other, what made you decide on that approach? What goals do you have for being online? Are your website and blog connected? Do you know writers who would benefit from a beginner’s level workshop like this?

46 Comments below - Time to Add your own.

Taurean Watkins March 14, 2013 at 6:03 am

At present, I only have a blog, which I’ve had to put on hiatus since late last year, for LOTS of reasons, but I can assure you, Jami, not caring was NOT one of them.

Now that I have a book coming out (Not this year, far as I know) I know I need a website, the problem is what I write has changed a lot since I started my blog. I wanted my niche to be “Animal Fantasy for any age and stage” and to highlight books and authors who don’t follow the popular models often accosciated with this kind of story.

I still want to carve that niche, but since Dec 2010 when I started my blog, I experimented with other genres,

So I’m currently trying to work out how to bridge three key facets of my author image-

Animal Fantasy
Books outside the “Animal Fantasy” niche
Thoughts on writing and other writers

Frankly, I think it’s HARDER for writers who aren’t singular in what they write.

Some writers JUST write picture books

Some writers ONLY write readers and chapter books

Some ONLY write MG

Some ONLY write YA or Adult

Those are just specifics regarding readership, then you add genres and things really get complicated, if you write MORE than one type of story.

Ideally, I’d like to have one site, but separated in portals, so people can see there’s more than one side to me, and go to the parts they most relate to or are interesting.

But just moving my Blogger blog to Wordpress is a technical nightmare, and I’ve yet to build a

I at least had the foresight to buy my domain name (myname.com) but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

There are things I’d say on my animal fantasy blog, I wouldn’t on a part of my site dealing with YA/New Adult/Adult books I’ll (Eventually) write and discuss.

All that said, it’s still fair to point out that still not all career-oriented writers have a blog or website, and still meet their goals, it just might take LONGER…

Two authors I love (Tor Seidler and Micheal Hoeye) have little online presence outside some scant interviews (In Hoeye’s case, can find NOTHING on Seidler, and I’d LOVE to interview him for my blog) and a profile on their publisher’s website.

No, they’re not at the brand name level of say Judy Blume or Barbra Park, but they’re not unproven newbies like me, either.

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Jami Gold March 14, 2013 at 9:49 am

Hi Taurean,

Great question! Our website should be about us as an author. Our blog can have a slightly different niche.

I’d say that your “thoughts on writing and other writers” would mostly show up in just the blog section, unless you have a list of favorite authors (and why they’re your favorites) in a FAQ or “more about me” or “20 questions with Taurean”-type section on your website. I could see a section like that working well for you because it’s taking that facet and focusing it on you–your favorites, your thoughts, etc.

That leaves the other two facets you mentioned, which are more about your writing and you as an author. Maybe step back from genre and see what ties your writing together. Maybe something along the lines of “unique stories of the imagination”? Then you could “brand” your website around your unique imagination–not about your stories or your genre, but around you.

And I agree that some authors are successful without a website, but those are becoming more rare. That’s why I said a website is “close” to a requirement. 🙂 If our goals can handle the slower build of reaching new potential readers, a website might not be necessary.

I try not to be the type to say this is the only right answer, which is why I’m offering the class for both a free website and a paid website. What I choose for myself isn’t necessarily the right choice for everyone. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

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Taurean Watkins March 19, 2013 at 9:52 am

Thanks for replying, Jami. It really made my day.

Though I do think there’s more to unifying my author brand than you implied.

While you say not to obsess over genre or demographic, it does matter, especially in the children’s book landscape where you hope to appeal to teachers and (ideally) open-minded parents, almost as much as the kids themselves.

I don’t want to look too kiddie, yet not be so tween or teen oriented I scare younger kids off, and that’s the intriguing challenge of middle grade books and their readers.

You don’t have to be overly saccharine, but not as edgy or unflinchingly provocative for today’s teens, making it the best fit for me.

But I’m not yet sure if I can unify all of my writing the way you describe. I do think I need to separate it out.

While not all my of stories are animal fantasy, I’ve been experimenting with other types of stories, and while I plan to write under my real name, I do think I need some separation between my main niche and my new areas of interest outside that niche.

I guess friendship is always a theme in most of my writing up to now, but I don’t want to come off overly hokey, though I do believe in friendship the way you do about love as you describe here-

http://jamigold.com/2010/10/is-romance-a-bad-word/

What you said here really spoke to me (SO much I had to reply)-

“In my mind, love is the most important and powerful thing in the world. Love drives parents to sacrifice more than they ever thought possible. Love inspires spouses to change themselves and become better people. Love gives the heartbroken hope for future happiness. Love strengthens us. What’s so wrong with celebrating love?”

To me, friendship, like love, is really important. Which is why I always seem to have budding friendships , not just because I don’t have many (Another reason I might be more apprehensive of a certain degree of social media, it’s not just the shy introvert who talks like a cliched auctioneer, I just feel there are some aspects of friendship that you can’t replicate online, or at least some balance of in-person and online, and I do mean only people you trust versus our fans/readers) Of course, I believe love’s just important, but there are so many facets to love (Especially between relatives or spouses) that’s different from friendships with people that don’t have a romantic urge seeping through.

Perhaps focusing on my imagination and overall literary worldview is a better all-around approach, but I’m not yet sure how to quantify it from a marketing perspective. This is the part of the branding process that really gets to me.

As much as I HATE writing ABOUT my story versus writing the ACTUAL STORY, at least I know the formula (Even if I don’t execute it well…), but this is so much more esoteric to show quickly.

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement, Jami.

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Jami Gold March 19, 2013 at 10:37 am

Hi Taurean,

Oh yes, there’s absolutely more to unifying our author brand! I was just giving you ideas about a direction you could take for the first step. 🙂

And I also agree that friendship is love. One of my stories goes deeply into love outside the normal bounds of human experience, so I enjoy exploring all facets of love. Good luck figuring out what direction you want to take and thanks for the comment! 🙂

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Kerry Gans March 14, 2013 at 7:05 am

I have both (actually, I’m a regular on 2 blogs–one personal, one a group). I do have a link from my personal blog to my website and vice versa, but they are not integrated as you suggest. My problem is that I do not want the landing page of my website to be my blog. I want it to be my home page so people can know immediately what I’ve got to offer, not just a blog.

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Jami Gold March 14, 2013 at 10:00 am

Hi Kerry,

“I do not want the landing page of my website to be my blog.”

Great point! And that’s one of many reasons I recommend WordPress over Blogger (next Tuesday’s post will go more into this choice). WordPress easily allows a “static” home page with a blog on a separate page (unless that function is limited by the chosen theme–then I’d pick a different theme! 🙂 ).

My website is set up like that. jamigold.com takes people to my static home page. I could have this landing page configured however I want. Currently I have a static welcome message and then snippets of my most recent blog posts down below. That format is all customizable (especially with a paid website). My blog is available on a separate page of my website: jamigold.com/blog. So I get to keep my blog and my website separate but integrated. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

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Carradee March 14, 2013 at 7:39 am

I have both. I do believe writers need at least one of them. But both? Not necessarily.

But I have both because I’m a chatterbox, and my blog gives me somewhere to wax poetic about things I want to say, somewhere that the only folks reading it are (probably) interested in what I’m saying. 🙂

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Jami Gold March 14, 2013 at 10:04 am

Hi Carradee,

“I have both because I’m a chatterbox…”

LOL! I understand. 🙂 I feel compelled to share what I know, so I use my blog to help others. If it weren’t for that personality trait, I’d have just a website. Thanks for the comment!

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Rhenna Morgan March 14, 2013 at 7:47 am

Good advise as always, Jami. (Wish I’d read it about a year ago…but, oh well! You guys are getting me on track now.)

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Jami Gold March 14, 2013 at 10:05 am

Hi Rhenna,

LOL! Yes, I’m sorry I didn’t know you a year ago. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

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Melinda S. Collins March 14, 2013 at 11:52 am

Thanks for all the advice, Jami!

This is very well-timed since I’m getting my official author site underway and got hooked up with WordPress. 😀 I agree that the days of the authors with little to no online presence are fading quickly.

These days everyone is online, and everyone is seeking a personal connection. With so many options for books, movies, TV shows, etc., it’s the personal connection to the brand behind the product that decides whether or not a person will purchase and remain loyal to a brand (I see this in action every day in the insurance industry, too). And not only purchase and remain loyal, but also share the brand with their friends and family. So an online presence *is* getting to the point of becoming a requirement for authors.

As for the site, I’m not entirely a *newbie*, but I am still learning the ropes and playing around with everything. I can’t wait to get the site set-up to a point of “I’m okay with this for right now.” 🙂 I’m sure it’ll be a WIP for a while, so that’s not holding me back. I just want to be more comfortable with the site and its innerworkings before launching.

It’s also kind of hard to spend some time on it because then you get sucked into the project and the next thing you know it’s 3am. LOL! 🙂

Thanks again for another great post, Jami!

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Jami Gold March 14, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Hi Melinda,

Yes, it’s interesting (or is that “predictable”) that the more technology we have, the more of a sense of a “personal connection” we crave. I think it’s fast becoming the case that nearly everyone is a brand of some sort and it’s up to us to manage the business of our brand. (Even if that just means our brand is being the go-to person who gets things done for our boss. 🙂 )

And you’re right–websites remain a work in progress, but getting it to a workable point feels good. 🙂 Good luck with your new site and thanks for the comment!

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Amanda March 14, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Psst, Jami, I know PLENTY of writers who would benefit from your class 🙂

Anyway. I have a blog, and I learned something interesting: typing in my name without my middle initial (K) brings up tons of references to actress Amanda Bynes. Apparently Google thinks I’m mispelling my own name. But if I type in Amanda K Byrne, my blog is the first thing that pops up.

Which actually brings me to two questions: when I query, I don’t use the K in my signature, but I DO include my blog address. Do you think it’d be a good idea to start signing those queries Amanda K Byrne? I’ve got this sneaking suspicion I’ll end up having to use it anyway once I’m published (because of the aforementioned Google problem). My other question is I recently changed the name of my blog. The top search result is the old name, and I don’t want that coming up in searches anymore. Do you know how to get rid of it? You can click on it and it still takes you to my blog, but it might confuse people because the blog name is different.

Thanks for your help, Jami! And in response to your question about blog vs. website-for the time being, I’m happy with just a blog. I may never go the route of a website. The Wordpress templates are easy to use and I can maintain it myself, which I love. Why fix something that isn’t broke?

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Jami Gold March 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Hi Amanda,

Oh good! Thanks for spreading the word. *hugs*

Great question about your name! When I first started out, Google always assumed my name was a misspelling of Jamie Gold, the poker player. But over time, the increased traffic to my website improved my ranking in Google enough that it learned *I* exist and it stopped asking. 🙂

There are all sorts of search engine optimization (SEO) things that my WordPress theme does right that helped my ranking grow. If I’d had less traffic, a different theme, used Blogger, etc., that recognition on Google’s part probably would have taken longer (or not happened at all).

However, Google always gave searchers looking for me a choice: “Did you mean…” If Google’s not even offering that question to those who search for you, then people are reaching a dead end unless they add in “author” or something. So I don’t think the name you use in your queries is important at this stage–but if people will find you more easily with the K, then it might make sense to start using it all the time.

As for the Google search result, I’m not sure what’s causing that because it could be a couple of different things. It could be that your new blog hasn’t had time to be seen by all the Google bots, or it could be that there’s a problem in the metadata.

(As thanks for spreading the word about my workshops, I just checked this last one for you, and it looks fine. Your “meta title” is showing up as “Byrne After Reading” and not the old title, so I think Google will sort itself out in a week or two. 🙂 )

One of the things I love about WordPress is that it already has the capability to be a website built in since we can create pages and create a static home page. That’s really the only difference between using WordPress as a website and using it as a blog. 🙂 The only limitations come from your theme. Some themes can’t handle a static home page and some limit the number of pages. But good themes are unlimited in that regard. I could do a lot more fancy design work on this site if I wanted to, but like you alluded to, if it’s not broken… LOL!

I hope all that helps and thanks for the comment! 🙂

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Gloria Oliver March 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Hi, Jami!

I have a website and a blog at both blogger and wordpress.com. Weirdly enough I find that different types of people hook up differently on the two platforms, which is why I’ve kept both up.

I do think you should look at blogger again. I own my own website http://www.gloriaoliver.com and I was able to (for Free!) reroute my blogger blog to http://blog.gloriaoliver.com Even better, blogger and wordpress.com allow you to add tabs with extra pages to your blog. So I have my novels on a tab and I also have a tab for my website. On blogger, touching the tab will automatically take you to my site. On wordpress.com the tab I made shows a link, which can then be clicked to take people to the site.

I am always amazed at all the extra stuff both of these blogging sites provide. New capabilities show up all the time!

Good like with the seminars. I know you’ll knock ’em dead. 🙂

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Gloria Oliver March 14, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Wow…”Good like” Wow. Okay…I’ll try again… Good LUCK with the webinars!

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Jami Gold March 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Hi Gloria,

No worries! I knew what you meant. 🙂 And thank you!

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Jami Gold March 14, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Hi Gloria,

Interesting! Thanks for the information about Blogger!

I thought they now allowed a few tabs, but I’m not familiar with them. I do know that SEO is better with WordPress though. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

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Rinelle Grey March 14, 2013 at 6:55 pm

My website and blog are both set up through wordpress. Easy to use, but with lots of functionality if you know what you’re doing. I’m still setting it up, and adding new features, but I’m pretty happy with how it is now. I definatly noticed my blog posts coming up higher in google, so I think having the two together is the way to go.

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Jami Gold March 14, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Hi Rinelle,

Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, websites by themselves will never get much traffic, so an integrated blog really helps. Thanks for the comment and good luck with your site! 🙂

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Kimmydonn March 15, 2013 at 7:46 am

Good article, Jami. I recently (okay like 18 months ago) quit my blog to shift to my website. It doesn’t have a separate ‘blog’ but I can post articles to the main page, but it has tabs to my books, buy links in the margins, etc. etc. My penname doesn’t have a webpage, just a blog. I don’t really want to make her a webpage for the reasons you’ve listed here. Again, I have pertinent information in the margins/header so people can find the information they need.

I’m a terrible blogger. I’m not consistent and I’ve never had luck coming up with a ‘theme’ that keeps me going. Right now, I’m participating in BlogFlash which gives me a prompt each weekday. I don’t know what I’m going to do when the month is over. Probably my page will go without an update for a week or two. *sigh* My penname has no problems! She interviews on top of having four weekly features. She’s set. I only wish my non-erotic half could get the ball rolling. 🙁 I haven’t had the same lucky finding non-sexy features that repeat weekly.

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Jami Gold March 15, 2013 at 8:45 am

Hi Kimmydonn,

Yes, blogging isn’t for everyone. I think the important thing is to be Google-able, and we each can take the best path for us and our habits to get there. And like I said, a website alone should be enough to get us onto Google, especially if we’ve chosen our author name well and we can grab the virtual real estate. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

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Vanessa March 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Hi Jami,

I have heard from several agents that it’s recommended that an unpublished author should have a blog and a goodreads account along with social networking on twitter. There really isn’t a reason for an author not to have a Goodreads or twitter to interact with authors. Following authors on Twitter and asking them things? Like How many books did it take until you got an agent? Is small press or self publishing the way to go. I have a blog and when I get something published I will make a website. Even a blog can get your online presence in the foot of the writing world. Plus a website can get a little expensive for an author just starting out.

Thanks for letting me comment!

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Jami Gold March 15, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Hi Vanessa,

…”a website can get a little expensive for an author just starting out.”

It depends on how you do a website. I’m not talking about a custom designed flash-everywhere website. (Most of those are overrated anyway. 🙂 ) I’m talking about using WordPress to build our About/Bio, Books, and Contact pages.

There’s a reason one of my workshops is about setting up a website for free. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

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Linda Adams - Soldier, Storyteller March 16, 2013 at 3:34 am

I have both. I had the website before blogs become popular. I’ve had some professional graphics experience, which means the site looks good, but I don’t have enough skills to qualify as a professional web designer. I also have made an effort that both my site and my blog are accessible to screen readers for the blind. I’ve seen a lot of disabled fans at cons, so this is more common than people believe.

For the blog, I recently abandoned all attempts at platform. It’s tough for a fiction writer come up with topics for a “platform” and I sucked at it. I could never figure out a way to connect to readers, and after 2 years of this, I decided I was better off blogging about writing. Yeah, everyone says not to blog about writing, but it’s the one area where I can connect. The most important thing to me is to make sure my relatively common name ranks high in the search engines.

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Jami Gold March 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Hi Linda,

Great tip about making our sites accessible to the blind. Do you have tips or a blog post about making your site accessible?

I hear you about having a blog platform for readers. Honestly, anything along those “personal, non-writing” lines that I could blog about wouldn’t match with my target audience of my fiction readers anyway, so yeah, I’d rather connect however I can. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

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Linda Adams - Soldier, Storyteller March 16, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Here are some basic tips:

Use the alt tag to describe your photos. The alt tag is what a person with a screen reader hears that tells you what the photo is. For photos where I might use a linked code (like from Flickr), I add a line below the image that says, “Screen Reader:” Then it describes the image. Two examples on my blog of this: http://garridon.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/when-you-hate-to-research/

Also, add a caption to the photo as well — that was something I found in looking up the answers here. (Will be shuffling off to fix a few posts.) Vision impaired people might not use a screen reader, so they won’t have access to the alt tag.

Provide a summary of any videos and audio podcasts you have. http://www.socialbrite.org/2009/08/26/how-to-make-your-website-more-accessible/

Avoid “Click Here” links. I’ve been to a screen reader demo. This is very confusing to listen to and doesn’t make sense if you can’t see it.

Turn off the capchas. A fellow writer who is blind reports these are very hard for her to deal with. Considering how much trouble I have with them myself, I agree! 🙂

Make sure you have good color contrasts. My father is color blind. One time someone invited him to have a look at a website, and he could not see it because of the color choices. Here’s what it looks like to someone with colorblindness: http://io9.com/5867406/what-do-colorblind-people-see Poor color contrast or very small font would also affect people with low-vision.

Don’t have anything where color is essential for understanding. People will use something like, “Click the Red button to Exit the Site” and “Click the Green button to go the next page.” If a color blind person with a red-green weakness sees that, he isn’t going to know which is which. My father has trouble in states that have horizontal stoplights because he can’t tell which way the light is.

Guide to blogs from the American Federation for the Blind: http://www.afb.org/Section.aspx?SectionID=57&TopicID=167&DocumentID=2757

And this is more work. Most businesses won’t do it because of cost, and yet they alienate some of their potential business by doing so.

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Jami Gold March 16, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Hi Linda,

Thank you for the awesome tips! I wonder if we should “front page” these as a separate blog post so more people would see them? Let me know if you’d be okay with having this (or something like this) converted into a guest post. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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Taurean Watkins March 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm

While I haven’t yet implemented getting my material more accessible for the blind, it’s something I keep in mind for the future, so it’s a good thing for writers to keep in mind.

I agree that it’s harder for fiction writers to develop the almighty “Platform” than publishing insiders wish us to believe.

At least with nonfiction there’s history and current events to back us. I think it’s harder to convince readers to embrace what you can’t explain with historical facts and scientific reasoning.

I feel we’re raising kids to denounce the imagination just to make them academically competent, if not “College Ready” and while Jami makes the point college isn’t the right path for all, we don’t hear that view from much of the world, least of all from educators who are unfairly villianized for not getting their students ready for college by THIRD GRADE (I’m exasperating, but still, neither student or teacher can build toward progress, if we set the bar so high in general all but the most hardy souls can SURVIVE, never mind thrive…) and I don’t spite the educational system in EVERY way,

Okay, I’m digressing, and I’ll stop this aspect of my opinions here.

All that said, while I do blog about writing, I try to take a different tack than other bloggers who talk about craft. I try to put humanity ahead of hearsay, fun before facts, as much as writers witch amongst ourselves gripe about the nitty-gritty of what we do, especially in the business aspects of what we do.

Too often I feel we focus so much on the craft (Which is VITAL for career-minded non-hobbyists) we denounce or pretend the passion we have as writers is no longer necessary. Writing is more than perfect grammar and fancy cover designs.

There are MANY facets of writing that “Butt in chair” alone just can’t fix. Period. (Jami, I hope you know I don’t meant to imply work isn’t involved. Of course it is. Still, it’s NOT the kind of work you can just phone in, without doing the eventual reader a disservice, if you know what I mean)

While I haven’t communicated this as much as I wanted yet, I started my current blog for bringing lovers of animal fantasy out of veil of shame, and to stop hiding behind their kid siblings/children/grandchildren/students/kids cousins/etc, and can admit first to themselves, and later others “I Love Animal Fantasy” and that’s OKAY.

For the same reasons romance writers love what they do, in spite of the ignorance, misconceptions and unjust accusations. Some of which, I admit I had about romance myself, though that was YEARS ago and I’m really past that now.

(Mostly though, it was jealousy that I can’t effectively write a type of book I do read, just not at the erotic level)

I just felt this need to educate readers to open their minds to the fact that-

-NOT all the readers of these books are in preschool.

-Unless it’s straight nonfiction, the animals involved don’t have to be “National Geographic” accurate to feel “Real” in the context of the story.

-Have to be in the same arena as “Charlotte’s Web or Watership Down” to be worth reading.

-Can reach readers 13+ without being excessively violent or raunchy
(Probably the only person I know my age [Under 30] who just can’t watch Ted)

Above all, Beatrix Potter, Brian Jacques, E.B. White and Erin Hunter are NOT the last word for stories of this type.

Sorry for getting on my

I’m REALLY starting to think I’m channeling my inner Barbra Walters here.

(For those new to my “editorials” here, I’m a man, but I can think of no male counterpart to Barbra Walters who is too much my exact opposite that it’s laughable)

Anyway, take care all
Taurean

Reply

Jami Gold March 16, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Hi Taurean,

LOL! I understand. 🙂 Yes, it’s hard to connect with others on our blogs when we write fiction. Especially when you’re trying to connect to a target audience who doesn’t consciously realize they’re your target audience–like what you have to deal with for your stories (as many readers who might enjoy your stories don’t realize they would because they haven’t come across non-childish animal fantasy books). At least with me, audiences already exist for paranormal romance and urban fantasy. I don’t envy the job you have before you, so I understand the exasperation you feel sometimes. Thanks for the comment!

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Kyla March 30, 2013 at 9:38 am

I’ve recently started writing on a new blog rather than the one I abandoned. I hope to use it to get myself in control and make this writing career a reality instead of just a dream.

Thanks for another great post, sorry I’ve taken so long to write you again, and it’s good to see you’re still going strong!

Reply

Jami Gold March 30, 2013 at 11:50 am

Hi Kyla,

Good to see you again! 🙂 Yes, if our old site never made headway and we’d rather change direction anyway, sometimes it’s just easier to start over. Good luck and thanks for the comment!

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Teena Lyons November 7, 2013 at 8:07 am

It is so important for any business to be online and have a presence. Authors are no different, but because of our trade people are likely to be more critical. It means the blog needs to be top quality.
Great post, thanks!

Reply

Jami Gold November 7, 2013 at 8:22 am

Hi Teena,

Very true. As writers, we’re expected to never make mistakes in the written word–yikes!–and people have high expectations in other areas too. Thanks for the comment! 🙂

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