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Monday, September 10, 2012

Do You Use a Blog as Your Writer Website?

I do.

Sure, I know HTML and could code a fancy website with all the bells and whistles.

But who has time?

Not this girl.

So, when I began looking at website options a few years ago, I decided to use a WordPress blog. I searched for a free theme that contained the options I wanted.

The problem? I couldn't find exactly what I wanted on the website, so I continued searching and fine-tuning my requirements. Presto! I found what I had been looking for.

See, a problem with using a blog as your website is, well, you have to blog. And if you don't blog on a regular basis, your website appears lackluster.

A blog does not necessarily allow a user to add pages. For instance, on my site, I found a template that allowed pages, so I could include a short bio and author photo, a page that lists my clips (and it looks like I need to update them...soon!), and an introductory page to my syndicated newspaper column.

Does it need tweaking? Definitely. I could add a landing page instead of using my present blog post. I could upload pictures and give it a more personal touch.

But for now - or until I find more time to play with a website instead of writing for clients - I'll use what I have, making improvements and showcasing my work.


  1. You have a really nice blog, LuAnn. I think it works fine as a website for your kind of writing—journalism and editing—but as a novelist, I do need separate sites. One of my big pet peeves is writing blogs that look like full-spread advertisements for the author's works. You know, giant cover images on the side bars and dancing in the banner, crowding out the actual content. I also mostly blog about things unrelated to my publications; my posts are about my thoughts on writing, publishing, my cat....So if people are interested in finding my books, I direct them to a different site that's meant for shameless self-promotion.

  2. LuAnn--You certainly gave me some ideas to consider. I also enjoyed TK's comment. Some writers walk that fine line between promoting themselves and shameless self-promotion--and other writers trample the line daily.

  3. Anonymous6:37 AM

    I have two blogs. One for the Center for Writing Excellence, my writing business website and one for just me and my writing. I purchased a domain name from GoDaddy and use it (for a small fee) as my domain name for the business blog site. I have over 30 pages on that site. On my personal writing blog site I have over 10 pages. WordPress is great for things like that. It is easy to customize. I recently changed the 'look' of both of my sites to make them a bit cleaner and more streamlined. Easy to do with the themes. I bought a premium theme for my business site so I will stick with that one, but the other one can be manipulated to whenever I want.

  4. I have a separate website, but my designer has added a link so it seamlessly connects to my Blogger blog, and we have coordinated banners, themes, fonts, and color schemes. &

    Someday I may mate the two, but right now, keeping 'em separate works for me.

  5. Currently I use my blog as my website. It works for me at the moment but since I am in the process of writing a book, I am thinking that I may have to reconsider this set up. It's hard though because between the blog/website, the blog's Facebook page, and Twitter, I don't want to spend all my waking hours on social media to the point that I don't have as much time left over for writing.

  6. I do have a blog and love the flexibility of wordpress for it. I find it so much easier to continue to update it then write a novel lol

    What is everyone's preference of static page for welcome or the most recent blog post? I have had mine as the recent blog post for a long time as I believe it's easier for SEO and traffic.

  7. I used to have a boring little website made with premade templates on free space offered to me by my ISP. It was so blah. But it was there. I had my super cool blog with it's cute background and my daily posts. I really enjoy blogging, so it was no big deal. But then Blogger started the whole pages thing and everyone's blogs could now look like websites. So I took down the boring one and had my web address forward to the blog address. At this point, it's all I can afford. I don't have the skills to make something fancy all by myself. The blog has all the info I need and I try to update it at least twice a week.

  8. @TK - Thanks. It works for me for now. And I agree, I don't want a full-page advertisement. I want it to be personal, personable. If/When my novel ever gets published, then I'll set up a different website to promote the book(s).

    @Christine - I hear ya! Some days I feel like I'm updating the blog, sending out Tweets and updating facebook with my column or whatever. When is there time to write? It's a delicate balance. :)

    @Sarah - I like the latest blog post. I see how a landing page may give it a more professional feel - or maybe a more prim/proper feel, depending on the page - but if they see the latest blog post, readers are hit with an immediate writing sample. I think that's important.

    @Stephanie - That's what I like about Wordpress - it's free. I pay $120 / year for web hosting and theme updates. It's about all I can afford, too. I looked into having a local company design and host the site, but the price was pretty steep. Since what I have works for me, I'm keeping on that route! :)

    Thanks for the good discussion, everyone!!


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