Is It Time For a Makeover?

Monday, May 27, 2019
There are times, Dear Writer, that we need more than just a toss of dead links on a website; we need a major makeover. Because there are times when subtle (and sometimes, not so subtle) things change in our writing life.

And when I say we, I of course mean me. I needed a makeover in the worst way and in one of those moments of clarity (that for reasons unknown always seem to occur in the shower), I knew I had to tackle that makeover before June arrived. So how did I know? I came up with these signs that smacked me upside the head while rinsing my hair:

Twitter, the Before
Invalid Important Information

So you have a link to an article that’s no longer available. That’s not a big deal; we all have a few links that go nowhere. But if you have a book and the link for purchasers to buy your book is not working, then that’s a big deal. And maybe something like that is an easy fix and won’t require an all-out makeover. But it does require fixing in the most thorough way possible.

I can’t tell you what’s important as far as your specific writing career goes, but I can tell you that generally, anything finance-related is going to be a necessary fix. Agent information is pretty important and contact information is, too. And if you’ve changed your entire writing career from say, romance author to nonfiction children’s writer, and haven’t quite got round to updating your website, then stop reading right now and start that makeover.

Obviously Outdated

Twitter, After...Yeah, these would be the subtle changes.

Is your website tagline something everyone said in 1989? Do you have a color scheme that screams avocado appliances? Do you think your photos are cool vintage (when they’re really just black and white)?

We don’t stay the same year after year, and yet, we’re perfectly okay with a website that we created a decade ago. And if you’re a celebrity writer, you can probably get away with that. But if you’re not a celebrity, then you might want to take a long, hard look at your online presence and get with the 2019 program.

Make sure that your photo looks like you. I know you spent a lot of money on those professional head shots, but if you are making appearances and you show up to an event and the organizer doesn’t recognize you? Get new photos.

Scrutinize the message your online presence is sending and make sure that’s the message you still want to send. Maybe when you first started out, you highlighted your humorous side and so naturally, there are quips and funny pics on your website. But maybe now, you’re an inspirational writer who focuses on loss and grief and do you really want a clown dancing next to a funereal floral arrangement? The point is, your website needs to reflect who you are now.

So take a look at yourself, Writer. Maybe you need to make some subtle (or not so subtle changes) at your online home. And now that my hair is dry, I really should get to work on my makeover!

~Cathy C. Hall (who's still working on the not-so-subtle website changes)

Before I go, a not-so-subtle message to all the veterans, those who've gone long before and those who've come after: Thank you for serving! I am so grateful to live with the freedoms I have but on this Memorial Day, I remember that those freedoms came with a price. May you always know how much your sacrifice is and was appreciated!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Cathy--This post is certainly aimed at me. I've thought about changing my blog and setting up a website, I've even set up some but have never finalized them.

Perhaps your post will nudge me into finally doing something...

Cathy C. Hall said...

Go for it, Sioux! You're an interesting woman and writer--let your online presence show that!

Janice Hopkins said...

Thank you Cathy Hall for motivation. R

Renee Roberson said...

Ah, yes. I was poking around my website a few days ago and lamenting on how it needs refreshing. Whenever I log on and try to make the littlest changes I always end up frustrated two hours later. I'm about at the point where I want to spend the extra money to get some professional help! It's also time for a new headshot, since mine is now five years old. How did that happen?

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