Blogging, Writing

What a Blog Makeover Taught Me

Photo by on

After several years of blogging and now transitioning to shorter posts and a monthly newsletter, I thought it was time for a website makeover.

If you’re a new author, most of the marketing advice is to have a website with a home page to display your book or books, a biography, a photo, a blog, and an event/news page.

I had one of the above.

After a few hours of trying to add pages and create a new banner. I became very frustrated. I already know I’m not much of a techie, but this experience had me feeling like the dumbest person to power up a computer.

So, I decided to hire someone to help me because my attempts were too time-consuming, and I’m supposed to be writing.

But, before you hire someone, I suggest you do the following:

  • Create a vision for the website. Decide on a theme, colors, pages, and fonts.
  • Before selecting someone, have a look at their previous work.
  • Define what is essential.
  • Decide how you’ll communicate: email, phone, instant messaging.
  • Agree on the price beforehand
  • Be willing to delete the unessential parts of your blog if needed.

I had a great experience with Sandra Proudman, a fellow writer, and graphic artist.

After a discussion on the points above, we agreed on the vision for the website. Sandra then created banners and pages.

The colors in the header reflect the book cover of THE GARDEN OF SECOND CHANCES, while the hummingbird and flower are symbolic. (I go into more detail in the newsletter).

On my home page, you’ll find the book cover and an area to sign up for the monthly newsletter.

A makeover can be easy if you keep it simple and if you’re good at graphic design. If not, know your limitations and get help. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, energy, and frustration.

Thanks for stopping by!

Blogging, Jane Friedman, newsletter

Newsletters Are the New Blog?

photo by Suzy Hazelwood

This question seems hotly debated (okay, maybe lukewarmly) between online experts like Jane Friedman, Quora, and others. The answer comes down to what’s important to the writer of said blog or newsletter.

For me, I thought I’d try to ease into a monthly newsletter format. I sent out my first newsletter at the end of July. Honestly, it was kind of scary to do so, as are all first times (for me).

An area that was easy and fun to talk about was a June trip to Scotland and Ireland. We had adventures in a tiny stick-shift car driving on the left side of the road. Soon, we returned to the US, and the horrendous news on TV left me deflated.

A newsletter I read helped me re-center myself. The writer had reposted “A Letter to a Young Activist in Troubled Times.

“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.”  

Dr. Clarrissa Pinkola Estés

That quote gave me hope, which I wrote about as a topic in the newsletter. And those are the kinds of subjects that are important to me. How do we cultivate hope and resilience in our life.

I ended with an update about my book with the question: “What Do An Elephant and I Have in Common?”

No hints on the answer. You have to read the newsletter 😉

August’s newsletter arrives on the fourth Saturday of the month. There’ll be another question having to do with Skittles, but you need to sign up for the newsletter.

Sign up above the teal button on the right margin (for laptops). On your mobile device, the sign-up shows at the bottom of the page. Thank you, and I hope to share a bit of time with you via the newsletter.