Normally, I give writing tips on Wednesday, but instead, I’m looking at two websites that totally rock by two novelists who make me all weak-kneed. Seriously, I don’t know them. I wish I know them, but I feel like I do.
Why is this?
Because of their made-of-awesome websites.
Both Meg Cabot and Chuck Wendig have websites that make you feel like you know them; like they’re your friend. Sure, Meg’s home page is full of links to buy the books and things like that, but it’s her personality and energy that comes through everywhere.
You look at her website and think she’s saying:
Hi, I’m Meg Cabot! I am beautiful, brilliant, and fun to hang out with. Don’t I look like someone you want to go to a football game with and complain about the cold while simultaneously scoping the world for hotties?
On Meg’s site she’s clean lines everywhere. She gossips. She’s had contests. She talks about her kitties. I am emotionally invested in her kitties. This is sad, but it’s true.
She updates her blog monthly. She (or some web guru person) updates her site. AND IT ALL WORKS!
Why does it work?
Because she’s got the Meg Cabot brand going down: Funny, Kind, Kitty-loving, Occasionally Snarky in a Best Friend Whispering at a Slumber Party Kind of Way. She rocks it.
And I think a lot of it has to do with her blog.
Chuck Wendig? Same thing, only it’s not about cats. It’s about snark and writing advice given in a snarky way.
It makes you think:
This man is a terrible mind (the name of his blog), but he’s pretty damn unafraid and it would be cool to be that unafraid.
Chuck’s blog changes often and gives funny glimpses into his life and often has really powerful discussion about the writing craft and industry. His wit and intelligence and passion always come through. That’s the Chuck Wendig brand, plus occasional swearing.
So, what does this mean for the rest of us? It means that we need to think about our blogs and our websites and how we brand ourselves to the people out there.
Tips on Creating a Web Presence Before You’ve Actually Sold a Book or After… 🙂
1. Write a blog.
2. Do not tell your mother about your blog so that you can actually blog about fun things. My mother reads my blog. This is not good.
3. Do not think that blog is a good place to talk about your marriage failing or your medical problems unless you can do that in a way that is really poignant or really funny.
4. Do not talk about your mother on your blog if she reads your blog. Have I said this already? It’s an important point. Believe me.
5. To build a community you should comment on other people’s blogs and say NICE things, Do not say, “You are a stupid idiot and nobody cares about your toe nails. STOP WHINING ALREADY.” This does not win friends and fans.
6. Create a website.
7. Have that website be MORE than just your bio and a list of your books. Update it often. Create the public persona you want to create. Do you want to be M.T. Anderson brilliant? Neurotic like me, Carrie Jones? Sexy? Witty? Sweet?
8. Have your blog be part of your website so that the information is constantly changing.
9. Be kind to the people reading your things especially if they email you or comment. Unless you are super famous and can’t keep up, do NOT ignore people’s emails and comments.
10. Be honest and stick to the web persona you are. If you are always snarky people expect snarky. If you are always funny people will expect funny. Do not suddenly talk about Dafur if you usually only talk about toenails and Supernatural. You can do both, but you want to be a little consistent even in your inconsistencies.
11. It’s okay to celebrate good book news but don’t be a big bragger head. I absolutely ignore one of my friend’s blogs because she does this ALL THE TIME. And that is all she does. She’s great in person but on the net she drives me nuts.
12. Remember you are a writer and you are also a person. Use the best parts of you as both writer and person to create your blog and your websites.
13. Don’t be afraid to be a dork
14. Tweet or Gram or Facebook post and remember the rules apply there, too. Be mutual and reciprocate people’s kindness.
WRITING AND OTHER NEWS
IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, PREORDER NOW!
My next book, IN THE WOODS, appears in July with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!
You can preorder this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?
HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON
On February first, I launched my Patreon site where I’m reading chapters (in order) of a never-published teen fantasy novel, releasing deleted scenes and art from some of my more popular books. And so much more. Come hang out with me! Get cool things!
WHAT IS PATREON?
A lot of you might be new to Patreon and not get how it works. That’s totally cool. New things can be scary, but there’s a cool primer HERE that explains how it works. The short of it is this: You give Patreon your paypal or credit card # and they charge you whatever you level you choose at the end of each month. That money supports me sharing my writing and art and podcasts and weirdness with you.
HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED
Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!
BE A PART OF THE PODCAST!
Hey! If you download the Anchor application, you can call into the podcast, record a question, or just say ‘hi,’ and we’ll answer. You can be heard on our podcast! Sa-sweet!
No question is too wild. But just like Shaun does, try not to swear, okay?
Here is the link to the mobile app. Our latest episode is above. It’s also on YouTube here.