Friday, February 20, 2015

5 Tips to Update Your Online Real Estate


By Stacy S. Jensen

In the middle of my submission process in January, I began looking at a few ways to update my website and social media sites. I want to make sure my online real estate is in good shape — in every season. You never know when a prospective buyer, er, agent might pop over for a visit.



Here are five areas to review:  
  1. Dust off the welcome mat. You want to welcome guests, so make it easy for them to reach you. How can your visitors say hello or ask a question? Most blog platforms allow you to create a contact form or a page with links to your website or social media accounts. Some people want to Tweet you while others will want to send you an email. Make it easy for them.
  2. Check the foundation. Make sure your content is in the best shape it can be. Is your 'About' page current? Have you won a contest that you mention in a query, but don't list it yet on your website? Does your bio still reflect who you are and what you want visitors to know about you? Does your resource page show resources you use? Don't send a blog visitor to a site you no longer recommend. Social media bios should also be checked for needed tweaks.
  3. Change the furnace filter. Look for ways to update your site. Did you change the copyright notice on your site? Do you have an events calendar on the front page with no upcoming events? Be sure you are current. If you have social media updates streaming to your website, are you active on those sites? If you haven't tweeted in six months, remove that "live feed" now.
  4. Shovel the driveway and sidewalks. Make sure your site is easy for visitors to access. Does your domain name still make sense? Perhaps you began your blog as "mountain biking mama," but now you write under your real name. Consider how people know you and make sure they can find you without hiring a private eye. 
  5. Update. You need to use the most updated version of your platform, themes, widgets, and plug-ins available for your site. Also, take time to browse the widgets available for your site. You may discover something new that will make your life easier and your site a better experience for users.

Websites and blogs are part of a writer's portfolio now. Just like you revise your manuscript, you need to do the same with your online presence.
What have you updated on your site recently? Was it a quick fix?


About the Author: Stacy S.Jensen worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for two decades. Today, she writes picture books and revises a memoir manuscript. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and son.