Standing out as an author in a very crowded market has never been more important than as it is today, so, along with a great book cover design, what else should you use to capture the eye and imagination of your potential reader?
For most authors, the first place to self-promote a book will be through social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great channels to reach large audiences and they all have marketing options which you can tailor specifically for your own budget.
But you will need great content to engage with your readers, content that encourages them to show interest in you as an author (and of course, interest in your book). However, you still need to have a balance of advertising and just engagement, nobody likes being sold at with a stream of non-stop ads, so make sure you also post things that have value and interest to your followers.
Getting back to the advertising, you should be using a consistent brand across your platforms (both online and off), the banner for your Facebook page should look like the one on your Linked-in or Twitter page (you wouldn’t expect Steven King’s social media pages to look different to each other as his publishers know the importance of consistency in branding/advertising).
So, being consistent is important in maintaining your level of professionalism for the way you present your brand to your readers. Now I know that some authors will think to themselves, ‘well, I’m an author, not a brand, why should I worry about this?’ And this is a fair point, however, the most successful authors run the publishing of their book/s like a small business, if you want your book to reach as many readers as possible, you need to level up your way of thinking with regards to self-promotion and branding.
One of the first basic promotional designs that you will need are 3D mockups of your book, these are great in giving a more tangible image of your work and they are easy to share through social media, your website and/or blog.
Banners are the next designs you should have in your advertising tool kit, you can have them for the top of your social media pages, your website, and your blog, again, they give consistency and an opportunity to professionally promote your book.
Promotional posts designed for Instagram, as they tend to be square in layout you should place the important elements within a square template (if you just upload your book’s front page you may have the top and bottom of the image cut off).
You should also look at posting videos and promotional GIFs which will give your book an additional edge. Book trailers can be expensive to make, but GIFs are a little more cost effective for most authors and still work wonders in promotion.
Hopefully in the not to distant future we will get back to having book fairs, signing events and author’s expo’s, at this point you will want to consider getting roller banners, flyers, business cards, post cards and bookmarks.
Sometimes when you find your motivation lacking, it can be a great boost to listen to the greats, those who stood up to challenges and overcame when the world said they would fail.
So, here are 30 of our favorite quotes (from authors and other notable people), please let us know which is your favorite and if we missed a classic which has helped to motivate you.
“Everything is hard before it is easy." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"We are all broken, that's how the light gets in." --Ernest Hemingway
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” --Mark Twain
"Never look back unless you are planning to go that way." --Henry David Thoreau
"Sooner or later even the fastest runners have to stand and fight." --Stephen King
"I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it." —Maya Angelou
"As you start to walk on the way, the way appears." —Rumi
"Things usually work out in the end." "What if they don't?" "That just means you haven't come to the end yet." —Jeanette Walls
"Straight roads do not make skillful drivers." --P. Coelho
"To avoid criticism: say nothing, do nothing, be nothing." --Aristotle
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” --Mark Twain
“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”-- Mark Caine
“The Best Way To Get Started Is To Quit Talking And Begin Doing.” -- Walt Disney
“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” --Herbert Bayard Swope
"If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission." --Anonymous
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure… but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” --Francis Chan
"If you're going through hell keep going." --Winston Churchill
“If You Are Working On Something That You Really Care About, You Don’t Have To Be Pushed. The Vision Pulls You.” --Steve Jobs
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” --Thomas A. Edison
“Success is just a war of attrition. Sure, there’s an element of talent you should probably possess. But if you just stick around long enough, eventually something is going to happen.” --Dax Shepard
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” --Harriet Tubman
“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” --George S. Patton
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” --Aristotle Onassis
“It is only when we take chances, when our lives improve. The initial and the most difficult risk that we need to take is to become honest. --Walter Anderson
"No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist." --Anonymous
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” --John D. Rockefeller
“We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” --Aristotle
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” --Oprah Winfrey
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all.” --Dale Carnegie
“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” --Pablo Picasso
Guest post by Angela Baker
For some reason, we distinguish “professional” writers from authors. They seem to be categorized as those who earn money writing anything other than books – blog posts, website content, business reports, and plans, etc., grants, journal and news articles and editorials, marketing content and ads (including video scripts), and more.
What most “professionals” do not write are novels. So, it almost seems contra-indicative to claim that professional writers can actually boost their talents and skills by reading fiction – a genre that seems to have nothing to do with their careers.
Yet, if you bear with this writer, you will see 7 powerful benefits for professional writers who read fiction.
1. Reading Improves Focus
If you can get “into” a good novel, you stay focused on the story, the characters, even the setting. In fact, some novels are so captivating that readers remain captivated for long periods of time, even to the point of pulling “all-nighters.” There is some “brain training” going on here.
When your brain practices this type of focus, you may find that when you face deadlines and need maximum focus, it may come a bit easier. Harvard Business Review published an article speaking to the fact that the brain can be trained to ignore distractions with practice.
2. Reading Fiction Gives the Brain a “Rest”
Professional writers tend to do the same type of writing all the time. Copywriters produce content for websites, blog posts, and other marketing avenues; freelance academic researchers, writers, and editors for RushEssay produce high quality essays, academic papers, and such for students in need; business writers craft reports, proposals, memos, handbooks, and letters. It is easy to experience burnout when only one type of research, reading, and writing consumes a person’s day. Picking up a novel and reading for pleasure can reduce the stress and burnout of work-related writing tasks.
3. Reading Fiction Can Improve Vocabulary
The vocabulary of fiction writing can be quite different from that of professional writing. Those who craft the same type of writing every day tend to use the same range of vocabulary. When they read a lot of fiction, however, they come across vocabulary that they may well know but have “forgotten.” There may be ways that they can use these forgotten words in their own professional writing, setting what they produce apart from that of other similar writers, perhaps competitors.
4. Reading Fiction Will Expose Professionals to Different Writing Styles
While each type of professional writing tends to have a certain style, fiction writing does not. There are huge differences among the styles of Spielberg, Grisham, Patterson, Kidd, and others. As professional writers read a variety of styles, they may see how they can incorporate some of those stylistic forms into their writing, to provide a different “voice.” In fact, it may help a professional writer develop his own improved unique style. There is plenty of research that speaks to the fact that the more people read, the better writers they become.
5. Reading Fiction Provides Insights Into Human Experiences, Conflicts, and Psychology
For professional writers whose work may involve persuasion and/or developing relationships with stakeholders, potential customers, funders/investors, etc., the interactions among fictional characters can provide insights into the human psyche. These include behavioral motivations, cultural values and principles, conflicts, thought processes, and more.
6. Reading Fiction Promotes Cognitive Agility and Acuity
Let’s define these terms.
In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, author Christine Seifert reviews the results of a study that incorporated the reading of fiction by small groups in a corporate setting. The readers then discussed what they had read among themselves. Conclusions of this study pointed to enhancing the brain’s ability to develop more cognitive ability and acuity – picking up informational cues when presented with a story and resisting the need to be so rigid in their thinking. They come to understand that there are very few absolutes and become more creative and thoughtful, as well as more accepting of a variety of viewpoints. According to the study, employee productivity, teamwork, and collaboration improved.
Professional writers need these cognitive skills, as they look at their audiences and the variety within them. It allows them to relate to those with whom they may not share the same values and principles.
7. Reading Fiction Enhances Storytelling Ability
Fictional authors weave stories. And good fictional authors understand their audiences and tell stories that resonate. Their loyal readers always come back for more, each time there is a new short story or novel published.
Professional writers, especially content marketers, would love to garner this type of loyalty for their brands. And storytelling has become a significant part of content marketing for that reason. It builds brand awareness and evokes human emotions. The overall purpose of storytelling is to make a stronger connection with a company’s audience and to build loyalty, not unlike what fiction authors do. And it is definitely an art. Reading fiction allows a cognitive absorption of that art.
In academic writing, an author needs to engage and compel their reading audience. Much of this is done via a title and then the introduction. One of the most compelling methods to begin an essay or paper is with an anecdote – a short story that relates to the topic of the piece.
Reading fiction enhances a professional writer’s understanding of good storytelling, and he can take that understanding into his work.
Professional writers are focused on a specific niche of writing. And it is often quite narrow. Business writers do not often venture out into content marketing; content marketers do not venture into resume writing; grant writers do not consider creative product description work.
There are also some things that all of these writers have in common:
Consider, as an example, the work of a grant writer – often considered a very “dry” type of writing. Yet, that grant writer has an audience to persuade. In addition to providing research data to “prove” his case, he also has to appeal to the emotions of his audience. This may best be presented through real-life stories, carefully constructed to put a “human face” on the need for funding to achieve certain goals. At the same time, this grant writer can experience burnout. Taking mental breaks to read fiction, allows the brain to “rest.”
These seven benefits of fiction reading for professional writers cannot be denied. All professional writers should take a look at their reading habits and incorporate preferred fiction genres into them.
If you haven’t yet heard, Amazon have just launched their new service for authors called Kindle Vella, this new service is currently available to authors in the US and allows you to publish books as one short episode at a time via the Kindle app.
So how does it work?
Your readers will be able to read the first few episodes of your book for free and after this they’ll buy tokens to unlock the other episodes, the number of tokens needed to unlock an episode is deemed by the word count of the story (the more words, the more tokens needed to unlock). Kindle will sell tokens as packs, so your readers can use them as and when they need to.
Royalties are 50% of what the read spends on the tokens to unlock your episode.
Kindle Vella is making it easier for interactions, readers can follow stories they’re interested in, ‘crown’ a favorite story (this will get featured in the Vella store), they can also give your story a ‘thumbs up’ and authors can add ‘notes’ to give additional insights and thoughts around the story.
The format is aimed at being a serial reading experience, so, your Kindle Vella stories cannot be incorporated into a long format version (you can’t turn it into a book without unpublishing it from Kindle Vella). Also, you can’t turn an existing book into a serial format – even if you have unpublished the book.
You can access the Kindle Vella service through your existing KDP account, from the account’s ‘bookshelf’ you’ll see the link to go to Kindle Vella, from here you’ll see a very easy to follow set up page, you’ll add your title, name, story image (this has to be 1600x1600 pixels, either as a TIFF or JPEG and without and text upon it), select the relevant category for your story and add tags (to help people find it easier).
Uploading your story can be done using either DOC or DOCX formats, you can even write the episode on the set-up page itself, formatting itself is a little basic, you are limited to just bold, italics and underlines, there is also a limit on word count too, the range is currently stories between 600-5000 words only (but again, this is meant for you to publish books as short episodes and one at a time.
To see more, check out the Kindle Vella page and also view Amazon’s short video explaining the service further.
Let us know what you think about Vella and will you be using it in the comment section below.
If you’re looking for inspiration as an author, sometimes reading the thoughts of those who have already had a taste of success or have a wealth of experience can really help. Many of these people also like to share their knowledge (which is great for everyone) and do so on a regular basis via their blogs.
But which blogs should you take a look at? I mean, blogs are not exactly a new thing, so your choice can be a little overwhelming.
Here are our five favorite blogs that we think you should (as an author) take a look at, and if there’s one we missed which you think is amazing, just let us know in the comment section below.
One – Jane Friedman
Jane has over twenty years of experience working within the publishing industry, she’s won numerous awards for her blog and newsletter, she’s a published author and is also a professor through the Great Courses Website. Her blog covers every aspect of publishing and is a great place to go if you’re trying to make sense of publishing your own book.
Two – The Creative Penn
This is the blog by the award-winning author Joanna Penn, she runs her own press (named Curl Up Press) along with self-publishing over 30 books in both fiction and non-fiction. She offers course for authors along with lots of practical advice for indie authors.
Three – The Write Life
Founded in 2013, this site and blog offer a wealth of information and resources to authors looking to start their publishing journey. Their goal is to help writers make more money from writing and have contributions for successful authors who are doing just that. For inspiration, this is a great blog.
Four – Daily Writing Tips
Run by a team of very talented and qualified writers, this site and blog publishes new articles each day which aim to improve the skill set of any author or writer. They have categories for business, fiction, general, grammar, punctuation, misused words and so much more, their site is definitely worth bookmarking.
Five – Goins Writer
An award-winning blog from the best-selling author Jeff Goins, this blog is followed and read daily by countless authors and for good reason. He covers all of the topics that an indie author needs to understand and does so from a position of experience and success.
Please let us know if there is another author's blog that you love.
As an author it can sometimes feel very lonely, you’ve great ideas for a book, you’ve either finished writing it or are in the process, but where do you look for some advice when you need it?
Well, there are other successful authors who have been where you are, and through their experience, you can gain insight into what you should (and importantly) what you shouldn’t do to be a successful author.
Here are our top ten recommendations for books that (as an author) you should consider reading, and hey, if you have a book you think should be added to the list, let us know in the comment section below.
One - Start Writing Your Book Today, By Morgan Gist Macdonald
Published in 2015, this book is highly recommended by it’s readers and has helped countless authors over the past few years. It gives a step-by-step guide that will walk you through writing a book from start to finish.
Two – How to Market a book, By Joanna Penn
The current third edition was published in 2017, Joanna Penn is a well established and best selling author in her own right, along with being a successful writer, she hosts a podcast for authors and also a great website at creativepenn. This specific book is aimed at authors who want to sell more books and look at their writing as a career.
Three – The Occupation Thesaurus, By Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglist
Published in July 2020, this book gives you so much information on both popular and unusual jobs, along with detailed conflict scenarios (for your character’s chosen occupation), help on using their careers to further your book’s plot line. This unique book is a must for those who want attention to detail when writing about a character’s career that they may not know everything about.
Four - Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents, 28th edition
Published in 2018 (updated in 2019), this is a very popular title and details how to get your book edited so that it’s publisher-ready, it also shows how to successfully pitch it to a publishing house, this along with details of contact information for 245 publishers and imprints makes it a good read for most authors.
Five – The Psychology Work Book For Writers, By Darian Smith
Published in 2015 by best selling writer Darian Smith, this book utilizes his degree in psychology and experience over the past decade into a workbook which will help you create more detailed characters.
Six – Creating Character Arcs, By K.M. Weiland
Published in 2016 and has proven to be an incredibly popular book which is loved by its readers. This award winning and highly experienced author gives you the details you’ll need in order to create the right arc for each character within your book, it shows you how to avoid the common pitfalls and how to use overarching arcs to create series of books with the same character.
Seven – How to Market a Book, By Ricardo Fayet
Published in 2021, this new book offers a step-by-step framework of strategies aimed at successfully marketing your book to an audience. Written by the successful co-founder of Reedsy (who boasts of helping over 150,000 authors become successful in their marketing), this book is currently free on Kindle and well worth a look.
Eight – The 8-Minute Writing Habit, By Monica Leonelle
Published in December 2020, this book shares the top strategies that authors are using in order to write each and every day. Aimed at those who are struggling to fit their writing aspirations into an already busy day, this book helps to give you the tools and motivation to get on and write that book.
Nine – BookBub Ads Expert, By David Gaughran
Published in 2019, this book looks at one of the most powerful tools authors use to promote their books, BookBub. This book gives you the details on how to create images and ads which look attractive and work within the platform’s parameters, manage your bids for ads effectively, help to boost the discovery of your book and much more.
Ten – Project Management for Authors, By Terry Stafford
Soon to be published by the highly successful and award winning author Terry Stafford, this great new book gives the reader the tools to be able to effectively plan and execute your project from the very beginning of writing the book to editing, formatting, design, publishing and marketing.
For many authors Ingram Spark is their first choice when considering a print on demand service, their finished product always tends to be high quality and they offer very expansive distribution of author’s books. Each time we receive a completed book from Ingram we’re always impressed with how it’s been finished (especially when you compare it to some of the other more popular POD providers).
The design and exporting process however is a little different to many other publishers, but it’s still pretty straightforward all the same, the main things that you’ll need to consider is in using one of their excellent templates and ensuring that the ink levels are adjusted to meet their stands of 240%.
To get a template for your own book you will need to go to Ingram’s Cover Template Generator, here you’ll add the details for your book (you will need your ISBN), selecting either and InDesign file, IDML or PDF (we tend to use InDesign and the PDF) and then click on the submit button, it will then send you a template direct to your Inbox.
These templates are very useful as you can build your book cover design on top of them, this ensures that everything stays within their safe areas and margins.
Once you have your book cover created and placed within the layout of the template, you will need to check that the ink levels of your design, this you can check by going to Window > Output > Separations Preview, next, in the drop down box select Ink Limit and change the % to 240%, if any area is in red you need to adjust the source file for the art work (or elements within InDesign).
If you are changing your source file/artwork in Photoshop, make sure you have a separate copy of the file saved, as you can lose the layers if adjusting the ink levels.
To adjust the levels go to Edit > Convert to profile > change the Destination Space Profile to ‘Custom CMYK’ than change the Total Ink Limit to 238% (just go slightly under 240%), click on ‘ok’ and save the file separately.
Go back to InDesign and relink your embedded file using the new version of your artwork which has just had the ink adjusted, now go back to the Separations Previewer and check again, you should find that the red areas have disappeared and all areas are in black and white (meaning the levels are fine).
Now you can export as a PDF, this is very straightforward with Ingram as they want the PDF exported using the preset definitions for [PDF/X-1a:2001], so select this and hit export.
You should now have a PDF which is ready to use with Ingram Spark, if you would like any help with this, we have created countless book covers for Ingram, get in touch with us today for further details.
Guest post from Angela Baker
Writing is a beautiful creative process that can have a beneficial effect on our mental health and inner peace. It can help us find a connection between our mind and our emotions and establish a balance that we all need. This is because writing can shape thinking. But, what does that mean?
There are impressive ways in which writing shapes our thinking and can help us reach depths we didn't even know existed. If you want to learn more, just keep reading. Here's how writing positively influences your thinking and helps you grow.
1. Helps You Relax
When we're under stress or there's a tension of any kind, we can't really cope with our emotions or our thoughts. Feeling stressed out is a major distraction that makes it impossible for us to calm down.
But, writing can help you relax and regain your peace. Here's how.
When you're stressed, and you take a piece of paper and a pen, here's what you're doing:
2. Helps You Find Focus
Finding focus and clearing our minds from various distractions can be tricky. With the fast pace of life and so many things happening in a single day, it's almost impossible to concentrate and deal with your thoughts freely.
But, when you decide to write down your thoughts, it all takes on a different perspective.
The truth is, writing helps you find focus because:
You should also consider retreating to peaceful places from time to time, and spend more time writing, eating healthy, listening to music, and spending time with friends. You could go camping or spend a day by the water. It will help you further improve your focus.
Finding focus is easier when you’re writing things down. You manage to remove all the distractions, aim your mind to a single idea, and process it peacefully.
3. Helps You Plan
Planning and setting future goals is a great way to help yourself to achieve more and be more productive. When you’re just planning things but not keeping them in writing, it’s easy to forget, skip, or ignore your plans.
But, writing them down is a whole other thing.
That's why you should always:
This way, you're empowering yourself to push through and continue dreaming big. Writing this down helps you shape your thinking and create a positive mindset about achieving greatness.
4. Helps You Learn About Yourself
Writing an emotions journal is a great way to learn something new about yourself and invest extra effort into growing on a personal level. This is yet another great way in which writing shapes thinking.
When you're talking to a friend, you're never 100% honest about how you feel or what you're thinking. There's always a filter for your thoughts and emotions that you use before presenting any of it to another person.
But, when you're talking to yourself, you need to be completely honest. And, writing can help you do it:
Over time, you'll be able to look back at your previous entries. You'll see how you felt, what you thought, and what you did. You'll also learn about your triggers.
This way, you'll be getting to know yourself better, and that is truly valuable and unique.
5. Expresses Your Creativity
As we’ve already mentioned, writing is a creative process. People often believe that they’re “not creative enough” to be artistic and create art. But, we need to beg to differ.
We're all creative in our own ways. We just need to learn how to express that creativity.
So, if you're interested in writing for an audience, just sit down and try it. It might take some time before you find your style and learn how to handle words, but who knows what might happen.
You might even end up publishing a book. And, in case you need a design cover service, make sure to check out JD&J book cover design services.
6. Boosts Your Confidence
Self-love and confidence and more important than you might think. Loving yourself is the primary precondition for having a happy and balanced life.
But, self-love and confidence do not come overnight. It takes practice, effort, and determination to build it.
Luckily, writing can help you shape your thoughts and build the self-love and confidence that you need. You can do it in many ways:
Through writing, you'll be able to reveal your hidden talents, bond with yourself, and be your own biggest support.
7. Teaches Your to Persevere
There’s one final benefit of writing regularly, and that is teaching yourself the importance of discipline and perseverance. When writing becomes a regular habit, you’ll soon notice:
That means that writing will help you understand that you can do anything when you're determined. You could even start blogging, writing articles, and sharing your writing with others. If you do, Get Good Grade can help you polish your writing at first. You can also use Pixabay or Canva to add visuals to the mixture.
Writing is one of the best hobbies you can take on to build your inner peace and shape your thinking. Positive thinking and a forward-looking attitude can take you a long way.
The tips and examples provided above will hopefully help you realize the true power of writing, whether you’re doing it just for yourself in a journal or you’re writing to share with others.
People make more than 3.5 billion Google searches every day. If you’re going to rank highly enough for potential visitors to find your content, then you need to play by the rules of Google. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure you are optimizing all your content for SEO.
Use A Program That Integrates With Google Analytics To Track Metrics
The best way to start improving your SEO for 2021 is to better understand Google Analytics. Google Analytics is an invaluable tool for understanding your website, so you can data-based decisions. Metrics will help you to understand how you are ranking, and who your audience is, so you can create better content for them.
Identify Low-Performing Pages And Refresh Them With New Content People Want To Read
Content marketers who develop content that ranks highly have one big thing in common: they deliver engaging content topics to their audience. Successful content marketers follow trends to brainstorm content ideas, so you are likely to have to revisit low-performing content to improve it and keep it relevant. You can also hire AAM Consultants to improve your website’s content.
Ensure Your Content Is Created Around A Primary Keyword And Secondary Keywords
Researching keywords for your content will help to develop the framework of the piece. It will also help you understand what your audience wants to read. Understanding the keywords that work best with your target audience and content will help you to build a content strategy that optimizes SEO.
Writing for Google needs a balance between keywords and everyday language
our content should be written in a way that flows naturally. Your keywords should come up naturally in your content, so you don’t have to stuff your content. An easy way to do this is to identify related keywords to your primary keyword.
Diversify Your Backlink Portfolio
Even if you follow all of the guidance for on-page SEO, this won’t guarantee you’ll get onto the front page of Google. A large part of SEO deals with backlinks and whether or not you get backlinks from high-authority sites.
Backlink diversity has two sources:
Use Effective Header Tags To Target Google Featured Snippets
When you develop your content, be mindful about you structure the content on the page. Every page ought to have content organized logically, with the most information at the top of the page. Readers spend most of their time looking at the content at the top of the page.
To get the most out of your keywords that you’re targeting, add jump links to the top of your page. This makes a more enjoyable user experience and lets your use headers tags in more creative ways to try to get Google Featured Snippets.
Remember To Optimize Images
Image optimization is often overlooked for boosting SEO. When you do it properly, it can drive a lot of traffic to your website. There are lots of benefits to using visual content:
Visual content can leverage better SEO. Image optimization will help your content to rank higher on Google Image Search and improve your site’s visibility.
Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
A huge proportion of Google searches come from mobile devices. This means it’s important to ensure that your website is optimized for them. Google rewards websites that are optimized for mobile.
Use Clean URLs and Meta Descriptions
Your URL and meta description are important factors for helping Google to understand your content. There is no hard and fast rule about the length of either of these things, but you should make them both as clean and concise as you can, and include your target keywords.
Decrease Load Times On Top-Performing Pages
Slow loading times are one of the main causes of a high bounce rate. Speed equals revenue, which means that slow load times increase the likelihood that your site visitors will leave your web page. Your SEO ranking depends on your website speed.
An auditing tool can help you to gain an understanding of your website’s speed. Use these tools to learn what might be slowing your site down, and how you can address that. It can also scan for common SEO mistakes so that you can improve your website content for an SEO boost.
Continually Learn From Your Analytics
Track your website’s performance to better understand what works and what doesn’t for your audience. This means you can create more content with what they like in mind. There are several metrics that you can focus on and see how to improve. These are some of the metrics you should consider tracking most closely:
The beginning of a new year will always fill people with ideas of change and motivation to achieve their goals, but several weeks in and it is easy to slip back into the old ‘comfortable’ way of doing things, before you know it, the goals are a distant thought and it’s ‘business as usual’, which is not great for you or your goals.
But you may be asking yourself ‘I don’t have many goals set, I just want to publish my book or lose weight or get that promotion’, whatever the goal is (and as you’re reading a blog which is heavily based around books and publishing, I’m assuming its about working on your book), you should take some time to refocus and plan out how you’ll achieve hitting or even setting your target for 2021.
The good news is that setting targets and goals is easy to do, you just need to be specific and realistic about it. If you look at the world of business, goals are set as S.M.A.R.T goals, meaning that they are:
Specific – This sounds obvious but so many people are vague when it comes to setting a goal, saying you want to write a book in 2021 is a little wishy-washy, setting a goal of writing a book on fishing on the Florida coast, with a word count of 75,000, begins to be more specific and leads on to the next part of a SMART objective.
Measured – Ask yourself, how will I know once I have achieved this goal? You need to have something to measure the achievement with, your goal could be to write your book with a minimum word count of 75,000 words, have it edited, proofread, formatted and a book cover designed. Giving yourself tangible targets that can be measured (after all, you either do them or you don’t) helps you to understand what the specific outcome of your goal will look like. If you don’t know what your outcome/target looks like, you will miss it.
Achievable – This is so important, many people make wild assumptions about how much time and effort they can dedicate to their goal, they work like crazy for the first couple of months and then burn out (the goal is missed, and they go back to their old ways). If you have a goal of 75,000 words break it down into manageable chunks, if you can write just 100 words a day, stick to this.
Realistic – Similar to the achievable aspect of a SMART goal, you should look at making your goals realistic (but challenging) for yourself. For example, if you went to the gym for the first time and decided by the end of week one you want to be benching 500bls, you would leave the gym injured and disillusioned. You would give yourself a more realistic goal at first and lead up to those bigger weights, keeping motivated and free of injuries. The same goes for your goal, make it realistic but still challenging.
Timed – You must set yourself a timeframe, without one your goal becomes undeliverable, it could be to achieve the first draft of your book to a minimum of 75,000 words in 12 months, you need that end date so that you can hold yourself accountable for the goal itself.
SMART goals are used by many successful people within every area of both business and the creative industry, they make your targets clear, hold you accountable for them and help you to set a specific path in achieving each one.
It’s also good to share your goal with someone you trust and review your progress on a regular basis, this is really important if you have a goal which is set over the next 12 months. Taking time to review where you are every month ensures that you can adjust your performance towards the goal as you go (you don’t want to get to the end of the timeframe only to miss it because you should have adjusted something six months prior).
Whatever the specifics of your own goal may be, using a SMART approach to it will certainly increase the chances of your success and will build a greater process for your future projects too.
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