At a recent networking event, I handed out my business card like candy thrown from a carnival parade (slight exaggeration as it is such a pain to carry a shovel with me everywhere). Naturally, I took all the business cards that were graciously handed to me as well. Instead of shoving those business cards in a drawer somewhere and forgetting about them, I decided to strengthen those in-person connections with social media. What did I discover? It wasn’t as easy to connect as I’d hoped.
Although most of the business cards had email addresses, I didn’t bother with those. I didn’t have a specific enquiry, I just wanted to connect for possible future enquiries (book review requests, author collaboration, etc.). Instead, I went to the websites listed on the cards and discovered several common problems with the websites. Here’s what I discovered wrong with most of those blogs:
No Social Media Links If you have any sort of business in the 21st Century, you need to be on social media – not every single platform but at least one or two. And before you start to argue that being an author isn’t a business, let me just stop you. If you want to sell your books, you are most definitely in business.
Hidden Social Media Links The entire point of social media is to be visible. I don’t want to have to scroll through a menu to find your social media links, which are hidden somewhere on your blog. Personally, I think your social media links should be visible on every single page of your website/blog. I have mine on my main sidebar. My main sidebar is on the right-side of my blog, but you can put it anywhere you want – just put it somewhere!
Difficult Navigation Your menu should be placed in a visible location and be obvious. Personally, I’m not a fan of a menu that is only visible when you click upon it. I don’t always notice those three horizontal lines floating somewhere on the page. Maybe I’m just plain old, but it isn’t obvious to me that it’s a menu!
Unable to share blog posts There’s no point in having a blog – in my humble opinion – if others can’t share your posts. There’s nothing worse than reading an interesting post and wanting to share it but being unable to because there is no option to share or the sharing option doesn’t work.
Blog post share without your tag Sometimes it’s possible to share a blog post but the blog owner is not identified in the share. Make sure your handle is included! Having a tweet end with @wordpressdotcom instead of your twitter handle looks unprofessional.
Pop-ups I know there are tons of marketing advisors out there who insist that you include a pop-up for visitors to sign-up for your newsletter on your blog. I am not a fan. In fact, I think most people are fed up with pop-ups. Maybe this was a good gimmick a year or two ago, but it’s past it’s prime. We are inundated with pop-ups while online. I don’t even read them anymore. Click! Gone!
What other issues have you found on websites/blogs? Let me know.