Is Your Author Website On The Naughty Or Nice List?

by | Author Website Design, Author Websites, Design Tips & Tricks, Search Engine Optimization | 4 comments

Naughty or Nice list

Santa’s making a list and checking it twice—and it may surprise you to learn that author websites are on the list too! (We have insider info from Rudolph about who makes which list.) Wondering if your author website is on the Naughty or Nice List? Read through this collection of the worst and best features we’ve found when reviewing websites. See if your author website has all the best elements wrapped up, or if it deserves a big lump of coal…and a much-needed makeover!

Author Website Naughty List:

  • You don’t include an author bio…which means that visitors are unable to learn more about you.
  • Visitors can’t purchase your book through your author website. You’ll definitely lose sales if readers can’t easily click and buy!
  • Your personal contact information is visible. Here’s why that’s a big no-no!
  • Your website is full of advertisements and pop-ups — which can negatively affect your SEO ranking!
  • You’ve incorporated articles or content from other websites without requesting permission. This will get you on the extra-naughty list!
  • Your author photograph is unflattering, unprofessional, or pixelated. (Check out how to create a flattering headshot.)
  • The font you’ve chosen is difficult to read. Or much too small…or too big.
  • Your author website isn’t mobile-device friendly. Nowadays almost everyone accesses websites on their smartphones and tablets!

Author Website Nice List:

  • You have a unique and informative “About Me” page.
  • Your font choice is clear and easy to read!
  • You’ve effectively incorporated your social media accounts. Cross-promoting is the way to build fans and followers!
  • Your blog is current and up to date. It’s important to post consistently to keep your visitors coming back for more.
  • You’re actively taking care of these 3 daily website chores to keep your plugins, contact page, and social media buttons in tip-top shape.
  • Your website is well designed, engaging, and eye-catching.
  • You know and use all of these tips and tricks to improve your SEO ranking.
  • You’ve chosen the perfect domain name. It’s easy to remember and works with your author branding.

Having an author website that’s filled with features from the Nice List will help ensure you receive the best gift of all—more repeat visitors and dedicated followers!

Whether your website is in need of a few tweaks or a complete overhaul, Web Design Relief can help! If you only need a few updates, we keep any changes consistent with your current site aesthetic. And if you need a new author website, we have design packages to suit every budget. Schedule a consultation call today!

QUESTION: What are some other ways to make sure your author website ends up on the nice list this year?


  1. John Aves

    I don’t have a website yet. In 2016 I will publish a small book of poems (a “Chap Book”) and I would like to have a website to promote sales.

    • Jo Carter

      Start straight away to gain readership. I’ve written two books, one is still first draft and one is (hopefully) a few revisions away from seeking an agent but I’m active on social media and on my website. It’s never too early to start and in my thoughts the earlier the better as creating an audience of dedicated followers is a marathon not a sprint. Goodluck and congratulations on the book of poems!

  2. Chuck Mistretta

    Thank you for the tips. I have been posting for the last twenty years and stumbled upon what works and what’s a real no-no. When deviation from the rules becomes necessary, its usually for a reason. Mine is a not for profit blog. It has minimal exposure internationally. I would like to increase the viewers of my photos and sometimes poetry/comentary.

    A few extra tips: 1) consistancy, no surprises or fancey eye-work 2) Of course have something to say without alienating to many potential readers 3) Bringing to light the woes of the world without causing reader cringe 4) Humor is a must when done for good reason, 5) the list goes on – you won’t attract the paying people no matter how helpful you are unless writers/publishers earn a living at writing.

    Merry Christmas
    Chuck Mistretta

  3. Jo Carter

    Make sure your website has a search bar! The navigation may be clear to you, but not to the reader. Test all your links once you’ve uploaded them, and get a few friends to sign up to your emailing/blog subscribe links to test they are working (and of course telling them they are welcome to unsubscribe 🙂 ).


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