Redesigning My Writing Site – 2013

What does your writing website need? It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times over the years and each time I get a new answer (because I always do), I change something else.

4335794366 9223375502 Redesigning My Writing Site   2013But for the latest change, the impetus was a web critique I won from my pal and marketer extraordinaire Tea Silvestre, the Word Chef. She highlighted a couple of tweaks that would make my site, sharonhh.com even better. Trying to implement one of those – a bigger header image – made me realize that my old theme, much as I loved it, wasn’t quite flexible enough. That meant it had to go. I replaced it with the Balance theme that I use on Get Paid to Write Online, but with a completely different layout.

Since I had to make changes anyway, it was a good time to consider what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to discard. My old theme had some definite keepers, like:

  • a welcome message
  • a list of specialties
  • my photo to help clients connect with me

But the new theme would give me the chance to add a couple more things I felt were missing, like:

  • some images to go with those specialties
  • testimonials right on the front page and every page
  • the latest updates from my blog

Once I’d made my plan, I tweaked and twiddled till I got something that worked. See what you think.

But it’s not finished yet. You see, when you’re a writer, you always have new stuff you want to show off:

  • your latest client article
  • a new testimonial
  • a new service you’re offering

I use the on-site blog to showcase a lot of that, but I’ve also realized that my list of blogging credits is far too long for the average prospective client to want to scroll through it. So there are still a few more things I want to add:

  • a new page featuring what I consider to be my best work (the current list of clips will become a sub-page of that)
  • a sidebar image with logos from some of the sites where my work is published
  • more detailed descriptions of the services I want to focus on, along with guide prices

I plan to complete those within the first quarter of the year.

Have you made any changes to your client-facing site this year? If you have, please share what you’ve changed and why in the comments.

Image: Andy Mangold/Flickr

About Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall has been mentoring writers here at Get Paid To Write Online since 2005 to help them improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. Check me out on sharonhh.com. Feel free to connect with me online on Google+.

Comments

  1. It looks great. I’m thinking of revamping a blog to be my primary writer site… this will give me the impetus I need to rethink and do some planning.
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  2. Like it, Sharon. Like the images. It does seem to be a never-ending process, doesn’t it? As you know, I recently changed themes and the design of my business site. Like you, I plan other changes.

    Some of the changes I made include a contact form. Before the change, I had my email all over the site. Although it’s like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped, I’m hoping to cut down at least a little bit of the spam.

    I organized my Free Stuff into separate subtabs as it had grown quite a bit. I also mixed my testimonials in with my portfolio samples (before I had them at the bottom of the sample list). I organized the samples in various categories (e.g., Case Studies, White Papers, etc.) and placed a testimonial that fit.

    There’s more I want to do, but we’ll see how it all goes. Baby steps. :-)
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  3. Yep, I’ve been redoing the content on my site this month too Sharon. Also got a designer to redo my logo, though I’m not sure if I’ll use it just yet. It’s fun to redo, but it’ll also be nice when it’s done.

    • Love your tagline, Julia. It immediately tells me what you rock at! :)

      • Thanks Sharon. I like to think of it that way too, though it was originally said to me as a snarky comment. Thought of turning that negative into a positive. :) (BTW, decided to go with the new logo, if you’d like to take a look now. I just finished uploading it all.)

  4. Looking good Sharon! Website tweaking is an endless battle – it never seems to be done! I’ve been working away at mine over the last year or so, but still haven’t got it the way I want it. Sales pages for my packages aren’t all completed, there are a few theme glitches and I’m not sure I want the big slider thing on the front page. And I’m still trying to finish my new, free ebook for my newsletter. Sigh.
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