Applying Your Parents’ Advice to the Online Age (Part 1 of 2)

Making a Good First Impression

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” It’s something your parents told you when you were young, it was likely hammered in to you during high school, and again when you began looking for your first post-college job. It’s no secret that humans are subject to irrational prejudice, and when you make a poor first impression, it can make things difficult… even after you get acquainted with someone.

Usually, when people are reminded about making a good impression, it’s a reminder to stand up straight, make sure one’s hair is brushed and one’s clothes are clean, to smile, shake hands, look up, and to speak clearly and articulately. But what does making a first impression mean in the online age? These days, it’s common to meet people online before you become acquainted in person—especially if you’re an author!

Social media allows readers to “friend” or “follow” an author whose work they enjoy, so it’s good to have a robust social media presence. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media allow your readers and fans to stay connected with you and your work, which is good news whenever you have a new short story or novel out in the world. But social media can only convey so much. Twitter, of course, is limited to 140 characters per tweet… and while you can Storify your longer thoughts, it’s not quite the same as being able to convey a long and thoughtful essay. Facebook allows users to muse at length, but with its algorithms and tendency to abbreviate longer posts, it’s doubtful your entire readership or fanbase will notice (or see!) what you’re trying to say.

At the end of the day, a blog is the most effective tool for getting your long-form thoughts to all your readers… which is why it’s important to have a good, modern website. Up to date SEO will help your readers find you, a mobile site will let them keep up with you via their phones and tablets, and an elegant structure will help them to click through to what you want them to see.

A lot of the time, a blog is what a new reader will see first. An old, terrible website with a confusing layout or an ugly design won’t make a good first impression. In fact, some people may just look at the first page and think it’s old news before even looking at the date of your last post.

Avoid this pitfall with a new website from Clockpunk Studios. We’ll work with you to make your website easy to navigate, beautiful to behold, and representative of the author you are… or the author you want to be. What do we mean by that? Tune in next time for the second part in this series to find out!

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