You’ve heard about the mechanic who never has time to change the oil, bang out the dings, clean out the pop cans or repair the ripped upholstery in her own car?
I’m behind the dashboard seven days a week. I drive at high speeds and over rough terrain on the electronic byways of the internet. I keep clients’ motors running smooth and fix them when they’re not. I’ve got topnotch mechanics and superb copy monkeys in our garage dedicated to quality service and customer satisfaction. We advise our clients on proper care, maintenance schedules for tune-ups and replacement of parts, and provide roadside assistance on the internet highway.
So, with some embarrassment, I admit we haven’t taken our own advice on the care and maintenance of swensonbookdevelopment.com during the past year. It’s as though I hadn’t changed the oil since I drove the new model off the lot last March. I just kept filling it up with gas and ignored everything but the fuel gauge on the dashboard.
“You’ll drive that car right into the ground,” would be a good mechanic’s response to such negligence. This IS like your Daddy’s Cadillac. An author imbues their social status and personal brand with a website. Change your oil every 3 months, once a season, or every 3,000 miles. Such routine maintenance of an automobile is the owner’s responsibility.
Likewise, scheduled updates and improvements to one’s website and electronic persona need to be quarterly with an annual review. The link between routine oil changes and scheduled maintenance and development of one’s website is an important one. You want it to last and work and run like a Cadillac.
In our own long overdue makeover, we encountered a snag in the final technical execution and one, two, three of the team suddenly suffered various health crises. Claire Webber brought her technical skills and knowledge to the recent launch of our website redesign. And in so doing, reminded me that a website is never “finished.” There is no final version published. Your website is your real estate, just as much as you (or your bank) own your car. Make changes routinely and as needed.
This goes beyond the updates you post on your blog page. If you have a new magazine feature article published, that static page of your publications needs to be updated immediately. These tweaks are a driver’s way on the dashboard to steer the hills, bumps, and curves of the avenues you course on the internet highway. Get better mileage? YES. The search engines find your new content and send traffic to your website. Help pull readers to your writing, by routine care and maintenance of your site.
This year we encouraged you to track your social media metrics, using Google Analytics, in the first quarter. Claire Webber provided many useful posts about managing this information during the past three months. In January, we recommended you update your bio and your electronic identity. In February, the business of being an author involves organizing a lot of email. Claire Webber offered several posts on using Gmail as a writer’s resource and tool.
We hope you like our new website makeover. Though I loved that old model (sigh).
But what we needed is more fuel efficiency, cleaner and simpler for today’s economy and road conditions. We’ve been taking it out on a number of test rides and we like it, but it’s still a work-in-process. If you need a tune-up, driving lessons, a fix or technical question about your author website, we may be able to help you, or help you do-it-yourself.
In the coming season and through the end of the year, we hope to help you add a stereo system (radio podcasts), GPS system (webinars) and mechanic manuals and specs (electronic paid downloads) to your operating mode of internet transportation. The technological opportunities continue to expand for authors in pulling readers to their content and converting them into book customers. Making it a more pleasant ride for authors and readers for the love of books will continue to be the subject of future blogs here.
Please let us know what you think of our makeover.