On writing

Setting up a presence on the web as a writer

If you have been reading the same sites I have, you will notice that as a writer, eventually you will need some sort of presence on the web.

It seems that even for an unpublished writer trying to get an agent a place on the web is a good thing.

Be warned, however, that a bad web presence can often be worse than no presence at all, so if you are going to do it, you must make an effort.

For a writer, this includes:

  • A site that looks professional. A gaudy site with lots of flashing things on it is the equivalent to turning up to a business meeting in a tatty old track suit
  • A site that has few or no typos, spelling or grammatical errors. We all make these, it’s just that as writers people expect us to have less (or preferably none). We need to be more diligent.
  • A web site that is up-to-date. Even if your website does not include date specific information, ensure it still looks topical by keeping the copyright notice current and removing obsolete references or dead pages.

Despite all this, you decide to go ahead. What else do you need to think about?

  • Cost. Do you want to pay for your own web site or do you want to use something free, such as Blogger, My Space or Live Journal?
  • Can you afford, or even do you want, to pay to have your web designed
  • How much time can you afford to maintain it?
  • How much effort do you want to spend on it?

All these questions need to be considered when thinking about a web presence.

Even if you don’t want a web presence yet, at least think about buying your author domain name. It’s relatively inexpensive, and you don’t have to do anything with it, it just saves it for when you do need it.

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