This week I’ve been working on trying to figure out this ‘web presence’ thing. Y’all know I’m writing a series of Christian Historical Novels. The first is about ready to go to an editor. The others are in various stages. Well, since I’m planning on publishing them this year I’ve got to develop a web presence.
I don’t think this is a platform out in cyber space that I sit on but I’m not sure. As I’ve learned an author, no matter if she plan to go the traditional publishing house way or self publish, needs to do pre-publishing work on the web so when the novel is finally available someone besides her family and close friends might buy it.
Now, I’m not a real social butterfly. I don’t like the bar scene. I like being alone and at home. Facebook and Twitter seem to me to be time sinks. If I’m going to sink my time in something more fun for me, like computer games. Love HOGs. If you don’t know what those are check out Bluefish Games.
Now to build my web presence I need to Facebook and Twitter, about what I’m not too sure. I don’t figure many people care that I’m typing while lying on my bed with my cat snuggled up next to me. If you looked at my photo you know I’m not going to be putting very many photos of myself up there. I don’t think family or friends really want me posting photos of them either.
As you can see I’m blogging fairly regularly. My plan is to post once a week. I’ve missed a few weeks. Wednesday is supposed to be my blog day, but today is Friday. Seems it’s been Friday several times lately. I’ll keep my goal Wednesday hoping I’ll think of something interesting to write about by Friday.
The website is a contradiction to me. I’ve built websites several times. IWeb was easy for me to learn and easy to modify to my liking. It’s not available now and I wish it was. There are plenty of website builders out there that allow hosting either for free or with more features for a price. I now build this site on Weebly.com. It’s fine but as with all the online building sites I find the limitations frustrating.
But enough about that. My real issue this week is getting my site into Google and verified so the search engine could see it. I ran into problems there. I must be getting old because it took me several hours to figure out what code to put where in my site so Google could see it to verify it. I never got this one to work: google-site-verification: google910e7a586d234bdf.html. I uploaded a page with that on it just like they said but for reasons I don’t understand Google couldn’t see it.
Then I tried copying and pasting some code they provided into the html code of my site. No luck. I thought I did what it told me but… Finally, I was able to paste it in a box and get it to work. Hurray!! Google can now verify that I have a site. I could have told them that I’ve spent many hours working on it.
Now comes the hard part; tags and meta-tags. I know what they do but haven’t a clue how to choose words for this. I was hoping to find a generator online that would do this for me. I found several. The trouble is I’m supposed to write a description of the site and supply keywords. If I could think up keywords I’d have the tags I need and could supply the meta-tags myself. Google Analytics told me my keywords didn’t work with my site. This is why I need someone who knows what they are doing to generate them for me.
I wrote a site description, put it in my website, and ran it through Google Analytics. The feedback was that it didn’t match with what I’d written on my home page and was 15 characters too long. Now I can’t find it within the weebly editing of my site to change it.
So, now I have a website with a description I can’t change because I can’t find it, keywords and meta-tags which don’t work to get to my site, a Facebook page that’s not very interesting, have to Twitter about who knows what, and a blog that I’m not supposed to talk about my writing novels so readers won’t think I’m pushing them to purchase them.
All of this is so that I have a web presence when I do publish so I’m familiar on the web and people will buy my work. Sort of contradictory to my way of thinking.
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Sophie Dawson is my pen name. The real me is the wife of a farmer in western Illinois.
I have two grown sons, one of which is married to a wonderful young woman. They gave us the most wonderful granddaughter ever in November of 2010. I'm not the least bit prejudice. :)