If you’re wanting to share the words in your head (and/or heart) out there for the world to read, then you need a website. And because most writers I know are not web designers, you’ll likely be looking for a good website builder for writers. But there are so many platforms out there to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which one is the best.
Regardless, it’s a tricky balance. You want something that impresses readers. Let’s face it. People do judge a book by its cover, and your website is the cover for all of your online writing efforts. But you don’t want (or need) to get bogged down in lots of complex design.
That’s where a good website builder comes in.
If it’s doing it’s job well, then a good site builder will simplify some of the more complex design work, so that you can focus more on your writing. And the less you need to stress out about the design of your website, the easier it’ll be to just relax and get into writing great content that looks great for the readers you want to impress.
Selecting the Right Website Builder for Writers
One of the biggest decisions you’ll make when building your blog website is deciding on which platform to use. As you decide, there are a few things you should consider…
Using a true blogging platform like Blogger, WordPress.com, Typepad, and many others are great places to easily start a writing online. They’re usually free to start, and have a variety of built in templates that can help you implement a little bit of design into what you’re doing relatively easily. So they are simple to get rolling, which gets you focused on your writing with minimal time/effort.
The downside is two-fold. First, you don’t own the platform. That means the platform maintains a certain amount of rights over your content and can use it in various ways. Sometimes that means they could do things like put ads that you don’t profit from (or even approve of) in your content. Generally, it’s going to be better to pay a little bit to ensure that you have greater control over your environment. The other downside is that it can be a little trickier to move to a better platform later when you want to scale and grow your website. It’s not impossible, but it could end up costing you a more later on as you explore expanding your functionality.
Website Builder Platforms
Site-builder platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and others are usually very attractive to people who want to build a website because of how easy it is to build something “pretty” with little to no website design experience.
But honestly, it’s not always as easy as it seems.
Having a page-builder is great, but you still need a little bit of an eye for design and the ability to piece things together well. There plenty of well-intended sites out there that resemble the website version of nailed it fails and just don’t quite hit the mark. And even more so than the blogging platforms, migration is even more difficult if you ever want to move out into a better platform. All of this really just leads to a lack of flexibility and the inability to keep up with your growth well.
The Best of Both Worlds: WordPress with Divi
The option we really like is a self-hosted WordPress website (often referred to as WordPress.org) with the Divi theme (from Elegant Themes). WordPress is by far the most used platform for building websites. At it’s core is a rock-solid blogging platform. And it has a well developed eco-system of themes and plugins that will allow you to do virtually anything you want.
And with the themes, Divi is more than your typical theme (or layout/skin for the site design). It’s core is the Divi page builder. So it uses a sort of building block method to allow you to create any kind of layout you want. But it also has hundreds of pre-built layout packs that you can use for your design, or that you can use as a starting point to customize for your needs. Each layout pack has several pages, so designs for various pages on your site (home page, about page, contact page, etc.) all have a starting point for you to build from.
The Divi layout packs are great because not only do they give you a great, professional design that helps you put your best foot forward, but it’s also flexible enough that you can customize it in any way you want. So when you’re looking for a website builder for writers, the key here is to find something that gets you close to a layout you like, and then you can tweak and adjust as needed to fit your brand image.
With that said, here are a few of our favorite layout packs that provide a great starting point for writers.
Author – Great for writers, especially those who already have books available for sale. It brings a nice focus on featuring the book(s) and the author.
Influencer – If you want to be an influencer, then this layout will help you look like an influencer. After all, as a writer you are an influencer with your words!
Travel Blog – You don’t need to be a travel blogger to use this layout. It’ll work well for anyone who wants to feature their writing along with some strong visuals.
Technology News – In the same way, don’t let technology hold you back from this one! This is a great layout for organizing and featuring your writing.
Magazine – As a content producer (fancy term for writer), your blog/website can function much like an online magazine. And you can use for your solo writer and if you feature other writers on your site regularly.
Podcast – Many writers are also becoming podcasters with their content too. And if that’s you, then this layout can help you with that!
The great thing about these layouts is that they can fit any style you want to go for with your website. And the modular structure means that you can add or remove any element you want on any of the pages.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the layout packs…
1 – Author Website Layout
Divi’s Author layout pack has a simple, clean design that many writers are looking for these days. And it brings a nice balance between showcasing the products (books, or whatever else you want to sell) and you as the author.
The pre-built pages include home, about, landing, events, shop, blog, and contact pages.
Landing pages could be used for individual book pages, and can be easily linked to the online retailers where people can purchase the books online. Alternatively, you can implement WooCommerce (free e-commerce shop plugin) if you want to sell books or other items directly.
This is a great website builder for writers who have any books currently published or expect to be releasing one in the near future.
2 – Influencer Website Layout
The Divi Influencer layout pack is a great design for anyone wanting to build themselves as the brand. Often online writers underestimate how much they really are being influencers, and people who read your work are there to read your work. So building your brand requires a website that features you well.
This layout pack includes home, about, landing, blog, and contact pages. It also has four different blog post layouts you can use if you really want your blog posts to stand out.
The focus here is on style and building an image. It brings you an opportunity to elevate your message with a strong visual impact that stands out from the norm.
3 – Travel Blog Layout
With the Travel Blog layout pack, you’ll find a nice balance between the writing and the visual. And that works great if you’re one of those writers how likes to use strong imagery with your blog posts (or feature your own photography). So don’t let the “travel” part keep you from using this layout pack, because it’ll work well for a variety of bloggers. Home and lifestyle blogger? Foodie blogger? Homeschool mom blogger? No problem! You’ll find this one to be a great fit for just about any kind of blogging you might be doing.
The layout pack includes home, about, landing, blog, and contact pages. And the trip page layout can be adapted for all kinds of purposes, like featuring a series of content you’re working on.
You’ll love the versatility of this one and how it bring a nice balance of content with an elegant design. You likely won’t find another website builder for writers that gets you a simple and effective blog design like this one!
4 – Technology News Layout
The Technology News layout pack is a cool website builder for writers who want all of the focus to be on the writing (and less on the writer). It works well, especially if you have a few core categories you’re writing about and need a good way to organize the different types of content. So don’t focus on the “technology news” part of this layout, and look at the elements as ways to organize your content better.
This playout pack includes home, about, landing, blog, and contact pages. And it includes two sharp-looking blog post layouts that can be used to improve visual presentation of your written content.
So if you want the attention to be less on you, and more on the writing, then this might be the best starting point for you.
5 – Magazine Website Layout
In the Magazine layout pack you build an strong presence for the content, with the more professional look and feel of an online magazine. You can use this as a solo writer, or if you also like to feature other writers on your website too. And much like the Technology News layout, it’s a great layout for managing content in multiple categories for easier grouping and featuring of various types of content.
The pack has layouts for home, authors, landing, categories, and contact pages. Plus, it includes two blog post layouts you can use.
It doesn’t matter if you want to build an online magazine, this website builder for writers gives you a great looking way to present the content you’re writing!
6 – Podcast Website Layout
While the Podcast layout pack might not look like the typical blog, it certainly works well for writers. Many writers today are also converting their written content into audio content and publishing it as a podcast too. When you do that, this layout pack can provide you with a great way to present your content, both written and audio.
The layout pack includes home, about, landing, (all) episodes, and contact pages. It also has two post (individual episode) layouts.
And just to put this out there, you don’t even need to podcast in the traditional sense. You can use audio podcast content or video content (from YouTube, Facebook Live, etc.). And all of that can be shared with the written version of your content too. There are a number of possibilities to take your content production to the next level with this one!
Create Your Own Writer Website Template
The best part about using WordPress with Divi as a website builder for writers is that you can build anything you want with it! Not only can you use these layout packs as a starting point for your development, but you can also start from scratch to build your own layout.
Divi Builder is a modular page builder with a variety of customizable modules that you can use to build out your own design. When you get comfortable with the builder framework (which we are always happy to help our hosting clients with), you can literally look at any website and build the same layout on your website. Granted, some elements will take more customizing than others. But your design options are virtually limitless. And that makes for a great website builder for writers, no matter what your goal is!
Here are a few additional writer websites we’ve worked on with some clients of ours:
Ginger Harrington – As an author/speaker, this site tries to bring a balance to what she has to offer and building her email list to grow her readership.
Kim Hyland – An influencer and podcaster, this site pushes the podcast itself to Spotify, but builds a strong brand for everything else about her on the site.
Robin Dance – Self-proclaimed encourager, seeker, wanderer, Robin features her writing on her blog, other websites, and the book with her readers.
With all of these sites, you’ll certainly find some similarities. But the design of each brings out the personality of the writer well, and helps move their readers towards the things they want to accomplish. And that’s the main goal when working with a good website builder for writers. Whether you’re using a pre-made layout or building from scratch, you should be designing towards putting your best foot forward and accomplishing your goals with your readers.
Wrapping It Up
The bottom line is that you can build an incredible website to showcase your writing! And it doesn’t need to be difficult. If you use the right tools, then you can a place online where your readers enjoy being while they read your (awesome) content. The user experience is crucial to helping you meet your goals. So put your best foot forward!
And that’s what we try to do with our managed WordPress hosting. Ultimately, you can get space on a server to house your website files anywhere. The difference between us and them is not only the additional maintenance (and security) that we take care of for you, or the fact that the Divi theme is included in the hosting plan (saving you $89/yr), but that our team is always here for you to help you learn whatever you need to learn to use these tools to build a great website. Education and support is included, so you never need to worry about feeling lost and on your own! And if you just need us to help out with some of the design/development work for you, we can often get you affordable pricing that won’t break the bank.
Considering the state of social media and other traffic sources the way they are these days, blog SEO (search engine optimization) is becoming more important all the time. Ultimately, you want to drive more traffic to your writing.
But here’s the reality most writers are facing these days…
Social media platforms simply don’t have the “viral” effect that they used to. Sharing on social media becomes limited to reaching your friends. And the algorithms of various platforms make it more difficult for content to be seen by even the people who follow you to get those updates. Email subscription and readership is down for many writers too, simply because subscribers deal with burnout from managing too much content.
Regardless, there are people out there right now who are looking for the exact content you have on your blog.
So the focus for writers needs to shift to how you find those people (and get your content in front of them). And that’s the focus of what we’ll explore in this article. We’ll dig into five questions to help you understand why blog SEO is important and how you can do it well.
How important is SEO for blogging?
Let’s face it. If you’ve been blogging for a while, then you might remember the day when you could share a link to a post on Facebook or Twitter, and watch it generate plenty of clicks (through to your post) and shares (extending your reach). But with algorithm changes that filter what people see, most writers have been experiencing a massive decline in traffic from social media sources.
If you take a deeper look into the data, then you’ll also see that Google accounts for over 90% of all search engine traffic. So when you’re looking for traffic from search engines, getting it right for Google is (or at least can be) the single biggest driver of readers for your writing.
But doing blog SEO well is much more than simply installing a plugin and getting a green light on your blog post for some random (or too generic) keyword phrase.
With around 3.5 BILLION searches performed on Google every day, there’s a pretty high likelihood that some of those searches are for something that you wrote about. The best part about this is that it’s most likely being done by people who you are not already connected to (as through social media). That means you have access to new readers looking for you… if you can get your content to show up (especially on page one) in Google search results.
How to make your blog visible in Google search results
There’s good news and bad news with this one.
Bad news first… It’s not like social media where you can just post it and it’s there for everyone when you publish new content. And the downside, as we’ve already discussed, is that there’s no guarantee that people will even see that. At least with social media, you can share a link anytime you want to get it out there.
Now the good news… There’s really nothing you need to do to have your content available to show up in search results. Search engines use ‘bots’ to crawl websites across the Internet and then work to figure out how to index that content. So while there’s nothing you need to do to get it to show up in search engine results pages (SERPs), there are some things you can do to improve your chances of ranking well.
Strong technical SEO – One of the first things you need to understand about SEO is that Google wants to provide a good experience for their searchers. That means if they send people to your website, then they need to know that it’s going to perform well. So evaluating elements like page load speed and website architecture can impact your standing on search engines. You should have a plan to ensure you’re running well and providing a great user experience for your visitors.
Best content available – Just because you wrote a blog post that you’re passionate about doesn’t mean that it rank really high. Again, Google is looking to provide the best experience for their searchers. Part of that is making sure they send people to the best answer to their questions. From Google’s perspective, if they sent you a visitor who saw no value in your content, then the searcher loses confidence in Google as a source of providing good answers. So your content strategy should focus on providing great resources.
Leverage crawl data – The best SEO strategies are not just a one-time function that you can set and forget. They require an ongoing analysis and adjustments to work towards key improvements. Therefore, understanding and using your analytics and crawl data (which Google will provide for you) is one of the biggest keys to driving your content up the rankings and obtaining more traffic from organic search.
Getting your website to show up in Google search results isn’t really difficult. But it does mean you need to be intentional. You also need to remove barriers (even unintentional ones) that can prevent you from ranking well.
Here’s a little deeper look at some core concepts related to each of these three points.
Which blog platforms are the most SEO-friendly?
I’m just going to come out and say it. I believe that WordPress is hands-down the best platform for blog SEO. Not only is it one of the most widely-accepted platforms out there, but it’s easy to implement all of the elements that help you improve your chances with the search engines.
The biggest of these has to do with how well you can enhance your technical SEO. Standard WordPress is a simple content management system that does a good job of storing and displaying your content. Then you can slap any theme on it to get you the design and style you want. Beyond that, a variety of plugins can be used as needed to improve the user experience. And while there are many more types than what I’ll discuss here, these types that can help you fine-tune your website to get better search results:
Caching plugins – Without getting too technical, caching is a method used to push elements closer to the user so that they don’t need to ‘download’ every element on the page every time. This helps speed up page load speed, since there is less ‘distance’ for some elements to travel.
Image optimization plugins – Another factor in page load speeds is the file size of the images you use. Many writers pay little attention to this, and upload larger, hi-res images that take longer to load. A good image optimization plugin will help reduce that file size and help pages load quicker.
Analytics plugins – Knowing how your website is performing is paramount to building a strong SEO strategy for your blog. Google Analytics will certainly give you some of the best information regarding visitor tracking, and there are some good plugins that can help you integrate and sort through what’s important.
Security plugins – Few things can kill your search rankings quicker than a security-compromised website. So yes, keeping an eye on how secure your website is, and dealing with potential issues quickly, will help you maintain your earned rankings. So it doesn’t necessarily get you ranking higher, but it can keep you from losing what you have.
SEO data plugins – A good SEO plugin doesn’t make your website rank by itself. But it can help with some of the extra ‘coding’ that help those search engine bots figure out what your content is about so that it knows how to index you.
Getting the right mix of plugins running on your site can go a long way in improving your search rankings. If you can get your website to load quickly, provide a good and safe experience for visitors, and build in some good ‘coding’ structure, then you’ve just set yourself up for success. From here, the next thing you’ll want to look at is your content.
Note: The exact plugins we would suggest (free and premium) are all listed in the How To SEO a Blog e-course (get 25% off at checkout using that link). And our BASIC+ Hosting plan includes some of the best premium plugins we know of for great SEO performance (plus some cool reports).
How to make your blog content SEO-friendly
Once you’ve built a strong foundation for your website, the content is the next element you can focus on. And while sometimes it’s good to write just to write, with no big blog SEO goals in mind, you’ll want to have a strategy for how you approach your writing to help you get found. There are a few basic phases of content development that you’ll want to consider:
Keyword strategy – Using search engine data, you can find the best opportunities for keywords to target in your writing. A little bit of research here can pay big dividends not only in how you target terms, but also in the ideation of new blog post topics to inspire your writing.
Structure your content well – The biggest thing here is to write your content in such a way that it’s the best resource out there for your desired target search terms. That means you’ll need to know what your page one search results competition is talking about, and evaluate what it would take to provide a better resource than what they have.
On-page optimization – Some of the plugins we mentioned earlier will help with some of this. But getting your post structure right and ensuring you have all of the right elements in the right places will get that post set up for success when the bots come crawling.
Ultimately, it’s important that you write for humans, not for search engine bots. So don’t overthink this stuff! Write great content first. Then go back through an cover your blog SEO steps to ensure you’re doing what you need to do for the bots.
How to use Google Search Console (GSC) to improve SEO
The follow-through is probably the most important element of your strategy, because it’ll show you how you can improve. And while Google Analytics will give you some great information about what your visitors are doing when they are on your site, Google Search Console will give you some incredible insight into how Google is ranking your pages/posts in their search results.
With the data in Google Search Console, you’ll be able to evaluate:
Which terms you’re ranking for.
Where the pages/posts on your site are ranking (on average) in the results.
How many clicks (and the click-thru rate) you’re getting from any of those search results through to your website.
Errors that Google sees that can impact your rankings.
All of this information can tell you how to optimize your content, including the meta title and descriptions, in order to improve rankings and click-thru visits. And knowing the errors that Google sees when their bots crawl the site gives you the opportunity to correct the issues and keep the crawls running smoothly.
Conclusion: Getting Blog SEO right
Blog SEO isn’t really rocket science. But there are some key concepts that you need to understand. And if you can build a solid plan for how you approach your blog SEO, then you’ll be rewarded with some great traffic from new readers who are looking for you right now. I can’t stress this enough… If you’re a writer, keep writing great content for people. You shouldn’t really be thinking about blog SEO while you’re writing. Think about whatever message you have for your readers. But if you have the strategy built into your publishing process, then you’ll be able to create your content in such a way that it’s more likely to climb the rankings and get found more often.
Better search engine rankings = more traffic for your website = greater readership for your writing.
P.S. We’ve developed a course to help you understand key SEO concepts and build a plan that will drive more traffic to what you’re writing. And just as a thank you for reading this post, you can get How To SEO a Blog for 25% OFF using the promo code of SEO25OFF at checkout!
Are you looking to self-publish your work? If so, it’s crucial to learn the ins and outs of some of the most common self-publishing mistakes. In learning of these mistakes, you can set yourself up for the most success possible.
What are the most common self-publishing mistakes, you ask? To help, we’re shining a light on the eight most common mistakes that authors make when self-publishing their work. From your blog layout and editing to market research and timelines, we’re covering it all.
Before you publish your work, you’ll want to avoid these mistakes at all costs. It’s time to learn from those who have self-published their works before you!
Of course, it’s always tempting to edit your own work.
While this is a cost-effective means of editing, it’s also setting yourself up for disaster. Not only will a professional editor spot typos and grammatical errors, but they’ll also highlight structural sentences that need improvement. If you’re looking to make money with self-publishing, you need to be serious about hiring an editor. At a minimum, use a tool like the Hemingway Editor for an automated way of checking your work.
Without proper editing, your work is very likely to have some standout mistakes. From the perspective of your readers, this makes your work more difficult to enjoy and take seriously.
This market research will tell you what readers are interested in right now. It’s also going to help to provide clarity in terms of the length, format, and general structure that readers currently most desire.
Remember, your goal is to create material that your readers are actively interested in. In order to know what the public wants, it’s imperative to spend the time necessary and conduct this research.
3. A Lack of Timelines
In the self-publishing world, you’re essentially only working for one person. For better or worse, this one person just so happens to be yourself.
While there are benefits to creating all of your own rules, this can also be a dangerous game. This is especially the case when it comes to establishing a strict timeline for your works.
When using a professional publisher, that individual will set concrete timelines that you must adhere to. When you’re working for yourself, this simply isn’t the case. With this, it’s only natural for your level of motivation to decrease.
To counteract this, be sure to set strict timelines for yourself. You can also share these timelines with other people to increase your accountability.
4. Incorrect Formatting
Every type of work will require a different sort of formatting.
For example, the formating for regular blog posts could be entirely different than the formatting for a standard novel. If you’re new to publishing, understanding the right formatting won’t always come naturally.
In most cases, the correct formatting will be entirely dependent on the forum in which you’re publishing. For example, one blog may require writers to submit their work in a Microsoft Word document while others require an Adobe PDF file. To ensure that you’re adhering to the right formatting, be sure to conduct the right research and ask questions.
5. A Poorly-Timed Release Date
What’s the best time to release your work?
When it comes to self-publishing, there are good times and there are bad times to release work. Of course, this timeline will also depend on the subject matter of your work. This is where conducting market research comes into play yet again.
Do yourself a favor and dig online for more information. Your goal is to find a relevant time to release your work. This is a time in which your audience will naturally feel more inclined to read works on your subject.
While the average person reads 12 books a year, it’s more important to figure out what time of year people read the most. With this, you may want to release your work during a time that people are more likely to spend their time reading. This is why many authors choose to release their work in the summer when people typically have more time to relax.
6. A Lack of Notable Reviews
At the end of the day, reviews are an incredibly important part of any kind of brand-building.
Just as 90% of consumers will read reviews before visiting a business, so too will your readers. This is why having notable reviews on your work has become a key to success.
Unfortunately, those that self-publish are far less likely to have a variety of reviews. This is as compared to work that has been professionally published and often uses notable people to create an interest in your work.
Even in the event that you’re self-publishing, do your best to get as many people to read and review your work as possible. Once you have these reviews, ensure that you’re advertising them both physically on your work and on other platforms such as social media.
7. Asking for Minimal Feedback
When you choose to self-publish, you’re minimizing the feedback that you’ll receive on your work.
Of course, receiving harsh feedback can be challenging for some. But, it’s also the best way to ensure that what you’re putting out there is your best work possible. When it comes to writing, your reputation is everything.
With this, it’s crucial to ask for as much feedback as possible. Try to get as many people in your network to review your work as possible. From here, don’t be shy in asking for their honest feedback and suggestions. After all, this is the only way to better yourself as a writer.
8. Incorrect Pricing
Sure, you might be a professional writer. But, this doesn’t mean that you know the best strategy for pricing your works.
With this, self-publishing authors will often undervalue their work and price their work far too low. On the other hand, if you price your work too high, fewer people are likely to purchase it.
To help arrive at a fair pricing strategy, be sure to research what other works under the same subject are selling for. And evaluate how well those books are selling at various price points. With this, your best bet is to match this price or come slightly above or below it.
Common Self-Publishing Mistakes to Avoid
To self-publish or to seek professional help? That is the question!
The truth is, self-publishing your work can lead you to success. It’s also a great way to save money and adhere to your own rules. But, in doing so, it’s imperative to ensure that you’re avoiding all the most common self-publishing mistakes.
In understanding these mistakes in advance, you can take extra caution when moving forward with your works. With this, you’re all the more likely to maximize your chances of success!
If you’re building your social media platform on Instagram, and haven’t considered using a linktree page for your bio link, then you’re missing some really great opportunities.
Instagram has established itself as one of the top and most influential social networks out there right now. But from the perspective of a content producer (blogger or small business), the big downside is that you cannot put functional links in the content of your posts. You get one active link, and that’s in your bio.
With only one link being available to you, it’s difficult to ensure people are getting to your most important content or whatever you want them to see when you post something in your feed.
That’s where a linktree page comes in.
What Is Linktree Page? (and Why You Should Use One)
A linktree (or bio links) page is a webpage that contains a group of important links that point people to your most important content and resources. They are designed to use in social media bios, especially in places like Instagram, where only one link is allowed (and posts cannot contain links).
In response to this need, services like LINKTR.EE have emerged to make it simple to develop stylish landing pages to use in your social media bios.
This helps bloggers (and content producers of all kinds) share posts on Instagram about new content. Just mention “link in bio” (or hashtag #linkinbio), and people can click-thru that link to get to the content you want them to see. So where you get one link to point people to, using a landing page like this gets people to where you want them much more efficiently.
Even better, you can integrate other features like newsletter signup, products or services, event details, or other promotions you’re running.
While LINKTR.EE has a very basic free level of service, the best features (and some very important ones) come in the premium version. And LINKTR.EE is the most popular bio links landing page service currently available.
However, when you’re using tools like this, it’s important to have consistency in how you present your brand. And you may want to add some features not available, especially in the free version. Plus, you may not want their branding all over your stuff. That doesn’t help you build your brand as much.
So if you like the idea of LINKTR.EE, but want to explore other options, then there are several to consider, including:
Campsite.Bio – Another freemium service (free and paid versions) that gives you the basic bio link pages for free, with some nice upgrades in the paid version. It provides a simple interface, and the ability to add images in the free version.
ContactInBio – Also a freemium service which features full landing page capabilities, which is pretty nice. It also has a lifetime plan so that you can get all of the premium features and not have to pay a recurring fee.
Build Your Own – This is a completely free option, leveraging the website you already have in place. Especially with themes like Divi (which is included in our BASIC and above hosting plans), you can build a page that lives on your website with all of the same features. Plus your customization capabilities are unlimited!
The build-your-own approach is by far the best option. It gives you full control over design and how you present your brand. Not to mention that it gets visitors on your website with a page that’s designed to get them to other key content you have (improving on-site engagement metrics, which is good for your SEO).
The Anatomy of a Good Bio Links Page
Especially if you’re going to build your own page, you should understand a few key concepts for how to build it well.
The first rule for your bio links page is to keep it simple. You don’t want to overwhelm people with so much stuff that you end up scaring them away. Remember, the main goal is to just get them to the next step. So focus on the core elements that encourage them to tap through to that important content.
A few key elements you’ll want to consider are:
A profile pic (or logo) – This is a key branding element.
Your name – Another important core branding piece.
Short description (optional) – If you do this, keep it brief. It’s not the place for your full story (like your about page), but definitely good for a brand-building tagline or short description statement.
Quick link(s) to recent content – Have a button going to your latest blog post, or even add a blurb from the post itself.
High priority links – Use buttons to connect people to key pages on your website, including books, products, etc.
Email opt-in – Add a simple opt-in on the page, or use a button to link to it.
Social media links – Make it easy to connect in other places you engage with your audience.
To make this process simple for you, we’ve created several templates that you can upload to your website (using WordPress with the Divi theme), and customize from there. Check out the demos of these Linktree-alternative pages, and download your free templates now!
How To Build Your Own Bio Links Page (With Divi)
We’re big fans of the Divi theme (by Elegant Themes) around here. One reason we love it is the portability of page layouts (and other elements). We use it almost exclusively with our clients on all web development projects. So you can download those templates (mentioned above) and load them to your website as a starting point.
After that, you can edit each module however you’d like.
Basic Layout and Design
The templates use Text modules for each of the buttons on the page. You can change the text that appears on the button, and update the link that it points to.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even change styles, animations, or any other properties you’d like.
The page background can be updated in the Background settings in Section Settings (click the gear icon on the blue bar). There you can change the background image or colors.
And, as with any other page built in Divi, you can add all kinds of modules to add to your page. It’s still best to keep the page simple, but modules like Email Optin, Countdown Timer, Search, Testimonial, Video, and many others can really help you take your bio links page to the next level.
To ensure the best look, toggle over to the Phone View to see how everything appears. Assuming that you’re using the page for your bio link on Instagram, nearly all of the visitors to the page will likely be coming from mobile devices. So it’s most important for it to look good there. And if you want to adjust for potential desktop viewing, you can do that too. But desktop should definitely take a backseat to mobile in the design and appearance on this page.
Page Attributes Settings
Once you have the page elements in place and are ready to publish the page, there are a few key attributes that will be important to consider. The first of which is the permalink structure. Ultimately, the page name can be whatever you’d like. But simple is best. And visitors on Instagram will see the link name in your bio. While simplicity is the key, feel free to have fun or give it a call-to-action kind of feel. It’s okay to let your personality show. A few examples for permalink page names are:
Also, you’ll need to update a couple of settings in order to ensure everything displays properly. Look for the Page Attributes widget and update the following settings:
Parent: (no parent) – Do not make this page a sub-page to another page (like About, etc). That will extend the permalink unnecessarily. Keep this page on the first level (no parent) in order to keep the permalink short.
Template: Blank Page – This setting removes all of the normal website headers and footers. Everything you need in the design for these pages is included in the layout itself, so you don’t want to complicate everything with more navigation and other elements.
Whether you’re using the free templates or starting from scratch on your own, you’ll love the flexibility and virtually unlimited design options and control you can get. And hosting all of this on your own website means that you’ll get it all at no additional cost!
How To Use a Bio Links Page In Your Instagram Bio
Once you’ve published the page on your website, it’s time to add it to your Instagram bio. To edit your bio:
Go to your profile
Tap the Edit Profile button next to your current bio
Type (or copy/paste) your page URL (permalink) in the Website field
Tap the Done (or check icon) button
Whenever you make changes like this, it’s always best to visit your profile and tap the link to ensure everything works as it should. But easy-peasy… you’re new Instagram linktree-like bio links page is live! Now you can mention in your posts, “link in bio,” to get visitors to all of the great stuff you want to direct them to.
Other Places You Can Use Your Bio Links Page
While these kinds of bio link pages started with Instagram, you can use them just about anywhere. And if you want to get super cool, you can create separate linktree pages for various platforms. For example, the bio links page you want people to visit coming from your LinkedIn page may look a little different than the one for visitors from Instagram.
Get creative and explore different ways to use pages like these. Here’s a quick list to inspire you:
LinkedIn profile – Share links to your portfolio, previous work, email, and social profiles
Twitter bio – Connect people to your other social media profiles and important links
Business cards – Increase the dynamic with special links and content for people you share your business cards with
QR Codes – Point a QR code on posters and other print advertising to share specials, etc with people
Your email signature – Important content to direct people to from your emails
Links in your book(s) – Share key resources with readers of your books
The possibilities are really endless. And if you’re doing this on your own website, you can create as many of these specialized pages as you want. So change designs, content, and everything for really just about any audience you can imagine.
If you run a content platform (blog, etc) of any kind, then getting your core content in front of people is critical. Linktree certainly brought a level of convenience to highlighting that content in the one link you get for your Instagram bio.
But building your own on your website has a bunch of great benefits. The big goal of digital marketing is always to get people onto your website and have them take some action. Having a well-structured bio links page (or several of them) accomplishes just that. And driving traffic to an engagement-focused page can improve your overall SEO by showing Google that your website is worth engaging with.
Better yet, maintaining full control over the branding and design is an important element for growing your platform online. It’s important to build a presence that people will recognize when they think about you.
With a greater reliance on using technology to manage our personal information, there is a greater emphasis on cybersecurity for protecting that information. It seems like reports of large-scale breaches come out every few news cycles. Some of the big ones, just this year, include the likes of Verizon, Equifax, Yahoo!, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Even Chipotle fell victim to a hack.
It’s enough to make even the most confident people feel vulnerable.
And if you have an online presence you’re trying to develop through your website, email, and/or social media, then you need to be extra careful. No matter how big or how small, your digital presence could easily become a target.
Search engines and web browsers are even getting more into the security game. Site security and encryption is now a ranking factor for search engines. And browsers are starting to kick out “Not Secure” warnings on websites without an SSL certificate.
Why Being Proactive About Cybersecurity is Important
One of the bigger security concerns has to do with protecting your website from malware and phishing. Poor website security leads to cracks for malicious users who get in and leave things like viruses and other malicious tools. Sometimes these activities can even lead to using your site (even unbeknownst to you) for phishing activity to capture sensitive information. A hack on your website can damage your reputation with your visitors, search engines, and other web services.
Another major area of concern has to do with protecting your email from hacks. A hacked email account can expose more of your personal information contained in various emails. It can also result in someone using your account to send out malicious spam emails. Those emails are often used for phishing purposes or delivering viruses to unsuspecting recipients. A compromised email account could be dangerous for you and for many others.
A third, and potentially greater, area of concern has to do with protecting your other personal information and accounts. Chances are, the password you use for your website and email accounts are the same or very similar to the passwords you use for other online accounts. If a hacker can figure out your email password, and see that you do your online banking at a certain bank, then they may have everything they need to log into your bank account. Basically, getting into one of your accounts may provide easy access to everything else you do. And that could be bad news for you.
What We Do For You To Maintain Website Security
Maintenance is everything. One of the reasons our BASIC (and higher) Hosting plans are so popular is because the maintenance we do keeps websites running smooth and secure. We run WordPress, theme, and plugin updates on each site several times throughout the week. And we perform database cleanup and optimization. Many of the updates include regular bug fixes and security patches.
Server-level security monitoring. Our data center team monitors potential issues 24/7/365. Aside from maintaining server uptime, we constantly monitor any malicious activity. If/when something is spotted, we take corrective action almost immediately. This level of monitoring minimizes the impact in the event a user account gets compromised.
Site-level security monitoring. Also as part of our BASIC (and higher) Hosting, we monitor potential in-site security issues. Using tools like Wordfence Security, we regularly scan for any malicious and unusual files on the website. We take immediate corrective action and remove any potential threat we find.
Security-Related Services You Should Consider
Domain name privacy. Most people don’t realize that your ownership information on your domain name registration is public. That means anyone can look up a website owner’s name, address, and phone number. That is unless you have Domain Privacy on your domain name. It’s well worth the $7.99/yr cost to hide your personal registration information. This not only limits the volume of spam coming your way, but it also limits the amount of information people can find on you.
SSL certificates. Security certificates encrypt information when passed between visitors and your website. Without this kind of encryption, even simple contact form information can be intercepted and read by people with malicious intent. Visitors can have confidence that their personal information is safe on a website when they see the HTTPS (the “s” for secure) and the green padlock in their browser address bar. A basic SSL Certificate can be purchased for as little as $27/yr, and is even included in some hosting plans.
Your Responsibility for Protecting Your Website
Change your password regularly. The more often you can change your passwords, the better. Ideally, you should change them (at least) every 60-90 days. If a password does get compromised, then it won’t be effective for very long. But if you use the same passwords for everything for years, then it opens you up to other attacks. Getting comfortable with a password is one of the worst things you can do.
Use strong password formats. The best format for a strong password is a random string of unrelated letters, numbers, and characters. But that doesn’t usually help your ability to remember your password. Alternatively, you can try using a combination of two unrelated words, a number, and throw in a special character or two. Your goal is to provide as much of an unknown scramble as possible.
Use different passwords for your various accounts. Do you use the same password for everything? If so, then one compromised password means that you’ve opened the door to all of your accounts. At minimum use different passwords for the accounts you most need to protect (like your banking, etc).
Website security is bigger than just keeping hackers out of your website. You need a cybersecurity plan to protect your website, email, and all of your other online accounts. Taking a few simple steps and having the right tools in place can protect you and your website visitors from all kinds of malicious activity. And you will be able to sleep well at night not worrying about all of the latest cybersecurity craziness in the news.
Anyone can start a blog, but most don’t make money from blogging. In fact, many people don’t realize it’s possible to make money with a blog.
Before you can think about making money, you need to focus on writing useful content. Until you do this, you cannot move forward and bring in even a little extra income. It’s your content that keeps people coming back.
Your blog must also have followers, as they are the ones who will help bring money in. You can start with only a handful of followers. But monetizing a blog is a numbers game. The more followers you can gather, the more likely you are to increase your earnings.
Once you’ve done these things it’s time to begin monetizing your blog. Here are five ways you can start creating income with your blog right now.
Advertising On Your Blog
In the past, companies would advertise where their target audience spends their time. Often, that would be in magazines, newspapers, or on TV. Today, it’s much easier to reach a target audience by advertising on websites where they spend time. Through better targeting, companies generate more leads and boost conversion rates. Thus advertisers are willing to pay the site owner to help share their message.
You can host an event (online or in-person) and charge attendees for participation. This trend isn’t very common among bloggers yet. But it is gaining popularity as writers see how much income they can generate by putting together events for their readers. For example, a blog dedicated to scrapbooking can organize a scrap-a-thon or a class.
Bloggers often have a marketable skill set they can share with others. After all, that’s why you write and share with the world, right? You already offer basic information about these skills through your blog. Once you’ve established yourself as an expert, you can develop and sell products on more advanced topics. Also, you can create new (exclusive) material to sell. A blog written by someone who loves to crochet could teach the basic crochet skills at no charge. As followers become more proficient, they can buy advanced classes or unique patterns.
Digital materials fall under this category and remain in high demand. You can sell an e-course, an ebook, or another kind of digital download. Podcasts are another option to consider. Many are free, but you can also create premium content to sell. Think outside the box and offer something others in the industry aren’t. Bloggers who do so will find their following expands and they generate more income as a result.
A large majority of bloggers turn to affiliate programs to generate income. This involves linking to a product that is being sold on another site. When a visitor clicks on this link and purchases the product, you earn a commission. The site providing the commission supplies you with a unique affiliate code to track sales. Some sites offer a commission if the person clicking the link purchases anything on their site, as opposed to only the advertised item.
With an established blog following, you might find that your opportunities will expand. If you position yourself appropriately, you may be offered public speaking gigs. Or you might receive a request to consult on a project. Teaching opportunities also have arisen for some bloggers. These are only a few examples of how you can generate income through outside engagements.
Blogging is fun for many individuals as they share their thoughts and feelings with friends. Others blog to share the special knowledge they have with others and have a great opportunity to make some money. For those who fall into the second category, there are many ways to achieve this goal. With the right combination of methods, anyone can make money and turn their hobby into a full-time job.
Start with one method, become confident and add a second. If something doesn’t work, drop it and move on to the next. There is no one combination that works for all. Making money with a blog won’t happen overnight. Stick with it and you’ll find your hard work will pay off in the end. The solid foundation you created before you attempt to make money with a blog helps to ensure your success.