Authors: Did Google Demote Your Blog on April 21st? — Take this 3-Second Test to Find Out

by Karen Jonson

Six Steps You Need to Take Now to Fix Your Blog — or Launch a New One

3d Smiley receives a welcome call on his mobile

Is Your Blog Mobile-Friendly? Take Google’s three-second friendlness test to find out — then take these six steps to create a better blog.

Have you put your blog to the new Google mobile-friendly test?

If not, you should — because Google has significantly demoted blogs that don’t pass its mobile-ready test.

Mobile-friendly or mobile-ready means that a blog is easily visible, accessible, and useable on non-computer devices, like smartphones and tablets. Google is now demoting sites that are not mobile-friendly.

Test your blog here.

If your blog doesn’t pass the test — or if you want to update your blog or launch a new one — take these six steps.

If you don’t have a blog, then you’ll definitely want to take all of these steps as soon as possible — because blogs are the beating hearts of authors’ book marketing strategies.

If you don’t have a blog today, you don’t exist — and that makes it harder to market and sell your books in today’s competitive book marketplace. It’s the modern version of “publish or perish.”

Take These Six Steps to Improve or Launch Your Blog Right Now

Step 1 — Choose the Self-Hosted WordPress.org Platform

Many authors have chosen the free, hosted WordPress.com platform to launch their blogs. There are many problems with this choice, including loss of control, loss of features, and loss of the ability to stay up-to-date with Google updates.

Instead, you should play in the big-boy (or girl) arena and use WordPress.org platform. This will mean you have to purchase your own blog address name (a good thing!) and purchase hosting (also a good thing). But you gain so many advantages that this small investment is more than worth it.

To help you with the tech side of the set up, there are many online resources. But if the set up is more techie than you can handle, you can always find someone to help you. (That’s what I did.)

Go here to download the WordPress.org platform.

Step 2 — Choose a StudioPress Theme

WordPress gives you the basic blog structure — in other words, the bones. Then you need to add some flesh to the bones.

Today, StudioPress blog themes are delivering the maximum results in the blogging world. So far the company is staying current with every new development — including mobile-friendliness.

Just choose the StudioPress blog theme you like the most, and upload it to your WordPress.org platform. Again, you can either use the many help tools available to do this or gain the assistance of a tech pro.

Go here to choose your StudioPress blog theme.

Step 3 — Choose a Blog Host

Since WordPress.org is not a hosted application, you will need to purchase hosting services from a reliable host provider. There are many blog host providers in the marketplace, but two of the most popular are Bluehost and HostGator.

Here’s an insider tip — they are basically the same company. So you can’t go wrong with either one. I’ve used both. I feel I’ve received a bit better customer support from Bluehost.

Go here to purchase Bluehost hosting services.

Go here to purchase HostGator hosting services.

Step 4 — Choose the Right Name

You may already have a blog name that you use. But if you are updating your blog, this is a good time to ask yourself if your current blog name is working for you. If you don’t have a blog yet, then of course you need a name.

Do a little brainstorming to choose the best possible name to promote your books. Many authors just use their names, or their names with some keyword — like JaneDoesBooks.com. Give it some thought, research other authors’ blog names for ideas, write down your ideas, ask your friends and family, and then make a decision.

I recommend GoDaddy for all URL purchases for two main reasons — they are a solid company that will likely be here for the long-term (versus potential fly-by-night operations) and they deliver awesome customer support.

Go here to purchase your blog name at Godaddy.

Step 5 — Set Up Email List-Building Capabilities

The best-kept secret in book marketing is building a list of fans and followers. The way to do this is by adding email capture functionality to your blog.

The key to making this work is having a compelling offer — in other words, giving people something free in exchange for them adding their name to your email list.

Authors have a clear advantage on this, because we can offer visitors to our blogs free excerpts of our books.

Today there are two leading email providers for small business operators: Aweber and MailChimp. MailChimp is free, but comes with considerable limitations. However, this may work for you, at least to start out.

Aweber is more advanced and gives you so many more options — all for less than $20 a month.

Do some research to see which one works best for you.

Go here for Aweber.

Go here for MailChimp.

Step 6 — Write Awesome Blog Posts

No matter how well designed your blog is from a technical standpoint, if it doesn’t contain blog posts that capture readers’ interest and make them want to learn more about your books, then you’ve failed as a blogger.

Spend some time thinking about what you’ll write about on your blog and how you’ll express yourself. The most successful blogs are written by bloggers who are passionate about their topics. These bloggers engage with readers who want to know more on the topic — and they are innovative in what they write about.

Ready to Make Your Blog Book-Selling-Ready?

Learn more about these six insights in my free Blogging 101 Course for Authors. These lessons will help you both create a blog that captures readers’ attention — and passes Google’s mobile-friendliness test.

The free blogging course covers these six points in more detail, along with several other important topics, like using images to capture readers’ attention and coming up with awesome blog post topics.

So sign up for the free Blogging 101 Course for Authors — and start creating the beating heart of your book marketing activities today!

Blogging 101 Course for Authors sign-up page.

Bonus Point — Get a low-cost 21-Point Author Blog Review — to learn exactly what you need to do to boost your blog’s book-marketing support. Email here to find out more: Karen at indiebookmarketingcommunity dot com.

P.S. — Share this with other authors, so they can test their blogs, too!

 

Photo Credit: Steve Young

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rock Kitaro July 25, 2015 at 12:46 am

Very resourceful article! 😀

Reply

Karen Jonson July 25, 2015 at 8:24 am

Hi Rock, Thank you. 🙂

Reply

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