My new web site

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 9.03.13 AM     I haven’t posted to this blog in three months because I have been very involved in two projects and haven’t been able to make an announcement until today. Yesterday my new web site went online. It has the same URL , but it is a new design by Steve Stone with all new content. I abandoned Google’s Adwords and Analytics on the old site a couple of years ago. It didn’t seem to matter much how I changed the landing page or layout of that site. Although it increased my page rank on Google’s searches, it didn’t produce any results in getting inquiries. I finally concluded that there wasn’t an online market for a freelance writer without New York contacts or well-established clients so I have more or less left the site static the past year. I only deleted old links and added a few new sample articles.
The new design is shown in this screen above:
As you can see, the headliner photo shows my library with four sub-heads. The sub-head for Freelance and Magazine gives a brief description of my experience as a writer, editor, and reporter for a variety of magazines, but it no longer includes links to samples of my feature writing. The Blog and Social Networking sub-head makes the links to my various sites easier to find, and I’ve dropped other external links and the Google Adwords inset. The Books sub-head includes links to my three books published on Amazon. The new book will be uploaded next week, and I will describe it in another post.
This blog has changed direction, topics, and frequency as my interests have shifted. I started discussing my magazine writing and the books I read with a lot of emphasis on marketing techniques for writing because I was still trying to market myself as a feature writer both via traditional queries and online. There are lots of books and hundreds of articles on this subject, and I tried to wade through the thicket and tell what had worked and what had not for me. I also ranted a lot about the so-called Content Mills that pay little or nothing and expect their writers to be satisfied merely with a byline.
When my focus shifted from general interest to more specifically travel writing, the blog shifted also. I took a course in DC on this niche market and also published online on Shutterfly, Blurb, and Visual Travel Tours some of my photo/travel books. I really don’t get much commission from the sale of these books, and they are not widely distributed, with the exception of the Raleigh Tour Guide on Amazon’s Kindle format. I even wandered around investigating possible sale of my photos to stock photo houses, but there just is no profit margin in it. In this blog I posted some of my unpublished reports of my personal travels that I did not even try to market. They were more like travel journal entries. Since I bought a new car last fall, I’ve had to limit my travel. Increasing medical expenses and problems also have significantly impacted my travels so I haven’t been back to Europe in seven years.
The new web site puts the emphasis on the three books I’ve published on Amazon with the intent to drive potential customers to these online bookstores to purchase the books. The first book also is available on Barnes & Noble in print and on the Nook. I also have created an author’s page on Amazon with links to my books. I’m still working on the profile on the author’s page and the link to the video that I’ve done on Animoto of the photos in the new book. You can see a preview here: Animoto video teaser for photos in new book
I had do a new design of my web site two years ago, but I didn’t change the content and it didn’t produce any results. We’ll see what this change may bring.


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