tech tips for writers

11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence

This week, I’ll post updated suggestions to get your computers and technology ready for the blitz of writing and marketing you’ll swear to accomplish in New Year resolutions. Here’s what you get (links won’t be active until the post goes live):

  1. 11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence
  2. Writer’s Tech 101: Take Care of Your Computer

For regular readers of WordDreams, these are yearly reminders. For new readers, these are like body armor in the tech battle. They allow you to jubilantly overcome rather than dramatically succumb. Your choice.

11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence

For most writers I know, life zooms by, filled with research, writing, editing, critique groups, reading, promotions (of our books), people watching (to build characters), and thinking. There are few breaks to update/fix/maintain the tech tools that allow us to pursue our trade.

That includes your online presence and all those personal profiles. But, that must happen or they no longer accomplish what we need. If they aren’t updated, we are left wondering why our blog isn’t getting visitors, why our social media Tweeple don’t generate activity, and why you aren’t being contacted for networking. Here’s a short list of  items that won’t take long to accomplish:

  1. Update your online profile–this includes your blog profile page, gravatar, FB, Twitter, Instagram, professional groups, PLN. Have you changed your focus? Switched jobs? Added new publications or items efriends would like to know about? Is your contact information current? This, btw, should be done once a quarter, but at least at the new year.
  2. Clean up your FB stream–delete pictures and comments you no longer find as funny as when you first posted them or make them private. FB has become a common resource for future employers (be they companies considering you for writing gigs or readers interested in everything you’ve written) to use when researching your background. Make sure the YOU that shows up on FB is really YOU.
  3. Update grammar and spelling in old posts–start with the most-visited articles (under Site Stats) and work your way down (in case you run out of time). You’ll be surprised what you can catch with a fresh eye.
  4. Check individual post tags and categories–whittle down the options while still authentically grouping your writing. Sometimes, you’ll find a new category that can include many articles written prior to its addition.
  5. Check the sidebar–for out-of-date and no-longer-relevant widgets and links. Include new pieces that add utility. Move pieces around to give a fresh look. Current thinking is ‘less is more’. Considering putting awards, PLN groups, memberships on separate pages noted in the menu bar.
  6. Check your list of ‘pages‘–are they still relevant? Could some be nested under other pages to save room and/or make them easier to find? While you’re at it, be sure all of these less-visited pages are up to date.
  7. Check the appearance of your blog on a smartphone and iPad. Does it display properly? If not, consider switching to a responsive theme that auto-adjusts for a variety of digital devices.
  8. Make sure everything posted reflects you. Your personal brand may change year-to-year. Review your posts, images, videos, and everything to ensure that they support the profile you are putting out there for readers.
  9. Make sure all online presence sites are current. Have something that shows it’s recently updated. If it looks like no one updates it, visitors will not return a second time. This means recent blog posts, feed activity, and information on all social media, blogs, and websites.
  10. Unsubscribe from lists you no longer have an interest in. This is less about updating your online presence and more about freeing up your time!
  11. Update the stores where you sell your books. This includes your Amazon Author page, Teachers Pay Teachers, BarnesandNoble.com, and any other–prices, descriptions, categories, freebies. I need to do this more often.

Do you have any maintenance issues to suggest for the new year? I’d love to hear them.


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021. 

93 thoughts on “11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence

  1. I love the tip regarding reading over old blog posts, starting with the most visited! I’ve known for a while that I needed to go back over the old one, but couldn’t quite bring my self to look at every one- working backwards makes so much sense! Ugh, I do need to look at those categories and tags, too…
    Thanks Jacqui! Hoping you and yours are doing well this holiday season!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic list, Jacqui! Everyone should bookmark this page. Updating my profile on all the different pages and networks alone would take a while. I’ll probably skip the step about rereading all my blog posts and checking them for typos. That would take an entire month of ten-hour days. Or longer. 🙂 As for everything else… yeah. I should definitely do that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jacqui, I’m laughing at your description of these tasks as ‘body armor in the tech battle’! So true and as always you are so thorough whilst making it look easy enough. Your advice and promptings over the years have meant I’m (mostly) on top of things but will go through the list carefully! Many thanks for all your tips!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing some good suggestions!.. I usually just let my fingers do the walking (typing/writing) and my heart do the talking and Que Sera Sera.. 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May flowers always line your path
    and sunshine light your way,
    May songbirds serenade your
    every step along the way,
    May a rainbow run beside you
    in a sky that’s always blue,
    And may happiness fill your heart
    each day your whole life through.
    May the sun shine all day long
    Everything go right, nothing go wrong
    May those you love bring love back to you
    And may all the wishes you wish come true
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

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