Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Why authors need clean baseboards

This past weekend, I washed my baseboards. Like, I got out a bucket and cleaning rags and marched around my house on my knees scrubbing all the grime that gets mysteriously deposited on the little ledge of baseboards. I also polished the doorknobs, cleared the grime off the thermostat, and cleaned out all the air return vents.

My husband came home and said, "Wow, the house looks great, honey. That really makes a difference."

Or...he didn't notice at all and made no comment on the cleaning project that soaked up hours of my Saturday.

The truth is, no one is ever going to walk into my home and comment on how clean the doorknobs are. But you better believe if they grab the bathroom door handle and come away with a palm full of something my kids have smeared on it, they'll notice.

So why do it?
Because, even though no one notices, I know it makes my home cleaner. I know that cleaning the return vents means less dust and healthier air. I know that clean doorknobs means less chance that we all give each other a cold this season. And I know that if I don't do it, my house will look and feel dirty, even if it isn't.

So why are we talking about this?
Because cleaning your baseboards and polishing doorknobs is the marketing equivalent of a clean, easy to navigate website. Here me out.

No one is going to visit your site and say "Wow, look how few clicks it took me to find a buy link. This author made it so easy for me to find their work." But if you don't streamline your site, you might hear "Great googly-moogly, it took forever to find this buy link". Or worse, you hear nothing, because readers got frustrated and left to go find another book.

You will not receive praise for the hours you spend organizing your book pages or putting your press release in its own tab. And my husband still hasn't noticed the clean baseboards. But if you don't keep your website updated, easy to navigate for readers and beneficial to journalists, the silence will much worse.

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