Oh no, another blog post about websites.
I know. You can Google writing tips and get thousands of hits, and dozens of “Top X” lists.
To hopefully save you some time, I am going to point you to a few websites that spoke to me as I clicked through these two collections: “100 Best Websites for Writers in 2018” on The Write Life, and “The 29 Best Websites of 2019” on Scribendi. Both offer sites for writing advice, encouragement, editing, publishing, and marketing.
What I look for in the design of a site is simplicity and ease of use. That might seem obvious, but so many websites seem to bombard the reader with so much information at once that it feels overwhelming. Other sites give so little information and want you to hand over your email before you’ve had even seen a blog post or a content page. I don’t know about you, but I’m not giving up my email before I see what they have to offer, no matter who they are. (There might be a few exceptions to this rule… Stephen King, maybe?)
For those of you that run your our websites, you know that you can make them as complex or simple, gaudy or elegant, cluttered or open as you want. If managing it solo, or on a hosted space, there is usually a selection of templates to use, so there are some limitations, but in general, you can choose how to format your website.
I simply prefer less cluttered styles.
In the end, though, it really is the content that is important. However, if I can’t navigate the page, or if I feel overwhelmed, I am not going to spend a lot of time digging around for the content.
Also, I want genuine content from real writers. I want to connect with them, not get a sales pitch. You know what I mean, the perfectly written post on how to make thousands as a freelance blogger, or be the best writer you can be, and, “Oh, here’s my book you can buy to show you all the ways to do it”.
Anyway, I wanted to filter down these top websites to a few of the ones I found helpful, user-friendly, and/or pleasing in one way or another. Your mileage may vary.
- https://thewritelife.com/ (One list referenced the other website.) It has a pretty clean appearance and it is easy to find posts on topics of interest. The blog links are images but they are nice and large and don’t feel like those click-bait ads at the bottom of so many news pages. Plus I found the content helpful when looking for blogging advice, or writing tips (under the “Craft” option).
- https://goinswriter.com/blog/ Goins, Writer. This is a nice clean blog that has content on many aspects of writing.
- http://www.almostanauthor.com/ Contains posts on writing in many genres, with marketing and publishing advice, and guest posts.
- https://www.thecreativepenn.com/blog/ Run by Joanna Penn with resources for writing, publishing, and editing. She has a blog, podcasts, courses, and books.
- https://www.well-storied.com/ Kristen Kieffer presents posts as well as courses on all aspects of writing. It’s also an easy to navigate, clean website.
- https://www.eadeverell.com/ Eva Deverell’s website has resources for every writer, reading lists, writing worksheets, prompts, plot outlines, and frequent posts on various topics.
- https://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/ by Glen C. Strathy. This site has a little bit of everything, novel writing, story structure, style tips, non-fiction, plays, publishing. It also has clean and pleasant layout. Some Amazon ads at the bottom of the posts, but that is becoming common in blogs.
- Fiction University Janice Hardy provides guides and advice on how to make writing work for you. Guest posts and helpful guides make this a great website for beginning authors who are worried about the “shoulds”. She has links in the left column to a lot of material, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
- https://kathysteinemann.com/Musings/ Kathy Steinemann offers practical tips and useful lists of words and uses some fun images and graphics, too.
- http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl If you are like me, you could use a few grammar tips (no picking on me, though!) This is a great website for brushing up on all the basics and common writer pitfalls.
- https://writersinthestormblog.com/ A sort of in-the-trenches blog by several writers sharing their experience and tips. The transparent reading frame is a little off-putting at first, but many websites are using this style, so you get used to it.
- https://www.dailywritingtips.com/ Interesting short posts on lots of topics. It’s a very basic website, red isn’t the best background color, for me. I enjoyed reading the posts online, unfortunately when I tried to subscribe, I found out they charge! So I’m not sure how often I’ll remember to head over there for daily tips.
There are a lot more, but I’ve saved some additional websites for later posts.
Let me know if you have a favorite from this list, or one I should check out that I didn’t list. If your website is writing related, I would love to hear about it!