Does Your Website Home Page Speak to Your Audience?

There are many techniques to marketing, some good, some not as good. Every product should benefit from its marketing. Sometimes, however, it all boils down to luck.

Just as book covers are the primary marketing tools for books, web pages are the primary marketing tool for whatever it is you’re doing online. So what do book covers do?

The purpose of book covers

Book covers should give you a general feeling about the book. Ideally, they will convey through art and design what the book conveys to you through word. This list is a good example of a collection of book covers that portray specific feelings.

Book covers do the following:

  • Inform. The title and author should always be present.
  • Portray emotion. The colors and feel of a romance novel should depict that. And they should be vastly different than those of a thriller. Sometimes they’re not, but they should be.
  • Spark interest. Yes, I know this is pretty obvious, but when all is said and done the job of a book cover is to make me (the reader) pick up the book.

Your web page is like a book cover for your product

Chances are you’re not trying to sell books. But no matter what you’re selling, your web page is like the book cover for your product. Image is key. The feeling portrayed is key. Your goal is to get visitors to your site interested in what you’re trying to sell. Your web site essentially does the same thing for your product as book covers do for new books.

  • Inform. Your customer should not have to dig around to figure out what you’re all about.
  • Portray emotion. Simplicity, colors, images, etc. All of the elements of your page should be designed to make your reader comfortable and keep them there.
  • Spark interest. The more your readers like your home page, the more likely they are to browse around on your site.

Book covers and web pages are like cousins. The older cousin, book cover, has set an example through the years that web page designers are following.

Next time you wonder whether or not your web page is user-friendly and marketing the right ideas to your audience, consider the effect your “book cover” is having. Is the image and feeling unique? If you were a brand new customer, would your interest be sparked by what’s on the page? Are you giving your audience some kind of emotion? Is it the right kind of emotion?

The number one rule of design for book covers and web pages alike is to KEEP IT SIMPLE. Simplicity is key to keeping your audience interested in your page. We’ve all experienced being overwhelmed by an overdone web page with too many links. Just as a book cover full of busy images, too much text, and and overwhelming amount of information is likely to be put back on the shelf, web pages can be in just as much danger of being “x’ed” out of.


Mariah Overlock is a publicist for Cedar Fort Publishing. She has a life-long and deep passion for books and believes everyone should be a reader. Whether you simply read the news everyday or the latest bestseller, nobody ever lost intelligence from reading.

6 Brutal Fails of Networking

This is a guest post from Laura Jorgensen of Cedar Fort Books. Follow Cedar Fort on Twitter and Like them on Facebook!

Why should people network?

The answer might be obvious to many who have benefited from the effects of networking.

“Many people make introductions, get promoted, or jumpstart career transitions because of networking – having the courage to meet new people and having the discipline to maintain familiar contacts,” says Caroline Ceniza-Levine of SixFigureStart.

For myself, about half of the jobs that I’ve had were because I knew someone who already worked there. From an internet point of view, networking is a way to get your message heard by as many people as possible. The more friends you have the more people willing to listen and repeat your message.

You’re probably saying to yourself about now, “Wait! I thought you were going to tell us how to not network.” So I am, but first I wanted to set the stage of what networking can do.

Recently I went to two different conventions, one for fun and personal interests and the other for work. Conventions are great places to network because it is a bunch of like-minded people getting together to talk about something that they’re passionate about. You don’t have to seek them out, they’ve gathered together for you.

Unfortunately I mostly failed at the whole networking thing, especially at the second convention (granted the second day I was sick, but still). I only gave out my business card to one (count them, 1) person total, and that was because I told myself I couldn’t leave until I did (I left right after). I was able to say hi to some of the panelists, but it wasn’t anything that would make them remember me out of the hundreds of other people that were there trying to network too.

On the whole, the one good experience was definitely a foil for my many other failures. And from those, here is what I’ve learned about how to NOT network:

6 Ways to Network Unsuccessfully

  1. Blend in: If they can’t see you they won’t know that you’re there.
  2. Don’t talk: Not even to your neighbor, not even about the weather, cause that might lead to something else.
  3. Be obnoxious: No I wasn’t (at least I don’t think I was), but I noticed some people that, even though they had good resumes, I wasn’t sure that I’d want to be in contact with later.
  4. Be sick: Well I guess that’s not really a requirement, but being grumpy and miserable is indeed a turn off. If you really want people to stay away you could hack into a handkerchief every once in a while.
  5. Be self-centered: One-sided conversations, are great ways to not get to know other people.
  6. Don’t have a purpose: At the first convention I knew more the type of person that I was interested in networking with. At the second I didn’t. So I ended up just swiping swag off their tables and not really talking to them.

Moral of the story: Don’t do what I did at the conventions.

Go talk to people. Be memorable. Be interested in other people and they will most likely be interested in you. Be a likable person so that people will WANT to be your friend. And don’t be afraid to talk to strangers–they may be just the person you’re looking for. Also stay in contact with old and new friends. You never know when you might hit a gold mine.

Start Spreading the News…

Being an avid New York Yankee fan from the time I can remember, after seeing this infographic today I had to share it. (But this isn’t the main point of this post so make sure you read on AFTER the cool graphic)

Chicago and New York – What’s the Difference?

My first visit to the “Big Apple” happened when I was 14. As some of you know, not only did I grow up loving the Yankees, but I also was a pretty dedicated clogger. (Clogging is a dance form similar to tap dance.)

Clogging took me literally all over the world: Missouri, Utah, California, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia; and internationally to Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Chile.

At 14, my clogging duet partner and I entered a talent competition held near Times Square in New York City. We were excited, nervous, and ready to see the famous sites and structures of “the most populous city in the United States“.

Some of the things I remember most about New York City on my first visit were how fast everyone seemed to be moving, the subways (which I don’t believe I’d ever seen before this trip), and homeless people “relieving themselves” right on the sidewalks we walked on.

I’m reading a book right now that has made me aware that there is another side of New York too, one that I’m yet to see in person. The book is called “Conversations with a Moonflower”. It’s written by Christine T. Hall, and it’s one of those books that I can’t put down until I finish it.

The book is only 120 total pages and each page has at most 4 paragraphs, but the concepts it shares about the sub-cultures of New York are really profound. I’m not finished with the book yet, but definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a book that will help take the stress out of your life and help you manage your time while enjoying life’s hidden treasures.

Buy “Conversations with a Moonflower”