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Preview: DT's Workblog

Darren Turpin

Website Content Manager, Online Marketing Strategist, Wordpress Wrangler

Last Build Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2017 06:47:54 +0000


Website Graphic Design Options – 1. Get an Expert In

Tue, 06 Jan 2015 12:34:45 +0000

Good website design is essential. Website visitors should be able to load the page, scan it for the 2.6 seconds or so it takes to form a good first impression and then, assuming the on-screen elements hit the right note, they're good to get on with the important stuff: exploring, enjoying and responding to your content. Job done. In my last post on the subject I mentioned three approaches for achieving good results in website design (I'll be talking about the distinct, but equally essential discipline of website build in a later post) and those are:
  1. Get an Expert In - hire an agency or freelancer.
  2. Go Semi-Pro - use an off-the-peg website theme.
  3. Do It Yourself - learn the skills, do the work.

Go, Read: Chris Lema on Building Your Brand by Blogging

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 09:02:40 +0000

WordPress guru and speaker Chris Lema has posted a succinct but highly informative article on how to go about building your brand (or, if you prefer, growing your audience and developing your authority) with a consistently updated blog. The key, Chris points out, is to answer the questions that your audience need to be answered.

New Client: Richard (K) Morgan

Thu, 09 Oct 2014 14:15:20 +0000

Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning science fiction and fantasy (ah, but is it..?) author Richard Morgan (or Richard K. Morgan to his North American fans) is the latest stellar name to join my steadily expanding client roster.

Theory 101: Opportunity Cost

Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:31:59 +0000

Opportunity Cost is a Very Useful Concept Indeed. The Economist's website includes a handy A-Z reference guide to economic terms, in which Opportunity Cost is defined as:
The true cost of something is what you give up to get it. This includes not only the money spent in buying (or doing) the something, but also the economic benefits (utility) that you did without because you bought (or did) that particular something and thus can no longer buy (or do) something else.
For everything you choose to do, there's something else you won't be able to do instead.

Go, Read: Neil Raphel on why Authors Must Also be Marketers

Fri, 26 Sep 2014 10:29:02 +0000

Over at there's a great tough-love post by Neil Raphel, of self=publishing service provider, that lays out some of the harsh but undeniable truths of the publishing business; namely that authors must also be effective marketers of their own work, because their publisher simply has too many other authors to work for and worry about.

Go, Read: Shawn Coyne on a Better Business Model for Small Press Publishers (Authors, Too)

Tue, 23 Sep 2014 08:14:42 +0000

Over at Steven Pressfield's blog there's a very interesting article by Shawn Coyne of Black Irish Books entitled The Small Press Conundrum. Shawn draws on his twenty-five years of experience in the U.S. publishing industry to discuss the issues faced by many small presses in an industry dominated by the 'Big Five' publishers.

Good Customer Service Isn’t Difficult, It’s Just A Bit Scary Sometimes

Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:18:45 +0000

Good customer service isn't difficult, it just takes someone with the courage to stand up and take responsibility for solving problems, rather than hiding behind the anonymity and safety of corporate boilerplate and spin.

Author Website Visuals – How to Hit the Right Note

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:13:20 +0000

So, you know why your author website needs to make a good first impression, but maybe you're not sure how to go about achieving the right standard of graphic design? And what is the right standard? What sort of visual effect will encourage website visitors to read on, rather than hitting their 'back' button within those vital first 2.6 seconds? In the long run your content will always be the most important aspect of your author website. It's what you have to say, the story you tell, that will encourage readers to subscribe to your RSS feed, or your email mailing list, and to share your posts and ideas. But there's still that initial good impression to make.

Go, Read: Kameron Hurley on the Business of Publishing

Fri, 12 Sep 2014 08:52:22 +0000

Kameron Hurley is an astute author-entrepreneur with a strong insight into the realities of the publishing business. You should go and read what she has to say.

Your Website Must Create a Good First Impression – Here’s Why

Wed, 10 Sep 2014 09:29:24 +0000

Let's get the Website Essentials ball rolling, with a look at why it's vitally important for your author website to create a good first impression. Academic studies and common sense alike suggest that a poorly designed website will - through the principle of sensation transference - lead the viewer to assume that the product the website is promoting is of equally poor quality. Here's why...

WordPress 4.0 is Out Now – It’s Upgrade Time

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 08:30:44 +0000

The latest version of WordPress, version 4.0, has just been released and I'm very happy to see an emphasis on improved content management functionality this time around.

Coming Soon: Theory 101

Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:09:05 +0000

As well as my more how-to focused series on Website Essentials, I'm going to be posting an eclectic assortment of posts on personally interesting and potentially useful theories, concepts and ideas.

Website Essentials: 15 Must-Have Elements for Your Author Website

Mon, 01 Sep 2014 09:31:19 +0000

As an author - pro-published, author-published or pre-published - your website should be the single most valuable piece of online real estate that you possess. Social media channels provide opportunities to reach a potentially huge audience. But without developing and delivering a bank of content that attracts, informs, entertains and engages with that potential audience, you'll have nothing worthwhile to offer. And without a means of tracking and measuring the popularity of and response to that content, you'll have no way of knowing what works and what doesn't.

21 of the Best UK SF Authors (2 Down, 19 To Go)

Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:13:28 +0000

Over the weekend, SF critic and writer Damien G. Walter posted a list of 21 Of The Best British Sci-Fi Writers You've Probably Never Heard Of over at

New Client: The Independent Salford Beer Festival

Thu, 14 Aug 2014 09:10:21 +0000

The Independent Salford Beer Festival is taking place in October 2014 as a fundraiser for the Saint Sebastian's Community Centre in Salford. My pal Jim - beer blogger extraordianire at Beers Manchester - is running the festival and when I heard about his mission to save the centre, I stepped forward and offered to build a website to help promote the event.

New Client: Mills Mines Machinery

Thu, 14 Aug 2014 08:49:05 +0000

Mills Mines Machinery is a local history project that explores Bolton's industrial heritage, and I was commissioned to build the website that supports the project's information-provision and archiving goals.

Go, Read: Chuck Wendig Nails the Social Media Marketing Thing

Wed, 13 Aug 2014 14:20:52 +0000

Chuck Wendi'g blog post 'How to Promote Yourself and Your Books on Social Media Without Feeling Like a Soul-Selling, Sleaze-Sucking Slime-Glob' is essential reading for anyone who engages in such a thing on a regular basis.

Go, Read: Kevan Lee’s 101 Guide to Social Media Marketing

Thu, 17 Jul 2014 09:20:53 +0000

Kevan Lee (@kevanlee) offers advice on 'How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan From Scratch'.

Go, Read: Michael R. Underwood Reveals 25 Secrets of Publishing

Tue, 17 Jun 2014 13:25:31 +0000

Author and publisher Michael R. Underwood explains twenty-five of the finer (read: trickier) points of the publishing process.

New Client: Paul Cornell

Tue, 03 Jun 2014 14:19:34 +0000

I'm delighted to welcome novelist, short fiction writer, comics writer, screenwriter and anthologist Paul Cornell as a client.

New Client: Joe Abercrombie

Fri, 04 Apr 2014 07:44:24 +0000

The latest website client to join the DTL roster is bestselling fantasy author Joe Abercrombie - a.k.a. @LordGrimdark!

New Client: Liesel Schwarz

Fri, 07 Mar 2014 09:37:29 +0000

I'm extremely happy indeed to announce that Steampunk author Liesel Schwarz is the newest addition to my website client list.

New Client: Rachel Neumeier

Mon, 16 Dec 2013 19:46:11 +0000

I'm hugely pleased to announce another addition to my developing client roster: fantasy author Rachel Neumeier.

WordPress 3.8 Out Now – Time to Upgrade Again

Mon, 16 Dec 2013 10:31:00 +0000

WordPress 3.8 was released on Friday and I'll be rolling it out across my clients' sites and my own project sites later today.

Dodgy ‘Desk-Jockey’ Posture? Bad Back? Try This.

Mon, 25 Nov 2013 13:37:11 +0000

I’d imagine the vast majority of people who work at a desk or type away on a computer keyboard all day have pretty terrible posture. Probably a bad back, neck ache and shoulder stiffness, too. It’s something I’m prone to and even though I’m aware of the need to avoid slumping forwards, get up, move […]