Improve Your Editor Website

Debbie Emmitt (self-published, 2023), 104pp, £9.95 (ebk), 146pp, £12.95 (pbk), £19.95 (hbk)
ISBN 978 1 73 951070 1

Reviewed by Anne Austin

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I can’t be the only working editor who hasn’t touched their website for months. Do I feel good about that? Not really. So when I was offered the opportunity to review Debbie Emmitt’s how-to guide Improve Your Editor Website, I was immediately intrigued.

As the author explains at the start, this is not a primer on how to set up a site or find a good web designer. Instead, it’s squarely aimed at editors who want to get serious about turning their site into a business-generating powerhouse.

Emmitt brings 20 years’ worth of marketing and web content expertise to the table – and it shows. After a couple of opening chapters highlighting the importance of being strategic about your site’s objectives, we’re plunged into the world of creating user personas, imagining user journeys and deploying techniques like A/B testing to fine-tune content.

It’s quite a lot to take in, but the author never fails to come across as your amiable, knowledgeable guide. There are plenty of tips and tricks along the way, as well as a plethora of well-sourced studies quoted throughout.

In fact, a particularly interesting feature of this book is that the author’s friendly, easy-going style belies the considerable complexity in her approach. It’s noticeable, for example, that certain snippets of especially vital information are mentioned more than once across different sections, presumably to subtly reinforce how critical they are.

To wit: you’ll find multiple messages about how crucial it is to optimise web pages for mobile, to design your site with a ‘mobile-first’ mindset, and so on. Happily, you also get lots of practical advice about how exactly to implement this.

Indeed, practical advice runs like a golden thread throughout the whole work. There doesn’t seem to be much about ideal site structure, layout or SEO that the author doesn’t know. It had never occurred to me, for instance, that changing the settings on your site so that people clicking on external links have them open up in a new tab rather than within the same tab might have an impact on your site analytics. But the author’s explanation made perfect sense.

Why is that? Well, you’ll need to read the book to find out. I’m no spoiler.

In short, there’s a great deal of valuable information here about every aspect of running your own website. You’ll learn exactly how to handle images, how to maximise accessibility, how to present your content, how to use linking and social media, etc. It’s all good stuff.

This isn’t a book that you read through once and then put back on the shelf. It’s a detailed manual that you’ll return to again and again as you continue to craft your editorial website. For anyone who’s planning to get into content marketing as a strategy, this is the place to start. The author packs a huge amount into 104 pages in a well-structured and logical way, while maintaining a very engaging tone all the way through.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to write a post to resurrect my zombie blog …

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