Thursdays with Amanda: Social Media Critiques, Part 9

December 6, 2012 | Written by Amanda Luedeke

Amanda Luedeke Literary AgentAmanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.

A few weeks ago, I offered free social media critiques to those who replied before the 14th. You see, social media is a specialty of mine. Before becoming an agent, I worked for some years as a social media marketer at a marketing agency outside of Chicago. I worked with clients such as Vera Bradley, Peg Perego, Benjamin Moore and more. A somewhat longer description of what I did can be found in the first critique post.

1. Saved Sister is a blog by Wendy.

  • Your “Sponsor” and “Contact Me” pages aren’t clickable…just something to look into!
  • This is a cute blog, but I feel as though you should be getting more interactions on your blog posts, considering the amount of Facebook and Google followers you have. Think about what posts work and what ones seem to fall flat. What ones get your readers talking and what ones keep them silent? Then, weed accordingly.
  • Consider interacting with those who leave comments. You want to acknowledge their participation…it will encourage them to do it again.
  • You might be covering too much here…you blog about motherhood, ministry, nonprofits, books, etc. Maybe you’re spreading yourself and your readership too thing?

RECOMMENDATIONS: It seems your Five-Minute Fridays get the most interaction. Think of ways that you can engage readers of those posts on each day or most days of the week. You’ll see your reader and interaction numbers grow.

2. First Comes Love is a blog by Meghan Carver

  • Your blog appears active and organized. Great job!
  • It’s a bit cluttered, so really think about whether you need so many do-dads at the end of every post and also along the right nav.
  • You seem to be keyed in to a solid homeschooling mom blog group, but I wonder how often you see new readers show up?

RECOMMENDATIONS: It’s time to go out and find new readers, using Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and online forums. Find the homeschooling hashtags, and use those like crazy. Then, interact with the people you see who are also using those hashtags. Develop relationships and get them over on your blog as readers.

3. Rain Country Writer is a website by Dawn Shipman

  • I’m at a loss as to what the goal of this site is. Are you trying to obtain freelance work? Position yourself as an author? Or did you feel you needed an official website to support your blog? I’m just not sure what you’re going for.
  • I’m not sure what we’re supposed to gain by your “About Me” section. Is there a way to talk about yourself that’s more engaging? Also, try to write in smaller paragraphs. It works a lot better for web!
  • I like the banner on your “About Me” section much better than the one on your home page that cycles through various pictures of you. however, I LOVE the tree silhouette on the home page. Wonder if there’s a way to use that elsewhere?

RECOMMENDATIONS: Figure out what you want readers to DO after they’ve visited this site. If you want them to hire you as a freelancer, then redo all of the content so that it positions you as an expert instead of a nice person they may like getting to know. Keep your business hat on, and get some professional headshots done. If you aren’t going for the freelance thing, then I suggest removing your articles and any indication that you’re wanting people to hire you.

4. Braveheart is a website by Becky Doughty

  • I love how clean this site is, but I think you would benefit from getting a banner or masthead designed to match your background.
  • You say that you write Inspirational Fiction, but I don’t see any books on your site aside from a nonfiction one (which you also mention…but I’m just left wondering, where is the fiction?!). I also should note that you only have one book there, when you claim to have multiple by saying “books”
  • I’m not sure “Wow” is the best term for that page
  • Who is your target reader? Women who need uplifting? And are you doing all you can to make sure every posts resonates with them? Just food for thought :)

RECOMMENDATIONS: The content is okay, but I’m not sure it makes your blog unique. There are lots of blogs offering encouragement and uplifting. You have a strong warrior theme going here, but I feel it could be developed further, and you could really create a community. Think about action-related blog posts, not just reflective-type posts. You know, “10 Ways to ….”, “5 Ideas for…” etc., and title each posts accordingly. This will move your blog from being passive to more active, and I think it will resonate with your target readers more.

Any questions or thoughts? Sound off below!

 

Posted in Marketing and Platforms, Social Media Critique, Web/Tech

  • Laura Droege

    Lots of good ideas here, Amanda. I’ve really enjoyed this series and getting to see other writers’ blogs/sites. (And I have some sneaking suspicions as to what you’ll say when you critique my blog. Like, say, “why haven’t you blogged in TWO MONTHS?”)

  • Meghan Carver

    Thank you, Amanda!