Thursdays with Amanda: Free Website and Social Media Feedback for Authors!

September 6, 2012 | Written by admin

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.

I have a few workshops I offer, in which I discuss many of the topics that I’ve touched on here at Thursdays with Amanda. One is a “Writing for Social Media” class. The other is a broad look at the digital world and how it pertains to authors.

After each of these classes, I always get people coming up to me, wanting me to take a look at their webpage, their blog, their facebook group. I can give them all the theory, all the practical application, all the ideas in the world when I’m standing up front, lecturing, and still, you’ll have those people who don’t know where to start. They want to be told what to do in a way that applies to them specifically. They want a bit of hand-holding.

So for all of you hand-holders, this one’s for you!

Just like those people come up to me after class, I want you to do the same. In the comments below, post links to the social media or website pages that you want some feedback on. Then, the coming weeks will be spent going over each submission. You’ll get my two cents, and probably a lot of other valuable feedback from the wonderful people who read my posts.

Sound like a plan?

If you’d like to participate, just leave a comment below with some links to the social media or website pages that you’d like feedback on the most. It’s that simple.

I hope to hear from you!

If you’re new to Thursdays with Amanda, the archives is a great place to get caught up.

UPDATE: We’re getting lots of comments, which is great. I won’t be shutting things down until my next Thursdays with Amanda post on the 14th. So don’t be shy! There’s still time.

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114 Comments to “Thursdays with Amanda: Free Website and Social Media Feedback for Authors!”

  1. I’m not yet published, but I’ve got a blog: https://letmewritethat.wordpress.com . I can’t tell if it’s helping or hurting my effort to sell stories. Any thoughts on that?

  2. Charity Hawkins:

    Oh man, I would LOVE this! That’s exactly why I’m going to ACFW — to meet with the marketing people about all this stuff.
    Here’s my website/blog: http://www.thehomeschoolexperiment.com/
    Here’s my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TheHomeschoolExperiment
    I’d love to hear all comments anyone has on what looks good/dumb. I have lots of experience in web design, but very little in Facebook and am still finding my feet there.
    Not sure if you need this or not, but my target market is:
    1) homeschool moms
    2) potential homeschool moms
    3) any mom with young kids.
    My marketing goal is that when someone is thinking about homeschooling their kids, this is the first book they’d read. I’d love it if this book was the one friends recommend to each other when they are first considering homeschooling, sort of the insider’s look into this world. Honest but encouraging, so my platform goal is to be that honest community where homeschool moms go to laugh and be encouraged.
    Feel free to be as honest and blunt as possible. I can take it! I want to know!
    Thank you SO much for offering this. You are awesome.

    • Paula:

      I just saw your website, even though I’m not a mom, I think I’d read the book just bec it sounds interesting : ) I really like the site, it’s very well put together.

      • Charity Hawkins:

        You are so kind! I just looked at
        YOURS, before I read this comment, and I like the look of yours–very YA, which
        sounds like your target market. You must be from England because you said
        “whilst.” :) I pine regularly for England.

  3. Paula:

    Amanda, you are so AWESOME!
    Thanks for doing this : )

    OK, please be ruthless.
    This is my site: http://www.yourvervemagazineonline.info

    Its supposed to be a site with tons of free short stories and then a little bit of info about me.

    But, my site has absolutely no traffic at all.
    So, I’m not sure if it’s my writing that sucks or the site that sucks or both. Either way, I need to fix something!

    Thanks again : )

  4. Keep ‘em coming! And please Tweet and share the blog post on Facebook!

    • Amanda, will you be showing some of the ones you find doing the right things on this blog? Will you be replying to each on their blog or privately? Just curious because this is always of great interest. I love it when you post about social media/blogs/websites.

  5. PatriciaW:

    http://readinnwritin.blogspot.com I started blogging over 6 years ago and my blog evolved from things I saw incorporated into other people’s blogs. But blogging has changed quite a bit since then–template styles, wisdom of the day as to what to include (or not), and the use of multiple pages to get more of a website feel. I’ve got some ideas but I’d love to hear yours.

  6. maegan beaumont:

    okay… you asked for it. :)
    http://maeganbeaumont.blogspot.com/

  7. How awesome. My blog is at LindsayHarrel.com. My readership has grown steadily but I would love to know if there is anything else I can do to attract more readers. Thank you!

  8. What a great idea! I’d love it if you’d check out my blog for novice writers: http://www.aimeelsalter.com.
    I get traffic already, but I’m always keen for ideas on improvement / building followers. Brutal honesty gladly accepted. I’m also on twitter which is where I drive most of the traffic to the blog: http://twitter.com/AimeeLSalter

  9. Bradley Nickell:

    This is fantastically cool of you to do. I am a big fan of feedback and have a thick skin. One of the hardest things to do is find people that are willing to give HONEST feedback. Sometimes they are too afraid to hurt your feelings and that doesn’t help anyone grow. Thanks!

    http://RepeatOffenderonline.com
    http://facebook.com/RepeatOffenderonline

    • Bradley, I totally agree with your comments. I’m part of several writing groups and it seems as if they all fluff one another up and I’m not sure if it helps anyone really grow as a writer and promoter of his work.

  10. Okay, wow! I am, of course, suddenly feeling terribly insecure about my two blogs (I was asked to do the second one by my local newspaper, which publishes my posts about once a month) but I’ll send you the links anyway! Thank you!
    http://www.afinedayforanepiphany.wordpress.com
    http://www.theviewfrommywindow.areavoices.com

  11. This is exactly what I was thinking about needing today! Thank you for doing this.
    My blog (for church planting wives, ministry wives, and women in leadership): http://www.gracecoversme.com

  12. I just posted a comment … but I don’t see it. http://www.messymiddle.com would love your professional take. Thank you! Amy

  13. Since that one worked, I’ll add to it. I’ve recently completed an eBook and am wondering if it’s wiser to just give it away for free (building my tribe) OR to somehow tie it to people subscribing. Thoughts on that? Again, thanks!

  14. KD Byers:

    This is really nice of you…would love your feedback! http://www.kdbyers.org

    • wayneanson:

      KD, your blog makes me feel right at home. It expresses who you are verbally, visually, and through the sidebar selections. I found it very easy to navigate and it would have been easy to spend more time there. I could definite learn from what you have done.

    • wayneanson:

      I’m lost. Who are you? What is your blog’s purpose. Colorful and attractive but when I land on the home page I need to know a bit more about what I’m seeing and how to navigate it to mine its value.

      • Wayne, I’m a pastor and writer. This site is for a writing project. Maybe you missed the title at the top of the page? “Parenting the Greats a writing project by Kevin Butler”. This is only a launch site. It’s not a personal blog. It’s not a site to purchase the book. The site’s only intent is to draw interest about the project and to build the books following. There is a tab to the right which reads, “about me” This will tell you more about who I am.

      • Wayne, I spent some time redoing the navigational bar. After looking at my site from the outside in, you are correct. It would be confusing to someone who visited this site but didn’t know about it being a launch site. Thanks for the input. Give it another click and see if it’s better to navigate.

  15. Ok. So, the cool thing is: checking everyone’s websites! I’m having a blast!

  16. Cherry Odelberg:

    Well, okay then. Since Chip’s last post dealt with putting things out there for criticism – ready or not – einefeistyberg.wordpress.com

    • Laura McClellan:

      Cherry, I like your blog, but I don’t see anywhere to subscribe!

    • wayneanson:

      I like the placement of your invitation to leave a comment. It gets me primed to communicate. Seeing how many comments have already been made creates curiosity too. You use of pictures is great and I love your header. I struggle with some of the font size, etc. But I have that same struggle on my own blog. That’s an area it looks like many of us could use some guidance on.

  17. Anne Love:

    Ok, don’t see my post yet either. Here goes again.
    I’m a newbie with 1 1/2 WIP’s complete, no agent yet, and working on getting feet wet in social media. Can you look at my blog? anneslovenotes.blogspot.com

    • I love your last line : Mennonite girl without a bonnet. What about making that your brand? It makes me feel like I know who you are–conservative with an edge. :)

      • Anne Love:

        Thanks Bethany. I’ve been thinking about that as a brand. However, not quite sure since I’m writing Historical Romance, but not Amish or Mennonite.

    • wayneanson:

      Nice start. I hope you enjoy the journey of blogging. Perhaps you could turn your Contact Me into a live link and offer some ways to follow your blog.

  18. Laura McClellan:

    Amanda, that’s such a generous gesture. You could spend all your time for the next few weeks/months looking at these. I’m not commenting for that purpose; just want to say your offer was timely–I was just thinking how most writer blogs/websites seem to talk about wanting to help, but they want to get paid first. (Not that there’s anything wrong with getting paid for services rendered.)

    Anyway, I found your offer very encouraging.

    Have a great weekend.

    Laura

  19. Jackie:

    Amanda, what a gracious offer. If I’m not too late I’d love for you to look at my blog.
    It’s http://jackiesbackporch.blogspot.com
    Thanks so much. I appreciate you offering this to us.
    Joyfully,
    Jackie

    • wayneanson:

      Love your pictures. They keep the blog alive. However, the picture that runs over under the archives, etc. really makes those sidebar entries confusing and hard to navigate.

  20. Rajdeep Paulus:

    Finally created a top border I’m in love with! What do you think? http://www.insearchofwaterfalls.com Thanks Amanda! :)

  21. Steve:

    Thanks for the kind offer. My micropublishing venture is http://www.indigotreepublishing.com I appreciate any feedback.

    • wayneanson:

      Your initial visual impact is off putting. It seems to lack balance and the colors come across bright enough to hurt the eyes. That’s enough to make me want to skip on by. Perhaps you could put the explanation of who you are up in the header with your logo. I like the logo. Also, try and find a better balance on font size and readability. On the individual product pages putting a graph up top beside the summary could help draw me in.

      • Steve:

        I appreciate the input so much. I will talk to my web guy. I do not understand what you mean by putting a graph up top and am interested in grasping the concept. Thanks again.

        • wayneanson:

          It was to represent a balance sheet showing gains and losses. I sure did not communicate on that point. I struggle both visually and verbally with fully communicating in my head. If people like you had not made comments I would be even more lost. Thank you.

          And by the way, good luck on you venture!

  22. Hi Amanda, What a great offer! I’ve had my website for several years now, but FINALLY have a novel debuting in 2013. I know that I need to update my site, but it all seems a bit overwhelming. http://www.shannonhitchcock.com

    • wayneanson:

      Shannon, I come away from your blog with a very positive idea of what an “author” blog can be. I love the format and it is very easy to peruse. However, the categories and brief takes really pull a reader in.

  23. Always open to feedback! Thanks for the offer.
    http://thesurvivalmama.com

    Jen

  24. Cool – Would love to hear your take on The Glitter Globe. http://www.theglitterglobe.com/

  25. wow, thanks for this generous offer. I’d love your comments on my site. Giving you the one I’ve had the longest – it is detailed notes on Bible studies. http://www.xanga.com/wondering04

  26. I have a blog I’ve been posting on for a little over a year even though I took off this summer unannounced. I’m getting back into it and have been following Chip since before he took off (and started back up) and your weekly column since it started. Chip actually gave me the only feedback I got when I was trying to market my novella to an agent which I appreciate more than he may ever know.
    Anyway, my blog is http://byrdmouse.com. I haven’t made any waves with it, but like most hope to be read and published one day. I know most people give constructive criticism but get destructive crticism but I thank you for either.

  27. Laura L. Smith:

    Your critique is always phenomenal http://www.laurasmithauthor.com

  28. Crickett Keeth:

    I’d love your feedback on my website. http://www.crickettkeeth.com
    Thanks so much.

  29. Lucy S. R. Austen:

    Neat offer! Thank you!

    Website: lucysrausten.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucysrausten.writer

  30. Jerry Eckert:

    Amanda, Sure hope you don’t end up regretting your magnanimous offer. You might be inundated. I’m starting to try finding an agent for my nonfiction memoir, a collection of essays of my life and career around the world. I need to build out my platform and am about to re-open and revitalize my blog, which I have not touched in a year because it took so much time away from getting the book done. My book chapters revolve around poverty and income redistribution, ending apartheid, etc. My blog has not touched that space yet. One agent to whom I pitched said, “Change the Blog.” Your counsel would be appreciated. Also on anything else that might make the blog a dynamite site. Thanks. Jerry

    http://thewordbutcher.blogspot.com/

  31. Tracey Michae'l Lewis-Giggetts:

    Wow! Thanks! – http://www.traceymlewis.com

  32. Cathy Gohlke:

    I would LOVE your take and advice, Amanda! Here is my FB Author Page http://www.facebook.com/CathyGohlkeBooks
    and on my website blog: The blog is Journal Notes on the Home Page of my website: http://www.cathygohlke.com
    Thank you so much for this generous offer!

  33. Alicia Bruxvoort:

    Wow! Thanks, Amanda! I feel like i just scratched off a winning lottery ticket!

    My blog is The Overflow! @http://www.aliciabruxvoort.net. I write mostly for women and mothers who are longing to be filled and fueled by Christ. I’d love some honest input.

    • Paula:

      I really like the header with the pic, it’s very eye catching and the color of the blog is inviting. I think you did a good job w/it.

  34. Verla Wallace:

    Thanks for the offer, Amanda. I would appreciate our feedback about my blog, Pilgrim on the Loose (www.pilgrimontheloose.com). The tabs near the top include pages about me and my first book. Since my focus has shifted from a marketplace audience to a broader audience, my previous “platform” (i.e. LifeChasers) is no longer applicable. Am I starting over re a platform? I’ve completed a new book manuscript (not yet placed), but it, too, is for a wider audience. Your counsel would be appreciated.

  35. Elizabeth Kitchens:

    You’re awesome, Amanda!
    Here’s my website:
    http://www.elizabethjanekitchens.com

  36. Wendy:

    Thanks so much! Here is my blog:
    http://savedsister7.blogspot.com/

  37. Meghan Carver:

    Would love to have your input, Amanda! Thank you so much! My blog is geared toward Christian wives and mothers, and I blog about homeschooling, homemaking, mothering. I’m at http://www.meghancarver.blogspot.com. (No author website yet.)

  38. Dawn Shipman:

    I think you’re already regretting this offer, Amanda, but in case you’re a true glutton for punishment, here’s my website: Raincountrywriter.com. I expect to hear back from you, oh, maybe by Christmas?! :)

  39. Becky Doughty:

    Yes, Amanda! Please! You’re awesome!

    http://beckydoughty.com/

  40. Laurie A. Green:

    I’m in the process of having a professional web site built (your suggestion), but I’d love feedback on what does and doesn’t work on my old site. http://www.laurie-green.webs.com

  41. Laura Droege:

    Are you sure you’re up for this, Amanda?! If so, you’ve got loads more energy than I do; I’m tired just reading all the comments! I blog at lauradroege.wordpress.com

  42. Ashley Mays:

    I’d love some feedback! Thanks for the opportunity. :-)

    http://www.ashley-mays.com
    http://www.ashleywritesagain.blogspot.com

  43. Laurel Wanrow:

    Oh, I’d love to take you up on this! Thanks so much for the opportunity.
    http://laurelwanrow.wordpress.com/

  44. Katibriah Hills:

    What a generous offer, Amanda. I pray you don’t regret it. :)

    If you have time and you are not completely worn out I would appreciate any feedback you can give me. http://katibriahhills.webs.com/

  45. Just dropping in to say that I think this is super sweet of you, Amanda. You seriously rock. :0)

  46. Hi all! Wow, lots of takers. So exciting! We’re still all systems go…even if it takes me forever to work though them. Which means if you haven’t yet posted your site/social media link and want to, DO IT!

    • Rajdeep Paulus:

      Amanda! I know you’re not expecting to be paid, but I think you should post your snail addy for those of us who want to send you some chocolate [or maybe something you like better??] to say thanks!! :) -Raj

  47. This is such a generous offer – I’d love you to have a look at my website if you get a moment. It’s http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk Thanks so much

  48. Like wow. Like many comments. Like that’s how to get people to respond–a call to action. So I’m in. 8^)

    http://www.cindyscinto.com/index.html

    http://cindyscinto.blogspot.com/

    http://www.facebook.com/A.Heart.Like.Mine.Book

    http://www.facebook.com/RegiftedSeries

    Okay, I’m done abusing your offer. 8^) Your fun.

    Cindy

  49. I’m having fun looking at everyone’s sites! This is cool. 8^)

  50. Are you kidding? Wowzers!! Amanda thank you so very much for your generous offer. I’ll throw mine in as well: http://www.megansayer.com

  51. RobHalpin:

    Very cool of you to offer this service.

  52. What a wonderful offer! Count me in! http://faeriesdragonsspaceships.blogspot.com
    this is very kind of you to do btw :)

  53. Chris Plumb:

    Thank you, advice from a professional is exactly what I need. Friends, family, and google searchers rarely leave criticism.

    http://plumbeddown.blogspot.com/

    I have a facebook fanpage and twitter account with the same name, but they’re barely off the ground.

    • Chris Plumb:

      BTW, one of my good friends at Harvest House Publishers here in Eugene, OR. just raves about your agency. I was disappointed to see that unsolicited submissions are not accepted. Maybe some day.

  54. Ardis Nelson:

    This is just what the doctor ordered. I’m all in.
    http://ardisanelson.com/
    http://www.facebook.com/ArdisANelson?ref=hl
    I’ve been blogging for a year. My first manuscript was just published a few weeks ago in a compiliation. My facebook author page is new as well.
    Thanks so much!

  55. Jo Huddleston:

    Amanda, what an awesome, unselfish offer to look at our sites. Thanks so much for your time. You can wait till Christmas on mine if you need to.
    Website & blog: http://www.johuddleston.com
    Facebook: https://facebook.com/jo.huddleston.hope

    Thanks again!
    Jo

  56. Really? This would be great. I’d love to get the feedback. Here’s my information:
    Blog: http://wellroundedhome.com/about
    Twitter: @wellroundedhome
    Facebook: http://facebook.com/wellroundedhome

  57. Peter DeHaan:

    I would love feedback on my website:
    http://www.peterdehaan.com/.

    Thank you!

  58. Michelle Van Loon:

    In your spare time…http://www.michellevanloon.com
    Thanks!

  59. Elizabeth:

    Whew! you have your work cut out for you! I’d love any constructive criticism…
    http://breakfastinmoscow.wordpress.com/

  60. Ginger Harrington:

    Really enjoy your posts Amanda-thanks for taking the time to give feedback. Love to have your feedback, as well as anyone else who cares to chime in:)
    You can find me at…
    http://www.gingerharrington.com

  61. Would love thoughts on my blog, Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island at
    http://www.loristanleyroeleveld.blogspot.com/

    I have a loyal following but looking to expand. Thank you. I’m thick-skinned and open to all reviews. (Already know my posts are long.)

  62. Thank you Amanda! Would love your thoughts on my blog: psalms204.blogspot.com.

    THANK YOU!! :-)

  63. Wow. Thanks for offering to help. I would love your feedback on my personal blog http://denisedilley.blogspot.com.

  64. Brooke Espinoza:

    I love your posts! They are always so helpful! Thank you! I’d love some feedback on my blog, Rivers of Water: http://www.brookeespinoza.blogspot.com/

  65. Donna Maloy:

    I would love feedback on my website: http://www.donnamaloy.com
    Thank you, Amanda.

  66. Donna Maloy:

    I would love feedback on my website: http://www.donnamaloy.com
    Thank you, Amanda.

  67. Carla Anne:

    I’d love your feedback on my website/blog: http://www.carlaanne.com Thanks every one!!

  68. Carolyn Ruch:

    I hope you’re not burned out yet. I’d love your feedback on my website.

    http://www.RiseAndShineMovement.org

  69. Denise Hisey:

    Just came up for air after our daughter’s wedding.
    I would absolutely love your thoughts/suggestions!!
    http://www.inspired2ignite.com
    Thank you so much for your time and expertise!

  70. Denise Hisey:

    Thank you, Chip and Amanda for this wonderful offer! You are both very generous!

  71. I’m the “blogservant” for Northwest Christian Writers’ Association. Thanks for any feedback!
    http://nwchristianwriters.wordpress.com/

  72. Carol Bond Wagner:

    I hope I’m not too late to throw mine into the mix. This is a most gracious offer. Not sure if you were expecting such a large slew of requests, you must have hit a hot button :) Thank you!
    carolbondwagner.wordpress.com

  73. Eunice:

    Dear Amanda,

    I am cosmetic chemist who is launching a line of skin care products for the ethnic market. I am trying to build my platform and desire to also write a beauty book. I would greatly appreciate your feedback on my blog which can be found at http://www.nuekie.blogspot.com.

    Thank you,
    Eunice

  74. I’m a week behind on my reading lists, so if I’m not too late I’d love your feedback. Thanks and God bless!
    http://mirrorministries.org/blogpage/

  75. The 14th? Uh oh, I think I may have missed it. Well, if I can get in, I’d love feedback on http://www.ruthmadison.com Otherwise, I’ll be reading all the advice to everyone else and see how I can apply it! :)

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