We’re launching something new at Author Media. Every month, we will be doing one free website review on our blog. If you are interested in having your website featured, leave us a comment or contact us.
Today we’re reviewing Kathy Pooler’s website. Kathy is an avid blogger who is writing a memoir this year as part of a challenge. She agreed to let us review her site publicly, so we’re going to highlight three things she’s excelling at and three things she can work on.
Pro #1 – Her Name is Her Domain
There’s nothing simpler than having your own domain name. It shows that you have commitment and are serious about building your author brand. Kathy blogs at www.KRPooler.com. I’m not sure why she didn’t go with her full name but the bottom line is that her website is still very easy to find. It also passes the important radio test.
Buying a domain is easier than you think. When you do buy a domain, please avoid GoDaddy.
Con #1 – Branding Inconsistency
Kathy has a beautiful bio box and a great About Me page. Unfortunately, they don’t match. This isn’t really a con per say. She just needs to pick which one she wants to use and commit to it.
A professional author portrait would also boost her branding.
Branding doesn’t just happen in the text of your website. It’s reflected in your photos, your header, and even the color scheme of your site.
Pro #2 – Blogging Consistently
Kathy blogs every week. For two years, she’s faithfully been writing her blog. That’s a lot longer than a lot of Hollywood marriages. She’s committed to her writing and it shows.
You might not think that two years is a big deal but it is. Imagine how well you would get to know someone if you saw them every week for two years. There’s a lot of trust that gets built. She’s built trust with her readers. She’s shown that she’s not just playing at writing. She’s writing every single week of the year.
Con #2 – Flabby Content
This doesn’t reflect on Kathy’s writing at all. She’s just not a web geek. Writing for the internet is different than writing for books. Paragraphs need to be shorter in order to retain readability. A good rule of thumb is that each paragraph should be no longer than four lines (not sentences). If your paragraph exceed four lines, make the next paragraph one line.
That’s just as hard for me as it is for you.
Tighten up paragraphs. Use excerpts on your page so reader click-through to read the entire post. Write magnetic titles. Sprinkle photos throughout. That’s a formula that pays well in the blog world.
Pro #3 – Strong Community
Kathy has a great community of readers on her blog. But I bet that didn’t happen overnight. If you look carefully, Kathy replies to every comment on her blog. That’s engagement. That’s what builds community like nothing else. When you get a comment, reply. It takes time but the time is never wasted.
I love what Kathy has to say about this.
Kathy tells stories every week. Put yourself in her shoes. Imagine you’ve just told a story and your guest has made a comment or asked a question. You wouldn’t just ignore them would you? Don’t do it online. She also invites her readers to connect with her outside her blog.
Great job on engagement, Kathy!
Con #3 – It’s Hard to Share
Kathy has social icons, which are essential these days. She has people who want to share her content, which is great! The only problem is that her sharing icons are hard to spot.
One easy solution is to embed social share icons at the end of every post. That way once someone is done with the article, the natural response is to “share” or “like” it. They want to like more than your page.
Bonus Pro – Kathy isn’t One Dimensional
One thing I noticed right away is that Kathy isn’t just a writer. She’s a storyteller. She uses pictures to enhance her writing. She even has her own YouTube channel. Branching out like that will only help her in the long run. She’s creating elements that will appeal to every type of blog reader.
Kathy is a great writer. She has all the elements she needs to have a successful blog. It looks like she spends a fair amount of time reading other blogs, so she knows which elements she needs on her website. The social elements she’s added shows that. Kathy’s only problem is that she’s not a geek.
The issues on her website can be easily taken care of by someone who is fluent in web-design and layout. We’d love to help.
How can you incorporate Kathy’s best practices into your blog? Do you want your website to be reviewed next? Let us know.
Thanks so much for your generous and constructive feedback on what is working and what I need to continue working on to make my blog all that it can be.And you definitely nailed it~ I’m not a “computer-geek”!
I appreciate this opportunity to be critiqued and will encourage anyone who wants to improve to take you up on your offer.
Thanks for joining me around my table!
Thank you for being gracious enough to allow us to use you as our first public example. I’m excited for your writing journey. There are a lot of good things ahead!
I have just started my author’s website and this post was both timely and helpful. Thank you.
Hi, I like your tips Caitlin, I’m hoping to start putting my site together soon. I also write sci-fi articles at http://www.examiner.com/scifi-in-portland/nick-lang
I want to thank you for inviting me to your site. The more I learn about you, the more I adore you and your faithful heart. I feel very blessed to be connected with you!! And your teachings. I will be setting time aside today just to spend time with your site. God Bless you and hold tight to your beautiful heart!