Category : Web/Tech

  • May 15, 2014

    Thursdays with Amanda: What Do You Want to Know About PPC Advertising?

    by

    2014AmandaAmanda 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. Her author marketing book, The Extroverted Writer, is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    I often get questions about ads. When to do them. Where to do them. How to do them. And the biggie, do they even work? 

    For a short while my husband worked in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. He was Google-certified and everything. Since I just talked about keywords, which I believe to be a vital part of any ad campaign, I figured it may be worthwhile to shoot some questions at my husband and see what he has to say.

    SO LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW! I WANT YOUR QUESTIONS.

    If you’re a bit fuzzy on PPC ads, simply go to Google or Yahoo or even Facebook. Those text-based ads that you see on every page are generated by individuals who pay the host (Google, Yahoo, etc) every time someone clicks on the ad. Sometimes they pay $0.50 per click. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. And you’ll notice that the ads that show up for you aren’t the same ads that show up for others. This is because the ad owners have chosen who to target with their ads. They’ve tagged the ads with keywords. Once you do a search that matches, the appropriate ads start popping up.

    It’s a science, really, and like I said, my husband had to pass a test in order to be Google AdWords certified, and thus write and manage PPC ads for his clients. So he has plenty to say on the topic, even if his advice is three years old.

    What do you want to know about PPC

    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: What Do You Want to Know About PPC Advertising?"
  • May 8, 2014

    Thursdays with Amanda: The Art of Keywords

    by

    2014AmandaAmanda 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. Her author marketing book, The Extroverted Writer, is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    When I first started working in marketing, I had one task. Read. Absorb. Learn all I could about…parenthood. Well, it was actually strollers and carseats that I was specifically supposed to learn about, but in order to understand the product, I needed to understand the lifestyle.

    And I was 25. No kids. No husband. No interest in the topic of parenthood whatsoever.

    I remember this time of life so0ooo very vividly because I was completely bored out of my mind. I had gone from a job that involved travel and presentations and sales to one that felt as though I were a trapped bird within a computer screen cage.

    Four months later, I was an Internet-smart parenting whiz. I knew the struggles and the panic and the don’ts and the things that they fail to tell you about childbirth. Granted I never actually put my knowledge to use, but that wasn’t the point. The point was for me to speak the parenting language. To learn the jargon and the trends and more importantly…to learn the needs. The desires. The wants.

    And that’s when my boss had me put together a keyword chart. This chart would be the backbone of all of the marketing and writing we did on behalf of our client (who happened to be an internationally-known baby gear manufacturer). It would give us the words to use in our online copy (back when wording was fairly heavily weighted in SEO) and would allow us to position our client as a company that “understands” parents and their

    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: The Art of Keywords"
  • January 23, 2014

    Thursdays with Amanda: The Beauty of Social Media

    by

    2014AmandaAmanda 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. Her author marketing book, The Extroverted Writer, is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Today, it is on sale for $2.99…check it out!

    It’s been snowing here like crazy (I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana). There was one snowfall in which we got something like 16″, and the snow has continued to come. Three inches here. One inch there. And we’re only halfway through winter.

    I’ve been ridiculously curious about the total amount of snowfall, but couldn’t find the information anywhere. I mean weather sites seem to all be trapped in the 90s, and news sites are only interested in the here and now. So I almost gave up…until I decided to reach out to one of our weathermen via Facebook.

    Curtis Smith has over 31,000 Facebook followers, but when I visited the page I found that he is fairly active on it. So, I posed my question. He replied in a couple hours and instead of providing me with a website I could use to get such information in the future, he invited me to come to him with my questions.

    Oh, and for the record, we’re at 34.6″ so far.

    ________________________

    Yesterday morning, I was doing the Health Care Juggle. After being on hold for an hour, I was told that I had called the wrong number, and so I was transferred. That person said that I had been transferred to the California office, so they transferred me again. Then THAT person said that I had reached the Connecticut office, so I was transferred a third time. That person told me I had reached the wrong department and they gave

    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: The Beauty of Social Media"
  • November 20, 2013

    Redesigning My Website – One Author's Experience (a guest blog)

    by

    When I mentioned to Chip that I recently had my website redesigned and sent him the link to check it out, he asked me to write a blog post and share my experience with you.

    To give you an idea of where my site was when I began my redesign process with Aaron Robbins, I need to share a little about my website history. I began blogging in 2008, on a free Blogger blog at the URL mycup2yours.com. The platform served my purposes well (writing parenting posts geared toward moms) and I was happy with the functionality and design.

    Over the next few years, as my blog began to grow and my passion for writing in the parenting genre became more serious, I changed the appearance of my site, added more selections to my navigation bar and more widgets to my sidebar. I admit, at the time, I didn’t really have a long-term vision for my site. (I was just tweaking it here and there.) I also bought the domain for my name and created my own website through WebSiteTonight for gennyheikka.com. While I wrote about parenting regularly on mycup2yours.com, this second URL was where I had my writing bio and information about the children’s books I had written.

    Managing two sites turned out to be time consuming, so a little while later, I made a major change, switching from mycup2yours.com on Blogger to gennyheikka.com on WordPress, combining the two. So not only did I switch blogging platforms, I changed URLS and  years of blog posts at mycup2yours transitioned to gennyheikka.com.

    It was a hard decision and one that came with complications in terms of SEO, redirects, and lost subscribers, but it was the right thing to do from a branding perspective. I wanted one place that readers could find me and all my work, rather than going to one site for my blog and another to find

    Continue Reading "Redesigning My Website – One Author's Experience (a guest blog)"
  • May 2, 2013

    Thursdays with Amanda: Social Media Critiques, Part 13

    by

    Amanda 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. Her author marketing book, The Extroverted Writer, is available from Amazon andBarnes & Noble.

     

     

    I’ve got a special thing going on over at my Facebook page…Submit your novel’s opening line TODAY and I’ll give free feedback! Check it out, and I hope to see you all participate.

     

    Okay, diving into some more social media critiques:

    1. Ardis Nelson provided her website and Facebook page

    • I feel there are too many options on your site’s navigation. Music, Current Projects, and Resources could probably be done without. They just don’t provide much to the reader, while they clutter the site and distract us from the book!
    • What incentive does the reader have for visiting this site? It’s very much focused on you, but readers are selfish! They want to know what’s in it for THEM. What will they get out of reading your blog. What will they learn?
    • Again, I’m not quite sure what readers get out of frequenting your Facebook page. Think about rewarding them for their time with tips, advice, interactive questions, giveaways, and more.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: I’d try focusing less on yourself and more on your readers. By including them in the conversation, I think you’ll find your online experience will be much more lively.

    2. Jo Huddleston provided her website and Facebook page

    • This is a funny comment, but the image at the top of your site is realllllly big 🙂
    • Think about eliminating some of your pages and tabs. For example “Mail” can be made part of the “Contact” page and “My Thoughts” seems to fit more naturally into your “Blog”
    • Until I get to your “Books” page, it’s
    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: Social Media Critiques, Part 13"
  • April 1, 2013

    Get Published teleseminar with Michael Hyatt, Chip MacGregor, and Amanda Luedeke

    by

     

    Join us (Chip and Amanda) and Michael Hyatt, bestselling author and former CEO of Thomas Nelson, for a complimentary LIVE teleseminar on Wednesday, April 10 at 8pm Eastern Time (7pm Central, 5pm Pacific).

    During this call you’ll have the ability to get your publishing questions answered by the three of us. You’ll also learn many of Michael’s insider secrets on getting published and building a platform for success.

    The call will last about an hour. It’s free for all to join and there will be an MP3 recording / replay shared with all who register. When you register you will have the option to submit a question for us to answer

    To register now, click here.

    FAQs

    Q: What is a teleseminar?

    A: Think of it as a giant conference call. You dial in (or listen via streaming web audio), along with others and listen while we share and answer questions.

    Q: How much does this cost?

    A: It’s free. If you choose to access the LIVE call via phone, you may incur standard long-distance charges if you choose a dial-in number that is not local to you (there are multiple dial-in number options). Other than that, no fee at all.

    Q: What is the date and time?

    A: The LIVE call will take place on Wednesday, April 10 at 8pm Eastern Time (7pm Central, 5pm Pacific).

    Q: How can I access the LIVE call?

    A: You’ll have two options. Our call capacity is 3,000 total. Five hundred can access the call via phone, the rest via streaming web audio (listening via your computer). Access is on a first-come, first-served based on registration and which access option you chose. We will notify you prior to the call with the specific phone number and web address.

    Q: I can’t make the LIVE call. Will there be a recording?

    A: Yes, we’ll make the recording available to all who registered

    Continue Reading "Get Published teleseminar with Michael Hyatt, Chip MacGregor, and Amanda Luedeke"
  • February 28, 2013

    Thursdays with Amanda: My New Marketing Book for Writers!

    by

    Amanda 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.

    Have you enjoyed our Thursday chats on marketing, promotions, and platform-building? I sure have! But so many times it feels as though I’m cramming info into my posts or even breezing over content. And what’s worse, is it’s become clear to me that this site doesn’t exactly make it easy to dig through my old posts!

    So, I have some exciting news! 

    I’ve written a book ALL ABOUT how to use the Internet to grow an author platform! Here’s a peek at the cover:

    From websites to Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest and more, I cover the essential topics, pulling from some of my best posts while also adding in plenty of new content. Whether you’re a social media newbie or guru, an unpublished writer or an industry veteran you’ll come away with actionable items that you can put into practice now.

    THE EXTROVERTED WRITER: An Author’s Guide to Marketing and Building a Platform releases March 15 on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and Smashwords (for ePub version or all other ebook devices). For now, it will be only available as an ebook.

    If you’d like to recieve a notice when the book is available, sign up for the newsletter here. (It’s not the fanciest newsletter provider, btw. So don’t judge me!).

    Please share this post with your friends! AND if you’ve been a fan of Thursdays with Amanda and would like to offer an endorsement, hit me up at ExtrovertedWriter@gmail.com. I’m hoping to receive testimonies from writers in all walks of life, published or unpublished, who can testify that my Thursday with Amanda tips help make their social media platforms stronger.

    Thank you all, and let me know

    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: My New Marketing Book for Writers!"
  • February 21, 2013

    Thursdays with Amanda: Social Media Critiques, Part 11

    by

    Amanda 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.

    Continuing with the social media critiques! Again, I’m condensing my thoughts and BOLDING content that I feel hasn’t been said before.

    1. Cindy Scinto provided her website, blog and a few Facebook sites.

    • The website is very cluttered. I didn’t realize you had a top nav at first, because there was just so much to look at…and consequently, I had a brief moment in which I feared I had stumbled on a spam site. So the main point here is the site needs to be cleaned up, the ads removed, and a clear call to action provided for the visitor.
    • For your blog, I’d say your blurb against Winepress publishing may rub new visitors the wrong way. So be careful with that. The blurb was the first thing I looked at.
    • As for the blog content itself, all of the three posts were content that I could get elsewhere…so speaking as a potential reader, this doesn’t give me a real reason to visit this blog again. I want original stuff!
    • I feel your Facebook pages could be combined. They revolve around books that are essentially the same theme, just repackaged. I feel your “heart like mine” readers are similar to your “regifted” readers, and so putting the two together would mean those who buy Regifted would maybe then buy Heart Like Mine and vice versa.

    2. Megan Sayer provided her Website/Blog

    • I like this. Clean design. Clear purpose. Solid content. and photos!!
    • Clearly, this blog is more of a personal thing than it is a promotional tool…which is okay. I think at some point the fact that it’s a well-done personal blog can make it automatically
    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: Social Media Critiques, Part 11"
  • February 14, 2013

    Thursdays with Amanda: Social Media Critiques, Part 10

    by

    Amanda 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.

    If you weren’t a reader last fall, I offered to do free social media critiques. Around the holidays, I took a break from them…mostly because I felt I was saying the same things over and over. But I’d like to plow through the rest if I can.

    So, we’ll be picking these up here and there, though I’ll try to offer more condensed critiques (since again…most of the social media sites I’ve looked at struggle from the same issues…and we can recap those issues once the series is finished). I’ve also BOLDED comments that I felt were newer and would appeal to those who are reading these posts in an effort to better their online efforts.

    1. Laurie A. Green shared her website

    • This is a good example of a website for an unpublished author. You highlight your awards and how you’re active in the SFR community
    • However, there’s not much to look at, while there is a lot to read. Consider including some neat SF photos and such to break up the text.
    • There is a lot competing for readers’ attention on your top nav. Consider condensing a bunch of those tabs and try to focus on what readers will be drawn to, such as a clear link to the SFR Brigade site.
    • Lastly, your author photo comes across as a bit dated…I’d consider getting new photos taken 🙂

    2. Laura Droege’s Blog is a blog by…wait for it…Laura Droege:

    • Lots of good stuff here…a writing sample, well-written posts, etc. However, I found I had to dig around to determine your genre. So consider making that more clear.
    • Also, try adding more photos to your posts.
    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: Social Media Critiques, Part 10"
  • January 31, 2013

    Thursdays with Amanda: How to Run a Successful Twitter Party

    by

    Amanda 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.

    So now that we know what Twitter parties are, here are some tips on how to make one a success:

    1. Set the parameters. When will the party take place? Who are the hosts? What are the prizes? What is the incentive to attend? Just like throwing any birthday party, baby shower or graduation open house, these questions need to be thought out beforehand. The more specific the answers, the better.
    2. Advertise like crazy. An entire marketing plan should be devised to advertise the party. You don’t want to just put it up on your blog and then Tweet it a few times and expect a huge turnout. Ask other bloggers to feature your official invite (have something like a digital flyer professionally designed) and create a retweet strategy that encourages Twitter users to share the news. (Maybe those who retweet your party invite Tweet get entered twice in one of the party drawings). Be creative, but be intentional. And don’t start advertising too far in advance. If the party is on Friday, begin advertising that Monday.
    3. Be a good host. This involves some organization and planning, but the idea is that you want to keep things moving. To do so…A) open and close the party on time, B) if a large party, don’t feel as though you have to be part of every conversation, but if a small party, feel free to greet participants by name, C) keep discussion moving, stay “on topic” and on time with your planned giveaways or featured guest interviews, D) don’t go dead on air–this means have the husband or the wife watch the kids during an evening party, and E) don’t
    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: How to Run a Successful Twitter Party"
1234