Is Your Online Presence Ready for Scrutiny?

Mary Keeley

Blogger: Mary Keeley

Once the Labor Day holiday is behind us, life settles back to a normal routine for many of us. Autumn months are conducive to spending time finishing proposals and preparing them for submission. But wait. You have one more sector of your writer package to address: Is your online presence ready for scrutiny? When your proposal interests agents and editors, the first they’ll do is investigate your website, blog, and social media activity.

Your online presence reveals more to these professionals than numbers only. It shows them how well you know your author brand and are communicating it, which may validate or cause them to question the number of true book-buying followers you have. Here is a checklist for getting your online presence ready for their scrutiny.


  • Your URL includes your author name, making it easy for readers to find you.
  • Your brand is clearly stated on your landing page.
  • Your landing page is welcoming and appropriately personal, inviting visitors to click through additional pages on your site. The click-through rate (CTR) is a measure of your website’s success.
  • Images, colors, tone—every item on your site—reinforces your brand and your genre.
  • Your website is easy for your target audience to navigate.


  • You post consistently each week, on the same days each week. If you haven’t been consistent with this in the past, now is the time to get started. The more frequently you blog, the faster you will attract followers because each post provides a new opportunity for people to find your blog through search engines.
  • All your posts have some connection to your brand and your books. For example, the topic, theme, setting, or a struggle your current main character faces.
  • You use images in your post to enliven your page.
  • You know why your followers read your blog. Some follow a blog for the social interaction with a writer and other followers who comment. This interaction is visible to agents and editors at first glance. Others follow blogs mainly for the interesting or informative content, the writer’s strategy being to draw interest in her next book. This type of interaction can best be measured by number of likes and re-tweets and should be duly noted in your proposal because it isn’t as quickly apparent to agents and editors.

Social Media

  • Your posts and tweets communicate a theme consistent with your brand.
  • You post often. As with your blog the more frequently you post, the more opportunities for people to find you.
  • You concentrate your activity on the two or three platforms in which you are most comfortable. Focus on growing strong followings on those few, rather than letting time swallow you up trying to cover all of them.

What do you need to improve or correct before you begin to submit your proposal? What are you doing well? Are you prepared to answer agents’ and editors’ questions about how well you know your followers and what they want and expect from your blog?


Is your online presence ready for scrutiny? Use this checklist to prepare. Click to Tweet.

Use this checklist to prepare your online presence for scrutiny before you submit your proposal. Click to Tweet.