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Award of Excellence – Outstanding Canadian Online Profile DeveloperI specialize in helping professional organizers to maximize their online presence through blogging, but did you know that’s not all I do? After being presented with Career Professionals of Canada’s 2014 Award of Excellence for Outstanding Canadian Online Profile Developer, I decided to share some of my client projects with you.

I received the Award of Excellence for my work with Kathy Stinson, a well-known author for young people. I created her first website in 1999, long before I ever thought of starting my own business (I’ll explain how that came to be in just a bit).

Note: the text which follows refers to an older version of Kathy Stinson’s website. Read about a more recent makeover.

As you can imagine, I’ve recommended and implemented many changes to the content and design of Kathy’s site since 1999, in order to optimize her online visibility, follow modern trends, and take advantage of technological advances. The current version incorporated content from a static HTML site and a WordPress.com blog into a brand new self-hosted WordPress site.

Kathy Stinson's website

To capitalize on the popularity of Kathy’s best known picture book, Red is Best, the color red is featured in the headings on her website. The jigsaw puzzle patterned background alludes to one of her hobbies and is playful enough to appeal to a young audience.

Kathy’s blog appears on her home page, so visitors can easily discover that new content has been added. Readers are invited to engage by using the easily accessible social sharing and commenting features, and images with links to related posts compel them to stay on the site longer.

Although, at first glance, it appears to be a simple blog site, there are nearly 100 pages of content about the 30+ titles Kathy has published and the services she offers to organizations and other writers. To ensure that this information is not overlooked, the main menu is supplemented by titled photos linking to three key sections of the site, which appear prominently at the top of the home page.

Social media plays an increasingly important role for all of us, and authors are no exception. Although Kathy doesn’t spend a lot of time on social media sites, preferring to focus on her writing, we’ve ensured that she has a presence on the sites where she’s most likely to connect with young readers, other writers, and organizations seeking a speaker or writing workshop leader.

Here are the highlights of her social media profiles:

  • For her Facebook cover image, we chose a photo of a shelf containing most of Kathy’s books, including foreign language editions and some of the anthologies in which her stories have appeared. Unlike custom graphics designed to fit the Facebook page template, this simple large photo continues to display properly despite frequent changes to the platform.
  • Pinterest was chosen as an outpost due to its popularity among young people and teachers. Kathy’s board names are reminiscent of an ABC book, as is fitting for an author known for her picture books. We have strategically organized the pins to blend personal interests with Kathy’s work in order to showcase the latter without being overly self-promotional.
  • A recent addition to Kathy’s online presence, her Twitter profile uses the same headshot and cover image as her Facebook page to showcase her work and to maintain consistency in her branding.
  • As an author, a profile on Goodreads is a must! Kathy’s profile has been configured to syndicate her blog posts, and a professional headshot was recently added.

You can view Kathy’s profiles (and follow her, if you like) by clicking on the social media buttons on her website, which are in a book design to reinforce her branding as a writer. RSS and email subscription buttons are also included, to encourage ongoing reader engagement.

Since reading and writing are so closely linked, the “What Kathy’s Been Reading” widget in the sidebar is linked to her Goodreads account to display the books she’s read most recently.

In case you were wondering how I happened to be chosen to create Kathy’s first website, I will confess – she is my sister. But although that might have been enough to land me the original project, you can be sure I wouldn’t still be her online marketing manager 15 years later if she wasn’t pleased with the results.

And not all my happy clients are family members! Susie Glennan of The Busy Woman recently asked me how I help people to manage their time, and she published my answer on her blog as a guest post. I invite you to read about my work with “Alison” in Time Management: Delegation – A Case Study.

To explore how you can reap the same benefits as Kathy and Alison, let’s connect!

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A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. Hazel Thornton Hazel Thornton on September 23, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Congratulations, Janet!
    A well-deserved honor.
    Signed, another satisfied client.

  2. Avatar Janet Barclay on September 24, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Thanks, Hazel! I appreciate your kind words.

  3. Avatar Kathy Stinson on September 26, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    I knew you’d done a lot for me, Janet, but to see it all laid out here… very impressive. Congratulations on your award and keep up the good work!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on September 27, 2014 at 11:32 am

      Thanks, Kathy! I look forward to many more years of working together. And who knows what online marketing opportunities will arise during that time!

  4. Avatar Kathy Stinson on September 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I know I can count on you to be on top of those opportunities, Janet, whatever they may be.

  5. […] good news about all this? Her case study earned her recognition as “best Canadian online profile developer” — please join me in congratulating her on this […]

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