Web doctor and editor
I’m Susanne Lumsden, freelance web doctor and editor. I’ve an MBA (London Business School) and a BA in English Literature (Oxford University).
I’m married to Charles, chartered accountant and farmer. We’ve two children and two dogs. Our interests are small business, sustainable farming, trees, France, and cooking.
My background is in book publishing. First as non-fiction commissioning editor and then as external provider of sales & marketing services. I’ve been employed by conglomerates, independents and a short-lived start-up (my own). Through my sister website www.susannelumsden.co.uk, I help authors and organisations self-publish, as well as act as interim agent/marketeer for the occasional author.
Perhaps the most memorable author I’ve worked with was the late Michael Winner.
He had a keen sense for the value of his brand. Woe betide any radio station that advised him to ‘come by tube’. Other authors include Roger Scruton, Robert Harris and Maggie Gee.
In 2008 I ran a series of seminars for the Society of Authors: ‘How to Sell More Copies of Your Book’.
Authors discussed their frustration with conventional book sales & marketing. One author recommended Steve Weber’s Plug Your Book: Online Book Marketing for Authors, Book Publicity through Social Networking. This was my introduction to social media.
According to the conventional model, when an author discusses publicity, much attention is given to author radio, events and tours. However, without bookshop displays, this is akin to trying to mow several acres of grass with a manual lawnmover. You might achieve the odd result but it won’t impact upon the whole.
Most bestselling books achieve their status through one simple technique. That is, their publisher’s ability to buy space in bookchains and/or Amazon. If you’ve been guaranteed space in a 3-for-2 booktrade promotion, conventional publicity might help. Otherwise, for the rest of us in the foothills of a publisher’s list, digital marketing is a more logical strategy.
The online revolution has transformed marketing for small businesses, charities and solopreneurs. It’s leveled the playing field.
In 2008 I relocated to Shropshire, where I worked with my husband Charles on his farm projects (under Power of Attorney). I also organised The Henley Event (2011). This charity fund-raiser triggered various grants, bringing the final total raised to c.£250,000. Philip Dunne MP, Event Patron, wrote of it as:
The best and most significant charity fund-raising event since I was elected in 2005.
Between 2012 and 2015 I helped Charles recuperate from three months in intensive care. He’d been admitted to hospital with pneumonia in 2012 and contracted sepsis there. He spent 91 days on a ventilator. He survived three subsequent heart attacks.
During this time I retrained in online marketing.
Courses, blogs etc
I’m an avid follower of industry blogs, white papers, videos and ebooks. The digital landscape changes so quickly that it’s essential to keep on top of industry trends. Pandas, Penguins, Hummingbirds…Regular reading will unearth a wealth of research snippets, useful in improving clients’ websites. For example:
Did you know that the use of the CTA (call to action) term ‘Submit’ leads to almost a 3% decrease in conversion rate?
I take regular courses, external and online, supplemented by individual training.
2006 Marketing Using the Internet (Publishing Training Centre)
2011 Writing for Websites (Plain English Campaign – online)
2011 Search Engine Optimisation (Publishing Training Centre)
2012 Online Marketing (ClickZ Academy – online)
2013 Harnessing Social Media (Publishing Training Centre)
2014 Adobe Photoshop Elements & CorelDRAW (one-to-one training)
2014 SEO 101 (DistilledU – online)
- Search Engine Basics
- Search Operator Basics
- On-page Optimisation
- Technical SEO
- Keyword Research
- Information Architecture
- Competitor Research
- Link Analysis
- Google Analytics
2016 Yoast SEO for WordPress training
2016 Misc online including: Google Analytics, CodeAcademy, Moz Academy
Whether you’re a business owner, charity, author or solopreneur, my mission is to help you make the most of your website. This includes
- offering the right content for your audience
- making your site user-friendly
- making it ‘findable’
- keeping tabs on your competitors, and
- analysing the results of your work.
Your starting point is to take ownership of your website. The more you understand about how websites work, the more effective your relationship with your designer/developer will be, and in turn your site. I explain more in How to Work with Your Website Designer or Developer.
Every report I write is customised and gives specific, prioritised recommendations. I’ll illustrate how to fix your site’s problems, and in what order.
For those of you on tight budget, check out my First Impressions report.
I have an extensive toolkit of automated tools to supplement my bespoke reports. However, I guarantee that I’ll never pass off a machine-generated report as my own work – I’ll always credit the software provider.
If you need help outside my website audits, I offer retainer services customised to your requirements.