Archive for August, 2015

How to Turn 1 Idea into 2 Months of Content Marketing

| August 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

Explore the benefits of serialization – developing and sharing content in a short series of blog posts organized around a common theme.

Benefits? More traffic, great productivity, enhanced creativity, progressive disclosure and higher conversions and profits. Here’s how:

How to Spend Less Time Interpreting Charts and More Time Improving Your Site

| August 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

Free insightful reports on your site’s Google Analytics data.

8 Ways to Get More Kindle Book Reviews

| August 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

When I suggest to Amazon authors that they aggressively seek reviews, the biggest objection I hear is, “But the more reviews I get, the greater the chances that I’ll get negative reviews.”

Understandably, negative reviews are scary. But if you write a good book that either helps people or entertains them (or both) then two things will happen:

  1. The positive reviews will greatly outnumber the negative reviews, thereby ‘negating’ the negatives.
  1. The negative reviews can actually help sales.

For one thing, if you have negative reviews then your positive reviews become much more believable. Have you ever landed on a product with 400 positive reviews and NO negatives? Pretty hard to believe those are all real reviews, isn’t it?

And for another thing, ‘an enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ Meaning, some negative reviews, when read by the right prospects, will actually convince prospects to purchase your book.

Here’s an example: Someone from political party ‘A’ writes a book. A member of political party ‘B’ writes a bad review, citing things in the book they didn’t like. But those things appeal to the prospect (who happens to be a part of Party ‘A’) and this is enough to nudge them into buying the book.

In other words, if you’ve written a good book then DON’T worry about negative reviews. On the other hand, if your book stinks then you might want to pull the book, rewrite it and relaunch it under a different title.

Lastly, why do you want more reviews of your Kindle books? Two words – more sales. The more reviews you have, the more popular your book looks, the more sales you will get. Plus, reviews are some of the best kind of social proof you can get.

Here then, are 8 ways to get more reviews of your Kindle books.

  1. Write a good book. Seriously. If you write junk, your readers will be inspired to tell the world in reviews. But if you write a great book, again some of them will be inspired to tell the world in reviews.

Tips: Practice makes perfect, so write a lot and you’ll get better and better. Add your own voice and personality – this makes it far more interesting to the reader. Get someone to edit and proofread the book for you.

  1. Write a short book. Most people finish reading a book before they write a review. Thus, if you have an 80,000 word book versus a 10,000 word book, all else being equal the 10,000 word book will get more reviews. Of course if you’re writing fiction, you might have to make it long since it’s expected.

Tip: If you already have an 80,000 word manuscript, break it into 4 or even 8 smaller books and charge less per book. Then cross promote your books for more sales.

  1. Ask for a review. Okay, this is really basic but most authors still don’t do it. At the end of your book, ask your reader to help you out and write a review. Remind them that they got the book at a great price, and if it helped them or entertained them, they can return the favor and really help you out with a review.

Tips: Let them know it will only take them a couple of minutes to do it. Provide the link where they can leave the review.

  1. Build a following. If you don’t already have one, build a list. Then when you put out a new Kindle book, ask them to review it.

Tips: Give your book away for free to your list and ask them to review it. OR give your book away for free to strangers on Amazon and ask them to sign onto your list – then ask them to review it. Either way, once you’ve got some great reviews, stop giving your book away for free and start charging for it.

  1. Use an email signature. If you have a separate email account just to answer questions about your book, then use a signature to ask for reviews. People will write to you with questions about your topic. When you write back, it’s the perfect time to ask for a review in your email signature. Be sure to give the link, too. And even if you don’t have a separate email account, you can still copy and paste a request each time you answer an email from your book’s readers.

Tip: When someone writes just to praise you and your book, ask them in your reply email to post what they wrote to you as a review. Be sure to give them the link to make it as simple as possible. When they do post it, THANK them.

  1. Give your book away for free. Strange but true, the way Amazon’s algorithm works you can get a real boost to sales after giving your book away for free for 5 days. Plus you can get a lot of good reviews when you give your book away, which will also boost sales.
  1. Run a countdown deal. This is the new ‘free’ and can have the same boost to sales as giving your book away. Again the added downloads will boost you in Amazon’s search results, plus you should be getting added reviews as well, which will also help sales.
  1. Use social media. Post reviews of your book on your social media accounts to promote your book. This will get eyeballs on your books and usually sales, too. With more sales you can ask for more reviews.

Tip: When you have a loyal following, post a negative review now and then to social media to get your fans riled up. Your fans will go to Amazon to vote the review ‘not helpful,’ and often times they’ll even post a new review themselves.

One more reason to increase your reviews – publishing deals. If you get two or more books to each garner several hundred reviews, you might have a chance at getting a lucrative publishing offer.

If you do, think hard before you sign. Often times you can make more money by self-publishing than you can by going through a publishing house. But if they’re offering a large sum up front – then you might want to take it.

Should You Kill Your Blog?

| August 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

One of the fastest ways to capture attention in your niche is to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. In online marketing, everyone either has a blog or says you should start a blog. Yet in his Kindle book Matt Stone is saying you should kill your blog. Needless to say, I was curious, so I bought the book and took these notes to share with you:

  • Matt blogged for 7 years and wrote over 700 posts. His blog’s global Alexa ranking was in the top 90,000 and he had 5,000 visitors to his blog. That’s when he pulled the plug.
  • He got 1 subscriber for every 1,000 visitors to his site. (Matt, dude, you were doing something wrong here!) It took him 4 years of hard work before he had his first 4 figure month.
  • While Matt learned a lot from blogging, he says he could have accomplished the same results in 1 year that took him 7 years, knowing what he knows now.
  • In 2012, after selling ebooks on his site for 4 years, he decided to test the waters at Amazon. He put a book on Kindle and told no one about it. No promotion, no anything. At the end of the first month he’d made about $200 in royalties. That was about the same as what he made with the same book on his website by telling everyone about it.
  • He makes the point that it didn’t occur to him that it would be easier to sell on a site where everyone is expecting to pay money for books, versus selling from a blog where people aren’t looking for books or anything at all. Good point.
  • After a year of putting his books on Amazon, he ‘came to his senses.’ All that traffic from Google really did was make him feel cool when he checked his stats. It didn’t build many subscribers or create many sales.
  • He says the key word to remember with blogging is “inefficient.”
  • 28 days after listing all of his books on Amazon, he was the #404 ranked author on the face of the planet, according to Amazon. Needless to say he already had several books written – “over 10” he says.
  • He also makes the point that a blog writer generally writes the equivalent of a book or more per year – sometimes several books. And that it’s easier to take a reader from start to finish in a book than it is in a blog, since you never know where they are going to start reading in a blog. Good points.
  • Instead of blogging, Matt has a page on his site to capture email addresses in exchange for a monthly newsletter and an e-course. His conversion rate is now 15% instead of .1% (that’s point one percent, or 1 out of 1,000.) He’s working to improve that.
  • Instead of writing posts on his site, he sets one of his books to FREE in the Kindle store. In each book he has lots of links back to his site offering the e-course.
  • His first free ebook got 19,500 downloads in its five free days. He got 1,200 new subscribers, sold 50% more paid books during those 5 days and got a residual boost in sales lasting for weeks afterwards. And that book went from selling one copy per day to regularly sitting pretty at #1 in its category.

So Amazon Kindle was his #1 reason for killing his blog. This alone seems like reason enough. If you think about the time it takes to write a post every couple of days, and instead channel that writing into creating books, it can become lucrative.

And by building an audience, each book launch can be bigger than the previous one.

His other reasons for killing his blog were:

  • It takes forever to succeed with a blog
  • A blog is too time consuming
  • It’s difficult to capture leads with a blog
  • A blog is a poor way to deliver information
  • Blogging isn’t a good way to reach new people
  • Social media pays off better than blogging
  • Networking pays off better than blogging
  • Guest posting pays off better than blogging
  • Doing YouTube videos pays off better than blogging
  • You can sell paperback versions of your books (via CreateSpace)
  • You can sell audio versions of your books

Matt wrote Kill Your Blog under the name of Buck Flogging. He’s got a good sense of humor and it’s an enjoyable read. But it will set you back about 99cents. Frankly, even if you’re married to your blog and never want to stop blogging, you might still get some good ideas from the book. And you’ll definitely be entertained.

Infographic: How to Effectively Use Visual Storytelling

| August 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

The average human attention span is now shorter than a goldfish’s. So how do you compete with the deluge of information fighting for your audience’s attention? With visual storytelling.

Why Hiring a Ghost Writer for Your Blog is a Great Investment

| August 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

If you no longer want to spend enormous amounts of time researching and writing for your blog, but you don’t want to close your blog, either, there is an alternative: Hire a ghost blogger. Here’s an excellent article on how to do just that:

How to Find the Hidden Cash in Your Business

| August 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you likely have hidden assets you can sell. For example, do you write a newsletter? Then you can sell a bundle of back issues. Do you send out emails? You can bundle these as well for other marketers to use.

How about blogposts – do you have enough to package them into a book? Have you developed any software? If so, you can sell the rights to it, or the resell rights.

Have you developed a squeeze page that works remarkable well? Why not sell the template?

The list goes on and on, but the bottom line is this: Take a good look at your business and see what hidden assets you can sell for a tidy profit. And continue to search for the hidden assets, because sometimes they’re hiding in plain sight.

For example, let’s say you’ve developed a system for hiring and training outsourcers for your business. You take this for granted, but to other business owners this information could be worth a great deal.

Or maybe you’ve developed a blog post template and writing system that quickly creates blogposts that tend to get shared a great deal through social media. You’ve been doing it for years, so again you take it for granted. But there are other blog owners and writers who would pay a small fortune to know what you know.

Don’t under estimate the value of your systems and various assets. There is a learning curve to everything, and guaranteed there are people out there who will pay you to help them shorten that curve.

Start Up Stash

| August 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

A curated directory of resources and tools to help you build your startup.

Keyword Eye

| August 19, 2015 | 0 Comments

Suite of visual keyword, content and competitor research tools.

Have You Tried This? (Weird but Effective)

| August 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

Today I want to introduce you to something that at first will seem… strange. Odd. Weird. Maybe even ridiculous. But bear with me, because I think you’re going to like this a LOT.

You’re familiar with affirmations, right? Those things that you say over and over to make them come true, like: “I have a million dollars. I am a millionaire. I have more money than I know what to do with.” Etc.

The problem with affirmations is your subconscious doesn’t believe them. “I have a million dollars.” No you don’t you dummy, you can’t even make next month’s rent!

But there is a way to bypass your subconscious belief system. A way that doesn’t involve repeating sentences over and over. A way that begins to work in minutes, not weeks.

And it’s by using something called “Switchwords.” There are several books written on this topic and tons of reasoning on why they work so well. If you’re interested, you can research it. But for right now, I want to give you a few words to try for yourself and see if it works for you.

Simply pick the word that corresponds to what you want to accomplish, and say that word out loud several times or more.

Like you, I thought it was ridiculous, but I tried it anyway. And I was pleasantly shocked to find that they do indeed seem to work.

Here’s a short list of words. You can find a lot more online or in books on the topic of Switchwords, but this will get you started:

Add: To increase what you have, no matter what it is

Attention: Helps you do detailed work and avoid carelessness

Be: Helps you achieve peace and good health

Bring: Helps you achieve your goal and finish what you started

Bubble: Helps you expand perceived limits

Cancel: Eliminates negative thoughts and conditions

Charm: Helps you manifest your heart’s desire

Continue: Helps create or increase endurance for physical or mental tasks

Count: Helps you make money

Crisp: Dispels fatigue, revitalizes

Do: Eliminates procrastination

Done: Great for meeting deadlines

Fight: Helps you win a competitive game

Find: Helps you build a fortune (Use with Switchword ‘count’)

For: Helps you promote anything

Forgive: Cools your anger

Giggle: Gets you in the mood for writing. (I used this word before I started writing this)

Give: To sell something and to help others

Go: Helps you end laziness

Halfway: Makes a long distance seem short, whether it’s a run or a project

Help: Eliminates indecision, increases focus

Ho: Reduces tension, helps you relax

Judge: Helps you love reading, increases comprehension

Move: Increases energy and eliminates tiredness

Next: Helps you finish meticulous work

Now: Ends procrastination

Off: Helps you go to sleep

On: Helps you get new ideas

Personal: Helps you be a success, helps you publish a book.

Phase: Helps you set goals

Reach: Locate misplaced objects, recall forgotten information

Reverse: Helps you stop a repetitive pattern

Scheme: Helps you with marketing and PR

Swing: Raises your courage and boldness

Take: Helps you become a good leader.

Together: Helps you master any activity. Helps you become single-minded when you need to be. Sometimes considered THE Master Switchword.

Up: Helps elevate your mood

With: Helps you be agreeable and compatible with others.

This is a partial list from Switchword Manifestation by Doron Alon. I highly recommend you get the book. But in the meantime, pick out one or two Switchwords above and test them out – you may be shocked at the results. I know I was.