Blog Writing for Money (part 2)

Here is the second part of my post on blogging for money.  This is based om the Writer’s Digest article called “Alpha-Blog Soup”.by Gabriiela Pereira.  I am going to be talking about branding and developing and expading your following.

2. .What is Your Brand?

Many writers don’t want to thimk about branding because they feel like their creative writing is a product. But without a brand it will be hard to build an audience. You prbably already have one.   See what comes up when you Google yourself..

Since you already have a brand it is time to own it.  Honing your brand will strengthen the impression you leave with readers.  You want to put your best foot forward.

There are three parts to your brand. They are your name, image and voice.

Name

For some writers your author name  and blog title will be a no-brainer.  But if you use a pseudonym or have a very long name you will have to give it some thought.

So choose a name and do a quick serarch to make sure it is not the name of major criminal. If someone is using yourname.com you can add “autho”r or “books” to the domain name.to make it unique.

Image

This includes your graphics (logo. diagrams, infographics) and photography. A simple logo will do. No fancy logo necessary. You must include an author photo. Your blog visitors want to connect with a real person and a photo is the best way.

Voice

Your voice includes the tone of your posts and your presence (or lack of presence) on your blog. It includes how approachable you seem and how they feel when they visit your site. Your voice may evolve over time.

When you have as strong brand it makes it easier decide what content to share.

3. Content and Conversions

Content is everything you create. It includes   “books, articles, stories, essays, poems, videos,Fresh content podcasts and even social media posts.” Fresh content will draw readers back to your site,

Remember the research you did on your audience? Now ask yourself two questions.  What do ny readers want? Does my blog deliver what they want?

If you are writing content based on research you need to write in your area of expertise. But if you are writing romance fiction you could write about real life romances of you and your friends for example.

If you are a mystery writer you may want to offer puzzles to solve right along with your protagonist. If you write Shrerlock Holmes style mysteries you may want to offer logic puzzles or brain teasers.

For more examples and strategies you can download the cheat-sheet for this article at this link

The author of this article says you do not have to write every post yourself. You can be curator of great content. You can write your own original content and combine it with great content from the web.

Start out with one post per week.. You can ramp it up or tamp it down as needed.

Content only works if it converts— You want to turm fly-by-night visitors into fans and followers. So you need every post you write to do two things: “1. bring readers to your ste and 2. keep them coming back”

You can treat your blog like a magazine and have a calendar. You can plan your posts in advance and give them some structure.

Its quality not quantity that matters most. You want to incite readers to take action. Don’t be afraid to ask for action of some kind in every post. You can establish the rules for your world –your blog.  If they expect you ask for an action such as sharing a post etc. if will not be a shock when you promote your book.

Build Your Following

Now you “should understand your audience, have established your brand and developed a solid content strategy.”  Now you just need to keep on blogging and putting in the time. 

Some posts may resonate with your readers and others fall flat. Watch the results and make adjustments accordingly.

Nurture your reader relationship and you will be “lightyears ahead of the game when the time comes to promote your book.”

Please share this blog with your friends. Please feel free to comment on this post. I love to read comments. I will answer as soon as possible.

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Blog Writing For Money

You can blog your way to an author platform before your book is done. I found an article in Writer’s Digest called “Alpha-Blog Soup”  It tells why you should consider blogging if you want to write a book. The advantage of blogging is that you will alredady have readership before you finish your book.  This is HUGE.  Agents and publishers love when you have a readership already. Blogging is for non-fiction and fiction writers.

ABCs of Blogging

First you need a solid base to start.  Most newbies (that included me) put out lots of content without thinking about their audience or their brand. This causes them to spin their wheels.

First You Need Your Audience

You want to create blog psts now. But if you don’t know who your audience is you will be wasting your time.  You need to know exactly who you are writing for.

1. CHOOSE A COMPETITIVE TITLE

First thing you nedd to do is to find a competitive title to the one you want to wrtite. This should be aimed at the same people you want to write for. Often people pick too big and general an audience like all Harry Potter fans or “women 18-74”. Instead ask yourself why the people you are targeting would be interested in reading your blog.. Ask yourself  what themes come across in my writing? What emotions do oes my writing bring out. What reasons would your audience want to read my writing? Figuring out why will help you understand who you are writing for.

2. CHECK THE REVIEWS

You can now check the reviews of the “comp” title you have chosen. Pick one and look it up on Amazon or Goodreads.

Read the reviews of the title you have chosen.  Pick the 3 and 4 star reviews. 5 star reviews are too glowing.  1 and 2 star reviews have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed. The ones in the middle will help you figure out who  your audience is  Pick a few reviews and look at them closely like you were in a lit class in college. Look for phrases that catch youe attention.

3. LOOK AT THE REVIEWERS.

Click on the reviwers name and it will take you to their profile.  There is a wealth of information there. You will find demographic and psychographic information that will be a gold mine of insights. Look at their biography.  How do they talk about themselves as a reader, reviwer and as a person? What kinds of words and phrases do they use to describe themselves and the type of books they love? You may have to read between the lines a little to see what is there.

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4. SELECT ANOTHER COMP TITLE

Look at other books reviewed by the same reviewer. That will lead you to other similar books. If the reviewer is a dead end you can go back to the original title . Look for the “cusomers who bought this also bought” phrase. This will lead you to other titles. You can follow up with the same type of research you have just. done. Continue collecting information about people who love books similar to yours .

5. START USING WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED

It is easy to get sucked into the reasearch. You will know it it is time to stop when the same answers keep coming up. The magic number is probably seven or less.   So don’t keep going endlessly.

I am going to stop here and coninue with branding and content and developing your following in another post.

This is the best information I have seen on how to determine your audience. It is a bit of a process but it will save time in the end. You won’t be writing a bunch of unrelated posts.

Please comment on this post if you have a question or a comment. I will answer as soon as possible.

 

 

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Turn Information Into Money

Turning  information into money is one of the best ways to make money..  We live in the information age. We have more information than ever before and it is hard to keep up with it.  If you have information that solves a problem you can turn it into money.

1. What information do you have that can be turned into cash? 

If you are no longer young you have learned how to do things.  Others would like to know how to do those things.

Maybe you have a problem now that you would like to solve. Rresearch it, study it, ask experts until you solve the problem and then you can sell that information. I am talking about selling booklets with solutions to problems.

To find a general subject that many are interested in you can go on Amazon and search for something like the “law of attraction.” There are over 4,000 books on this subject.  This is a good subject to write about.

2. Write your own “how to” booklet.

There are thousands of titles that begin with the words “how to”.  But I caution you that you should have actually done what you are writing about.  If you have never done it yourself you can use a different title.

By the way, I have actually made money with writing and selling information booklets. One of the first I wrote was called “$500 in 21 days”. It is a law of attraction title. I have used this technique several times and have received at least $4,000 total.

3. One of the biggest problems with publishing is solved.

One of biggest problems I found in the beginning was spending too much on inventory. I found a soltuion somewhere between publishing on demand and publishing 1000 copies or more that I will never be able to sell. I found a sweet spot in a compromise between the two extremes. My sweet spot is to publish 20 copies at a time.  I keep my costs near $3 per copy.  Then my breakeven point comes after selling only 10 copies or even less.

Whenever inventory gets to 4 or 5 copies I go to the printer to print 20 more copies. My costs are about $60 the first time and a lttle less for reprints. I was so happy when I found this solution. Compare this to printing 1,000 copies at $1.50. The total cost up front is $1500.

4. How can I sell my booklets?

I sold primarily by word of mouth.  I told people I knew about my books and some wanted to buy. It was more profitable than selling on Amazon for $2.99. I gave them a price of $6 or $7 and a money-back guarantee for printed booklets.

I learned that people who know you will buy more easily than a bunch of strangers online.

I want to sell some booklets by mail through newspapers or small business publications. The price will need to be higher. It needs to be $20 or more. That is the econonics of selling by mail.  The reason is that You need a sales letter to sell by mail.  You sell in two steps insteadf of one. Place a small classified ad first offering a FREE REPORT. Then send the reporrt which is a sales letter descibingl the benefits of your booklet. This is the best system I have found for selling by mail.

You could use direct mail and rent a list.  This is fast but more expensive.  Test everything with classifieds followed by a sales letter first.

Thiese are my favorite amd most successful ways of selling information. Please comment below if you like this post. Please ask any questions you may have.

I you like this post please share it on the social media buttons below. Thanks and good luck.

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How to Write A Persuasive Letter

Some basic information can help you write a sales letter that makes money. You need a sales letter to follow up on your classified ads. You can use this information to write a good email also. Most of the princples are the same.

I have written at least four sales letters. They all made money.  I wrote down the contents of many successful letters to help get the the right ingredients into my brain.  This is good training for learning how to write successful sales letters.

We will cover the importance of headlines, and where to find headline models, The first parapraph is an important lead in to  the meat of your sales letter.  Sub headlines are also important to make your letter easy to read. You need a list of all the benefits of what you are offering. The difference between a benefit and a feature is significannt .

 

Headlines Attract Attention

Headlines attract the readers attention.  You only have less than 10 seconds to attract attention. If you don’t do it right away the reader will move on to something else. There is nothing more important than the headline.

 

Make a Big Promise

One way to get attention is to make a BIG PROMISE. Make money could be one type of promise. Lose weight could be another type of promise. Peolpe are always looking for ways to to do these two things. There are many other promises too.

Make a Specific Promise

A specific money making promise is “Make $2000 a month in 5 hours a week” Or on losing weight you could say “lose 10 pounds in the first 10 days”.

Tell a Story

Tell a story about how the great benefits came about. What did you do and what were the results?  I have only tried this one time, but the results were very good. People love to hear  stories from the time they are children. they remember stories better than a list of statistics for example.

One example of story telling was done for a letter about the Wall Street Journal. The story was about two men with similar backgrounds. One read the Wall Street Journal and the other did not read it. The one who read the Journal was much more successful than the one who did not read it. It was a very dramatic contrast.

 

Lead with Benefits Not Features

A benefit is something that the product or service will help you do. A feature is the number of pages in a book for example.A benefit could be making money or losing weight like I mentioned before. You should list all of the benefits of using your product or service. You could have dozen or more of them.

 

Prioritize your list of benefits

After lising all the benefits you can think of for your product, you need to list them in order of importance. The most important benefit should come first. The next most imporrtant should be second etc. Keep going down the list.

 

The AIDA formula

The AIDA formula is a very important part of writing a successful money-making sales letter. A stands for attention.. I stands for interest. D represents DESIRE.. And the second A stands fior ACTION.

So first get attention with an eyecatching headline. Then grab interest with a strong first sentence or paragraph. The next phase is to build desire with a powerful list of benefits. Last but not least is to ask for action. Have them fill out an order form or make a telephone call or do something.  Tell exactly what you would like the reader to do.

 

Satisfaction Guaranteed

You need to have a strong guarantee of satisfaction or money back.  This takes all the pressure off the buyer.  They know they will not be disappointed with their purchase or they will get their money back.

 

Call to Action

Here is where you ask for the order. Tell the reader exactly what you want them to do.  Be clear and precise. Fill out the order form below or call the following number etc.

 

The P. S. is always read

It is a good idea to have a P. S. or post script in every letter because people always read the P. S.  Here is where you can add a bonus and explain the offer in some detail.

 

Order form

One great copywriter Ted Nicholas told me to start writing with the order form because it should summarize the whole offer. It should tell exactly what the buyer will get and how much it will cost. It is a good idea to always add a bonus or two  to your offer.

Read and Study Successful Ads

Read and study successful ads to help internalize the elements of successful ads. You can find books with successful ads in them on amazon for example. Practice writing these out by hand.  This will help you to remember exactly what to do when you go to write your own ad.

Here You Have the Basics of Writing a Money-making Sales Letter.

Dan Kennedy says that you can a good sales letter from the information in a post like this or from his book The Ultimate Sales Letter. It does not have to be perfect to do the job. Good luck in your writing. You can build it piece by piece.

 

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