April 12

Offline Marketing Tips To Boost Your Book Sales

offline ways to sell books
Remember the good old days before the internet made everything so gosh-darned easy? Remember driving around with boxes of books in the back of your car, hawking to bookstores and selling at festivals and pretty much pounding the pavement to drum up ALL your sales? No? Well, to be fair, neither do I since I began my writing career online, but I have a point to make, so let me get there. When marketing your book, it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole world that exists offline. Online marketing can be the easiest, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to just marketing online. Get out into the ‘real world’ with these offline marketing tips to sell more books.

When marketing your book, it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole world that exists offline. Online marketing can be the easiest, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to just marketing online. I know several authors who really get out into the community and get engaged with people about their books. Rebecca Patrick-Howard is AH-MAZING at this. So is Tonya Kappes. Both write in extremely different genres, but both know how to make the most of their offline market. Get out into the ‘real world’ with these offline tips to sell more books.

Trust me when I say that it takes more than just ebooks and online marketing to really sell books and grow a fanbase. It also takes a little stepping out into the real world in order to spread the word about your books.

Give stuff away

The best way to get people to read your book is to get it into their hands, so if you have your book in paperback form, buy several copies to give away to potential readers. Give them away to people who are likely to leave you a review on Amazon or Goodreads, and don’t forget to ask if they want their copy signed by the author.

If your book is a children’s book, gift a copy to your local school, your public library, or one of your local daycare centers. Be sure to include information on where parents, teachers, and caregivers can get additional copies. You may want to inquire about doing a ‘free’ reading for one of these places in exchange for allowing the children to take home order forms for your book.

If your book is non-fiction, see if you can find a group or business that deals with the niche you have written about. Look for events that relate to the subject matter of your book and see if you can get involved in some way.

Print up business cards or bookmarks featuring your book. Give these out wherever you go, when appropriate. Make sure your contact information and information on how to order the book is printed on the cards and bookmarks. Whether you just have an ebook or both print and digital copies, get your book’s info into people’s hands and in front of their eyes offline to see more sales online.

Get involved

Ask your library and local bookstores if you can do a free reading or give a presentation about getting your book published. As a local author with experience, you’ll be a welcome authority for many creative writing groups and other people in the community who want to learn how to get their own books published.

Show potential readers why they should buy your books. Let them know you’re not all about “buy my book”, that you actually give a hoot about the community you live in. Get involved in community events like festivals and fairs. Set up a booth so you can sell your books and sign autographs. You may find yourself becoming a local celebrity if you do it often enough.

A word of warning: If you don’t actually care about your community/charity/other great thing and you are in this just to make money, stop reading this and sod off. You’re in it for the wrong reasons, and that never equates to great success.

Always carry copies of your book with you

Even if you never planned on selling print books, have some made up via Createspace. It’s free to set it up, you can grab copies cheaply when you buy directly through CS, and it looks great to have a copy of your book lying around. Besides, some people (like my mom, my aunt, and my friend, children’s book author Elle Alexander) still hate ebooks. Those people (I’m talking to you, Elle!) are diehard hardcopy book fanatics, and they will never, ever read your book.

Here’s one more tip that’s great if you want an instant conversation starter or just a reminder of why you’re writing your books.  Save a copy of your book’s cover to your cell phone, then set it as your wallpaper/screensaver. I change mine whenever I release a new book. If I get tired of looking at the same cover, it’s a great reminder that it’s time to release the next book!

ebook as wallpaper

(Here’s mine…that’s one of my pen name books, and my fat writer’s fingers!)

You never know when you’ll be able to spark up a conversation about your book. Be proud of being a published author; it’s not easy writing an entire book and learning how to format it for print. Be ready to answer questions about your book and the process you used to get it finished. You never know who you’ll run into throughout your day to day life. You might be surprised to find that there are lots of people out there ‘in the real world’ that would love to know more about you and your books, they just have to know where to find them.

What are your personal favorite ways to market your books offline? Please share with the rest of the class in the comments section down below!

June 24

Funding Fiction: Three Ways To Pay the Bills While Waiting for Book Sales

writer at typewriter

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just contact an independent publishing platform, tell them your amazing idea for your book, then accept a big, fat advance for your efforts, so you could spend your days doing nothing but writing your book? Wake up, dreamer, that doesn’t even happen to traditionally published authors anymore.  The truth is, it’s hard to break into self-publishing if you can’t work at it full time, because when you self-pub, you also have to do all your own promotion, sort out your covers, find an editor, format the book…I could go on and on.

This article is talking mostly to self-employed writers, because those of you with full-time jobs are probably making enough money to pay the bills and writing in your spare time, which is completely smart and a good idea, but if you’re like me, with no other consistent source of income, you’ll need to keep the bill collectors away somehow while you pen that bestseller. Here are three ways you can earn money to pay your bills while you’re focusing on fiction, or non-fiction, book writing and selling.

Freelancing

Okay, you knew I was going to open with this, didn’t ya? In my personal experience, freelance writing is nearly perfect for keeping the wolf from the door while you write your book. It allows you to practice, practice, practice while you earn, and it’s totally flexible, especially if you find some really great clients who understand the difference between high quality content and mass produced garbage.

If you’re new to freelancing, you might struggle to find your feet, but then again, you might not. Who knows. But I do know that if you put yourself out there, check the freelancing job boards regularly, and value yourself, you’ll be able to earn enough to get by while you create your masterpiece.

Get a job

Ooh, didn’t see this one coming, did you? Before you throw your hands dramatically up in the air and declare me a hack, just listen. Could a 20-hour-a-week job pay your basic bills so you could focus the rest of your time on your writing? Now, if I didn’t freelance, this option wouldn’t work for me, because I have three kids and a husband who works crazy hours to help keep a roof over our heads.

If I did seek a J-O-B, it would be online, maybe as a virtual assistant or possibly a transcriptionist, if I could teach myself to type and listen at the same time. There are actually a crap-load of online, work from home jobs with reputable companies that are hiring every day.  Customer service jobs from home can be a very lucrative way to finance your fiction, and your customers could provide plenty of material for your book.

Crowdfunding

This is becoming more acceptable as a way to finance your literary ventures, but it’s really not all that dissimilar to the old days of patronage. People support your venture (your book) by paying a few dollars or more into a crowdfunding campaign so you can focus on writing instead of worrying about paying your bills. Beware, this really only works if you know a LOT of people who are willing to fund you, or you are charismatic enough to convince complete strangers to support your venture.

It seems to help if you can offer some sort of reward to your donors, like a copy of your book once it’s finished, or tickets to the Superbowl. Check out Kickstarter for a lot of really good examples of how it’s done.

Now you have no excuse not to write, so get out there and write that book!

May 26

What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do

What to do when you don't know what to do

What to do, what to do….

 

At some point in your writing career, you’ll probably find yourself doubting your choice of profession. If not, you can skip this post, and go be smug somewhere, sipping a latte and enjoying your confidence in your career choice.

If you are like the rest of us, you’ll find yourself doubting your sanity at least once or twice, maybe even weekly, if you’re very neurotic, like moi. I’m starting to believe that creativity comes with confusion as a package deal, at least sometimes. If you find yourself struggling with “what the heck do I do now?”, these tips will help.
Why do you write?  Ask yourself this, out loud if no one is around, and feel free to answer verbally, too. Then, write it down, like a sane person, and read your reasons. Are you writing for money, but hate what you do? Or, are you writing for passion, but not earning anything for your writing?
There’s a fix for both of these scenarios that will help you move forward.
If you dislike writing, there are so many other ways to earn money online. Spend a little time looking at your skills, and consider changing horses, so to speak.
If you love writing, but aren’t earning, look at your approach. There are many ways to earn money from your writing, but you may have to put in a little extra effort to see a payoff.
•Advertise your writing services on your own website, post ads in classifieds, and check out freelance job boards DAILY. Consistency is key to earning more.
•Sign up as a freelancer on sites such as Upwork and Elance.
•Learn how to properly market any books you’ve written. You may have written a fabulous novel, but if you don’t know how to market it, you won’t earn as much as you could.

Do you lack inspiration?  A LOT of writers seem to think that writing is all about chasing the muse, but that gal will leave you high and dry when you need her most. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can only write when you’re inspired, or you’ll never finish anything.
Instead, just write something, anything, to get your brain going. Write a blog post, describe an object in your home, or write out your shopping list, but write something. The actual act of writing can trigger all sorts of awesome brain activity, and it works whether you are trying to come up with fiction or non-fiction ideas.
Stop focusing on work for a few hours. This one works every time. Sometimes, when you think about something too much, you can overwhelm yourself. Your poor little human brain can only handle so much, then it shuts down, leaving you frustrated, grumpy, and ready to give up.
When you feel this coming on, go for a walk, grab a coffee with friends, or just take a nap. Your brain will ‘reset’ and you’ll be more likely to find a solution to your dilemma.

These tips should help you get moving forward again the next time you are at a loss for something to do. How do you get that forward momentum going again? Please share in the comments section below!

May 19

Valuing Yourself: Why It's Crucial To Being a Successful Writer

I am the first person to admit I don’t always value myself highly enough. In fact, some days, I feel absolutely worthless. Whether you chalk it up to low-self-esteem or the pitfalls of the creative personality, I have, and continue to struggle with self-worth.

As a writer, this is bad news for business. If you don’t value yourself, how are your clients going to see what you’re really worth? If you think you aren’t worth $x.xx, then you aren’t going to earn $x.xx. Sounds pretty simple, huh? Oh, if it were only true.

Mindset is so important to your success as a writer. If you don’t value yourself, no one else will, either. If you fall into a hole of self-loathing, you can start a vicious cycle that results in a lack of productivity that can seriously impact your earnings and completely derail your business.

I had a major crisis of confidence recently. It was almost enough to make me stop writing, and, if you know me, you’ll know that it takes A LOT to make me stop writing! But, I had fallen into the trap of feeling worthless, and it took a while to come out of it.

You do have to price yourself based on your worth, but what do you do when you don’t know what that worth is?  Ask someone.

If you have a client that you’ve worked with for a while, and if you trust them to be honest, ask them what price they value your services at. This doesn’t mean you have to change your pricing for that client to match it…but it should alter the way you charge future clients. And, feel free to remind your current clients that they are getting a discount from you, if that’s the case.

(If you don’t have clients, but are a self-published author, you might be overpricing yourself. That’s a whole ‘nother blog post…)

My whole point is this: Remember that you have value. Just because people want to pay you less than you are worth, it does not mean that you are worth less.

Just wanted to give you something to think about. Feel free to comment below!

May 9

3 Ways You Can Use PLR To Look Like A Smarty-Pants

smarty pants

I’m the first to admit, I don’t know everything. I’ll never admit that to my husband, but I’m happy to tell you guys! Sometimes, a girl just wants to write all the stuff, but doesn’t have all the time to do extensive research, and this is where PLR comes in handy. I’m going to discuss three ways you can use PLR to make your life a lot easier, and potentially make you a lot of money.

What is PLR?

PLR stands for Private Label Rights. It’s basically content that is sold to a number of people, all of whom get the same content, but they have the right to alter it in any way they see fit and use it in a number of different ways.

There are two things you need to remember when using PLR. First, you aren’t the only one who has this content. It could have been sold to hundreds of other people, who may or may not have used it “as is” on their own websites or in their products.

Second, not all PLR is good quality, or even accurate. I personally know a few people who sell PLR that is amazing, with lots of detail and facts that they took the time to research. But, I also know a few that don’t bother to do any research at all, and who hire others to write the PLR that they sell. While hiring someone else to write your PLR isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is if the content hasn’t been checked for plagiarism or if the person who did the writing doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about.

That being said, PLR is an amazing tool for busy bloggers or marketers who need some extra content, fast. Here are three ways you can use PLR today to make your life easier, make more money, and sound like a real smarty-pants.

Use it on a blog or website.

Need extra content for blog posts or reviews? PLR is great for this. Buy a pack of articles on topic of your choice, rewrite one or more of them to match your site’s tone and voice, and, “voila!” You have ace content, fast, that took zero research time.

Do you have to rewrite PLR? Not unless you want Google to consider your post potential duplicate content. Even if Google doesn’t penalize you, do you really want to run the risk of someone reading the exact same content that your site has posted on another site? You won’t look too clever then, so spend five minutes and rewrite some or all of the PLR for best results.

Use it to create an awesome freebie.

Blog posts aren’t the only thing people want from you. The masses crave free stuff, and if you can give it to them, they’ll love you more for it. Turn a pack of PLR into a free report to give to your subscribers in exchange for their email addresses. This lets you build a list of people you can email your updates and offers to, and it gives them a reason to want to follow you.

I like the idea of giving freebies out to your regular subscribers, too. Every now and then, just package up some rewritten PLR, add a few of your own thoughts and ideas, and send it out to your subscribers as a way to thank them for sticking with you, even through your slightly crazy phases.

Use it to create short ebooks.

I love this idea on so many levels. First, let me state that you should NEVER just put together PLR articles and sell them as an ebook. Why? Well, imagine fifty other people did that, and you all sold the exact same ebook as each other, but you sold yours for five bucks, and some of them gave theirs away. You’d look like a prat, and people would suspect that you are lazy, greedy, and incapable of creating your own stuff.

Now, the right way to do this is to break up the PLR, rewriting the bits you want to use, leaving out the parts you don’t need, and adding a little more information and detail. I find that it’s good to start with a pack of PLR articles that you already have some knowledge about, so you can minimize your research time.

People seem to think making money online should be effortless, but it’s really not. It’s harder, in some ways, than just working a 9-5, brick and mortar job. PLR can make your job easier, but it really shouldn’t replace the work you would normally put into creating something.

Use it for what it is, a helpful tool that can shorten your research time, and can help you make more money, both by building a list of followers you can sell to, and by helping you create more products, faster.

How would you use PLR to make your life easier? Please share below!

Create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!
Make your own banner at MyBannerMaker.com!

April 27

Is Stress Killing Your Productivity?

Too stressed Roxie

Stress sucks. It literally sucks the energy and focus right out of you. I should know, because at any given moment in time, I’m a walking stressball, ready to explode.

I’m working on changing that, because, if you haven’t heard by now, too much stress is bad for you. A little stress, like having to cram for a test or pull a late-niter to finish a product or put the finishing touches on a chapter of your book, is ok.

Some people claim to thrive on this type of “against the clock” stress. I admit, sometimes, I procrastinate (sometimes?), and the thrill of completing a project with mere hours to spare feels like a little adrenaline rush. But, the reality is, that if you fall into the pattern of relying on stress to get your work done, you will fall far behind.

Then, there’s the other stress, the kind that distracts you from your work, pulls your focus onto something entirely else, and makes it impossible to give 100% to whatever you’re doing. I deal with that a lot.

I have a daughter on the autism spectrum, a toddler who thinks she needs to be cuddled 27 hours a day, and debt up past my eyeballs, filling every inch of my brain. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for focusing on work sometimes.

Whatever type of stress you have, here are a few tips that WILL help you bust through.

 

Don’t procrastinate. Give yourself more than enough time to get your work done. If you really don’t want to do it, you really need to consider if you’re in the right line of business. It might be time for a change.

Get enough sleep. Seriously. I cannot stress this one enough, because sleep lets your brain absorb and process the stuff you dealt with the day before. Lack of sleep just keeps your stress cycles stuck on repeat.

Re-prioritize stuff. I had to do this recently. In this business, sometimes, the money’s just not coming in, especially if you’re like me, and still learning the marketing side of things. My home life was beginning to suffer because I spent so much time in front of my computer, trying to “make ends meet.” I ended up making some drastic changes that would mean I didn’t have to stretch those ends so far, living on less money, so I could lose that stress and enjoy my family again.

Look at things from a new perspective. If you are constantly stressed out by work or family issues, look at why it’s stressing you. Are you worried about not making enough money? Are you worried about a family member being upset with you? Imagine the worst possible scenario, working through it step-by-step in your head. Really, would it be as bad as you imagine it to be? Probably not. If it is, tell yourself you’ll deal with it when it happens, not worry about it right now.

Let it go. Sometimes, we hold on to stress because it’s all we know. If you’re a natural worrier, or if you can’t break the stress patterns you’ve fallen into, just give yourself permission to let go of whatever is causing you the stress. Let yourself stop worrying about the bills, about getting the job done, about the consequences of not doing something. This doesn’t mean you give yourself permission to let go of the responsibility for these things, but it does mean that, without worry filling up your brain, you’ll be better equipped to tackle them without the added stress.

You deserve to be successful and happy, not a walking stressball. Kick your stress to curb, and focus on living the life you want to live, so you can enjoy it.

How do you tackle your productivity-killing stress? Let me know in the comments section below.

April 18

How To Survive And Succeed At Working From Home

coco kitty sleeping on my desk

Okay, kids. Today’s lesson will be “How to Survive And Succeed At Working From Home.”

 

He-he…I feel like a teacher typing that. But seriously. This is important stuff, so listen up! I WISH someone had told me this earlier…I did find out eventually, but only after feeling like a massive failure for not being instantly successful.

I’m going to share these five tips with you, so if you are just in the early stages of your work at home career, or if you’ve forgotten them because you’re so wrapped up in trying to earn a buck, keep on reading.

Here are five things that you NEED in order to make a successful career when working at home.

Boundaries

Yes, you work at home, but that doesn’t mean you are available to every person that needs you, every time. This is personally very hard for me, because I am MOM, She Who Does All Things. I have a toddler at home, a daughter with autism, and a teen who thinks I don’t know what he’s up to. It’s hard to shut out all those obligations when I’m just working from my kitchen table, but it has to be done.

For me, it means getting up early to plan the day, then sending the toddler to Mom’s morning out three mornings a week so I can focus on client work. That’s roughly 12-13 hours of uninterrupted time (if my husband is at work) that I can push through and get stuff done.

For you, it might mean a room in your home (actual, physical boundaries) that you can go to at set times and work your business. Or, it might mean going to the library and using their free WiFi, or Starbucks, as long as you can shut out the noise around you. (This doesn’t work if you are like me and talk to yourself out loud as you work, lol!)

Treat your business like a business. Set some hours, whenever you can work, and tell the rest of the world to eff off while you GSD (get stuff done.) I know there will be interruptions to your plan, but if you stick to it even 60% of the time, you’ll be miles ahead of those people who don’t.

Organization

Okay, kids, here’s where I tell you to NOT be like me. See that photo up there? That’s Coco Kitty, snoozing on my “office”. It’s not even a desk, it’s a table, in the kitchen. (No, we don’t eat off of it, otherwise she’d never be let on there!)

It’s a disaster area, for sure. It’s improving, and will continue to improve until I learn how to never be disorganized again, which will probably be after the kids are grown and moved away.

More importantly, you need to organize your work, your thoughts, and your day so that you don’t wake up, wander through the day, and end it having made no money. I’ve done that. Working for content mills for so long has given me bad habits, because so much of my time was spent looking for work, and very little was spent actually earning anything.

Whatever you do, have a plan in place for your precious time. I can’t always work 8 hours a day, because I have kids and commitments. So, when I don’t make a plan for my time, it gets used up doing stupid stuff like Facebook gorging and website surfing. I hate getting to the end of the day and seeing my time was wasted, and you will, too. Make a basic schedule or list of goals that you need to achieve every day, and stick to it.

Focus

I like to tell people I have Adult Onset ADD. I don’t really, but it feels like it sometimes. I’ve always been a pantser, or someone who just does stuff by the seat of my pants. I get distracted way too easily.  I love shiny, new things. This is really bad for business if you want to succeed at home.

Focus and organization are sort of like twins. They complement each other really well! Once you’re organized, it’s easier to focus. If you have a goal, you can laser in on that one goal and work it until it’s completed.

Admittedly, I’m still struggling with this one, and I think a lot of people do, even seasoned marketers and writers do. You have to keep being mindful of your focus, or you’ll lose it so easily.

My tips for focusing on your work are simple. Turn off email, Facebook, etc. and just have what you need open. Maybe put a post-it note on the wall with your goal on it, so you can see what you’re working towards, or a photo that reminds you of the reason why you’re working so hard in the first place.

Sacrifice

I’ll bet you want to work from home because it means you can do whatever you want, when you want to. Right? I did. Or, I used to feel that way, until I realized you can’t just show up when you feel like it and earn a living online.

Yes, you can get to a point where you only work an hour a day and still earn a decent living, but that won’t happen soon or early in your career. You’ll have to put in the legwork, learning the ins and outs of your chosen profession, and you’ll have to spend time marketing yourself/your product/whatever to get people to give you money.

This is going to mean showing up, putting in the effort, and working your business daily. I rarely take days off, partly because I love what I do, and partly because if I did, it would be so easy to lose what little momentum I’ve built up.

I give up tv nights, hours of aimless shopping, and even time in the backyard with the kids because I need to build my business to a place of strength and security before I can “slack”. It sounds harsh, but I promise you, it’s the only thing that will work. You need to put the time and effort in before you can enjoy success, and that inevitably means sacrificing something.

Self-confidence

Writers are not the most confident people. We doubt our abilities often, even when we get great feedback. Any job that has a high rejection rate can wreck your self-confidence, but so can other things.

Whenever I make a product or book that doesn’t sell immediately, I start to doubt myself. That is the killer of all online businesses! If you don’t believe in yourself, how can others believe in you?

You have to believe in yourself and your skills or you’ll give up on your business before it ever has a chance to succeed. Yes, the first few years of most new businesses are the hardest. Many businesses fail because people just give up when the going gets hard and stays that way for a while.

I want to tell you to not give up. Believe in yourself, keep pushing through, and build your business slowly if you need to. There’s no shame in working outside the home while you build your business those first few years. Or starting a business while you’re a full-time employee somewhere. The point is, it’s YOUR business, and you are the only one who can make it work for you. Do it on your own terms, but just do it!

March 29

Free Marketing Techniques To Help You Earn More Money

Free marketing techniques

As a writer, I never gave much thought to marketing techniques when I first started writing online. Yes, I had some vague idea that you needed to promote the stuff you write in order for people to read it, but honestly, I didn’t have a clue how to do that. Anyone who knows me knows that I am way too cheap to pay for marketing if there is any way I can do it myself. This doesn’t mean I wouldn’t ever pay for it, but it mostly means that I am too broke to be messing with paid marketing just yet.

Whether you have a book, an infoproduct, or a physical product to sell, free marketing techniques can help you boost your product’s exposure and earn you more money. You may not be able to make a living selling your stuff just using free techniques, but if you apply them consistently, you can make a huge difference in your sales.

Social Media

Facebook and Twitter are my favorite social media platforms, because you can dip in and out throughout the day, which is particularly useful if you are chasing your three-year-old around all day. I have been experimenting very slightly with pre-writing and scheduling posts and tweets using the free version of Hootsuite, but honestly, I am disorganized and forget to schedule ahead of time.

Instagram is another amazing outlet, especially if you have a physical product to sell. People love quick, visual stuff, and Instagram is catching on like wildfire among internet marketers and writers. It’s great for networking, too, as are the other social media platforms. Get social, get networking, get more sales.

Facebook marketing books on Amazon Kindle

Your Email 

If you’ve ever received a personal email from me, you’ll probably have seen a link to my children’s book page in the signature. This simple little line goes out with most of the emails I send, to friends, family, my kids’ teachers, my doctor’s office, etc. All the people who get my emails also have a link to my product right there in front of them. While I can’t be sure how much of the traffic to my site actually comes from this simple move, I do know that it costs me nothing to do, and could result in sales, too. Win, win, if you ask me.

Personal Appearances

Do you have a children’s book to sell? Ask the local schools if you can do an author visit, and read some or all of your book to the kids. This can be a really great way to build a relationship with your target audience, and impress the school with your willingness to donate your time. Bonus points if you happen to have a few copies of your book lying around that you can sign and donate to the school.

Ask the school if you can give the children information on how to order a copy of your book. If they agree, you could collect the orders from the school yourself before your visit, get the books from your publisher, and sign them all to give to the students on the day of your reading. I saw an author do this at my son’s previous elementary school, and I was so impressed. The kids felt as though they were getting something really special, and the author made a nice bit of money, too.

What if you don’t have a children’s book? Ask your local bookstore if you can do something similar. No book to promote? Look at the industry in which your product is based, and try networking within that industry. Networking and making professional contacts costs nothing, and can bring you big business. If you are a freelance writer, consider visiting local businesses and offer to write for them. Don’t do it for free, of course, but maybe offer to give them a discount if they recommend you to other businesses.

Blog Commenting/Networking

Find popular blogs in your niche and offer helpful comments in their comment section. Don’t spam them with “buy this, visit my site” kind of comments, but be helpful and friendly. Many comments sections let you put a link to your site anyway, so the least you can do is offer up a helpful comment.

The same goes for forums, go find a few that relate to what you do or sell, and interact. Marketing and networking are all about mixing with people, which can feel like a foreign concept if you spend most of your working life in front of a computer, but really, it’s all about the people.

Use Free Classifieds

Who would have thought that Craigslist was good for more than getting murdered? You can post free classified ads on places like Craigslist and eBay Classifieds and get traffic to your site or product that way. You can also use regular old newspaper classifieds, if your town offers free listings. I have never tried the offline paper ads, but have used CL once or twice. Again, I can’t say how much of a difference in traffic I saw, because I don’t watch my traffic as closely as I should, but it costs you nothing and could earn you some money.

Use these ideas as a springboard to coming up with your own unique ways to get your business or product seen, then please share them in the comments section! I love seeing how other people market themselves, because it inspires me to do more of my own free marketing.

March 17

Writing For Love Or Money?

businessman thinking love or money by 89studio
photo courtesy 89studio, freedigitalphotos.net

Are you writing for love, or for money?

Some of you might be asking, “Is there a difference?” If you love to write, you may not care what you write, or even if you get paid for it.  If you are freelancing as your main or additional source of income, you may be writing just for the money, but love it anyway. Unfortunately, sometimes freelancers can write just for the money, but they don’t love what they’re doing.

Lately, I’ve been falling further into the last category.

I have always loved writing fiction, and I have self-published two children’s books, along with a brilliant illustrator, Steve Scatchard. (He came up with the idea and the characters, and I came up with the story…great partnership!) I also love writing non-fiction, particularly stuff that I’m passionate about (saving money, feminism, and reading are just a few that spring to mind).

I felt a little more satisfied when I opened my PLR store, because I got to choose the topics that I write about, to point. I mean, I have to write stuff that will sell, so a million articles about Doctor Who and how much I love chocolate are not really an option, lol!

At some point in the last year, my income has become more crucial than ever. Life just got more expensive, with three kids and a mortgage, plus two car payments…it’s more than we can manage on just one income. So, I write everything I can get paid for, which isn’t always a lot. That’s one of the dangers of relying too heavily on the content mills to pay the bills, when the work dries up or the editors change, it can be a LOT harder to make enough money to keep the bills paid.

I’ve been applying for more freelance jobs rather than just the one-off gigs I’ve been doing, and I’m getting a few responses, but there’s still a long way to go to pull my financial bootstraps up to where they should be, and I’ll admit, I’m getting frustrated.

I want to work on my own fiction, and non-fiction ebooks, but that takes time away from the paid work that I know will bring in money. So, I grab a few minutes here, an hour there, and work on my own stuff. Even the PLR content is on the back-burner, but I know I’ll get to it, eventually.

Still, it’s frustrating to be writing stuff I don’t love for the majority of the time. I think that’s one of the reasons why so many writers and marketers give up before they really see success. It’s not easy making a career from literally nothing but words, but every day, people do it. It can take a long time to make an online business model successful, and if I’d been doing this ten or fifteen years ago, I probably would have given up at the first rejected article.

Fortunately, I’m a lot more stubborn than I used to be. I want to make a real career online, writing for myself, owning my skills and loving what I write. I may not be rich and famous from my words (yet), but I ain’t going nowhere any time soon. 🙂

How about you? Do you feel like you are writing for love or money these days? Share in the comments section below!

March 10

How To Make Money Online With Fiverr

fiverr

Make money with Fiverr, no website required!

You’ve decided that you want to make money, but don’t have a website, and you aren’t sure that you have skills that would make you a great freelancer. Don’t give up on your dream of working from home, you can still provide services without being a traditional freelancer. Take a look at how you can make money online with Fiverr, a great platform for offering goods or services.

What is Fiverr?

Fiverr is a website where thousands of people sell their services starting at the low price of $5. If you visit the site, you’ll see that people are willing to do anything from singing “Happy Birthday” dressed as a cartoon character, to writing an article for your website, and lots more in between.

The way that Fiverr works is pretty simple. You open an account, set up a “gig”, or service, and people can pay you for that service. If you are a great artist, or graphic designer, you can do that service for people willing to pay $5. Fiverr takes a dollar from that, so you only earn $4, but you can add on extras to your gig after you sell a certain number of your gig.

These extras can really add up, so in theory, you could earn much more than $4 for your services. Common extras are offering to provide a super-speedy turnaround time, adding extra features to the service you offer, or providing your service in more than one format, like providing it in a written form and a video form.

Choosing a successful gig

Go to the Fiverr website and browse the gigs that are selling well, and pay attention to exactly what the gigs offer to get an idea of what types of extra services you can add on to boost your earnings. The key to success on this site is to do something that takes you very little time, and do it well.

Promote your gigs on social media, or create a free website on the Blogger or WordPress platform and put a link to your Fiverr profile on it. Tell people what you can do for them, for the low price of five dollars, and see how soon they start taking you up on your offer.

When you sell a gig, be sure to provide the best service possible. Your buyers will be given the opportunity to leave a review of your gig, and these reviews are important. Good reviews can make other buyers comfortable choosing you out of the sea of providers on Fiverr. On the other hand, poor reviews can put people off, and prevent you from getting sales.

Seasoned Fiverr sellers know that the more gigs you offer, the better your chance of success is going to be. See how many ways you can adapt your skills into new gigs, and be sure to make a unique and outstanding cover for each one.

Your cover is the page with the title and description of your gig. Choose a short, snappy title that will draw buyers in, but that tells them exactly what you do. Be as descriptive as possible when describing your gig, and choose appropriate tags, or words that your buyers might type in if they are searching for your gig.

Photos and videos are super useful!

Add unique photos that represent your gig, and consider uploading a short video that explains what you do, and why you are the best choice for their needs. In short, sell yourself well, so you can sell more gigs.

If you are having difficulty making that first sale, ask friends and family to buy your gig and leave positive reviews. This will increase your likelihood of getting featured on the site’s homepage, which is the first page visitors see when they come to the site.

Fiverr can be a great source of extra money, and it lets you earn while doing something you love to do. Consider setting up your own gigs on Fiverr, and see how much you can make on this unique site.

 

Fiverr Tools and Resources

I’ve noticed a lot of people releasing products about making money on Fiverr, and I thought I’d share a few of the better ones here, when I can!

Fiverr Income Secrets

These guys have cracked the code on how to bring in just under $50 per hour delivering quick, high-demand Fiverr gigs.