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.

March 3

Planning, Perseverance, and Getting Stuff Done

ID-100215180

I recently made some changes to the way I get my work done. Let me back up a little bit, and explain why I needed to make these changes.

I am not, nor have I ever been, the most organized or patient person on the planet. Actually, I’m not really organized at all, and I have a little patience, but only for certain things, and success isn’t one of them.

I am a wonderful beginner of things, but have had a pretty lousy track record of finishing them, at least until recently. I have lots of wonderful ideas, but somehow never seem to get them wrangled into a completed thing.

When I grew tired of writing content for mills, I started focusing on my freelancing career for private clients. Not long after I began actively seeking out new clients, I decided I wanted to work on self-publishing, specifically on Kindle. Mid-book, I realized I wanted to open my own PLR store selling articles to marketers and businesses. Oh, and did I mention I also write children’s books? Is your head spinning yet, trying to keep up with my twisty, curvy career path?

Well, I haven’t given any of these up, (and I actually do more, since I have this blog, another toy review site, and a holiday blog) but not all of them make a ton of money…yet. Since I have bills to pay, I’ve had to fall back on the mills, continue approaching private clients, and trying to market my books. It’s hard to justify marketing and working on things that aren’t paying money NOW, but I knew that the only way these things would ever become real earners for me is if I keep on working them.

Long story short, I was spinning my wheels, trying to do everything, every day, but inevitably, some things would get neglected, and my earnings started dropping. Eeek! So, I decided to do something I hate doing. I sat down and made out a schedule for myself.

Now, I don’t mind planning things out, not at all. In fact, I love making my “to do” list every day and ticking off the items on it. But, I hate forcing myself into a set schedule, primarily because I am a poor time manager. There, I said it. I should probably be in a support group or something, whatever, lol!

I printed off a blank March 2015 calendar, and sat down with my list of things I want to work on. This list includes:

  • Freelancing
  • PLR
  • Children’s books
  • Kindle
  • Blogging

I scheduled myself for Monday through Friday, and left the weekends for “catching up”, or for those things that don’t get done during the week because I ran out of time, or had an emergency come up, like an unexpected job from a client. Family emergencies don’t really count, because I’m treating my business like a business!

I’ve also decided that on the days my youngest goes to daycare for three and a half hours, I’ll just work while she’s at daycare, and stop when she gets home, so I can focus on her and the house stuff. Before, I was at my computer all day long, most of which was spent frustrated over chasing work or revising stuff for content mills. Yuk! I will work after the kids go to bed, and I’m aiming for at least six hours of work a day, which is doable if I get up a little early, work through naptimes, and make notes in a notebook when I’m not on the computer.

This is the first week of my new schedule, and so far, so good. I set myself a daily goal for earnings from freelancing, and surpassed it yesterday, almost met it today, and feeling good about tomorrow. I’ll work on PLR every day, and alternate Kindle with my children’s books, blogging on Kindle days.

Today was a Kindle day, so I began a short ebook on credit, debt, and money management, and now I’m writing this blog post while I watch “Chicago Hope”. So, I think I’m getting that “work-life” balance I’ve heard so much about.

I know that the only way to succeed is to simply start, then keep on persevering until I get to where I need to be.

How do you manage your work and family life? Do you schedule, or do you wing it? Are you overwhelmed, or sailing through the days? Let’s talk about it in the comments section, and help each other succeed!