Today, online entrepreneurs worldwide are focusing on strengthening their Internet Marketing strategies by utilising different ideas in Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing and Online Video Marketing. These all affect the success of their online promotional campaigns.
Then there is the process of creating an online identity and building a relevant image so to maintain a positive impression in their customer’s and client’s minds. In other words, businesses focus on launching and improving their Personal Branding online all the time.
Personal Branding creates challenges for businesses particularly with online lead generation and making money online. Standing out from their competitors is a tough challenge but it is possible when the business displays itself in an attractive and distinct way. This is the kind of Personal Branding that is unique, compelling, valuable, and interesting to catch the attention of your target audience and convert them into paying loyal customers. But before you can overcome the challenges in achieving an incomparable Personal Branding, all business owner must pay attention to becoming an Online Authority first.
A business or an entrepreneur that is recognised to have an Online Authority is an expert on certain content or in a line of business. This expertise also commands online lead generation. To be known as an authority to a certain area, it also takes patience and efforts by the business owner.
Meanwhile, if an online business prioritises Personal Branding as a strategy to become an Online Authority, it can achieve a leadership image to its target marketplace in a short span of time. Here are some tips on how to achieve Online Authority.
Hosting Webinars on subjects that are related to your area of expertise is one of the best way to portray yourself as an Online Authority. Make sure that you really have the know-how on the topic before you develop and share your presentation online to make sure that you will really educate your market niche.
Your Unique Story
A business that shares its journey to becoming an Online Authority helps persuade the target audience that you know your stuff. You can tell to your prospects and clients that you started in the business just like them, and not as an expert. You can share how you struggled but through perseverance and continuous growth, you learned and became a skilled, proficient, and seasoned expert on your area. Through this approach, people will relate to your challenges because this is the same situation that they are currently into. Keep in mind that with your honest approach to Personal Branding, your customers as well as your prospects will find it easy to see you as an Online Authority.
Be the Master of a Few Trades, Not Jack of All – “Niche it Down”
Business owners are expanding their online presence on multiple sources to better reach their target audience. But since tools used to improve online presence are mainly for online lead generation, it should not be mistaken as creating Content Marketing efforts on a wide variety of topics and themes. In contrast, becoming an Online Authority requires businesses to spread knowledge on fewer subjects but with full competence. What is important is that this adds great value for the readers rather than offering simple information on a large number diverse topics.
I say to my members all the time, niche it down. What I mean is, they don’t have a narrow enough field of potential customers, and so they actually are pitching to too many people and no one actually resonates with their story or business offerings. EG: Don’t sell “Pet Products”, just sell “Dog Products” – and if you were in eCommerce these days, you’d niche that down to “Dog Beds”. This is the new online trend, keep your teachings careful and concise so people resonate with what you are teaching and how it can help them better.
Be Interested, not Interesting
It is a misconception among most Internet Marketers that they can easily persuade their target audience to believe and follow their content with the use of strong tone. With this idea, new business owners also follow suit in sharing content in a tone that imply force to the readers. But instead of attracting the audience, they are repelled by the content. On the other hand, seasoned Online Authority businesses often share contents that doesn’t have a tone that seem to pressure the readers. Online experts use a reverse effect to inspire people without using deceptive and emphatic techniques to influence. One of the best ways to become a free-hearted Online Authority is to maintain offering valuable content without making forceful calls to action. Be Subtle, but clear.
You should aim to build your Personal Branding with a sense of reliability, trust, and quality. These are all important factors to encourage your target audience to engage to your business. Just keep in mind that you have to use Content Marketing wisely as the main tool to build and promote your Personal Brand online.
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KATE: Ok. Now I just wanted to welcome you today, I’ve got Jane Copeland from CopingWithJane.com. So welcome Jane! How are you?
JANE: Good, thanks Kate! How are you?
KATE: I’m very very well. Thank you so much for joining me today. I’m so excited to talk with you and I’ve got so many great questions for you. But I know you know that, because I always let people know what I’m going to ask them just in case they need to prepare. That’s all. Every podcaster is different, but that’s my thing. So look, I just wanted to ask you first, I know that you do blogging and you’ve written a book now, would you now define yourself as an author or an online entrepreneur or anything specifically?
JANE: That’s a good question! Well yeah, lately I’ve been going by the title of online publisher of CopingWithJane.com.
KATE: Yeah so ‘online publisher’.
KATE: I never heard that before actually. I normally hear online entrepreneur or publisher, so it’s interesting. I like that.
KATE: Actually I really like that. I might steal that! [laughs]
JANE: I think I stole it.
KATE: Yeah, ok. Plagiarism is always a compliment. So when you started out with Coping with Jane, can you tell me how that evolved? How long has that blog been out there? What was the concept behind it?
JANE: Well the website that you see there now, it basically came into existence around June in 2012 but prior to that, for about two years prior, I had a very basic blog where I interviewed successful female innovators and originally it was called something different like “Boom Chicks”, or something like that!
KATE: Something Aussie! (laughs)
JANE: Yeah, something like that, yeah. So Coping with Jane started last year.
KATE: So why the change to that instead of Boom Chicks, or is that obvious?
JANE: Well yeah it is. But that’s a really good question and I guess there were two major things, which happened simultaneously in my life, which you know changed the trajectory of my life if you like. I fell pregnant with my first baby and at the same time I was unfortunately diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, which is now in remission. But as a result of these two things I had an enormous change in mindset and essentially what that ended up being was I wanted to live my life with purpose and just to be true to myself. So that was one reason that made me want to have my own business and doing something I was passionate about. And also during this time I was spending a lot of time at home and online and I noticed that women were everywhere on the internet and they really really wanted to have a voice and they were leaving hundreds of comments on posts and articles and that I guess I wanted to be part of allowing women to have a voice where there’s no barriers. And where women could learn from other women’s experience, if you like. And so developing the site was also an outlet for me and if you like a form of escapism because of what was going on in my life. And it gave me a focus also other than my baby when I was a new mum, which I think is healthy and I’ll talk about that later. So but overall I guess I wanted to create something that was going to be a source of support for women and also where I could get to use my creativity and that sort of thing, just in the development and design of the site. That sort of thing.
KATE: Right so I’m just trying to touch on that briefly. So with the demographic of the readers of your blog, am I right in saying that you set out with the goal of building something for new mums?
JANE: Yes. And ‘new’ mums being any time in the first five years.
KATE: Ok. So with young children, anyway. Mums with young children—well it’s not mums and dads, it’s mums.
JANE: Yeah mums, that’s right.
KATE: Right. So everything you did from then on was to attract that person to your blog basically and build that community.
JANE: Yeah that’s right.
KATE: So I really have to ask you about your blog, I hope you don’t mind. You probably won’t mind, because it’s probably one of the best blogs I have seen.
JANE: Aw, thank you.
KATE: I’m not going to say it’s the best because I saw one the other day that really blew me away, but that’s another story—
KATE: And she’s got like 250,000 likes on Facebook. This woman in America.
JANE: Oh my god.
KATE: That’s amazing! But anyway let’s not get distracted. Yours is probably the best in Australia I’ve seen.
JANE: Well, thank you.
KATE: I know it’s absolutely gorgeous. Now did you design—I assume you had someone create it. Can you tell me about that?
JANE: Yep. Well first of all, that was the way that I wanted to differentiate my site from other, say, online magazines that were out there. I wanted it to be sophisticated and chic. Both because I wanted to attract a particular type of audience and have a site that resonated with them and also because that sort of—I don’t know, that sat well with me. I like pretty things. Stylish things. [laughs]
KATE: So that’s your taste.
JANE: That’s what I’m trying to say, that’s my taste.
JANE: And that kind of ended up—I don’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing because I spent a hell of a lot of time choosing and finding the right company, web design company, and to do that—because like I was saying before, I was online a lot of the time, I basically was looking at hundreds of different websites. And when I came to one in particular that I liked, I clicked through and found a designer or web developer, I should say, and then by that stage he’d been head hunted by an agency. So that’s basically how it came to be that I used who I ended up going with. And yeah, I was really particular about the design and things like that. I had been collecting information of various components of other websites that I liked. So yeah I guess in developing the site, that part of the process took, I would have to say about eight months—
JANE: Going back and forth with the designer. Yeah. So it did take a long time only because I had a specific vision that I wanted. So yeah and that’s probably how from the first day that I spoke to them until it was actually a product, it was probably about eight months.
KATE: Can you give me a rough cost?
JANE: Yeah, yeah. So—
KATE: Rough! You don’t have to tell me that—
JANE: Yeah, so this is the other thing that I was—
KATE: I mean you get what you pay for right?
JANE: Yeah it wasn’t expensive and that was because the company I worked with, they did fall in love with my vision and they believed in what I was doing and that also has gotten—goes into—like they believe in the ‘why’ and so they didn’t charge me nearly as much as what it would normally cost, which would be probably about $20,000 and they did it for under four grand for me.
JANE: That was the first version. I’ve continued to tweak it all the time because I’m constantly looking at what’s working, what isn’t working, where the eyeballs are going on the site. Things like that, which has been an experience in itself. All in all, I’ve spent under 10 grand on it, which – but I don’t want people, listeners, to think that’s how– that’s realistic. Because generally something like what you’re looking at like CopingWithJane.com would be about $20,000.
KATE: Right. What about photography? Did you get that done professionally and then give those images to your designer?
JANE: So—well the first thing I should say is that the site has evolved so what you’re looking at now isn’t how it was originally. So the branding images that are there of me is a recent photo-shoot that I did about a month ago.
KATE: For your book?
JANE: Yes, for my book. And then I also got branding done for my website. Prior to that, I didn’t really have that many images of myself on there at all. But what I actually found out was that what was really resonating with readers was I guess, the fact anytime I put something on there about me personally and about my own experience or blogged about that, that was what was resonating with readers and I really needed to put more of myself into the website.
JANE: Because when I started, and I still do, have a lot of contributors and very talented writers on there.
KATE: Now I have to ask you about them: do they contribute regularly?
JANE: Yeah they do. And I’ve cut down on that a bit only because again, my audience wanted me to blog more and I simply don’t have the time to upload—because I’m the only one at the moment who’s working in my business, although I have had other people work with me in the past, but yeah—it just takes a bit of time for me to edit, to upload them, so whereas in the beginning I was posting at least once a day and most of the posts were from different contributors.
KATE: So how did that work? I wanted to ask you, did you put a call out to people in a forum or a Facebook group saying , “Hey I’m looking for contributors, who is interested?”
KATE: Can you talk me through that? Because that would be interesting.
JANE: So I did a course at the Australian writer’s center.
JANE: And that’s owned by an incredible woman called Valerie Khoo and she got together a Facebook group for graduates of the feature writing course.
KATE: Oh, ok.
JANE: And I noticed that there was a lot of talented writers on there that had these great topics that—these days there aren’t that many magazines and print publications left. So they basically had no home to go to with their writing. So I thought I could create this– if I create something that’s beautiful for them to showcase their work it would have, the effect would be twofold: I could give them a forum to showcase their work and also I could get some excellent content. So I guess through my communicating there that’s where a lot of the contributors have come from.
KATE: That’s great.
JANE: With the other celebs that I have got on there like Tara Moss, Jacinta Tynan and some other kind of writer celebrities, news readers, that sort of thing… with them, how I got them involved again I told them about what I was doing and I knew—because I followed them, I knew what was important to them. So I approached them and said, “Would you like to write a post on this particular subject that I know is important to you? This is what I’m trying to do.” So that resonated with them and then they said yes. KATE: So with your contributors, is it pertinent that they actually have something relevant to your typical demographic?
JANE: Oh yeah!
KATE: So you’re all very clear about you must be in this space.
JANE: Yeah I mean, it’s more definitely like—yeah, definitely. What has to be relevant for my audience and also topical. Yeah. And I’ve got some guidelines on my site. But I get approached all the time about putting various posts on there and most of the time I turn them down, but yeah.
KATE: Yeah we get a lot of people on the Facebook group saying– this Aussie bloggers one, where people say look I’ve been approached by say for instance Johnson & Johnson, and they want me to talk about this and this, and I get a free—and it’s all back linking and stuff, and we always say no.
JANE: Yeah, exactly. I guess the whole thing is that I’m trying to create something and produce content that’s relevant for my audience. Relevant and helpful. So yeah. And also I’ve recently, just in the last three weeks, I’ve started putting ads on my site. And I’ve built some ad spaces in there. And again, this is really because I’ve been approached by various ad agencies who have asked me—they’ve got clients who want to work with Coping With Jane, so I’ve put them on there. That said, it’s not really where I see my business model going because it’s really not—and I do want the audience of this business to be aware of this, it’s not something you can make heaps and heaps of money out of unless you’ve got huge traffic coming to your site.
KATE: But hang on—why did you do that?
JANE: Put the ad spaces on?
KATE: Put the ads on. Yeah.
JANE: Well I really just put them on there because I want to be useful to my readers and the ad spaces that I’ve got on there are for—and if you have a look—
KATE: They’re for relevant products.
JANE: Yeah products that are relevant to my audience. And yes I’m getting paid a little bit of money for them, but it’s really again it’s more to be useful to my audience as well.
KATE: Yeah that’s fair enough and actually you could even—some of your contributors could write a book and you could say well, I can give you a space for that because it’s relevant and you’re a contributor and that makes sense. So yeah I can see that. It’s a really fine line. There was someone on a blog that was going on about this today on the Facebook group, about putting—they’re talking about promotional posts and ads and that—because even Google ad sense, as you said you need huge traffic to get anything more than 3 cents and it’s right there on your real estate. For me, I just got rid of them years ago. Don’t do it for the money.
JANE: Yeah and also with the ad agencies that have contacted me, I must say I haven’t even gotten around to putting my media kit yet. I definitely want to but at the moment because I’ve had enough interest from Coping with Jane readers who have their own business and small businesses, that’s who I really want to focus on at this point.
KATE: Tell me about your book, Coping With Jane. Tell me—I think you only took a few months to write it—
JANE: I did.
KATE: So tell me about it. Because I’ve got it, by the way. We’ll talk about that in a minute. But tell me your story.
JANE: So the book is called Boardroom to Baby. It was released last week? On Amazon. And the reason I wrote it was again back to what I was saying about having my first baby and basically the transformation that happened to me as a woman. And really when you’re pregnant and you read heaps and heaps of baby books, they all tell you the size of the baby and what’s going on, what’s happening with your body. But none of them talk about the actual change that you’re going to experience as a woman, which is the biggest change that you’ll ever experience on this earth. So that’s what the book is about. It’s a mixture of my experience of having my first baby at the age of 37 and going from a corporate career to changing my mindset and starting up my own business. That sort of thing. But it also has a lot of expert commentary on there as well. And it’s backed up by research and references. That sort of thing.
KATE: It’s just an extension of your blog, isn’t it? To people. Actually—I’m going to ask you. What a stupid question. I have read the book and I have to say it’s got all these links within the book. And at first it would put me off, but the links were so relevant—
JANE: Oh, great!
KATE: I know! And even like maternity underwear and then it links to maternity underwear. And I’m even assuming that’s not an affiliate link because it’s just done so classy.
JANE: Oh, thanks!
KATE: So I know.
JANE: It is an affiliate link.
KATE: It is? Ok. I would never have thought that.
JANE: I’ve been experimenting with all these things. I haven’t written an eBook before, so basically that link there, depending on which one it is—if it’s through Amazon, then yeah it’s an affiliate link.
KATE: Yeah it’s Amazon. But that’s fine. It didn’t look like an affiliate link. I know you’ve got to disguise that. But so my question is—and again, I’m a fanatic about this sort of branding. This book is so beautiful. Who created that? Is that an InDesign? What’s going on there?
JANE; Yeah. Thank you. So it was really important to me how I guess the design of the book. And these days you don’t need to have an eBook that is as beautifully designed as Boardroom to Baby but that was really really important to me. So I worked with a designer who is based in Italy. And I actually got her contact details from Sarah Wilson’s website, who has had tremendous success with her book How I Quit Sugar.
KATE: Uh huh.
JANE: Yeah. And so the reason I went with her and not with other services that are available, is that she—like I was saying, I hadn’t written an eBook before and on Sarah’s website it says that she kind of helps, holds your hand through the whole ereader conversion and stuff like that. So that’s why I went with her. And also because she’s a great designer. Because when you’re writing an eBook and self publishing for the first time, getting your head around all the different components that are involved with publishing, it can make your head hurt. So I wanted someone who could help me with it. So that’s why I went with her.
KATE: So she did it, is that what you’re saying?
JANE: She did the book design, yes.
KATE: Ok. Do you know how she did it?
JANE: Yes. She did it in InDesign. And then—
KATE: That’s all I wanted—all I was dying to know! Because I’m going to send off to my—your book is so inspiring. The layout, the feel, everything. I’ve never seen any one like it. I’ve never seen it on kindle. Because kindle books are renowned for times new roman font.
JANE: I know! [laughs]
KATE: So that’s exciting.
JANE: And then the other thing that I might mention is that what I did was I collaborated with two photographers. So the actual images that you see in there, there are some stock images that I’ve purchased off stock photos, but the majority of them is original work from photographers that I approached. Again I did research and looked into photographers that had beautiful maternity photographs and newborn imagery. So I approached them and I said, “Would you like to be in my book? This is it.”
KATE: And then as a quid pro quo thing? Is that what you were going to say?
JANE: Well we did, exactly.
KATE: What a smart idea.
JANE: Yeah, so…I wanted it to be a beautiful looking eBook.
KATE: That is amazing. I tell you, I’ve just got so much inspiration from all of that. The blog thing—I know my blog can look better. But the book, I can easily do that. You know? I can just make a phone call and mine will look like that. I just didn’t think of it! Isn’t that funny?
JANE: Yeah so basically just so you know, the cost that you’re looking at to produce a book like that, I think it was around 2,500? And that includes the conversion to ePub and MOBI. And PDFs. So for the audience who might not know what the hell are these, it’s basically when you upload it to Amazon Kindle and stuff like that, you have to use very different formats and stuff like that.
KATE: But Calibre does that, doesn’t it? Calibre converts it.
JANE: I didn’t know.
KATE: So she can save it through PDF and you can put it through Calibre.com, that’s free, and that will convert to MOBI. Done. I’ve got graphic designers, who have got InDesign, so now I’m going to say make it look like Jane’s book.
JANE: Ok but just so you know: every time she converted it, because we had a lot of changes, it wasn’t—it was like a process that was—she’d need about four hours to do it. So I don’t know what this Calibre tool is, but it wasn’t something—she had to go in and change it.
KATE: She probably used Calibre. That’s the benchmark for converting books.
JANE: Well as you can see, I’m not very technical and I didn’t really want to deal with all that.
KATE: No but you knew a lot more than me, even. You knew more than I thought you’d know, so you answered all my questions. So that’s fantastic. Because I think even Pat Flynn has a book out that’s pretty dynamic. And I remember asking him how did he do that and he didn’t answer. And I bet you it’s InDesign. I bet you that’s it.
JANE: It’s funny how so many people—
KATE: No, he wasn’t being evasive, I just—
JANE: He didn’t know?
KATE: Yeah, we just got distracted by other stuff or he just didn’t know. Exactly.
JANE: Right, ok. Also just on writing the book: I did write it in three months and what I’m actually doing on my site because I’ve had so many questions about it, is I’m putting together a series of posts on the process that I followed.
KATE: Yes. I saw that.
JANE: Yeah, yeah.
KATE: I love that. I love the focused time things. There’s actually– online you can get free time clocks. Like stopwatches? Yeah and you run them when you—everyone says they do it but no one does it.
JANE: Exactly. The thing that I forgot to mention is that I am actually quite a slow writer. Definitely not fast. But because I followed several processes, which I outline in the post, it came together quite quicKatey. So if I can do it, anyone can do it. You know?
KATE: Do you watch your Google Analytics? Do you watch, like how much has improved since changing your website, how much has improved—
KATE: –since releasing your book. Do you watch that?
JANE: Yep. And I watch where their eyeballs go. I went through a stage where I was becoming a little bit obsessed with it, so I’ve let it go a little bit.
KATE: Ok! That’s good. You know that’s very good Jane because most bloggers go, “oh not really.” So that shows you’re a business woman.
JANE: Well I just—
JANE: I can just see where their eyeballs go on the page and I look at the heat map and I see where they’re going and—
KATE: Is that Crazy Egg?
JANE: No. you can get it all on Google Analytics. So I’m on there.
KATE: Oh, ok.
JANE: Yeah. So I do look at it often. But I also use a plug-in, I can’t remember which one, at the back end of the processor, which gives me a daily count of each– how many visitors to the site each day and also who is looking at what posts—how many views I’m getting on a post. That sort of thing. So I find that actually easier to look at just because I’m actually in the back end all the time. It’s not as—
KATE: You must give me the name of that. I’d love that.
JANE: I’m actually not even sure—
KATE: I’ll put it in our post, our blog post, for this. Now what about with your book. Do you have any way—is that cloaked, linked to your blog? So that you know that people are coming to your blog from your book?
KATE: I hope that makes sense.
JANE: I actually do. But I now have just for a little while I’m just going to run the sales through Amazon, since it’s gone to Amazon. Yeah.
KATE: No, no, no. No what I mean is, you know when people buy your book?
KATE: On Amazon, there’s links to your blog from the book, right?
JANE: Oh, yes. Yes, yes, yes. I haven’t actually looked in the last week, so I’ve not seen if any have come from Amazon yet.
KATE: Ok but do you have the ability to do that? Have you cloaked them?
JANE: I don’t know. I don’t know—I’m not sure.
KATE: I don’t know either then. If you use bitly.com, you put in a—
JANE: Yes of course. You know I need to look into that because it does have all those bitly links in there and I need to—
KATE: Ok. Well then you’ve got it. So you’ve just got to get around to going it. So that’s good. You’ve only just released it, I understand that. I don’t want you to obsess about it. Because you’re right, you can obsess about it.
JANE: I’ve just got so much going on and it’s hard to find the time to do everything.
KATE: What about your pop up box domination over everything?
JANE: Love it. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I put it on about a month and a half ago and the reason I didn’t have a pop up originally was because my web developer said absolutely, no way. Do not do it.
KATE: Oh my god.
JANE: And it’s just doubled.
KATE: I know. Hey, what’s ProBlogger? 800 log ins a day? Doubled when he put the pop up box in there.
JANE: I cannot believe that.
KATE: So people who don’t bag it, they’re not in business. Do you know what I’m saying? Don’t worry about it.
JANE: Just with that I might add: it’s really cheap. I think it’s only $100 or something, I cant remember.
KATE: It’s less, 60.
JANE: Oh ok. And it’s so easy to install. But the default is that it doesn’t work on iPhone or iPad because of the sizing restrictions. But it can be changed. So my designer, my developer just changed the code by a tiny little bit after I emailed the pop up domination support there and so now it is popping up in other places, but you probably need to be aware of that because with what my reports say is that virtually everyone—I mean like 80% of my viewers are looking at the site, at Coping with Jane from their iPhone or their iPads.
KATE: Oh really?
KATE: Wow. That’s interesting, isn’t it?
JANE: And I’ve changed—I’ve definitely made design decisions on the site based on that.
KATE: That’s fantastic and interesting to know. You know because I’m always that desktop person, so I assume everyone else is. Yeah, I’m on a desk all day.
KATE: Yeah. But I hear that sometimes 50% of buyers are now mobile.
JANE: Oh yeah, absolutely.
KATE: Don’t you have a computer? Why would you sit on your phone when you can do it on your big screen. So look, can I talk to you briefly about social media?
JANE: Yeah sure.
KATE: I love that you’ve got your Facebook page, lot of likes going on there. Do you have a profile and a page? Or just a page? You have to have both, but—
JANE: I’ve got a business page, which is a personal blog/business page. And also my personal account too.
KATE: Ok. And I know you’ve got your twitter. I noticed that you’re saying to people thank you for retweeting me. How do you find the time, first of all to tweet, but then to notice that someone’s tweeted you and to say thanks for retweeting—I mean you must not sleep because that is insane.
JANE: I know, I know. It’s so important to thank people. It’s really the whole point of social media is to engage with people. And that’s—
KATE: How do you find the time though? Does that trigger a thing to use so you check it daily?
JANE: Well I’ve got my iPhone and I’ve got the Twitter up on it and I can tell if anyone has re-tweeted anything that I’ve done.
KATE: But you’ve got to check it to know that, don’t you?
JANE: On my phone? Yeah. I mean that’s true. I basically check my phone most of the day I’m online. [laughs] But the other thing is I use HootSuite as well.
KATE: Ok, right.
JANE: Yeah but just to thank people, it takes me a second.
KATE: Oh no, you’re right. But I don’t look at my Twitter let alone thank people for any tweets. I should!
JANE: Well I guess Twitter is my favourite social media platform. It’s only recently that I’ve started using Facebook as much. And just again within the last month, my Facebook likes have literally gone up by 1000 since I’ve started using it. Facebook is just so powerful. But prior to that, Twitter has been my favourite social media platform because I love finding out information. The information that’s shared on Twitter is just amazing and so sharing information on Twitter. And that’s also important for any blogger I feel and also definitely for what I do, to keep track of what’s happening. Things that are topical. What people are talking about. What people are re-tweeting. What people are interested in.
KATE: Yes I suppose that really is what social media is for.
JANE: Totally. It’s very very important.
KATE: Yeah. And do you have a social media strategy or not? Are you just going with it?
JANE: I do. Well… I guess you could call it a strategy. It’s very relevant to what I’m doing. It’s probably the most important thing that I’m doing with my business, so yeah…I mean, is it a strategy? I’d say, yes, yes it is. So if I posted anything then I definitely would tweet it out. And I would take a lot—I give my headlines a lot of importance because I know that will attract—that’s key in attracting people back to my site. Just as important is sharing other people’s posts and information that they’re tweeting as well. And then engaging with people on Facebook and things like that. It’s really important.
KATE: Yeah. Yeah. No that’s fair enough. There’s things like Tweet Adder but you probably don’t use that.
KATE: No. look I’ve got a social media girl and she’s been using it and I’ve told her to stop. Don’t use it. It’s like spamming. I don’t like it.
JANE: Yeah, I’ve been experimented with this. I have had—because it does take time and it can take time—you really need to watch the time that you’re spending on it and be as effective as possible. Because otherwise it can become a big time suck. I did experiment with someone doing it for me and it just wasn’t the same. Because it really has to be you.
JANE: And that’s what is going to resonate with people. Create your own brand. These days having an online brand and presence is just so important for everything.
KATE: And you can really follow it through now in social media, look at YouTube. And of course this is a lovely thing for me to go on to! YouTube: your channel. You’ve got these beautiful videos of you interviewing people relevant to your niche, obviously.
KATE: And I’ve even noticed on your website you’ve done a podcast!
JANE: I know!
KATE: I do love a female podcaster, because I love me. [laughs] But you only did one thought. So tell me, is that on iTunes?
JANE: It’s not, it’s not. And look: I basically wanted to experiment with podcast and video and things like that and see what was going to work. And I’m just in the early stages of using different mediums and I still need to experiment more to see what my audience wants, what they want—I kind of took the podcast off. I didn’t do anymore because say, with my audience I just think that having something in front of them to read, that’s what they’re used to. And taking the time out to listen to something, I don’t think, and my numbers kind of reflect that, that they have the time or that they’re going to click on it to listen to it. That’s what I thought. Because they’re busy mums with little ones.
KATE: So when you—look, I know all about podcasting. I wrote a course on how to podcast so I know a lot about it. But really you’ve got to go in and either it’s to get new leads, which means you don’t worry about your existing. It’s all about getting into the iTunes market that don’t currently know about Coping With Jane, or it’s actually to, as you say, to give more value to your existing readers. And of course that’s—you do a different strategy depending on what your actual goal is because neither of them will make you any money.
KATE: So you’ve got to have your strategy right on the money there or you’re just wasting time. No but it’s good and you did it. It looked great and I loved that it’s on your site so if you do decide to develop that.
JANE: Oh I’d love to, I really would. And with the video, I just know how huge YouTube is and it’s definitely something that I would like to do more of. But my problem is that I really like to have things very very polished and in like with my branding, and for me that requires getting hair and make up done, getting a professional to shoot it and it’s just not—it’s
JANE: And I know that you don’t need to do that these days, you can just do it with your iPad or your little handycam, that’s just as effective. But I need to kind of like realize that it’s ok to do that, it doesn’t need to be the full shebang and works. Because it is something I get approached about quite often. Like we want to be on your Coping With Jane channel and do you want to interview us with this and that. So it is something I want to do in the future. Again.
KATE: And I think that online is a different, how do I say, standard to TV. I think the video that I saw of you was really a TV standard.
JANE: It was.
KATE: Yeah, close. But on iTunes—
JANE: You don’t need it, do you?
KATE: These people aren’t expecting that. No. They’re just looking for the message.
JANE: So true.
KATE: Yeah they’re looking for the quality of the audio. They’re not too worried about lipstick. Of course I still wear mine even when I’m doing an audio podcast because I’m a lady [laughs]. Anyway. I’m being silly. So yeah, that’s an awesome—putting on iTunes very easy but if it’s not going to be regular there’s no point. So I’m just going to finish up soon and I just want to talk to you very briefly about your community online. Do you have—I know you have an email list. Do you regularly email them specifically as an email or is it just blasting out that you’ve done a post or not at all? Can you tell me?
JANE: Rather than have my posts just appear—the email just be a list of the posts I’ve done in the last week, I definitely write a personal email to my readers. And that does, I guess have links back to the most popular content that I’ve published that week. Again I try and make it as relevant as possible to the readers. I’m trying to now post—sorry, distribute my newsletter once a week. It hasn’t always been that way. So it’s been maybe once a month. And it’s only again in the last two months that I’ve been doing it once a week.
KATE: So since your book it’s sort of changed?
JANE: It has! It has and also just a little bit before that. But it’s just having a newsletter is so important, so important. As they say, the money is in the list and its so true.
KATE: And I wonder, is your newsletter as nice as your book? All the pretty code? Or is just standard HTML? Basic, boring…
JANE: It’s pretty nice actually. But again.
KATE: I’m going to get onto the list.
JANE: Absolutely! You really do. It’s pretty nice but that said it’s not as fancy as my website. Because again to make it as personal as possible, it doesn’t really need all the bells and whistles. The whole point of having it is to be like you’re just sending an email to a friend.
KATE: Is that Aweber
JANE: Do you know, I use Campaign Monitor.
KATE: Oh ok, I’ve never heard of that.
JANE: Ok, yeah. They’re good for, again having pretty emails. I don’t know if that’s the best. I know a lot of people use Aweber.
KATE: Yeah. Well yeah in this space they do because it’s marketing. But yeah each to his own. If it works, it works. Don’t fix what ain’t broke, I say. Because there’s not enough time in the day as is. So look, I would love to ask just before we finish up, if you have any advice for any new or old bloggers based on your experience of building the community. How would you… yeah. Do you have any advice?
JANE: It would definitely be to realize the importance of your overall online presence and that to just understand the importance of social media and to really get in there and start using it. I see a lot of people who have blogs that aren’t using Facebook or don’t have a Facebook page and who only have five followers on Twitter. It’s – you really need to leverage social media and build your community that way. And it’s not as easy as it seems. Sorry—I mean it’s not as hard as it seems! That’s what I meant to say. Yeah.
KATE: No I know what you mean. I was talking to Amy and have you seen Blogging with Amy? Amy Lynn Andrews?
JANE: No, I am going to look at that.
KATE: You’d love her work. She’s very innovative like you but she’s not as motivated as you. She’s – how do I say this… a bit more casual blogger. But she does want to be in the space you’re in, she just doesn’t want to be as methodical about it. So she’s just “Oh I’ve written a book, but it wasn’t relevant to my blog. I just wrote it because I liked what I wrote.” Anyway, we talk about it in the interview. So for her, and she talks about all those things as well. She’s very active in Facebook and all that. So every blogger has their own approach to it. So for her I don’t know that it’s always just about money. And I do talk to some bloggers and it’s got nothing to do with money. So if they go on Facebook it’s because they want to they don’t need the network. So everyone has their own take on it but if you want to have it as a business, it’s kind of a platform that you need to get into.
JANE: It is but I mean if you are going to use social media it’s definitely not about going out there and blasting your own sales message and stuff. It’s actually the total opposite of that. It’s about being helpful and as useful as possible to your audience.
KATE: I call it being likeable.
JANE: Yeah! And useful.
KATE: Yeah. Well yeah exactly. Someone likes having you around or likes being on your page or whatever as opposed to—because it’s so competitive now. It’s so much harder to be noticed online as what it was three years ago.
JANE: It is. But you know, if you’re passionate about what you’re doing and you genuinely are interested in what other people are doing and you’re sincere about it, people will notice that. And again another thing that’s related and important is creating really magnetic headlines for your own posts.
KATE: So are you talking about keyword enriched?
JANE: No. I just mean about—
JANE: Yeah it’s going to be driving traffic. Like for example, “Five Ways to Prevent Getting Fat” or something. Or “How to do XYZ”. You have to– 90% of traffic they’re going to click through to what you’ve got on your site based on the headline. So you really do need to spend a lot of time developing that. So that when you tweet it out or put it on Facebook, it’s going to be appealing for that person to firstly read and secondly maybe share.
KATE: I agree.
JANE: When I first started out with Coping With Jane, it used to take me a few hours just to create one headline. For a thing. But now it takes me a lot less time.
KATE: Probably only one hour.
JANE: Yeah, only one hour! But it’s so important. It’s so important.
KATE: And the article, that’s only three minutes. [laughs] Well I always try to get keywords in there. But the best advice I had on that was write the headline like you said, eye-catching, and then add one keyword if it’s not already there.
JANE: You’re right.
KATE: So that’s how people find you in SEO in Google. So you’ve got to have it in there. But don’t lose sight of just having a good headline. Because otherwise you just look like everyone else.
JANE: That’s right.
KATE: So that’s fantastic! So everyone knows how to find CopingWithJane.com, which is really about coping with new motherhood and those early years. That’s where it’s coming from. Is it?
JANE: Yeah. It’s also about business. It’s about reinventing yourself and your career. A lot of blogging tips, a lot of tips on there for working from home with a baby and just starting a business. That sort of thing.
KATE: So just coping with your new life and everything. Your new ventures and opportunities.
JANE: That’s right
KATE: I love that. Are you a protégée of B School?
JANE: I am! I absolutely am!
KATE: You girls are all the same!
JANE: I did it two years ago. Yeah absolutely. Are you?
KATE: No I decided not to do it. Honestly I couldn’t afford it. It was like two grand. Yeah I looked and I thought eh….
JANE: It’s really good. And it’s not just that but there’s a massive community there. I just assume everyone’s in it like you. Because it’s huge.
KATE: Well maybe I should tell everyone I am—
JANE: Maybe you should do it next year?
KATE: Marie where’s my membership number? I just lost it. [laughs] see if she falls for that. But I know a few girls, certainly Victoria Gibson is from that and obviously I’m a big fan of hers.
JANE: Love Victoria.
KATE: That’s where I met you, at the breakout event, which was fantastic. Did you like the event?
JANE: Oh I loved it. I absolutely loved it. Working from home and being an online entrepreneur, you are – even though you’re online mixing with people all the time, it can be a little bit isolating and having those events is just so important for so many reasons. Look we met there.
KATE: Exactly. I met a couple of girls there. I met one of your contributors there, Emma Parry.
JANE: Oh she’s wonderful.
KATE: Yeah I sat next to her and we were chatting away about her blog and I was actually—because she said to me she does the books thing?
JANE: Yeah she’s got my bookstore—my book corner, sorry. She’s a very talented writer. And she’s another person that came through Sydney Writer Centre.
KATE: See, she was great. And I was talking to her and said let’s try your SEO. I Googled it and she was second. I’m going you’re alright, you’re there. She’s going oh phew. [laughs] Because I put her on the spot. But no we had a great time, it was a great event. Getting stuck in the office all day doing this job, it is nice to get out.
JANE: How did you come across Victoria?
KATE: I met her at the ProBlogger event.
JANE: Oh, ok! Are you going this year?
KATE: Yes I am.
JANE: I’m going too.
KATE: Oh, fantastic!
JANE: I was there last year too.
KATE: Oh, ok. I think Victoria is going this year as well.
JANE: I think she is. She kind of turns up to a few events and then flitters off. [laughs]
KATE: A lot of it is pretty repetitive but it’s always good for the networking.
JANE: This year is going to be awesome.
KATE: Are you going to bring your family?
JANE: Am I going to—
KATE: Your family?
JANE: Am I going to bring them? No. I’m going to definitely leave them at home. It’s going to be my first weekend away from my son who is two, and I just can’t wait. [laughs]
KATE: Well see I’ve got a couple of days in June in Sydney without the kids so I think I’ll take them to the Gold Coast.
JANE: Oh there’s so many wonderful things to do there with them as well. I love it.
KATE: Yeah. So it doesn’t matter. That’s fine. Look I’ll have to say I’ve got to stay out drinking with Jane—
JANE: It’s going to be so much fun! I can’t wait. Are you going to stay at the hotel? That’s where the conference is.
KATE: We probably won’t because we have some friends who live there. We’ll probably stay there and save some money. And that’s a family environment so they’ve got kids the same age as our kids so we can take off and leave them. [laughs]
KATE: I’m sure she won’t find that funny. So that’s what my plans are. I’m very excited that you’re going there. I do love going to live events. We only have half a dozen in Australia, let alone Melbourne in a year, that you can actually go to.
JANE: I know.
KATE: Unless you want a pitch fest, you can go to them. But I don’t want to go to them, I just – I thought Victoria’s course was amazing. I’d never seen the online business models set out so simply. Even though when you see it, you go of course! So I thought it was really good. Really well planned out.
JANE: Was she going to hand out the –
KATE: Slides? They’re on Facebook.
JANE: Oh are they?
KATE: She’s distributed them. So go check the page.
KATE: She’s doing another one on the 29th of May.
JANE: I know, it’s the same one isn’t it?
KATE: Yeah. I guess she’s doing that to see her mastermind—
KATE: But look, that’s fantastic. Thank you so much for your time Jane.
JANE: It’s been a pleasure.
[END OF TRANSCRIPT]
Ok, so you’ve got a book idea ready to go.
Maybe it’s for lead generation (sales of your products or services) and maybe it’s for income (sales from the book proceeds).
Either way, you want to promote it when you launch it.
So, here’s some ideas for you:
- Get a Google account, (Gmail) then create a Google Plus Profile, and if you like a Google Plus Page for every book, depending on how committed you are…
- Set yourself up as a Google Author Rank (my video here shows you how >http://youtu.be/Qde6XvUxZFw
- Post on your Google profile/page everytime you have something relevant to your book topic
- Interact with other like-minded authors on your Google Profile
- Put your Google Plus name in your email signature
- Put your niche keywords in your post titles
- Get onto Facebook and share info about your Google Plus activity
That is just a few things to get you going… more to come soon!
If you want more info on setting up your status to launch, go read Michael Hyatt’s definitive guide on launching your next best seller over here > http://michaelhyatt.com/bestseller-launch-formula.html
Kate: Thank you so much for talking to me Steve. I first saw you on Amazon, but you have been around for a while, haven’t you?
Steve: Yeah, about ten years, I have been actually online marketing, but I guess I started by blog back in January of 2010.
Kate: Wow. And so have you always earned income from back in 2003 or 2004?
Steve: A little bit for those two years and then 2005 I went full time, so, yeah, I guess it has been about seven years now.
Kate: Wow. Okay. So, now, is that your strategy to really embrace eBooks? Because I have to ask this because that is kind of the only way I have seen you out there. So that doesn’t mean that is the only way that you are out there, but that is certainly how I came across you. So is that your main goal post with your marketing or is that just part of the pie?
Steve: That is really how I make my money now, at least with this “Steve Scott” stuff (that was honestly), I don’t want to say luck, but it was, I just kind of stumbled upon it. I wrote the first couple of Kindle books just to drive traffic back to my blog and then when I actually started making money I was just probably more shocked than anyone else, and I decided to go with it and just for six months, just really that’s pretty much all my time into writing these Kindle books.
Kate: Okay. So just on that point then, when you say it went really well, when did you first start doing the Kindle books?
Steve: I released my first one I think it was February of last year (2012), but I really released it and pretty much forgot about it until June of last year (2012). And then I wrote my second one, I forgot about that, and then pretty much I was going on vacation for our 4th of July holiday, and I just decided to do one of those free promotions kind of as an afterthought. And then I came back and I saw it actually after the sale ended, I saw that I actually started making seven to ten sets a day. I was like, “Whoa, this is actually something here.”
Kate: Wow, yeah.
Steve: So I kind of went with it.
Kate: Yes, I am going to ask you a bit more about that. But first of all, so I want to talk about you a little more if that’s okay.
Kate: Now, you know, it’s funny because I think on your blog you do say that you are an internet marketer, but I have noticed you talk a lot about affiliate marketing.
Kate: Do you consider yourself more of an affiliate marketer or an internet marketer?
Steve: I have no idea what to call myself now
Kate: A Jack-of-all-trades!
Steve: Honestly, that’s how I really, I guess, made my bones initially was with affiliate marketing. I did that kind of behind-the-scenes just building a list for many years. And I guess for a long time you could really get away with just having an email list, writing easy articles and simply YouTube videos and driving traffic. Up until really 2010, I didn’t really feel a need to even have blog or any sort of real online presence. Yeah, I kind of did affiliate marketing, but the last year or two, I have really felt that you need to do more than just focus on the affiliate market or even eBooks. So I guess right now I call myself more an authority marketer, someone that tries to build a large brand around one topic and might entice it through a bunch of different ways.
Kate: Is your topic internet marketing or is there another one?
Steve: Yes, I guess internet marketing would be the simplest terms. It’s just those actual words, it kind of reminds people of just sleazy people or just other instances.
Kate: You know what! It’s funny you say that because I think when I came into the online world, probably a year or two ago, I used to think it was really guarded, but now that I am in it I am like the complete opposite. I think internet marketing is hard work and I think it’s actually sprinkled with a lot of people who will call you out in a split second, so I actually think quite the opposite now. But it’s funny that you still have that connotation. I suppose you are just being mindful of people listening to this and you perhaps have that connotation?
Steve: Well, I think specifically when it comes to like Kindle books, the Amazon readers are very like suspicious in general of anyone who writes about making money online, so I have to be very mindful of kind of being in their shoes and what they are thinking, so I just try to frame it from their viewpoint. And I prefer the nicer “internet entrepreneur” too, it just sounds a little bit …
Kate: Yeah, I was going to say that’s kind of the word going around now, “online entrepreneur”. You know, “I am an online entrepreneur.” You know, it says nothing.
Steve: Agreed, yes.
Kate: Yeah. But then again its hard to understand what an “internet marketer” is because we don’t study this at school, do we? So we don’t really know what that means unless we have been online and done some marketing, so it’s funny, isn’t it? So you and I could talk with no problems. But I guess that what you are saying is that people listening to this might think, “what are they talking about?” I totally understand.
So, okay. Look, that’s fair enough. So you would probably then call yourself more likely an “online entrepreneur” now or an “online author” even because you are doing so much writing?
Steve: I really, I just decided a long time ago not to really try to figure out what the heck to call myself.
Kate: I understand. I understand. Alright, just ignore the question. Okay. Look, now, we did blog and you did mention that you started this about, did you say about two years ago, one and a half years ago?
Steve: Yeah, January 2010, so, yeah, two and a half years ago.
Kate: Yeah, two and a half years. Okay.
Steve: So three and a half years. Times catches. That’s three and a half years, yeah.
Kate: And do you enjoy doing the blogging side?
Steve: I really go back and forth. I used to love it, but I also spent many years pretty much writing for free.
Steve: It was kind of the reverse of the 80/20 where I would spend like more than like ten percent of my time with pretty much creating ninety-five percent of my income. And I would spend all the time in the blog and wasn’t making money with it up until the Kindle stuff.
Steve: So I liked it, but I also felt I had to write 3,000 word posts and all this detailed content and it seemed like people leave a response and all this stuff and it was frustrating to say the least.
Steve: I liked that when I was writing the Kindle stuff I took six months off and now I am kind of back writing again. Actually, I really enjoy it now because there is an actual purpose behind what I am writing and there is a whole grand scheme behind each post, so.
Steve: I like in knowing that it is adding to some massive project instead of just trying to write and seven people used to be paying attention to it on Twitter and stuff like that.
Kate: Yeah. So what you are saying is now that you have a strategy, it makes sense and it is part of a plan and that way you enjoy it because you see it progress?
Steve: Exactly. And I feel that each post is helping readers understand the larger concept.
Kate: Yeah. Now, that’s exactly right. I agree. It’s fantastic. The reason I ask is because a lot of people online do start a blog and then they just drop off. It’s actually hard work, isn’t it?
Steve: I would say, honestly “blogging” is the hardest thing to do successfully, but out of all businesses.
Kate: Yeah. And you know what, some people, some bloggers make it look so easy. They just keep writing every day and they have got this huge following and they are talking about, “Oh, look, I took my dog for a walk. Isn’t he cute?” And sixty people go, “Yeah, isn’t he cute.” And I think “What is going on?” But that’s their “community”. Each to their own and I get that. But, yes, a lot of people just don’t have what it takes. But that is fantastic that you do. Do you see this blog with you in your strategy for another five years, or another year or do you “not” want to put a time limit on it because I understand if you don’t?
Steve: Again, I am going to give it a very cagey answer. At this point I am really not too sure. I like the fact that I am engaging with people and talking about building an internet business, but I am not too sure. When I am well into my forties and fifties I really want to still be talking about running an internet business. It is kind of like some other projects I am starting I am more excited about, but I like what I am doing now. I just I am not too sure if it is going to be what ultimately I will do.
Kate: Where it’s going to go, yeah.
Kate: Yeah. Look, I understand. I understand. Take it from someone like me who is well into her forties, you would be surprised how time flies and you are in your forties and you are still blogging. But that’s all right, we won’t change the subject. So I am not going to ask you everything about your blog future or anything because it is, as you say, you are not sure where that is going to go, and so I understand that.
I do want to talk a little bit more about you but just before I do, can I ask do you ever watch your Google Analytics? I guess you do just to see where people are coming into your blog because that is your website, your blog, isn’t it?
Steve: Yes, that is pretty much my major kind of presence online for “Steve Scott’s stuff”. I used to be obsessed with Kindle Analytics and I would check it obviously like three or four times a day, like hit the refresh button and do all that stuff to see how and when people go. And it is very good when you are starting out. I just learned also that it is not very 80/20, that you are constantly looking in your analytics and you are not really spending time writing content and that sort of thing.
Steve: So now I definitely still look at it once a week or so, and I want to see where my traffic is coming in, but I would say for starting a brand new site you definitely want to focus on that. You definitely want to look at your analytics and you want to kind of see where your traffic is coming from and find the best sources of it and then focus on that.
Steve: Just like specifically for the authority site I am starting, I am constantly looking at that. For “Steve Scott” I am pretty happy with with where things are and I don’t have a huge amount of traffic, but I would say it is very, what’s the word I am looking for, it’s very active traffic because people are coming to my site and actually joining my email newsletter and leave comments and actually join the Facebook group I just started, stuff like that, where they are engaged in it and doing stuff.
Kate: Yes. But retail business (and you mentioned your Facebook group which I do want to briefly cover now you have brought it up), Facebook Group and your email list, but is there anything else they can buy from your site or is that it? I mean, you can’t buy that, but you know what I mean. Is there any other thing that you do as in a conversion on your site?
Steve: I am going to talk about a product that I am probably going to take off the market in a couple of weeks. I have a product called “Affiliate Marketing Without the BS” and it is basically an eight-part course where I talk about affiliate marketing and stuff that really honestly worked for me early on that really was very helpful. Now, I like the product, but now kind of what I am moving into, I don’t think it should be the only strategy that people should follow. So I have kind of gutted a lot of the content and put it in Kindle form. And it has just gotten to a point where I don’t think it is quite as relevant as it should be so probably I would say next month I am just going to take it off the market. Because I honestly believe if you are not a hundred percent like behind something you shouldn’t be selling it, so.
Kate: I know, exactly. Well, it’s probably not part of your strategy anymore as you have thought out your business plans.
Steve: Yeah, it’s not.
Kate: So this authority blogging, is that now your new embraced project?
Steve: I think so. It is kind of a reaction to what, well, like what you see a lot nowadays is niche sites and honestly, a lot of the people talk about niche sites and they are amazing resources and they do great things. I just, from a personal standpoint, I don’t really believe that the focus on niche sites is a smart long-term strategy simply for the fact that it is pretty much just 100 percent depends on Google which is like a nightmare as far as the way they run their businesses and how they treat a lot of them. Like they shut AdSense accounts, they shut down AdWords accounts, they just blacklist you, but they throw Penguin updates. They are not really good at really helping people build a business. It is not their business model to really explain what they do, they just do what they do.
Steve: I don’t think you should build a business off of someone else’s choice.
Kate: Yeah, it is a bit risky now. Look, I understand why Google would do that. I do understand it, but I agree with what you are saying that it is just not a strategy that works very well anymore.
Steve: Yeah, oh, yeah, I love the idea of niche sites, but I think they are great for someone starting out and if you really would just want to make a little bit of income, it’s a good move, but I think long term you should try to focus on one site and make it great.
Kate: You know what, that’s really smart and that’s what a lot of the top gurus now are saying, “do one thing really well and spread your marketing across all the social media, all the affiliates, just get it out there”. James Schramko calls it “owing the racecourse”. Have a bit of everything everywhere. If YouTube shoot you down and you have still got a huge Facebook group, or if Facebooks cancels you, you have got a huge Twitter going, you know what I mean?
Kate: So, look, that’s spot on, Steve. You are obviously cutting edge strategizing here. That’s fantastic. Just one more thing on Google Analytics, when you say they should watch them, do you mean look at Webmaster Tools or do you just look at where they are coming from and which landing page they are going to? You have no idea how I ask so many bloggers this question about where they watch their stats and they just sort of go, “Oh, not really.” But the bloggers aren’t quite looking at it like a business person. So just to help them with that, I look at where they are coming from, like something, they call that source. That’s right, the sources.
Steve: Traffic, yes.
Kate: Yes, and what page they are hitting. Is that what you look at?
Steve: Almost exactly. I definitely look at the keywords that people use, what pages they are arriving to, a lot of times where they are going. Also what I throw in there in addition to Google Analytics is if you the WordPress blog I will use my Pretty Link and I look at all the different like stats on what people are clicking. That is really important to me. It’s like are they going to the offers that I want them to go to and how long are they staying there.
Kate: Pretty Link, is that paid, because that is cloaking, isn’t it?
Steve: It’s basically free.
Kate: It’s free. Okay.
Steve: It’s free and then I think there is a paid. I have never bought the paid version, but basically it tracks the links and it also just like I have seen these with Pretty Links, so instead of having some long massive affiliate link (like with like question marks and numbers), it’s a very simple short link that you can designate which I love best about that.
Kate: Yeah, like bit.ly. So, look, very briefly, with your eBooks, Kindles, I am really excited to talk to you about this. Now, you had said roughly since June or before you did one last year. Because when I searched your author name on Amazon, which by the way good for you doing it because most authors don’t, but anyway I think about twelve books came up. But is that what you are saying, that you might have done twelve or you have done twelve under your name and then you have got pen name books; is that right?
Steve: I have got fourteen under Steve Scott. I have got fourteen under the Children’s Book Project and that was kind of an experimentation to see if I could just go into a different market where I knew nothing, write a bunch of books and see how that did, and that didn’t pan out the way I thought it would. I am still making some money, but it is just not worth my time. And I have one (kind of) failed fitness book, so I guess I have 29 now and I am starting a whole kind of new authority site in the “Habits Market” where I am going to try to actually be doing the same thing I talked about, just build a whole new brand, but that is forthcoming. It is stuff I haven’t really done yet.
Kate: What about syndicating the books that you have already got? What about just throwing that into Smashwords and getting them on iBookstore and Barnes & Noble and all that with one fell swoop with a 10% fee, how does that attract? Are you tempted to do that or have you done that?
Steve: I am very tempted. The problem is, is I have talked to and I have listened to a lot of interviews of people that are just really on the next level on Kindle and they just say that they get most of their sales from Amazon and like even the borrows that I get, let me explain that. The KDP program that is a special type of program Amazon offers where every 90 days you can give away your book for free which drives up sales and also people can borrow your book, but actually the commission rate on the borrow is just as much as the paid sale. So I guess my point is putting it on Smashwords and putting all that, if I take it out of KDP I would probably lose sales in the long term. But that being said, I think definitely in the next month or two I want to take at least three of my best ones and put them up on Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, all that, and try to extend my reach. Just monetarily it seems almost like Amazon is the way to go.
Kate: Look, I think what you are saying is right, but I would still put a couple across the board.
Kate: And those couple you can’t put on KDP. But it would be nice to tap into the ITunes market. And I don’t know that Barnes & Noble is that big, but definitely iBooks, I thought that would have been. And I think it is relative, too, the less likely it is to make money like as you said, the people you look up to who have been doing it better, or whatever, they are not doing it either so your competition is a lot less. So, I guess there is all that.
Steve: It is one of these things where I know you are definitely absolutely right. It’s just I haven’t done it. I am definitely going to pursue it in the future. Just right now it’s almost like I look at each individual block of time as like you have a choice with it, so I can spend maybe five to ten hours trying to figure out how to do all this stuff, or possibly outsourcing it or whatever, or I could spend that five or ten hours writing that next book and for me it just seems like writing books has just been the best strategy that I have supplied to Kindle Publishing.
Kate: So, look, I don’t have one of your books in front of me, but can I assume, I obviously know this would be the case, in your book, in your eBook Kindle it would have a link to your blog; is that like a Pretty Link so you can gauge how many people are clicking through that?
Steve: Actually kind of one of the techniques that I do, the first link I provide up under kind of an asset under my name and an introduction of the book is actually a redirect back to my Amazon Kindle page. My thought being is that if, and I actually do track that, my thought being that when someone buys a book they see a link and they can go click on that and see more books that I have written and hopefully buy another book, or a third book or a fourth book.
With that said, inside the actual introduction I briefly kind of describe my qualifications of why I can write that specific piece of content, and I do usually link that to my blog and kind of just give a quick overview of how it is relevant to what they are learning.
Kate: See, that’s funny. You know, I wouldn’t do that. It’s funny you say that though. I would give them a good reason for them to click though to your blog and try and get an email address because you control that thing.
Steve: Oh, I am sorry. I totally forgot. I do actually.
Kate: Okay, good.
Steve: I am sorry. I do actually offer a free gift which is my 111 Affiliate Marketing Strategies. I am sorry.
Steve: And I actually do get 30 to 40 subscribers a day from that. I apologize.
Kate: Oh, my gosh, that is amazing.
Steve: I totally forgot about that.
Kate: Yeah, funny you didn’t mention that until I called you out, but I am so glad I called you out because that is the type of thing I have been teaching people a while now is just to make sure you have got a good offer. I call it irresistible, like they see it and they go, “I really have to get that.” Otherwise, some people are lazy and they go, “Oh, I can live without that.” Especially with your target demographics because obviously online all those giveaways are done to death, so it has got to be really great. But I appreciate you sharing the stats, too, because that way it sort of indicates to people that formula does work.
Steve: Oh, absolutely. It’s funny that I forgot about that because actually email marketing is something I am just droning on and on and on about. That’s like probably the single most reason that I have ever had success on line because of email marketing, so it just completely slipped my mind. I do do that.
Kate: Look, honestly, and I do hear about people online referring people to their books and I go, “Oh, you know, I am paying that,” because you can’t control that. Amazon doesn’t give you the email address. You have got no control over that customer until they join your site. Then you can offer them books free, but how are you going to look after them if you don’t even know who they are, so.
Kate: So, no, I am so glad we touched on that. Just moving on a bit from eBooks, is there any other product? You did mention before you had a product that you are closing down soon, so we are not going to talk about that one. And I know you have got the Authority Blogging. Is that actually a product, the Authority Blogging course or something?
Steve: No, it’s more like a case study, bringing back the example from the niche site. It’s stuff a lot of these people, like obviously Spencer Hall, it is pretty famous people that build niche sites. Like I think they do a great job of actually showing step-by-step how they take a brand new website and make money with it. And I think there is something amazing with what they do there. And I really haven’t seen anyone take a brand new authority site from the beginning and actually show what it is like to build it from scratch. And that is kind of what I am doing is I am just showing literally step-by-step here is what I do, here is how I founded the main name, here is why I picked it. It obviously won’t be the same as a niche site because I think there are just different things you should be doing, but it is basically the same concept. It is just you show what it’s like to actually build a business and talk in circles. You actually show specific numbers, and examples and here’s what worked for me. So, it’s definitely a free course. It’s not like a free course where I have any sort of designs to turn it into a product, just right now I am just kind of happy kind of demonstrating what I talk about in some of my books in an actual real world setting.
Kate: That’s great. So you are sharing that experience which is fantastic. So do you do coaching or anything, or is that perhaps in the future?
Steve: Not really. It’s, I guess, go back into the 80/20. I preferred to create assets and stuff that has long-term value instead of kind of trading my time for money.
Kate: Yes, it’s funny, you are the first person to say that to me and I agree with that. That is why I am really anti-coaching. I might do a little bit maybe in a year or two. I am not ready yet, but that’s why because I can’t pass that onto my kids to continue the legacy when I am gone. And I know that sounds stupid.
Steve: No, it’s not.
Kate: But if I build up an Amazon collection of books, which I have got two full time outsourcers just writing books all the time, and one is in children’s and one is in cooking. But the point is in five years’ time when I retire then there will be ten grand coming in a week and forever.
Steve: Exactly. Yes, a lot of the stuff may be put out there one time. Like I wrote books that are a year old now and they are still making money which is pretty amazing.
Steve: But if I do one coaching session, that might be $100.00 an hour, but that’s just I have to do it every time. And for me, it’s my personal preference and has never really attracted me.
Kate: So with your email list, then what do you email to your list? Do you send offers or what do you do? Do you just say, “Hi, how you going?”
Steve: Early on, way, way back in the day, I used to be a pretty aggressive marketer and I guess because I really didn’t know any better and just very much go buy this product and here is why it’s great, blah, blah, blah.
Steve: With Steve Scott’s site I did start out a little bit where I was promoting the aforementioned product, but now I have chosen more just more broadcast messages, more, “Hey, here is what is going on.” It’s usually just “This is a new article, here’s a free Kindle book,” stuff that is very topical, very new. I almost do, I would say right now, I pretty much do no selling on my email list. I just try to direct traffic to specific places and try to add value and just more to people really that get email marketing and it seems more and more they are smart about how they talk to their list. They don’t sit and try to hit them over the head with offers. They are more just worried about gauging them and actually building friendships. And I know it sounds kind of airy-fairy, but it actually really is.
Kate: No, no, not at all. No, it sounds fantastic. And it does sound real because that is kind of how you almost have to do it now to be successful because the other way where you bombard people every, day (and there are still a lot of people who do that), they will bombard you with two emails a day, is not good.
Kate: You know how, check out this, “You can’t miss this or your business is going to fail”. You know what, it’s not even a good swipe so why would I unsubscribe, you know, you just don’t want to know about it. But when you get someone that actually writes to you and has got something interesting to say, you kind of value it a bit actually. It’s not that common, so, it’s really smart that you do that.
Steve: Yes, well, I am kind of copying off other people that are pretty successful, so it’s not like an original idea, but I try to learn from the best.
Kate: Do you have any mentors that you could mention? You don’t have to if you paid them money, but if these are just people that you do learn from that you can think of?
Steve: Not really mentors, people that really know me, but it’s more the people that are really out there sharing great content on their blog and doing really great things. Obviously, I know Pat Flynn, Spencer Haws, Chris Guthrie, people that are really pretty much genuine and they just talk about what they are actually doing with their business instead of just trying to sell you something. I was always a fan of John Reese who a lot of times I bought his product.
Steve: And every time I would buy something from him I am really happy with how it has helped my business. But no one that I really talk to on a daily basis that tells me what to do, and I guess that is one of the failings of my business is I don’t really reach out to people that are at the next level and have them coach me.
Kate: Yes, that’s fantastic. Look, I have been so happy talking to you, Steve. It was just so interesting. And I am grateful that you spent half an hour. I was going to say 11:30 at night, but what is it, 9:30 in the morning?
Steve: Yes, 9:30 in the morning in Jersey.
Kate: That’s nice for you (laugh). No, that’s all right. But, look, is there anything else you wanted to mention before I wrap it up because I don’t want to hold you up too long.
Steve: Not off the top of my head. I guess overall what I am kind of really into now is just the idea that you should be building just one singular site or business. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a blog, but instead of trying to do a hundred different things, try to focus on one thing and really make it great. And, honestly, every time I do that it has always well paid off. And there are adversities through all, so when I try to do a bunch of things nothing ever pans out. So if you actually just focus every week on doing one great project then that’s probably the best, you will get the best results by doing that.
Kate: I went to this thing the other day, an event and it is called One Monkey, One Bananna. I don’t know if it is relevant to this example, it’s actually to do with products. You design a product for one person. Anyway, but it is kind of in that theory that just don’t go too far. Just stick with one thing and get it right and nurture that. It is really just what you are doing now, you are changing that shift, I can see, you know. Well, that’s fantastic.
Any tips for anyone starting up a blog or really just what you just said?
Steve: I would say that would definitely be the first one. The second one is you want to tightly focus on a niche and go one or two levels deep. So, for instance, let’s say you are into physical fitness. You wouldn’t want to just start a general physical fitness blog, you want to really kind of narrow down and find a specific audience. Like the example I have used in a couple of my books is, for instance, one of these days I will be into like physical fitness for men in their forties, stuff like that, where you really find a specific type of audience and you speak to that audience. You can still promote a variety of products, but every time you talk about a product you talk about from the framework of that specific audience. So if you are talking about six-pack ab products, you are like “here’s why, as a forty year-old guy you should be interested in this particular six-pack product.” Stuff like that, like you really want to find a really narrow audience and that’s really how you can compete nowadays. And you can’t really get a site that’s full of generalized content, you have to find that one kind of hook and make it your own.
Kate: You know, that’s GOLD advice though even just for people to make a living online because it’s all about niching down to, as you say, one audience rather than just saying, “I have a membership site to people who want to make money online.”
Kate: It’s just too broad. You know, and say “I want to run a site for women who do crafting from home as a second business”, or whatever, that’s niching it down, isn’t it?
Steve: Exactly. And people are like, “Well, I am going to lose out on all these other people.” And I am like, “You might, but the people that do follow you will feel like they are getting the best content”. They are getting something that speaks directly to them and they will be more loyal and engaged in the long-term.
Kate: Yes. Look, that’s fantastic advice.
Steve: Thank you.
Kate: And I should listen to it myself, I think, anyway (laugh). It’s a big thing because we actually put my all my Aweber email addresses into Facebook audiences today and it spits out the stats of who my subscribers are. Like if they are male, you know, how old are they, country, what’s their interests.
Kate: Did you know that it’s true, the Chrome Plug-in, Power Editor. So you get the Plug-in, it’s all free right. Just Google “Facebook Audiences” and that’s a free plug-in for the “Power Editor” which is through the Chrome Browser. You have got to have a Chrome browser, but that’s no big deal. You can always get that free. And, yes, you put your email addresses in and it spits out any information you want. And, in fact, it goes one step further which we are running tomorrow. It will then make a suggestion because it is to do with Facebook advertising. It then makes a suggestion of who I should now put my Facebook ads on that are on similar stats to the people who already are on my list.
Steve: Oh, wow.
Kate: Yes. So if someone doesn’t have a Facebook Page or Profile that is on my email list then obviously I don’t get their stats. It’s only for people who actually do have Facebook pages. But most of yours and my clients are very similar and they do have Facebook pages, so without a doubt. Or profiles, I should say, not page. But it might be both, I don’t know. I just said to my SEO guy, “Work it out or make it work because I want to know who my customers are.” Because I have no idea except for the few that write to me and say, “How do you unzip this?” (laugh). Anyway, the point is that it is a powerful tool, yes, because knowing who your audience is is kind of a milestone.
Kate: Look, I really appreciate you talking to me, Steve. I have had a great time. I have learned a lot.
Yes, I really appreciate it. It was fantastic talking to you. Where should people find out more about you?
Steve: 111 Affiliate Marketing Tips.
Steve: Basically, I took everything I knew about affiliate marketing and just put it into one giant leap magnet.
Kate: Okay. So that’s only attractive to affiliate marketers, really, isn’t it?
Steve: I am trying to rebrand myself so I am kind of the middle. I am kind of in the middle of that process.
Kate: Yes, I get it.
Steve: Maybe come to my site and look at the authority site project. That’s kind of what I am …
Kate: Yes, that’s already blogging. That’s what I was saying.
Steve: Yes, that might be a little more accurate. I am literally posting an article or two a week about how to do that, so that might be more topical to them than picking up a particular app for blogging.
Steve: Actually maybe the www.AuthorityCaseStudy.com that actually redirects that one page where I describe all the different stuff I am doing to build up authority sites.
Kate: Yes. Well, at least, as you say, you have got the freedom to chose at this point. There is no pressure on you, really it’s choice, so.
Kate: That’s fantastic. All right. I will let you go. And thank you so much again, Steve. And I hope to one day meet you. You know if you come to Australia. Where abouts are you?
Steve: I am in New Jersey. Actually I was going to come to Australia with my girlfriend, but we only had four weeks and I really wanted to do like a whole summer, well, I guess that would be winter for you guys, a whole summer there because it was just like we got the point where we kept on eliminating this place and that place and I am like, “Listen, we are at the point where it is like we are not doing half the stuff we want to. We might as well just…” So, hopefully, next summer we will go to Australia, just not this one.
Steve: I have always wanted to visit your country. It looks amazing.
Kate: So, whereabouts are you though?
Steve: In New Jersey. It is about an hour outside of New York City.
Kate: Okay. So you are near New York.
Steve: Yes, like right on the New York border, but the city itself, it’s, I would say, it’s an hour southeast of here. I just moved in with my girlfriend so I am trying to figure out how it relates to where I am actually living right now.
Kate: Okay. Well, you better get used to that because, you know, once you are a kept man then that’s it.
Steve: Pretty much might as well lock me up and throw away the key.
Kate: That’s right. Well, rebranding in the world won’t change anything now. That’s right. Well, look, I’ll let you go, Steve. Thanks again and I will talk to you again at another time.
Steve: All right. Well, have a good night.
Kate: You, too. Thanks for that. Bye.
Great interview with Amy, here’s the video and transcript below
Kate: I am very excited today that I got Amy Andrews with me from bloggingwithamy.com. I am a big fan of Amy. She’s a wonderful blogger, very generous. She has a lot of comments on her blog and answers each and every one of them. I know from experience (laugh). And she’s also a best seller author on Amazon. So I would like to introduce everyone to Amy. Amy how are you today?
Amy: I am fine. Thank you for having me Kate this will be fun.
Kate: Oh it’s gonna be fantastic because I know your blog so well. Sometimes when I interview people I do not really know their work too well and it’s really tough but for you I could interview you till the cows come in you know (Amy laughing). I’ve got a lot of questions for you.
Kate: Do you … ahhh I love asking this question, it is my favourite question I love asking. How do you define yourself, as a blogger?
Amy: Well, you know, not really.
Amy: When people ask me what do you do or … I don’t think I am really asked that question very often. Normally the way that it comes out is they find out that my husband is working part-time and I am working part-time. That’s kind of how it usually happens because we have a really interesting set up. We home school our children and we tag team and so he works part-time and I work part-time. So I usually get a look like “so how does that go” you know. And then usually I might say well I am blogger or I work online. I am trying to move away from the blogger …
Amy: Yeah the blogger title.
Amy: Not because there is anything wrong with it but I just think that I really do so much more you know than just blogging.
Kate: Yeah the more you do yeah. So you’re saying you’re not just blogging. You actually sort of running a small business and writing and …
Amy: Yeah right. Like self employed, who was it the other day I remember reading a … I think it was Alli Worthington. (http://alliworthington.com/) I don’t know if you know Alli Worthington. She …
Kate: Not off the top of my head.
Amy: Okay. She is … she runs a really big conference here in the States and in Canada actually called BlissDom and…
Amy: I was in a Facebook Group with her recently and I thought she said a great thing which was “you know I don’t call it blogging anymore. I tell people I am an online publisher”.
Amy: You know so I thought that was a good thing.
Kate: A lot of people call it journalism now.
Kate: So they say “online journalist”.
Amy: Yeah I mean you’re writing, you’re online you know. I mean if you’re making money and doing it in any way. You’re a small business owner, entrepreneur you know what I mean. You keep going.
Kate: Yeah. So if you went for a homeloan you’d probably say you’re a small business owner. That’s really that’s it.
Amy: Yeah. You’ve said so. Self employed. I work online.
Kate: Okay. I am always interested in how people say “blogger” if they think it’s a professional work or not. Very often they like you, they say “ohhh not really” (laugh).
Kate: So you know I understand that. But what about blogging? When did you start blogging? What sort got you into it?
Amy: I started blogging in 2004 actually. And I can say that my blogging journey started with anything really amazing or noble. What happened was I have a cousin who emailed me one day and … didn’t even email “me”, kind a send out a general email I think to his family and friends. You know of course, I was on that list as his cousin and it’s like hey you know I just got a new website. Because he had started a non-profit before that and he said I got a new website and I don’t know what it was but until that time I was so … the internet just felt like it was a place for, you know, smart you know highly educated computer “geeky type”.
Kate: I was gonna say “porn”.
Amy: Maybe that too. But I was so amazed by that. That here was my cousin you know who had no computer background himself and he has his own website
Amy: So that, well he can do it. So I can do it to.
Kate: (laugh) I am so he’s gonna love this interview (laugh).
Amy: Basically, I just wanted to be really cool like my cousin (laugh).
Kate: Yes. That was a good save. So did you start with a “blogger” blog or a WordPress blog? I mean who did you start with?
Amy: I am trying to think now but what happened was I just “googled” how do you start your own website. I did a lot of reading at the beginning and it was very quickly in that I actually found Problogger (http://www.problogger.net/) and …
Amy: … and then you know I was a part of different forum and things like that. I think I was the only female among all these you know these guys. But they were so kind and answered my questions and stuff. And one of them had mentioned, right at the beginning, you know if you want your own website the easiest way to do that is just to set up a blog and if you do set up a blog, go with WordPress. So off I went. I started with WordPress right from the beginning.
Kate: Right. Okay. So you keep saying you started a “website” so at first you didn’t really make a difference between the two. But obviously when that man said that, you said okay I’ll do a blog. When your cousin did it, did he say he was setting up a blog or website?
Amy: He said he was setting up a “website”. And so I was just thinking okay website and actually at the very very beginning I found … I don’t know where it was now but I found a site where they taught you very basic HTML where you can create your own webpage but that was very basic. So, then it was probably about the same time, but back then I mean that was “way back in the day”. That was when a blog was an “online journal” basically. And I was introduced quickly thereafter to this idea that you used blogging software and with the blogging software, you can create your own website as a static page or you can create a blog or how YOU want to do it.
Kate: You can do whatever you want. Yeah.
Kate: But when you started, what was your goal? To write about your family? To write about a business? Or was there “no goal” back then (laugh).
Amy: My goal was be cool like my cousin (laugh)!
Amy: Yeah. I didn’t have a goal. It was basically just “can I do this?” You know this was fascinating to me and that was actually one of the things that was really sort of a reality check because the soon I started it then I was like “Ow wow! I did it. I can’t believe I did it!” and then it hit me like “Oh now I have to … I have to actually write” (laugh).
Kate: Yeah that was like work!
Amy: I’m going to have to actually add content. So that was a little disheartening because I don’t like to write so …
Kate: (laugh) The work pit always that downside, isn’t it?
Kate: Yeah I know, I know. So you said you still enjoy blogging. Is that still something you really love or you just go with the flow?
Amy: I do enjoy it. But I would say that the writing is very difficult for me. I don’t know. The writing itself is not easy for me but I do enjoy the whole process. I am so fascinated by what happens online. I love the idea that there is a low barrier to entry basically anybody can do it and you don’t really need a lot of background either. So …
Kate: No or a lot of money or whatever. It’s funny that you say that you found writing not that easy because when you read your blog post, they really are quite good. I mean they flow well, their personal, they don’ t look like an internet marketer spun articles. You know?
Kate: You know it’s interesting you say it’s difficult. Maybe that’s why you write so well because you actually put a lot of effort into it.
Amy: Thank you. That’s encouraging. Yeah a blog post for me takes hours and hours and hours. So…
Kate: Right right.
Amy: It’s amazing for me when I hear somebody say “oh yeah I wrote that in 15 minutes” and then I think just the nature of www.BloggingWithAmy.com is a lot of tutorials, a lot of step by step. So what happens to me is I say “okay I gonna write about this” and then I start the writing and then I think to myself “oh if I say that, I also have to teach them how to do ‘that’ first” right?
Kate: Yeah. Yeah because I’ve noticed that you’re doing a lot of links. You’re doing a lot of links in your posts which is so professional you know.
Amy: Yeah, something like that you can’t just write. A lot of times I think I do make assumption that people know more than they know because sometimes my sister would read it and she was like I did not understand what you said (laugh)
Amy: (laugh) I tried so hard.
Kate: Well ask your geeky cousin and not your sister. And maybe you get more positive response! Do you notice negative stuff comes from blogging or would you say in general it’s been a good ride?
Amy: I think in general it has definitely been a good ride. I have learned a lot and towards the beginning I had the same issue that I think a lot of bloggers have which is not expecting people to be reading it and so when I actually started blogging I did not start www.BloggingWithAmy.com as my first blog. I started a blog you know after I have the realization that I have to write something.
Amy: Really what was going on with my life at that time was I was sort of struggling my way through this period in my life where my husband was a pastor in a church that was a very difficult situation and I just blogged about that. And so I started …
Kate: (laugh) and then the congress started reading it, didn’t they?
Amy: Yes. Right. So …
Amy: You know I think back and I think wow I would not write same stuff that I wrote then but you know …
Kate: That’s fine.
Amy: You know.
Kate: Yeah look I find that too. Sometimes I find a blogger that is bitching about stuff and then they’ll say “oh one of the moms called me up at school and took me to point – obviously I can’t write anything that I want anymore” (laugh).
Kate: Yeah, maybe she needed that confrontation anyway… She is writing about it to clear the air. So with your blog, just to wrap up a bit more on your blog, do you see yourself continuing blogging because at the minute I just want to get it across to the listeners of this podcast that your blog is a “go to place” if you want to learn how to blog – right? Everything is so clear, it’s the best one I know of online that teaches how to blog.
Amy: Thank you.
Kate: It is that good. Yeah. Even Problogger aims at someone who already blogs in my opinion. So do you see going that way? Further into creating more products? Maybe more video trainings and stuff like that. Is that in the sights for you?
Amy: Yeah right now I am really trying to think through how I can make it more streamlined. How can I make it even easier to follow or reorganize my content. I actually have a redesign in the works and what I like for me right now, when I go to the site, I think I’ve tried to make it easy to read for somebody who has just come to the site. But the problem, is especially in that niche, that the information changes so fast. So a post people will stumble upon that I wrote 2 years ago, let’s say “how to create a Facebook landing page” two years ago, that was a huge thing, before timeline and even no picture at all. You know you would create a Facebook landing page when somebody has to LIKE your page in order to get to your main page. Well I did a whole tutorial on that.
Kate: Yeah and it’s strange now.
Amy: So somebody coming to my site at this point you know there’s a lot of posts are just irrelevant now. So it’s a challenge to know how to you make it relevant as things change.
Kate: I am just trying to narrow it down here, are you are saying that you would create products now that you know what is current and you can also earn an income from this? Or are you just saying that you are thinking about updating or maybe you’re not wanting to even do that anymore. It’s too much work. Where are you going with that?
Amy: Oh no. I plan to continue doing…
Kate: … updating. Yeah.
Amy: Yeah. I plan to continue updating. Now I don’t know that I will keep writing in the same format. Meaning I don’t know if I will keep doing my regular blog posts all at the same time just to avoid the information going stale.
Kate: Okay what about products? I mean I know you got your time management book “Tell your Time” so we‘ll take about that in a minute. But do you have other goals for products that you’re interested in.
Amy: Oh yeah. I have way too many ideas and not enough time. Not enough to get it done.
Kate: (laugh) You make me crazy! Because you know you’ve got such a wonderful platform there that you know the sky is the limit for you. If you actually sat down and did a strategy… (maybe you and I should brainstorm one day because really you would “go off” with products). But yeah you should look at it because you can add some fantastic products out there.
Amy: Oh thank you. I have a whole list of ideas. You know things to pursue, ways to monetize, things that I’d like to do down the road. My problem really is that there is two kinds of people in this world, thinkers and doers, I am more of a doer so I have a virtual assistant now that is great, that I am trying to remember I am better thinking, I just let her do. But what I am finding it a challenge to split the art of delegation and how to delegate in a way that really works. So we’re just … were just sort of getting into the rhythm.
Kate: Yeah it’s interesting that I outsource too and I find often it takes longer to delegate the task than to go do it yourself. But you have to. It’s like growing so you have to keep at it.
Amy: Well I was just reading an article about Michael Hyatt. Do you know Michael Hyatt (http://michaelhyatt.com/)?
Kate: Yes I love Mike.
Amy: Yeah me too. And he had just last week I think a post about delegating and how to delegate and he was talking about that really. It was just really helpful. You know he was just talking about the importance of “it does take time at the beginning” but the importance of writing down exactly how you want it done. You know once you do that once, he said this is how I want it done and handed it over then you save yourself so much time in the long run.
Kate: Yeah that’s right.
Kate: So you got to persevere. I understand. I wanna just touch on your book time management. So when do you actually release your book on Amazon?
Amy: On Amazon it was on 2011. I released it as a PDF in 2010.
Kate: Right. How was it going? How did you go promoting it? Did you just promote it from your blog or did you have a big marketing strategy or what was the goal? Because I know it’s done really well and it got like 70 reviews which is a really high reviews. I know because I also reviewed the book, I got it a year ago, and it says in the book if you like this go on Amazon and leave me a review. That’s a call for action. It obviously pays off really well. So you’re quite smart you know (both laugh). So was it part of the marketing strategy or just mentioned it in your blog or …
Amy: No. You know what I think, there were a couple of things happening with Tell Your Time. Number one was that it was the right time to release it. It was before you saw a lot of eBooks coming out. I mean now there are so many for sale. In the last two years especially eBooks have really taken off. But … but back in the middle of 2010, it was sort of a new thing for a lot of bloggers. There were eBooks but I just saw this eBook thing going on because one of my favorite things really about the whole blogging thing is reading and I follow a lot of blogs and just what are people doing, how they are doing it, why they are doing it, is it working for them, that’s really what’s fascinating to me.
So I saw the whole eBook thing “craze” beginning and I thought “you know what this is a bit cool to get in on”. But again I am afraid of writing so what happened was at about that time I was helping another blogger Crystal Paine from (http://moneysavingmom.com/) – her blog is ginormous! So I was helping her just brainstorming ideas and strategizing and streamlining stuff like that. And one day she just mentioned she was having trouble with “time management”. So I just wrote her an email (this was how I made sense of it in my head) and I sent it to her and she wrote me back and said “wow that so helpful”. And she said you should totally write that in an eBook. And I said “oh no I don’t do eBooks” (laugh). But then she said “no really”. So that is really how it started and I said “oh okay” and I just did that. And really it was her. Like a said, her blog is huge.
Amy: She promoted it for me and that was it.
Amy: And that was a huge boost.
Kate: Okay. Yes.
Amy: And then I mentioned it to all of my readers that I am doing this experiment. I am doing this eBook thing. Because really no one else had done it. And so I said “I am doing this experiment thing and I wrote this eBook and if you want to be an affiliate for the eBook I will give you 50%”.
Kate: So what gave you that idea for affiliates? Did Crystal mention that as well?
Amy: No. I don’t think I got it from her. I think at that point I had just done my own research on how do you write an eBook and how do you do it. You know how to launch it and everything. At some point I heard it’s easy to do … maybe it was probably from a Problogger. You know you can become an affiliate through ejunkie.com and it’s relatively easy to do and stuff. So I just set up the affiliate program and now it really boosts sales today.
Kate: So it was on eJunkie.com? The affiliate program?
Amy: Yeah I used eJunkie and then it was just as a PDF and then I put it on Amazon.
Kate: Right. That’s fantastic. Now I gonna ask you a technical question (laugh)
Kate: Do you think that book on Amazon brings you more traffic than what your blog sends to Tell Your Time? Because there a big search engine on Amazon happening right? And they buy your book and they go “Oh who is this Amy?” Do you find them … do you know … do you have an idea?
Amy: I don’t think that I get a lot of traffic to my blog from Amazon. You know because basically the way that they would get from Amazon to my blog is if they click on my author name and went to my author page and on my author page they have my blog listed there but the thing is with my eBook is that my blog is about blogging or my main blog is about blogging and this one is about time management so they are not entirely you know the same. So I wonder if …
Kate: I know …
Amy: … it will be different. You know like if my … if my blog was about time management, I probably would get more traffic but …
Kate: Yeah. You should split test that and go just upload a new version of your book with a page thing “hey this is who I am. This is what I do. Come and visit me.” I bet you get traffic that way but anyway, look I wouldn’t push you but (laugh) just an idea. Yeah interesting to know.
Kate: Do you have any other book on Amazon?
Amy: Nope. That’s …
Kate: You have any other books at all?
Amy: Nope. That’s … At this point that’s all I got. It took … those 30 pages took all that I had (laugh).
Amy: And that way years ago. So you know…
Kate: Same load isn’t it?
Amy: Yeah I do have another … I have another book in me that is brewing but …
Amy: … we’ll see if that ever … I am thinking now. Maybe I don’t want to make it into book. Maybe I want to make it into something else. I don’t know. So …
Kate: I’d love you to use Amazon as a lead gen so have a book. But delay your product that you sell for $200. That’s my little tip for you (laugh). That’s the way I do it and you know that’s the way other people do it now that Amazon really … you don’t even get the email address so it’s really luck of you if you even get them but anyway, so Google analytics, just very quickly, do you watch any of your analytics?
Amy: No. No.
Amy: I mean track the basics but I just … I don’t want to be slave to the numbers. I mean I am to a certain extent but mostly it’s just a matter of time you know and I am not having a time or the patience to dig in. So …
Kate: So subscribers. have you got one list? How do you keep them? Mailchimp or Aweber or …?
Amy: Right now my main lists are on WordPress.
Amy: That’s where I’ve got them there and I do have a handful of email lists because what happens to me is I find a cool service and I think oh I’m gonna sign up for that server because I wanna try it.
Amy: So then I mean I am getting smarter about it now but you know back in the day when I did not have a whole lot of traffic whatever you know I started a list here and I started a list there and whatever. So I am actually in the process of cleaning up my list and I just … I deleted … this was very sad I just deleted I don’t even remember how many people from the list because it was old you know.
Kate: Yeah, yeah.
Amy: I just you know I didn’t wanna email them out of the blue you know. So …
Kate: So when you say you’re collecting a lot of lists, are they not going to that one big list or do you have separate lists?
Amy: I have … see my site has kinda got two things done.
Amy: I’ve got … my blogging tips which is really kind of my big blog, www.BloggingWithAmy.com, but I am trying to re-brand it and I am trying to re-funnel everything to through www.AmyLynnAndrews.com. So because I have a bunch of other projects I have actually done and have started that are related to blogging that I would like to sort of resurrect and you know there’s a lot of potential there as well.
Amy: So I have two email lists at the moment going and actually I mean my www.BloggingWithAmy.com email list is a lot bigger but my email list for www.AmyLynnAndrews.com is kind a growing on its own so …
Kate: Right right. So you’re not doing autoresponders or anything like that of obviously.
Amy: No. Not at this point. No
Kate: No. So it’s just getting blast when you do your post basically.
Amy: Right. But that is likely to change.
Amy: Likely to change with my new redesign.
Kate: Okay okay fair enough. So I am just thinking I think I’ve asked everything I wanted to chat about. Do you have anything you wanna tell me about or you wanna discuss before we say goodbye or …
Amy: What did I see today? And I thought oh my goodness what a great idea. Now will I ever get in it? No (laugh) well you know I still write it down. Yeah the Amazon, the Amazon thing … I mean I’ve read a lot about who is “Scott Scott”, I forgot.
Kate: Yeah Steve Scott I think. This is one guy that has lot of it.
Kate: And he does it big time doesn’t he?
Amy: Well yeah every … like his got his own kinds of eBook you know.
Kate: Yeah yeah.
Amy: It became clear to me after Tell your Time. It became really clear and I did the “KDP select” thing where I made my book an exclusive in KDP Amazon because again, I wanted to experiment. That’s all I do. For me it did not do much because I think it is more helpful for those who are trying to break in. But because mine was already on the best sellers list, it didn’t really do a whole lot for me as far as the sales.
Kate: Yes I see. Yeah
Amy: But I think it can really benefit other people.
Kate: Or they are just launching yeah?
Kate: If it’s a book about blogging go here and you get 3 videos of free training on how to set up your blog. It’s gonna be something that is really advantageous to that person that purchased that book or they wont go to it.
Kate: But it’s not hard for you to work out what their looking for and split test it. They’re putting it right at the front of the book so as soon as you get through the cover page, it says, “hey hi” and there is a photo and “this is who I am and this is what I do you know”.
Amy: And you know the other advantage to that of course is that it is in the first 10% of the book which you can see for free. So if it’s a paid for book, it’s not a free book, you put it within the first 10% of the book and when people look inside and they can see inside without even having to buy the book.
Kate: Very good. Very very good point. You got opt-in right at the preview. Look you can embed videos right into kindle books and that can be a video of you saying “hi I’m Amy and I love to blog. This is what I’ve been doing and I’ve got some great news, I am doing a new product next month so if you wanna get preview for free …” etc and anyone can watch these videos on kindles. So these are things that if you really get into it you know and I bet that Steve Scott guy, he knows all these. And you’re definitely it’s in the book.
Amy: Yeah you can put any sign on your author page really. But I mean you can put a video too. I’ve never see … I don’t think I’ve seen a video in a book though. That’s interesting.
Kate: Yeah it’s HTML. So when you formatting it you gotta edit HTML. And yeah I don’t know how to do it but I know it can be done because I’ve seen it. I’ve got a book on golf, don’t ask me why.
Kate: Yeah and it linked to the YouTube link. How’s that! And it was in the book. Didn’t send me off the YouTube, it watched the video right in the book.
Kate: Yes that pretty powerful. But you can syndicate these across other platforms you know. Maybe with Createspace if you’re lazy, so goes to iBooks and everything and that’s gonna help. It’s a great for search engine optimization so for your key words. It’s got your rank ranking high as the YouTube videos. So I think YouTube videos are the best I mean it.
Amy: And you know affiliate marketing and I do pretty well you know.
Kate: So you’re telling me you do affiliate marketing from your blog.
Kate: Is that what you’re telling me? Yes. I forgot to ask that.
Amy: Yeah. I sell my eBook and then affiliate marketing is my main strategy, I’ve never really gotten into ads, at this point, not that I am not open to them, we’ll see how it goes down the road. So… yeah.
Kate: I think also with the affiliate marketing the best way to make money is actually emailing out. So if you look Problogger I went to his event last year and he said I think it was 90% or 95 it’s huge figure came from money they got when they emailed out an offer. Not when people just came on in his blog and saw an ad whatever. So that’s telling me that the money is in the list. I know people hate that term (laugh). But from a strategic point of view, collecting emails is important and just selling on your blog is not enough anymore. So it is like treating your blog as a business and I guess that’s the road you’re on at the moment. So they’re getting to that stage. I remember Problogger saying that when you wanna make money online it’s like one day you get up and you just decide it and then everything is different. You look at everything objectively you know. I guess you’re going through that. But yeah I love to see you come out with a money product and I’d love to help you promote it as I am sure many would so…
Amy: Thank you. Yeah I’ve got a number of things in the pipeline at the moment that will be relatively big changes for me. So that will be interesting to see how that goes.
Kate: I love too. Yeah I’d love to hear about that too and I am sure I will because I am in your email list, I am in your Facebook page which I know you’re really active so you know I am loving all that. But look I like to wrap it all here. Do you just have any advice for new blogger or someone is blogging and listening today you know anything at all that might help them get them better and enjoy blogging more?
Amy: Yeah I would say probably the main thing that I hear from people is just discouragement because they’ve been blogging for 3 months and say “how come I am not making any money”. And I just wanna say “it takes a long time”. It really … it takes a long time and it takes a lot of work. Somebody emailed me not too long ago and they were like “basically I need $40,000 by July – How do I do it?” And I just thought it’s really not a great way to do that kind of income that quickly. So it’s gotta be something that you really enjoy doing.
Amy: If it’s not fun and you’re not blogging on something that is fun for you then it’s hard to retain readers especially now. I mean there’s millions and millions and millions of blogs. You know that it’s hard, it’s really hard. Even if you’re like the most unique blogger in the world it’s still hard.
The other thing too is the relationship is “key”. You really have to be willing to build relationships and sustain those relationship and stuff like that because that’s really where, at least in my experience, that’s where I’ve seen the most monetary success, it’s been relationships that really helped.
Kate: It’s been over “time”. It’s not been “overnight”.
Amy: Exactly. It’s take a long time, it’s just like any other business. The nice thing about it is that you know the internet really levels the playing field in a lot of ways and it’s great that you don’t have to invest a lot of money. I was talking to a friend of mine not too long ago and she started a business – a brick and mortar business about the same time that I started blogging. Well their revenue is significantly higher than mine is but they are up to their eyeballs in debt. They had to buy the inventory and they have to buy all the equipment and do all that stuff. But now she feel stuck. She feels that it’s not something that she is totally passionate about doing but because “it is what it is”, now they have employees and these employees are depending on them so, the morning rolls around and they don’t want to get up, but they just have to. Obviously they have nice revenue but I don’t wanna do that.
Kate: Look I hear online a lot that the thing on making money online whether it’s your blog or your website is that the word freedom. You have the “choice”, you have the “power”, you haven’t invested $200,000. To drive traffic from Facebook advertising might cost you money but it’s probably gonna make you a bit more in the end, so it’s not so bad. So I understand what you’re saying with your friend. It’s like … it’s full of risks, it’s full of stress. It’s choice and it’s freedom and obviously that’s why we’re not millionaires yet because we’re not working as hard as your friend probably does (laugh).
Amy: Probably if we worked harder too we we’ve been rich. Well I mean it’s nice to be able to say what I just don’t feel like doing, I don’t feel like it today and nobody is gonna die. You know to me that is really really key because otherwise the bank isn’t gonna stop knocking just because you don’t feel like working. But when you’re not under your limit there, you have a little bit more freedom. Yeah definitely key. So think it’s a great thing to get in on. But it’s getting even harder and harder for people to get into blogging and really you know…
Kate: … built that platform yeah? If that’s their goal if that’s their goal yeah. But it is get easier to blog you know it’s probably getting harder to make money from it I guess.
Amy: Yeah I think so. It’s getting harder to be noticed I think. Like I said a while back even a golden needle is hard to find in a haystack. Like you can have the best idea ever but if you’re idea is golden you know even the golden needle is hard to find.
Kate: Yeah. You got to learn SEO and you got to diversify, learn syndication and get it out, that’s it, but you know you gotta start somewhere. I got to start writing and get something that you can sell and then just work from there I guess. That’s kinda what you did you know when you think about it.
Amy: Oh yeah and people do it all the time. It’s not impossible. It’s just tough for those of who starting out blogging, whereas a while ago we had an advantage. Although my situation is different because I didn’t do it for money for a while, I wasn’t interested in monetization for years so it really wasn’t until 2010 that I even starting thinking about it.
Kate: Yeah but that’s really common. That’s common for bloggers.
Kate: They don’t even collect emails for years (like me) because we don’t realize we’re supposed to (laugh) and then one day we go “oh my gosh how am I gonna monetize I ain’t got a list” (laugh)
Amy: Exactly. Like oh man what wouldn’t happen if I would have started my email list back in 2004.
Kate: I mean bigger that Darren Rowse if I choose (laugh). Exactly. I know …
Amy: I remember Darren was blogging … he was still blogging at his very first blog. I was reading him at his very first blog. So I think he started if I am not mistaken I think he started in 2002 and I was researching it just the following year. So I didn’t actually launch until 2004 but I mean that was way back. And so it’s kind of amazing to see where he has come over the same amount of time you know.
Kate: Yeah and he is really nice guy. So that’s lovely. But I first saw him on A Current Affair (tv show) in Australia. He actually lives in Melbourne not far from me but we’re not old friends or anything. But he was on A Current Affair and he is so shy. You can tell he his not in his comfort zone. Anyway, I think I might wrap it up there.
I wanna thank you again for being such a fabulous guest and I would like to interview again in a year’s time and see where you’ve gone and you know what’s happening.
Amy: Yeah yeah definitely.
Kate: I hear your Texas drool (laugh)
Amy: Right I don’t consider myself as Texan. We are transplants here but Texas has been good to us.
Kate: Okay come visit us in Australia or maybe stay here for 6 years.
Amy: ohhhh I would … well I am so regretful because I used to live in Papua New Guinea.
Kate: Ow my gosh!
Amy: It was so close and we never made it down … in Australia.
Kate: Go to another side.
Amy: Yeah I cannot believe that.
Kate: You know we’re not much like Papua New Guinea. That’s pretty much primitive up there.
Amy: Oh yeah it was but I have good friends who are Australian so I have a little … I know about vegemite you know
Kate: (laugh) that’s all that matters.
Kate: Anyway that’s great Amy look I let you go darling and thank you again so much and look forward to chatting with you again soon.
Amy: Thank you so much Kate. That was great to talk to you.
Kate: Lovely. Talk to you soon.
Amy: Yeah have a good night or day.
Kate: You too.
Do I need a Sales Funnel?
Great question – and the answer is “it depends”, but usually I would say “yes”.
It depends on whether you want to:
- Make money
- Raise awareness of an issue
- Build a following of fans
If one of the above is you, then “yes” – you should sort out a sales funnel. It will drastically improve your success.
You should keep it as simple as possible. Certainly at the planning stage the simpler your funnel is the more likely you will be able to get the system to flow.
Obviously product creation really comes into its own with a sales funnel, as a lot of your funnel items will be digital products one way or another. For instance, a blog post is really just an “article”.
So what is a Sales Funnel?
A Sales Funnel is a cohesive, product/service placement of your products (whether free or for sale) in a systematic workflow of your product range, whereby people can buy (or get free) your basic products, which entices them up to your “top value” item. The prices and items are up to you.
Here’s the sales funnel I created as a basis for my business, although this isn’t my actual sales funnle:
AND here’s my ACTUAL sales funnel, based on the template above:
The idea is simple, people get your free stuff, to learn about you, build some trust in you and want to buy more from you. It takes time, but if you set out a strategy like this, the system simply flows over time, give it time.
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