Tag Archives: Writing

6 Keys to a Successful Blog Post

What #blogoff2 is Teaching Bloggers

There are dozens of posts for Blog Off 2. Some have zero comments while others are well into double digits. Why is that?

Let’s take a look at 6 things the most popular posts are doing so you can put them to use for yourself. Each of these posts has:

  1. An Attention Grabbing Headline
  2. Emotional Appeal
  3. Useful Content
  4. A Current Topic
  5. Graphics
  6. Conversation

How well are you doing at putting these into your blog posts and articles? If you’re interested in improving your social media ROI, do keep reading… Continue reading

Planning Your Content

Hi,

How do you plan your content when you already know it inside and out?

Start with remembering what it was like when you started. What were your questions? What was hardest for you to learn?

That’s a good place to start. It’ll help you get something down on paper. But it’s just a start.

Your next step is to Continue reading

Articles – Are You Missing The Opportunity?

Hi,

Yes, I am diligently avoiding doing more of the serialised articles from Writing E-Books for Fun and Profit. Well…actually, I’ve decided to just use one day each week for serialised articles.

Why? Did I hear someone ask why?

I was really hoping someone would ask that. Thank you.

Articles are a great way of putting content out into the world and getting people to notice you. On the other hand, I’m don’t think serialised articles are particularly good content for a blog. That’s what newsletters and ezines are for.

My compromise is to put articles on the blog just once a week. That way, you get to see the articles, but my lovely little blog here doens’t get boring. You can always see any of my articles by visiting http://www.ezinearticles.com/?expert=Conrad_Hall.

You can even subscribe to an e-mail alert system that lets you know when I’ve published a new article.

Are you getting the idea of how important writing articles is to your online presence?

Especially when you put them to work for you with www.EzineArticles.com. You can join for free, it’s free to submit articles, and they have a very high level of respect in the online community.

For example, you have to start by submitting 10 articles. Those 10 articles get checked over and published. Once you have 10 published articles, your account is reviewed for platinum status. Platinum status is free, and it means you can submit an unlimited articles.

EzineArticles.com even has a free service that let’s you tweet your articles. Yes, every time you publish an article, EzineArticles.com will tweet all your followers about the new article.

I used my serialised articles for the e-book to jump start my account. By the time I had 9 articles live, my profile had been viewed 49 times, my articles had been read 336 times, and one of them had been published.

That’s in less than two weeks.

Plus – and here’s the big plus for me, personally – I’m submitting articles for my clients. Just think about that for a minute.

A client hires me to write an article, or to edit their work. They get to publish it in their own newsletter and on their site. Then I take it and post it on EzineArticles.com.

Here’s the cool part: They get the byline, but the article is submitted through my account. That means everyone who see the articles knows I either wrote it or edited it, and the person with the byline is my client.

You can see how that’s a portfolio and an endorsement wrapped up in one spot.

So start writing some articles.

Need some help? I’m already doing it for clients and myself. Drop me a line and ask if there’s room in my schedule for your project. conrad@conradhallcopywriting.com.

And make sure you visit www.EzineArticles.com. They have a TON of information to help you write good articles.

Conrad

E-Books – Write Your e-Book

You’ll be happy to know that completing the steps from previous articles can make writing your e-book significantly easier. You’ve prepared and planned, so now you can  enjoy the process of putting things together and producing a high-quality information product.

 

Keep your list of keywords handy as a custom thesaurus. Be sure to give a copy to your writer if you hire one. The list of keywords can help you avoid repeating one key word over and over, which becomes stiff and monotonous.

 

Substituting a word is more than just an issue of keeping things interesting. Each time you introduce a new keyword, you have an opportunity to address a different aspect of your topic. And, you make it possible for Internet users searching on that key word to find you. For example, an e-book about writing e-books will include keywords like e-books, outline, keywords, information marketing, and online publishing.

     

What Your e-Book Should Give Your Reader

There has to be more in it for the reader than the comfort of knowing that she paid for your Friday night pizza and beer.

 

There are three things you should do in every  e-book you create, publish, and sell:

1. Answer their questions.

The only reason it’s possible to market information products is that people want to know more about a topic. You don’t have to have all the answers, and you don’t have to put all of your answers into one information product. What you must do is provide the information your marketing materials promise you will deliver.

 

That information can be more than just answers to questions. Your e-book can give readers motivation to take action. Whether it is for goal setting, weight loss, or business start up, your e-book can answer the relevant questions while motivating your readers to achieve their desires.

 

2. Use your e-book to boost your reputation

Writing an e-book can help establish your status as an expert on your topic. Show readers things they didn’t know before and you will be acknowledged as an expert.

 

Remember that being an expert on your topic is not a requirement for writing an e-book. Writing on a topic you want to learn is an excellent source for an e-book.

 

You can find an expert on your topic and ask him to be the editor for your e-book. Aside from getting him to comment on the content and use his material for reference, the big advantage is being able to borrow his credentials to add credibility and authority to your e-book. You can also have a known expert coauthor, write, editor, write a preface, or endorse your book, thus borrowing their credibility.

 

3. Write clearly and simply

While you are writing, avoid using a lot of jargon or really big words. You want your work to be friendly and easy to read so work at writing the same way you speak.

 

It’s called conversational writing, and it allows you a great amount of freedom in building your sentences. You can’t quite throw grammar out the window, but you can be a little more relaxed about it.

 

Mostly, it means avoiding big words and jargon.

 

Introduce bits of jargon, and use big words, when they are necessary. Then go back to using more familiar words and put the jargon in brackets when it comes up again. This allows you to remind readers of the useful term, and allows readers to glide over the useful term rather than stumble.

 

When you have a topic that uses a lot of jargon or acronyms (computers are a great example), you should include a glossary as one of your appendices. Your readers will appreciate it, the glossary adds authority to your e-book, and it is a great selling feature to add to your sales page.

 

You can find a good e-book on conversational writing, written by Scott McDougal, titled How to Write Better and Faster at www.writebetterandfaster.com. This can help you improve your writing skills.

E-Books – Research your topic

Hi,

We’re back to the cereal – I mean serial – articles. (What can I say? It’s Friday afternoon…you want comedy – go to YukYuks.)   😉

Here’s today’s post…

Research is all about learning, finding new ideas and new information. It means speaking with people, reading books and magazines, and examining your own experiences.

 

We are going to look at six ways to research your topic.

1.      Start a research file.

2.      Brainstorm.

3.      Visit a bookstore.

4.      Go to the Web.

5.      Discover the library.

6.      Interview a subject matter expert.

 

Start a Research File

When you find something relevant to your topic, clip or copy the article and put it in the file. If it’s a web page or online document, print it and drop it into the appropriate chapter file.

 

By all means keep electronic copies of everything. Having a hardcopy is a way to make sure you never lose your research, and it gives you something to easily refer to and make other notes on while you accumulate more ideas and data.

 

Start a research file as soon as you get the idea for an e-book – even if you are not committed to publishing it. By the time you get to the point of writing, you’ll find you have almost all the research materials you need BEFORE you even start actively looking.

 

Brainstorm

Talking to yourself may not be good behavior in public, but it is an excellent place to start when you are writing a book. What do you think you were doing when you chose a topic, thought about keywords and developed an outline? After all, brainstorming can be done with a group or on your own.

 

Now you get to talk to yourself about the topic you have chosen. What do you know about your topic? What do you not know that you want to learn?

 

Make note of questions that occur to you as you write. It’s a good bet that  your readers would like to know the answers, too. Keep those questions with you as you do the rest of your research.

 

Visit a Bookstore

Visit a big bookstore so you can get a feel for what is currently selling on your topic.

 

Another good place to look for books on your topic is a used book store. Older and out-of-print books can still contain useful content and ideas. They can also provide information other authors don’t have access to because those other authors skipped this research step.

 

How many books are there on your topic, and when were they written? Having a lot of books on your topic in the bookstores is a good thing. It means your subject is popular, and there is a large market for your information.

 

Consider the outline methods other authors have used. Are they generally the same, or are there two or three that are arranged differently from the others? Are any of the outline methods the same as the one you want to use?

 

While you are in the bookstore, take time to look through the magazine racks. Search for articles on your topic, and consider which magazines you find those articles in.

 

Current articles are a beacon to what is of interest to other readers of your topic. Combining this information with your analysis of books on the shelves is an important part of bringing focus to your efforts.

 

Go to the Web

Begin by understanding that some information on the internet is inaccurate. You are responsible for verifying the facts you gather

 

One thing to be aware of is that there are more search engines than Google and Yahoo. A different kind of search engine is the Vertical Search Engines. These allow you to search for information on a specific subject.

 

An example of a vertical search engine can be seen at www.aviationweek.com. The search box at the top of the site looks just like any other search box. The first indication that it is more specific, and targeted, is that it’s labeled Industry Search. Then directly under the search box is the sentence: Filtered results from News, Companies, Products/Services & The Web in a single search.

 

This kind of search engine can be a great way to find information on your topic. Let’s say you are looking for blogs by people interested in your topic. You can access a vertical search engine for blogs at blogdigger. Just keep in mind that all vertical search engines only look through a selection of databases related to the topic. You should still use the broad search engines like Google to check for other sources.

 

An excellent means of discovering what people interested in your topic are talking about is to join a discussion group. You can find these at sites like Topica and Yahoo. You can also search sites like LinkedIn, ExecuNet, and Facebook to find individuals interested in your topic. You probably won’t get a lot of quotes, but the people you meet can tell you about other sources of information.

 

Use the Web to look for associations related to your topic. These can be a source of current information, and a lead to finding an expert on your topic. We’ll discuss that more in a minute.

 

You can also use the Web to prepare for using the next research tool – the library. You can search library collections and databases, and reserve materials, from the comfort of your home. This can make your time in the library much more effective and productive.

 

Discover the Library

The library is where you can verify information collected from the Web, expand on information from you own experience, and assess the value of information gathered from the bookstore. The library also has books the bookstore does not. It can also be just a quiet place to work.

 

Older sources often aren’t online. You can find out-of-print books at the library, and libraries maintain special collections not available  online.

 

Borrow the books you find to read what other authors are writing about your topic. Glean information and new ideas from their work.

 

Another valuable resource in the library – one often overlooked – is the research librarian. Their help is free for the asking, and you can be sure there is no one more familiar with all the resources in the library than the librarian.

 

Interview a Subject Matter Expert

From the associations you found on the Web, the books you saw, and the magazines you read, you can find a wealth of experts to interview.

 

The information you gather by interviewing experts can be used as background, or you can quote the experts directly. A direct quote can be useful to emphasize a point or validate a position.

 

Start your search for an expert in the material you have already gathered. Look for authors of books and articles, members of associations, or instructors at a college or university. You should also consider museums, government agencies, local industries, and newspapers.

 

The International Center for Journalists has experts available for interviews on a variety of topics. Zondervan, the book publisher, also maintains a list of experts available for interviews and speaking engagements.

 

Be sure you are prepared for an interview before contacting an expert. Have questions written, and be prepared to offer alternatives to a telephone or in-person interview. When an expert is particularly busy, your only way to get an interview may be to submit questions by e-mail or letter.

 

The research you do for your e-book is more than gathering facts and organizing information. Research is your opportunity to assess the focus of your project, add to your outline, and think about ideas for future projects.

Writing e-Books – 4 Ways to Find a Topic

The most important choice you’ll make about anything you write is choosing the topic.

 

First we’re going to look at four ways to find a topic you want to write about. Then, as a bonus, we’ll take a look at the Evergreen concept.

 

The easiest way to find a topic is to look at what you do every day. Whether you’re a plumber, accountant or forest ranger, you have knowledge other people don’t. That makes your knowledge valuable.

 

You might think the knowledge for your profession is too routine or boring to be worth writing about. After all, who wants to know about working on an assembly line or being a mail clerk?

 

A recent search for “personal organization” showed 19.6 million related web pages. You can see how working on an assembly line or in a mail room require the person doing it to be well organized, and to pay attention to detail.

 

Sometimes it takes just a little imagination to see the knowledge you have that other people want, too.

 

A similar place to find a topic to write about is what you do for recreation.

 

As you explore your own hobby, you may be surprised by how many variations exist. Let’s take riding a bike as an example.

 

You could write about how to have a picnic with bicycles. Do you live in an area with a lot of cycling trails? Are there trails through town and through the woods or countryside?

 

Lots of people want to put their bicycles on their car and explore another town by bike. This translates to writing about travel destinations, how to transport a bike, and even how to choose bikes and vehicle bike racks.

 

While you’re thinking about all the things you know from work or from pleasure, take a moment to think about some of the things you don’t know but want to.

 

This is the third place to look for a topic to write about. As an example of how effective this can be, let me share the story of Jerry Buchanan’s first information product. It was about how to get rid of gophers.

 

Jerry Buchanan’s first information product was a result of his quest to get rid of the gophers that were destroying his gardens. He had a problem, but no solution. Jerry made his own solution by visiting other farmers and golf course groundskeepers who did have solutions. He interviewed experts.

 

When he had collected their answers, it occurred to Jerry that other people might have the same problem and be in need of the solutions he had found. That led to Jerry writing his first information product.

 

Do you think one or two of the things you’d like to know are popular enough for you to turn into an information product? Well, after we look at the fourth source for topics, I’ll show you how to find out.

 

The fourth source for topics is writing about something that has been around for a while and putting a new twist on it. The best example of this might be the highly successful Chicken Soup series of books.

 

Motivational books and Thought-for-the-Day books have been around for years. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen developed the chicken Soup for the Soul phenomenon by writing in a new direction.

 

Your new direction might be to collect and compile scattered bits of information that fill an information gap. Maybe you would like to write about the ten best sources for investment information. This could include newsletters, investment clubs, online trading, and traditional banking establishments.

 

The last thing to touch on is the Evergreen Concept.

 

Jerry Buchanan’s first topic was evergreen. Evergreen means that people will always want information about that topic. People still need to get rid of lawn vermin. A later product Jerry  produced, titled Profitable Self Publishing, is almost ideally evergreen.

 

What makes a topic evergreen is its ongoing relevance to an audience through several generations. For example, everyone wants to know how to invest their money wisely, but investment advice changes because of new regulations, new investment products and changing market conditions.

 

That a topic is evergreen means you will have a lasting audience for your information products. Your audience will demand a supply of updated, current information. You can meet that demand, and increase your revenues, by supplying updated, expanded editions of your e-book.

 

Put it all together –  something you want to write about (from work, pastime or desire to know) with a good monthly keyword search volume and you’ll have a winning topic for your e-book. Finding a topic that’s evergreen will give you the gold at the end of the rainbow.

Intermission – When Technology Fails

Hi,

You can probably guess from the title that something didn’t go right today.

Ho-hum. My computer caught a virus (am I ever starting to like the idea of switching to Mac) and the repair shop is trying to get it back to me by tomorrow. It turns out the virus fried WindowsXP and it has to be re-installed.

So let’s turn this into something useful…

There you are – your computer is kaput – you still have writing to do, but no machine to send e-mail, save files, or send articles. AHHH!!! How do you make your daily blog post?!?

Your easiest solution might be to use a friend’s computer – even if it means going over to their house. In my case, I’m able to go to George Brown College and use their lab computers (an advantage of teaching there). You can also go to the public library, or – as a last ditch, emergency only option – you could use an internet cafe.

A cool and unique solution I know of here in Toronto is a laundromat that has computers installed with internet. Lots of folks make use of them while the washer’s going. It’s just $2 per hour.

That takes care of e-mail and internet access. Now what about your writing? What do you do if all your files are on the computer that’s now kaput?

Ah, ancient writer’s secret…it’s called the pen and the paper…

Maybe you’re smiling, or smirking, but I’m actually serious. I really do print out every version of a book I get back from my editor (for which I’m thankful that I can usually finish a book with just two rounds of edits). It’s always on my mind that technology can quit on you.

Remember that huge blackout a few years back? Imagine what it’s like just getting to your apartment when you live on the 34th floor.

Anyway, having a printed copy of current projects let’s you keep working no matter what happens. You can always go to Staples and buy some more pens.

For those more inclined toward using technology to cope with technology, there’s a simple answer to this type of difficulty, too. Just make sure you have a second machine to work on.

After all, how many people do you know who tossed a perfectly good computer just because they bought a new one? Yea, me too. And it’s really silly when you think about it. Here’s a perfectly good, working tool that can be packed up and put away for…just such an emergency.

And to keep your data safe, get an external hard drive and back your data up to that. For anything hugely important, you can go the extra mile and burn it onto a DVD for safekeeping.

In case you’re thinking all this safety stuff and backing things up is just a big waste of time…you should know that my external hard drive failed last week.

Yep…the backup got broke, and now the main machine is down, too.

Still think taking precautions is a silly thing?

When I get my computer back, I’ll get back on track with serialising Writing E-Books for Fun and Profit. When that’s done, I’ll move on to serialise The Instant Amazon Bestseller Formula and then I’ll be looking at a series on list building.

Have a good night, everyone.

Conrad

Writing E-Books – 21 Steps to Success

Knowing your content and having a desire to write it down are good first steps to getting an e-book written. Showing you the path from desire to completion is what this article is about.

 

Let’s run through the steps, then I’ll give you some advice about “doing it all” yourself and outsourcing.

 

1. Choose your topic.

Make your topic specific and targeted to a niche market. For example, choose How to Build Balsa Wood Model Airplanes rather than just How to Build Model Airplanes.

 

2. Make sure you have a market using Keywords.

Google offers a free keyword tool (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal). Look for search results less than 40,000 per month – the ideal is from 4,000 to 12,000 searches per month.

 

3. Create an outline.

This is your roadmap. You’re the author so you get to set the course, and you’re free to alter it as the e-book develops. Three common approaches are alphabetical, process steps (like this article) and Q&A.

 

4. Research your topic.

Even experts do some research to get organized and ready to write. From reading through your own material to visiting the library and surfing the net – research is a vital, indispensable part of writing. It’s also something you can hire someone to help with.

 

5. Write your e-book.

Write the e-book yourself or hire a freelancer to write it for you. Just take your research notes and tell your story.

 

6. Create a few bonus reports to give away to your e-book buyers.

The difference to sales between having and not having premiums as part of the offer is staggering. Customers attach great value to bonuses.

 

7. Edit your e-book.

Whether you find a volunteer or hire a freelance editor, the key is to have the writer and editor be different people. Spotting your own errors is notoriously difficult.

 

8. Create the front cover design and interior page layout.

My preference is to make a couple of notes then hand this over to someone else. Design is more than just specialized knowledge. It includes a visual flair that’s at least as much in-born as it is learned.

 

9. Proofread and lock the PDF file.

Do a final proofread to check for double words and other mistakes. Fortunately, an e-book is easily updated if you find mistakes after the release.

 

Locking the PDF keeps honest people honest. There’s no sure-fire way to keep someone from “stealing” you e-book. Fortunately, most people simply prefer being honest.

 

10. Load your e-book PDF into a shopping cart.

Choose a shopping cart service that gives you one-stop shopping for the shopping cart, merchant account, autoresponder, and affiliate tracking. Ask your webmaster to connect the service to your web site. You can load every e-book you write into the shopping cart easily – it’s as easy as attaching a file to an e-mail.

 

11. Reserve a domain name for your e-book.

Shorter is better. Making it easy to say also works well. For example, choose “BalsaWoodModels.com” over “HowToBuildABalsaWoodModelAirplane.com.” A good resource for domain registration and hosting is www.UseBluehost.com/.

 

12. Write and design a landing page to sell your e-book.

All you need is a single web page connected to your shopping cart and a Thank You e-mail afterward. Simple, but you do want to be sure that one web page is well written. Hiring a copywriter might be a good choice.

 

13. Arrange hosting for your landing page.

You need a reliable hosting service at a low cost-per-site hosting charge. Be sure your hosting service package gives you enough space to hold all your files, that there is sufficient bandwidth to permit a high volume of downloads each month, and that you can add lots of new landing pages without increasing the total monthly hosting fee.

 

14. Capture the e-mail addresses of landing page visitors who do not buy your e-book.

List building is an integral part of selling on the internet. Capturing e-mail addresses allows you to continue marketing to visitors – whether they make a purchase or not.

 

15. Set-up an autoresponder e-mail series to convert non-buyers into buyers.

Use an autoresponder e-mail series to persuade them to come back to the landing page and buy your e-book.

 

16. Drive traffic to your landing page.

Use e-mail marketing, pay-per-click advertising, videos on YouTube and other social networking sites, articles, affiliates, and other traffic-building methods to drive prospects to your sales page.

 

17. Test, measure, and optimize your landing page.

Testing shows you what works and what doesn’t on your landing page. Always work toward making the landing page as effective as possible.

 

18. Create a profitable line of e-books and related info products.

Called a Product Funnel – you want a range of information products and services that move from inexpensive, front-end to the highest priced back-end.

 

19. Recruit affiliates to sell your e-books and other info products.

Give affiliates 50% of the sale price and enjoy the help for increasing sales and building your reputation.

 

20. Publish a free e-zine and drive traffic to the subscription page.

This is a great list building tool. Publishing the e-zine also keeps you in contact with your list. You’ll find your list is receives future offers much more warmly when you stay in contact with them.

 

21. Send regular e-mails to your opt-in subscriber list to drive additional sales.

Your opt-in list always contains people who have not yet purchased one or more of your e-books or other information products. As you provide high-value content to your subscribers, use the attention they are giving you to remind them of purchases they could be making.

 

We can wrap this up with a quick word about “doing it all” yourself – don’t.

 

There’s a simple way to know when it’s a good idea to outsource a particular task. Estimate how much time it will take you to do something and multiply that by how much each hour of your time is worth. (e.g. 20 hrs. to design a cover times $40 an hour is $800.)

 

When you can hire someone to do the task for less money, and they’ll do it faster (often with better results), then it’s time to outsource that task.

 

Another kind of outsourcing is getting advice. Sometimes it helps to talk a thing through with someone who has done it before (it’s what the corporate fat cats like to call “consulting”). Before you spend money on this option, make the effort to visit the blogs of people you would like to speak to. The answers to your questions might already be in print.

Blogs, Articles & Writing – Part Deux

Hi,

Last Thursday I wrote about making good use of your time, and getting the most from your blog posts, articles and other writing. Today, I’d like to share what I’m doing to put the advice into action.

Tim Clay, a client, and I have been having the same problem. We’re a little “all over the place” with our writing and we want to do better. I’ll show you what I’m doing for myself, and what I’m doing for Tim. That way, you can help your clients while you’re helping yourself, too.

For myself, I’m starting by serialising the books I’ve written. As I take each chapter and squeeze it down to a 700 (or so) word article, I’ll use it as a blog post and submit it as an article. Two birds with one stone. Then add a third bird by putting the article onto my web site in the archive section. (You can always add where it was published later when GQ or Time discovers you’re really the best writer in the world.)

But that’s not where it stops. After all, what happens when I serialise all my books? I can’t just stop writing articles…

Scroll down to Thursday’s post and give it a quick read. You see, what I’m doing right now is going from published work over to articles and blog posts. When I’m done serialising, it’s time to start writing articles with an eye toward what goes into my next book. Get it?

I’m working on a book about List Building. So, my articles will be about stuff I find related to that. Then I get to “quote” myself in my own book. Talk about cool.

Each article is also an opportunity to work out an idea, and try its popularity, before I include it in the book. That’s a little bit of alright, too.

Okay, now for Tim. This is a little different. (Actually, I’m doing this with Akin, too – but he’s visiting family in Nigeria. I’ll do an example with him in another article.)

You see, for a client, you’re trying to save them some time and effort. Tim’s okay with writing, but it isn’t his strong suit. Actually, I’m really fortunate with Tim and Akin. Tim’s an accountant and Akin is a doctor – and both men are remarkably creative. They come up with some great article ideas. What they don’t have is lots of time.

So, get your clients to write a blog post. Let them put together just a couple of hundred words and send it to you.

Then you take it, and work it up into a 500+ word article. And here’s the bonus for doing it this way:

Tim writes a 200 word blog post. Cool, quick and gives some useful content. Then after I work it up into an article, he gets to use the article as another blog post!

He even gets to put a trackback to the original post.

Naturally, the article gets submitted to newsletItrs and submission banks, too.

You can see how doing this means all your client has to do is write short, 200 word blog posts. After that, it’s in your hands to work up the articles and keep track of everything so you can build reports or an e-book.

Here’s a quick word about pricing: Set a low monthly fee. Honest. You only need about $500 (USD) tops from any one client.

Why?

Because the rest of your pay comes from having an equity share in your client’s business.

That works well for everyone because you have a regular income (the monthly retainer), and your client knows you are well motivated to make them successful. After all, the better the content you generate, the more sales they will make. The more sales they make, the more you get paid because you have an equity share.

I like upward spirals.

By the way, watch for more news about my e-book tele-workshop series launching in March. It’s looking good…working on a JV with RI, and found a way to include Barack Obama. Now, that’s cool.

Conrad

Blogs, Articles and e-Books – How they go together

Hi,

Every feel like internet marketing is a “chicken and egg” debate? Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start…

On the bright side, there is almost no wrong place to start.

Start a blog and write posts about your favourite hobby. From the blog posts you build up some articles. From the articles and posts, you can build an e-book.

The process works no matter which one you start with. So let me share how I’m putting the books I’ve written together with these blog posts and articles. And this is something that is happening right now, so I’ll be coming back to this to keep giving you updates.

Last year, I wrote Writing E-Books for Fun and Profit. It has done very well with sales, and it’s a great resource. Everyone who’s read it tells me they like it and it has been very helpful to them.

As you know from reading these blog posts, I’ve also been sharing my knowledge to help you move forward with your own writing and marketing projects. The one flaw in this is that I haven’t been particularly organised about the blog posts. That’s okay, but making this blog successful and making it part of my marketing efforts means I’m going to have to plan content.

You know, think about giving stuff to you in a way that supports marketing my writing.

Blogging about whatever grabs my attention each day is okay. It just isn’t the limit of what I want to do with this tool. I’ll come back to this in a minute…

Another thing I have wanted to do – and have had tremendous success procrastinating on – is taking Writing E-Books for Fun and Profit and serialising it into articles. To be honest, I’ve been pretending I don’t know where to start, or what to do.

Richard Bach was right – argue for your limitations and they become yours.

The thing that changed my mind about doing the articles is listening to Chris Knight and Jeff Herring yesterday on a teleconference call.

Chris Knight is CEO of EzineArticles.com. Jeff Herring is, of course, the article marketing guy. If you don’t know these two gentlemen, may I suggest you visit www.ezinearticles.com and start reading? They have a HUGE volume of everything to help you write articles.

By the way, serialising a book with 21 chapters is simple -honest. Just write a summary of each chapter and make it around 600 words. Use numbered or bulleted lists whenever you can, and give it a title that makes a promise. e.g. 4 Topic Strategies – How to make your next e-book a winner.

Okay – heres’ what I have:

I wrote a book last year. I just finished another, and a third should be finished in mid-March. Good.

I also have a blog. The habit of writing daily is well established, but the content isn’t planned yet.

I know what to do for writing articles. I have a membership with EzineArticles.com.

So let’s put them together.

We all have those everyday things to do. You know, household chores stuff, running the business admin stuff, working with retainer clients, specific projects, and whatever else each of us is fitting into every day. Of course, writing books and e-books fits into this category. (Nice to know I’ll always be creating new content.)

Next, seriously consider how much time you want to put into blogging and writing articles. My choice is to keep blogging daily. Monday to Friday, anyway.

A cool thing is that I can use every article I write as a blog post. Think about it…write an article at, say, 700 words…That’s a good length for a blog post, isnt’ it? (Yea, I know. I talk so much, my blog posts are more like 7,000 words. But they’re interesting, right?)

Okay. So I can write one article each day and re-purpose it as a blog post. That works. I bet it’ll work for you, too.

One last thing – what if you haven’t written an e-book you can serialise? Good question, glad you asked.

Scroll back up to the third paragraph. The part about your favourite hobby…

What are you excited about, passionate about? Write about that! Use the approach I wrote about first. Write some blog posts and put together some articles – then build them into an e-book.

Think about learning to ride a bike. You ride for a few feet and stop (a blog post). You ride a little farther and stop again (an article). After a while, you ride up and down the driveway (blog post one way, article going back). Pretty soon, you’re riding around the block. over to the store, and out with your friends (yep, e-books, more posts and more articles – and more e-books).

Folks, you might receive success overnight, but you’ll achieve it one step at a time.

Here’s to yours.

Conrad