All posts by Angela Booth

About Angela Booth

Copywriter Angela Booth's clients tell her she performs "word magic." Whether she's writing advertising materials, Web content, or ghostwriting for her clients, she's committed to helping them to achieve results, fast. Author of one of the first books about online business, Making The Internet Work For Your Business, Angela's written many business books which have been published by major publishers. She's an enthusiastic self-publisher and writing teacher.

Pinterest Traffic: Start Pinning

Pinterest Traffic: Start Pinning

Are you missing out on Pinterest traffic? Chances are that you are.  One of my clients was curious about a sudden flow of traffic from Pinterest, and called me. I’d been encouraging him to try Pinterest for at least a year, but he’d taken a look at the site, and had decided it wasn’t for him.

Then he got traffic from kind people who pinned his products, and he’s now decided that Pinterest should be part of his social media marketing endeavors.

Pinterest Traffic: Get images, and a Pinterest account

Here’s what I love about Pinterest: your pins are long-lasting. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, your pins don’t have a shelf-life which is measured in minutes. You can get traffic from stuff you pinned months ago.

If you’d like to get started with Pinterest, start by looking at the images on your offerings. If you don’t have images, create some.

This doesn’t need to be a major investment. One of my client has a B2B website offering services. He’d never considered images. We developed some templates with placeholder images  with the help of a designer. He can take photos himself, then drag them into the templates, save, and upload them in a couple of minutes.

Once you’ve created some images, get a Pinterest business account. Create a couple of boards for your business. Make one board business-related, and the other fun – Pinterest is a social media network. Some ideas:

Create Pinterest boards with specific questions your website’s visitors have, or around a specific theme. For example, if you have an online business selling accessories, create boards for each kind of accessory, and for your designers too. Check out what major brands are doing. Keep your boards light-hearted.

Give Pinterest a try. You may be surprised at how effective it can be as an additional source of traffic to your website.
, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Book Marketing: Easy Images For Non-Designers (Free)

Book Marketing: Easy Images For Non-Designers

I’ve been helping several clients with book marketing over the past couple of months, and because they’re writers, they  think they “can’t do” images. Of course you can… The shining highlight of my artistic career was finger painting in kindergarten, with a notable mention going to wire-jewelry creation in high school (wire-wrapped gemstones, very pretty), so if I can do images, anyone can do them.

Why create images? Because you need them for social media, and advertising. Yes, you can hire a designer to create some wonderful images, and you should, if you can afford it. However, most marketing these days is done on the fly. You’re not going to hire a designer to create graphics for every blog post you write, or for every social media update.

Let’s look at some easy image creation tools for non-designers… they’re all FREE.

1. Easy: create images with presentation software

You’ve got presentation software lurking on your hard drive, admit it. Look for PowerPoint, or Keynote, if you’re a Mac user. I created the above image in about two minutes using Keynote; it’s for the Marketing Your Book in 5 Minutes a Day video series which is part of my new Nonfiction Ebook Superstar: Write and Sell In 24 Hours Or Less program.

If you don’t have an Office suite, download Open Office, it’s free. It includes the Impress app, which allows you to create fancy images and diagrams.

Consider using your presentation app to create: CTA (calls to action) images; advertising images; and images for social media.

2. Elegant: use Canva to create covers and ads

book cover templates

Canva.com comes with a slew of templates. To create a cover for an ebook, just click on the Kindle Cover template, and you’re good to go. Of course you can create images in custom sizes too.

The big benefit of Canva is that it’s HARD to create dud images. Your images may not make a design student or artist weep tears of envy, but they’re eye-catching, and that’s all you need. You want to pique your potential readers’ curiosity, and Canva helps you to do that, elegantly.

Consider using Canva to create: book covers in various sizes, as well as advertising collateral, and info graphics,  if you’re writing nonfiction.

3. Fast: anyone can get creative with PicMonkey

Create fast with PicMonkey

You can create images super-fast with PicMonkey.com. (You can even use your own fonts now.) It’s the easiest, and the fastest way not only to create simple text images, but also to add pizazz to your own photos. Just drag them in, and turn them into artistic wonders.

I use PicMoney whenever I want to create text images, or create a blog image in a minute or two.

Consider using PicMoney when you have NO TIME to market your book. Just drag an image into PicMonkey, jazz it up (or not), and share it at a click. You can see the many possible ways of sharing your image below; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more.

Share an image

So, there you have it. Three ways to create book marketing images easily, completely for free, even if you’re not a designer.

Increase Your Income: Write and Sell Nonfiction

 Nonfiction Ebook Superstar: Write and Sell In 24 Hours Or Less

Every writer today is in a powerful position. You’ve got the power of Amazon, and the power of the Web. ALL of the tools you need to write and sell are FREE. However, few writers make use of that power. Can you spare just 24 hours to create an ebook that will sell for ten years?

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Social Media Sharing: Your Own, or Others’ Content?

Social Media Sharing: Your Own, or Others' Content?

Social media sharing can be a challenge, especially the ratios of the various kinds of content. Should you blast out your own material, or should you minimize your own input, and focus on sharing others’ content which you hope your audience will find valuable?

A couple of authors asked about social sharing ratios in reference to the article on book marketing in 30 minutes a week.

Kevan Lee of Buffer posted “6 popular ratios for sharing content on social media”, and you can certainly follow others’ formulas. However, it all comes down to your audience, your time, and the social media network.

To be honest, I don’t think about it too much. Of course, I don’t consider myself a social media expert. Apropos of social media experts, B.L. Ochman’s funny post: Twitter bios show epic growth – to 297,897 – of self-proclaimed social media gurus will make you smile. “Social media whores”? Who knew? :-)

As regards sharing, I’m with Buffer. Kevan Lee said:

Our social media updates are 90 percent our own content and 10 percent from others, and many days those numbers are even more lopsided.

Here’s why my sharing’s 90/10 too, pretty much. Two reasons:

  • It’s easier to target your audience with your own material – you know the audience you want to reach; and
  • Your audience isn’t served well if you consistently repost others’ material which they’ve already seen in their social stream many times before.

Consider that it’s YOUR social media account. This is why you need to…

Be Yourself When You Share.

Social media is social, but I’m not comfortable posting images of my lunch or my coffee shop snacks to social media, nor do I do post that sort of material for clients. Other people are comfortable with that, and that’s perfect for them. Be yourself. If people don’t like what you’re sharing, they’ll stop following you, as they should.

Curate Content on Social Media, if That’s Your “Added Value.”

I’ve been on Twitter since 2007, and a few years ago, my entire @angee Twitter account was others’ content, which I curated. That seemed to work well at the time. However, the Web’s constantly changing. It wouldn’t work for my audience today, because too many others are doing that. Your account becomes just another “me too”, in that case.

However, if curating content on a social media account is your value-add to your audience, and ten other people aren’t doing it, go for it. You can devote a social media account purely to curated content, with just a smattering of your own content. It all depends on your audience, and on YOU.

So, in summary, do whatever you feel will work for your audience. Adjust as needed, and as the Web changes. Most importantly of all, have fun with it. Your social media accounts are yours, and as long as you’re creating and adding value, and entertaining, you’re doing it right.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Blog Power: 2 More Essential Content Tips

Blog Power: 2 More Essential Content Tips

Everyone’s blogging today; if you don’t have a blog, you feel guilty. However, blogging isn’t for everyone. It takes time. Your time may well be better spent. On the other hand, if you feel that a blog would benefit your business: create one. A blog can be immensely valuable for your business, in ways you’d never expect.

Well over a year ago, I created My Top 10 Content Tips; I’ve just updated the post. Its accompanying slide deck has had over 3,600 views on SlideShare. Reading over the post, and considering the amount of content that’s produced daily, here are two more essential content tips.

1. Keep It On Your Blog!

Many companies decide that rather than blogging, they’ll devote all their resources to their Facebook or Google+ page, and send out streams of tweets. Blogging just seems too time intensive, and demanding.

That’s true. However, your blog is media that you own. Content you post on other sites is at another company’s mercy. Not to mention, it’s hard to find again. Put your content onto your blog first, then tweak it for use elsewhere.

2.  Automate Sharing, But Don’t Turn Into a Robot.

Apps like Buffer make it easy to schedule your blog post reshares, and social media messages, but don’t schedule everything. Show up on social media websites, and get social.

You’ll find many useful content tips on social media. For example, I’d never considered “plussing” my own posts and comments on Google+, but Mike Allton advises that you do:

First, within Google+, you’ll need to understand that there are three possible “Social Signals” on every post: a +1, a Comment and a Share. Every Google+ user can take any of those actions on a single post, including the original post owner. Creating the post itself does not count. But as each social signal is effected, the +1 count on any one single link included in the post goes up. To a maximum of 3 +1′s from any one unique user.

You don’t need to spend hours on social media websites, but after you automate, pop in every day or two and plus your shares, and those of others. And of course, interact. Social media networking is called that for a reason.

If you missed the previous article, read the first of the top ten blog content tips here.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Book Marketing: Get Results in 30 Minutes a Week

Book Marketing: Get Results in 30 Minutes a Week

Book marketing can be amazingly simple, but nevertheless effective. Even if you hate marketing, you can get great results in just 30 minutes a week. Schedule it once a week, or split it up, into three ten-minute sessions. Even if you hate the idea of promotions, you can do it.

My students ask questions like:

* “HOW do I market?”

* “Is this enough?”

* “What should I do now?”

You’ll find some easy marketing ideas below. Essentially it doesn’t matter WHAT you do, as long as you do some promotion.

A digression: hate marketing? Many hardcore writers do. (Me included, oddly enough, I’d rather write… :-)) If you hate, hate, hate the idea of promotion, forget about it. Write another book. End of digression.

1. Set Up Your Social Media Profiles – Choose One or Two Social Media Websites.

We’re not counting this activity in your 30 minutes a week. Setting up your social media profiles may take you 45 minutes or so, but you only need to do it once. Review your profile every couple of months, as you book marketing activities change, and tweak as necessary.

Before you start, develop some creative material – images. Your creatives can be book covers in various sizes, some CTAs (Calls to Action: advertising images), images of yourself, image quotes from your book, or anything else you choose. Your creatives grab people’s attention. Use canva.com to create FAST images, completely for free.

Now set up profiles on two social media websites. You can choose any two you like. Book marketers get results on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, however your mileage may vary. Choose the two with which you’re most comfortable, and set up your profile pages on these sites.

Here’s my Twitter profile page.

Angela Booth on Twitter

Essential: use your book’s cover as a profile background image: people need to associate you with your book. If you’re promoting several books, create a collage of your book covers, and add the link to your Amazon Author Page on your profile.

2. Create Types of Social Media Shares.

Your types can include:

Shares of Others’ Material.

Let’s say you’ve written a nonfiction ebook about online dating. You an reshare the content of influencers in that niche, or of anyone in the niche, as long as you feel it’s useful and important to your followers. If you’re writing suspense fiction, your can reshare other suspense writers tweets and posts – readers are always looking for great new books.

Thoughts and Questions.

What are you reading? You can post your current reading using the hashtag #amreading. Alternatively, what are you writing? Post using the hashtag #amwriting.

I’m currently on a Georgette Heyer kick, so I’m posting #amreading, as you can see in the Google+ post below.



You can also ask questions of your audience. What are they reading? Who’s their favorite character?

Book Announcements, and Promotional Material.

You were wondering when we were going to get around to promotions, weren’t you – here we go. :-) Promote away. Use your ebook’s covers, quote images, and anything else you’d like. Tweet and post snippets from your book.

VITAL… include your Amazon link, please, so people can buy your book.

It’s easy to forget to do this. I often read something about a book in which I’m interested, and when I search for the retailer link, there isn’t one. I need to copy and paste the book’s title into Amazon… and sometimes I think – “later.” Make it as easy as possible for people to click through to your ebook on Amazon or wherever you’re selling.

Reshares of Your Own Blog Posts.

If you’re running a blog, don’t be shy – reshare your blog posts. Over time, you’ll develop a lot of content. I have around 4,000 posts on one blog, and 2,000 on another. You’ll develop masses of content too: use that content to promote your books.

3. Create Draft Content for Social Media Posts.

I create a week or two’s worth of draft content in a spreadsheet on Sunday evenings. It’s become automatic now, and takes me around 15 minutes. It may take you a little longer when you start out.

4. Schedule Your Content: Use Buffer.

Buffer makes it simple to line up your content for sharing. You can schedule for specific times, or use the Settings scheduler, and so that your posts go out at regular times. Buffer is free for a basic account, and it’s all you need for book marketing.

So, there you go. Once you’re set up with the types of material you’re sharing, you can create and schedule your book marketing in just 30 minutes a week. See? Marketing can be easy. Dip into your social media accounts for a couple of minutes occasionally during the week, to respond to people.

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, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Super-Fast Product Creation: Buy PLR and Profit

Super-Fast Product Creation: Buy PLR and Profit

I love product creation; it’s been a mainstay of my online business since 2002. However, there are hassles. Product creation takes time, above all. You can cut down on that time dramatically when you buy PLR.

Not familiar with PLR? I’m currently offering PLR to three products which I’ve withdrawn, and explained PLR like this:

If you’re not familiar with the term, “private label rights” products, commonly referred to as “PLR”, are products to which you have extensive rights. You can put your name on the products and sell them as your own; you can add and remove text; you can split them up to make new products; you can offer them as bonuses to your own products… basically, you can treat them as your own, and use them in any way you choose.

How to Use Purchased PLR in Your Own Products.

You can use PLR products you’ve purchased in many different ways:

  • To kickstart your own product creation;
  • As social media content;
  • As bonus added-value material to your own products;
  • On membership sites;
  • In newsletters you’re sending out to customers;
  • As the basis of audio, video or presentation material you create.

I created a monthly newsletter for a UK gym company for several years, and bought health and fitness PLR extensively to repurpose in the publications. The balance of new content to PLR was around 50/ 50. The company was happy, because they got inexpensive content, and I was happy because I spent less time on the newsletter each month.

When I created a social media campaign for a marketing company, I used a lot of edited PLR in tweets, Facebook postings with images, and as fast and easy reports. When you look at PLR as raw material, it’s like baking a cake. You have the basic flour, fat and protein. By the time you’ve mixed it up and baked it, the raw material is completely transformed.

Death by PLR: Avoid It – Use PLR as Raw Material.

Once Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) became popular a few years back, Internet marketers jumped on it mindlessly. They shoveled PLR onto the Kindle bookstore. Predictably, Amazon got very cross, and swept away much PLR.

Pay close attention to what Amazon says:

Public Domain and Other Non-Exclusive Content

Some types of content, such as public domain content, may be free to use by anyone, or may be licensed for use by more than one party. We will not accept content that is freely available on the web unless you are the copyright owner of that content. For example, if you received your book content from a source that allows you and others to re-distribute it, and the content is freely available on the web, we will not accept it for sale on the Kindle store. We do accept public domain content, however we may choose to not sell a public domain book if its content is undifferentiated or barely differentiated from one or more other books.

You can use PLR as the basis of your own products. Remember what I said about using PLR as raw material, then baking it into something which looks completely different?

I don’t use PLR on Amazon; I publish content under several pen names, and ghostwrite ebooks for clients. However, if I wanted to sell an ebook on Google+ for small business for example, I’d buy good PLR and use it as raw material. Why not? It would kickstart my own thinking, and by the time I’d revised, edited and added fresh content, its own mother wouldn’t recognize it as PLR.

If you’re wary of product creation, even though you know it would benefit your business, take a fresh look at it, with the idea of judiciously using PLR in your new products. It saves time.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Fear of Writing: 3 Tips to Help

Fear of Writing: 3 Tips to Help

Do you have a fear of writing? If you do, you avoid writing tasks. You procrastinate.

In professional writers, “fear” often feels like resistance. This resistance may be a good thing, as I shared on Google+:

Usually, when I wake up in the morning, I make a cup of coffee and start writing fiction immediately. It’s easiest for me to write fiction first, before I start writing “real” stuff – nonfiction. I was a little spooked this morning when I opened my email instead.

Why was I resisting? Why, oh why wasn’t I writing?

But I went with it. When I finally opened my fiction WIP, the story took off in an entirely new direction. I’m thrilled. I didn’t work on any fiction at all yesterday; I had a couple of client deadlines. It seems my subconscious mind was gestating a new (and better) direction for this story during the downtime on it. I’m pleased.

Is resistance fear of writing? In the above instance, it wasn’t. I wanted to write, but felt that I wasn’t ready. I knew I’d work on the fiction project at some point during the day.

What about a real fear of writing? Can you write anyway? Yes you can. Try these three tips.

1. Switch Your Brain: Be Happy.

This exercise sounds weird, but it may work for you – quirk your lips to the right, to trigger your left brain:

If you pull the left lip back repeatedly, it can trigger the right brain. You may feel sad. Pulling back the right lip can trigger the left brain, and a feeling of happiness.

Go on, try it. It works for me, and it may work for you. You should feel a sudden little jolt of happiness which will make your writing task seem a lot less intimidating, and more fun.

Read the LEFT BRAIN RIGHT BRAIN article which explains the exercise; it’s interesting. A lot of brain lateralization theory has been debunked, but it’s still a useful way to think about creativity and your brain.

2. Start Writing – Write Stream-of-Consciousness Material for Ten Minutes.

I’ve been using this little trick for a couple of decades, and I teach it to my writing students. It puts you into “creative” mode; writing triggers more writing.

Here’s all you do. Get a timer, and set it for ten minutes. Now start writing, and keep writing. Write anything you like, whatever words pop into your head. There’s only one rule: KEEP WRITING, no matter what, until the timer goes off.

You can type, or write by hand, it’s up to you.

Writing for ten minutes changes your mood. I discovered this when I started a daily walking regime. For the first ten minutes of the walk, I hated it. At around the eleventh minute, I started to enjoy it.

You can apply this “ten minute” rule to lots of things. Just keep doing the task for ten minutes, and you’ll start to enjoy it.

3. “I’m scared of writing because…”

This exercise works if you have a deep-seated aversion to writing. You may need to repeat it several times. If you do, it will remove your fear of writing completely. One of my students practiced this exercise several times a week for a couple of months. He has no problems with fear of writing now.

As with the stream-of-consciousness exercise, set a timer for ten minutes.

Write “I’m scared of writing because…” and keep writing for ten minutes. Try to write in whole sentences if you can. If you can’t, don’t worry about it. Again, write whatever comes. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar, or censoring yourself.

If you wish, you can try this exercise using your non-dominant hand (that is, if you’re right-handed, write with your left hand.)

As we’ve said: if you keep repeating this exercise, eventually you’ll stop being afraid of writing. I’ve no idea why it works, it just does.

So there you have it; three tips to help you to overcome your fear of writing, and make writing fun. :-)

Got a writing challenge? I’ve been helping writers for 20 years. Get in touch.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Write Your Book: One Essential Trick

Write Your Book: One Essential Trick

You want to write your book, but you can’t get started. You’ve been planning the book for years. You know that the book will give you authority, and prestige, and you know you must get it done.

I’ve worked with many authors who are “writing a book.” Except they aren’t. They procrastinate endlessly. One client decided she’d write her book when she retired. By the time she contacted me, she’d been retired for three years, and still hadn’t started her book. (Yes, she did write it, and publish it, within a couple of months after we started working together.)

Here’s a secret: you don’t have to write “the book” right now. You can work your way up to it, by using Amazon.

Write a “Lite” Version: Have Fun and Be Playful.

You procrastinate because you want your book to be successful. You fear failure.

Amazon lets you publish your book fast. So, why not create a “lite” version of your book? This won’t be THE BOOK, the one you’re procrastinating on. It will be a version of your book. An experiment. It can also be your own private focus group.

For years, I’d advise authors who were unsure about a book to create a blog on their book’s topic. If their blog got attention, their book would too. On the other hand, if their blog was completely ignored, they needed to rethink their book. And yes, this worked for fiction too.

In 2014, Amazon gives you everything you need to test your book. Who knows? You may even make some money.

Vital: have fun with this. You’re not writing THE BOOK, after all. You’re experimenting; testing your idea. Be playful. Get it done. You risk nothing, and you may gain a great deal.

Give Yourself a Deadline.

Here’s the key: give yourself a deadline to write and publishing your book. Yes, the fun, “lite” version. You can create your book’s cover quickly: use Canva:

From go to whoa, the exercise won’t take you longer than five minutes.

I ghostwrite both fiction and nonfiction for clients. Although they’ll hire a cover designer when the book’s done, I like to include a cover in the MOBIs and PDFs I send them. Canva makes it super-easy for me. Thank you Canva.

Write your book, create a cover, and upload it to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.

It’s a little trick to help you to write your book, and it works. Get started. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.