Tag Archives: make money

Writing Journal 43: Monetize Your Website With Donations

Writing Journal 43: Monetize Your Website With Donations

My writing journal for Wednesday, September 24, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

I’m in a rush this morning, so I completed the major scene for the novella, with 1,600 words.

Next, a quick glance at the email. Julia will handle most of it, I’ll deal with any outstanding feedback and memos to students tonight or tomorrow.

The client sent some material for the memoir proposal, so I read through that and make some quick notes. I’m loving the bullet journal, because I can make notes right in the journal. I tend to cluster, and draw little diagrams in my notes, and the Whitelines Leuchtturm hardcover handles it with panache.

Since the iOS 8 update, I’m finding that the Whitelines Link app isn’t working properly. Not to worry, Whitelines pages show up superbly when you take an image with Evernote’s camera.

I fix Honey’s breakfast and my own. Now I need to get to my meetings.

And I’m back. It’s mid-afternoon. The meetings went well; they were related to on-going projects, and forward planning for 2015. I’ve made some notes in my bullet journal, so I snap images of the pages into Evernote.

Now let’s look at something which keeps coming up. If you’ve got a content-heavy website which isn’t monetized, you may have considered asking for donations to keep you going.

An easy way to monetize a website: solicit donations

Several people have asked about monetizing websites with donations over the past weeks, so let’s look at that now. If I cover it here, it saves me typing out the info multiple times, because donations seem to be a hot thing at the moment. :-)

You’ve got a couple of options. All have benefits and drawbacks:

  • The crowdfunding option (Kickstarter or Patreon and similar sites)
  • A PayPal button on your website

Either way, you’ve got to be clear about what you want people to do, and why. By “be clear”, I mean TELL PEOPLE. I see many websites where there’s a donation button, which is fine. But when you check to see the how, and the why, the site owner doesn’t say a word. It’s as if the button’s there… but no one wants to talk about it.

That’s nonsense. If you’re accepting donations, publicize it. Say: “Listen, if you like what we do here, we could really use a bit of support. Website hosting costs money, and so does my time. I’d love it if you could show your support with a donation. A little or a lot, it doesn’t matter. It shows that you value what we do, and that’s a huge motivation for us to keep doing it.”

You don’t need to say more than that, but you do need to say it. Write a short blog post about it, and send a mailing to your list. Tweet about it. Mention it a couple of times a month, at least. Buttons on websites are all very well, but people need you to ask too.

You may be surprised at your results. One of my writer friends finally put up a donations button, and it’s covering her expenses. While some visitors pay small amounts, several have made hefty donations. It’s motivating for her, and she’s very grateful. It’s had another effect too: it’s given her confidence. It’s validation that people read what she writes, and that it helps them.

Blog proposal and scope

I did the draft proposal and scope for my client’s new blog yesterday. I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon on it, so that Julia can proof it and send it out.

Then, a couple of timer sessions on client blogs – finishing posts, and scheduling them — and I’m done for the day. Daily review and word counts done… :-)

Team up 2014: final enrollments

Just a mention, in case you miss it on the freelance blog… We’re running the final Team Up for the year now. Enrollments will close on September 30.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Make Money Self Publishing: Use What You Have

Make Money Self Publishing: Use What You Have

You want to make money self publishing, but you’re not a writer. On the contrary: write something, anything, and you’re a writer. As I tell my copywriting students, if you can write an email message and get a response, you can write copy. Similarly, if you want to write an ebook – to make money, or get leads for your business, or build your platform – you can.

Just use what you have. No matter how old or young you are, you have endless topics for nonfiction ebooks, based on your own experiences, and those of your family, friends and colleagues. You can even use the events of your life for fiction.

A BIG tip: when considering nonfiction topics, remember What’s In It For Me (WIIFM). Everyone is totally consumed with self-interest. It’s hard to get anyone to buy an ebook that’s just the story of your divorce. However, an ebook that covers what you learned from going though your divorce, and how that information can help others, can sell.

Writing Nonfiction: What Do You Want to Learn?

Writers are often told to “write what you know.” New writers approach this in a narrow fashion. The truth is, you can only write what you know. Everything you write, whether nonfiction or fiction is colored by your perceptions, and your own version of truth.

You don’t need to have an experience to be able to write about it. Thriller novelists write about serial killers; no one expects them to kill anyone… We all have the same emotions, so a thriller writer can easily use his imagination to feel himself into the skin of a serial killer.

So saying “write what you know” isn’t helpful. You can’t avoid doing that. When it comes to nonfiction, it’s more useful to suggest: “write about what you want to learn.”

Way back in the 1980s I got interested in the Internet. This was long before the Web. A Melbourne academic got me a connection, and from then on I become engrossed in the online world of BBSs. Eventually, I subscribed to CompuServe. Those early online experiences triggered an interest in tech, and for many years, I wrote tech articles for several computer magazines. I wrote what I wanted to learn.

Ask yourself what you want to learn. Maybe you want to learn online dating, or how to cook like Julia Child (a blogger blogged her Julia Child cooking experiences; that blog became a book, and then a movie), or how to home-school your children.

The Benefit of Writing What You’re Learning: Beginners’ Mind.

People want information, and they’re willing to pay for it. However, at any given period, there are many more people who want to learn the basics of a topic, rather than advanced material. You need to write what you experience as a beginner, rather than waiting until you become an “expert.”

Here’s why: you’re only a beginner once. When you achieve deep knowledge about any topic, it’s challenging to write for people who are new to a topic. You can’t wash away your experience.

So, in conclusion, if you want to make money self publishing, go for it. Use what you have, and write about your experiences learning something new.

Write Short: Sizzling Success From Short Reports and Short Stories

Write Short: Sizzling Success from Short Reports and Short Stories

Use your spare minutes; turn them into cash. Write and sell SHORT products you create, both nonfiction and fiction. You’ll discover a great new write-and-sell strategy, and will develop your own profitable income streams which will boost your hourly rate into the stratosphere. Get started immediately.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Instant Product: Going, Going…

Instant Product Make Money Today

A heads up if you’ve missed it.

The Monday Madness offering for Make Money TODAY: Create “Instant” Products for Fast Cash is ending within hours.

If you’ve always wanted to sell info products, or if you can’t complete an ebook, this will help, Instant Product:

“I’ve been writing and selling ebooks and other info products online for more than a decade. If you know me at all, you know that I help others to do this successfully.

Here’s the thing: I’ve found that too many writers procrastinate. They start with all good intentions. They’re excited and enthused. They know that they CAN DO THIS!

Then something happens. They start to obsess, and second-guess. Before you know it, real life has taken over, and they decide they’ll complete and sell their ebook ‘later’. Next week, next month, or even ‘when I have more time’.

I’ve watched this happen with some of my students, and it’s depressing.

So, I came up with a cure: ‘instant’ product creation.”

Get moving; end your procrastination for good.

“Free” Can Hurt You: Always Have a Reason to Give Stuff Away

Create Instant Products

Many businesses use “free stuff” as a marketing strategy.

Content marketing is based on free stuff. There’s nothing wrong with it. It works, as long as you’re making money.

Ten times as many online publications are charging for their content this year, as were charging last year. They know that you can’t keep giving stuff away if you want to stay in business.

However, as Chris Garrett points out, too many bloggers get stuck in the free model and never make money. In How to Get Paid for Free he says:

“A lot of bloggers don’t even get that far – we get into the free rut. You do have to break out of it eventually. It’s a comfort zone. Blogging is hard work, and only ever giving stuff away can lead your audience to assume you are not in business at all. When you finally do start to suggest they pay money you can get a lot of push back. “

Know your business strategy BEFORE you use the “free” model

As I said on my Just Write a Book Blog:

Loss-leading products are a favorite way for supermarkets to make sales. Loss leaders work for book sales too.

Chances are you won’t have Amazon helping you out, but you can certainly use this strategy. The key is to have sufficient books in the marketplace. You offer one or two books at a lower price, hoping that readers will give you a try. Not every reader will love your style. However, you will develop a loyal readership — a platform. Those loyal readers are the key to your success.

I’ve seen many authors on Amazon giving their one and only ebook away for free, using KDP Select. I always wonder WHY they would do that. What’s the point? Wait until you’re selling several ebooks before you start giving them away.

Know how you’ll make money before you use the “free” strategy

If you want to start an online business and use the content marketing strategy, know how you’ll make money, and when you’ll start charging. Once it’s time to charge money, start charging.

Websites in Minutes: Get Your Business Online NOW

Weebly web sites

These days, creating a website is simple. If you’ve got a couple of minutes, you can create a site.

Too many businesses put off creating their site. They may even hire a graphic designer and look at some concepts. Then they get stuck. Months pass. The content is never delivered. The website isn’t developed.

You’d never do that, would you? :-)

Here are couple of super-easy ways to create a basic website. If you don’t have a site, anything is better than nothing at all. You can tinker with the website later, and make your competitors dark moss green with envy.

First up, there’s Weebly. 4 Easy-to-Use Tools for Building Websites | Inc.com:

“Weebly ****
Our top pick, Weebly was easier to use than Joomla, but the result was just as impressive. We picked a template from about 150 choices and added photos and text using drag-and-drop tools. You can also add a full e-commerce portal, photo galleries, and slide shows, and register your domain right on Weebly.com. Our seven-page site, which looked sleek and professional, was up and running in 30 minutes. Our only complaint? Creating a custom URL on Weebly was a bit confusing.”

Anyone can create a site on Weebly. I’ve created a few, and have recommended the site to my writing students.

Here’s one I created several years ago.

Angela Booth on Weebly

From memory, that site took me less than an hour to create, and that includes writing the content.

Next, there’s Google Sites. This site-creation tool is a little more basic than Weebly, but it gets the job done.

I’ve created a few sites there, too. (What can I say, I love creating websites. :-))

Here’s one.

Googles Sites

Another “site” which took next to no time to create.

Create your website in less than an hour

Let’s say you’ve decided to bite the bullet, and get something, anything, online.

Here’s a fast process:

* Decide what you want the site to do (launch a product, tell your audience about something or other);

* Decide how your site visitors will respond (call you, send you an email, contact you on Twitter);

* Write a brief description of what you want the site to do, and how visitors will contact you (don’t omit this step, or you’ll sit starting at your computer, rather than writing);

* Write your content.

Please don’t get hung up on this final step.

Your content consists of:

1. Your headline;

2. The body of the content;

3. The call to action.

That’s all. Write those three things, and call it done.

Contact me of course, if you need help, but get your business online NOW.