3 Easy Ways to Get Ideas for Nonfiction Ebooks

3 Easy Ways to Get Ideas for Nonfiction Ebooks

I’ve been advising my students to “write short” when it comes to ebooks; this means writing short stories, and short nonfiction ebooks. A short ebook at $2.99 is an easy sale. A longer ebook is a much harder sale at $9.99, especially for a new author.

If you’re wondering how long your short ebooks could be, I suggest around 20 pages. Since the concept of “pages” is meaningless in ebook terms, around 5,000 words – the length of a couple of articles.

Writers have asked how to get lot of ideas for ebooks you can write quickly. We cover that in detail in Sizzling Success from Short Reports and Short Stories, but here are three of my favorite ways.

1. News Websites: Become a News Junkie.

I’m a news junkie. I spend way too much time browsing news websites each day, but it does have a benefit. You learn to spot trends, and see what people are talking about. Once you get into the habit, you can spot dozens of ideas for short ebooks in a few minutes.

You can just browse news stories, or you can enter a broad topic. I used to write a lot about weight loss, so I entered that into the search query field in Google News.

get ideas from news websites

Here’s the key: don’t bother clicking through to the stories. It’s distracting. You just want a broad sense of what’s new today. So, in the above image, you can see “woman says her weight loss photos were stolen.”

Excellent. (Not for the woman, obviously…) You could certainly write a short ebook on weight loss photos: how taking snaps of yourself daily in a weight loss journal is an effective way to stay on track with a weight loss diet, or similar.

Think broadly when you brainstorm. How about a nonfiction ebook on how to look great in wedding or other special-event photos?

2. Amazon: Look at the Top 100 Bestsellers in Nonfiction.

If it’s in Amazon’s Top 100, in any category, it’s selling a LOT. So cast your eyes over what people want to learn more about today: Amazon’s top 100, paid and free.

get ideas from Amazon

Again, don’t bother clicking through: focus on the book’s titles. You just need a kickoff point for your own brainstorming, so you can come up with great ideas.

3. Pinterest: Images Stimulate Your Creative Mind.

I adore Pinterest. It’s an amazing site, particularly if you’re hunting for ideas. Check out the Popular category; that’s what’s trending on Pinterest right now.

get ideas from Pinterest

OK, maybe you don’t want to write about bow ties, or candles, or popsicles. :-) Or maybe you do. Scroll down the page. Let yourself muse about what people need, that you could write about.

There’s always something new on Pinterest. You’re sure to find topics you’d enjoy covering in a nonfiction ebook.

So, there you have it. Three easy ways to get great ideas for nonfiction ebooks. Happy idea hunting. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

3 Ways Copywriting Skills Can Help Your Sales

Can Copywriting Skills Improve Your Sales?

How many sales are you missing out on today? If you’re a small business person, chances are you’re not communicating as much as you could. You need copywriting skills. Not only will you communicate more clearly, you’ll communicate more. Just about every business has a mailing list; few businesses do anything with the list.

Let’s look at three ways you can use copywriting skills to help your sales.

1. You Can Grab Those Sales You’re Missing.

We mentioned your mailing list. Today, send out an email message to your list. Tell the people who want to hear from you about a new promotion you’re running. You can tell them anything you like; as long as you communicate.

Again: your customers want to hear from you, otherwise you wouldn’t have their email address. Send something.

2. You Can Create Fresh Copy to Win YOUR Customers.

If you’re using your suppliers’ copy, you’re missing out on sales. When you use the same copy all the other distributors are using, your customers are buying from the business which sells the products the cheapest.

You know your products, and you know your customers. Tell your customers stories about how other customers in their area use the products. Give them a reason to buy from you.

3. You Can Make the Most of Social Media: Have You Discovered Pinterest?

Social media isn’t sales. A copywriter’s mindset will stand you in good stead however. Pinterest makes sales, for example:

Yet another study, this one by Shopify, found that orders driven by Pinterest are substantially larger than those produced by Facebook or Twitter. In fact, at $80 per order, Pinterest even tops Google and Amazon.

Dip your toes into social media today; copywriting skills give you the confidence you need.

Check out our Copywriting Master Class, if you haven’t done so already.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Creative Marketing on a Budget: 3 Tips You Can Use Today

Creative Marketing on a Budget: 3 Tips You Can Use Today

Looking for creative marketing on a budget ideas? There’s never been a better time for do-it-yourself marketing. Social media helps you to tell your story (see tip 3, to choose your story). You can make even contact with reporters at a click, so don’t worry that you’re without a marketing budget. You can more than compensate.

Let’s look at three tips you can use today.

1. Leverage Social Networking Sites Like Pinterest.

Used well, social media wins attention. Blood, sweat, and tears: How we got from 0 to 500K downloads on a budget reports:

We launched a week before demo day and were able to generate a good media buzz (I’ll get more specific later) by piggybacking Pinterest and reach a go-to market that was highly relevant for us at the time.

If you’ve got images to tell your story, Pinterest is for you. In Pinterest Traffic: 3 FAST Tricks You Can Use Today, I suggested:

If you’re used to doing outreach for links, you know how to approach people. Firstly, create some boards, with great images. Pay attention to your pin’s descriptions, and add hashtags. Treat optimizing your boards and pins just as you would any other search engine optimization (SEO) project.

You may start out without an audience, but Pinterest is immensely social, so consider who on Pinterest is attracting your audience, and get in touch with them. Be aware that it’s quid pro quo – do unto others, if you expect them to help you.

Tip: check out my Pinterest program; although it’s nominally for writers, it’s powerful for all small business people.

2. Reach Out: Get Press Any Way You Can.

What would a story in the New York Times do for you? Or a story in your local paper, or a magazine, or on a high-traffic website your audience visits?

10 Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget reports:

Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out www.helpareporter.com. You can respond to reporters’ queries that are looking for story ideas and resources. Some are small media opportunities, but others are major media outlets that use this service too.

Reporters are in the story business. Reporters desperately want and need great stories. (More on your story in a moment.) Create an elevator pitch for your business, product or service, and ensure it’s newsworthy.

Which brings us to…

3. You’re a Story: Choose “Rags to Riches”, or Anything Memorable.

Remember Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe? McDonald’s special sauce? Did Victor Kiam really like Remington shavers so much that he bought the company?

All three companies leveraged wonderful stories. The truth or otherwise of the stories doesn’t matter. What counts is that your story is memorable. Back in the day, when I was a baby novelist, Jacqueline Susann was a best-selling author. She maintained that she wrote each draft of a novel on different colored paper. Since her books were regarded as trashy, the idea was, trash or not, she worked hard. Maybe Ms Susann really did use different colors for her drafts. Whatever, it was a great story.

The founders of Apple and Google started their companies in a garage. As a marketing trope, rags to riches never gets old.

What’s your story? Your story doesn’t need to be related directly to whatever you’re promoting. The Taco Bell chihuahua didn’t have much to do with fast food. If you’ve got a photogenic pet, like Grumpy Cat, you’ve got it made. Leverage your cutie in your marketing materials.

So there you have it. Think about how you can use these “creative marketing on a budget” ideas to get attention for you next promotion. Start by finding something that’s memorable, then leverage social media and get attention. Marketing in 2014 has less to do with your budget than your creativity.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

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Pinterest Traffic: 3 FAST Tricks You Can Use Today

Pinterest Traffic: 3 FAST Tricks You Can Use Today

Want some Pinterest traffic? Some of my clients still don’t believe that they can get useful traffic from Pinterest. While it’s true that Pinterest won’t send you masses of traffic when your account is new, the traffic you do get pays off. It’s engaged, and responsive – conversion rates for Pinterest are 50 per cent higher than for other sources.

Let’s look at some FAST tricks which will increase your Pinterest traffic quickly.

By the way, we’ve just released a new program which helps you to make the most of Pinterest – Pinterest for Writers: Creative Strategies To Increase Your Writing Income FAST. It’s aimed at writers, but the information works for any small business.

1. Find and Reach Out to Influencers in Your Niche.

If you’re used to doing outreach for links, you know how to approach people. Firstly, create some boards, with great images. Pay attention to your pin’s descriptions, and add hashtags. Treat optimizing your boards and pins just as you would any other search engine optimization (SEO) project.

Then, reach out to other pinners in your niche – pinners who are targeting an audience which is similar to yours. Make a list of these pinners, and follow their boards. Comment on their pins, and repin them. Contact your targets, asking them to pin one of your pins. At this stage, don’t be greedy. Ask for a single pin, but don’t stop there. Aim to form a relationship. Pinterest is a social media network… get social.

Mention your pinning colleagues in pins you post. “Mentioning” on Pinterest is just like mentioning on Twitter. Make sure you’re following at least one of their boards, then use the “@” symbol, and the pinner’s user name. They’ll be notified of your mention.

You’ll find other Pinterest tips and tricks here.

2. Create Attention-Grabbing, Share-Worthy Images.

Images are at the heart of Pinterest. Here’s an excellent post on how to create share-worthy images. It gives some great advice:

Social media expert Kim Garst matches audience expectations with useful tips by regularly posting images with social media advice and tagging them with #biztip.

Her community shares these problem-solving tips like wildfire, which results in an exceptionally high organic engagement rate on Facebook.

Initially, working with images will feel clumsy and unnatural. Have fun with it; do your best. You may not be a designer, but you have innate creativity. You don’t need a Photoshop subscription. I use Picmonkey and Canva more often than I use Photoshop.

3. Share Your Pinterest Presence: Let Everyone Know You’re on Pinterest.

It’s easy to forget this – I do! Let people know you’re on Pinterest. Add Pinterest widgets to your website, and promote your boards and pins on other social media.

Did you know that you can embed pins? Embed your boards and pins onto your website and blog. The more people who know you’re on Pinterest, the more people will find your boards, and the more followers you’ll get. More followers means more Pinterest traffic, and as we’ve said, Pinterest traffic converts.

So, there you have it: three FAST and easy tricks you can use today to get Pinterest traffic.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.