Wanda and Paula from AffiliateBlogOnline.com
Dear readers, today I am very excited to share Orangecopper’s Latest interview with the Wanda & Paula – Two friends who successfully operate the AffiliateBlogOnline.com hugely popular in the Amazon Affiliate marketing niche and successfully earning more than 10K USD every month only through the Amazon channel.
I am glad to see that they have taken out time from their busy schedule to craft awesome and info-rich answers to my questions that will help our readers to learn a lot about monetizing your blog with Amazon Affiliates.
Tell us about your team (Wanda n you) and about your main blog AffiliateBlogOnline.com. How did you both start the blog and how does it feel to work together as a team towards the same goal?
We have been working together as a team for a number of years now and started with a few different businesses. We work extremely well together and have never had an argument in the 10 or so years we have known each other…that’s pretty hard to achieve when you are not only good friends but business partners as well because usually, at some point you are going to disagree on how things are going to be run in the business. For some reason, we seem to come to the same conclusion on most things so it all tends to run smoothly. We also both love working online so it doesn’t feel like work to us. I think this is critical to making this business a success. Too many people come into the business simply to make money working from home but they don’t really enjoy it so success doesn’t come easily to them.
We decided that internet marketing was what could give us the freedom we really wanted so all of those other businesses we started have fallen by the wayside now. We were selling physical products at one point and it was a lot of work for little reward. Plus having a bricks and mortar business ties you down and you can’t just get up and go when the mood takes you – there are products to be packed and mailed, customers to be looked after and you can’t just shut down the business because you want to head off overseas for a couple of weeks. We both realized that it just wasn’t what we wanted out of life and internet marketing sounded so appealing….work from home and make money while you sleep…how good is that!?
So we decided to finally become serious about it all in 2008 and made it our goal to become super affiliates. I’m not really sure what the definition of a super affiliate is so we are not even sure we have reached that status yet, but we are earning enough now from our internet business not to have to worry about working for anyone else. It’s a good life and we intend to stick with it.
We started Affiliate Blog Online some years back now but we realized quite early on that the content we were adding wasn’t really up to scratch. Our thinking back then was to just get as many articles up as possible and stuff in as many keywords as possible in the hope that we would make money. It didn’t really work for Affiliate Blog Online or any of our niche sites for that matter. So at one point we decided to totally trash the site and start from scratch. We had around 200 posts on that old site so it wasn’t an easy decision to make but it had to be done. It was definitely worth it in the end.
Kindly explain the ABO business model and how do you successfully monetize the content you share with your readers for an income online.
Funnily enough we really don’t have a business model for our Affiliate Blog Online website and we don’t really monetize it all that well. It was never really meant to be a money making blog as such. We simply created it initially to share information about what we were doing to reach our goals. Even today with the big following we have on the site, we don’t really push too many products or plaster the site with ads like many other money making blogs. So if we simply had to rely on Affiliate Blog Online to make money we would probably have to go back to full-time work as it just doesn’t make that much. Maybe it will one day as our following increases but we aren’t trying too hard to do that at this point.
We also have a spin-off site amazonianprofitplan.com where we promote our eBook outlining in complete detail how to make money promoting Amazon products. We were so tired of buying eBooks that only tell you part of the plan and you have to continually buy more products to get the full story. So we decided to write the eBook on how we make money online and it is a fully detailed and comprehensive outline, and there is no up sell, readers get all the information they need to know about making money with this method in the one eBook.
Do you have other niche websites, if any please share more information on the strategies you adopt to make an Amazon based business model a successful one when there are so many other websites selling and promoting the same products.
We have over 20 niche websites however not all of them are making a lot of money. At one point, we were working on all of them at the one time. That was a big mistake and never got us anywhere. We were also adding poor quality content and that didn’t help either.
We realized that it really wasn’t working for us. It was five years of writing content and building websites and back-linking but we weren’t making much money. So that’s when we decided to stop and seriously look at what we were doing. I’ve always liked the quote “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.” This was us in a nutshell – we kept doing the same things but it wasn’t working so why were we continuing to do it? It was madness really.
When we stopped and analyzed our business model we realized a number of things. Firstly that our content really wasn’t worth reading. It wasn’t terrible and it wasn’t duplicate or spun content but it really wasn’t all that helpful.
Secondly, we figured that we were spreading ourselves too thin. Not only were we working solidly on 20 different websites but anytime we saw an eBook with a good method for making money we would buy it up and try and implement it. So we had so many things on the go that we never really had time for anything and nothing got the attention it really needed.
And thirdly, even though we were getting traffic we weren’t really converting very well.
So to rectify each of these problems we did three things:
- We started to write quality content that would really help our readers…long well researched reviews and articles of around 800-1000 words or more. This made a massive difference to our conversion rates.
- We stopped working on all off our websites and focused on just one niche website and on that one website we only focused on a few pages at a time.
- We started linking to good quality Amazon products. Prior to that we were linking to merchants from other affiliate networks. We made sales but not a huge amount. When we changed to Amazon links our sales rocketed.
I see a lot of positive energy and life in your posts and comments, how do you manage your blogging activities, SEO etc and yet still stay totally pumped up with loads of energy?
I think we manage our business by staying focused on only a few things at the one time. It is so easy to get caught up in new methods for making money online and want to start different projects but that didn’t work for us in the past and we don’t want to go down that route again.
We want to be working less not more so we avoid a lot of joint ventures and interviews and similar activities because for us it isn’t all about the money. This business is more about the freedom that it can give us. We see a lot of successful internet marketers who spend more time on their business than they would in a regular nine to five job. I don’t see the point in that. Sure the money is nice but what’s the point if you are working day and night.
So for us it is about taking more time out for ourselves rather than spending all that time working (even if we don’t really see it as work) because it leads to a more balanced lifestyle. So when I drive up to Wandas place for the day to start work I know that we won’t be spending hours and hours staring at a computer – we will spend part of our working day meditating or going for a walk or listening to motivational tapes or doing a bit of Qigong. In other words we spend a lot of time on ourselves as well as the business.
I guess it all comes down to loving what we do and the enjoyment we get from seeing the success it brings to others who follow our method as outlined in our eBook “Amazonian Profit Plan”.
If a newbie was to start an Affiliate business online, what would be your suggestions and advice to them? Could you please describe in brief what does it take to build a successful, income generating affiliate business.
Our advice would be to only focus on one thing at a time. When we started out we kept building website after website. If we had stopped at the first one and kept at it we would have made money much sooner. There was nothing wrong with our first website but we never really gave it time to succeed and we thought that since it was only making a few dollars after a few months it meant that it wasn’t going to be a success so we moved on to the next one. This was a never ending cycle for us until we got to 20 or so websites.
If you stick with the one website and just one method for making money then you will see success a lot sooner.
This is our strategy now in a nutshell:
- Build one website only.
- On that website add five quality product reviews choosing really good quality products from Amazon.
- Work like crazy getting GOOD QUALITY back links to those five product reviews.
- At the same time, add quality informational type content to build up your site – one or two articles a week.
- Don’t give up.
If you were to name 1 factor that you might have wanted to correct when you started blogging and 1 factor that has helped you becomes successful, what would they be?
The one factor we would have wanted to correct is to not build anymore than one website until that first one was a success. If we had stopped at the first one we would have been making money a lot sooner.
And the one factor that has helped us become successful would have to be changing our philosophy to providing quality content.
Would you like to share any future plans or updates that you are planning in the near future?
We are currently in the process of developing a review site that focuses on affiliate products. We have purchased a lot of eBooks and software tools over the years to help with our internet business but when it comes to finding quality reviews for those products it can be difficult. So our new site Affiliate Reviews HQ (affiliatereviewshq.com) will offer high quality affiliate product reviews that are of real value to our readers. We want it to be the place that internet marketers go to when they are ready to buy a theme, a plugin, eBook or any other affiliate tool but want a good solid review that helps them with their final decision.
Featured Interviews, Keyword Research, Webmaster Central
How Featured Interviews will Boost your Blog Value
Every niche will have Experts, so will your blog’s niche will have people who have done well with their own methodology and style. Publishing featured interviews with expert within your niche will boost your blog value by providing more inspiration and guidance to your readers.
I find Featured Interviews as a great method to improve your blog’s readership and pep up the value of the information you share with your readers. Especially when most of the content is written by yourself on your blog, it so happens that the perspectives and opinions you unknowingly project would be linear in thought process. Publishing expert interviews will add more dimensions to the ideas you present on your blog.
In one of my popular blog, the featured interviews section is widely read and has helped me take the blog activity and user interaction to the next level. There are several advantages of publishing a featured interview:
- These posts will improve the value of content on your websites.
- Different techniques adopted by experts will provide great learning for you and your readers.
- Successful people who have proved it will certainly inspire your readers to do better.
- You can use these interviews as a method to learn yourself and clarify your questions too.
- These interviews will be publicized by these experts themselves – a bonus to your blog visibility.
In short, I strongly recommend you having a Featured Interviews or Experts Talk section on your blog.
How to Approach Experts for an Interview?
From my experience I have observed that almost everyone enjoys being interviewed. Being interviewed has many advantages – It ads to your reputation and it’s simply the fuel to improve your blog or brand’s popularity within the niche.
Make sure before approaching an expert requesting for an interview, make sure your blog has enough authority and traffic that is just enough to add to the expert’s popularity. In most cases, people straight away agree for short interviews if they feel that you are working hard on your blog that looks neat and promising.
Example of a request for an Email Interview
Email interviews work the best as it gives us and the expert enough time and flexibility to complete the same. Include a brief paragraph about your blog and why you want to interview the expert, further include the set of 7 – 10 questions that makes the most out of the interview.
Once you publish the interview and it is live, make sure you inform the expert with the URL to the interview. This will make sure that are happy with the way it has been presented, in addition it will also give them a chance to share this interview to their audience.
Take Home: If your blog looks empty without any content and activity, it is not a great idea to contact an expert for an interview. As your blog popularity and content progresses, you can find out the experts in your niche and contact them with your interview request. Am sure it will be a great experience to connect and learn from people who have already excelled in our niche.
Featured Interviews, Professional Blogging
Dear readers, today I am very excited to share Orangecopper’s Latest interview with the Thomas Sinfield – Founder & Blogger at StandOutBlogger. He is popular for his high quality blog and niche website income strategies. I recommend you all to check out his blog as there is loads of great information for new and seasoned bloggers. Thank you Tom for spending time for our readers.
Please introduce yourself to our readers
Hey, my name is Thomas Sinfield from Queensland, Australia and I am 25y/o and married with a beautiful 9month old daughter. I run quite a few blogs and niche sites as well as also doing website design and SEO on a freelance basis for local clients.
Could you describe what are the main sources of your blogging income as a blogger?
In post affiliate marketing is definitely a main source of my online income making up for (I would guess) about 70%. What ‘in post’ affiliate marketing is, is when you refer to relevant products and services within your content. So we are not talking about sidebar ad’s.
Because over 80% of my traffic across all my sites comes from search engines, I have been able to pick out the posts and pages that get consistent daily traffic and go back and edit those pages to include offers and links to related products.
Tell us more about StandOutBlogger, when you started it and the interesting name?
I started ‘blogging about blogger’ a couple of years prior to starting StandOutBlogger. I was blogging at my own name and growing a good, responsive audience when a thought struck me.
‘If I ever want to sell my blog – I can’t, because then I would have to sell my name (ThomasSinfield.com) with it.‘
So after that I started planning a transition to a new domain name and the reason I choose that name was because there were so many blogs on the internet and a lot of them just get lost in the crowd. My goal was (and still is) to help people create and run blogs that ‘stand out’ and get noticed.
What is your schedule and style of working?
To be honest I lack a solid schedule. I am very much a ‘work fits around everything else’ type of person. I know this probably isn’t the smartest business move, but the main reason I work online and from home is so that I can spend quality time with my family – and that is my blogs will never come first. That being said, I am working on trying to be a lot more consistent with my productivity while I am working.
What could have made me successful sooner?
Well based off my last question I would probably say, ‘If I worked harder and more focused’. As well as that, on the niche site front, I think if I focused my effort one just 2-3 of them and built them to be much bigger sites instead of have a lot more little niche sites (this is something I am only just starting to work on).
As a blogger, how do you keep yourself motivated and ticking
My motivation has always been two fold.
1. To spend as much time with my family (Not have to go to a job): This is a constant motivation and is getting closer to becoming a reality. I currently work part-time as a builders laborer (usually 1-2 days a week), and each day that I have to work provides me with the motivation to keep building my online business so that I can eventually make the final leap to working full-time online.
2. The thrill of the chase: As well as that, I am also a very competitive person so seeing my online income increasing, or my over traffic rising is a massive buzz. That is one of the reasons that I love working with SEO so much. It is basically like a competition to see if you can rank number 1 for a keyword and I love seeing the sites I am working on jump up the ranks and become profitable.
What is you personal advice to a blogger who is just starting off today?
Focus your efforts and getting ready for some hard work! The majority of new blogs come and go before people have a chance to find them because the bloggers are looking for quick money and easy fame. Blogging is just like anything else, it takes time and effort to succeed – so have patience.
Any future plans you would like to share with out readers?
I am planning of working on a couple of my niche sites to build them into authority sites in their niches. Aside from that I am in the early stages of launching a free SEO training course for small business owners and hopefully also growing my freelance SEO work. I am not working on any paid products (I like to give all my information away on my blogs).
Kindly share more about your success with Niche Blogs and Internet marketing?
My niche blogging strategy is a simple 3 step process that I will share with you.
1. Research Keywords: Keyword research is the most important part of the niche site process because not matter how much content you write and how good you are at promoting the products – if no one is searching for your content then ultimately your niche site will fail. I actually created a free video on the keyword research process that I use (Niche Market Research video).
2. Create Content: once you know which keywords people are searching for in your niche you need to start writing content and a lot of it. My most successful niche sites are the ones that I have written the most content for, so target as many of the long tail keywords in your niche as you can find and write great content around those keywords.
3. Promote Products: I think I do things a little differently to most niche marketers, but I don’t really source our products to promote on a niche site until I start seeing a constant flow of traffic. this allows me to focus on getting the traffic instead of worrying about affiliate commissions. Adsense is always a great place to start with a niche site, but also look into CJ.com, Clickbank and even CPL (cost per lead) affiliate offers.
In your opinion, what could be that one key factor that separates a “successful blogger” and the masses
There are a couple of key factors that I see, but they can all stem down to ‘commitment’.
If you are committed to creating a successful blog then you will do what it takes. You will write great content, you will stick it out when the going get’s tough. You will keep trying and testing different ways of doing things until you find what works for you. If you are committed, you will succeed.
Thank you Tom for your time! Dear readers, Hope you enjoyed the Featured interview of Thomas Sinfield from StandoutBlogger.com.
Featured Interviews, Keyword Research, Webmaster Central
Dear readers, Today I am very excited to share Orangecopper’s Latest interview with the Harsh Agarwal – Founder & Blogger at ShoutMeLoud.com. He is popular for his high voltage notwork of blogs that helped him quit his Job and excel in his Internet Ventures. I recommend you all to check out his blog as there is loads of great information for new and seasoned bloggers. Thank you Harsh for spending time for our readers.
Please introduce yourself to our readers – Could you describe what are the main sources of your blogging income as a pro blogger?
Answer: Hi Josh first of all thanks for the interview and it’s a pleasure to write something for your awesome readers. Getting back to questions: I’m Harsh Agrawal, a 24 year old Pro blogger from India. I have been blogging professionally from last 2 years and from one blog now we have more than 6 blogs and 3 service portals. You can see my work at ShoutMeLoud, CallingallGeeks and ThesisCustomizationService.
My blogging income source are Google Adsense, BuySellAds, Affiliate marketing and various WordPress services. I make more than $8000/month from different sources via Blogging.
As a blogger, it’s difficult to keep yourself pumped up! What motivates you for Blogging?
Answer: I will call it writer’s block situation and specially I have a team of 5 people, so by the end of the day I get exhausted and hard to find write anything new. Though it;’s always the expectations which keeps me running and writing better. People write a blog for money, fame, and out of interest. For me it’s a combination of all three. I started blogging out of personal interest and later on money and fame followed.. And nothing could be better than if your full time job is something what you love
Tell us about your main project, ShoutmeLoud.com? And why the interesting name?
Answer: ShoutMeLoud is my first blog which I have created and this is the biggest blog which I have at this moment. While selecting the domain name foe my first blog, I wanted to go for something which I can brand easily and which people can remember. I have no idea how this name came into my mind, but one day while traveling, this name came up and now it’s a brand for me. :
Is there a possibility to start a blog today and find success? What would be your advice to a beginner?
Answer: Do your homework first.. Don’t fall for make money online gimmic. Blogging is not everyone job. You have to be a learner to become a blogger. If you are some one who wish to start a blog or who has started blogging, I would recommend to follow this cycle:
- Start writing (Improve and improve)
- Learn SEO ( Read and implement)
- Learn WordPress (Starts with WordPress.com)
- Start making money (Starts with Adsense)
- Learn about Blogging tools ( Started with Windows live writer)
- More over set a business plan for model. You have to be sure about your goal. Blog for yourself and after that Blog for people. Follow simple rule of KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid).
If you had to zero down to one good reason for your success, what would be it?
Answer: Sharing everything which I learn.
People often says most of pro blogger doesn’t share their secrets but I believe most of the pro blogger does. Though you have to follow them closely. From the day1 of my blogging journey, I shared each and everything I have learned. That includes how I make money and how I promote myself in social media sites.
If you wish to stand ahead of the crowd, you need to think beyond everyone. Share something which people would like to read, something which one can learn from his own experience.
That’s it and if you are a good writer ( I’m not one yet), people will certainly love your and your blog.
If you can go back and correct few mistakes from the day you started blogging, what would that be?
Answer: I wish if I can. There are many mistakes which I have done so far and possibly there is no way I can correct them now, but I can improve myself by learning from those mistakes. Some of them are:
- Never thought SEO is that important
- Copied pasted article ( I did it at initial days of blogging but learned I’m taking the shorcut way of distruction) . I also made an official aoplogy page for the same later on.
- My language ( English is not my first language and that’s why I made lot of mistakes in grammar which you can still see by browsing my old posts). Later on I worked on it and till now I’m learning something new every day.
- Social life: At one point of time I almost dumped my social life for my online life and I believe it was a disaster for me. Now I maintain a balance between social life and my work.
We see your blog is using thesis theme, could you kindly explain is the thesis theme hyped or does that really hit the right button in optimizing your blog for SEO, let us know your experience using thesis theme?
Answer: Ahh.. I would say this is my fav question reason being I have started using Thesis theme really late and I have seen the real benefit of Thesis when I started using it. Initially even I thought Thesis is overhyped WordPress theme but this theme deserves all the hype and promotion. Though Affiliate string is one of the reason for over promotion.
I started my WordPress journey with Arthemia theme as it was plug and play theme along with great support forum but seriusly it’s an outdated theme. Later on I keep changing theme and this was one big mistake. As most of the theme played with the way my site was indexed in Google and later on I started using Thesis. Within a month my boucne rate landed to 30% and my traffic doubled. Oh Yes, I migrated all my All in ONE settings to Thesis Theme SEO settings. And this theme is something which can be used by any newbie too. Though for customization you need to have basic knowledge of CSS. Later on all my blogs are using Thesis theme and you can see a list of all my blogs and client blogs which are on Thesis here.
We see you are one of the few big Indian names in the blogging scene who has really impressive stats! Ive seen even though many claim to be a ProBlogger not many really are. How does it feel living a Real ProBlogger’s life? (Referring to quitting your day job and living the internet life style)
Answer: I feel happy and sometime proud to be a problogger. Reason being it’s not something which is common in India. I hardly know two three pro bloggers from India and one of them which I admire the most is Amit agarwal from Labnol.org.
I love this life of problogger for many reasons:
I’m my own boss
I live an online life
I can work from any part of the world
And I have to ask most common question to every1 I met: What is blogging ? and how do I make money via Blogging.
Though it doesn’t mean this work is as easy as I put a smiley above. In blogging you have to be super active to be the first one to break the news, first one to bring a tutorials and so on. But by the end of the day, I feel happy for doing something which I really enjoy.
I can see you run seasonal contests on your blog, do they really do the magic, please share your opinion on them.
Answer: Contest are great way to promote your brand and blog. In December 2010 We have completed 2nd anniversary of ShoutMeloud and I run couple of contest to promote my Facebook fan pages for different blogs. Guess what, it worked like charm and more over I hardly spent anything for running such contest.
You can find a detailed overview of how I run contest worth $500 on my blog without spending anything.
Any future plans you would like to share to our readers?
Answer: My only dream so far is bringing blogging as full time profession in India and taking blogging to next level in this country. India is a country of opportunity and I have seen many people who have talent, dreams but could not start with anything because of lack of a platform. So now I’m planning to achieve my dream with my company which is current under registration.
Instead of working as an individual, soon I will be working under a brand name and as a company.
Thanks for your time to read this interview and I would love to connect with you on Twitter @denharsh.
FaceBook, Featured Interviews, Twitter, Webmaster Central
Dear readers, Today I am very excited to share Orangecopper’s Latest interview with the Joanna Penn – author, blogger, speaker and business consultant based in Australia who is been featured in OC webmaster community . Hope you enjoy the interview below.
Please introduce yourself to our readers and how you started blogging
I’m Joanna Penn, author and blogger at The Creative Penn – Adventures in Writing, Publishing and Book marketing. I started blogging a few years ago after I wrote my first book “How to Enjoy Your Job”. I went through the writing and publishing process and then I realized I had no one to buy the book. I had no market!
This happens to a lot of authors whose careers may stall if they don’t get into the marketing aspect of the business. So I started to learn about marketing and I did a number of courses and read a lot of books before I discovered blogging as a way to build an author platform. I studied the internet marketing gurus and decided to bring those methods into the author/writer niche where most people are not very technical. I started The Creative Penn as a way to share the information I found out and also my lessons learned along the way. My aim is to save fellow writers time, money and heartache in their own journey to publication and sales of their books.
Please tell us more about TheCreativePenn.com
The Creative Penn has articles, audios, downloads and videos all about writing, publishing and book marketing. It is aimed at people who love writing, who want to write a book or who have a book and don’t know much about marketing it. There is a podcast with over 70 interviews with writers, publishers and marketers. It’s available on iTunes here
I love multi-media so I try to incorporate it into the blog as much as possible. I am also expanding into more regular videos at my channel
There is also the free Author 2.0 Blueprint: Using web 2.0 to write, publish, sell and promote your book here
You can find a lot more resources here if you are interested in this topic here
How do you keep your business focus – Based on your experiences, what advice would you give to an Internet Entrepreneur starting their first business today?
It’s important to decide what you want with your life as well as your blog. At the beginning, you may want to jump at every opportunity but if you keep blogging, many new opportunities will come your way and you need to know what to refuse, and what to accept.
For example, I’m an author first. I want to focus on developing my own writing career with thriller novels (my first novel ‘Pentecost’ is due out in Feb 2011). So although I get a lot of people who want to hire me to market their books and coach them, I say no because I focus on other things with my time. I have training programs, Blogging for Authors and Writers and Author 2.0 for people who can learn on their own but I don’t spend time coaching. So be very clear what you want to do with your life and your blog. Do you want to make all your money from product sales in which case you need to focus on a niche audience, product build and launch process vs. income from advertising where you want higher traffic volume. For some people it is about branding, reputation and profile building e.g. professional speakers, authors, comedians.
Some of these answers will come with time but you do need to understand your priorities at the outset. Blogging is a slow burn business and if you are not clear, you may get disheartened too early if you are not fulfilling your goals.
What would you say is the biggest single reason for your success?
I love what I do! I’m passionate about writing, publishing and marketing books so my blog and my business is a natural extension of my passion. It doesn’t matter that I currently don’t make a fulltime income from the blog right now because I am on a journey. As my online audience grows and I write more books, I’m sure I will transition to a fulltime income from writing and blogging/product sales, but for now I am very happy to share what I learn, give to the community and try to be useful.
Blogging for me is intrinsically rewarding i.e. it is satisfying beyond any financial return. I would continue with The Creative Penn if I won the lottery! That passion has enabled me to persist in blogging every 2 days for nearly 2 years and that is the main reason bloggers are successful – they find a niche they love and they stick at it for the long term.
How do you market yourself online?
Primarily, I produce great content on TheCreativePenn every 2 days, including text, audio and video posts so I get a broad spectrum of interest. These blog posts get me great search engine traffic as they are on a niche topic and also are linked to by others and shared on social networks. In terms of my own social networks, I am very active on Twitter and Facebook.
My podcast and YouTube channel also bring me more traffic. Relationship building is also key and I mainly socialize on Twitter and then invite people onto my podcast if they fit in the niche. Giving to other bloggers means good blog karma! I also take every chance to do posts and interviews like this, as well as guest podcasts, articles and webinars. Basically, I try to do something every day for marketing purposes.
If you were to start again, what might you do differently?
I spent too long trying to do it myself and learning from disparate sources. After I paid for a course to learn how to do things faster, I leaped ahead. I did Yaro Starak’s Blog Mastermind course to learn more about blogging specifically. You can check out Yaro’s blog at Entrepreneurs Journey . If I was doing it again, I would have spent more time reading other blogs and finding out what I wanted to model in my own business before jumping in. I would probably have got into video earlier too as I am racing to catch up now!
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Blogging is about giving to others and building a network. You share the traffic within your niche. It’s not a competition. If people like one blog in a niche, they are likely to read another blog that is related. So network with bloggers, link to blog posts of others and network. Sharing lets us all grow together and makes life a real pleasure!
Also, blog about your passion, not what you think will make money. This is a long term effort and there is a lot of time spent for little reward at first. It grows, but it takes some time so you need passion to sustain you.
What would be your advice to budding writers or aspirants who would love to write the way you do!
In terms of writing advice, my big learning has been to just get into it. First drafts of anything are usually pretty bad but great writing is rewriting (said by Michael Crichton as well as many others). Stop reading books on writing and actually do some writing. I found Write or Die software very useful for uninterrupted writing. Then immerse yourself into the books that you want to model and learn the genre you want to write. Remember you will improve over time but you have to start somewhere.
Also, don’t be intimidated by other books and authors. You don’t have to write a prize winning literary fiction novel, or a NY Times bestseller with your first book. Readers devour books in many genres and your story will touch someone. In an era of digital publishing and ebooks, your book can reach a global market, so just get out there.
Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans / goals / lifetime goals?
I have my first thriller novel, Pentecost, out in Feb 2011 on Amazon.com and the Kindle Store. It is kind of Dan Brown meets Indiana Jones J It is the first in a series so I am starting the next book, Prophecy, soon. I will be taking the book to Thrillerfest in New York next July in order to pitch it to publishers. In terms of the blog, I will continue to share everything I learn on the way so follow along if you are a writer. I will also be launching a few new courses including Author Entrepreneur and Social Networking for Authors and Writers in 2011 as well as a new video blog for Mystery and Thriller readers and writers.
Joanna: Thanks for having me on the blog! Please come and connect with me on Twitter @thecreativepenn and also on Facebook/thecreativepenn
Take Home: If you want complete insight on how to write, publish and market your book – then TheCreativePenn is your place – check out the website that has loads of useful information.
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