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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Should We Fear the Kindle?

Fear the Kindle

Amazon's amazing e-book reader is bad news for the publishing industry.

It's hard not to love Amazon's new e-book reader. For starters, it's gorgeous. Unlike its bulky predecessor, the redesigned $359 Kindle, which came out this week, is light, thin, and disappears in your hands. If you think there's no way you could ever get used to curling up with an electronic reader, you haven't given the Kindle a chance. Load up a good book and you'll soon forget you're reading plastic rather than paper. You'll also wonder how you ever did without it. The Kindle makes buying, storing, and organizing your favorite books and magazines effortless. You can take your entire library with you wherever you go and switch from reading the latest New Yorker to the latest best-seller without rolling out of bed. In my few days using it, I was won over: The Kindle is the future of publishing.

And that's what scares me. Amazon's reader is a brilliant device that shanghais book buyers and the book industry into accepting a radically diminished marketplace for published works. If the Kindle succeeds on its current terms, and all signs suggest it'll be a blockbuster (thanks Oprah!), Amazon will make a bundle. But everyone else with a stake in a vibrant book industry—authors, publishers, libraries, chain bookstores, indie bookstores, and, not least, readers—stands to lose out.

To understand why, consider how simple it is to buy books on your Kindle. You press a button to take you to Amazon's store, type in a title or author, and press Buy. In 10 seconds, the book's yours. Everything is automated: When you buy the Kindle, Amazon pre-syncs your reader with your account info, so there's no need to type in a credit card number or billing address. There's no need to connect the Kindle to your computer, either—it comes with free, built-in cellular Internet access that lets you buy books from just about anywhere. In addition, Kindle books are cheap, the majority selling for $9.99 or less. Consequently, as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told investors last month, Kindle owners are voracious book buyers. According to the company's stats, when people get a Kindle, they keep buying the same number of physical books as they did before—and they buy nearly twice as many e-books as paper books.

In exchange for this convenience, though, the Kindle locks you down with more rules than the Army Field Manual. The Kindle won't let you resell or share your books. Anything you buy through the reader is fixed to your Amazon account, readable only on the Kindle or other devices that Amazon may one day deem appropriate. (The company has hinted that it'll build an iPhone app that can read Kindle books.) Even worse, you can buy books for your Kindle only from Amazon's store. Indeed, the device makes it difficult to read anything that's not somehow routed through Amazon first—you can surf the Web on the Kindle, and you can convert some of your personal Microsoft Word or text files to the device's format, but doing so is slow and not very reliable. In order to read blogs, magazines, newspapers, and books, you've really got to go through Amazon's store first.

You can see where this is going: Kindle owners buy a lot of stuff, and the more stuff they buy, the more likely they are to stick with the Kindle in the future, even when/if someone else invents a better, more open e-book service. This restriction makes Amazon the prime market for book publishers. How can they resist giving over their entire catalog to a store that attracts so many eager, captive shoppers? Publishers' acquiescence in turn increases the Kindle's appeal to new buyers. If you're in the market for an e-book reader, you'll probably choose the one that offers the most books, and that means Kindle. (At the moment, there are about 240,000 titles available for the Kindle; the Sony Reader, its closest rival, has fewer than 100,000.) Taken together, these trends all point in one direction—Amazon will come to rule the market for e-books. And as the master of the e-book universe, Amazon will eventually call the shots on pricing, marketing, and everything else associated with the new medium.

The Kindle isn't the first electronic device to impose unpalatable restrictions on users. Until recently, if you wanted to (legally) download a broad range of major-label music for your iPod, you had to buy it from Apple.* (Ironically, it was Amazon that launched the first big online store that sold music without restrictions.) The same goes for video games. You can't play just any game on your Xbox. You can play only the games that have been approved and licensed by Microsoft. Then there's the iPhone, a veritable electronic Attica. The iPhone lets you buy music wirelessly—as long as you buy it from Apple. The iPhone lets you add new programs to your device—though only the programs that Apple approves of. Other than that, you're free to do what you like!

But the Kindle's restrictions are more worrying than those associated with the iPhone, the iPod, and other gizmos. For one thing, if you objected to the iTunes Store's policies, there was always another way to legally buy music for your iPod—you could buy CDs (from Amazon, perhaps) and rip the tracks to MP3. That's not an option for books; there's no easy way to turn dead trees into electrons. Moreover, books are important. As a culture, we've somehow determined that it's OK for a video-game console maker to demand licensing fees and exercise complete control over the titles that get on to their systems. Sure, this restricts creativity and free expression, but if that's the business model that keeps the game business alive, so be it.

But we've come to a different cultural consensus on books. First, we've decided that books should be sharable—when you buy a book, you can pass it along to others freely. In fact, governments and large institutions actively encourage the practice; we build huge, beautiful buildings devoted to lending books to perfect strangers. We've also decided that there should be an aftermarket for books: When you buy a book, you're also buying the right to sell that book when you're done with it. This not only helps people who can't afford new books, it also encourages those who can afford them to buy more—it's much less risky to buy a $30 hardcover if you know you can sell it for $15 in six months. (Amazon is one of the biggest players in the used-book market.) And we'd certainly balk at a world in which your books were somehow locked to the store where you bought them. Say Barnes & Noble signed a deal to sell the next Twilight book at a huge discount. But with a catch—the book would be published in invisible ink, and in order to read it you'd need to buy a special Barnes & Noble black light. This is ludicrous, of course, and no bookstore would ever attempt such a deal. But what's the Kindle other than a fancy digital decoder ring?

Some publishers, wary of the Kindle's restrictions, have declined to make their books available for the device. Tim O'Reilly, the tech book publisher and digital evangelist, wrote in Forbes recently that the Kindle's requirement that all books be bought through Amazon was "a non-starter for us." O'Reilly instead chose to publish e-books using the open ePub format, which can be read on devices like the Sony Reader and the iPhone but not the Kindle.

But many publishers are wary of going the open-standards route. The best way to make e-books sharable and to untether them from proprietary devices like the Kindle would be to sell them without copy protection—but the book industry, like every other content business, is paranoid about piracy. Record labels fell into the same trap: They demanded that Apple impose copy restrictions that forced iPod owners to buy music through the iTunes store. But that ended up making Apple the nation's largest music retailer, with the power to single-handedly determine the price of all recorded music.

"Everyone is worried that Amazon will end up becoming to books what Apple is to music," Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, told me. (Aiken's group has criticized the Kindle's text-to-speech feature, which automatically creates a kind of audio book from an e-book; the guild says that Amazon should compensate authors for reading their books aloud. But that's another argument for another time.)

Aiken points out that even if Amazon does create a Kindle app for the iPhone and other devices, the service will still have the same fundamental problems. Your books will still be locked to Amazon—you'll just have two or three places to read them rather than one. At the moment, Aiken notes, Amazon is selling e-books at a loss in order to spur Kindle sales—it sells books for $10, but pays publishers more than $10 per copy. But once Amazon gets control of the market, it will be free to impose price reductions—to force publishers to reduce their e-book rates to less than $9.99. "That would be potentially devastating to the industry," he says.

And even if the publishing industry isn't devastated when a single bookstore takes over the e-book world, the marketplace for books will be diminished. Amazon stands as proof of how innovative retail practices can transform an industry; over the last decade and a half, the company revolutionized the book market with innovations like customer reviews, collaborative filtering, one-click shopping, and unbeatable customer service. It launched all these services to stay ahead of its rivals. But what will happen when it has no rivals?

Correction, Feb. 27, 2009: This article originally stated that Apple's iTunes Store was for many years the only place to legally download music for the iPod. It was the leading online purveyor of music produced by major record labels. (Return to the corrected sentence.)

Farhad Manjoo is Slate's technology columnist and the author of True Enough: Learning To Live in a Post-Fact Society. You can e-mail him at farhad.manjoo@slate.com.

Posted at - http://www.slate.com/id/2212320/

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tips to Start Communicating and Connecting on Twitter

I was just explaining to a client how to get started on Twitter and I thought it might be useful to share the info here --- this information is for people who are getting started on Twitter, but want to know how to communicate and connect with other people. I'll share more - this is only a start.

Okay - go to your twitter page and on the right side you will see "replies" and "direct messages" -- check "replies" to see if people have sent you a message. That is more important when your page is really busy. You will get an email that tells you when you have a direct message - and you guessed it- click on "direct message" on your twitter page and you can see all direct messages also known as DM. Now - you can only send a direct message to someone if you are following them and if they are following you. These messages are private.

When you reply - everyone can see those, but its also a great way to pick up new followers. If you engage someone in a conversation, their followers will see your name pop up on the other person's page. When you see @litekepr on a message - that means that someone is talking to me. Make sense???

If you are roaming around on Twitter and see a post that you want to comment on, move your cursor to the bottom right corner of that post and you will see an arrow - click the arrow and you can reply to that person.

Another great way to get people's attention is to retweet. The easiest way to do that is to start a new tweet and type RT and @ - then add the person's username right against the @ and their message. That shows that you are retweeting the message and you are giving credit to the person who said it first. Then they will see the RT and many times they will check to see what you're doing.

Its all about communicating and connecting with new people. BUT - when you reply to someone or leave a message -- do NOT post a blatant promo for your book - that discourages communication.

If you find someone talking about any topic in your book - you could post a message to say that the person might like to take a look at your book because it helps people through your struggle or something like that and give your website link.

It will take some practice to get it down - but do all this and I'll give you some more tips to fine tune what you're doing. Also, once you are posting on your blog - I can help you set up an account so that it will automatically send a blurb about your blog post to twitter :) I set mine up so that any time I post on any of my blogs - it is posted on Twitter and 30 other social sites within an hour -- just because I posted it on the blog :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Would You Like Educated Suggestions About Who to Follow on Twitter?

This is a neat free service that I use on Twitter. Do you ever wonder if there is an easy way to narrow down all those people on Twitter to know who YOU would like to follow? I did too.

Try this http://mrtweet.net -- subscribe to their service and once a month, you will get a direct mail tweet that gives you a link to a full report about your activity, which followers you aren't following and suggestions on people that could appeal to you. I really like that they give you statistics about the people they suggest - like whether they follow people, if they communicate and maybe most important - the average number of tweets they send per day.

You should check it out and see if it will help you :)

This is my monthly update to show you a sample -


Twitteristics Automatically refreshed monthly

30 Updates/Day
Tweets 12X as much as the Twitter founders!

Engaging in Conversation 79% of the time
Very Engaging (Way above average)

Posting 19% Links
Good Connector (Above average)

When you try it out - let me know what you think :)

Nikki Leigh

Facebook Friend Lists: Target Your FB Marketing Efforts

I just heard about this post from Kathleen Gage(Street Smarts Marketer) and she highly recommended it. I read the post and I totally understand why. So, I'd like to share the post and the video with you.

Facebook Friend Lists: Target Your FB Marketing Efforts

In addition to being a way to connect with your friends and family, Facebook is a powerful tool to use in your business marketing. You can create your own group, join other groups in your niche, and you can invite your Facebook friends to events that you host.

When you first join Facebook, you won’t have any FB friends. To make a friend in Facebook, you and your friend must both agree that you want to be friends. This means you have to find people with whom you want to become friends, and invite them to be your friend. Or agree when someone invites you to be their friend.

A great way to find new friends is to join groups on Facebook that are in areas that interest you. People who use Facebook in their businesses join business-related groups.

Then they invite members of those groups to become their friends. But you don’t want to mix everyone together in one huge Facebook friend cluster!

You will want to set up Friend Lists in Facebook when you invite people to be your friend, as well as when you accept a friend request. These Friend Lists allow you to remember where you met each friend, and what you have in common with them.

You can have friend lists for your personal friends and family, as well as for your hobbies and for your business-related markets.

When I set up my business or hobby-related friend lists, I do so by indicating the Facebook group in which we both are members. Or I’ll identify a friend list with a common interest (like hiking or traveling). Then when I have an event I want to share with people, I can easily post it only to those people who are likely to want to receive the information.

You’ll want to limit each friend list to 100 people or fewer (you can have up to 100 friend lists in Facebook). If you have more than 100 friends in a group, simply create a new friend list with the same name #2 (such as Traveling 2), and add friends 101 to 199 to that list. This way you can invite people to events using your friend lists (see next post).

Here’s a short video on setting up Friend Lists in Facebook.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Five Things to Avoid in Your Book Pitch

I just saw this in Penny C. Sansevieri's new issue of THE BOOK MARKETING EXPERT NEWSLETTER. To learn more or to subscribe -

Contact Information

There are so many things that we want to say when we do a pitch for our books, but there are things that you need to AVOID. The article says to avoid these with a publisher or agent. I would like to add that these things don't help you with a publicist either. We've heard these comments more times than you can probably imagine. We all want to hope our books will be a blockbuster movie and a best seller - but that dream is becoming harder each year. I've "seen" each scene in my novels play in my mind like a movie - and they would make wonderful movies - I bet you feel the same about yours :) The points below are very valid and you will make a much better impression on a publisher, an agent, a publicist, the media, in press releases and potential readers if you avoid these things....

Five Things You Should Never Say
When Pitching Your Book to a Publisher or Agent

(aka stuff publishers and agents hate)

If you're trying to get an agent or publisher for your book, there are a lot of things you need to do but also several you shouldn't. With writers' conference season in full swing the opportunities to pitch your book to an agent/publisher abound. Here are a few things that will turn off a publisher or agent when you're pitching them!

1) Everyone loves my book: don't lead your pitch with this. In fact my recommendation is to leave this out of your pitch altogether. The definition of "everyone" is generally friends and family, and while we love them for being a supportive bunch, when it comes to mainstream publishing they don't really count.

2) No one else has written a book like this, it's never been done before. This is a big red flag to almost anyone in the book world, if it's never been done before there might be a reason. They say there are no new ideas, certainly there are, but publishing tends to fall into categories and if it's never been done, there might be a reason. If it really is a new idea, great! But do your research first before you toss out the "first book on this topic ever."

3) My book should be a movie or - my book is going to be the next bestseller. No one can predict a bestseller or, for that matter, what will become a blockbuster movie. I know if Hollywood and the New York publishing community could predict this, they'd be in a much better financial state than they are now. The fact is, you might wish or hope that your book becomes the next classic but even you, the uber talented author, can't predict this so don't pretend you can. It's a big eye-rolling turn off. Trust me.

4) Don't stalk your agent/publisher: Ok, now I don't mean stalking in the sense that Lifetime is considering making a movie out of you, but I mean hounding, badgering, emailing daily, calling. You know, the super annoying stuff that will get you blacklisted off of every agent and publisher's list. Trust me, word will spread like wildfire if you're a pain in the you-know-what. It's also the quickest way to a rejection. Follow-up is ok, burning up the phone lines or hitting your send button obsessively isn't. Keep in mind that patience will often win this race. If you have found an agent that you trust, then trust them to do their job.

5) Not wanting to take feedback or rejecting professional advice: a good agent and/or publisher will offer you feedback on your book. Perhaps ways to enhance/correct it. Things you might want to consider adding to make it more commercially viable. Listen to these comments and learn from them, then, swallow your own opinions and consider incorporating them into your book. If you really have an objection that's another thing, but if pride is getting in your way then back off of the ego and see some of the points they're making as helpful and constructive. The writer sure to fail is the one who won't listen.

It's a competitive market out there, and with New York publishing in trouble these days it seems more and more that authors need to know the do's and don'ts before they rush headlong into publishing. From our perspective, the last thing you want to do is come across as a know-it-all or an amateur. These are the things that will not only hurt your career, but delay the publication of your book as well.

THE BOOK MARKETING EXPERT NEWSLETTER. To learn more or to subscribe -

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Should You Give Your Book Away? More Specifically a Digit Copy of Your Book

This is a topic that comes up frequently and this article caught my attention, so I wanted to share it here. What are your thoughts?

Publishers have been experimenting with promotional free downloads of books and worrying about the risks of electronic piracy, but there has been precious little data and analysis to work from. For the past eight months Brian O'Leary at Magellan Media has partnered with Random House and O'Reilly Media to rigorously study the "impact of free distribution on paid content," which meant examining both giveaways and unauthorized peer-to-peer distribution. The ultimate objective is to develop "a model that describes instances in which free distribution works or may not work," taking into account the variety of complex influences. The work is still ongoing, and they invite participation from additional publishers.

The trio presented initial data and impressions at Tools of Change and are preparing a "Rough Cut" research paper. We've seen a draft and recommend it highly for those interested in the subject; you can express your interest in seeing the report when it is completed at this link:


For now you can pick up the presentation PowerPoint here:


In the conference session, Chelsea Vaughn at Random House said that for the eight giveaway titles of theirs they studied, "the free downloads were correlated with a slight increase overall sales. We don't know whether the free downloads are what helped keep the sales going or other factors. But they don't seem to hurt sales, which is reassuring, and they may help. And they may help slow a decline that was otherwise happening."

As the report describes it, one Random House sci-fi/horror novel "was promoted heavily around the time of the download [which began right before publication] and sales grew by a third at the time of the free download before dropping to lower, but not small numbers in the weeks that followed." For another sci-fi title with a film tie-in, the promotional download offer "coincided with a 4 percent increase in sales of the mass-market paperback edition that had been released a year earlier. In the four weeks that followed, sales of the print edition were more than 40 percent higher. Sales of the ebook were twice what they had been before the promotion was announced."

In a different promotion, offering a free download of a high-profile literary first novel shortly after publication, it coincided with a rise in CD audiobook sales and ebook sales. But hardcover print sales, "which had been declining, did not improve during the promotion."

For all books in the Random House study, average sales rose 19 percent during the promotional period, and were up 6.5 percent during the defined promotional and post-promotional periods. There was great divergence however, with actual sales ranging from a 74 percent decline to a 155 percent gain.

For O'Reilly, they monitored three peer-to-peer sites and found only eight frontlist titles from books the house published in 2008. (They also noticed that overall, books comprise a very small share of the files sites such as Pirate Bay and Scribd.) On average, those unauthorized postings were made 20 weeks after publication (the fastest was posted in four weeks). As soon as an unauthorized download was detected, they monitored sales of that title--and on average, sales rose 6.5 percent here, too. O'Reilly's Mac Slocum said in the conference session the minimal piracy and negligible effect on sales was surprising. "There's just not a lot going on there. That was a real shocker to me."

What do you think? Many of our authors aggressively "give" content from their books away. We've seen where it positively affects sales, but more importantly, increases the authors database if they are smart about capturing the readers names and email addresses! That is where the real value is for the authors!

These days, there seem to be two kinds of authors: givers and takers. Giver authors are quick to give content to readers and prospects. The right information is worth more than a gift and often even worth far more than money.

In fact giving is now a characteristic possessed by successful entrepreneurial authors. I've always known they were blessed with infinite patience and fertile imaginations. I've written in awe of their acute sensitivity and their admirable ego strength. I've raved about their aggressiveness in marketing and their penchant for constant learning.

Now, I'm impressed, but not surprised, at their generosity. They are, every single one of them, generous souls who seem to gain joy by giving things away, by taking their customers and prospects beyond satisfaction and into true bliss. They learn what those people want and need and then they try to give them what they want and need absolutely free.

The result? Delighted prospects who become customers and delighted customers who become repeat and referral customers. Those are huge payoffs during the days of a bear market.

David Hancock of Morgan James Publishing - http://morgan-james-publishing.com

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Social Networks -- Can We Find You On The Top 25 Sites

Social networking sites are becoming more and more popular. For a long time (in cyber time) MySpace was the top ranked social site, but Facebook is in first place. Twitter - which is easy to use and quick - has moved from #22 to #3. Ning is one of my favorite sites because it is so flexible and it moved from #23 to #12. It didn't move as far as Twitter, but it is on "the rise" :)

So, which social sites do you use?Which sites are you familiar with and which ones don't even sound familiar? I looked over the list in detail and most of the top 25 ranked sites are discussed in my new book - Book Promo 201: Use the Internet and Web 2.0 to Promote

I provide quite a bit of information about 4 of the top 5 sites to help you figure out what to do, how to utilize and which sites could be beneficial for you.

I've inserted the table of the top 25 ranked social networking sites - take a look and I'd like to hear your thoughts about the various sites. Which ones do you use? Which is your favorite? Why do you like some more than others?

Nikki Leigh

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Beth Trissel Shares Her Thoughts About MySpace For Promotion

Earlier today I was talking to Beth Trissel about her recent Preditor's & Editors Poll win for her recent book and she mentioned that her presence on MySpace was a reason for the win. So, I asked her to write a couple of paragraphs to explain what she did and how it worked. Here is the information she wanted to share...

Thanks to some excellent advice from Nikki Leigh in August of 2008, I took a good look at how I could use MySpace to meet other writers and more importantly READERS. I knew they were out there in the virtual world, and being newly published with The Wild Rose Press I needed to find some viable way to connect. Blogging is only so effective, ditto for interviews and chats.

I searched out various reader’s groups and sites where bookworms gather, then sent out friend invites with a brief greeting/ intro. This is ongoing now. I usually send a cordial follow up message or comment to the good folk who accept my invites and remark on what I appreciate about their profile (I actually read those!) anything we have in common, and invite them to check out my book with pertinent links.

I love witty or inspiring quotes and enjoy pairing them with just the right pic and sending out comments. Photobucket is invaluable for uploading pics or copying theirs to my album. Myspace is all about using the right code to create your profile or send out comments and Photobucket supplies that. I also receive a lot of wonderful comments in return. Not only have I built an impressive fan b ase in a short period of time, I’ve made some wonderful friends. I’m always open to more.

My first release, SOMEWHERE MY LOVE, recently won first place for best romance novel of 2008 at the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll. This achievement is largely due to my good friends over at myspace.

Beth Trissel 2008 Golden Heart ® Finalist

Top 10 Tips for Effective Blogging for Authors

Top 10 Tips for Effective Blogging for Authors

Here are some great blogging tips from my Australian friend, Joanna Penn:

You can write a blog enthusiastically for a few weeks and then you start to wonder why you are spending the time and effort on it. Effective blogging means having traffic, comments, and people responding to your writing. It may mean more book sales if that is your target.

Whatever your blogging goals, here are some tips to make your blogging effective:

1. Write good content. Blogging is not a constant sales pitch. If you have good content, people will click to learn more about you and that is where you can include your book.

2. Link freely to others and share traffic. Blogging is all about surfing between sites and offering useful information. Credit other blogs and sites with links and comments. This may also provide more traffic for you. Use trackbacks so they know you have linked to them.

3. Love your Blog. Your topic needs to be one you can sustain and something you are interested in so it is not a chore to post. Maybe you only have a plan to blog for 6 months around your book launch – if so, make it a top 6 months by posting daily. If it is a longer term project, then posting every few days is fine.

4. Blog regularly so the search engines visit you often. Every post you make is a new page, so after a year you will have over 300 pages on the web with your name on it.

5. Be succinct. Don’t write really long blog posts. Consider breaking them into two or more parts to keep them easy to read. Break up the text with sub-headings and include pictures if you can as people scan your post looking for the salient information.

6. Use keywords in your text so the search engines index your blog properly. For WordPress blogs, use the SEO plugin that allows you to target keywords.

7. Blog your niche. People will come back if you blog on a topic they are interested in. Blog in your genre or about your book specifically. If necessary, have separate blogs for separate topics so you can maintain a niche audience.

8. Blog multi-media with videos or audio as well as text and images. It is very easy to make a video with MovieMaker so you can do book trailers, or videos of you talking about your book.

9. Read other blogs so you know what is going on in your niche. Subscribe by email or use a reader. I use Google reader with my Gmail account to keep tabs on the blogs I read regularly.

10. Encourage comments from readers and answer any queries. Make sure you also comment on other people’s blogs.

Joanna Penn - Writing, self-publishing, print-on-demand, internet sales and marketing . . . for your book. http://www.TheCreativePenn.com

Thank you to Dana Lynn Smith for posting this info at http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/book_marketing_maven/2009/02/-top-10-tips-for-effective-blogging-for-authors.html

What Are Your Favorite Ways to Monetize Your Blog?

You want to make money with your blogging efforts. But, how? Which method is the best one?

In this article, I outline what I believe are the top 10 ways to monetize a blog site. And I’m also going to do my best to rank them in order of workability.

1. Membership Programs

The “freemium” model is a huge and growing trend in online income right now. You provide a lot of quality content for free to your audience, and you provide a premium-level program to those willing to pay for it. You charge a monthly membership and that provides continuity and a steady income stream.

Any blog can be turned into a “freemium” business model, and I outline it in more detail in my report, The Future of Blogging Income. Download it for more details.

2. Information Products (Of Your Own)

The selling of knowledge is HUGE. If you build up your position in your market, you can then sell quality information to that market. This can take the form of e-books, audio, videos, or all of the above. You can package them up or just sell them digitally. If you author the product yourself (recommended), then you keep 100% of the profit.

3. Services/Consulting/Coaching

Another great way to make money with a blog is an indirect one. Use the blog to build reputation. Build a brand and build an audience. Then, you make your money by directing that attention into offline services, consulting and/or coaching. This can be quite lucrative. The drawback is that you are, again, trading time for money. So, it is only scalable up to a point.

4. Speaking Gigs

If you become well known as an expert in your niche, you can turn that into speaking gigs which you get paid for. Chris Brogan does this with his blog. Whether he makes money directly with his blog or not (I honestly don’t know), I know he gets paid to speak at various events.

5. Product Sales

If you have a physical product line to offer, you can use the blog as a face for your online store. Sell whatever you want. For example, if you are an artist, you can use an online store to sell art pieces and a blog to build up audience and a following.

6. Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing is a great way to build up your income. You offer the products of others to your audience and get paid when they buy it. In fact, any time you recommend a relevant product or service to your audience, check to see if they have an affiliate program. If so, sign up and use your affiliate link. After all, if you’d recommend it to your readers anyway, you might as well make a little cut if they happen to buy.

7. Direct Ad Sales

Banner ads and in-text ads are another popular way to make money. In fact, it is usually the first method you think of. However, if you’re going to go this route, selling the ads directly will result in more cash in your pocket. As I mentioned in my video evaluation of Jim On Light, make a media kit for your blog. As for pricing, I would recommend you shoot for twice your eCPM from Google Adsense. Why twice? Because that’s what Google is charging (they take half).

8. Banner Advertising

OK, if you don’t want to sell your own ads, you can obviously still run network advertising from a variety of different sources. Personally, I am using Adsense, Kontera, IDG and a little bit of Tribal Fusion.

You can also direct sell ads and use network ads as filler for unused inventory. It is done all the time.

9. Paid Posts

Yes, you can get paid to review products and sites on your blog. Sites like PayPerPost and ReviewMe are popular options. I’ve seen some blogs sell this option directly. When doing this, it is important to disclose the fact that it is a paid review. It is also important that you maintain your integrity and never give a positive review unless you’re really feeling it.

10. Job Boards

Some sites (like ProBlogger) have job boards. It does work for some sites, however it probably won’t work for a majority of blogs out there.

11. Build It & Sell It

OK, I’ve thrown in an eleventh one as a bonus. :)

You can build up a blog, build an audience, then turn around and sell the thing. In fact, some people actually buy blogs which are dead or are vastly underutliized by their owners. They’ll then put their marketing skills to work, build the SEO backlinks, build the readership. Then, they turn around and sell it at a profit. It can work. I’ve never done it myself personally, but I’ve read of others who have.

Great post from http://www.davidrisley.com/2009/02/03/top-10-blog-monetization-strategies-ranked/

Build Your Social Media Presence with these 41 Tips

I just spotted this on Twitter - it was posted by @websuccessdiva: If this teen can get it, why can't SM "experts"? 41 ways to grow your SM presence, the best way :-)

The post was so great that I had to share it here - What do you all think?? Sounds like he is seriously on the right track --- thank you for sharing StanleyTang.com

41 Top Tips To Growing Your Social Media Presence

  1. Be remarkable - somebody worth making a remark about
  2. Become a resource to others
  3. Have your own unique personality
  4. Be vocal and opinionated within the communtiy
  5. Don’t continuously push the envelope by flooding them with requests
  6. Invest time into social media
  7. Produce and share content that your audience will love
  8. Monitor what’s being shared about you
  9. Become a real member of the community
  10. Ask questions
  11. Answer questions
  12. Provide value to the community
  13. Be controversial
  14. Don’t be another “me-too”
  15. Automate carefully - it’s about people not robots
  16. Don’t be an asshole
  17. Make it easy for people to share and bookmark your content
  18. Listen to the community
  19. Make at least one new connection every day
  20. Engage yourself in conversations
  21. Become the conversation
  22. You’re there to make relationships, not hard selling
  23. Take time to focus on building a loyal following
  24. Give, Give, GIVE!
  25. Treat social media like a cocktail party
  26. Be supportive
  27. Syndicate your content across all social media platforms
  28. Encourage others to syndicate your content onto their sites
  29. Fully research the community to understand your market
  30. Be fun
  31. Get to know the unwritten laws of the community
  32. Create an attractive, unique and professional profile
  33. Use a cool avatar/picture
  34. Use the same avatar for each social media service
  35. Don’t be a keyboard gangsta (i.e. trash talk all day)
  36. Know what your followers/friends want and give it to them
  37. Form reciprocal arrangements with others
  38. Monitor your noise level
  39. Never cheat the system
  40. Help others unconditionally
  41. Be yourself

Originally posted at: http://www.stanleytang.com/2009/02/03/41-top-tips-to-growing-your-social-media-presence/

Monday, February 2, 2009

Book Promo 101 Promotional Articles and Tips - Voted Best Non Fiction Article

You may have noticed the new graphic in the right margin of this blog. If not, its also in this post. I'm very happy to announce that this blog and my non fiction articles recently won the Preditor and Editor Non Fiction Article award for 2008. In honor of this accomplishment, I can display this custom button on the blog. For the official listing, you can visit http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/votenonfiction08.htm For people who aren't familiar with the Preditor and Editor's poll, I've always seen it as a "people's choice" award where the authors and readers place their votes for their favorite.

For new visitors - I created this blog to have my promotional articles in one place so they are easy to find. It will also have excerpts from my promotional books and news about new promotional books etc.

Another reason I wanted this blog is because my latest book (which is with my publisher in layout) is about using Web 2.0 and the internet to promote. That topic has changes and updates daily, so there will be a need to provide updated and additional information. The book is currently about 85,000 words and although I covered a lot of topics, I couldn't include everything. So, this blog gives me a place to post new information. It will be a great addition to the book and it gives authors a place to come in and talk with me. I love to brainstorm promotions and this is a place where we can do that.

Thanks for sharing this exciting award with me and we'll have much to discuss in the days ahead.

Nikki Leigh

PS - For other awards I've received for my books (released under Nikki Leigh and Shri Henkel) are listed here - http://www.nikkileigh.com/awards.htm