10 Feb

Your Book Project is Finished…Now What?

Guest blogger, Janice Reed, is here with Part Two of her book publishing series. Read Part One, “How to Publish a Successful First Book.

Prepare for printing

You’ve selecteJanice Reedd your book publisher (known as P.O.D. or print-on-demand publisher) and have their “Requirements for Authors” in hand for self-publishing.

There are a few crucial considerations as you take your “pride and joy” project and prepare it for future printing.  In essence, you’ll need to provide an effective and error-free presentation, in a timely manner and at the lowest cost to you. But how do you make sure you successfully accomplish those considerations?

Things I wish I knew before I began my own book project:

One of the biggest mistakes I encountered was something that could have been avoided if I had done a few simple things first, like develop a good working relationship with my Author Representative, ask lots of questions and be more proficient in using the Word program.

Realize that:

  • In self-publishing, most publishers offer editorial service, at an additional cost. If you choose not to add this service, you pay for any editorial changes to your document on an “ala carte” basis. Knowing that I was pretty capable in that regard, I set about crossing that off my list of author services.  Although it meant a lot more work on my part by having to go over my document many times, I still missed several!  One example showed in the preliminary drafts that I got back from the publisher. It contained so many breaks in my text that I questioned them. My author rep explained that I had caused them with paragraph shifts in my document. She suggested how to view them in the Word document, thus preventing more errors in the next draft. Up to that point, I had accrued many edit charges, until I realized my error. I then made sure the document was as “clean” as possible before presenting my draft again.  If you are a Word expert, (I was not!) this will probably not affect you.
  • Format is another issue to consider. In the case of my cookbook, it was quite a consideration as each recipe needed to be on its own page. Unfortunately, as I received the drafts back for review before printing, I found that longer recipes went onto the following page, leaving a blank page to follow in some chapters! The lesson here is that the printed layout and format are quite different from a computerized Word document.
  • Honing the material is an essential part of becoming your own editor and the hardest of all! Most authors feel that all their material is important, but as you progress with your author rep, you’ll find there are several things you considered important but, actually, are not. My advice is to be well aware of the document’s readiness.  A second look at it by a trusted friend or associate often point out more edit requirements, saving actual edit costs.

These are some of the processes you’ll experience as you work towards being the best author you can be!  While it may seem complicated and time-consuming, it’s a very rewarding experience!

Do you have any questions about Self-Publishing or Print-On-Demand? I would love to hear from you about your experiences and/or comments!  Next, I’ll explore more steps to publishing and marketing your own successful book! Please leave your questions in the comment box below.

Sitto's Kitchen, Janice ReedJanice J. Reed
Author of Sitto’s Kitchen
Follow me on Twitter

 

03 Feb

If You Build It, Will They Come?

Website competition is fierce

Success Starts HereThe “build it, and they will come” days of the Internet are long gone. With literally billions of websites online competition for customers is mighty fierce, and people won’t come unless you tell them to. Then, once they get to your website, how are you treating them? Is your site easy to navigate? Do you have a free offer? Are your products and services all lined up?
Today’s entrepreneur finds success by following a step-by-step process to successfully grow and run his/her company via the Internet. And it’s not always just about getting people to your website. It’s about getting ready for people to come to your site, and then getting them to taking action once they are there.

Let’s look at how at some of the steps you can take:

  1. Be in Control: Buy YOUR OWN domain name and hosting. Do not allow a webmaster to purchase these very important business tools in HIS/HER name.
  2. Ready, Set, Go: If you want to make money, then you’re going to have to your products and services ready for action, and you’re going to have to have the right payment process in place. Research the various options like PayPal, Square, Google Checkout, Intuit, or other bank related merchant services.
  3. Communicate your solution: What pain do you solve for your customers? Future customers are searching for solutions to their problems so make sure your site tells them how you can solve their problem. Also, capture their email address while they’re there. If you didn’t convert them into a customer at your site, then you still have the opportunity via email marketing.
  4. Be the expert: Show people that you are the expert by sharing your knowledge via blogs, podcasts, and videos.Share your knowledge — your future customers will appreciate you, and the search engines will be more likely to index you when you regularly post new content.
  5. Get a power partner(s): Think — Who shares the same clients as you do? For example, if you are a photographer, a good power partner for you would be a party planner, bridal boutique, florist, or cake designer…to name a few. Partnering up with a power partner is smart business.
  6. Be visible: Social media is one of the best ways to drive people to your website. Find out where your clients are hanging out and be there so they can see you. Blogging, podcasting, and video are great mediums to share your messages, and they will bring traffic to your site. Be visible, be available, be transparent, and be active.

So, go ahead and built your website – and plan on doing the work to generate traffic. It’s a never-ending process – but if you’re passionate about your business, you won’t mind the work.

What other steps can be added to this list? What methods have you used to drive traffic to your website? Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comment box below.

Check out my e-book, 10 Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Website.

Eydie :)

27 Jan

Let’s Talk About the Dark Side of Social Media

It’s not what you think

We have a love-hate affair with social media, don’t we?

the dark side of social media

We love that we can easily connect and communicate with family, friends, and future customers all over the world, and on a daily basis, keep up-to-date with what everyone is doing at any given point in time. Popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter opened the door for other networks such as Pinterest and Instagram to come in and provide us even more opportunities to share pictures, videos, and yes….even marketing messages with our target market.

Tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Hootsuite are just a few tools which can be used to track and monitor online activity.  Day by day information is being collected via social media and made available to advertisers.

And that is part of what we hate.  

Our privacy has been invaded in the process. Sure, I like to know who opened up links in my marketing emails. I check them every week. Knowing which links are being opened and by whom gives me a heads up as to what my subscribers are interested in.

Facebook Insights and Twitter Notifications gives me a heads up as to who is paying attention to me. It IS good to know what’s transpiring behind the scenes. And you might think that all these analytic tools are the dark side of social media – but you’re wrong.

Welcome to the dark side

When we talk about the dark side of social media, we’re talking about emails (Not emails produced in email marketing service providers such as Constant Contact or MailChimp. I’m taking about your one-to-one email like Gmail, Yahoo, ATT, etc), texts, IMs and even forums.  These are dark corners of the internet that, as of yet, cannot be tracked or monitored….hence the “dark side” That’s the good news.

Because so much is tracked and shared with advertisers using social sites, many people have taken to sharing messages privately…using the dark side. Often, people will share a link via a text message, therefore, it can’t be tracked and advertisers have no idea if, when, or where, their links were shared. And that, for advertisers, is the bad news.

Dark side tracking options

With all that said, there ARE ways to track links in the dark side. Now, this could be a bit scary to some of you, so you might want to turn away. According to Website Magazine Managing Editor, Amberly Dressler, “One-way marketers can find out how and where their content, video and pictures are being shared is through their current URL link shortener service”.  When a shortened URL is shared, it’s tracked. One popular URL shortener, bit.ly, will only provide an “unknown” category for links shared via the dark side…emails, texts, and IMs. It’s reported as shared, but that’s all the information you get. RadiumOne’s URL shortening service, however, provides deeper information on how, what, when, where the link was shared.

I’m not sure about you, but just thinking about someone tracking links I share via an email or text to my family and friends isn’t something I’m comfortable with. To me, it’s the ultimate in breaching my privacy. What are your thoughts? Please share your comments below. I’d love to hear what you think about advertisers having the ability to track the private sides of our life.

Eydie :)
Read the entire article on Website Magazine: Shedding Light on Social Media’s Dark Side

26 Jan

3 Reasons Why You Should Blog to Tell a Story

Tell a story and change a life

Blogging, tell a story

From birth, or even while in the womb, we’ve been listening to [and loving] stories.  Our mothers, fathers, grandparents and other significant people in our lives have lovingly been reading books, and telling stories and tales to help us build our creative minds, learn about the world we live in, evoke emotion, and become well-rounded individuals. Yes, tell a story and change a life.

Storytelling isn’t just for children’s books or grandparents reliving their good old days, “walking every day to school in the snow – uphill, both ways”. Storytelling has a very important place in the blog posts you regularly share.

Let’s take a quick look at 3 reasons why you should blog to tell a story:

  1. Changes Behavior: Often, people are looking for ways to change a certain behavior or habit that they feel isn’t beneficial to them anymore. They want to lose weight, stop smoking, become more confident, control their anger, increase their online visibility and a host of other situations. When you tell a story about your own journey you offer the reader authenticity because you’ve traveled down that road. Or maybe you’re sharing a story about how you helped a client overcome an obstacle in their life or business…the reader is now able to see his own challenge. They can relate and they feel that you understand their pain.
  2. Moves us Emotionally: That’s a powerful thing to do. Anytime you can stir up the emotions inside of someone – good or bad – you’re going to get noticed. Whether you own a controversial political blog or a blog for parents who have lost a child, through your storytelling, you have the power to move people into responding, taking a stand, and make decisions.
  3. Persuades Readers to Take Action: When you’re able to change someone’s behavior and move them emotionally with your words, you drive them to take action.  Did you write about how you overcame depression? Are you sharing how you went from living paycheck-to-paycheck – to making a 6-figure income? If your story is powerful enough, and readers can relate to you,  you can get people to take action.

Tell a story on your blog

You didn’t know that blogging your stories has the power to change lives, did you? Tell a story, tell many stories, on your blog and see what happens. Tell a story – change a life.  Whose life can you change today with your stories? Share your thoughts and questions with me in the comment box below. I love hearing from you.

Start today!

Eydie :)

We at Terra Media Marketing Group understand the importance of blogging. So, we’ve made it easy for you.

3-Page Blog? Starting at ONLY $350.00  (This 2014 price is going away on February 15, 2015. Get your blog TODAY!)

Included: Blog Page, About Page, Contact Page, Widgets, Plugins
(Plugins only available on Self-Hosted WordPress blogs.
Contact me for details and suggested hosting services)

21 Jan

10 Types of Blog Content

How can I change up the way I present my blog content?
10 types of blog content

That’s one of the many blog questions business owners ask me on a regular basis. Because you’re the expert in your field, you should have tons of article ideas all wrapped up in your head… it’s just a matter of releasing your knowledge and pouring out the words into a blog post.

The problem is, however, how do you present all that information?  Traditional text blog posts are always standard – and the most common way to share your content. But what about mixing it up a little bit?  Giving your readers a variety of mediums to experience keeps them entertained…and coming back.

Let’s take a look at 10 different types of blog content:

  1. Infographics: These are so popular right now.  An infographic is a visual image, such as a chart or diagram, used to represent information or data.
  2. Podcast:  Around for quite some time, a podcast is a digital audio file that  is available on the Internet for downloading.  For the most part, podcasts are available as a series to which people can subscribe.
  3. Memes:  A meme is a humorous image, video, piece of text,  or quote that is shared and spread rapidly through and by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest users.
  4. Videos: A video is a wonderful way for you to create a more intimate connection with your target market. In a video, viewers can get a better idea of your personality, and whether or not they’d like to work with you. If you don’t like to be in a video – try screencasting. Screencast-O-Matic  See below for the video version of this post.
  5. How-To: Mainly set up as text, but also found as videos, How-to posts are THEE most often read blog posts. People are always looking to learn something, and when your blog post title says, “5 Ways to….” – BOOM – You’ve got their attention.
  6. Lists: Lists are a great way to share a large number of resources with your readers. A great tool called List.ly helps you to easily create a list post.  Here’s one I did in 2013.
  7. Interviews: Interview clients, contractors, vendors, clients/customers, colleagues, and even your competition.
  8. Product Reviews: Depending on the type of blog you have, you could review products, services, books – anything that needs reviewing.
  9. Case Studies: This is a great one for coaches and consultants. Tell stories about how you helped your clients solve a problem. NOTE: be aware of your client’s privacy.
  10. Research and Data: There’s a ton of people out there who love hardcore evidence and data. Research and data fair quite well in an infographic.

I’m hoping I’ve given you a few new ideas as to how you can present your content in your blog. What other kinds of content can you add to your blog to make it more interesting? Share your thoughts and questions in the comment box below.

Eydie :) PS: for some odd reason, the video cover says that it’s a private video – but it’s not. Just click the video and you’ll be brought to Vimeo where you can view the video. Sometimes technology gets the best of us. LOL

Blog Content from Eydie Stumpf on Vimeo.

http://vimeo.com/117129524

We at Terra Media Marketing Group understand the importance of blogging. So, we’ve made it easy for you.

3-Page Blog? Starting at ONLY $350.00  (This 2014 price is going away on February 15, 2015. Get your blog TODAY!)

Included: Blog Page, About Page, Contact Page, Widgets, Plugins
(Plugins only available on Self-Hosted WordPress blogs.
Contact me for details and suggested hosting services)

Plugin from the creators ofBrindes :: More at PlulzWordpress Plugins