October 29, 2012, 5:10 am

Make Money From FREE…

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Alternative Income,Make Money Online

 

 

There is a completely new and interesting marketing concept that hit the internet: making money from free… . If you remember correctly, the first internet bubble back in the late 90s had been created based on this concept. Back then, it was said that earnings and profits were old concepts. We were now entering a new business era where pages viewed and visitors were the new way of estimating a business’ value. We were going after traffic by offering free content on the internet thinking that we would eventually make money. The bubble burst since nobody figured how to make real money from free… back then.

 

Unfortunately for those who lost thousands, read millions of dollar in the tech bubble; they were right: you can make money from free. By offering free content, free products and free services, you can make money. The problem is that you need to know upfront how you will make money from free instead of figuring it out during the process. In today’s internet economy, dot com moguls have figured it all out and they make a fortune from it.

 

The beauty of all this is that you can do it too. You can make money from free… starting today! Here’s how you can build your business model so you can make money from free.

 

Free Content

 

The most popular and known way of making money from free is obviously through free content. The best example I can think of is Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income. By offering so much free content, he gains more loyal readers that follow him. His main gig is to show how he does so well online by using this and that product. By offering awesome free content (such as his free video tutorials on Youtube on how to use different software), he is teaching people how to build a sustainable business. As a reader who wants to start your own website, you will have to pay for hosting no matter what. But if you run into Pat’s site, he tells you how to setup your site so well and tells you that he uses Blue Host for his own hosting needs, chances are that you will click on the link he suggests, buy a Blue Host package and Pat is going to make money from it.

 

The beauty of this business model is that it’s a win-win situation: you get highly valuable information for free and he makes money by helping you find what you are looking for. Many times I would buy products or pay the site owner for highly valuable information. Instead, I get it for free while using their resources.

 

On the other hand, I’ve seen many basic reviews of products people don’t even use as a pale imitation to succeed with affiliate marketing. I know a good chunk about it since I’ve tried this method too! These days, there are so many people trying to rake in a few sales from the latest debt balance transfer credit card or low transaction cost broker that readers have become immune to those poorly executed affiliate marketing strategies. The key is not to use a product, review it and tell your reader how cool it is. This is basic marketing and most people will see you coming from miles away.

 

The real technique to make money from free content is to produce highly valuable information such as a post series or very detailed “how to” articles of 2,000+ words with graphs, images and videos. This is how you will slowly build trust between readers and your site and eventually offer them products. For more than a year, I’ve offered a highly valued investing newsletter to my readers for free. Each month or so, they receive a 1,000+ word article educating them about investing. The day I offered them a rebate on a well-established paid investing newsletter, I made almost $3,000 in 30 days. This is through the trust built with my readers by offering valuable content for free. Most readers understood that it was normal for me to offer them an affiliate product once in a while. And for those who were frustrated by this marketing strategy, they unsubscribed and that’s a good thing too! You don’t want a bunch of freeloaders who are only here to take and never give back.

 

Here’s the thought of the day: You can silently take and don’t give back, that doesn’t hurt anybody. But if you are getting free content, don’t be offended to see an ad here and there on that site!

 

As a website owner, you can always make money through private advertising or per per click services such as Adsense. This is another way you can make money from free content… but you already know that, don’t you? For those who don’t, I suggest you read my Ways to monetize your site and Adsense optimization for PF blogs.

 

Free eBook

 

I made more money from my first free eBook than from my first eBook for sale.

 

Can this be possible? I guess that when you pass the 24,000 copies downloaded mark, you can eventually make money from a free eBook 😉 (especially when I sold 30 copies or so of my first paid eBook, lol!).

 

Providing a high quality eBook for free is another great way to build the bridge of trust between readers and your brand. I have used my free eBook to both make money directly and indirectly.

 

The direct way is quite simple: I used affiliate marketing inside the book. I clearly state at the beginning of the book that I’ve included affiliate links and that if readers like my book and want a product mentioned in it, to use the link I’m providing so I can make a few bucks. It’s a nice way to play gently on your readers feelings as they may feel they want to return the favor. Mind you, don’t expect to make a fortune out of it either. Most people are only there for the free stuff ;-).

 

Then, I used the book to promote other related websites I own along with my newsletter. I already shared my experience of requesting readers sign-up for my mailing list prior to downloading the eBook (read how to grow your subscribers). The difference in the number of new subscribers is awesome. While this is not directly generating money, it is one of the reasons why I am making more money with my newsletter now that I have several thousands of subscribers.

 

Links to my other websites is also another reason to increase my overall traffic and overall adsense. I know it works because I can see an adsense increase each time I mention one of my sites in my newsletter. Therefore, if by plugging a site in a mailing increases my revenue, plugging the same website in an eBook should generate similar results. It’s just that I can’t measure it.

 

Finally, the free eBook is an amazing way to communicate with my readers. Since I’ve already given a book, some readers send me emails with questions. These questions are good for post ideas along with providing new book topic material.  Since I’ve sold my second dividend investing book, it was a great way to use my free eBook to generate more income.

 

Free Affiliates

 

If you are having difficulties making money with affiliate programs, try this trick: offer free affiliate products! All right, that doesn’t sound like a winning concept right? Offering something free and hoping somebody would be dumb enough to pay you to do so? Sounds like this guy will go bankrupt soon…

 

But there are some marketers who are smarter than we are. They have also figured that by giving away free stuff they would get a chance to make money out of their program later on. This is why they are willing to offer a free course, free trial or free basic services to your readers. In order to compensate you, they will pay you per lead. A lead is made each time a reader completes a registration with his email address for example. These leads are not super well paid though as they are part of a longer funnel from the marketer. After all, you are getting paid while your reader hasn’t produced any income for the market yet. This is why you will be earning between $2 and $5 per sign-up / lead.

 

The reader will receive the freebie he was offered. But since the marketer has the reader’s email, chances are that he will try to convert his freeloader into a client ;-). The marketer has made his calculation of how many readers he can turn into clients and how much he will make from these potential clients.

 

Here’s an example. For each lead, the marketer pays you $3. If his conversion rate is 3%, he needs to be able to make at least $100 per client (or a lesser amount that is recurring). So you send 100 leads and get paid $300. The market gets 100 new potential clients. He converts 3 readers into clients and recovers his $300. If he increases his dollars earned by clients or his conversion rate, he is a winner with this strategy.

 

One of the most common products that work that way is Mint. If you have an account with Commission Junction, you can offer Mint’s free sign-up and get paid a few bucks per lead. It’s free for anybody who registers with Mint. Once they complete their financial profile, potential clients will have several offers to save money or optimize their situation. Potential clients could then sign-up for a low rate credit card or a low cost insurance policy in order to save money. At this point, you are now rewarded for the credit card sign-ups as the marketer is making the money from it. You made money from a lead, Mint made money from a sale and the client has improved his financial situation. Everybody wins something. This is how it should work!

Almost Free Package

 

The last technique you can use to offer something *almost* free to your readers is to offer a super rebate on a product or package. I ran a campaign offering a 70% rebate on an investing newsletter. This was a great incentive for my readers and the company was probably hoping to keep several clients for the renewal (which will be at full price at that time). You can work out these deals when you have a sizeable audience. It’s not always easy to convince a company to enter into a private deal with your site. They don’t want to waste their time.

But, lucky you if you are just starting your site, there are other guys who setup crazy offers for your readers. One of them is http://www.only72.com. The idea behind Only 72 is to offer a huge package worth several hundreds of dollars (up to $1,000!) at a 90% rebate. The package is about $97 for $1,000 worth of stuff. The commission rate is usually 50% which is a pretty great deal even if you rack up 2 sales!

How can they offer such a huge rebate? Do they have to pay a commission to the product owners? In fact, it’s much more clever than this: they simply offer a higher commission rate to the product owner in exchange to sell their product in a package with a 90% rebate.

 

The following example is hypothetical but this is how it works: Let’s say you offer a $1,000 package value for $100 only. The $1,000 value is not inflated as is the case in bogus commercials. If you buy 10 products individuallly (usually courses, ebooks, podcasts) at $100 each, that will make a real $1,000. For a few days, you have the possibility to buy everything for $100. People who have a $100 individual products to offer usually have a good following. They probably have a newsletter as well which they can use to communicate rapidly with their readers. Let’s say you offer them the possibility to sell the $1,000 package for $100 and make 80% commission on it. All they have to do is to offer you their product in exchange.  Here’s how the deal can be sold to the owner of a $100 product:

 

When you sell your product $100, you make the $100 in your pocket. But you are only giving your client $100 worth of product. Now, you can sell your product + $900 worth of product for the same price and you will be making $80 instead of $100.

 

For most people who have a sizeable following, this is a no brainer. For all their readers who are hesitant to send them $100 for their book or course, they will probably do it if they have 3 days to buy a $1000 for the same price including the product they thought of buying in the first place.

 

Here again, everybody wins: The product owner has the possibility to sell several copies of his book to both his readers and non-readers (through other affiliates). The guy who organizes the deal makes a commission on each deal: either $20 when a product owner sells a package or $50 when another affiliate does it. The client buys a product he would have probably bought anyway but gets 90% more value in it.

 

I always participate in these kinds of projects even though I’m not the biggest affiliate around. Nonetheless, I manage to make between 5 to 10 sales each time. At roughly $50 a sale, that’s pretty good for 30 minutes to write a good email!

 

There are Even More Ways to Make Money From Free!

 

I think these three techniques are just the beginning. Lately, I was reading that Pat’s Podcasts were the best thing he ever produced for his branding. In fact, his podcasts went so viral that it probably brings him more visitors than Google does! This is another way he can monetize his website and build a huge following. Once again, his podcasts are free!

 

Have you done anything for free and made money from it lately? What’s your thought on trying it?

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October 27, 2012, 6:00 am

Epicness Time

by: MD    Category: Financial Rambling

The most epic piece of this week came from:

Almost 30 Years Old…About Half as Many Jobs @BITFS.

How many jobs have you had in your life? This is a fun look from Crystal at the jobs that she has had in her life. I’m curious to hear about how many jobs you guys had?

Time for the carnivals…

Carnival of Personal Finance #384 – Time for a Laugh Edition

Carnival of Financial Planning — The A Side — October 19, 2012

Financial Tips -Wealth Management Carnival #3

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October 25, 2012, 6:00 am

How You Can Grab Life By The Balls in Your 20s

by: MD    Category: Assets and Net Worth

“Success: no magic formula. You gotta be willing to work for it. Consistent, hard ass work.” – The Rock

You’re in your 20s. Life is damn amazing. I’m sure that things are okay in your 30s and 40s, but that’s way too far away to think about. I’ve been doing my best to have a blast in my 20s and to plan for the future.

I wanted to write about tips that have helped me get to (almost) 25 with money in the bank, many great experiences from around the world, and a willingness to take on all challenges.

How can you grab life by the balls so that you can have more money and be happier than ever?

Never feel sorry for yourself.

It’s not even worth spending one minute feeling sorry for yourself.

“Life is tough bro.”

This is what a buddy sent me on BBM the other day. What? Seriously? Life was tough for my parents when they came to Canada and had to raise three kids with no education. Getting dumped isn’t tough. It sucks, but it doesn’t mean that you have a tough life.

I’ve felt sorry for myself in the past and it’s an absolute waste of time. If you don’t take yourself seriously, nobody else will.

Channel your frustrations.

It’s okay to be upset or frustrated. It’s not okay to let your frustration prevent you from getting things done.

What can you do when you’re frustrated?

Pump at the gym.

Talk to someone.

Watch a movie.

Never, ever get drunk when you’re mad. You’ll get into a fight, say something stupid, or just make a fool out of yourself. Alcohol is for fun times.

Embrace love.

There’s nothing wrong with falling in love. You’re not a wimp if you fall in love. Everyone falls in love. Just please try to be smart. Don’t move in after 3 months of dating like my aforementioned buddy did.

Here’s how it went:

They met in January. They moved together around April. She dumped him in October, forcing him to pack up and go.

Move on.

Life is too short to dwell on any problems.

The best thing to do is to always move on. Why sit around feeling sorry for yourself?

Take risks!

Are you taking risks?

Try taking as many risks as possible. Approach beautiful women, start a crazy business, or attend a conference.

Challenge yourself.

Do you want to build your confidence? Try to challenge yourself. I thought I was pretty tough… Then I started kickboxing. I would get beat up by skinny old men in class. Now that’s humbling.

I get bored easily. I believe that you have to push yourself and step outside of your comfort zone.

If you’re the smartest in your group, it’s time to find a new group. I believe in challenging yourself to see what you’re made of.

Switch careers.

“The door is wide open and nobody’s forcing you to be here.”

That’s what my buddy told someone the other day at work. This friend happens to be a manager in a very pro-union environment. Everyday the workers complain to him and bash the corporation. The door is wide open is what he tells everyone.

If you hate your job. then it’s time to switch careers. I know it’s easier said than done because we all have bills. This is why I recommend the next piece of wisdom.

Upgrade your skills.

You always have the option to upgrade your skills. The more you know, the more you can get paid! More money= good times.

How can you upgrade your skills right now?

  • Take an online course.
  • Read a new book.
  • Go on a trip.
  • Learn a trade.
What skill will you learn?

Make money on your own.

I believe that your 20s are the best time to plant the seeds for the future and to create your ideal lifestyle. If you can learn how to make money on the side somehow, you’ll be set. You won’t have to worry about getting fired, stress about the bills, or have to put up with a incompetent boss.

I would love to hear from those that are over 30.

What do you wish you did in your 20s? What are you proud of accomplishing at an early age?

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October 24, 2012, 4:39 am

How’s Your ME Corp?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Business,Career

 

 

I’m sure you have heard about this concept before and I’m also thinking that you don’t apply it. And that is why I’m writing this piece. Have you ever considered yourself as a corporation? Think about it:

 

–          You are producing income

–          You have a balance sheet

–          You have the power to diversify your sources of income

–          You are selling your competencies to a third party (your employer in most cases)

 

What makes you so different than a “real” corporation?

 

Not much. In fact; nothing! The concept of considering oneself as a corporation is not new. But I’m sad to see that most people don’t use it. When you invest money, you want to earn a good return on your investment. Why would it be different when you go to work where your employer is “investing” money in you? I am both an employer and an employee (depending on who you ask) so I can understand both realities:

 

As an employee, I want to make as much money as possible and feel that I’m well paid for my hard work. I know I produce a profit for my employer and therefore want to get the biggest piece of the cake as possible.

 

As an employer, I want to make the biggest investment return on my expenses. Therefore, I expect my employees to produce more income than what I’m paying them. If not, there is no point of paying them and I’ll just drop these activities or do them myself.

 

That’s an Interesting Paradox, Isn’t it?

 

Sometimes I see employees whining because they don’t get what they think they deserve. We all think we deserve more… until we consider ourselves as a corporation and look at our own return on investment.  You think you deserve a raise? Can you tell me why? Can you, honestly, look at your performance and consider that if you had to pay you, you would shell out more than what’s written on your pay check?

 

If you want to make more money (both from work and from your side gig), you will have to consider yourself as a corporation and take action.

 

Take Control of Your Own Corporation

 

Regardless if you are an employer or an employee, you both want the same thing; make as much money as possible from your time, competencies and money. These are the three things you control as the president of ME Corporation: your time, your competencies and your money. You may use your time to watch Lost, not use your competencies and waste your money on stuff. Or you may decide to use these three things to the maximum so your ME Corp will become a profitable company.

 

I’ve been considering myself as Mike Corp for a while now and can see the benefits in both my personal and professional lives. In making sure that I show a high Return On Investment (ROE), I earn more income raise and build a side company at the same time.

 

I Keep Mike Corp in Shape

 

A healthy company starts with the basics. Are you in shape? Do You work out or play a sport? If not, you need to start this morning. Being in shape will ensure that you have energy to complete your tasks. I don’t think that we all should become Mr. or Ms. Universe, but 3-4 hours of intense activity (this doesn’t include sex… that’s a bonus 😉 ) per week is a must to avoid fatigue and ensure a constant performance throughout my workweek. I currently workout 4 times a week plus I play soccer on Sundays. I’ve noticed that if I cut a little bit on my sleep in order to work out, I feel more energized during my day. On the other hand, soccer is hurting every part of my body… but that’s because I play with younger and better players, lol!

 

If a company doesn’t have the right structure, it will be difficult to perform. It’s the same thing with my body. There are several people asking me how I do what I do. The secret simply lies with being in good shape. A Healthy body will be more receptive to motivational bursts and will help me keep a positive attitude all the time. In fact, there is nothing better than running 5 miles on a treadmill to get out of a rut!

 

I Invest in Mike Corp

 

I’ve been investing massively in Mike Corp over the past ten years. I made sure I was productive (so I learned to type and read fast). I also made sure that I was knowledgeable (so I got a bachelor degree, CFP license and an MBA). I then made sure that I’m up-to-date (I read a lot of newspapers and do continuous training).

 

Investing in my corporation makes me employable and desirable for my employer. I’m productive, knowledgeable and up-to-date. I’m like the new iPhone5 and constantly upgrade myself to make sure I don’t get dropped in the recycling bin one day (we don’t throw employees in the trash can anymore, we recycle them!). Each year, I look at my corporation, identify its weaknesses and work on them. I want to make sure that I can be a performing corporation, not an old and tired one.

 

When I invest in my corporation, I want to make sure to create value. I’m looking forward to becoming more productive and more knowledgeable. Productivity and knowledge are two great assets I must master if I want to see the company succeed.

 

I Diversify Mike Corp

 

A big challenge for any type of company is the risk of losing a part of its business. What would happen to your shoe business if your main client is Wal-Mart and they shut down the clothing department in their stores? So let me ask you: what happens if your employer decides he doesn’t need you anymore? If 100% of your income is coming from the same source (your employer), you suffer a high risk due to the concentration of your “business activities”.

 

There are several ways I can diversify my corporation. I’ve created a sub-division with the online business and a very small division in the investing industry (my RRSP / Pension plan). I intend to eventually add a real estate segment and grow my online department. These are ways I’ve found to diversify my sources of income.

 

It’s definitely not easy at first to diversify your sources of income when most of your time is used to please your first client; your employer. When I started working in my early days (man… that hurts; I just realized that I’ve been working full time for 10 years now!), I had kept my bread delivery gig on the weekend. I was a banker by day and a delivery boy on the weekend. The reason why I kept my second job was to A) produce more income and B) have a plan B if I ever lose my first job. This was quite a good idea as I needed my second job for a few weeks and I quit my first job after only 6 months. It was a gutsy move but it was much easier to make since I had already another source of income.

 

I always knew that having more than once source of income was important. As I mentioned in my recent post How much do you need in the next 30 days?, I could lose my job tomorrow morning and still live from my other sources of income for at least 2 years before starting to worry. If one day my “side income” could make over 50% of my overall income, I would be like Johnson & Johnson which makes 55% of its income outside of the US: my income will not depend on my employer.

 

Would I Buy Mike Corp if It Wasn’t Mine?

 

Would I buy me? Am I a good investment? Do I produce an interesting return on investment? These are questions I ask myself every day. If I wouldn’t buy me or hire me, how can I think that my employer or partner will be happy to do business with me? We all have days where we put ourselves in the recycle bin (I’m the first to think about that!). Since even great companies have bad quarterly results, it’s okay to have rough days, weeks or months. The key is to make sure the company is a good one at the end of the year.

 

Rat Race eBook

 

So do you want to get a raise?

Do you want to make more money on the side?

Do you want to be able to tell your boss that you are working for him because you want to instead of because you need to?

 

psst! all my techniques to answer those questions are in my book 😉

 

It’s simple; start considering yourself as a corporation. Once you will start taking care of yourself as if it was a business, you will see that you won’t be wasting your time, money and talent. You will start investing them for your future. This will make a huge difference!

 

Are you considering yourself as a corporation? How do you “invest” in yourself?

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October 22, 2012, 5:00 am

Crucial Info on eBook Marketing This is the Stuff You Don’t Wanna Miss

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: eBook

Man, selling your own stuff is so much fun!

 

 

Almost exactly one year ago (it was on Oct 18th 2011), I was doing the “post-mortem” analysis of my first paid eBook launch. I had sold a minute 22 copies in about a month as compared to 12,600 downloads of my free eBook: Dividend Investing (Which is now showing 24,270 downloads, you should DEFINITELY get your copy!).

 

This time, in less than three weeks, I’ve sold 226 copies (as of October 15th) of Dividend Growth. If you make the calculation, it’s $2,257.74 of gross income. Minus the 30% Amazon cut, I will get a check slightly under $1,580.42 (there are a few additional small fees). Therefore, it’s over $500 net per week and it keeps coming. Remember that my first number was 144 sales in the first 12 days. In the following week, I sold 82 copies in seven days. So technically, I’m still going at an amazing rate of 12 sales/day! And the most interesting part is that only yesterday (so exactly 19 days after the launch date), I sold 6 copies. This could mean two things:

 

#1 the Buzz around the book is not over yet (I’ve got 2 additional reviews over the weekend for 11 reviews so far!)

 

#2 Amazon is selling books for me as I sleep (literally!)

 

Chances are that it’s a combination of both statements but I truly hope that Amazon has already started to work for me. When I look at my Amazon affiliate panel, I can see that I have sold the 226 copies but I don’t know how many were linked to my fellow bloggers affiliate program. For the past 82 copies, I know I’ve sold 38 of them so 54% of my sales in that week are coming from outside my direct network. Let’s hope that half of that is coming from Amazon! This would mean that I’m selling 3 copies a day without any effort! Oh well, I’ll see that in late November I guess!

 

But I’m not here to brag about my new book today, I’m here to give you more info on how I’ve setup my marketing plan and to look at the results coming from it. But first, let’s start with a few funny numbers…

 

You Make More Money Sleeping Than Eating…

 

I’ve noticed a few interesting trends in terms of sales. During the first day, I was all excited to see my first sales coming in during the morning. I thought that during my one hour lunch, I would make a killing as people would buy the book during their pause. Funny enough, I made a big fat $0 from 12pm to 1pm!

 

On the other hand, I checked my sales around 10pm each day and at 5am when I wake up the next morning. Believe it or not, I never spent a night without selling a book! It seems that most people are buying books at night when they get back from work. When you think about it, it totally makes sense. But it’s just funny to make money while you are sleeping and not while you are eating!

 

Refunded and Borrowed Units

 

When you publish a book on Amazon, you can see if someone bought the book and decided to ask for a refund. What I found funny is that I have 15 refunded books but no negative emails or reviews whatsoever. And I’m not talking about fellow bloggers reviews and emails. Technically, you may think that these guys are biased as they are my friends in the first place. I doubt that most of my friends would badmouth my book on the web! However, I have received some great reviews, comments and emails with regards to this book from my readers and customers. I didn’t receive any bad comments. I’m not saying that my book is perfect, but I would really like to hear what those people have to say about my book!

 

I also have 20 borrowed units. Borrowing a book is possible if you are one of Amazon’s “prime members”. I think you can borrow 1 book per month. I’m flattered to see that 20 individuals decided to use their privilege to read my book.

 

 

$134.81 in Derived Income

Don’t forget to include your Amazon affiliate links when you are promoting your own book! I generated $83.43 in commissions in September along with $51.38 in the first 2 weeks of October. The funny part is that I’m not only making money on my books but from all the other things that my visitors are buying on Amazon at the same time. So it goes literally from the “body press Ab wheels” to the “Hardwire Ionization Smoke Detector” someone bought after clicking on my link. Did you know that you can buy an ionization smoke detector???? I’ve never received a check from Amazon since I started to blog back in 2006 and I’ll be getting my first check in November!!! So ALWAYS include your Amazon affiliate link! Ok… enough with the numbers, here are some second thought strategies if you plan on launching an eBook….

 

Amazon is a Search Engine

 

If you publish a book on Amazon, it’s the same thing as if you publish a website on the web: you want to get found. With a website, there is something called Search Engine Optimization that is all kinds of methods used to help you rank higher in Google (‘cause that’s all that matters anyways when you are doing SEO!).

 

Well, when you publish a book with Amazon, I’ve seen a similar result: your book will rank for specific keywords within the Amazon search algorithm. Unfortunately, I’m pretty new to this “Amazon Ranking Game” since I was too busy fighting with a Panda lately! But, I noticed that my book had different rankings from day to day for different keywords. I can’t obviously rank high for a generic word such as “investment” but I’m doing pretty well in my niche though.

 

In the “book” section, here are my rankings as of October 15th:

Dividend: #10 (1st page)

Dividend Investing: #11 (1st page)

Dividend Growth: #1 YEAH BABY!!

 

In the “Kindle Store” section (Since my book is not offered in any other format yet):

Dividend: #8 (1st page)

Dividend Investing: #10 (1st page)

Dividend Growth: #1 YEAH BABY!!

 

These rankings kind of validate that Amazon will be able to sell books without me pushing it anymore. On the other hand, I’m curious to see how long I can stay on the first page for the three keywords. Investing is still a highly competitive niche and I’m afraid this ranking is only temporary. It’s like a website without new content or new links coming in; your ranking will eventually fall even if you have a top quality site.

 

I guess the key is to play on the following metrics:

–          Get customers to write a review on Amazon

–          Sell more copies

–          Offer a print copy for sale

 

Mike Piper from Oblivious Investor (yeah, he is my 2012 hero!) told me to Amazon link your Kindle book to your paper copy in their system adds it up to your “book power” in their ranking. This is another reason why I’ve decided to launch a printed copy in December. Speaking of which, the process isn’t really rolling right now as my designer is fooling around with the format… sometimes I wish I was good with formatting!

 

Once You Sell Your Book, You Ain’t Done

 

Hum… okay, the above sub-title is only half-true. In fact, one of the biggest advantages of dealing with Amazon is that they handle everything from A to Z once you have published your book on their platform. They handle the marketing on their site, they take the payments, deliver the copy, they process the refund and send you a check after 6 weeks. Technically, it’s a hand off process where you can truly enjoy passive income once the machine is rolling.

 

But a big part of my marketing strategy was based on using my newsletter. I’ve grown a significant size mailing list throughout all the investing sites I own which totals over 8,000 subscribers. When I send an email, I know that 50% of my readers will open the email and read it. Therefore, I’m opening myself to 4,000 potential replies. All right, it’s not THAT scary as most people don’t reply. But still, I had to reply to over 131 emails concerning my book. Some people had questions, others commented on my work. I wanted to make sure I answered everyone in a timely manner with a personal answer. Actually, if you are a subscriber of any of my newsletters and you reply to any of my messages, you’ll be sure to get an answer back to all of your questions. I’m just thinking that if you are kind enough to take 5 minutes of your precious time to write me an email, the least I can do is to write you back, right? But then, it had created an additional work load, especially during the first week as I now receive only 1 or 2 emails a day concerning the book.

 

What Could Have Be Done Differently

 

I am super happy with my results. But still, there are things that could have been done differently in my strategy. Lucky me, I’m already working on another book where I will use my experience once again to make it an even bigger success. So for my next book, here’s what will be done differently:

 

Minimize Costs

 

I was so afraid to create another flop with this book that I paid a high price for a designer. I don’t 100% regret my decision as I got several features:

–          A complete site design with logos and banners (not used yet! Can you imagine that???)

–          2 books formatted (I have 2 versions but it’s literally twice the work for the designer as both books requires separate work)

–          3D super fancy cover (man, I really like my logo and cover!)

–          PDF, EPUB, MOBI format (and they are working on the paper version too!)

–          Countless emails back and forth adjusting everything (and when I write COUNTLESS, I mean it!)

So I can’t say that I didn’t get enough for what I paid. However, I should have be more precise in stating my needs and use only specific features instead of going all over the place and trying to get everything done. Next time, I won’t ask for a complete site since I’m not even using it yet. I might not get 2 versions of the same book as it was a lot of work. Mind you, the Canadian version is the most popular and there must be a reason for that: because it’s darn specific!

 

If I can make a better selection of what I need or not, I will save a lot of money in terms of design and formatting. The good news is that I’ve learned from the process and from what is required by Amazon to get both a Kindle and print copy.

 

Give The Book For Free

 

Huh? What’s the point of giving the book for free when you want to sell it and make money? Believe it or not, free is the new way to make money. But it’s not as simple as that! Lol!

 

Amazon gives you the possibility to offer your book in Kindle format for free for a maximum of 5 days during the first 90 days you publish with them. The point of offering your book for free is to build your “book power” in the Amazon ranking system. This is similar to search engine optimization as well: the more people download your book, the better the ranking you get. Therefore, if you have a good readership (such as my 8,000 mailing list subscribers) and you tell them that your book is free for a few days on Amazon, chances are that you will hit over 1,000 downloads pretty fast.

 

So instead of bragging that I rank on the first page for highly specific keywords, I could probably rank (temporarily) in wider range keywords such as investing and be part of the top/hottest downloads on Amazon. If this happens, it’s like doing the first page of Digg (well… a few years ago anyway! Hahaha!).

 

With a super boosted ranking due to your free downloads, chances are that the wave will continue to push your paid book higher. Even better, if you are smart enough to launch the paper version at the same time (which I will do next time!), several people will want to get the paper copy (most people still prefer to read a “real book” than an electronic version). So this is how you can make money from free.

 

Create an Upsell

 

In all my books, I’m referring to my site in order to not only get a happy customer but to gain a happy reader as well. It’s a derived way to grow your traffic without Google. But I’m not directly making more money with this strategy. I’m just slowly building more traffic.

 

The next step for me will be to create an upsell of my current product. It can be a sequel that already exists or another related product. For example, in my free book Dividend Investing, I’ve updated the previous version with mentions of Dividend Growth hoping that people who liked my first book will eventually buy the second one. Since I’m getting lots of downloads for my free book, this will eventually generate more sales of my second book. This is a good example of doing an upsell: people like your stuff, you offer them more and they become a bigger customer by buying more products from you.

 

This is what I’ll be trying with my new book (possibly to be released in 2013… so far it looks good for that!). Eventually, my goal is to sell over 10 eBooks per day. This would mean that I could be making roughly 35K in my pocket each year with pure passive income. I guess that if can I write 3-4 great books, I’ll be able to reach my goal!

 

Do You Have Any Questions?

 

Woah! I feel like I’ve literally dissected my brain with this post. If there is anything you feel that I didn’t tell you about my eBook adventure, now is the time because I can’t think of anything else. However, I’m sure I’ve forgotten some important stuff!

 

And if you have no questions, let me ask you one: what would you do differently if you were me now that you know what I’ve done to publish my book?

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