Selling Digital Products on Your Blog

Over the years I've been blogging I've used self-hosted websites and websites hosted by Blogger.  It always depends on my circumstances as to which option I go for.

My current arrangement  is made up of Blogger hosting and Hostgator domain name.  Which gives me the freedom of a blogger blog and the dot com name, which makes my website costs a lot cheaper.

I use Bloggers simple template for preference.  I have tried using various other templates, but always came back to simple in the end.

I use PicMonkey to create the images for my blogs widgets, so all in all my blog is run on a pretty simple system.

If you want to start selling services and products on your blog without hiring extra help and without knowing much about code you can find some easy tips below:

1.  Integrate a Payment form or Processor

If you want to start selling your own downloads their are various companies you can use to do this:

Payhip - A company I've used in the past that's easy to integrate and who offer coupons and discounts to tempt your readers.  Also Selz and Gumroad both really good services for selling digital downloads.

If you're selling a service you can use Cognito forms which integrates Stripe into its form for receiving payment.

2.  Get a Customisable Blogger Theme

If you want a particular look or theme to your blog their are a number of websites that offer Blogger templates:
These are just a few, you can also add your own landing page and popups with Wufoo and Mailchimp.

All of these things can be tailored to your own needs, you need to find out and discover what works for you and your blog. The best way to do this is to try things out, if it doesn't work you can always change things later on.

What tools do you use on your website?  Share in the comments.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


Are You Easy to Find?

If you're aspiring to greater things as a writer, having a blog or website is essential.  Its your beacon for literary agents looking for new writers giving them easy access to contact you for future nterviews or publishing deals.

Don't be Frightened to Set Up a Blog

Many people think that by setting up a blog they'll get hacked straight away and their private information stolen.  Its a fear felt by most people and one that is unfounded.

Making yourself available through a number of channels opens up new opportunities and is valuable for amateur writers wanting to make a real career from their writing.

Here are four simple steps to be more visible online:

1.  Start a Blog

You can create a blog for many reasons, you don't need to tell the world about every little thing going on in your life.  You can put a simple about me page up to give your readers a short introduction to who you are and why you're on the internet.  Nothing complicated just enough to let people know you're genuine.  If you've written a book or want to write a book, blog about it.

2. Open a Social Media Account

There's no harm in opening a social media account, I know there are people that still don't have one, but if you're looking to start a writing it's a lifeline and an opening to a whole new world of building bridges and making money online.  It's like anything in life, you must use it regularly to get the most out of it, otherwise its a pointless activity.

3.  Check Your Email Regularly

If you want literary agents  to find you, check your email at regular intervals.  You'll find editors and agents don't procrastinate and work on deadlines constantly, so they won't hang around.  Use your mobile phone to make regular checks just in case you miss anything.

4.  Take Simple Steps to Protect Yourself from Spam

Any comments or email you received can be filtered or easily deleted.  You can protect yourself in various ways by checking for any unwanted attention through Google Webmaster or your websites dashboard.  Simply add your sitemap and check your blog weekly for unwanted attention.  If you have problems with email messages or unwanted comments you can mark your comments as spam and delete them or you can filtetr your emails.

I'd love to hear your comments.


Why It's Good to Take a Breather from Writing

Sounds crazy, I know.  But there's nothing wrong in chilling out every once in a while.

If you're routine is writing regularly then you know how it feels to get things out on time.  Making your publishing deadline is no easy task these days.  Life has become a lot harder, with more things to think about financially, just knowing you have a bit of security.

I try to stick to my routine every week but it doesn't always work that way.  Life gets in the way and stuff doesn't get done.  But like everyone else I deal with it in my own particular way and push on.

The importance of having that time out from writing can't really be measured.  Every time you sit down to write your thoughts need to be fresh.  If you're starting to feel burnt out, then you know you have a problem.  If you have that nagging feeling that you're just too tired and can't be bothered.  Then its time to take stock of your situation.

Stand back and take note of how many things you're juggling in your life.  We all juggle too many balls sometimes, and we just need to let go.

If you really want to be a writer you have to work out a routine that works for you and gives you enough rest time to recoup your thoughts.

Simple truth is you need a good work, life balance.  You should be writing because you enjoy it not as a necessity.  If you're passionate about you don't need any kind of motivation.

Take it in your stride.

I'd love to hear your comments about your writing routine.


Why You Don't Need Permission to Write a Book

How do I write a book?

A question a lot of would-be authors ask everyday.  Actually sitting down thinking of a subject or even thinking about writing a work of fiction seems really hard to a lot of people.

Yes anyone can write a book, there is no financial or physical resources required to do so.  If you're looking to publish your book, that's a different matter altogether.  Books have been written in all kinds of strange places from prison cells to trains.

It doesn't matter how bad your grammar or spelling may be, you're in good company.  You'd be joined by the likes of Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, the  list goes on.  If you really want to get serious, it requires thought, work and a whole lot of effort.

If you're wondering how to get started in your publishing career its no surprise that we live in a digital age, so many free resources are already at your fingertips.  Companies such as Amazon provide a ready-made platform with software to process and bring your books to life.  There's no need to look for a publishing house you can send your manuscript straight to print without worrying about where to get the financial help to do so.

Again it takes time and effort to make your book legible and relate able to your audience.  Are you the kind of writer that's only in it for the fame and wealth.  There's no magic wand that can be waved to make sure your book is a bestseller.  Once you've written your book you have to spend the time promoting your book and get word out that you're an author, making sure people know who you are, otherwise all of your hard work is dead in the water.

These days you don't have to be a great writer to sell books.  That can clearly be seen by Amazons list of bestsellers.

If you love writing, and want to put your thoughts on paper, there's nothing stopping you.  Go for it! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.