Thursday, May 24, 2018

How to Write Better with a Blog


The basic key to writing and a point that often gets over looked and buried under many other aspects is to "just write".  No matter what your tool of choice is whether it be a typewriter, PC, laptop or good old fashioned pen and paper the more you write the better you'll become.

Your musings no longer need to be stored away in notepads or journals.  You can put them directly onto the internet and published in no time at all.

You can start your journey of becoming a better writer by blogging.

What do I write about?

You need to find out what it is your passionate about, then start sharing your thoughts in a unique inventive way with your audience.

Be yourself.

Your blog is your own personal platform or sounding board.  Think about what sparks your interest and start focusing in on that. Discover the writer in you through your blogging.

Know that your thoughts may change in the future.

Things change over time, that's just a general fact of life.  Nothing ever stays the same, whatever you publish now may be of less value in the future.  Evidence may surface about an idea or topic - changing how everyone thinks.  To put it simply the information you've gleaned and put into a blog post may not always be right.  Don't let that little fact put you off writing.

Good or bad it's out there for all to see.

If you're a zealous note maker you'll notice that only you can understand the shorthand you've written.  When you're writing a blog post you need to make sure the post isn't for you but for your audience.

In the process of writing you open yourself up to comments and criticism.  You can share your blog posts on social platforms such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter to your hearts content.  It's in your hands whether or not you engage with your audience.  Even negative feedback to help you grow your blog audience, you can enter into conversation with your followers and share ideas.

Convey more in less space.

Challenge yourself every now and again to write longer articles, enhancing your thought, idea or argument.  Then try challenging yourself to writing out the same thoughts in 300 words or less.  It's your blog so you can write as long or as short as you want.

You can try different kinds of writing with your blog.

Blogging isn't just about writing up a blog post, it can also include many other types of writing including copywriting.  Copywriting is used to market or sell a product, and is a writing skill that takes time to be mastered.  Writing in different ways can open up new opportunities  and make you a better wordsmith overall.

All-in-all your writing will improve.

Practice makes perfect, that's a given for anything you want to accomplish in life.  Have a regular writing schedule for your blog means your writing will improve over time.  It also means you can improve on any old posts you have.  Improving on what you've already written is a good place to start.

Let me know in the comments below if blogging has made you a better writer.

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

Monday, May 21, 2018

Why I Recommend CreativeLive for Writer's


CreativeLive is the online school for artists and entrepreneurs.  In this review I'll share what I learnt when I signed up for Jeff Goins Starving to Successful course and I'll also suggest tips to decide if you should sign up to more classes in this CreativeLive review.

You can watch a  CreativeLive Preview here.

What is Creativelive?

CreativeLive is the brainchild of Chase Jarvis, based on his own preferred method of learning: total immersion by throwing himself into the deep end.

You can use CreativeLive using your PC or device and take in the classes at your own pace.

What Kind of Classes Can I Expect to Find on CreativeLive?

There are lots of classes available, depending on your interests.

If you're looking for a fast-track way to reach your goals you can try Learning Paths.  These tried and tested pathways have been put together with the world's best classes to help you land your next big gig.

"How to Become an Author" will direct you through a solid marketing plan to start writing your success story today.


What I Took on CreativeLive

I've been following Jeff Goins for a while now and was really interested when I saw his course Starving to Successful pop up.

Jeff Goins turned his blog from $200 into a thriving six figure business within his first year going on to write five bestselling books.

In his course Jeff Goins delivers strategies and action within 22 lessons to enable you to move up the path of profitablity with your writing..

Goins workshop contains extra materials in the form of PDFs to help on your way to $10K per month.

What CreativeLive Course Should I Take?

If studying online sparks you're interest, you've probably been through the CreativeLive class library.

A writer should take the following on CreativeLive:

Wired for Story
Ways of Being Published
Telling Your Truth Through Writing a Conversation
Develop a Creative Mindset and Write

Jennifer Louden will show you how to get your writing done, Melissa Cassera will teach you how to write addictive content and Tim Grahl will show you how to sell your first 1,000 books.

Unsure about what CreativeLive class to take as yourself, "Do I like what this course tutor has to offer?"

What You'll Get With a CreativeLive Class

CreativeLive classes range from $50 to $300, and courses are often discounted.  They also offer bundles which include multi-classes these can be as low as $45 to $800 depending on the bundle you choose.

All courses are on a scheduled basis offering special conferences on categories such as social media or business.  Along with a steady stream of offers and sales on all of their classes.

You don't have to watch the live lecture you can watch all classes in your own time.

Each class offers different materials which usually come in the form of a PDF which you can easily download.

What I Like About CreativeLive

I love the flexibility of CreativeLive, not being tied down to watch a live class and being able to come back to my course whenever I want.

You get first-class production values when you watch a class on CreativeLive.  The quality of the lesson materials was good to.

You can always find fresh material from people at the top of their craft like "Lisa Cron who teaches storytelling".

In contrast you can spend thousands of dollars on an MFA.  Or a couple of hundred dollars on online writing classes that are tailored to your particular needs.

Your learning can start for as little as $30.

The Downside to CreativeLive

The only downside with CreativeLive was that you can't download the videos directly onto to your PC or laptop.

Other than that I found no other problems with CreativeLive.

Why I Recommend CreativeLive to all Writer's

I recommend CreativeLive to all writer's with or without a budget.  Choose a class and see if it's for you.

With a modest amount you can start investing in your craft and you can learn from the very best without investing thousands of dollars.

For beginners and professionals alike who are looking to further careers but want to keep learning from the master craftsman in their chosen field.  Try CreativeLive.

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

Thursday, May 17, 2018

10 Excellent Reasons Why Every Writer Should Write an Ebook


As alarming as it might sound writing an Ebook does make really good business sense.  Clients and readers will come more readily when you become published.

Let's investigate further.

Writing isn't just about blogging, but having your name printed on the front of a paper back and being able to say "I wrote this", this is because many people still believe that being a real writer means publishing a book.

The world is full of  writer's of all kinds, each one pursuing their own dream.  

If this is starting to sound like you then you need to continue reading.  You'll discover by the end of this article how you can make that writing dream a reality.

So what's stopping you from writing that book?

(If really good reasons are in short supply then get a pen and paper and start your book right now).
It's all too easy to let fear get in the way and your dream be put on the shelf.  The quintessential paperback consists of around 80,000 words.  That's a lot of writing, but definitely not impossible.  Are you afraid that you're writing skills won't be up to scratch?  There are plenty of bestselling writer's out there that struggle with grammar and punctuation. 

These and many more reasons can stop you from writing your first book.  Thankfully there's another way.

Most writer's these days write ebooks.  Here's a list of why ebooks are good for all writer's:

1. Choose a subject you're interested in and become an expert.  Your subject could be work related or something you enjoy doing in your free time.  When you share your knowledge you can help other people and build your reputation at the same time.  Writing an eBook will increase your credibility in your chosen niche.

2. Once it's written it's there for keeps.  When your eBook is published it will be earning for you indefinitely.  It may require tweaking every once in a while just to keep it up-to-date but the hard work has been done so you can watch your passive income roll in.

3. Use it as a sign up tool.  Giving your eBook away for free may sound crazy because you're not making any income from it, but if you're just starting out it's a great incentive for people to sign up to your mailing list.

4. Creating and publishing was easy.  Marketing your eBook is where things get tough.  Use blogging as your platform to market your eBook.

5. Ebook's are everywhere.  People of every age group have access to a device, whether it be a mobile phone or Ipad.  In 2014 $5 billion of Kindle Devices were sold according to Morgan Stanley.

6. It will increase your authority online.  The more exposure you have the more trust you'll have with your reader's , exposure builds credibility.  Becoming an author will you take you to the next level.

7. Most ebooks are short.  If you take a look at the length of many ebooks on Amazon you'll soon discover they all vary in length from 20 pages to 55,000 words.  Try writing a couple of pages a day and you'll have an ebook ready in a month.

8. It doesn't have to be your magnum opus.  You'll never write with that thought in your head.  Remember you're writing to the best of your ability and not anyone else's.

9. You don't need a publisher.  You can edit and proofread your own ebook.  You don't need to pay for a editor to do it.  There is plenty of information to look at online if you're not sure about editing and formatting your ebook correctly.

10. Your ebook will be the start of extra income.  That's right you'll start earning royalties for each copy sold.  This could be a royalty of up to 70% if you start selling your book on Amazon.  For every $5 copy you sell you earn $3.50 for each copy sold.  Your royalties are much higher than a traditional publishing house.

Non-fiction books are great marketing tools if you already have a blog.

Helping to solve a problem is a good place to start selling books.  Drawing from personal experience is even better.

Start making notes about experiences you've had.  It could be:
  • How you solved a financial problem.
  • How you started growing your own vegetables.
  • Life after a divorce.
  • How you cope with stress.
Scribble down as many ideas as you can think of.

The next step is remembering how you overcame those problems, what tools you used and action you took.  Go into as much detail as you can.  Don't leave anything out even if you think it might be too boring.

Now that you've generated lot's of ideas you need to pick one!  That's how simple it is.

If you want to write an ebook in 30 days check out my article Write an Ebook in 30 Days and Finish it With this Guide.

Now you know where to start!  Happy writing.

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

Monday, May 14, 2018

How to Grow and Cultivate Your Blog Traffic


Even the best bloggers will come across this issue at some point.  All  the hard work of starting a blog, formulating a message.

It comes when you least expect it that horrible feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you discover your traffic has plummeted.  You're thinking, "where's my website traffic gone?". It's something that cannot be avoided.

The bane of any bloggers existence new or seasoned is always:

How do I get more traffic to my blog?

Before I answer the above question we need to understand the reasons why you want more traffic.

Is it simply that you want to help others? Is your blog a helpful resource to other people? Or is it for the popularity?

Sharing your own experiences is all well and good but don't get caught up in the fame game.  Stay on a steady course with practical information and tools your readers will want and need.

19 really useful points to get more traffic to your blog:

1. Leave helpful comments on other blog's

2. Write pithy blog posts

3. Blog less

4. Become a useful source of information

5. Be a regular blogger

6. Create addictive content

7. Write evergreen posts

8. Put your blog in order

9. Post your blog link on search engines regularly

10. Post regularly on social media, Twitter, Facebook, Google+

11. Ask your friends to share your content

12. Write about useful things people will link to

13. Make your readers smile with funny anecdotes

14. Be inventive

15. Become noteworthy

16. Strike a chord with your headlines

17. Become search engine friendly

18. Make your content sing

19. Use "you" not "me" (write in the second person)

If you're looking for more help on blogging read my book Blogger: Build Your Blogger Website in Five Steps from Start to Finish.

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

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Writer's Guide to Affiliate Marketing


Affiliate Marketing What's It All About?

With the ever widening innovations of the internet and technology with cookie trackers capable of predicting which products you're likely to purchase along with interactive web pages.  It's know wonder that people have been taking advantage of this important technology.  With advertisements magically appearing when you're searching for something online, it's clearly taken the world by storm.

In the early days of the internet many people would have dodged most pop-up advertisements, but these days you have ads and articles enticing you into a good deal.  Somewhere in the world somebody has clicked on an advertisement and benefited from the product being sold while the webmaster gets a small commission for his handy work.

There are no losers and both parties gain.  Not a penny of cash is taken from the webmaster until he/she makes the sale.  It's a win- win situation for all involved.

So where did affiliate marketing start?

This Blog post is 1,353 words long, download your FREE PDF and read it later.

Brief History of Affiliate Marketing

Paying commissions and revenue sharing are not new concepts, but the transition of revenue share principles to mainstream e-commerce began in November 1994, four years after the application of the world wide web.

The idea was conceived and implemented by William Tobin with his company PC Flowers and Gifts generating sales exceeding $6 million per year, based on a business model that paid a commission on sales to the Prodigy network.

Another surprising pioneer in the field of affiliate marketing was Cyber Erotica, which had its own cost per click program.

By July of 1996 Amazon, via Amazon.com started its own associate program which allowed affiliates to place ads and text links on their websites linking directly to the Amazon website products.  If a customer bought a book from Amazon a commission was given to the associate.  The Amazon Associate program has been so popular it's become a model many businesses have tried to imitate.

Things You Need to Know About Affiliate Marketing

To put it simply affiliate marketer's drive traffic to e-commerce sites in return for a commission.  This requires the customer to buy a product from a connected link.

The Process

Usually there are four parties involved:

Merchant

A retailer or advertiser looking to increase sales.  The merchant gives a publisher a trackable link to his site. The publisher includes this link in his content.  The reader/customer follows that link to the retailer's site and buys the product, the retailer pays the publisher a commission on that sale.

Network

Big retailers such as Amazon start their own affiliate programs but go through an affiliate network.

These networks are essentially the middle man between multiple merchants and publishers.  This gives the publisher access to various merchants under the same network.

Publisher

These are the blog and website owners that include affiliate links on their websites to promote the products from their chosen affiliate network in the hope that people will click on the links and purchase.

Customer

The client or prospect who clicks on the publishers site and purchases something through a link or advertisement.


Start Your Blog and Create Great Content

If you haven't started your own blog or author platform check out my post How to Start a Self-hosted Blog with Blogger and Make Money Online.  This will show you how to start you blog today.

Note: Start adding amazing content and building your social media following.  This will help build trust with your readers.

Best Affiliate Programs for Writers

You may already be using products or services that have their own affiliate programs or you may want find a few new ones to try out.

When you start affiliate marketing you need to find products that target your particular blog audience.  Here are few to get you started:

Amazon Associates Program

If you've already bought items from Amazon you'll know how vast their catalogue of products is.  You can choose from thousands of books, gifts, computers, stationery etc. for your blog.  The beauty of Amazon is that the more you sell the more commission you earn.  I've sold everything from water bottles to scarves.  People don't need to buy the product that is linked on your blog, all they have to do is start filling their shopping carts.

ShareASale

ShareASale is an affiliate marketing network that offers a variety of different affiliate programs to direct sales to the merchant.  The three affiliate programs I use under the ShareASale umbrella are:

CreativeLive

CreativeLive is a free online school for artists and entrepreneurs and offers thousands of classes to help people learn real-life skills.

Fotor

Fotor is a well-known photo editing tool to enhance and create images online.

PicMonkey

Another photo editing tool used by thousands of bloggers worldwide to create amazing images.

Rakuten Affiliate Network

Formerly known as LinkShare, Rakuten offers a plethora of advertisers.  I use Udemy advertising on my blog because they have one of the biggest directories of courses online.

Impact Radius

It's very much like the Rakuten Affiliate Network and ShareASale.  It houses hundreds of advertisers under one umbrella.  Here are a couple of the advertisers I use from Impact Radius:

SkillShare

Skillshare is another learning community online offering thousands of classes in business, writing, blogging, art, design etc.

Hostgator

Hostgator is a global web hosting provider that also offers website building, VPS Hosting, Reseller Hosting, domain names, SEO and so much more.

How to Promote Your Affiliate Links

The Review Post

You can introduce your reader to a product through an article review.  With this article your opinion guides them to understanding why they should buy it.

Things to remember when writing a review a post for your affiliate product:
  • Choose a product you're likely to use yourself
  • Write the review in a personal tone
  • Make sure your review is honest
The How-to Article

You often find that some products require a guide.  This is a great opportunity for affiliate product promotion.  You can write your own tutorial, or even create a video for the product.

Note: These tutorials can also help improve your search engine ranking.

The Coupon Code

Saving money is a huge incentive when marketing a product.

Your aim as an affiliate marketer is to make sure the customer clicks the affiliate link, otherwise the sale won't count.

The Featured Post

Whether its a review post or coupon code post you need to point your readers to it to get the most views possible.  On Blogger its a "Featured Post".

Add a Banner on the Sidebar or Bottom of the Page

Banner ads work well with targeted traffic on your blog.  I've made the mistake in the past of putting too many banners on my blog, resulting in total confusion to my readers less is definitely more.

Integrating Affiliate Links

Add affiliate links to as many relevant blog posts as possible.

Go through old blog posts and add appropriate links.

Promote Affiliate Links on Social Media

Use Twitter, Google+ and Facebook to promote links.  I find Twitter a great place to market affiliate links.

Make Sure You Disclose

With all advertising make sure you have a disclosure on your blog post and on your blog front page.

Extra Promotional Tips:
  • Create a series around a product
  • Write a comparison post
  • Create a post when a product adds a new feature
  • Create a Resource Page
Be Transparent with a Disclosure Policy

A step that so often gets neglected by many bloggers.  It may not sound important but not doing it could get you into a whole lot of trouble!

The FTC or Federal Trade Commission wants all affiliate marketers to make a clear disclosure of all affiliate links.

I also recommend including a small disclosure below each post you publish with affiliate links.  This may seem like a lot but you don't want to lose the trust of your readers.

Outcome:  A Revenue Stream Requiring Low Investment

Don't look at affiliate marketing as the be all and end all of making money on your website.

Try varying your revenue streams by selling other services and products.  Try sticking to products within your niche and you can't go wrong.

This Blog post is 1,353 words long, download your FREE PDF and read it later.

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