I love reading Amazon reviews. I really do. Others like to leave the house for food or exercise, or to make new friends.
I prefer to stay home and read Amazon reviews.
Here is today’s favorite.
I love reading Amazon reviews. I really do. Others like to leave the house for food or exercise, or to make new friends.
I prefer to stay home and read Amazon reviews.
Here is today’s favorite.
Here is a pretty good blog post – with a collection of thoughts, ideas and inspirational musings on how to find your purpose….and do what you love for a living, that I wanted to share.
I especially liked this post (at the link below) because…….the one sure thing you discover in the pursuit of finding wise words about PASSION on the web….and truly trying to latch on to some ideas you can use to pursue YOUR sense of passion and purpose in the world (your being the operative idea there) is the endless amount of droll drivel out there in the blogosphere……pontificating about what it means to be a success, what successful people do (or don’t) and all of that other nonsensical nonsense and new age ninkinpoopedness that leads us all to feel WORSE about ourselves when we’re done, then when we began.
I mean, how many times have we read a blog post about the “rules” of success – and what people who “win” do better than the rest of us mere mortals…..or about how X celebrity, or entrepreneur or athlete, got so damn successful, based on ABC set of traits….only to find out later that celebrity exhibit A also happened to be a world class cheat or creep or fugazi and a complete fraud….that everything you thought you knew, and could never do, really had nothing at all to do with what it really meant to get a goal in the first place?
I truly believe success HAS to be measured subjectively….from your own prism and perspective - what makes YOU feel good about YOU.…to mean anything worthwhile at all.
(otherwise it’s all just a bunch of bumper sticker quotes which no body really follows or believes in…and those of us who try to emulate those traits are only doing ourselves a dis-service in confidence or competence….when we find we can’t live up to the lofty expecations we’re told are required to dance in the direction of our dreams, the inevitable outcome is always feeling like it’s US who aren’t good enough, rather than the rules that were warped and out of wack all along)
Things are never quite the way them seem from the outside looking in…and that’s why I truly believe you’ve got to be able to “filter the fluff” and see through all of the self help style “rules” about what it takes to do what you LOVE for a living, and instead….just march to your own beat and do things that inspire you, make you feel like you are playing full out with your own natural gifts….and sharing them with the world in such a way as you can’t almost help but be a financial success as well.
Anyway – I really liked a few of the quotes on this blog below – and thought they were worth sharing – make your own rules – define what success feels like to YOU - it may not be money – it may be contribution – or connection - or even a simple sense of joy that you get from immersing yourself in something you love.
As long as they work for YOU – and for the right reasons – you’ve got more wisdom than most.
Check out the full article at the link following the short excerpt below.
One of the interesting things about success is that we think we know what it means. A lot of the time our ideas about what it would mean to live successfully are not our own. They’re sucked in from other people. And we also suck in messages from everything from the television to advertising to marketing, etcetera. These are hugely powerful forces that define what we want and how we view ourselves. What I want to argue for is not that we should give up on our ideas of success, but that we should make sure that they are our own. We should focus in on our ideas and make sure that we own them, that we’re truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it’s bad enough not getting what you want, but it’s even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of the journey that it isn’t, in fact, what you wanted all along.”
I’m not good enough.
I can’t do this.
I’m a fraud.
People will know I’m a fake.
I’ll get a question I can’t answer. Who would listen to ME?
I need to study more, first.
I’ll never know enough.
Everyone else is smarter than me. I feel exposed.
I can feel it.
Ever hear any of these voices?
All the time.
We all have.
They are the voices of doubt, of fear, of anxiety, and of the ever-present “impostor” that we fear will be exposed to those that look too close.
Even Van Gogh heard those voices, and he only had 1 ear.
(which means they were probably much louder than ours..;-)
The truth is – when you hear that voice – just paint.
One of my favorite parts of writing “Passion’ was the chapter on the “Impostor Syndrome” that started with the above.
The idea that we aren’t good enough – smart enough – or authentic enough to do what we love for a living.
That everyone else is better – knows more – and by contrast, we don’t stack up all too well on that totem of why you ought to be pick me for the job, instead.
And that pursuing a profession of PASSION is almost an unwitting ally of that inner critic that lives within us all.
The more we care…..the more exposed we begin to feel when we share our flare.
I got a really nice email from someone on Facebook earlier today that really made my day.
Someone without a whole lot of interest in the online marketing universe……but who told me that the simple chapter on dealing with feeling like an Impostor, and moving forward anyway had inspired her to act.
And for me……..that is truly the best feeling in the world.
And it makes ME feel like less of an impostor…..even after publishing the book!
And that feeling never fully goes away.
I love all of those quotes about fearlessness not being the absence of fear, but rather….the courage to act even though you ARE afraid.
Because it’s true.
Like everyone…..I had experienced sadness before……and bad days, but I don’t really think I had ever really experienced that sort of extended…….day in….day out….down in the dumps doldrums and sense of disappointment before, and sort of didn’t know how to handle it well.
So I sort of receded…and pulled back and stopped really interacting all that much with the things that made me feel alive and empowered, especially in my work.
Doing this sort of work makes it easy to hide – and still feel productive and profitable….even when you spend your days wearing footsie pajamas, with perpetual pillow head, and the only voice you hear everyday is the critic that lives within.
One day I got an email out of the blue from a guy who I knew of – someone who (at the time) was pretty well known in the direct response marketing real estate world.
He was interested in learning how to do lead generation on Craigslist….and at the time, my blog was #1 on the web for list building using online classifieds. (even though it’s something I haven’t done for years, I still get thousands of visits a month from Craigslist marketers)
After writing a pretty flattering email – he offered to “buy” an hour of my time by phone – for a ridiculous amount of money.
I don’t want to.
And i’m not good enough.
He’ll know I’m a frumpled, crumpled, frazzled fraud.
But how can I really say no? And for how long?
What would my reason be? I mean…..can I possibly just say I’m booked up for the next 6 months without a 60 minute window to spare?
And then of course…….if I blow him off, it will look like I’m hiding something anyway.
(and of course…..what I’m hiding would be I’m a big fat fuzzy fake)
Really, if you think about it….a no win proposition.
We set the appointment for 9AM a few days later.
And thankfully, 9AM his time was 12 pm mine.
Because getting out of bed before 11:00 would have been a deal breaker.
I can distinctly remember sleeping on the sofa in my living room….just to make sure I got my rear end up in the morning….I was literally afraid my addiction to my hyper comfy bed and my evolving love for unconsciousness would empower me to say “Fuck it” once a new day dawned.
The sofa didn’t help all that much…..and as I lie there – between wakefulness and surfing the mid morning dream worlds I had come to know and love, I still wasn’t 100% committed to the idea that I would pick up the phone when it rang, even as the minute hand ticked and I knew the moment of truth was arriving.
But at a certain point between 5 of and “we’re live” …..I committed.
I got up and stretched. I washed my face – paced around the house for a few laps, did my best “you looking at me” Bobby Dinero impression…….and suddenly, something significant shifted.
Call it a return of confidence or competence. Or both.
Because all of a sudden……I couldn’t wait for the phone to ring.
And when it did…..I pounced to pick it up.
I made a pretty good friend on that day, and apparently, a pretty good impression as well.
(he later credited that conversation in a course on Craigslist real estate marketing – and as a result – sent me many tens of thousands of visitors to my blog for years to come, many of whom still arrive thanks to that simple 60 minute consultation)
The important part, at least to me, is this:
Because there truly is no better enemy to the impostor than action….especially if you have half a clue about what it is that you love and truly do better than most.
All of us are exceptional in our own way……and there is something inspiring and powerful and transformational in finding that one thing and just doing it, even when that little voice within says you suck.
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it”
Below is a quick article I submitted earlier today to EZA that sort of gives an overarching look at how I created and published a new Amazon ebook this past week that quite literally, cost less than $50 or so to publish and promote, that I did very, very little to push…..
and yet still, in only about 24 hours, went to #1 on Amazon in the “Free” Business/Motivation category,and #1 in the “Free” Small Business/Entrepreneurial category, and I really have very little idea what I’m doing when it comes to the in’s and out’s of full time publishing on Amazon. (many other folks I’m finding know all of the right lists to submit to, the right Facebook pages to use, etc, etc, etc…:-)
An engaged audience of readers, subscribers and a community of people who are passionate about your topic – and maybe passionate about your perspective too, and are curious enough about what you have to say to check out what you’ve said.
Simply stated – while I’m not paying attention to WHERE the book downloads are coming from, that very first day…..(Wed of this week) I had a TON of people download the book – and that coincided immediately after I emailed my list to let you know it was live and available for free, should you want it.
By Wed night it was #1 in the categories I had specified for free books…..and I’d be lying to say I wasn’t surprised. (because I really haven’t been emailing my list anymore, maybe once or twice over the last 60 days or so, and other than my small group of clients – and my next “LAUNCHiT” platform, I pretty much have no interest in the general online marketing niche anymore)
…as the thousands of downloads have all been free.
But tommorow, the book will be back to normal price – and hopefully will continue to be popular, and even if only a fraction of a fraction downloads it now – it could be a pretty profitable experience.
Other disappointments are I’ve only received 2 reviews, too – which surprises me a bit – as I had hoped more people would share their experience, good, bad or in between. (although some very nice readers have emailed me directly, or sent messages on Facebook, all of which lifts my spirits a bit and tells me it was enjoyed)
But all in all, this has been a fun and interesting experience – and there is a big part of me who would love to keep pumping these books out, an in a wide swatch of subjects – as I really do love the process of creating something new.
And while I continue to learn, absorb and explore the various ways that successful publishers are promoting their books….as I always try to recommend to others, the BEST approach is to dive in and do it YOURSELF.
(and not just pay attention to all of those who tell you they know best)
As an aside – a guy I like and respect said – “don’t even mail your list – an email list is way over-rated” for publishing on Amazon. Of course, I hadn’t planned on taking that advice, but it did make me a tad worried that maybe I was over-valuing my own when “launching” this on Wed with an email to you.
In the end, not only was that advice wrong…..my email list – or the “mini-platform” that is my blog and brand was the central piece of the process – and promotion – and for that, and all of you who checked it out thereafter – i thank you.
The article I submitted to EZA is below if you’d like to read it – of course, it’s not really written for my blog audience in mind – but it details some of the super simple steps I followed that you may care to know, if you’re about to write your own.
Who else would love to publish a top ranked book on Amazon, but thinks it’s going to take you a ton of time, money or effort to make it happen?
Think you’ve got to be “Shakespeare” to write a best selling book? Or, maybe you think you’ve got to be a “guru” in your niche, market or industry to write books that appeal to a HUGE global audience? The truth is, you need none of the above, and I’m going to share with you the simple formula I used last week to write a book, publish it, and literally….watch as it went to #1 in MULTIPLE categories, in just the last few days. (and launched it for the most part, 100% for free)
The funny thing is, the EASIEST part was actually writing the book. It took me a long weekend to complete, and runs about 140 + pages altogether.
(I included and modified a few blog posts as examples for the book, which added about 20 pages, so realistically it was 120 of new content)
The secret is, to OUTLINE everything well in advance. I do what I call a “content cornerstone” which is tantamount to a niche knowledge data dump, where I took a book of sticky notes and simply wrote a chapter title, or topic on each one.
(then I just organized them into a good sequence, set them down next to my keyboard, and quite literally, “riffed” on each topic until I was exhausted the information listed each note)
Once the document was completed, I simply went to FIVERR, and paid for both a cover, and for a kindle conversion to be completed. (in other words, a nice looking cover makes a BIG difference and I had my .doc file converted to EPUB, so it could be uploaded to Amazon)
I literally did all of that in about 3 days. It was a pretty long weekend of work, and believe it or not, for a day and a half I barely left my office.
I got the cover and conversion work done by Monday (by the FIVERR workers I picked) and my book was actually live on Amazon by late Monday night. (they approved it in about 12 hours)
Here it the KEY to my promotion strategy. I’m almost embarrassed how rudimentary this is…..but it goes to show you how POWERFUL a platform can be.
I made the book “FREE” for 3 days. When you enroll in the Amazon KDP program like many of you know, (which is totally free) they allow you 5 free promotional days every 3 months. So making my book free, allowed it to get maximum exposure across a number of fronts. (people who list and re-publish free books everyday, free book Facebook pages, etc)
I actually paid someone on FIVERR to do a little bit of this for me as well, although I’m not 100% sure how important that was to my results.
BUT, the BIG thing I did that I could control, which certainly helped was THIS:
I simply emailed my blog and newsletter list, and told them I had a new book up, and that it was free, and that they had 3 days to download it without having to pay.
My book is in the Entrepreneurial and Motivational marketplace…which is pretty competitive, especially by other marketing types.
Within 24 hours, on the POWER of my “platform” (my list of subscribers) my book was #1 in business motivation, and small business entrepreneurialism in the free offer section. (right next to Mark Cuban’s new book!)
It has stayed #1 in Motivation for 3 days now….and has been in the top 3 in a whole bunch of other categories as well. (of course, again….it’s FREE, so I’m not making money yet, but that’s not my goal for week 1)
it positions me as an expert to MY target audience, higher income and budget bloggers, brand builders and business owners, and adds one more simple accomplishment to my resume, when I sell myself, and our services to them.
(because of course, if I can do that for ME in a matter of a few days of work, I can certainly help THEM do it far more professionally….with a lot more effort as well)
The whole launch cost me under $30 bucks – and now, with a book that’s sitting at top of the Amazon charts, I have an incredible amount of flexibility to REALLY promote it, and to explore and experiment with some unique strategies Ive always wanted to try! (and if you are PASSIONATE bout your niche, so too can you)
The truth is, I really believe that content curation CAN be one of the easiest and most effortless ways to create an authority site, from scratch…without really needing to do a ton of writing, or even have much more expertise in a niche than an overarching interest or unique point of view.
As I’ve written about before…..even a simple VIDEO blog, where you simply go out and find the most interesting multi-media in a given niche and simply cull and collect them in one place can be a great and entertaining way to “curate content” in a given niche, without needing to do anything unique or all that creative of your own.
(years ago…I remember when I first started publishing online, there was a super cool service called “Splashcast” which used to allow you to create channels around any set of keywords you wanted, and it would go “fetch” the videos for you, and you could embed them on your blog or website, and automatically update)
I had a client at the time, a charity that was located just outside of Philadelphia, where I was living at the time….set up a TV style site around one of the themes of their fundraisers, (a unique type of go cart race for kids) that built an entire user engagement platform out of that idea, and embedding those videos…that literally took us a weekend to launch)
Or you can simply use a template like THIS one, that allows you not only to create a full style site, it allows users to submit their favorites as well, and is 100% BUDDYPRESS compatable to boot.
Of course you can curate text based content equally as easily…and do many of the same things, with super duper ease. One of the things I’m working on next for the AMAZON marketplace, is a totally curated book on user experiences in a “spiritual” and meditative niche that I have some interest. (basically just getting permission to curate my favorite stores and submissions on an existing site…and publishing them in the book)
An example of this idea in action are the 6 Word Memoirs series of books - I actually went to High School with the guy who launched these (and our sisters remain close friends) - the entire idea – and collection is based on what is really “curated content” at heart.
Tumblr…as we’ve covered on here many times in the past, is a great example of not only how content curation can be a great way to build a brand around a blog, it’s also the easiest and entertaining way to curate content as well.
You can really CURATE anything that you have interest in….and provide a great user experience for your audience – and don’t need to write a ton – or even be a complete expert in the area to have the absolute BEST blog or site in your niche. After all……a real authority site is often just a launching off point – or a starting place, where people of passion come together to check out what’s happening in a niche, topic, market or industry, and whether they are reading that content on YOUR site – or simply using your site as central hub to find other stories to visit…really matter not, at all.
Check out the short article I wrote earlier today for more on content curation….or better yet, simply go out and start your own!
In the purest sense of the word, this IS what an authority site really is. A portal for people of passion to start to to explore ideas related to a new niche… and to count on YOU to filter the content that is really worth reading for them. (And you’ll accrues the benefits of a loyal and committed community of readers who will come STRAIGHT to you when they want to explore the niche and see what’s new or happening now).I’ll go one quick step further… as there are AMAZING ways to curate content for fun and profit that go way beyond what we’ve just covered. But consider THIS as well.Some of the best selling books on Amazon right now, especially in the motivational and entrepreneurial spaces… are purely curated content.The beauty of this idea is, it’s often the authors OWN content that is curated!For example -Taking the top 20 blog posts over the course of a few years, cleaning them up a bit and turning them into a book. That’s content curation… pure and simple.OR, taking the best reader comments or questions, submissions, or surveys done over a few years… and turning them into an ebook. Tumblr bloggers have perfected this art, with some Tumblr communities, turning simple niche blogs into best selling books and even a few independent movies… some of them, 100% “crowd” contributed content as well.
After yet another weekend of minimal daylight and maximum eyestrain…….I’m happy to announce a new book on Amazon:
I’m really, really proud of this, and hope that it not only offers a series of simple steps anyone can follow to grow their blog, brand or business, but also, offers what I hope (and believe) are some pretty unique and innovative approaches to overcoming many of the obstacles many of us face along the way.
So check it out HERE.…..and there is a special little bonus at the end of the book, keep your eye out for that as well!
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
- Benjamin Franklin
The truth is, in my own experience the absolute BEST way to increase email conversion rates is frequency.
More is better.
The funny thing is, when I do little “hold my breathe”, try not to blush and just hit send experiments with new subscribers on my own content marketing campaigns, it’s always how aggressive, occasionally over the top….and how frequent the messages come that first week, that determines TWO important things.
(e.g. – sign up for something, participate in a program or otherwise engage in an action that makes everyone happy behind the scenes)
But, framed differently….that’s a GOOD thing, right?
If you have tons of passion and purpose and feel like you have true expertise to offer, and really CAN deliver life changing results to your clients or community, why wait for a few weeks to really state your case?
I mean, life is short, right?
If you can say in 3 days what your competition will say in 3 weeks…..why not say it sooner rather than later, and more often rather than less?
I don’t know.
For better or for worse – human beings respond better to strong than soft.
And NOW rather than Later.
( a great fruity candy by the way that also follows the more is better than less theory of how much is too much)
It’s like dating – something I’m really, really bad at because I have intimacy issues, love Montel Williams and wake up late, three things I’ve found most women don’t like.
If you are REALLY serious about meeting someone and feel a sense of urgency about moving forward……..
So if you are struggling to find that perfect balance of how to improve your email conversion percentages….and turn more subscribers into sales, and more of your community into clients, I urge you to disregard all of the guru goofiness out there and just try saying more.
And saying it faster.
And see what happens.
Agree? Disagree? For a different perspective – check out some of the other resources below on email conversion rates.
(but if you want to make more money, use my advice above instead
Email marketing is not art and science like many claim, it’s math, art, and psychology. Creating and maintaining a successful email marketing campaign is more important today than ever before. In fact, 74% of online adults say email is their preferred method of commercial communication according to Digital Inbox. To increase email conversion rates one has to combine elements of:Email Conversion * ART – creates the perfect design, pleasing to the eye and easy to convert * MATH – Measure results, A|B test, optimize * PSYCHOLOGY – Relevant content, educational, pleasingHere are 4 Tips to Increase Email Conversion Rates that you can easily apply to your email marketing efforts:1. Time it CorrectlyTiming is one of the most important variables in email optimization, but one that is “frequently” forgotten. When should I send the email 2 or 5 days after sign up, 30 or 45 days after a purchase? How often should the emails be sent to each individual? The answers to these questions can only be answered with trial and error. Although there might be some benchmarks circulating around the Internet, I believe their specific to each business and customer.