Monthly Archives: January 2019

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019

This Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019 is a little early. I’ve had a few set-backs this month that have made me rethink my 2019 goals. Actually, that’s not such a bad thing. I’m glad this education occurred so early in the year.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019: My Blog Subscribers Aren’t Real Subscribers

Here’s what I’ve learned: WordPress is sneaky in the way it interchanges the words “registered users” (also referred to as team members in WordPress lingo) and “subscribers” (also referred to as followers in WordPress lingo) on its administrative platforms. But it’s important that you never mix up these terms as per CAN-SPAM and CASL laws in North America. Carol Manser wrote a great article about this titled “Registered Users, Subscribers & Logins: What’s the Difference?” Here’s what she has to say about the difference between the two:

If someone Registers on a website, they become Registered Users. Unless the site tells you that you will get some extra privilege for Registering, you will get no extra benefit from Registering.

A common reason why you might want to Register on a website, is Registering on a Forum. You usually have to Register on a Forum before you are allowed to Post questions on the Forum.

If someone Subscribes to a website, they consent to be put onto an Email List in exchange for whatever the website has offered to give them in exchange for their Name and Email Address details. Because of this Consent/Confirmation to receive Emails, Subscribing to a Website is not the same as Registering with a site.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019: My “Subscribers” Are Only “Registered Users”

It is important to understand that when someone “registers” to your WordPress site, all they’re agreeing to is the right to post comments to your blog as shown in this illustration:

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019 WordPress META

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019 WordPress META

Unfortunately, WordPress lists these registered users as “subscribers” on your blog’s admin area dashboard. Two days ago, I took the below screen shot and felt proud. Why? Because I thought I had 12,272 actual subscribers to my blog:

WordPress Registered Users on Dashboard

WordPress Registered Users on Dashboard

But this wording is inaccurate. Of these 12,272 people (plus me, I’m the Administrator) who are registered to be able to comment on my posts, only nine of them are actual subscribers/followers. Only nine people have specifically signed up to receive updates each time I publish a new post:

Actual Subscribers (Followers)

Actual Subscribers (Followers)

The other 12,263 registered users won’t receive an email update when I post something new. So, they’re not all that useful to me when it comes to my 2019 goals. Why? Because they may never visit my blog again. What I need are actual subscribers—email subscribers—who have signed up specifically to receive email updates from me.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019: How to Get Real Blog Subscribers

There are a couple of ways to achieve this. First, upon learning this, I immediately replaced the above-shown “META widget” with the following “SUBSCRIBER widget” in my design template:

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019 WordPress Subscribers

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019 WordPress Subscribers

Now, anyone who signs up through this form is showing real interest in my blog content and books. Each time I post something new, he or she will be made aware of it with a personal email. This will dramatically improve my reader engagement (and, hopefully, my book sales) going forward.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019: Autoresponders Are Even Better

But there is a second, possibly even better, way to collect a growing number of email subscribers who will repeatedly visit both your blog and your books. You will want to use a program called an autoresponder to manage all your email subscribers. MailChimp for WordPress is free for lists up to 2,000 subscribers. After that, depending on the service you use, autoresponders generally cost from $50 per month and up to maintain. It all depends on how many email addresses you are working with.

Through these third parties, such as MailChimp, you can offer additional special discounts or gifts to subscribers on top of the free content already contained on your blog. For example, you can send private newsletters en masse to only these privileged fans regarding online courses or podcasts that constitute some type of added value to them alone. Perhaps, these subscribers will be the only ones to receive discounts on tickets (or back stage passes) to the next book fair you’re speaking at. I think you get the idea. For this to work well, there must be an enticing reason for them to sign up—whatever that reason may be. You choose.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019: My Revised Goals

Obviously, my goal of reaching 25,000 actual subscribers this year is now a little far-fetched. I’m not starting at 11,1147 followers like I thought I was last month. I’m starting at only nine followers. Ouch! But I plan to reach 5,000 actual subscribers by the end of 2019. I’ll do this by continually driving more traffic to this blog through SEO and my books, as I’ve been doing. My other goals remain the same.

I also plan to increase my free book downloads by 25% this year. By contrast, last year, between the above three ecommerce sites, I saw 4,828 free downloads of my books. In 2019, I want to see an additional 1,207 free books downloaded for a total of 6,035.

Most noteworthy, I plan to increase my paid book downloads by 500% over last year. I saw paid downloads (both ebooks and paperbacks) totalling 83 books from the above three ecommerce sites last year. In 2019, I’m shooting for an additional 417 paid book downloads for a total of 500 this year

Other Changes I Made This Month

I didn’t write as many blog entries as I had planned to this past month because I was busy revamping my old GoDaddy website. I changed it to a WordPress format that matches better with the PPG Publisher’s Blog. Everything is now in place, and it is set up perfectly to help me achieve my goals. I’ll let you know my progress again in the end of February.

* * *     * * *     * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Marilyn Monroe Still Captivates Us. Why?

Marilyn Monroe still captivates us. That’s why “Marilyn Monroe” is a fantastic keyword that can bring attention to just about anything. But why?

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

How many other actresses from the 1950s do you know of with their own Twitter accounts and websites in this day and age? I’ll admit, I’ve watched many documentaries about this woman. I know her life story from start to finish, but I still want to know more.

Why is Marilyn Monroe So Captivating to Men and Women?

Men loved her obvious sex appeal. That one isn’t hard to figure out. But perhaps the most interesting thing about her is that women were (and still are) equally fascinated by her. Not jealous of her breath-taking beauty and allure, but fascinated by it. Addictively attracted to it. To this day, she exemplifies female charisma and beauty to people all around the world.

They say (whoever “they” are) that women from Marilyn’s era felt protective of her. They shared a motherly love of this orphaned girl that, perhaps, grew even deeper due to her tragic and untimely death at only 36 years old.

For me, she’s so much more than that. She is a symbol of possibility and proof that visualization can work for anyone. As legend has it, she would stare outside the window of her orphanage at Beverly Hills and dream of one day becoming a world-famous actress. Who would have thought she could make that kind of grandiose dream come true? But she did.

I wonder if Marilyn Monroe knows that her legend still lives on to this day? I hope she does.

Related reading: James Patterson Shakes The Author’s Money Tree

Related reading: Robert Kiyosaki: The Definition of an Asset

* * *     * * *     * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Finding the Best Way to Write

Finding the Best Way to Write

Finding the Best Way to Write with Michael LaRocca

I read voraciously, a habit I recommend to any author who doesn’t already have it. You’ll subconsciously pick up on what does and doesn’t work. Characterization, dialogue, pacing, plot, story, setting, description, etc. But more importantly, someone who doesn’t enjoy reading will never write something that someone else will enjoy reading.

I don’t write ‘for the market.’ I know I can’t, so I just write for me and then try to find readers who like what I like. I’m not trying to whip up the next bestseller and get rich. Not that I’d complain. Nope, I have to write what’s in my heart, then go find a market later. It makes marketing a challenge at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When you write, be a dreamer. Go nuts. Know that you’re writing pure gold. That fire is why we write.

An author who I truly admire, Kurt Vonnegut, sweats out each individual sentence. He writes it, rewrites it, and doesn’t leave it alone until it’s perfect. Then when he’s done, he’s done.

I doubt most of write like that. I don’t. I let it fly as fast as my fingers can move across the paper or keyboard, rushing to capture my ideas before they get away. Later, I change and shuffle and slice.

James Michener claims that he writes the last sentence first, then has his goal before him as he writes his way to it.

Then there’s me. No outline whatsoever. I create characters and conflict, spending days and weeks on that task, until the first chapter really leaves me wondering ‘How will this end?’ Then my characters take over, and I’m as surprised as the reader when I finish my story.

Some authors set aside a certain number of hours every day for writing, or a certain number of words. In short, a writing schedule.

Then there’s me. No writing for three or six months, then a flurry of activity where I forget to eat, sleep, bathe, change the cat’s litter… I’m a walking stereotype. To assuage the guilt, I tell myself that my unconscious is hard at work. As Hemingway would say, long periods of thinking and short periods of writing.

I’ve shown you the extremes in writing styles. I think most authors fall in the middle somewhere. But my point is, find out what works for you. You can read about how other writers do it, and if that works for you, great. But in the end, find your own way. That’s what writers do.

Just don’t do it halfway.

If you’re doing what I do, writing a story that entertains and moves you, then you will find readers who share your tastes. For some of us that means a niche market and for others it means regular appearances on the bestseller list.

Writing is a calling, but publishing is a business. Remember that AFTER you’ve written your manuscript. Not during.

=====

I’ve been paid to edit since 1991 and still love it, which has made people question my sanity, but they were doing that before I started editing. I got serious about my writing in 1978. Although I’ve retired more times than Brett Favre, I’m revising my 19th book. Learn more about me at MichaelEdits.com.

© Michael LaRocca 2019



James Patterson Shakes The Author’s Money Tree

James Patterson

James Patterson

Independent authors aren’t the only ones shaking The Author’s Money Tree in new ways. Even mainstream thriller author, James Patterson, has jumped on this band wagon with his BookShots line.

James Patterson Shakes The Author’s Money Tree With BookShots

His reason for publishing books this way may be a bit different than the rest of us. After all, he doesn’t need the money. But no matter who you are, the results are still the same.

…Mr. Patterson is after an even bigger audience. He wants to sell books to people who have abandoned reading for television, video games, movies and social media.

So how do you sell books to somebody who doesn’t normally read?

Mr. Patterson’s plan: make them shorter, cheaper, more plot-driven and more widely available.

…He aims to release two to four books a month through Little, Brown, his publisher. All of the titles will be shorter than 150 pages, the length of a novella. (Alexandra Alter, The New York Times)

This is one of the greatest keys to success as an author in this day and age: prolific publishing. The single best way to sell books (and build a blog) is to utilize the power of search engines. Ping their algorithms by feeding them new content on a consistent basis. Do this, and they’ll reward you by feeding you more traffic. It works the same for Kobo or Amazon’s internal search engines as it does for Google, Baidu, Yahoo, or Bing.

Related reading: BookShots: The Hachette vs. Amazon Truce?

Related reading: Organic Web Weaving: Modern Book Publishing, Sales and Marketing

Related reading: Sell Non-Fiction Books Using AI

* * *     * * *     * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



The Author’s Money Tree: How to Grow a Bountiful Readership Organically

It takes three full seasons to reap the true rewards of The Author’s Money Tree: planting, growing, and harvesting. And it’s well worth all the effort.

The Author's Money Tree

The Author’s Money Tree: NOW AVAILABLE through Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo, and E-Sentral!

The Author’s Money Tree Season #1: Planting

There are three effective ways to plant an abundance of seeds with your desired readership: productive blogging, prolific publishing, or (better yet) both. If you are strategic in the way you do these things, you’ll be amazed by how quickly your sprouts begin to show.

That’s the beauty of being a writer in this digital age of book publishing. Writing is selling in the online world. And keywords are the seeds you’re planting to feed all your hungry readers at harvest time.

The Author’s Money Tree Season #2: Growing

But those keywords will never be enough on their own. Each sprout needs to be fed and watered so it can grow, and this takes time and patience. Quality content is the fertilizer that breathes life into a sprout and helps it grow into a healthy sapling. Proper search engine optimization (SEO) is the mulch that prevents your sapling from being taken over by larger weeds.

You need a strong root system to grow a bountiful money tree that will bear fruit for you, year after year, and stand the test of time. This is crucial to your progressive success in future harvest seasons, and I’ll show you exactly how to do it.

The Author’s Money Tree Season #3: Harvesting

And now comes the fun part! Harvest time is when you reap the rewards of all your efforts.

In this section of the book, you’ll meet some authors who are earning six-figure incomes from their readerships in their own harvest seasons. You’ll learn some of the strategies they’re using to harvest the same crops, over and over again, while planting new seeds each year.

Do you want to grow an abundant readership? This is a totally sustainable system that you can use successfully for fiction, non-fiction, and even poetry. Truth!

The Author’s Holy Trinity of Profit Trilogy

Action
The Author’s Money Tree: How to Grow a
Bountiful Readership Organically

Thought

The Author’s Gold Rush: How to Harvest a
Bountiful Crop Repeatedly

Faith

The Author’s Magic Key: How to Stay on Track and
Keep the Faith

Related reading: James Patterson Shakes The Author’s Money Tree

Did you LOVE this book?
Click here to learn how you can earn money
by sharing it with others on your social media sites!

* * *     * * *     * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019

I took a break over the holiday season to relax and am I ever glad I did so. As a result, I’m rested and excited to start off the new year with this Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019. I’m looking forward to many more micro wins throughout the year that will bring me to my desired macro wins at the end.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 - 11,1147 Users

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – 11,1147 Users

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – Blog Subscribers

Now, what do I mean when I say “micro wins” versus “macro wins”? I borrowed these two terms from a lady I greatly admire named Lisa Nichols, from her book titled Abundance Now. She talks about the importance of celebrating small successes along the way rather than just focusing on the end goal. As a result, you keep yourself motivated and inspired all along the way. You enjoy the whole journey. Because you’re giving yourself indicators, all along the way, to let yourself know you’re on the right track.

I started January 2018 with a goal of reaching 10,000 subscribers by the end of the year. As you can see, I’ve surpassed that goal. In fact, I still enjoyed mass gains over the holiday season based on all the work I’d done this past year. From the time I posted my last Blogging Progress Report until today, I’ve gained an additional 1,280 subscribers. That’s an average of 37 new subscribers per day. Consequently, this is leading to an increased number of book downloads.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – Amazon Book Reports

In 2017 and 2018, I published five free books on Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral. I used these books, along with this blog, to drive more traffic to my 35+ paid books on these sites. Finally, the strategy is beginning to work.

ALL book downloads for the last 90 days

ALL book downloads for the last 90 days

PAID book downloads only for the last 90 days

PAID book downloads only for the last 90 days

Amazon book downloads last year ALL

Amazon book downloads last year ALL

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – Kobo Book Reports

Kobo reporting is not as detailed as Amazon reporting is. But this is a valuable publishing platform that helps me reach additional readers I’m not reaching through Amazon. Here are my results on this platform so far.

ALL sales to date summary

ALL sales to date summary

KOBO ALL sales to date by country

Sales to date by country

KOBO ALL sales to date by book

KOBO ALL sales to date by book

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – E-Sentral Book Reports

E-Sentral reporting is sparse. For that reason, I have to email them to get updates on my book downloads. This is all I’ve been able to get from them so far:

Book id Title No of downloads
183238 An Independent Author’s Checklist: FREE Help for Indie Authors 19
183547 Diary of an Indie Blogger: My Roadmap to Success 12
203127 Your Ebook is an Asset … if You Own the Copyright 38
201602 Why Traditional Bookstores Won’t Carry Your Book on Their Shelves … and Why That’s Okay 20
185091 How to Price an Ebook: A FREE Guide for Independent Authors 28

Blogging and Book Download Goals for 2019

In 2019, my goal is to increase this blog to 25,000 subscribers. I want to more than double my subscriber base by December 31, 2019. That will be my main macro win: 25,000 subscribers. Of course, I’ll update you on the micro wins—the monthly blogging progress reports—along the way.

I also plan to increase my free book downloads by 25% this year. By contrast, last year, between the above three ecommerce sites, I saw 4,828 free downloads of my books. In 2019, I want to see an additional 1,207 free books downloaded for a total of 6,035.

Most noteworthy, I plan to increase my paid book downloads by 500% over last year. I saw paid downloads (both ebooks and paperbacks) totalling 83 books from the above three ecommerce sites last year. In 2019, I’m shooting for an additional 417 paid book downloads for a total of 500 this year.

More Learning in 2019

I learned a lot this past year on how to reach more people more effectively all over the world. My plan is to continue with the blogging pace of at least three new posts per week along with at least one new book published every six weeks. This is how I’ll achieve these goals. I’m looking forward to sharing the journey with you!

* * *     * * *     * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.