In this episode, I'm joined again by guest co-host Princess Jones, and we discuss selling your e-books and books directly on your author website. (If you missed it, check out our previous discussion about authors attacking book reviewers).
In This Episode
- Common blogging myths and misunderstandings
- Why freelance writers often don't talk about the research and planning phase of their work (on their professional websites)
- A book recommendation for indie authors looking for book marketing tips
Blogging Myths and Misunderstandings
Here are the five blogging myths and misconceptions I cover in this episode:
- You have to post every day (or nearly every day) if you want a successful blog -- You don't.
- Every post has to be an "epic" post, over 2000 words, etc. -- They don't. Stats are outdated. Algorithms constantly change. And the "magic number" for word count seems to change every few years. Just write for your readers.
- Blog posts are articles are two very different things. -- Anyone who tells you this is confusing a type of content with a type of publishing platform. A "blog" is nothing more than a content publishing platform where content is published in a reverse chronological order. That's it. Any type of content can be published as a blog post, including long-form articles, news stories, interviews, opinion pieces, photos, videos, and much, much more. So for freelance bloggers, don't buy into this nonsense just because your content will appear on a blog. If you're asked to write a feature article, you should be paid what you consider a fair rate for that work, no matter what kind of publication it will appear in.
- It's all right to jump into blogging without much planning, because it's easy to make structural changes later. -- This applies to permalink structures, category structures, and even moving a blog between platforms. Can it be easy? Sure. But there are countless chances for things to go wrong. Don't risk your traffic, subscribers, backlinks, and search engine rankings over poor planning. Strategically plan your blog's organizational structure from the start.
- You should never monetize a blog early on. -- While certain types of income streams won't work well until you've reached a certain traffic threshold, that isn't always the case. There is nothing wrong with monetizing a new blog, especially if that income motivates you to spend more time growing it. You just have to find the right revenue streams.
Gina Alianiello contacted me asking why more freelance writers don't share information on their professional sites about the research time that goes into their projects. She wondered if that would make it easier to convey the overall value of your work to potential clients.
I let Gina know that I know plenty of writers who do publish this kind of information, so that's always an option if she feels it's necessary. But I also cautioned her against it.
Sometimes clients take this kind of information as an invitation to try to talk your rates down. For example, if your website mentions that your rates include "up to 3 interviews," a client who only wants one interview might think they're entitled to a lower rate. Some clients will also send you source material and think that, because they're cutting your research time, you should give them a discount. Unfortunately those sources aren't always the best material, and it can still take more time to review it than find it.
It's better to make sure your clients see value in your end result. That's what they're ultimately paying for, and how you get there doesn't matter. If that alone doesn't provide enough value to account for your rates, there are bigger problems than them not understanding all the behind-the-scenes work involved.
Book Recommendation for Indie Authors
I highly recommend Guerrilla Marketing for Writers by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, and Michael Larson to indie authors who are looking for book marketing tips.
Yes, this is an older book. Some some online information will be dated. However, the real value is in the offline tools and tactics mentioned. Far too many indie authors fail to look beyond social media to promote their books. It has the allure of instant gratification, it's generally free, and it's right at our fingertips. But "old school" book marketing and PR still works very well -- much better than begging people to buy on social networks. And with so many indies not pursuing these avenues, you have a real chance to shine if you do.
Links from This Episode
- Previous podcast episode on ad-supported content
- Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 Weapons for Selling Your Work
Get Your Writing Questions Answered
The All Freelance Writing Podcast regularly features community Q&As. So I'd love to hear your questions about freelance writing, blogging, or indie publishing. If you'd like me to consider answering your question in a future podcast episode, you can contact me in three different ways:
- Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the phrase "Podcast Question" in your subject line to make sure the email is filtered correctly so I don't miss it.
- Submit your question through the contact form on this page.
- Leave me a voicemail by calling 484-575-1345. You'll be directly connected to voicemail. Please note that if you leave a question via voicemail, I might play that voicemail during a future episode if I'm able to answer your question.