Beyond Book Marketing
Create an Author Platform and Make More Money Selling Digital Information Products for a Passive Income
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Create an author platform
Build an email list
Sell your books for tens times as much
Online video courses
Live training, coaching, and mentoring
Putting it all together
Feedback and contacting us
Many non-fiction authors spend a lot of time writing their masterpiece. The book may be exceptionally good and contain useful and valuable knowledge. It might even be one of the best books in its genre. Many people would love to read it and learn the knowledge it shares.
Still, almost no-one will buy it. Even worse, nearly no-one will be aware that it exists. The discouraging fact is that most books sell less than 500 copies. That’s not per month—in their lifetime.
Why don’t great books sell? There are several reasons that coincide to make life difficult for aspiring and established authors alike.
One is the massive number of books now available on Amazon and elsewhere. The self-publishing revolution is a powerful force, and a good one. Almost anyone can publish a book nowadays. The only thing you need is to register an account with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and upload your interior and cover files. The same goes for other book distributors like Kobo, Shakespir or Apple’s iBooks.
Until recently, authors have had a hard time being published. Now, with the rise of self-publishing, getting a book on the market is dead easy. To prove the point, this book was written and published in less than a week—start to finish.
The hard part is being noticed. Of the millions of books available online, many are offered for free or just a dollar or two. How can you compete with that if you want to make any real money?
Another problem is that many authors consider themselves to be, well, authors. Selling books is a business, and authors need to understand they are solo entrepreneurs running a small enterprise. If you don’t understand this basic fact, you are unlikely to become successful as an author or make any money from selling your books.
As an author, you are an entrepreneur running a business. You are responsible for the marketing and the sales results. You are also responsible for having a profitable product portfolio. It doesn’t matter how great your book is. If you don’t promote it like any other product, it simply won’t sell. Let this sink in for a moment.
What does it take to become a successful non-fiction author and make money from sharing your skills? As a prerequisite, you need to:
h3<. Write quality books that share knowledge your audience needs (this is a given, right?)
h3<. Have your book professionally edited (no, asking your family or friends for help will not do if you are serious about writing professional books)
h3<. Have a professional graphic designer create your book cover (you never get a second chance to make the first impression, remember?)
h3<. Have a keyword-optimized book title such that potential customers searching for books on your topic will find yours at the top of the search result list
h3<. Have a carefully crafted sales page such that your books appear compelling to those who may buy it.
Without all of these points, you cannot build the foundation for exceptional book sales. Get this right first. When you are on top of these points, there are two more steps. First, get as many favorable book reviews as possible, right at the launch. Waiting for book customers to create reviews organically will just not work—only about 1% of book readers leave a review on Amazon.com or other book sites. You can increase this by kindly asking for honest reviews in the front or end pages of the book, and you should do it—but this will only help so much. Actively reaching out to reviewers is necessary to get the dozen or so reviews you need to get the social proof required to get your book sales going.
Next, market your book. This is the hardest part, and can be done in all sorts of ways. Many authors promote their books using social media, pay for ads (for example on Facebook, Google, or on Amazon Kindle Select), and enroll in various book promotion sites or groups on the Internet. Unfortunately, many of the marketing techniques authors use are ineffective. To make matters worse, reports abound of disappointed authors paying for failed or scam book marketing packages. It is hard to market a book into a sales success. Most authors are in a vulnerable and weak position in terms of book marketing.
Luckily, this book will teach you how to use different strategies and tactics to avoid many of these pitfalls, and create a business that has a much greater chance of generating revenue.
In short, to become successful in the long term and to mitigate risk, you need to create an author platform that you own and control. An author platform is the center-point of your business, and where fans will find you no matter what happens on Amazon or other book sites. With a strong author platform, you have the basis for selling more books and other profitable products and get away from the reliance on one or two book distribution or social media sites.
You have the basics in place, with a high-quality book that is professionally edited and has a stunning book cover. The title is keyword-optimized and the sales page is smooth as silk. By actively reaching out to book reviewers, you have secured a dozen or so reviews to provide the social proof needed to convince a larger audience. You might also engage in various book marketing activities.
Chances are, you still don’t sell many books. You can wait and hope for a change (that will most likely never come), or you can write more books and hope that will spread the word about your work, thus helping to sell all of the books you have written so far.
Either way, a better option is to break away from being just an author; take charge and become a solo entrepreneur running your own business. This means you do not rely on a book distribution site or a social media channel as your primary home on the Internet. Instead, you move your audience to a home base you control.
Why is it important to control your online platform? Social media channels come and go, as do book distribution companies and sites. They may be acquired, go bankrupt, change direction or policies, decide to block your account, or do something else that harms your business at their own discretion. You cannot build your future on something you cannot control.
For example, who remembers MySpace? Having an Amazon sales page and a Facebook fan page as your primary homes on the Internet is a bad idea. You need to own your own platform.
This means you have your own website, and you perform various marketing activities that pull current or potential future fans from other sites (this includes Amazon and Facebook). If you don’t have your own website already, stop reading now and create one immediately. The basic steps are:
h3<. Buy a domain name (such as www.monetizeknowledge.com) that is free and relevant to your business or topic
h3<. Subscribe to a website hosting service that runs the content management system of your choice (WordPress is the most popular content management system currently and is strongly recommended)
h3<. Install and configure a WordPress theme that changes the look and feel of your website to something that fits your intentions and design aesthetics
h3<. Build your website by adding menus, pages, sidebars, slideshows, and other content
h3<. Create a free account with Google Analytics and install the tracking code on your website to gather statistics on how your website performs and how your visitors behave.
With an operational website in place, you should also create a blog section. Writing one or more blog posts on the subject of your niche each week helps create authority and trust, and helps drive organic traffic to your website (website visitors finding your site thanks to search engines). The more keyword-rich and engaging content, the better. That keeps both Google and your website visitors happy.
Waiting for organic traffic may be a long wait, though. You will need to promote and market your website to make your audience aware of it. Getting traffic to your website is the most difficult part of building an author platform, and it may take a long time before you get many daily visitors.
Essentially, you have two traffic-generation options:
h3<. Get paid traffic. This involves paying for advertisements, for example using Google AdWords or Facebook. This is the fastest tactic, but as soon as the budget it spent, the results stop.
h3<. Get free traffic. This involves creating website content that slowly becomes known and appreciated across the Internet thanks to search engines, links from other websites, or social media posts. The advantage is that the content will continue to drag in traffic for a long time at no additional cost, at least in theory.
In addition to publishing content on your own website and blog, you can also spread the word about your knowledge and products on other content sharing sites, for example by publishing educational videos on YouTube, or PowerPoint presentations on SlideShare.
Make sure to advertise your products and promote a link back to your website in all educational content you share on external websites. Your primary job here is to get traffic back to your website by creating content that will catch the attention of your potential readers.
Being an author, it might be easy to miss the best content sharing sites altogether. These are book distribution sites like Amazon, Shakespir, Kobo, and iBooks. By publishing short free eBooks (like this one) on these book distribution sites, you can get more readers to appreciate your free content. A free eBook typically gets a hundred times more downloads than paid books, thus spreading the word about you and your expertise widely.
By including an attractive offer in your free eBook (such as a second free eBook or a free video tutorial on related topics), you can drive readers of the first free eBook to your website. You set this up by promoting your offer (the second free eBook, the free video tutorial, etc.) and a link to it in the front and end pages of your first eBook.
For example, we use these tools to drive traffic to our website from this book:
Click here to watch the free accompanying video tutorial:
Do you want to learn more? Read this free eBook on how non-fiction authors can make more money:
To make the offer stand out, you can add a graphical banner ad that helps draw attention to the offer and the link to it, as the examples above shows. Click the links above to see how it all works.
The trick is to protect the free offer behind a registration wall that requires readers to register their email address to get access to the promoted free offer. Click the links in the examples above if you haven’t already, and you will get the idea. This tactic is part of building your email list, which will be discussed in the next section.
To build an author platform, you may also want to engage with other authors and readers using social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. In fact, many books on self-publishing and book marketing recommend spending endless time engaging with other authors and readers through social media. Don’t do it, unless you really want to engage with them on a personal level. This will only take time away from more effective activities.
As a marketing tactic, social media is largely ineffective and a waste of time. Most social media channels (Facebook author groups included) are full of authors spamming about their book, with no one interested in listening.
Our advice on social media is two-fold. First, if you want to engage with other authors and readers on social media, by all means spend the time to do it, but don’t do it for marketing purposes. In particular, book-review circles where authors review each other’s books can be a massive time drain. If you want to spend your precious time on social media, do it because you genuinely want to connect with fellow authors or readers, and slowly build personal relationships.
However, if you want to use social media as a marketing vehicle, deploy a low-effort strategy using social media robots like HootSuite or MeetEdgar to schedule and auto-post most of your messages. Make sure your social media posts link to content on your website to give your home base more traffic. For example, post social media messages promoting your blog articles, your new free eBook or video tutorials, discount offers, and other promotions. If you want to provide a personal touch, mix the robot-posted messages with some personal posts, replies, and shares. Don’t expect too much from this, though, as the money and the results really are in the email list.
What is an email list and why do you need one?
Messages posted on social media channels like Twitter and Facebook have a low read-rate. A tweet is only visible for a few minutes before it is pushed down in the constant stream of new messages. Assuming most people only log in to Twitter a couple of times a day at the most, the majority of tweets go completely unnoticed.
Additionally, many social media channels now control what messages are visible using mathematical algorithms, meaning a particular message might not be visible even if the reader is online at the right time. Therefore, it is likely most of your social media posts are never read.
An email, on the other hand, is always delivered to the recipient to read whenever he or she has time (assuming spam filters have not removed it). Thus, email is still much more effective than social media posts for sales and marketing purposes.
Your number one priority when building an author platform is to get the email address of as many people as possible in your existing or potential future audience. With the email addresses collected and safely stored in your email list database, you can send email messages with trust-building and educational content for weeks and months to come.
Those emails should also contain call-to-action buttons, enticing the reader to re-visit your website to consume additional content, or download additional free resources. You want your audience to come back to your website as often as possible, and stay as long as possible.
Occasionally mix the educational and trust building emails with promotional emails offering your new book, a discount campaign, or your new video training course.
If you get the contact information of your website visitors, you can engage with them through information emails and offers, even if they never come back to your website. This step is known as leads collection, or simply growing your email list. This is a cornerstone in Internet marketing, and the key to success for any author, blogger, or professional trying to monetize their knowledge and create an online business.
Collecting the contact information of your website visitors and growing an email list is done using calls-to-action, lead magnets, and landing pages. In effect, you trade something valuable for the contact information of your visitor.
A lead magnet (also known as an opt-in bribe or digital asset) is something your website visitors, book readers, or social media followers are eager to get that you provide for free from your website. It can be an eBook or report of some sort (delivered as a PDF file), a short video tutorial, document templates, or something else you can distribute for free.
A call-to-action (CTA) is a highly visible clickable button, banner ad, or hypertext link on your website, in a book, in a blog article, in a social media post, or in an email you send. The CTA promotes the lead magnet (your offer), and when someone is enticed enough to click on it, he or she is directed to a landing page that opens in a new browser window.
The landing page is a special type of web page that contains:
h3<. A selling title promoting the lead magnet (your free offer)
h3<. A few paragraphs of text explaining what the offer contains and its benefits
h3<. A registration form and a submit button that collects the contact information in return for the lead magnet.
In short, a call-to-action (a clickable button, banner ad, or hypertext link) promotes your free offer (the lead magnet), enticing someone to click on it to get access to the offer. This directs them to the landing page, where they can submit their contact information. The lead magnet is then auto-emailed, and you get to store the contact information in your email database for later use.
For an example, you can see how call-to-action buttons on this page promote free books, which are offered on a landing page once you click on the calls-to-action:
What lead magnets are valuable enough for people to give you their contact information to get it? It is usually a PDF file of some sort, like an eBook, a whitepaper, a report, or a checklist or cheat sheet. But it can also be audio files, graphic or document templates, or video tutorials.
With a growing email list, you can engage with your fans and send them further trust-building content, making them increasingly ready to buy your products. Email automation systems are typically used to send a chain of emails to new contacts, perhaps with a weekly email providing valuable information. Occasionally, you also send promotional emails, highlighting new books or video courses or offering a discount.
How to design a landing page and a follow-up email sequence that converts to as many email list signups and purchases as possible is an art form in itself. See the additional resources on our website for more information.
As you are painstakingly aware, books sell for only a few dollars these days. Self-published eBooks on any topic are often provided for free, or sold for a dollar or two. If you try a higher price point, say $19 or $49, you will likely never reach large sales volumes on Amazon or similar sites. Is all lost?
No. You can still sell books on the big book sites, but with a thriving author platform with eager fans and a healthy email list, you can also start to sell digital information products directly from your website. There is no contradiction in selling books on book distribution sites and building an online business platform in parallel, where you sell higher-priced information products.
In fact, your book sales are likely to improve as you develop an online platform that helps build your authority. Your book sales can also be dramatically improved by promoting your books to those on the email list you built with your website.
You might also consider the pricing of your books and where you sell them. If you sell eBooks for under ten dollars on the large book sites, you might consider an alternative. When you have a strong author platform on the Internet, with enough visitors coming to your website, you can also sell your books on the website directly, rather than rely on a big book site to do it for you.
Why would you do that?
On the big book sites, your book might not be visible in the crowd of millions of other books, and competing books are promoted to potential customers when they read your book’s sales page. That might drive customers toward other options.
Furthermore, the audience of those sites often has a no-cost or low-cost mindset. With loads of competing products available for free or selling for a couple of dollars, it becomes difficult to increase the price of your book. There is also no possibility to upsell more expensive versions of the book with bundled extras such as an audio version, PhotoShop or PowerPoint design templates, checklists, or example document templates.
On your website, the only book being promoted is yours. Furthermore, the audience has come to your site for your authority and expertise, not for a low price. If you have a respected niche website, you can easily sell a quality non-fiction book for several times what it would be listed at on Amazon. It will not look expensive, as there are no cheap competing books promoted on the same website.
Additionally, you can easily sell other versions of the book, with different types of extras bundled, at various price points. A $49 book can also be offered at $79 if an audio version is included, and at $99 or even $129 if you include specialized templates, like legal document templates if they are discussed in your book. Compare that to selling the same book for under five dollars, as is common on the large book sites.
Of course, selling your books from your own website is only meaningful once you have a healthy traffic volume. When you have that developed, you might want to do some math and compare the alternatives.
If you are a non-fiction author, chances are you are a subject-matter expert in your area. Even if you are not an expert in the true sense, you are in the eyes of your audience.
Being one or two steps ahead is sometimes the best way to share knowledge. The true expert may take basic things for granted and focus on advanced topics, whereas the person who is just one or two steps ahead may know exactly what problems and pain points you suffer. What constitutes a good teacher is relative and in the eyes of your audience.
With that said, almost anyone can be an expert on some topic. If you are an expert at any level, you are in the position to become an instructor and sell training courses in addition to your books.
As the previous chapters covered, it is difficult to charge a lot for books—non-fiction or otherwise. Only a small percentage of the books above the ten-dollar mark sell in any volume.
Therefore, you might want to look at alternatives. Are you only an author, or are you in the business of sharing and selling your knowledge? If you are in the latter camp, consider creating online training courses and coaching products.
You may find online training courses a lot more lucrative than selling eBooks. An online video training course on the same topic as your low-cost eBook may sell for $197, $497, or even $997.
Both the eBook and the online training course share the same knowledge, only using a different product packaging and media format. By repackaging the content of your non-fiction book into a PowerPoint presentation, and recording yourself presenting it, you can make many times more money!
What are the obstacles, and why doesn’t every non-fiction author do it?
Many authors try to make life easy by writing a book, uploading it to Amazon, Shakespir, Kobo, or iBooks, and hoping for the book distributor to sell it. They have no author platform, and thus no marketing asset to use for selling the book or other digital information products on their own. It is thus difficult for them to promote an online course to their audience.
But if you have a thriving author platform, you can use your website, social media channels, and email list to promote your books as well as additional products like online video courses.
Why not let your books promote and upsell to the more expensive online courses you offer? Rarely will someone buy your most expensive product right away. More likely, they start by downloading your free trust-building content first, or they buy a low-cost entry-level product like an eBook. If you over-deliver on those, you are in a good position to sell them a more expensive product as a second step, if you offer it to them.
In effect, you create a sales funnel where some customers continue to buy increasingly more expensive digital information products from you, step by step. They start by buying a book but are eager to learn more and become prepared to spend hundreds of dollars on a video course on the same topic.
How do you produce and publish an online course? A course is typically organized in main modules, comprising different lessons. Each lesson can be one or more videos and sound files, text to read, or a combination thereof. The video files do not need to be very long; a few minutes each will suffice.
On a more practical level, you may need to create a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation that outlines the knowledge you want to share. Record yourself presenting it, either as a speaking-head movie or as a voice-over. You can, for example, use an iPhone to record a video of yourself, or Camtasia, ScreenFlow, or Quicktime to record the screen as you present something on your computer.
You can use Apple iMovie or Microsoft MovieMaker to edit the movie, and Apple GarageBand or Audacity to edit the sound. With the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, or Microsoft Surface, you can also record yourself sketching on the touch display the same way you would on a whiteboard.
With the course structure defined as modules and lessons, and the content produced (sound and movie files, text pages, etc.), you need to publish the course behind a pay-wall. This can be done using membership site software like WishList or MemberMouse, or using course hosting services like Udemy or Teachable.
With Udemy, your course becomes their product and the students are their customers. You merely earn a commission from their sales. Teachable is a platform helping you to create your course products, where you own the branding and the customer list. This may be a better option if you want to be in control of your own destiny and run your own online business.
It is incredibly easy to set up a course using Teachable. The process goes along these lines:
h3<. Create an account
h3<. Name your school and configure its look and feel
h3<. Create a course, its sales page, and add its modules
h3<. Add the lessons and upload the lesson content (e.g. video files) to each module
h3<. Set the price and publish the course
Excluding the time required to record the actual video files that go into the lessons, it will take you less than thirty minutes from signing up to having a basic course up and running. You can even sign up for a free account and play with the system and work on the course for free. You only have to pay when you start to charge for a course.
Teachable is a course creation and hosting platform, not a course marketing platform. This means the course is your product, and you own the student list. On the negative side, you will have to do the marketing and drive traffic to the course sales page.
But if you have a reasonably strong author platform, you can promote your online training course products using calls-to-action on your website, in your marketing emails, on social media, in blog posts, or inside the books you sell on Amazon and elsewhere.
With an online video training course, you get a passive income generating revenue around the clock. As discussed earlier, most eBooks sell for one to ten dollars, while a high quality online video course easily sells for anything between a couple of hundred dollars to a thousand dollars or more.
How is a video course different from a non-fiction book?
They both share essentially the same knowledge, although the course may go into additional detail. A course is more targeted to a specific goal and is designed to provide a transformation helping the student to go from the before to the after state and obtain a particular outcome.
In a course, the instructor often shares his personal experience, thus shortening the time it takes to make the transformation and obtain the desired outcome. This is important. There is an endless amount of free information on any topic available on the Internet. Why does your student pay for your course? To save time and to get the outcome more quickly.
This is also why the length of the course (in terms of hours or minutes of video) does not affect the price. For example, thinking a two-hour course cannot cost $497 is wrong, as a course is more valuable if it teaches a topic in a better way, thus shortening the time for the student to undergo the transformation and get the desired outcome.
When it comes to course pricing, you should charge for how much time the student saves, and the value of the obtained outcome in your particular niche, rather than for how many hours of video it contains.
Good price points for high-quality online video courses are $197, $297, $497, or $997. It all depends on the value the outcome has to the student. A course on stock market investments or management strategy for CEOs can be a lot more expensive than a woodworking or yoga course because the student will make money from the knowledge shared in the course.
If your free or low-cost eBook is the front of your sales funnel, your online video training courses are medium-priced products in the middle of the funnel. Do you want to sell even more expensive information products?
Then consider premium training, coaching, or mentoring programs that you run live on a one-to-one or group basis. By giving the students access to your personal time and private advice, you can charge a lot more than you do for an online video training course that runs automated without your manual presence.
Depending on your expertise and the value of the knowledge you share, a private or group live training, coaching, or mentoring, program can be sold for thousands of dollars. Long-term mentoring programs can be sold at a high price in some cases, if they spread over many months.
How do you sell and perform live training, coaching, and mentoring? Provided you have an author platform, you can promote your coaching products on your website, in blog articles, using social media, and using mailshots.
You can also promote both online video courses and live coaching products in the front and end pages of the books you sell on Amazon or other sites, as well as in free lead magnet books you give away from your website.
To host your live training, coaching, or mentoring sessions, you want to use a webinar solution that allows you to run virtual meetings over the Internet. Such services allow attendees to view your computer screen as you present a slide-deck or demo some software.
While Skype comes with basic group calls with screen-sharing, the free Google Hangouts or the paid Citrix GotoMeeting/GotoWebinar are great solutions you may want to look into.
In this book, we have explained how you can reduce risk by removing the reliance on one or two Internet platforms you do not own by creating your own author platform. With your own website and blog, you have a focal point for your activities and a place for your audience and fans to find out more about what you offer. With an author platform, you also have a place to promote your other products and services.
Promote the home of your author platform (i.e. your website) using paid or free strategies, including (at least partly automated) social media posts, and lead magnets you offer for free on book sites (Amazon, Shakespir, Kobo, iBooks) and other content sharing sites (YouTube, SlideShare), as well as on your own website.
Collect email addresses and grow your email list, and send educational and trust-building emails to your audience mixed with promotional emails offering new lead magnets, discounts, or up-selling to other information products like online video courses or live training or coaching.
Consider your sales funnel and product portfolio. Perhaps you should extend your product offering by selling online video courses, and live private or group coaching, in addition to your books. For each step in the price ladder, some of the customers will continue to the next product that generates a lot more revenue.
The beauty of all this is that you create a system with many components that promote each other in a push-pull fashion.
You have a website, a blog, social media channels and you send emails to your email list. No-cost or low-cost books on book distribution sites or your own website promote more expensive products, like online video courses or live coaching programs, which in turn increase the authority and trust in your website and low-cost products.
You build a system where all parts interact, helping to grow each other through cross-promotion. In short, the sum becomes more than its parts.
Even if you keep selling low-cost eBooks on book distribution sites like Amazon, Shakespir, Kobo, or iBooks, your book sales are likely to increase thanks to your author platform and other higher-priced digital information products that create additional visibility and authority.
From this, you get a great marketing platform you can use to sell other products or services.
Many authors do not have a background in software or Internet marketing, and so it might be difficult to know where to start. In fact, software tools, Internet services, and online marketing platforms are overwhelming to many authors.
This chapter will help by providing a compilation of tools and services you can use to create digital information products, build your marketing platform, and establish an online business.
The website is the center-point of any online business, and creating one today is relatively simple. You do not need to spend thousands of dollars on a web designer, as you can do most of the work yourself.
We recommend using the WordPress content management system, which provides a web-based administration panel where you can change the look and feel (logotype, colors, fonts, etc.) and create content (menus, sidebars, pages, blog posts, etc.). Many web hosting service suppliers offer WordPress hosting at low cost. To a search for “WordPress hosting” to get a number of options.
You also need to buy a domain name (such as www.monetizeknowledge.com), which should relate to your business or niche, and of course, be available to purchase. Most WordPress hosting suppliers also sell domain names as part of their packages and will automatically connect it to your website.
Once you have a website and domain name hosted, you will want to download a free or paid WordPress theme. A theme is a skin that modifies the look and feel of your website. There are tens of thousands of WordPress themes available. Pick one that fits your layout and design aesthetics. Most skins allow further configurations to be made, such as changing fonts and colors, and the menu options being displayed. A WordPress theme can thus be considered a layout template with almost endless re-configuration possibilities. Do a web search for “WordPress themes” to find sites offering these.
Every website owner should install Google Analytics, which is a free cloud service that helps track exactly how your website visitors behave when they visit your site. Accounts are free and only require that you install a small tracking code on your website. You can then enjoy detailed statistics on exactly how your website performs and what your visitors are doing.
In terms of office productivity, you have the usual suspects: Microsoft Office, Apple Pages/Numbers/Keynote, OpenOffice, and Google Docs. If you want a centralized repository for your notes and other records, Evernote or Microsoft OneNote are great choices. Both offer cross-platform support, enabling you to access your notes and records from any device, and they are all synchronized from a cloud server.
For cloud-based file storage, you can use DropBox, Microsoft OneDrive, Apple’s iCloud Drive, or Amazon’s S3 cloud hosting. They all provide cheap file storage solutions with backups that can be accessed from any device or platform.
One of the most popular solutions for communications is Skype, which offers free international phone calls over the Internet. Skype also offers group calls and video calls, as well as screen sharing and transfer of oversized files. FaceTime is Apple’s less powerful alternative to Skype. With the eCamm extension for Skype or FaceTime, you can record voice or video calls and save them for later editing and publication, perhaps as recorded podcast interviews or video trainings.
If you want to run live web meetings (webinars), you can use GotoMeeting or GotoWebinar from Citrix, or the free Google Hangouts. These solutions allow you to present to a number of attendees, who hear you speak and see your computer screen live. Additional services for attendee management are also available.
If you want to market through social media, you can use tools like HootSuite and MeetEdgar to schedule automated posts. Edgar even recycles old posts, such that they are automatically reposted after some time. This massively helps increase your visibility with minimal effort on some social media channels, in particular the fast-moving Twitter.
For more advanced photo editing, you can use the free GIMP or the industry-standard but expensive Adobe Photoshop. For simple photo editing, you can use Apple iPhoto or Microsoft Paint. For production of animated illustrations or banner ads, you can try the free Google Web Designer tool.
You can record movies using a digital camera or even your smartphone, and edit them using Apple iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker. To record your screen when you run a PowerPoint presentation or demo some software, you can use Camtasia, ScreenFlow, or Quicktime. Alternatively, use Skype with a screen recorder add-on.
There are many options for recording and editing audio. A free but somewhat complicated solution is Audacity, or you can use GarageBand on Apple platforms. You can also use the Adobe Audition software, or Auphonic sound editing cloud-service. If you want pre-written texts to automatically scroll through smoothly as you speak into the microphone, try the free dvPrompter iPad app.
A podcast is a series of audio files that is distributed as a channel to which your audience can subscribe. A podcast must be published in a special format that podcast reader software can understand, and is thus different from simply publishing a series of MP3 audio files on your website.
If you produce audio podcasts, the easiest thing is to host them on a cloud service such as SoundCloud or LibSyn. You can also register your podcast with Apple’s iTunes to make your podcasts visible to Apple users and the podcast app on the iPhone.
Video tutorials and other video movies can be published on YouTube or Vimeo. High-end solutions include Wistia and VidYard. These video sharing platforms also support gated videos that cannot be accessed for free.
To collect leads in landing pages and send automated email-flows, you can use service providers like AWeber, MailChimp, GetResponse, or LeadPages. Middle-end solutions include Infusion or Leadsius, and high-end solutions like HubSpot or Marketo are likely well out of your reach due to their prohibitive cost.
Most word processors have a built-in spelling and grammar checker, albeit less-than-perfect ones. If you want something a lot better, use Grammarly, which is about the best grammar checker around. Their product is available both as Windows and Mac software, as well as a cloud service. You can also use a readability test tool like readability-score.com, which provides statistics on the readability level of your texts to help you write to the appropriate audience for your site.
In case you want to charge for digital content or services on your website, you need a payment solution. Several options exist, including PayPal, e-Junkie, SendOwl, and Gumroad. Stripe is another solution that provides deeper integration with your website. Membership site solutions (like MemberMouse or WishList) and online video training platforms (like Teachable or Udemy) often include payment solutions too.
To understand your customers or audience better, you can use online surveys and questionnaires. For example, try SurveyMonkey, which hosts basic online surveys for free.
Do you need additional help with content production? You can engage freelancers to help with particular tasks or skills, such as web design, graphics design, copywriting, or book editing. Freelancers at different price points can be found on websites like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, or 99designs.
This book has given you the foundation to take the next step. With these recommendations, you can go from being an author to becoming an industry expert with authority, having your own marketing platform, and your own online business. You can build an email list to use for engagement and the promotion your products, and you can sell the information from your non-fiction book in a repackaged format at a much higher price.
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The Monetize Your Knowledge blog team
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A FREE companion video course on how to build a profitable author platform is included with this book - see the book interior for details on how to access the free course! Do you want to become more successful as an author, and make more money? Do you want to break away from poor book sales and ineffective book marketing efforts, and create a strong author platform from which you can market and sell your books and other profitable digital information products? This book, along with its accompanying FREE online video training course, will teach you how! This book teaches non-fiction authors how to create and promote an author platform, how to build an email list, and how to sell your knowledge at a much higher price. With the information shared in this book, you can go from being a passive author into becoming a solo entrepreneur running a profitable online business, offering digital information products at premium price points. Download this book now, and get access to the FREE companion online video training course!