How to build a 6 figure side business by self publishing books

4 years ago I was broke, looking for a job after 7 failed years as an entrepreneur. Things have changed since, which is great but perhaps the most surprising is the business I’ve built through self publishing books. In the last 2 years I’ve written 4 books and turned them into a stand alone 6-figure side business. I never considered for a second that I would be a writer / author so it feels pretty wild. I was recently asked to talk at the Dynamite Circle event in Bangkok on the topic of self-publishing (The 6-figure self publishing side hustle), and I thought I’d share the lessons here also, as well as my slides (available at the end of this post). Here are all the topics covered in this post, you can click on the topic to go down the page to the content. Getting ideas for your book When I think […]

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This Is What 300 Writers Say Made Them Successful

The secret tips, tricks, and habits of those who make a great living writing. February 28, 2020 7 min read Red Smith, a legendary sportswriter, was once asked if it was hard to write his daily column. “Why no,” he said. “You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.” Any person who’s ever tried to string a bunch of words together and make them sound interesting can feel Smith’s pain. Writing is brutal — and writing for a living can feel like you’re Jack Nicholson in The Shining typing the same sentence over and over again. And we all know how that turned out. On my podcast, Write About Now, I interview writers of all types — novelists, journalists, screenwriters, showrunners, and business gurus — about how they stopped bleeding, started writing, and landed at the top of their profession. I launched the show two years ago and […]

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This Search Engine is Specially Designed to Help You Write More Clearly

Don’t let anything get lost in translation. February 3, 2020 2 min read Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. Language is important, especially in the world of business where a misunderstood phrase could literally cost you money. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Is this sentence correct?” or “Is this translation right?” then Ludwig Sentence Search Engine is for you. Ludwig Sentence Search Engine is just what it sounds like, a search engine that is designed to help you write in better English by giving you contextualized examples from reliable sources. Type in a sentence you’re unsure about, and Ludwig helps you find and compare your writing with examples from scientific journals to newspapers and everything in between. The database […]

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I’m a Freelance Writer and I Love Grammarly

December 20, 2019 3 min read Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. This article was written by Nick Perry — contributor to the Entrepreneur Deals and freelance writer on subjects as diverse as artificial intelligence and restaurant operations. He uses Grammarly every day. When I started my freelance writing career five years ago, it was a side hustle. I wrote script coverage for a talent management company, blogs for an AI platform, and took on all manners of ghostwriting work. I wore a lot of hats and I discovered that I could write fast and meet deadlines easily enough but I wasn’t exactly swimming in assignments. I learned the hard way that the real work for professional writers isn’t […]

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When You’re Ready for a Change, Don’t Hesitate

This is the last Copyblogger Weekly of the year — and the decade! And actually, it’s the last Copyblogger Weekly … ever. (Really.) In 2020, we’ll have a different kind of weekly newsletter, presented by Copyblogger Partner Darrell Vesterfelt. Darrell’s going to share the latest in content marketing with you, so make sure to stay tuned for our first edition that will be published on Wednesday, January 8, 2020. I’ll be creating some new Copyblogger educational materials to teach, so you’ll still see me around. 🙂 Now that you’re up-to-date on our changes … Let’s see how we can help guide you through the changes you’re ready to make. In our first post on Monday, Brian Clark made the case that Thought Leadership Is a Synonym for Attention. Don’t feel like an authority in your niche yet? Brian reminds us: “If you have the attention of an audience, you’re already […]

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How to Build a (Real) Writing Business

Getting your first paid writing gig is really exciting. It’s an accomplishment and a turning point. You might actually be “allowed” to call yourself a writer now. And there’s no doubt it can be the start of feeling like a real writer. But building a real writing business, rather than just getting an occasional job that involves writing, is a long journey. This week, we mapped out the positioning and tactics that grow your writing services into a resource that drives real business results — so that you can thrive as a creative professional. On Monday, Brian Clark asked: Who’s the Hero in Your Business? The correct answer may surprise you. On Tuesday, Sonia Simone offered 7 Ways to Find Readers and Subscribers When No One Knows You Yet. Her techniques will get momentum going for your business, but they aren’t quick fixes. Be prepared to put in the work. […]

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Learn This Skill to Advance Your Career as a Writer

There are writers. And then there are professional writers. Over my career as a writer and editor, I’ve noticed one key factor that enables writers to perform their craft professionally. I’ve said it before, so you won’t be surprised to hear: It’s the ability to self-edit. A strong self-editor doesn’t just show up to work — they show up with a seemingly counterintuitive balance of compassion and criticism that allows them to write prolifically and precisely. That combination is exactly what companies and publishers look for when they hire writers. Self-sufficient writers know they’re going to: Choose the wrong words. Add distracting tangents. Repeat information. But since they are disciplined, and aware that they make mistakes, they produce more sophisticated content than writers who don’t rigorously examine their own work. Here are three steps that strengthen your self-editing skills. Step #1: Form your structure Readers quickly navigate away from articles […]

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9 Essential Elements of Effective Content Marketing

You can’t have one without the other … No, I’m not musing about love and marriage. I’m talking about content marketing and writing. The foundation of great content marketing is great writing — and if you want to write, you have to learn how to market your finished product. On Monday, Joe Pulizzi drove home that point as he shared 3 lessons he gained during his transition from content marketer to thriller novelist. On Tuesday, Sonia Simone outlined the 5 things every (great) marketing story needs. And on Wednesday, I suggested you try one daily writing practice that isn’t intended to make you a better writer. Instead, it can help you make substantial progress toward your professional creative goals. Are you a professional writer who wants better clients and more recognition? If one of those professional creative goals is to learn how your writing skills can make you a valuable […]

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Why You Should Pour Yourself a Glass of Water and Write for 15 Minutes Today

Daydreaming is inherently flexible. You don’t need to set aside time for it or plan how to execute it properly. It effortlessly arises and plays out until you shift your focus back to your responsibilities. Last week, I talked about getting more out of your expectations, and today I’m going to talk about a daily writing practice that helps you get more out of your daydreams. It only requires 15 minutes, and it doesn’t always have to be done at the same time. On your most productive days, it can positively impact your work, but it’s especially useful on days when you feel directionless or overwhelmed. And I’ll let you know what the glass of water is for, too. Time away from your responsibilities Now, this isn’t actually time to practice your writing. You won’t be journaling or brainstorming content ideas. You might become a better writer over time, but […]

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The 5 Things Every (Great) Marketing Story Needs

Here on Copyblogger, you’ve seen us talk many times about how to tell a terrific marketing story. Why? Because stories are fundamental to how we communicate as human beings. Tell the right story and you can capture attention, entertain, enlighten, and persuade … all in the course of just a few minutes. Stories are memorable and shareable — and those are two of the most important aspects of the very best content. So we can all agree that stories matter … but how do you tell them? What, specifically, makes for a good marketing story? Here are five critical components, and how they fit into your marketing and your business. We’ll start, as every good story does, with the hero … 1. You need a hero All good stories are about someone (even if that someone is a professional monster or a talking toy). The biggest mistake businesses make is […]

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3 Things I Learned Moving from Content Marketer to Thriller Novelist

I started working in the content marketing industry 20 years ago. Everything I did from the start until 2018 revolved around teaching businesses about content marketing and how they could use it effectively. But, in 2018, I quit everything. Not only that, I took a year-long sabbatical, which included a full 30 days of no electronics. It was during that year I decided to follow a new passion: writing. I mean, I’ve always been a writer in some capacity. I have five published business books to prove it. I’m talking about writing fiction. Specifically, a thriller novel. I can honestly say it was one of the most difficult transitions of my life. Business writing, for me, always came naturally. Writing fiction? I was all thumbs. But I pushed through … and actually ended up learning quite a few things during my transition from content marketer to novelist. Here are three. […]

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Persistence Arises from Gratitude – Copyblogger

If you ask virtually any working artist how they developed a creative career, they’ll mention a dedication to their craft and fierce persistence. Despite obstacles, criticism, and setbacks, they keep producing. But where does the motivation to be persistent come from? Since it’s Thanksgiving in the U.S. this week, I’ve been thinking about how the drive to be persistent can arise from having gratitude for exactly where you are on your artistic journey. Rather than wishing you were further along, which is just a distraction, you appreciate the current incarnation of your career. That appreciation stirs up creative momentum. Sometimes, though, when you have big goals in mind, it’s really difficult to stay focused on the present. So, on Monday, I challenged the traditional wisdom to “let go of expectations.” Instead of forgetting about the version of success you want to have, I offered 3 ways your expectations can strengthen […]

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The Old Man and The Pen

This is a simple story about the life of a particular writer, and how he ignored the one thing about… Continue Reading The post The Old Man and The Pen appeared first on Copyblogger. Read_More Related posts: 11 Ways to Stay an Alert Copywriter and Content Marketer (If Taking a Nap Isn’t an Option) Learn This Skill to Advance Your Career as a Writer Snub Your Next Deadline and Read This Instead 3 Reasons Why Writing Practice Leads to Multidimensional Content The Meticulous Blogger’s 12-Step Publishing Checklist 10 Modern Proofreading Tips to Catch More Avoidable Goofs What to Do When Your Eyes Are Tired from More than 15 Years of Professional Proofreading 3 Ways to Persuade People Thinking about Buying from You

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How to Keep Your Reader Engaged, from Headline to CTA

Content creation can feel a lot like spinning plates. Once you have one element rolling along, there’s another you need to attend to, and another, and another … Let’s go through a complete piece of effective content for your business, from headline to CTA. On Monday, I described the difference between clickbait and a damn good headline. You need a headline that grabs attention if you want someone to open your content, but you can’t abuse your power as a headline writer. Check out the post to get a 3-step tutorial for writing better, audience-focused headlines — starting today. Do you know how to write a damn good headline? How about insightful, persuasive content that delivers on your headline’s promise? Then you might be a match for our Content Marketer Certification program! It’s a powerful tool that helps you position your business for greater success. And if you earn a […]

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3 Simple Steps to Get to the Point with Your Content

Ever have a friend who tells stories that never seem to go anywhere? It sounds okay at first, then it spins off to a tangent about how they met their spouse, then we go into their first college dorm room, with a side trip to that deeply formative event that happened in third grade, then … There might be a point in there somewhere. But by the time it’s arrived, your eyes have rolled back in your head and you’re hoping to get struck by lightning so you can get out of this conversation. It’s boring. And it’s annoying. So let’s make sure that your audience never feels that way about your content. In the work I do with our content marketing students, I’ve critiqued hundreds of blog posts. One mistake I see over and over is content that’s interesting and well written, but that wanders all over the place […]

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15 Marks of Exceptional Writing that Gets Noticed

One of my favorite writing exercises requires very little original writing. Want to know what it is? Find 3 pieces of writing that you love. For each piece, list 5 qualities that make it stand out to you. Then, brainstorm 5 ways to adapt those qualities to your own writing style. You’ll end up with 15 potential ways to improve your craft. This week, we also had 15 marks of exceptional writing to incorporate into your writing practice. On Monday, Brian Clark gave us Ernest Hemingway’s Top 5 Tips for Writing Well. On Tuesday, I dissected 3 Reasons Why Good Ideas Are a Real Threat to Good Writing. And on Wednesday, Sonia Simone outlined A 7-Point Plan for More Shareable Content. Sonia’s guide reminds us that finding an audience for your outstanding writing is a process, and … We know making a living as a writer isn’t easy Finding new […]

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Ernest Hemingway’s Top 5 Tips for Writing Well

Who better? Many business people faced with the task of writing for marketing purposes are quick to say: “Hey, I’m no Hemingway!” But really, who better than Hemingway to emulate? Rather than embracing the flowery prose of the literati, he chose to eschew obfuscation at every turn and write simply and clearly. So, let’s see what Ernest can teach us about effective writing. 1. Use short sentences Hemingway was famous for a terse minimalist style of writing that dispensed with adjectives and got straight to the point. In short, Hemingway wrote with simple genius. Perhaps his finest demonstration of short sentence prowess was when he was challenged to tell an entire story in only 6 words: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” 2. Use short first paragraphs See opening. 3. Use vigorous English Here’s David Garfinkel’s take on this one: “It’s muscular, forceful. Vigorous English comes from passion, focus and […]

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3 Resources for When You’re Ready to Take Control of Your Writing Career

The struggle when I started my freelance writing service business looked like this: I was fascinated with crafting words that accurately conveyed a message. I knew that offering basic content writing services for businesses — filling up pages with words — would not pay high rates. And I completely understood why filling up pages with words was not valued. Nothing is worse than paying for a service that doesn’t produce results. When writers charge low fees for content writing that doesn’t persuade prospects to take action, two dangerous things happen: It’s difficult to support yourself through your writing services. Your clients don’t make new sales. If a client thinks that the money they paid you was a waste because they didn’t make it back in sales, they’ll view you as interchangeable with any other writer — and there’s probably someone else who charges even less than you for a comparable […]

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3 Resources to Help You Take Control of Your Writing Career

The struggle when I started my freelance writing service business looked like this: I was fascinated with crafting words that accurately conveyed a message. I knew that offering basic content writing services for businesses — filling up pages with words — would not pay high rates. And I completely understood why filling up pages with words was not valued. Nothing is worse than paying for a service that doesn’t produce results. When writers charge low fees for content writing that doesn’t persuade prospects to take action, two dangerous things happen: It’s difficult to support yourself through your writing services. Your clients don’t make new sales. If a client thinks that the money they paid you was a waste because they didn’t make it back in sales, they’ll view you as interchangeable with any other writer — and there’s probably someone else who charges even less than you for a comparable […]

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Writing Advice: Trick or Treat?

Happy Halloween! I have two tricks — or two treats — for you, depending on how you look at it: Realize your creative potential. Schedule the right amount of time to do excellent work. It’s that simple, and it’s that hard — and it’s about finding a specific type of balance that’s critical when building a portfolio. Professional writers learn the essential techniques that have helped grow their mentors’ careers, but they also find their own way forward by developing the habits and methods that work best for them. Progress Guide: Try This When you read Tuesday’s post, you’ll find that legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz said, “Learning the craft and doing the research are the hard work.” Writing can be the impossible work. If you’re looking to write more consistently: Stop asking questions and start writing. (More about this in Monday’s post.) Commit to writing five days a week, even […]

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