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Today I’m pleased to announce that the ProBlogger Newsletter is Back!

The next newsletter to go out is queued to go out in 10 hours from now (update: it’s now been sent but you can see it here and sign up for future ones below).

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Early on in the life of ProBlogger I produced a weekly newsletter that ran parallel to this blog.

I did this as a way for readers to keep in touch with the latest information about the blog, get a little exclusive inside information on what I’d been doing, to promote new products and services available to bloggers and to make advance announcements about ProBlogger. The newsletter was well received by readers.

Unfortunately due to other projects the newsletter got put on the back burner – until now.

Those of you who were on the newsletter previously will be automatically subscribed. If you no longer wish to get them – simply unsubscribe when you get the first email.

For those of you who were not previously subscribed (or if you can’t remember) you can subscribe using the following form:

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If you’re not sure if you’re subscribed – subscribe again and it will weed out duplicate emails addresses automatically.

What is this newsletter about?

Frequency: I aim to put this email out 2-3 times per month.

Content: There will be a similar mix of content to last time and it will include:

  • Recaps on the hot threads of conversation on ProBlogger from the last week
  • Inside information on techniques that I’m trying in my blogging
  • Pointing out tools and services that you might find useful
  • Exclusive newsletter only tips from time to time that won’t go up on the blog (or at least won’t appear on the blog for a few weeks)

Each week will be a little different – for example this week’s newsletter is a story of how I’m changing my approach to blogging for income – it doesn’t include an update on the latest posts from ProBlogger – next week’s will be more of an update from the blog – the week after’s will be something different again.

If at any point you wish to stop receiving the ProBlogger newsletter simply click the unsubscribe link in every email we send. Your emails will always be kept private and unsubscriptions will always be honored.

Looking forward to connecting with you via the newsletter in the weeks and months ahead.

You Need to See These Case Studies Before They’re Gone

Have you ever intentionally ignored something only to find out that you’ve been a fool for doing so?

This weekend I discovered what a fool I’ve been for ignoring a resource that could have been helping me make my business a lot more profitable.

Many of you will have heard of Jeff Walker and his wildly successful ‘Product Launch Formula‘ before. Every time he’s opened the doors on this training a lot of people talk it up as being ‘the resource’ to get if you want to make money from selling your own products online.

I’ve seen all the promotions come and go and… shamefully… I’ve ignored them all.

You see I thought I knew better. I thought I knew what I was doing. I thought I didn’t have much more to learn about this business. I thought that all the hype about this product…. was just hype.

That was until this weekend.

The Best Invested Two Hours I’ve Had for Ages

On Friday I found myself with an hour to spare. I’d seen a number of bloggers that I know and respect talking about Product Launch Formula again and decided to check it out for myself by taking a look at some of the free case studies that Jeff Walker is about to stop using due to the new FTC regulations.

As I hit play on the first case study I smugly thought to myself that I was just going to hear the same old same old teaching from another internet marketer.

Two hours later…. and as my wife called me (for the 4th time) to come eat my dinner – I realised that I’d been a fool. In front of me on my desk was a pad and paper, full of notes. The notes contained things I needed to investigate and think more about as well as action items that I plan to take this week.

Already I was learning stuff that I wish I’d known when releasing my own products earlier in the year.

I particularly found the Product Launch Blueprint video VERY useful.

Keep in mind that these case studies are just part of what Jeff is offering as part of his Pre-Sales process – I’m yet to pay a cent (also note that the case studies are online online for another 2 days so you should view them now).

What I’m discovering is that I’ve got a lot more to learn about developing and launching a product. I also discovered that Jeff’s teaching is not full of hype, that he delivers real value, that he’s passionate about what he does and that his teaching has helped a lot of people.

Why I like Jeff’s Teaching

Note: as you’ll see in the case studies, Jeff really emphasizes a number of things that I think are well worth noting:

  • Making money in this way takes work – if you’re not wanting to work, don’t get into the game
  • Many of the techniques talked about are particularly powerful in normal everyday niches/topics. Some say it only works in the ‘make money online’ niche – but the reality is that they work better in other niches where the strategies have not been over used.
  • Baby Steps are important – Jeff isn’t just into having a big launch and making a big payday all in one day – he’s into building momentum over time and building a sustainable business. His steps are baby steps, you don’t have to invent the wheel all at once – you need to take steps towards your goal. As you do you build your income towards the big pay day rather than just arrive at it.

These three things make what Jeff’s teaching a lot more credible and powerful in my mind. I’ve come away from what I’ve seen so far really liking his approach.

As a result I’m going to be getting into more of Jeff’s stuff for myself and am enrolling with the next class for myself.

Product Launch Formula Opens Its Doors Again Today

Product Launch Formula is opening its doors again to a new class. Last time they did this they only had the doors open for a single day. This time around it’s only available for 36 hours.

Check Out the Case Studies

Whether you buy the full course with me or not – I really think the free case studies are well worth working through (you can see the two videos that I mentioned above for free here and here).

If you do sign up for Product Launch Formula I look forward to working through the training program along side you – we’ll be class mates!

PS: I’m really sorry that I didn’t alert you to the case studies earlier but I only got into them myself for the first time on Friday.

Due to the new FTC regulations Jeff is about to pull them and they’re only available for the next couple of days. Put some time aside today, grab a pad and pen and get into them for yourself while they’re still around.

Update: I’m on the inside of PLF now and am sucking in as much information as I can. It’s really good – similar in style to the free stuff linked to above but there’s a lot more of it and it gets into a lot more detail. It’s a big investment but I’m seeing that it’s the type of thing that pays for itself if you’re dedicated and in it for the long haul.

From Blog to Small Business: Tips for Taking Your Blog to a Whole New Level

A Guest Post By Deb Ng – Deb Ng is a freelance writer, professional blogger, social media consultant and founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs network of blogs.

Four and a half years ago I started a blog filled with nothing but leads to available freelance writing opportunities. As I studied blogging and the various ways to generate traffic and revenue, the blog began to grow beyond my wildest dreams. After two years I was able to hire someone to help find leads and we branched out to also offering daily tips and advice. After three years, I added two more bloggers to the roster and today, it’s a flourishing blog network for freelance writers complete with 8 blogs. It’s now the number one online community for freelance writers. At some point in the past couple of years, it occurred to me I didn’t have merely have a blog. I had a business. In addition to paying other bloggers, I can now draw my own salary and don’t even have to take on clients if I don’t want to.

Someone once suggested it was luck that brought me to this place, but I respectfully disagree. Luck had nothing to do with it. Building FWJ from a blog to a network to a business took a lot more than luck. It took hard work, dedication and a thick skin. When I stopped treating my blog like a hobby and began working at it full time, it became a place that was both profitable and popular.

How did I get here?

  • I put in more than an hour or two each day – My blog became a full time job. If I wasn’t blogging, I was planning the next day’s posts, analyzing traffic patterns, and networking with others. It’s a day job, it’s a night job, and it’s a weekend and holiday job.
  • I read everything I could about traffic, community, monetization and other strategies needed to become a successful blogger. Keeping apprised of the latest tips and techniques helped me to achieve new levels of blogginess.
  • I networked within – and outside of – the freelance writing community – Yes, I participated in discussions at other freelance writing blogs and forums, but I also visited with other communities. Freelance writers participate in various niches and genres, it only makes sense to branch out beyond the obvious.
  • I networked offline – I attended professional meetings, meetups and conferences, and met potential advertisers, potential readers, and community members and people with whom I could share ideas and learn from.
  • I attended classes – I attended sessions at conferences and at the local community college. I invested in online courses and seminars.
  • I aligned myself with some influential people – Being a part of other networks increased awareness of my own community and generated interest in my blog network.
  • I learned I have to spend money to make money – While blogging may be an inexpensive startup, the truth is, if I didn’t invest in design, bloggers for hire, technical assistance, classes and conferences, I may not have achieved this level of success.
  • Did I mention I put a lot of time and effort into my blog?
  • I didn’t wait until advertisers came to me – I sought out sponsors, played with affiliates and yes, even rocked the Adsense. Now though, I sell many private ads to businesses and individuals who approach me instead of the other way around.
  • I didn’t let negativity stand in my way – People can be mean – they still are. If I let it get to me I wouldn’t be writing this today.

That doesn’t sound like a whole lot of luck, does it?

The truth is, there were times I questioned my ability. I was also getting a little tired of moderating snarky comments by a few community members who like to bicker about wages and jobs. It was hard seeing people write out and out lies about me on their blogs or suggest I’m only here by luck and not talent . There were plenty of times I wanted to throw in the towel.

Last month when a major online brand inquired about acquiring FWJ, I realized I built something very important and I was very proud. Proud enough not to want to sell.

If I can take my little freelance writing job blog to new heights in only four and a half years, what can I do in another five? I’m looking forward to finding out.

Sure, you can have a blog. You can post once a day and have a few hundred visitors. Or you can treat your blog like you would a job. You can put your passion behind it and give it your all. You can work for someone else or you can do everything possible to grow your own business. With blogging, you get what you give.

What do you want, a blog or a business?

What You Can Learn About Blogging Business Models from a Hip-Hop Artist Who Used to Hustle on the Corner Just to Put Food in His Daughter’s Mouth. An Ode To Biggie, Small Business and Making Money. It’s Juicy.

A Guest Post by Kelly Diels.

cv_notoriousbig_final.jpg
First, Mom, I don’t even know what Mr. Smalls was selling on the corner but I’m pretty sure it is not smiled upon by the authorities and I have never ever tried it nor will I. Swear.

Second, bloggers-in-arms, as you might have suspected (seemingly insane titles are great foreshadowing devices, yes?) I’m going to go all things white people like and cite old-school hip-hop from a dead artist.

Don’t start composing your irate comments just yet – I haven’t earned the right to say The Word used by the late great Biggie Smalls, so I’m offering the radio-friendly version of Juicy.

Here’s the cleaned-up version of today’s musical call-to-arms:

Yeah, this album is dedicated to all the teachers that told me I’d never amount to nothin’,

to all the people that lived above the buildings that I was hustlin’ in front of that called the police on me when I was just tryin’ to make some money to feed my daughters,

and all the people in the struggle, you know what I’m sayin’?

That’s you and me, baby. We’re in the struggle. We’re trying to make a living at blogging, which, if you haven’t noticed, a whole lot of people are doing and doing badly (or well) mostly for very little money.

That’s why we’re all here hanging out in the ProBlogger salon/saloon. We’re trying to make meaning and money. So we’re not exactly gangsta – although some of our outlaw blackhat brethren think they’re sooooo badass ‘cuz they get their meaningless, money-making sites banned – but it is a struggle.

You might really, really, really be in the struggle but I’m middling away at a mediocre job in middle class land. I’ve got a pretty cute suburban townhouse and some pretty cute suburban kids. Poor, poor me.

That’s why I had to use a gritty, kinda romantic, dramatically up-and-coming lyric for inspiration. My boring life won’t inspire you or a really great rags-to-riches magazine profile. We all have our burdens and Biggie’s were so much sexier and before-and-after than mine.

(Sort of: before he dropped out of school, Biggie was a brilliant, scholarship-winning student. Artists are storytellers and storysellers and sometimes stories we’re selling are more revealing than the truths we’re not telling.)

Call it the suburban curse of the mundane. Call it a paradox. Call it luxury. Birthdays aren’t the worst days but like all the other days they’re kinda boring and meaningless. And so I blog.

You can also call it not-terribly-unique: most of the big-name bloggers didn’t start out blogging for dollars either. There are other rewards. The trouble with these other, non-lucrative rewards is that they plant a dangerous seed.You start humming Biggie and thinking I AM BIGGIE and then the trouble begins.

You think: I’m getting so many accolades. I’m figuring things out. I’m creating something useful. People like it and maybe even need it. Maybe I should believe the do-what-you-love-and-the-money-will-follow lie.

Hence the grand existential web dilemma: how do blogs (and bloggers) make money?

Well, they don’t. Blogs don’t make money. Businesses make money.

When we talk about blogging for money, we’re getting it all wrong. It is not really possible to ‘blog for money’ unless you develop a business model around it. And unless you’ve got a head for business – or are willing to get one, and who needs two heads? – and are willing to put in the time figuring out the unsexy mechanics of this seductive vehicle, blogging might never make you money.

So don’t quit your day job. Hang on to your corner. Keep practicing your craft. Stay true to your vision, feed your passions, and start thinking about the back-end, business side of it.

Here’s what I think about my own imaginary blog empire. In a sense, I’ve gone about it backwards. I started blogging just because. I didn’t worry about money or how to earn it. I still don’t have a single advertisement on my site and I have never, ever made a direct cent from my blog. But I like to write, I’m sticking with it, and people seem to like it, and all of this, I think, is a good foundation from whence to build my blogging castle.

Speaking of fairytales, once upon a time I owned a coffee house. I wrote a business plan, secured financing, bought equipment, designed a process, created a look, implemented a marketing strategy, hired people, trained people, maintained the books, and made coffee.

A blog is coffee. It is what you create, what you give your customers, but it is not the business.A revenue-generating, transactional blog is the end result, or the center, of an infrastructure put in place to create and deliver the content.

But a blog, in and of itself, is not a business. If you want it to act like a business (ie generate income), then you have to think about it and treat it like a business.

So that’s my insight of the day: if you want to make blogging a business, you need to make it a business.

And that’s what I’m doing now. I’m matching my inspirational red shoes to my small business hat and thinking systematically about how to assemble a revenue-generating outfit.

How do you transform your blog into a business? (And by you, I mean me.)

You start by think systematically (not magically, not field-of-dreams-y, not the universe will deliver because You Are Entitled-y) about it. Analyze it. Strategize about it. Focus. Figure out what tools you need. Learn them. Figure out what you can sell, organically, as a result of what need you are resolving for people who land at your blog and (hopefully) like what they read.

In other words, get thee a business model. Pour your passion and inspiration and tap-dancing red shoe love through that juicy model so that it will let you sip champagne when you’re thirsty. (And do not mix metaphors the way I just did. It makes poor, dead George Orwell want to off himself.)

Leo Babauta did it. He writes that the reason he was so successful, so soon, was because he treated his blog as a product. He branded it. He promoted it. He was consistent with his message. But most of all, he crafted a solution to the hurly burly of daily life: Zen Habits. Simplicity. Respite from the hamster wheel of work and over-scheduled family and materialism and conventional thinking.

Sonia Simone at Copyblogger gets it right when she writes that blogging is like high school and the white hat/black hat cliques could learn from each other – that, in essence, the marriage of vision and tactics makes for a power couple. (What she really meant was Kelly get your idealistic, semi-lazy red shoes to stepping and learn SEO already.)

Sonia Simone also writes that “blogs are not television” and it is tough to monetize even a high-traffic blog if you readers are not coming to your site “to solve any kind of real-world problem, other than how can I kill 10 minutes before my boss gets back from lunch?

And all of this made me realize that how (and why) your readers end up on your doorstep might predict what they are willing to buy from you. How you cultivate your traffic informs how you feed your bank account. And since I’m such a graphic wizard, I made a chart to show you what I mean:

Your traffic source: 

Search Engines

Social media (relationships, reputation, word-of-blog)

Your clients’/readers’/worshippers’ buy motivation:

Looking for (maybe to buy) a solution to a problem (the question typed into Google…) 

Looking to buy some (possibly useful) shine. 

You offer:

SOLUTIONS in the form of:

Products
Advertising

ebooks
things by affiliates

Services
Consulting
Speaking
Offline gigs 

You MUST have:

The ability to put SEO on a leash and walk it, baby. 

Relationships. Brand. Authenticity. Evangelical Fans. Love. Minor stalking. Pixie dust. 

Your business model: 

Direct Income

Indirect Income

How people find your blog predicts their motivation to buy which determines what you can successfully sell them which tells you what skills you need to hone and, in fact, the shape of your business model.

If your blog and your appeal and your traffic are about relationship, and shine, and magic, then that’s what people want from you. To paraphrase the late great Britney Spears (ahem), they want a piece of you. Probably in person and most definitely offline.

If your blog and your traffic are a result of search engine queries, then people want solutions from you and that is what they will buy from you online in the form of clicking on a related advertisement, buying an e-book or a course, paying for membership in a forum, or purchasing a product. And if you’re selling solutions in a niche that requires keyword breadcrumbs then maybe you need to have more than one blog to really make money your captive.

And so far, that’s about all I know about blogging for dollars – that how you court your people determines the source of your coffers and the shape of your kingdom. So now you know, bloggers.

Was it juicy?

Kelly Diels bakes cupcakes, rages against the machine and writes about the lines that shape us. Her blog Cleavage does not have a focus, business model or revenue. Yet.

Amazon’s Black Friday Sale Starts – If You’re an Affiliate Today’s the Day to Promote

As a quick followup to my post a few days ago regarding how to make more money with the Amazon Affiliate Program this Christmas – today is a key day to be linking to Amazon as their Black Friday sale has just started.

This is on of the biggest days (if not THE biggest day) of shopping all year on Amazon so many of your readers will be heading into the store today anyway – you might as well as earn a commission for what they spend.

The cool thing about linking to the Black Friday Sale today is that next Monday when Amazon’s Cyber Monday sale starts the links you create today will automatically be forwarded to that sale also.

Good luck with the promotion!

Review This Blog – Groovy Vegetarian

This week’s community blog review is of a blog by the name of Groovy Vegetarian (another ProBlogger.com member).

The idea behind these reviews is that readers of ProBlogger read:

  • the story of the blog
  • the goals of the blogger
  • the questions and areas of concern that the blogger has (all below)

Then readers are invited to visit the blog before giving their feedback and constructive advice to the blogger whose blog is being reviewed.

Please do keep your advice helpful. Telling the blogger that their blog is no good isn’t constructive – share what you’d do to improve it.

OK – here’s what Missy (the blogger behind Groovy Vegetarian) submitted in response to my questions about her blog. I hope you find it helpful information in constructing your own advice for her blog.

Tell us the Story of Your blog

I started Groovy Vegetarian back in the Summer of 2007 at first to chronicle my experiences with becoming a vegetarian. Like many other bloggers I had started on blogger.comand over time progressed to the more powerful WordPress platform. But for some reason (can’t recall why) I wanted to start with a completely new blog. Actually I think it was the name, I wanted to create a new BRAND and so I cooked up the brand Groovy Vegetarian. When I created this blog I knew nothing about WordPress, SEO, monetization, Google, etc. The only thing I did know is that I wanted to SHARE my vegetarian experience with others. And that is what I did. As of right now the blog has over 600 RSS readers, 1,200 plus Twitter followers and over 500 email subscribers.

I had been having hosting trouble lately but last week, I switched hosts. And so far so good with it staying up. I love my blog and know I need to nurture it more to get it to the next level.
groovy-vegetarian.png

What are your goals for the blog?

I would love to be a go-to resource for the vegetarian lifestyle. To have more pillar content. To showcase more cool vegetarian products. Vegetarianism has evolved, it isn’t your mom and dad’s granola hippie type lifestyle anymore. Lots of people are interested in the lifestyle, because of several factors, but one driving alot of interest as of late is global warming. There is nothing more planet destroying than eating meat. This has been proven by scientists. Not too mention the horrors inflicted upon BILLIONS of animals each year.

So more mainstream people are turning to the net looking for information and resources on the topic. PETA does a great job of providing information, but there is room for us small publishers as well. I’ve never really considered Groovy Vegetarian a recipe or food blog, but more of a lifestyle blog. Focusing on news, products, information, entertainment, etc.

And most importantly, I would really like to create a guide on the topic. A comprehensive one aimed at new vegetarians and those wanting more information on the diet. That for now is my next BIG goal – to create a vegetarian guide of sorts.

What would you like our readers to help you with?

A challenge for me from the get go has been content, organization and design. I don’t know how to structure the blog content or layout. Obviously there needs to be room for monetization, but what form should that take? And which WordPress theme should I use? Everyone keeps touting Thesis, but I’ve never liked the design aspect of Thesis. So minimalistic. But it appears to be a really good theme with a solid support community behind it.

I would love for your readers to advise me on what they would do with my blog? What is the first thing they would change or get rid of and what do they like about the blog?

OK – it’s over to you. What advice and constructive feedback do you have for Missy about her blog.

Do You Sell a Product or Service of Your Own from your Blog? [POLL]

Time for another reader poll – this one is on a topic that many bloggers are getting into – monetizing your blog by selling something of your own from it.

Many bloggers make money by selling other peoples products with advertising or affiliate programs – but do you have something of your own to sell and are you doing it?

What you sell might include an e-book, membership are, consulting services, training, a DVD, real hard cover book, T-shirts….. anything!

n
Do You Sell Any Product or Service of Your Own From Your Blog (eg. ebook/book, membership area, consulting, other product)?
Total Votes: 2783 Started: 11/23/2009 Back to Vote Screen


Once you’ve voted and if you’ve said ‘yes’ – I’d love to hear what type of product or service you sell!

3 Ways to Make More Money with Amazon’s Affiliate Program This Christmas

Earlier in the year posted here on ProBlogger 11 lessons that I’d learned on the way to making over $100,000 with the Amazon Associates program (I wrote a followup post with 10 more tips too).

In that post post I posted a version of the following chart of my Amazon Associates earnings:

amazon-associates-tm.jpg

In the previous version of the chart I didn’t highlight the holiday seasons but I did want to point it out explicitly now as we are currently in one of the key times of year if you’re an Amazon affiliate (or for many other affiliate programs).

As you’ll see in the chart – all but one of the 4th Quarters that I’ve been promoting Amazon have been record periods for me. From what I can see – while the economy is certainly down at the moment – this current quarter looks like being yet another record for me.

I post this chart for one reason and it is this….

If you’re going to promote Amazon this Christmas – you’ve got to start now. The buying season has started. Yesterday I saw a big day of sales on Amazon and the kinds of products being bought indicate to me that much of it is gift buying.

In the coming week we’re going to see Christmas shopping start in earnest with some of the post Thanksgiving sales that stores like Amazon put on. As a blogger – you need to be positioning yourself to capitalise on this buying.

Here’s three things that you should do:

  1. Get People in the Door – Amazon optimizes its site brilliantly to convert people into buyers who enter the site – so your goal is to get people in the door and let Amazon do its job of converting people. This doesn’t mean just linking to anything – you want to keep your links into the store relevant – but if you’re going to do some reviews or promotions of Amazon products – now’s the time
  2. Watch What Amazon is Promoting – at this time of year Amazon puts on a variety of sales and runs specials on many products. Keep an eye on products in your niche, watch for what they are promoting and when they promote something relevant to your industry – take advantage of that opportunity to point it out to your readers.
  3. Run Christmas Related Posts – this is a great time of the year to put together a few posts that highlight lists of products related to your readers. 10 Stocking Stuffers for Photographers will be a post on DPS in the coming week (based upon this question that I asked my readers). You don’t want to let this kind of thing over run your blog but a few fun posts like this both gets people in the door at Amazon but also gets them thinking about buying and in the buying mood.

There are plenty more tips in my previous post on making money with Amazon Associates Program (and the followup post) but those are three that I think are particularly relevant for this time of year.

The Insiders View of How I Launched My New Ebook

Updated: I’ve added a few quick updates on how the launch has gone at the bottom of this post.

Over on my main blog – Digital Photography School – we have today launched our first ever ebook – The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography.

We’re launching with a 25% discount so if you’re interested in improving your portrait photography it’s well worth checking out – however I thought I’d jot down a few notes in a post here about some of the process that I’ve been through in putting the ebook together. I’ve been documenting the launch (and pre-launch) in the ProBlogger.com forums for weeks now but here are a few of the reflections I’ve made condensed into one post.

The ebook came about largely out of a lot of emails from readers who were either:

  • asking for information on portraits
  • asking for recommendations of books/resources on portraits
  • asking for us to pull some of our best posts together into a condensed form

Content

Much of the content in this ebook is previously posted content from the DPS blog. We’ve published hundreds of posts on the topic of portraits so the challenge was pulling together the best of it, updating it and editing it so that it read better in an ebook rather than as blog posts. I also commissioned some extra content on topics that were lacking a little and also approached 6 Pro Photographers to be interviewed for the Bonus Section.

The other challenge was finding images for the ebook. Most of them were found from Creative Commons commercially available images on Flickr

Bonus Section

As mentioned above – I decided to approach a number of photographers to get their input on this ebook. They were largely I had relationship with previously and I did it for a number of reasons. Firstly I think it improves the book and adds a dimension not already in it with just the ‘theory’ in the first section. The interviews bring in other voices and also practical examples of portrait photography.

Secondly it brings in some credibility – most of those chosen have names in the industry and this helps sell the book to have them associated with the project.

Thirdly – having a ‘bonus’ adds value and gives extra motivation to buyers.

Design

One of our writers on DPS (Neil Creek) is married to a great designer (Naomi from StarFishBlue) who I commissioned to pull together this ebook. Naomi pulled together all the content and images and also arranged for the book to be professionally proofread.

E-Junkie

I’m using E-junkie (aff) to serve the ebook and act as shopping cart. I’ve chosen ejunkie largely based upon my experience with it with the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog workbook. While not the most feature rich option out there I find it more than adequate for my needs and considering it only costs me $5 to set up an account it’s a bargain.

Launch

This is the first ebook that we’ve sold from DPS so the waters are untested to some degree as to how the community will respond. I’ve been building a little buzz about it for a month or so now, mainly in our weekly newsletters but also in passing in a few of our posts and on Twitter.

Over the weekend just gone I did a bit of a preview launch on Twitter to do some testing and gather a little feedback on the product. The feedback was useful and has been really positive and we also sold 50 or so of the books which basically means that all my expenses are already covered for the book before even launching it (always a relief).

Today we’re launching with a multi pronged approach including:

  • Email to our Community – an email has just been sent out to our newsletter list
  • Post on the DPS blog – this went live about an hour ago
  • Forum Members – we’ll push out some promotions in our forums in the coming day
  • Twitter – we won’t push it too hard on Twitter as we’ve already tweeted it a few times and don’t want to go overboard but we will tweet it a bit today
  • Facebook – the DPS community on Facebook is pretty active so it’ll go live there
  • Affiliates – I have a few people signed up already to promote the ebook as affiliates (by the way if you’d like to join the affiliate program you can do so via e-junkie here).
  • ‘Favours’ – I’m pulling in a few owed favours today with some fellow bloggers and Twitter users.

In the coming week or two we’ll do a few followup promotions – particularly towards the end of the week when we end the 25% discount.

And Now We Wait…. and Adapt

Now comes the part of the process where the product is launched and I wait…. nervously wondering if anyone will buy it and if all the effort has been worthwhile? Like I say above – we’ve already pretty much broken even on the project in terms of the dollars put into it but it’d be great for it to sell well so that we can push some of the income back into DPS an keep improving the site.

Time will tell how it goes! I’ll update you in the coming week or so.

PS: Anyone want to buy a great portrait photography ebook at 25% off? ;-)

Update:
It’s been just over 12 hours since the launch of the ebook and we’ve sold another 950 of the books (total of just under 1000 sold).

There have been a few hiccups with a few people having troubles with downloads or not being able to use PayPal (you get this with almost any launch you do) but all in all it’s been a great launch.

This is the first product that I’ve personally launched on DPS so it was a bit of an unknown as to how many people would buy. 1000 sales in 24 hours is good, I’m very happy with it. Of course it’d be great for it to be higher (considering we have 250k in our email list who got the email it sometimes feels like a pretty low response) but I expect that in the week ahead we’ll see the number grow quite a bit as new promotions go out.

We’re yet to see affiliates promote it much yet so that’ll bring a kick along and I’m yet to promote it in our forum and with some banners around the site. Later in the week I’ll do a reminder (24 hours to go on the discount) type promotion email which I expect will convert well too.

Interestingly this morning I had two publishers email me to see if we’re interested in publishing the ebook as a real book – that’ll be something I’ll ponder in the coming weeks.

Other than that – at this point I’m still working on promoting the ebook to potential affiliates and other bloggers in the niche and responding to customers with downloading/payment issues.