Break It Down, 5 Tips For Writing An eBook

youbuildawebsite.appspot.com

I’m very glad my eBooks/eGuides/(whatever you call them) are selling! I wrote 3 different Guides in the month of December and put them up for sale as soon as they were proofed.

My website where I sell them: http://youbuildawebsite.appspot.com

Now I’m getting questions about how I did it. Not the “how did you come up with the content” questions, but how did I actually make myself do it. Here’s how.

Tip #1

If you are working full-time during the business-day, sacrifice your nights and weekends. I did. I was working as a “freelancer,” so I didn’t have a typical 9-5 job, but if you’ve done freelance, you can identify with the fact that you’re still just as slammed. I was working all day on projects. So I had to write during the off-times. Yeah, that stinks, but that’s the way it is.

Tip #2

Find a proofer. In my case, it was my wonderfully patient, extremely intelligent, beautiful wife. If you aren’t so fortunate to have such, then hire it out. You can find someone that balances your sense of individualism and personality while also fixing all your run-ons and grammatical errors. I know I had a ton. I didn’t get this blog post proofed so I probably have errors in here.

Tip #3

Enjoy writing. Like me. If you don’t, hmmm, you’re going to be in for a world of hurt.

Tip #4

Break it down. I knew I wanted to write a Guide on how to create  a website because I get that question all the time. It helps that I actually know how to do that really well too. But there are a ton of different ways to do it so I found myself struggling with how to present it. After some thought, I figured it out.

Beginner Guide – for non-technical people just getting started, maybe an online store

Intermediate Guide – for non-technical people wanting to build something more flexible, like a powerful blog

Advanced Guide – for highly technical people wanting to do something fun and different

Then, inside each guide, I broke it down into Chapters. I didn’t start writing until I had some sense of an idea on how it was going to flow.

Tip #5

Just start writing. After you’ve got an idea of what you want to write about and how it’s going to be structured, just start writing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just get going. Once you start writing, I think you’ll find that it starts to flow pretty easily.

I’d be curious as to what strategy you employed. Best of luck and tell me about your eBook/eGuide (whatever you call them) when you’re done.

Pays To Be Nice

Just this morning I experienced a random act of kindness from a complete stranger reconfirming for me what I knew to be the case – that it pays to be nice.

Last night, I went to down to the beach to get a little work done and woke up at about 2a.m. with the power out. I was too sleepy to do anything about it, so I just went back to sleep knowing someone else would call it in or it would come back on within the hour. Around 7a.m., I realized that was not the case because it was 55 degrees and freezing inside (heater = electricity). Outside was no better, it was ice cold and a ghost town. The beaches are usually deserted in the winter anyhow (one of the reasons I like to go).

I walked outside to an adjacent house and flipped their outside lights, but it didn’t work so I knew it wasn’t just me without power. I had no Internet and no cell connection so I couldn’t look up anything online about power outages or even the electrical company’s hotline. I went to the store the day before to pick up some bagels to have for breakfast, but with no power, untoasted bagels didn’t look too appetizing. So I decided to go out to breakfast to my favorite spot, The Sea Cow Eatery.

When I got there, it was slammed. Evidently most of the island was without power and had the same idea. I was flying solo. Everyone else had a spouse or friends or family with them. Two more women walked right in behind me and we almost couldn’t fit in the waiting area. Seeing how packed it was, I told the hostess that I’d prefer to be seated at the bar (every seat at the bar was taken though) as opposed to taking up an entire table just for me. Unfortunately for me, the bar was packed like a can of sardines. Everyone was eating elbow to elbow so there was no personal space, but hey, it was cold outside, everyone was just glad to be indoors. When my name came up on the list to be seated, there was only a table available. I tried to decline (the two seater table would have been perfect for the two women that walked in just after me), but the hostess insisted I go ahead and take it. So I did, but just as I was getting a cup of coffee poured for me, a seat at the bar opened up. Perfect. Knowing my intentions, the hostess signaled to me that I could move over to the bar if I wanted. I waved the two women that came in after me over and told them they could take my table. I could tell they really appreciated me offering up my table to them so that I could go happily squeeze in with the other bar squatters.

Actually, I was glad to give up my table them because I guessed they would have enjoyed their time together with a little more personal space than what was available at the bar. So I scrunched on in between two dudes at the bar and ordered up an omelette, toast, grits and several cups of coffee. I finished up and walked to the register to pay.

The hostess said my tab had been ‘picked up.’ I was confused and said ‘ugh, what?’ She then pointed over to those two women and said they picked up my entire tab. I went over and thanked them, but they were clearly doing it without the need for any kind of thanks or recognition. It would have been all the same had I just turned and walked out of there without so much as a nod in their direction. That told me they were doing it just because they were nice people. So I got free breakfast at one of my favorite restaurants, all for doing nothing more than being nice and offering up my table to two others that would have enjoyed it more than me.

I don’t know anything about those two women, but I will always remember their generosity and I hope it comes back to them. It’s so nice to be nice. That sounds cheesy, but it is. Being nice is a choice and it doesn’t take that much work. Maybe you’ll get a free meal one day.

Edisto Beach Golf

Make Money From Your Blog

A lot of you bloggers out there have the same question. How can you make money from your blog? I get that question quite a bit. In fact, I just answered it the other day.

When I find myself answering the same question multiple times, I eventually get the bright idea to formally post about it. Kind of like this post about making it easy for people to find your blog. That post was wildly successful because it really helped people out. That made me so happy! Unfortunately, I can tell a lot of bloggers are still plagued by a poor Gravatar profile – if this is you, go update it! You won’t believe how many people don’t visit your blog (or other websites) simply because your Gravatar profile is incomplete. :>

Ok, so back to making money. Ad revenue is what most people are familiar with, but everyone I know that makes a ton of money online earns most of it from affiliate programs. If you don’t know what affiliate programs are, I’d encourage you to check it out. But since most people are familiar with the ad revenue concept, have a look at the link below. I briefly mention a couple of things to think about in regards to advertising on your blogs and what WordPress.com offers you.

Here’s the link to the post on my other website (in case you haven’t subscribed yet and therefore didn’t get the post) - http://www.digitalcloudcover.com/make-money-from-your-blog/.

Make Money From Your Blog

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