Sunday, September 14, 2008

 

Free eBook Manifestos!

If you haven't heard of ChangeThis, you should definitely check it out. It's great on so many levels. If you are an author looking to promote your book, you should consider submitting a proposal for a manifesto to buzz your book. If you are someone like me, who simply enjoys free ebooks, then you'll delight in the variety of topics the ChangeThis e-books provide. They're not your typical run of the mill stuff. Yes, they are fairly short, about 5-18 pages, but they are chockfull of information/arguments presented in a gorgeous package. The designers are awesome! I can see why they get a lot of proposals.

ChangeThis encourages readers to pass it on. Their manifesto states they don't have a business model. Their goal isn't to make money. They state, "The goal is to make a difference." And, I think they are doing just that.

Here are three of my Manifesto picks! You can download them right here, see if you like them, and then head over to ChangeThis to pick up some more. Sign up for their newsletter and they'll notify you when new ones come out.

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Escaping Corporate America
Changing Your Career Can Change Your Life
By Pamela Skillings

If you're like most Americans, you're going to spend more than 100,000 hours at work over the course of your lifetime. That’s probably more time than you'll spend with your best friend, the love of your life, or your cherished offspring. So, wouldn't it be a shame to waste the majority of those hours on work that annoys you or, even worse, makes you downright miserable?

This Is Not My Beautiful Life

Over the years, I've talked to a lot of disgruntled corporate employees. I worked in the corporate trenches myself for more than a decade and spent several more years interviewing and coaching corporate escapees. I've learned that people tend to stay stuck in jobs that don't inspire them for one of five common reasons (and sometimes it's a combination of a few). Do any of these scenarios ring a bell for you?

You believe that it isn't possible to actually love your work.
Some of us have been taught, by conservative parents or disapproving guidance counselors, that jobs are strictly ways to earn money. You're not supposed to enjoy your time in the salt mines, really. As a result, you may have ended up in a career that looked good on paper, but offers little fulfillment.

You're not sure what you want to do with your life.
For many of us, our careers just sort of happened. We took a "temporary" gig until we could figure out what we wanted to do for our "real" careers. Then, we woke up years later to realize that we were stuck in careers and lives that we never planned or wanted.

You're having a mid-career crisis.
Maybe you once loved your career, but the thrill is gone. You've stopped learning and growing, lost interest in your current field, or are otherwise ready to move on. But you're afraid to take a chance on something new--or you're confused about which direction to take from here.

You're too busy working to make time for a career change.
If one of your complaints is that your job is overly demanding, it can be difficult to carve out enough time to eat and sleep, let alone start working toward a new career. Instead, it can be tempting to put off change until some imagined day when you will magically have plenty of time.

It's all about the money.
There is no shame in caring about money. We all need money to live--some more than others. It isn't shallow to enjoy what money can buy. We all have different priorities and different ideas of what makes life good. You may value a high salary because it gives you the ability to put your kids through college, support your favorite charities, or just take nice vacations and see the world. The problem comes when you trade too much for a high salary. There are ways to make money that don't require selling your soul.

Did any of these ring a bell?
Download the solutions and the full ebook here.

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Mini Sagas: Bite Sized Lessons For Life and Business
By Rajesh Setty

I love this! Both visual and inspirational. Each story is comprised of 50 words with a picture. I love the tight word limit. What a great exercise! We should do our own mini-sagas sometime.

In this photographic manifesto (the first in ChangeThis history) Rajesh Setty has compiled 15 mini sagas from his collection. Each 50 word story is packed with a lesson on life and/or business.

#13 The Missing Piece

I was at a writers' conference earlier this week. The moderator asked for people to list their expectations from the conference. The expectations ranged from wanting to sell more books to building a good network.

What was strikingly missing was that nobody said "I want to become a better writer."


#10 Lost

Bob was totally lost. He was frustrated. His problem was simple. He couldn't figure out where exactly he was. Naturally, he was clueless on the direction or the distance of his destination. After struggling a bit, Bog realized what the real problem was--he was carrying the wrong map!


#2 The Book

John loved the library. That day, he was engrossed in a book. He hoped to finish reading it completely. It was almost the end, and then...there was a surprise--the last section was missing. Alas, John thought, this book is close to real life. You don't know what happens next...

Okay, while you can tell the guy that wrote this book isn't exactly a writer, I love the concept, and the design. A photo-journal, or "mini-saga," as he calls it. Super idea. I'd love to see more of this!
Click to download the full ebook manifesto here.

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How to Sell a Book (or Any New Idea)
(STEP 1 IS THE HARD PART)
By Seth Godin

My friend Fred has a new book coming out and he was trolling around for new marketing ideas. I think he’d be surprised at this:

Sell one.

Find one person who trusts you and sell him a copy. Does he love it? Is he excited about it? Excited enough to tell ten friends because it helps them, not because it helps you?

Tribes grow when people recruit other people. That’s how ideas spread as well. They don’t do it for you, of course. They do it for each other. Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work. If Fred’s book spreads, then he’s off to a great start. If it doesn’t, he needs a new book.

You don’t get to take step 2 if you can’t do step 1.

Click here to download Seth Godin's latest manifesto.

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These are just a sample of some of my picks. I haven't had time to read them all--there's quite a lot! If you are an author and want to submit a proposal, follow this link: http://changethis.com/submit. If you just want to see what's available for download, go to: http://www.changethis.com

What a fun find!

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

 

SEO Sundays: WORK IT! with Viral Marketing

For over a year I advertised on search engines using Google Adwords and Yahoo! Search Marketing. Admittedly, I didn’t spend much on each campaign—maybe around $5-$8 a day for a keyword campaign—which is way below what either of them recommend. Still, it adds up. Pretty soon I was tallying what I spent in the past year, and it was well over $6,000. Yikes! That’s a lot of dough, without a lot of return.

Fortunately, there’s a smarter way to get the word out about your website or blog. We’ve already talked about optimizing your website, using keywords, and Alexa in past SEO Sundays, so today we’re going to talk about taking it one step further. That’s where viral marketing comes in. It may take a little extra work, but the good part is you won’t have to shell out a bunch of money on advertising to get a decent return.

What is viral marketing?

It’s when your existing website visitors, customers, or subscribers refer you to others.

It’s also when other webmasters, or sister sites send traffic your way.

So, let’s Work it!

Here are some examples:

** Submitting Articles: (easy)

Let’s say you’re starting an editing or freelance writing business. What’s the quickest and easiest way to get FREE publicity and links back to your website? Write several keyword articles related to what your website offers.

If you’re starting an editing business, write about some tips you use for editing—include examples or testimonials from satisfied clients. But try not to make it sound too “salesy”—give the readers solid information and content, but also remember to market your product, or yourself. This is a win-win situation. In other words, don’t give away the farm. Instead, give away enough information to peak the readers interest and leave them wanting more, which means visiting your website and buying your product.

The thing to remember is that you’re syndicating your article by doing this, which means you’re relinquishing your rights. And as writers, we all know how important rights are. So, make sure you give them only enough to send them to your site.

Websites that syndicate your articles: (There are lots of them!)

http://www.articlesbase.com/
http://www.articlecircle.com/
http://www.articlebiz.com/
http://www.articlecity.com/
http://www.amazines.com/
http://www.isnare.com/
http://www.freearticles.com/
http://www.ezinearticles.com/

Important Note: Be sure to read all their terms & conditions. Remember you’re giving away your articles for free. In doing this you’ve just quashed your ability to sell that article.

** Offer a Free E-Mail Service: (advanced)

If you have a large server, you can offer free email to your customers/subscribers. Why? How do you think Yahoo! and Hotmail got so big? I’ll tell you why: they run an ad at the bottom of every email that you send. That’s why the service is “free.”

Think about it: your subscriber sends an email with your ad at the bottom of it. That person refers ten people. Those ten people refer another ten, and so on. Pretty soon you have a viral marketing campaign of advertising that you didn’t have to pay for.

If you have a VPS (virtual private server), or a dedicated server, you have the ability to set up unlimited email accounts. Same thing if you have a social networking site etc. It does take a lot of bandwidth and server-juice, but if you really want to conquer the Internet universe, it’s an excellent option.

** E-books: (moderate)

It’s not that hard to create an e-book, or e-document these days. The beauty is that you fill your book with links to your website, your affiliates’ websites, and products.

You can offer your e-book or e-document for free to garner traffic and sell products, or you can sell an e-book with resale rights. The people that purchase your e-book can in turn re-brand and sell the original e-book, thus creating a viral marketing machine.

Tip: Want to know a down-and-dirty way of creating an e-book or e-document in seconds?

All you need is MS Word and something you’ve written:

  • Open up the .doc
  • Go to “File” then “Print”
  • When you get the pop-up box, choose the option, “Save as PDF”

You’re done.

Important Note: I don’t recommend this for e-books that you’re considering selling. It’s better to create a professional encrypted e-book by using Adobe Acrobat. That way you have control of setting rights and permissions. So, if you’re serious about making money off of e-books, then do it the right way, and keep your rights.

Are you going to work it?

There are many ways to create a viral marketing effect. It’s all about getting creative, getting the word out, and creating a chain-like reaction. Yeah, the word, “virus” sounds negative, but that’s what it does...it spreads. You can use this to promote your book, your website, your products, or practically anything.


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Think of the possibilities...

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