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Getting Noticed in a Noisy World with Your First Book [Michael Hyatt Interview]

Michael Hyatt is the co-author of “Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want.” It is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly best seller. In the book, he discusses the importance of creating a life plan and also goes a step further by explaining how to do it. Along with this, he is also the author of “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.” It too, is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today best seller. It provides step-by-step guidance on how to gain visibility online for your product, service, or cause. As if these aren’t sufficient credentials, Michael is the founder of 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever,™ Platform University®, and Get Published.

Michael has enormous amounts of wisdom to share with wannabe writers, authors, and even entrepreneurs. He shared some of that wisdom during his interview with Chandler Bolt during the 2016 Self-Publishing Success Summit. Here’s what he had to say:

Just Start Blogging

Want to write a book but not sure where to begin? Start a blog and keep it up regularly. And by this Michael doesn’t mean write a post every three weeks. Try posting once or twice a week and go from there. This will help you build a platform as you grow your email list and create content. Your blog is your workbench. Test and see what posts get a lot of traffic/comments. Later on you can expand these posts into a course, a podcast, etc.
Like a quilt, all the individual squares of blog posts can be connected into a blanket of helpful information.

Content Matters

Still not sure what to write about? Create content people actually want to read and give nothing less than your best effort. What will readers want to share, what will make them look smart and resourceful? Crafting good content will also help up the numbers on your email list. Michael says, “Content is king, platform is queen”
Grow You Numbers

Has the importance of getting an email list been mentioned enough times yet? Getting a list is far from going out; in fact, it’s the big game of getting a platform. Create an opt-in magnet. Make some form of content you can send people in return for receiving their email address (such as a video messages or an E-book). Getting that email list will grow your platform!

Form a Strong Platform

Publishers count on your platform, as they cannot make you famous or successful on their own. What is a platform? Simply put, a platform is your social structure such as followers and contacts. You have direct access through your platform to potential readers. Michael lists three different facets of a platform. First comes Definition (who is the audience, what do they want and dream of). Make sure you can articulate what they want better than they can and you’ll be successful. Next comes Activation (get involved in social media through blogging). Lastly is Attraction (there’s an art to getting readers)

Learn Media

Michael went through media training four times. Learning what likely interview questions are and how to answer them will lead to a much higher success rate on media interviews. Let the host direct the conversation. Make him/her look smart and make sure to speak in sound bites. Answer in one minute or less. During one season of his earlier writing career, Michael went through twelve to fourteen interviews a day, back to back. Talk about tenacity! Learn media and it will promote you, for you.

It’s Not About You

Selling something can’t be about you and how much time you spent on it or how many people you pitched it to. What is in it for the reader? One of Michael’s beginning books was, according to him, not pretty or brilliant, and he didn’t have backing. The book just covered a current problem. Make sure your focus is the reader, not yourself.

Don’t Be Afraid to Start Small

Michael didn’t start as the CEO at Thomas Nelson. He was in publishing first and worked in every facet of it, marketing, sales, editing, and management leadership. Learning to be an advocate for those who worked under him served him well when he became a CEO. Servant leadership is a big part of leading, and something Michael stresses. Helping others become successful helps the whole company.

As a parting piece of advice, Michael tells us to write a book proposal for yourself. You need to have a plan, a blueprint, and a track to run on. Start by writing the easiest chapter of your book and then moving to the hardest will ensure you cross that finish line! Who knows, you might be the next author being interviewed and giving advice on how to go from wannabe writer to successful author.

For more information on the Self-Publishing Success Summit, you can check out our All-Access Pass to receive LIFETIME access to all the Success Summit master classes, a private Q&A session and community, and $1,141 in bonuses.

How to Use Interview Content as the Backbone of Your Entire Online Publishing Business

A little more than three years ago I was listening to Entrepreneur on Fire Podcast with John Lee Dumas a lot. Not only did I love the different interviews he was publishing on a daily basis with successful entrepreneurs, but I was fascinated with his process for creating podcasts and blog posts from interview content.

Dumas’s process seemed so simple. Each day Dumas would bring on a different entrepreneur as a guest and ask them the same series of 8 – 10 questions about how they started their business and along with their keys to success. Dumas would then publish these interviews daily through iTunes and write summaries of the interviews on his blog. Dumas’s success story has been well documented at his website EOFire.com and hundreds of other blogs if you’re not familiar with his journey and want to learn more. Fast forward to 2017 and Dumas consistently brings in over $200,000 in revenue monthly from his business through advertising revenue and product sales that are a direct result of these 1,500+ interviews.

Although Dumas’s business is a bit more complex today than it was a few years ago, the foundation of his business remains simple. Dumas finds experts, interviews them, and hits publish.

[This is also what Self-Publishing School does with the Self-Publishing Success Summit]

Interested in learning how to use interview content as the backbone of your online business? No sweat.

You Can Do This Too!

Inspired by the simple process that Entrepreneur on Fire used, I started my own iTunes podcast and blog called FoodTruckEmpire.com about three years ago. Since I knew literally nothing about the food truck industry at the time, I started to email different food truck owners and ask them if they could jump on a Skype call that would be recorded for a podcast. From there I asked a lot of basic questions about starting a food truck, like how to get vendors were able to raise the funds needed to start a mobile food business and the challenges faced operating this type of business.

Just like Dumas executed in the early days, I kept my content creation as simple as possible. I reached out to people I viewed as experts online in the food truck industry to request an interview. Then I published those interviews on iTunes and my blog.

After just over 3 years of publishing, FoodTruckEmpire.com is now one of the most authoritative and popular websites online on the topic of starting a food truck business. I’ve even been featured in popular magazines like Entrepreneur about the topic and sold thousands of digital products including e-books, live courses, and consulting services.

Although I’ve created a much smaller than the digital publishing business than Dumas has created with Entrepreneur on Fire, the foundation of my business was created in the same way using interviews to become an authority in my particular market.

In the rest of this post, I will share three specific ways I have leveraged interview content to not just build my brand, but also generate products and revenue for my own business. I hope you can find some ways you can use interviews (both audio and written) as the backbone of your own digital publishing business!

Start New Relationships

One of the benefits of publishing interview content is that you have an excuse to talk to anyone in your niche. If you have a blog about how to improve your writing, you can request to interview authors that you respect and ask them any question you want. I urge you… do not take this powerful tool for granted!

As you begin to interview more people in your industry over the coming months and years, you’ll be surprised at how many movers-and-shakers you become acquainted with. In my case I’ve had the opportunity to speak with not only food truck vendors, but founders of popular food franchises and other business owners that serve this industry as well. Although many of these relationships have started out as a simple interview, many have progressed and become business relationships overtime.

A couple real life examples of guests on my show that have eventually become clients or customers:  

  • One business that I started by interviewing has now become a consulting client that I provide online marketing services for.
  • Numerous interview guests I’ve have gone on to pay for monthly banner advertising on my website as a way to reach their target audience.

The first point of contact or the “ice breaker” to each of the above scenarios has been to schedule an interview.

Now one thing that I feel obligated to point out is that the vast majority of your interviews will not lead to any type of business relationship or direct revenue. Also, some of the folks I interviewed did not become customers until literally years after interviewing them for the first time. This is not a short-term strategy! You will need to take the longview on this strategy if you want it to work for you.

Building Evergreen Blog Content

Building evergreen blog content is the most common way that I’ve seen other bloggers and website owners leverage interviews. After all one of the fastest ways to get unique and valuable information for your website is to simply go out there and ask an expert how something works. (Note: By evergreen blog content, I simply mean content that will remain valuable and relevant for a long period of time.)

I won’t harp on the benefits of this bullet section too long since this is one of the most commonly used ways that publishers leverage interviews. Whether you’re doing an interview in an audio format though a podcast or a written Q/A style piece make sure to cover topics and questions that will be relevant to your audience for years to come.

Overtime, as you publish more information about a topic your audience and traffic will grow slowly assuming you publish consistently and high-quality interviews. If I had to put a number on it, I would estimate that around 75% of the content on my own website FoodTruckEmpire.com is made up of this evergreen interview content.

Incentivize Email Signups

This is an important one for me. I see a lot of new bloggers that worry spend a ton of time creating an incentive or bribe for people to sign up to an email list. Frequently used bribes that I’m sure you’ve seen before include Free Whitepapers or potentially an e-book on a certain topic. These type of bribes work well to collect email addresses, but here are a few other angles that you can use based on existing interview content that work great for me.

1.) Instead of just publishing a podcast interview on iTunes and summarizing in on your blog. Take the same audio and call it an Audio Lesson instead that people can signup for. If the interview content teaches your audience something this can really work well as a way to encourage email subscribers. I’ve found that if you list something as an “audio lesson” there’s a higher level of perceived value.

2.) Another way I incentivize email subscribers to join my list is to organize past interviews. One specific call to action is “Learn How 6-Figure Food Truck Owners Earn a Living–Register Here.” After a visitor opts-in they receive an email with links to five different past interviews from different food truck owners that generate over $100,000 in annual revenue. Best of all, this method of encourage people to subscribe does not take a lot of time on your end after the interviews have been produced, but they also provide a lot of value to readers.

I hope this post has helped get your creative juices flowing for how you could leverage the power of interviews on your own website. As super successful entrepreneurs like John Lee Dumas have already proved, you can build a profitable online publishing empire by mastering this single type of content.

You are a Writer, So Start Acting Like One [Jeff Goins Interview]

As a part of our 2016 Self-Publishing Success Summit, we brought in Jeff Goins for an interview to discuss what it means to be a writer. Jeff is a full-time writer living just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. He is also a husband, father, and has a pet Border collie. He is the author of four books, including the national bestseller “The Art of Work.” His website, Goinswriter.com, has been visited by more than four million people from all over the world. During his interview, he talked about what drove him to become an author and what it truly means to be a writer.

Here are some of our favorite Jeff Goins Self-Publishing Success Summit takeaways:

Act Like the Person You Want to Be

Jeff is a huge advocate that you are a writer when you say you are a writer. It’s a mindset, not a name someone can give you. If you want to be a writer, simply start putting words on the page! Activity follows identity, so think of yourself as “a writer” and the activity of writing will follow. “Act like a writer: activity follows identity.”

Know Why You Want to Write

Jeff focuses on the reason he writes. He is passionate about helping people through writing and believes he has met his calling and purpose through writing. Writing is not always fun, but it’s always gratifying. Figuring out what drives your passion to write will help you keep writing when it gets hard or you hit a roadblock on the page. Keep pressing on!

Blog, Blog, Blog

Keeping up a blog can be a big training tool as you learn to write a book. But it can also teach you some bad habits. Focus on the discipline of writing, write regularly, and get into the habit of sitting down at the keyboard everyday. Adding content on a regular basis will help you add quality to your content. Remember, the process is messy. With the last book he wrote, Jeff says he wrote it all down, then scrapped it and researched and rewrote. Embrace the process and your writing will excel.

Every Movement Begins with Words

Connect people with ideas. Create words that change and impact culture. Talk is not cheap. Talk sparks conversation and every movement begins with words. Jeff talks about the importance of taking someone out for lunch or coffee and explaining the idea of your book to them. You don’t even need to tell them you want to write a book, simply talk to them about your idea and see if they get excited about it. This will help you find out the interest of potential readers. Start with words over coffee, then take them to the page because according to Jeff, “It all begins and end with words.”

Research!

Read books in the genre that correlate with the idea you have. Check to see if you have anything new, different, or interesting to say. You don’t need to repeat what someone else has said. Find a niche that still needs filling and fill it with your writing! Put your ideas into an Evernote folder so you can keep track of them and maintain easy access. Research is important because it helps ensure you write a book an audience wants to read. Write in a way that connects with your audience, and write to help people. Proper research will enhance your ideas and turn them into a viable book. The right idea at the right time will produce tremendous results.

Always Move Forward

Writing a book with a strong character arc or a strong plot is a huge factor contributing to success. However, writing every chapter with a great arc is vital to the movement of your story. Every chapter should move the book forward. Every word counts. Don’t let this stop you from writing. You call yourself a writer, so write! Be encouraged as you progress word-by-word and chapter-by-chapter. But make sure you have a good chapter arc for every chapter. The plot isn’t just at the beginning, middle, and end. It’s a thread that winds throughout the entire book.

Jeff Goins finished by reminding us anyone can be a writer, but it rests on sitting down to do the work. The best marketing is done before the work is finished, so enjoy the process. Share your excitement with those around you, and take note of when they get excited as well. Think like a writer, write, and you will be a writer. Take that writing and get it published, and you will be an author.

As Jeff says, “It all beings and ends with words!” So what are you waiting for? Time to get writing!

For more information on Jeff Goins and to learn how to get 10,000 fans, write a book, and $100,000 in 18 months, click here!

For more information on the Self-Publishing Success Summit, you can check out our All-Access Pass to receive LIFETIME access to all the Success Summit master classes, a private Q&A session and community, and $1,141 in bonuses.

What Our Students Are Saying

From Meds to Motivation

By following the guidance of Self Publishing School, Michael wrote and published his book One-Month Willpower, and enjoyed its rapid rise to best-seller status. Initially, Michael had thought maybe fifty people would read it. To his surprise, thousands of people are now reading his book. People are reaching out to him from all over the world saying how much the book has helped them.

Michael Unks

Best Selling Author of One-Month Willpower

Published Turned Self Publishing Success

In self publishing The Power of Responsibility, Joelle shared, “The results I had with my latest book launch, following Self Publishing School, were amazing . . . I finally [had] the opportunity to become a ‘real author.’ ” Joelle is now selling roughly fifty books a day whereas previously, with traditional publishing, she was lucky to sell fifty copies in months.

Joelle Casteix

Best Selling Author of The Power of Responsibility

The Hidden Truth

“[Chandler Bolt] states that you can write and publish a book in three months, and that is the truth. I was worried about making that timeframe true, and when I found out that he actually had a three-month timeline that told you what to do . . . it was a no-brainer.” Carly is a #1 best-selling author in two categories. In the first two days of her launch, she sold over 1,400 copies of her book.

Carly Danielle

Best Selling Author of The Toxic Truth

Holistic Healing

“I felt like I could deliver value to even more people who could benefit from the information, but didn’t know how to achieve that,” To establish herself as an expert and attract clients to her business, Shirley decided to write a book. She carefully followed Self Publishing School to publish Resurgence of a Fallen Angel.

Shirley Wu

Author of Resurgence of a Fallen Angel

About Self Publishing School

Hi, I’m Chandler Bolt,

5-time bestselling author and creator of Self Publishing School.

There’s a book inside you. And my goal is to help you find it and go from blank page to bestseller – even if you’re busy, idea-less, or bad at writing like me.

See, everybody wants to write a book – we just don’t know how.
If you’re like me, you’ve dreamed about becoming an author for years.

Read More…

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