Self Help

How to Write & Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit Your Guide to Writing and PubliArticles, Special Reports, Audio Programs, DVDs, and Other How-To Content - Bly, Robert W_

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Matheus Puppe

· 46 min read

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Here is a summary of the Table of Contents for the book “How To Write & Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit”:

The book contains 18 chapters covering various aspects of how-to writing as a career or business, including choosing topics, doing research, developing products like books, eBooks, articles and newsletters, and marketing strategies.

Some of the key chapters include: Choosing Your How-To Writing Niche, Research and Knowledge Acquisition, Products, Titles and Outlines, Becoming a Master How-To Writer, Getting Started with Magazine Articles, Your First Nonfiction Book, Make an Online Fortune Selling E-Books, Newsletters and E-Zines, Recurring Revenues with Membership Sites, Audio CDs and DVDs, Managing Your How-To Information Empire.

It also includes two appendices with further resources and examples, author information, and an index. Several endorsements praise the book for providing detailed, practical guidance on building a successful career or business as an information writer.

  • How-to writing has the potential to be lucrative but is sometimes viewed as less prestigious than other types of writing like novels.

  • It can be an easier niche to break into compared to journalism, literature, or screenwriting since the market is less competitive. The main skills required are clarity, practicality, and organization rather than highly developed literary style.

  • Experts in how-to writing have made significant money by writing about mundane topics like gardening, personal finance, home projects, etc.

  • You do not need to be the world’s leading authority on a topic - knowing more than 90% of people is sufficient qualifications to write how-to content. Publishers care more about your expertise than literary flair.

  • Thin writing credentials are less of an issue for how-to books where the focus is on accurately teaching skills rather than narrative abilities. This lowers the barrier to entry for would-be authors.

  • The writer argues that while the internet has made traditional freelance writing like magazine articles and books tougher due to more competition, it has also created new opportunities for how-to writers.

  • Specifically, the internet gives writers easy access to research and information. It also makes self-publishing less risky and affordable through ebooks which have no printing or storage costs.

  • However, websites and blogs publish articles for free or low pay, magazines are shrinking or shutting down print editions, and reference books are less needed due to free online information. This competition has reduced opportunities and pay for traditional magazine and book writing.

  • Overall, the internet has both helped and hurt how-to writers by creating new formats and avenues for publishing while also increasing competition in traditional venues like magazines and reference books. Writers must adapt to publish across multiple media to be successful.

  • Millions of out-of-print books are available online through services like Google Books, but they may still be copyrighted. Google plans to compensate authors for digitally downloaded books.

  • As an author, the rights to an author’s out-of-print books legally belong to them, but confronting Google directly would be difficult as they are a large company. Authors can instead actively market their work online.

  • In the digital age, simply compiling facts is not enough - readers want added value. Author Jeff Davidson identifies 7 ways authors can add value: immediacy, personalization, interpretation, trust, accessibility, embodiment, and patronage.

  • Two additional ways to add value are findability (aggregating content in one place) and new ideas (presenting ideas readers haven’t heard elsewhere).

  • By using these 9 techniques of adding value, authors can get readers to pay for formatted and packaged content, even if raw information is freely available online.

  • Topics that are in high demand and easier to sell include those relating to saving or making money, and saving time - as these provide clear value and benefits to readers.

Here is a summary of key points about how-to publishing opportunities from the passage:

  • There is huge demand for guidance and information on topics like sex/relationships, investing, collecting, hobbies, small business advice, self-help, and pets. People are willing to spend money to get information on topics they’re interested in.

  • Niche topics that are highly specialized can command higher prices than broad topics since the information is scarcer. Examples given are marketing for chiropractors or self-storage marketing.

  • Overseas freelancers on sites like Elance offer very low rates, around $5 per 500-word article, putting downward pressure on prices for writers. However, quality may be an issue with ultra-low-cost writers.

  • Ways to stand out from commodity writers include becoming a recognized guru/expert in your niche, specializing in a very narrow niche, writing content for different learning modalities (reading, listening, watching, doing), and actively promoting your content.

  • Writing content in different formats and channels, like books, audio, video and seminars, allows you to reach more people with different learning preferences.

  • Choosing the right niche is the most important decision for how-to writers, as it determines the topic/industry they will focus on and build an audience in. Specializing allows writers to become experts in a narrow field.

  • Generalists who write about many topics tend to earn less on average than specialists. Specialists gain credibility, publishers are more likely to work with them, and readers are more willing to pay for niche-specific information.

  • A niche is the intersection of an industry and a skill/area of expertise. Good niches are narrow and targeted, like customer service in the banking industry. Successful how-to writers find profitable niches to focus on.

  • The narrower the niche, the more in demand the writer’s content will be and the higher prices they can charge. Specialized information is more valuable than general topics. Focusing a niche allows writers to maximize earnings from their work.

  • Trade paperbacks are perceived as having slightly higher value than mass market paperbacks.

  • Hardcover books with dust jackets are perceived as having higher value than trade paperbacks.

  • Hardcover books with faux leather covers are perceived as having much higher value, likened to expensive leather-bound law books.

  • Loose-leaf binders printed on letter-sized paper are perceived as higher value than hardcovers, as their value comes from the content, not other books. This format works well for niche markets.

  • Including audio/video/software disks increases the perceived value of a loose-leaf book greatly.

  • Information targeting narrow niches can command high prices, so the loose-leaf binder format is recommended.

  • When choosing a niche, select something you’re passionate about that also has a large, growing market.

  • To find a niche, perform a self-audit assessing interests, skills, education, experiences, and areas with less competition/higher pay.

  • Most writers should have 1-3 niches maximum to avoid spreading themselves thin. Related niches across industries is also acceptable.

  • The niche audience should ideally be 100,000+ people to have a profitable market. Industry organizations/publications indicate viability.

  • Research online search volumes and similar websites/products to gauge internet market potential for a niche topic.

  • To be a successful writer, especially in nonfiction genres like how-to, you need to have significant subject matter expertise and something valuable to write about.

  • This requires doing research to acquire knowledge and content on your topic. Content has a hierarchy - information is the lowest level, followed by knowledge, then wisdom.

  • Good research methods include reading books and articles, taking seminars and courses, interviewing experts, conducting surveys, and hands-on experimentation. The goal is to become an expert on your niche topic.

  • Micro-niching is narrowing your niche even further, such as writing specifically about “making money flipping single-family homes.” This reduces competition.

  • Another strategy is writing in “adjacent areas” that are related to your main topic but not exactly the same, like including a chapter on architecture when writing about software system design.

  • A third strategy is “reverse niching” - starting with a very specific micro-niche and then expanding your scope over time as your expertise and follower base grows.

The key takeaway is that thorough research and expertise building on a narrow topic is crucial for success as a nonfiction writer, and there are different strategies for developing content and growing your scope over time. Continuous learning is important.

  • Reference books were once very popular, but their demand has lessened significantly due to the abundance of free information available online through search engines like Google.

  • Content can be categorized into different levels - information, knowledge, and wisdom. Information consists of basic facts, knowledge involves deeper understanding, and wisdom helps determine a course of action. Effective how-to writing mixes all three levels.

  • The 4-step process for how-to writing is: 1) research and acquire knowledge on the topic, 2) organize the content, 3) teach the subject material to the reader, and 4) polish the writing.

  • To research and acquire knowledge, writers can do the activity themselves, watch experts perform it, listen to audio programs, read books and articles, talk to practitioners, and take relevant courses. Hands-on experience is ideal but observation and learning from others is also valuable. General knowledge from various sources enriches writing.

  • Acquiring sufficient knowledge through research is critical, as weak writing often stems from a lack of understanding or information about the topic being written about.

  • Mobile phones have convenient voice memo functions that allow you to easily record ideas, information, or things you see/hear that could be useful for your writing later. However, you need to actually use this recording feature or you’ll likely forget the information.

  • Reading widely is important for acquiring general knowledge that can be used in your writing. Reading books, articles, reports and other materials exposes you to new topics and information.

  • Interviewing subject matter experts is a useful research method. Phone interviews are more efficient than in-person ones as they save time spent traveling. Email interviews can also provide detailed answers useful for writing.

  • Google and library searches are important research tools. Outsourcing routine online research to freelancers can save time for more important writing tasks.

  • Blogging, social media and forums can elicit additional feedback and information from readers/commenters that could be useful for your writing topics.

  • To succeed as a writer or information marketer, you need something valuable to write about based on your real experience and expertise in that topic or field. Book learning alone is not sufficient - practical experience participating in that topic area is important to establish credibility and access useful knowledge and examples.

  • While reading and theoretical knowledge can provide a foundation of understanding, practical experience is necessary to develop true expertise and confidence in a topic.

  • Simply learning from books and sources can expose one to incorrect or misleading information if they have no experience to verify the accuracy of what they are reading. They may unintentionally spread misinformation to others.

  • Subject matter experts (SMEs) can be a valuable source of information and content for how-to writing projects. Their expertise can help augment what the writer knows through their own research.

  • It can be easier than expected to get SMEs to share their knowledge, especially if they may benefit from publicity or simply enjoy talking about their field of interest.

  • While some argue knowing less can provide a fresher outsider’s perspective, most agree the more in-depth knowledge and research a how-to writer has, through both experience and supplementary sources, the stronger and more useful their writing will be for readers looking for practical solutions and information. Depth of understanding helps avoid inaccuracies and ensures readers get reliable guidance.

  • As a how-to writer, it can be okay to have less knowledge of the topic when writing for an audience that also knows little about it. The writer acts as an intermediary between experts and the general public.

  • Knowing what questions beginners are likely to have allows the writer to research answers and interpret information effectively for readers.

  • Key decisions include determining the media/format, selecting a title, and outlining the contents/scope. Format options include books, videos, software, etc.

  • Learning modes, topic requirements, personal/audience preferences, and profit potential influence format choice. Different formats suit visual, audio, reading, and hands-on learners.

  • Word length considerations depend on the chosen format. Titles should be attention-grabbing and appeal to human motivations. Organizational structure is also important for accessibility.

The summary highlights that while subject knowledge helps, the writer’s role is to bridge experts and novices by answering likely questions. Format selection depends on learning styles and practical factors, and structure impacts how easily readers understand the content.

Based on the information provided, here is a summary of whether Pluto is still classified as a planet:

  • In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) established formal definitions of planets and what distinguishes planets from other celestial bodies. Under the IAU definition, Pluto met three of the four requirements to be considered a planet but did not meet the third criteria that “it has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.”

  • Given that Pluto’s orbit overlaps with Neptune’s and that Pluto is much smaller than Earth’s moon, the IAU decided that Pluto did not meet the definition of a cleared orbit and was too small to be considered a major planetary body.

  • Therefore, in 2006 the IAU reclassified Pluto as a “dwarf planet.” This means Pluto is considered a trans-Neptunian dwarf planet rather than the ninth planet in our solar system.

  • While some still consider Pluto a planet, the scientific consensus according to the IAU’s formal definition is that Pluto is no longer classified as a major planet. It remains the largest known object in the Kuiper belt beyond Neptune’s orbit.

In summary, based on the formal definition established by the International Astronomical Union in 2006, Pluto is no longer officially classified as a planet, but rather as a dwarf planet. While some objections remain, this is currently the scientific consensus classification.

The passage criticizes several common mistakes made by writers in how-to books and articles. It notes that writers should avoid referring readers to the internet or making them research prices/information themselves, as that is doing the writer’s job for them.

It also discusses logical contradictions, like claiming a business has no overhead costs but then talking about watching overhead. Rambling without a clear point is criticized as well.

The passage also points out the problem of writers not realizing the meanings of words, like saying a client “may have done work for you in the past” when they actually performed work for the client.

Writing that says nothing of substance is critiqued, like generic advice to study chemistry in order to pursue a chemistry career.

Finally, the passage notes the mistake of authors losing steam as a book goes on, with early chapters being much longer and more detailed than later ones. Overall it gives examples of weak writing to avoid in how-to content.

Here are the key points about ng style in Angular:

  • NgStyle allows you to set inline styles dynamically through bindings in Angular. It is represented by the [ngStyle] directive.

  • You pass an object to ngStyle where the key is the CSS property name and value is the runtime value to set that property to.

  • For example:

<some-element [ngStyle]="{
  'font-style': style,
  'font-size': size + 'px'
  • The style and size values would be variables/properties in the component class that can be dynamically updated.

  • This allows styling elements conditionally based on component logic and state.

  • NgStyle is useful when you need to toggle or modify styles dynamically instead of using multiple static CSS classes.

So in summary, ngStyle provides a way to set element styles dynamically through binding to an object of CSS properties in Angular applications. It’s an alternative to rigid class-based styling.

Here is a summary of the key points about writing magazine articles from the passage:

  • Magazines are experiencing financial difficulties due to losses in print advertising, but there are still opportunities for freelance writing. Writing how-to/service articles is particularly common.

  • Advantages of writing for magazines include wider exposure of your work and credentials that can help with future work. Pay varies but top magazines pay $1,000-$2,000 or more per major feature article.

  • It’s important to maintain ownership of your article content by only selling “first rights.” This allows you to reuse/repurpose the content in the future (on your website, in books, etc.).

  • Identify potential markets by reading publications in your topic area and consulting Writers Market directory. Be familiar with each publication’s style and needs before pitching.

  • Contact editors by name with a personalized query letter that uses an attention-grabbing lead similar to how you’d start the article. Include an SASE for the editor’s response.

The key takeaways are researching appropriate markets well, maintaining ownership of your content, and pitching editors effectively with well-written query letters that showcase your writing style and angle on the topic.

Here is a summary of the key points in the letter:

  • The writer had a transient ischemic attack (TIA), commonly known as a “mini-stroke,” while on a phone call with a client. They ignored the warning signs and went back to work.

  • Four weeks later, they had a full-blown stroke at the young age of 43. Now they want to write an article for ABC magazine warning about the signs of stroke and the importance of getting medical help immediately if symptoms occur.

  • The proposed article title is “You’re Never Too Young to Be Struck by a Stroke.” It will outline the 7 warning signs of stroke and advise readers to go to the emergency room right away if they experience any symptoms.

  • The writer will interview their cardiologist Dr. Allen Grossman and family doctor Dr. Phil Desplat about what could have prevented their stroke and their recommendations on diet, exercise, blood pressure, and cholesterol monitoring.

  • The writer provides a brief bio introducing themselves as a freelance writer who has authored over 50 books and had articles in various magazines.

  • They ask if the editor wants them to proceed with the outlined 1,200 word article and will have it completed in 3-4 weeks.

  • Writing for trade/business publications can be less competitive than big consumer magazines since trade publications rely more on freelancers and accept a higher percentage of pitched articles.

  • Trade publications have smaller staffs so they welcome new ideas from professionals familiar with their industry. Articles need to be practical and provide straightforward coverage of the industry.

  • To get started, identify publications covering topics you’re interested in or have expertise in by searching resources like Writer’s Market. Request sample copies to evaluate the level of technical difficulty.

  • Trade publications exist to keep professionals informed on developments, trends, and best practices so they can do their jobs better. Articles should have a practical focus rather than being flashy or entertainment-driven.

  • Even subject matter experts should interview outside experts and include multiple sources in their articles rather than solely relying on their own experience. This is preferred by magazine editors.

  • Writing a nonfiction book is a great way to significantly increase income and build an reputation as an authority in your field. The process involves writing a proposal, finding an interested publisher, completing the manuscript, and promoting the published book.

Here is a summary of the key steps outlined in the passage for writing and selling a nonfiction book to a major publisher:

  1. Come up with a good book idea. Evaluate if it is commercially viable and will appeal to readers/publishers.

  2. Create a detailed content outline to show the book structure and that there is enough material to fill a book. This is important for selling the idea to publishers.

  3. Write a book proposal to pitch the idea to publishers. Proposals typically include an overview, marketing analysis, competitive analysis, author bio, outline and sample chapters.

  4. Consider getting a literary agent to represent you. Many large publishers require authors to have an agent.

  5. The agent will send the proposal to publishers to get offers, or the author can directly contact publishers.

  6. Negotiate a book contract with the publisher. An agent can help negotiate terms like the advance payment and royalty rates.

  7. Once under contract, write the book. Published authors then promote and market the book.

The key steps are coming up with an idea, outlining it, writing a proposal to shop it to agents/publishers, negotiating a contract, and then writing the book if under agreement. Using this process increases the chance of getting the book published.

The contract should stipulate that if the book goes out of print, the rights revert back to the author. Additionally, the contract should give the author first right of refusal to purchase any remaining unsold copies (remainders) at either the best prevailing market rate or at cost plus a dollar when the book goes out of print.

This ensures that if the publisher stops printing and selling the book, the author regains control over the intellectual property rights. It also allows the author the opportunity to purchase any leftover inventory at a favorable price in order to continue selling the book themselves.

  • The passage discusses publishing and marketing e-books rather than traditional printed books. E-books have certain advantages for writers and information marketers who want to self-publish and sell their own work.

  • Common e-book formats are PDF files and formats for e-readers like Kindle. PDF is most common as it allows the file to look like an actual book and be locked to prevent unauthorized copying or editing.

  • E-books are profitable because the writer keeps more money per book sold since there is no publisher taking a cut. Marketing an e-book also has a lower cost than traditional publishing.

  • Effective e-books focus on solving a specific problem with step-by-step solutions. This format justifies charging for the e-book. Writers can use email newsletters and building an audience online to promote their e-books.

  • The passage provides tips on organizing book content using file folders to facilitate writing the e-book. It also discusses creating an “Amazon bestseller marketing campaign” to promote the e-book launch.

  • E-book marketers are called “micro-publishers” as they produce niche or highly specialized e-books that traditional publishers would not take on due to the narrow audience.

  • E-books are a perfect product for internet marketers as they have low costs, high profit margins, and can be easily updated and delivered digitally.

  • The 21-step process outlined includes choosing a topic, research, writing, editing, designing, uploading to a shopping cart, marketing with a landing page, and more.

  • Key advantages of e-books are zero printing/storage costs, easy delivery by email, and near 100% profit margins. Disadvantages include readers needing their own printing and loose paper format.

  • By following these 21 steps, one can independently publish and profit from their first e-book online in just a few months. This then serves as a foundation to build an information marketing business through follow-up products.

  • is recommended for hosting multiple websites as it is affordable at less than $1 per month per site. The author hosts dozens of sites on Stanley.

  • To capture email addresses of non-buyers, have a popup window when visitors leave without purchasing that offers a free bonus report in exchange for their email.

  • Use an autoresponder email series to those non-buyers to try and convert them into buyers by promoting the benefits of the product.

  • Drive traffic to the landing page using various methods like email marketing, PPC ads, social media, affiliates, etc. Testing and optimization of the landing page can improve conversion rates.

  • Develop additional related products like an info product line to sell to existing customers for ongoing revenue through repeated purchases.

  • Recruit affiliates to increase sales and revenues by allowing others to sell the ebook and products for a commission.

  • Publish a free ezine and drive traffic to subscriptions to grow the email list and regularly communicate with prospects.

  • Send regular emails to the opt-in list to promote new products for additional sales.

  • The ideal minimum word count for an ebook is around 15,000 words or 50 pages to justify a $29+ price point and provide enough value. Shorter topics are better as articles or reports.

  • Narrow niche topics are best for ebooks as the smaller audience can justify a higher price than broader topics.

  • The writing style should prioritize clear, concise and comprehensive content delivery over literary style for ebooks.

  • Outsource ebook design and layout but minimum formatting includes 12pt Times font for body, bold 14pt for subheads and chapters in Word, then convert to PDF. Secure the PDF to restrict copying and changing of content.

Here is a summary of the key points about developing a password security policy for e-books:

  • Choose the “password” option when securing most e-books. Public key certificates add unnecessary complexity.

  • Name and describe the new policy. This helps identify it later.

  • Set the document compatibility to Adobe 5.0 or later for widest access. Encrypt all contents for security.

  • Don’t allow search engines to access metadata, as this could hurt website SEO and lead to confusion.

  • Use a permissions password to restrict copying, printing, etc. but allow text access for visually impaired users.

  • Provide a 90-day money-back guarantee. Customers can keep the e-book even if requesting a refund to increase conversion rates.

  • Common technical issues include payment card declines, emails blocked by spam filters, and outdated readers. Address issues by contacting customers directly.

  • Consider updating editions when making substantial content changes. This can boost sales of existing customers and attract new ones.

  • Consumers are more willing to purchase products from brands they trust and have experience with, rather than trying something new from an unknown brand.

  • Authors can develop their own brand to increase sales. Readers of an author’s free newsletter may be more inclined to purchase their $25 book compared to a complete stranger.

  • However, the percentage of newsletter subscribers who buy the book will still be relatively small since they haven’t purchased the author’s writings before.

  • The solution is to offer lower-priced products ($7-9 booklets or reports) to allow readers to try the author’s work at a lower risk. This builds experience and trust so they are more willing to purchase higher-priced products later.

  • Authors should offer a variety of products at different price points (free, low, medium, high) to appeal to different buyers and allow them to move up the “ladder” or purchase funnel over time as their trust and experience with the brand grows. This can maximize an author’s revenues.

  • Free content offers or “bait pieces” are used by direct marketers to generate sales leads by providing valuable information to prospects. They go by different names like white papers, reports, guides, manuals, booklets, etc.

  • The name and format used can impact perception of value. Terms like “report” or “guide” imply higher value than just a “white paper”. Including a fake price in the corner further enhances perceived value.

  • Bait pieces should solve prospects’ problems or address their needs, not just provide information. The marketing objective should be defined upfront.

  • Alternatives formats beyond standard printed papers can make bait pieces stand out, like videos, podcasts, webinars, software, etc.

  • Length can vary from one page tips to book-length. The content and marketing goal determine the appropriate length.

  • Compiling directories, references guides, and collections of previously published material are other lucrative information product types for how-to writers. Targeting past customers and differentiating your product are tips for selling compilations profitably over time.

Here are the key points from the passage:

  • Traditionally, articles are largely forgotten once published. Writers can compile previously published articles into new information products like books, ebooks, or reports with much less work than writing completely new content.

  • The author has successfully compiled their previously published articles into books sold to publishers and profitable ebooks. One ebook compilation earned over $36k from articles that otherwise would have made no more money.

  • Writers should maximize income by recycling published content into new formats rather than always creating new material. Organizing previously published content makes this easy to do.

  • Readers will purchase content in different formats, even if they’ve accessed it before for free. Compiling newsletters, articles, etc. into organized collections like ebooks is an effective strategy.

  • Packaging content into newsletters, workbooks, merchandise, games, etc. allows charging much higher prices and making more money compared to traditional print formats.

  • Newsletters in particular provide recurring revenue streams from subscriptions that can last years, unlike one-time product sales. Both free and paid newsletter models are discussed as effective ways to maximize income from content.

The article discusses what makes an ideal e-zine article that readers will be interested in. It notes that often the best read articles are not necessarily the most specialized ones targeted to a specific audience.

Some key points on creating engaging e-zine content include:

  • Focus on providing useful information and tips that readers can apply. Distill lessons into actionable tips.

  • Highlight problems or situations and then provide solutions in the form of easy-to-implement tips or steps.

  • Describe the benefits or results of following the tips to motivate readers.

  • Include templates, checklists, questionnaires that readers can directly use without extra work.

  • Provide additional resources for readers to learn more.

  • Put the best tip first in case readers don’t read the whole article.

The article also provides tips on designing and formatting an e-zine, noting that a simple text-based format is easy to create and doesn’t require technical expertise. Guidelines are given for layout, margins, article formatting and headlines to grab readers’ attention. Overall it emphasizes keeping e-zines concise and focused on useful, practical content.

  • The bottom of the e-zine or newsletter is where you make your closing/sign off. This is where you can softly promote your products or services while avoiding hard sells. Include full contact details like email, phone, fax in case readers prefer those methods over visiting your website.

  • Seven ways to build your subscriber list are: create a squeeze page for subscriptions, offer a free bonus, promote the squeeze page on your website, use pop-ups when visitors leave, use floating windows, pay-per-click ads, and ask partners to promote to their lists.

  • To upsell free subscribers to a paid subscription, offer a discount and premium/free gift. Example of 50% off regular $99 price for a year plus a free report.

  • Paid newsletters have a high failure rate. Keys to success are having a strong “Big Idea” unique value proposition, ensuring good fit with your audience’s interests, making the newsletter indispensable, having in-depth editorial content, proving rapid return on investment for subscribers, and developing trust and authority as an editor. Testing different appeals can help refine your value proposition.

  • Newsletter subscriptions are often more expensive per page than magazine subscriptions due to their higher costs from direct mail marketing. For example, a $20 annual subscription for a 100-page magazine works out to less than 2 cents per page, while a $100 annual subscription for a 12-page newsletter is over 69 cents per page.

  • Direct mail is an expensive and risky way to launch a paid newsletter, as many campaigns do not generate a profit and end up costing thousands of dollars. Some tips for direct mail success include realistically assessing market conditions, thoroughly testing lists, testing different price points, narrowly defining the target audience, and focusing on a specific topic rather than diluting the message. Iterative testing of package elements like headlines, formatting, and creative concepts can also improve response rates over time.

  • Building an email list on a website by providing free editorial content like articles, reports and e-newsletters is an effective way to sell newsletter subscriptions online. This allows marketing directly to consumers who already know and trust the brand, increasing conversion rates compared to untargeted online ads.

  • Building an email list is important for online marketing success. Users who visit your site and sign up for a free newsletter, report, or newsletter can be marketed to via frequent low-cost email campaigns.

  • The goal is to acquire qualified leads and build a large email list as quickly as possible through various online traffic strategies like content marketing, ads, affiliates, SEO, etc.

  • Testing different marketing tactics and offers is important to see what works best. Unsuccessful tactics should be discarded while doubling down on effective ones.

  • When visitors don’t purchase, capturing their email through a post-purchase popup offering a freebie is important for follow up marketing.

  • Providing value-added extras like special reports, manuals, archives, forums helps increase subscriptions and perceptions of value.

  • Over time, email marketing to the house list will generate the bulk of leads, sales, and profits for the business. Building this subscriber base through tested acquisition strategies is key.

  • Membership sites with paid access to a collection of content are a good alternative to newsletters for generating recurring revenue through ongoing subscriptions.

Membership sites offer paid access to exclusive content and resources like blogs, forums, video streaming, online calculators, archives, and other tools to their members. Membership is usually charged monthly but some sites offer annual plans or piecemeal purchasing of individual items.

To launch a successful membership site, focus on generating traffic and subscribers through various online marketing tactics. These include writing 25-word descriptions and submitting them to relevant directories, drafting press releases, compiling lists of related ezines to contribute articles to in exchange for promotion, adding your site info to email signatures, joining online discussion forums, submitting your site to search engines, and more.

It’s also important to measure conversion rates, test page copy, focus on keywords, offer bonuses for signing up, maintain a narrow topic focus, and keep content updated frequently. Specialized membership site software can help manage member databases, access controls, billing options, and the publishing workflow.

Popular plans charge monthly fees between $9-49 or offer annual discounts. Consider multiple membership tiers priced at different levels to boost average revenue. When starting out, leverage any existing content libraries rather than creating everything from scratch. Clear organization and labeling of past articles, videos, and other materials helps provide value for new members.

  • The file label provided may not clearly convey what the content is about to members. Using a more descriptive title would help members understand if it’s relevant to them.

  • It’s important to highlight new content on the site in a special section to draw members’ attention and maximize its marketing value by promoting engagement. Otherwise, members may miss new additions.

  • When creating content for others, the author should retain rights like first publication rights and reversion of rights if a book goes out of print. This ensures the author maintains control over their own work.

  • Setting a membership goal of 1,000 paid members at $29/month would generate $290,000 in annual recurring revenue, which could be a significant income source.

  • Offering a 10-day trial encourages people to sign up by lowering risk. Most won’t cancel if they engage with quality content during the trial.

  • Continually adding fresh content is key to retaining paid members long-term. Suggested ways to do this include webinars, member blogs, videos, chapters from works-in-progress, and a members-only forum.

  • Presentation topics should be narrowly focused, like “Seven Tips for Sizing and Selecting Static Mixers” rather than too broad like “Chemical Process Equipment”.

  • When writing a speech, it’s important to write for the ear, not the eye. Words should sound natural when read aloud. Humor can help engage an audience if used sparingly and appropriately.

  • Speakers should supplement their own knowledge with research from various sources to increase understanding and confidence. Gathering extra material allows the speaker to be selective.

  • Organizing notes on index cards helps plan the logical sequence and reveals areas needing more research.

  • Effective presentations have a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning introduces the topic and outlines key points. The middle covers each point. The ending summarizes and calls for appropriate action.

  • Practicing and gaining experience helps reduce stage fright. A little nerves can be good by keeping the speaker engaged, but too much is unhelpful. Techniques like making eye contact and speaking loudly aid communication.

  • Visual aids reinforce the message and help the audience remember. Formats like PowerPoint, slides and flip charts should match the content. Slides need to be clearly readable from a distance.

  • PowerPoint presentations can be made more engaging by not relying on it exclusively, maintaining audience focus, and allowing flexibility to adapt to audience response rather than sticking rigidly to slides.

  • When looking for speaking opportunities, check industry trade publications and event announcements for conferences, conventions, meetings and other forums relevant to your target audiences. Approach event organizers early, around 8-12 months in advance for annual events.

  • Propose topic ideas that provide value to attendees but also promote your expertise. Present objective information rather than direct sales pitches.

  • If not paid, local opportunities are good for prospecting but limit commercialism. Consider recording presentations for your own information products.

  • Screen opportunities by vetting organizer details like audience, attendance and other speakers. Decline if not a good fit for promoting your business.

  • Even unpaid, negotiate extra promotional value like attendee lists for pre/post mailings, bios and booth space in event materials to maximize exposure. Give discounts in exchange for such concessions.

The key is to find relevant industry events, approach organizers early with non-salesy topic ideas, and use unpaid local opportunities or fee discounts to negotiate ways of directly promoting your business and expertise to attendees. The goal is building reputation over direct sales.

Here is a summary of key points:

  • Giving presentations and speeches is a great way to promote your expertise and sell related products/services. You can make much more money from a speech than a magazine article.

  • Total speaker revenue (TSR) comes from the speaking fee (SR), product sales at the event (PS), and consulting/coaching business generated (CB). Some focus more on the fee, others emphasize selling products.

  • Consider the continuing education market like adult education programs, college extension courses, and public seminars. Audiences attend willingly so are more receptive. They are also likely to buy products afterwards.

  • Producing your own public seminars is risky. Easier to partner with an organization like a college, learning annex, or seminar company. Negotiate a flat fee, percentage of registration, or hourly rate. Aim for $500-1000 per day.

  • Large companies like the AMA, Pryor Resources, and CareerTrack regularly hire speakers. Provide them a program description and they may have you present an existing topic or create a new one. Teaching expands your credentials and networking.

The key is to turn speaking gigs into ongoing marketing opportunities through product sales, follow-up contact, and building your reputation in different professional communities.

Here is a summary of key points from the passage:

  • Public seminar companies like the American Management Association (AMA) offer speakers exposure but pay relatively low per diem fees, typically $200-400. Top speakers still do these for the exposure.

  • These companies are inflexible about fees and prefer competent speakers who will work within their fee structure, not necessarily the greatest speakers.

  • Developing a new course for them pays better at several thousand dollars but still isn’t great compensation given the work. Some companies like CareerTrack will produce a video of your talk, boosting your prestige.

  • Breaking in is difficult since they receive many applications. Better strategies are developing niche topics within existing categories or specialized programs for specific audiences.

  • Offering programs through specialty associations or smaller seminar companies targeting niche markets faces less competition than big names.

  • Local adult education programs and YMCAs offer another market. Contact program directors to see if they’d be interested in an existing or new course.

  • Adult/continuing education through colleges is a good place to get teaching experience, paid, with feedback from students. Turnover is high so new instructors are often needed. Existing courses can be proposed as new specialized courses.

  • Tips include preparing course fact sheets, contacting the right person, promoting any new qualifications, being flexible on pay and rules, helping promote courses, cross-promoting other classes, and avoiding criticizing other instructors.

  • Alternative formats include teleseminars, webinars, podcasts, and radio/TV interviews to disseminate content remotely without traveling or public speaking.

  • A tele-seminar involves a presentation over the phone to an audience who calls in to listen. It usually lasts 60-90 minutes.

  • The presenter is an expert sharing useful information on a topic to educate and inform the audience.

  • Tele-seminars allow presenters to build their brand, promote their services/products, gain new clients and customers.

  • Benefits include no travel required, ability to present from anywhere in the world, and generating qualified leads.

  • Common formats are a lecture, interview, or Q&A with audience participation.

  • Presenters should define their target audience, choose an in-demand topic they have expertise in, and have a clear call-to-action for listeners.

  • Tele-seminars are a good way for experts to share knowledge, drive traffic to their website/products, build relationships, and make money through various monetization models. Planning and scripting the presentation is important for success.

  • The speaker rambles or speaks too fast, making it difficult to follow their points. They jump between different topics without proper transitions.

  • For interview formats, the speaker needs strong interviewing skills to ask relevant, interesting questions and probe the guest. It can be difficult to schedule interviews with guests.

  • Participatory calls work best with small groups, but have limited financial returns unless part of a longer series. The speaker needs to maintain control over chatty or dominant participants.

  • Single calls should last 60-90 minutes to properly engage listeners and make a sales pitch. Series work best when calls are weekly or biweekly to maintain momentum.

  • To determine topics, the speaker can ask prospects directly, search forums and groups related to their topic, and identify common questions and issues discussed online.

  • Podcasting is a good medium for the speaker to consider, as listening to audio files on mobile devices is increasingly popular. The speaker should produce podcasts in MP3 format and upload them for listeners.

Podcasting has several advantages as a medium including its portability, personalization, entertainment value, accessibility, and reliance on voluntary listenership rather than paid advertising. Creating a podcast allows one to publish great content and spread messages to online audiences in an engaging format.

Guest appearances on radio and TV are another effective way to reach potential customers and spread one’s message. Experts note that these mediums allow for a more personal, direct and sincere connection with audiences compared to paid advertising. One does not need to be a celebrity to appear - shows are always looking for knowledgeable guests who can discuss specialized topics interestingly.

Proper preparation is key, such as researching one’s area of expertise thoroughly. When appearing, it’s best to focus on addressing listener questions and problems rather than explicitly promoting one’s own products or services. While media appearances take work, they can generate leads and enhance one’s reputation if handled professionally, even when things don’t go exactly as planned.

To be successful selling yourself as a corporate trainer, it is important to understand the training department’s role and process for buying training programs. While training directors are interested in your materials, their main job is to fill training requests from managers.

Rather than going over the training department’s head, it is best to market to both them and end users/functional managers. Training directors don’t have proprietary interest in finding trainers - if a manager requests you, they are happy to hire you.

It is important to speak the lingo of training professionals by having clear learning objectives for your program that describe what students will learn and be able to do.

Joining the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) is worthwhile as most members are training managers, providing a good prospecting list. Get involved with your local ASTD chapter and look for opportunities to speak to gain exposure.

The main topics discussed at the meeting were:

  • How to become an independent consultant in your field. This includes defining what a consultant is, the growth of the consulting profession, and how knowledge can be one’s most valuable asset as a consultant.

  • The process of becoming an independent consultant, including overcoming the fear of leaving secure corporate employment for self-employment. Motivations discussed include doing work you enjoy, pursuing your calling, earning higher pay, and desired lifestyle and work-life balance.

  • Strategies for establishing yourself as a consultant, such as specializing in a niche topic, providing a package of informational materials to training managers, making referrals to other consultants when requests are outside your specialty, treating training managers professionally, researching to tie your programs to business objectives and outcomes.

  • How to market and sell your consulting services to corporate managers by focusing on solving business problems rather than using “training” lingo, using results-oriented language to describe program benefits, and emphasizing how your programs can impact key metrics like revenues, costs, efficiency and time-to-market.

Here is a summary of the key points about why consulting is more competitive today than ever before:

  • The economy has transformed from a seller’s market for consulting services to a buyer’s market following recessions in the late 2000s, making clients more cost-conscious and less afraid to shop around.

  • Clients demand excellent interpersonal and customer service skills in addition to technical competence. Building and maintaining strong client relationships requires more effort.

  • Budging constraints after the recession mean clients spend more cautiously and require proposals/quotes for projects of any size.

  • Approval processes within large organizations are more centralized and lengthy, favoring existing vendors.

  • Population growth increases both the number of potential clients and competitors entering the field.

  • Downsizing has pushed many qualified professionals into consulting, increasing competition for projects and clients.

In summary, the consulting market has become more saturated with competitors, while clients have less spending power and are more discerning. This dynamic makes acquiring and retaining clients significantly more challenging for consultants compared to past decades. Strong relationship-building and client service abilities are essential for success.

Here are some key points from the provided text:

  • Boilerplate sections from consulting reports can be turned into articles or special reports for wider distribution. Common advice given to multiple clients is a good candidate for this.

  • Accepting contract or temp work? Be sure to consult your accountant, as contractors and temps are often treated like employees for tax purposes (W-2 instead of 1099).

  • Audio and video products can multiply profits from public speaking and live events. Live recordings usually have more energy than studio recordings.

  • For studio recordings, use an interview format rather than reading a script. Provide discussion questions to the interviewer in advance.

  • Teleseminars can be recorded for free using services like The recordings can then be turned into audio products.

  • Multi-CD audio programs can be produced quickly by conducting a series of one-hour interviews in one take without editing. Outsource duplication and fulfillment.

  • Overcome objections to audio by offering a transcript PDF that can be read. Also offer audio as a downloadable MP3 with the transcript.

  • Look for opportunities to have events professionally recorded for free, then use the videos as information products. Extract short clips for your website.

  • The user is prompted to click on the video to start viewing it.

  • The video clip can also be posted on YouTube where it has the potential to be seen by millions of people.

  • When turning lectures into DVDs, the screen shows the lecturer talking at the lectern as well as slides from the PowerPoint presentation.

  • Scenes of the audience listening, applauding or laughing can be included but requires a signed release from attendees.

  • Slides should be displayed long enough for viewers to read and absorb the content but shouldn’t overload the presentation.

  • Selling software can be very profitable since software has high perceived value and long-term profit potential.

  • Software doesn’t need to be developed from scratch - an existing program can be marketed instead or an existing program can be hired to be packaged.

  • Software can be sold as a physical product or accessed online through a software-as-a-service model with monthly subscriptions.

Here is a summary of the key points about marketing software using direct mail and premiums:

  • Offer a limited “small version” of the software for a nominal fee like $50-99. The small version has core features but limits usage in some way, like number of tasks. Money paid for small version credits toward full purchase.

  • Providing a premium like a white paper, newsletter, or small gift increases response to lead generation offers. Premiums that work well include printed materials, CDs, software utilities, calculators, checklists, and assessment forms.

  • For direct mail, use discounts to entice purchase. Say the regular price is $399 but they can get it for $299 if they buy now. Pricing per user over $1000 can seem more affordable than one lump sum.

  • Offset high prices by showing strong ROI through increased productivity or cost savings that outweigh the price.

  • Analyze the audience’s beliefs, feelings and desires to understand what drives their purchasing decisions.

  • Choose media that matches the audience traits, available lists, offer, and product type. Consider email, mail, newspaper ads, or telemarketing.

  • Experiment with formats like postcards, packages, or 3D mailings depending on audience and transaction complexity.

  • Work with list brokers rather than directly with list owners to get recommendations for lists most likely to respond.

  • Define a unique selling proposition that clearly explains why a customer should choose the product over competitors.

  • Develop a Big Promise headline that succinctly conveys the USP and key benefit in 15 words or less.

  • The subject line “Free White Paper” for an email marketing campaign does not score highly on the “4 U’s” criteria of being urgent, unique, ultra-specific, and useful.

  • It scores a 1/4 for urgency as there is no sense of timeliness.

  • It scores a 2/4 for uniqueness as many software marketers offer free white papers.

  • It scores a 2/4 for being ultra-specific as it could have been even less specific (e.g. just saying “free bonus gift”).

  • It scores a 2/4 for usefulness as the white paper topic is not specified so it’s unclear how useful it will be, and whether the recipient needs another generic “Free White Paper”.

  • The marketer is advised to rewrite the subject line to score higher on at least 2-3 of the U criteria, such as by making it more urgent, unique, or specifying the topic to make it more useful. This small change could substantially increase readership and response.

  • Information products like customized advice or day-long workshops are more labor-intensive to produce than books or e-books, but they can be charged at much higher price points of 10-100x more. This offers better value and expert advice to customers.

  • After years of creating many information products of varying lengths, you can start bundling related products together and sell the bundles for higher profits.

  • By bundling a remaindered book with audio recordings of a seminar on the same topic, the author was able to sell the bundled product at a higher price point than individually, gaining significantly higher profit margins and selling all the remainders.

  • Tips for effective bundling include updating content, adding extra low-cost bonuses, a welcome letter, getting materials professionally packaged, limiting individual sales, emphasizing the complete solution offered, and using scarcity/limited availability to increase urgency to purchase.

  • Well-executed, a freelance writing/information marketing business can offer a lucrative and flexible lifestyle, allowing one to potentially earn much more than average incomes while working remotely and independently.

  • With ownership of content and an established business, an information empire may be sellable as an asset, with the expected sale value being 1-1.5 times annual gross sales.

  • To sustain an information business enjoyably long-term, one should specialize in a niche for steady profitable output but still take on diverse side projects to prevent boredom, using an 80/20 split of time.

  • The passage recommends spending 80% of your time writing in your main how-to niche area to maximize profits, while spending the other 20% writing in different areas to stay fresh and prevent boredom.

  • By following the 80/20 rule, the author suggests one can profitably and happily work as a how-to writer until retirement or beyond.

  • It gives the choice to the reader to decide how long they want to work as a how-to writer using this balanced approach of focusing mainly on their niche but also diversifying some of their work.

  • In the end, the author presents the 80/20 rule as a “very nice choice to have” in one’s career as a how-to writer. It allows for profitable work in their niche while also keeping things interesting through some diversity in topics written about.

Six Flags invested $72 million in a marketing campaign featuring young women in makeup to promote their parks. However, after the expensive campaign, Six Flags saw no increase in attendance or revenue. Their return on investment was less than zero, costing the company $72 million with no financial benefit. This was deemed a major marketing failure and boondoggle for Six Flags.

The other text appears to be describing the services of Bob Bly, a copywriter and consultant. It provides his contact information and samples of his work, including a copyright form, article query letter, e-book cover, press release, permission letter, and tip sheet. The purpose seems to be promoting Bob Bly’s copywriting and consulting services to potential clients.

Here is a summary of the key points about making money writing newsletters from the provided information:

  • Newsletters are a way for writers to generate ongoing income by writing and producing promotional newsletters for corporations, small businesses, and nonprofits on a freelance basis.

  • Newsletters require regular writing and editing work and provide writers with clients that become long-term, recurring gigs.

  • Writers can earn around $100,000 per year or more by becoming an editorial services consultant and freelancing their newsletter writing and production services to multiple business clients.

  • In addition to writing, newsletter work may involve tasks like layout, design, printing, and mailing. Successful newsletter writers treat it as a full business operation.

  • Several books provide guidance on how to start and run a freelance newsletter writing business, how to find clients, set rates, and make a full-time living from newsletter and editorial freelancing work.

  • Professional organizations and trade publications can help writers find clients and stay informed of trends in the newsletter and business writing fields.

So in summary, writing newsletters is presented as a viable way for freelance writers to generate ongoing income by offering custom newsletter solutions and services to business customers. Setting it up as a full service operates requires treating it as an independent business.

Here are summaries of the key terms:

  • Chat group - An online forum for discussion and communication

  • Checklists - Lists used to ensure tasks are completed

  • Chesterfield, Lord - 18th century British statesman and man of letters

  • Chopra, Deepak - Indian-American author promoting mindfulness and alternative medicine

  • Organizational schemes - Systems for organizing and categorizing information

  • Chronology of the World - Reference work listing important dates and events in world history

  • Cialdini, Robert - Psychologist known for his work on influence and persuasion tactics

  • Cicero - Roman statesman, orator and writer who lived in 1st century BC

  • Clarke, Arthur C - British science fiction writer best known for 2001: A Space Odyssey

  • Comedian - An entertainer who aims to be humorous through jokes and anecdotes

  • Coaching - Providing guidance and feedback to help improve performance

  • Codec - Algorithm or device used for data encoding and compression

  • College extension courses - Part-time courses offered through universities for working adults

  • Communication Briefings - Newsletter providing tips on improving business communication

  • Community colleges - Affordable two-year colleges that offer vocational training and associate’s degrees

  • Competition - Rivalry between individuals or businesses seeking the same customers or markets

  • Computer books - Publications focused on teaching computing skills, programming languages, etc.

  • Conference - Meeting of people in a particular industry or field to discuss issues and share insights

  • Consulting services - Professional advice provided to help businesses improve operations

  • Consumer awareness guide - Booklet educating consumers about products, scams, etc.

  • Content - Information and educational material in articles, reports, videos, etc.

  • Copyright - Legal right granted to creators of original artistic and literary works

  • Copywriter - Professional who writes promotional, informational and advertising copy

  • Copywriting - The practice and skill of writing promotional, informational and advertising copy

  • Course catalog - Publication listing educational courses offered by a school or learning institution

  • Customer relationship management - Strategies for interacting with and retaining existing customers

  • Direct mail - Promotional material such as catalogs and flyers sent through postal mail

  • Domain name - Unique name that identifies a website or URL on the internet

  • Dummies books - For Dummies series published by Wiley providing introductory guides on various topics

  • E-book - Digital book that can be read on a computer, e-reader or other device

  • Email list - Subscriber lists used to deliver newsletters and promotional messages to interested parties

  • Infomercial - Television commercial that takes on an informational format to promote a product

  • Keyword research - Identifying relevant search terms related to a topic to attract searchers online

  • Microsite - Small specialized website focused on a specific topic, event or promotion

  • Newsletter - Regular publication, commonly distributed electronically, providing news and information

  • Niche - Distinct segment of a market composed of people with similar interests or needs

  • Podcast - Digital audio file that can be downloaded and listened to on portable media players

  • Public relations - Management of communications between an organization and the public

  • RSS feed - Web syndication format used to publish frequently updated content such as blog posts

  • Seminar - Meeting led by a lecturer where attendees can participate through discussion and feedback

  • Webinar - Seminar presented online using video conferencing tools for visual and audio communication

Unfortunately I do not have enough context to summarize the book “Ing Wicked This Way Comes” as you provided only a list of terms from my knowledge graph rather than any details about the plot or themes of the specific book. Could you please provide some additional context about what you are looking for in a summary? A book summary would need to include things like the main characters, setting, central conflict, and resolution rather than just listing unrelated keywords.

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