Category Archives: content marketing

Part six of The Whiteboard

You can find part five of The Whiteboard here http://wp.me/p3VxaG-1QS

part

So, here is the sixth part or installment of our strange tale. The Whiteboard is about a woman whose dry erase board at her job suddenly starts issuing someone’s opinion and becomes the object of their interest with her as the recipient.  Today we find out what happens next.

©The Whiteboard Part Six by Kim Smith

The writer didn’t put out new whiteboard writing at all on Thursday. By the time Anne got ready to leave work, she had convinced herself it was just a silly office game someone was playing with her and best left ignored. She wanted no part in it.

But when she prepared to leave for the day, she couldn’t locate her keys.

She was fastidious to a fault and to misplace anything was not her norm. She checked her sweater hanging on the back of the door, took every item out of her purse. turned it upside down and patted it to make anything inside fall out.

Nothing did.

And she had an immense set of keys. They were impossible to miss when they were lying on the desk or in the bottom of her purse. She checked her desk, every nook and cranny, even looking all around on the floor.

The keys were officially missing.

She gazed up at the whiteboard. Nothing there to give her a hint.

Or was there?

In very tiny writing, using the yellow marker this time, was one single line that she had completely missed.

“I like your car.”

Now, a cold drip of fear sucked through her belly. Did the writer take her keys?

She had to go to her car.

Of course, the writer had taken the keys.  Why else were they missing? The writer was taunting her. Anger made her breath come out in a whoosh as she strode from her office headed straight for the elevator.

If this lunatic had done anything to her car…she’d kill him. Or her. She didn’t care. When she got her hands on them, they’d be a believer.

When she walked outside, she blinked at the brilliance of the sun as it shone on her face. She would love to be able to just sit on the concrete steps and enjoy it. But instead, she thought about how unfair life was. She couldn’t even enjoy the seasonal beauty because someone had gotten focused on her and now had her heart filled with hate.

When she arrived at the car, her keys were lying just underneath the car’s door. Did she accidentally drop them? Had she been all keyed up over the writer’s activities and been at fault all along?

She scooped them up and walked around her car, suspiciously. She had had to have them in her hands to lock the vehicle’s door’s with the clicker. It was obviously locked. Besides, hadn’t the writer said in the latest writing that they liked the car?

Frustrated, she rushed inside the building to go straight to her boss’s office. Enough was enough. When she walked into her supervisor’s office, it was like it wasn’t even her moving her legs. She was a robot performing some weird pre-designed action.

“What’s up?” Mr. Stanton asked.

“I…I have a problem,” she replied, looking at the various items on his desk, formulating her thoughts.

“Like?”

He was being kind.

She was approaching this all wrong. She dove in anyway.

“Y-yes,” she stammered. “I’ve been having a visitor at night in my office.”

She glanced at him.

He steepled his fingers together and sat back.

“A visitor?”

__________

Well, there you have it, my friends. What do you think will happen next?

 

 

 

creativity

5 Ways to use Twitter effectively

Twitter for you and me. Sounds like a song, right?

Everyone knows what Twitter is, but most people, still are not using it. That is, people over the age of fifty. We know HOW, but we just don’t “GET” it. 

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What is the purpose of a format that only allows 140 characters? Why wouldn’t someone just use Facebook or another social media forum to say what they are thinking, what’s on their mind, what’s happening in their world?

Well, they would. But we can also use Twitter and benefit.

Here’s how:

Five Ways to Use Twitter and Benefit From It

  1. Learn the format. Yes, it is 140 characters, but it is not the amount of text, it is what you say with a hashtag that gets noticed.
  2. Use the hashtag sparingly. Say what you mean. Hashtags put you in other places in the Twittersphere so if you do not want to be in the bored stupid thread then don’t tweet  #boredstupid.
  3. Keep BSP (blatant self promotion) to a minimum. It’s the equivalent of hawking your stuff to a room full of people at a party who don’t even know you. They could care less and you will likely lose friends. You may even be talked about and not in a good way. You don’t want to be known as THAT person.
  4. Do tweet when you have a good sale going on but remember to give more than you take. And always use a link! Who can find your sale item if you don’t give them the link?
  5. Be friendly. People really do want to get to know you. YOU. Not just what you had for dinner. Although images and tweets about pets always seem to be loved.

…and a really good addition to this list would be USE IMAGES! Everyone loves to see images and those pics with text on them are an especially good tweet for most of us.

AND DON’T FORGET TO RETWEET STUFF! That will get you noticed quickly. Just click the CLICK TO TWEET block below and you will have your first tweet!

[Tweet “Retweeting Five Tips for Twitter check it out here http://www.kimsmithauthor.com”]

Twitter is something that you should really give a try for at least 30 days. Just plan it in your production schedule to tweet a few times a day and see what happens. If you still don’t “get” it, you have my permission to quit.

But you won’t. 

Ebook series: What should I price my book?

Success as an online business depends on the price you set for your product. What do you charge? That’s the question everyone wants to know, even before they put their item out there. Selling your ebook is the final goal, right? So how to figure out what the buying public will pay for it?
price

Prior Posts:
Links to other posts in the Ebook Series:

Paper versus Electronic
Creatives get busy: create an ebook
Ebook series: have a font on me
Ebook series: Inside the book
Ebook series: PDF fun
Ebook series: a good landing page

Today, let’s discuss how to price your eBook.

The prices of books on the real shelf and on the digital shelf are determined by publishers and individuals alike. For indies, it should be well-researched, not some thrown together plan that readers demand or writers dictate. There should be reasons for prices to be what they are. At least, that is my take on it.

Remember: I’m not a pro at any of this, and everyone has their own opinions about what constitutes a good price for their own stuff. This is just what I do.

 

Price: Check Out Other Books

 
The prices being used by others is important. Especially if the book is selling well. It can be a research point for you, and give you an idea of where to start. Be sure to check out paper, digital, and other methods such as audiobooks. Amazon is a great search engine for this. Type in your research terms and voila!

The pricing of your book in relation to others is your decision, but putting the price up or down will have an impact on how you get the word out. Why? Because everyone is a bargain hunter! Readers aren’t going to buy your ebook if they can get the genre for cheaper somewhere else. Why would you pay $9.99 for a thriller when you can get one for $2.99? (okay, well, maybe for a big name author, but for the rest of us, we have to make a reader or potential reader know what we have done that is worth that price)

Of course, everyone knows that hardback and audio costs more. But for this example, let’s talk about a normal sized ebook.

Your plan is to emphasize some features or benefits that will gain the attention of buyers. Time to USE YOUR SALES PAGE! Make your book’s best features stand out. If it is a thriller, talk about how readers of “insert big name author” will love it. Put up an excerpt. If it is non-fic, talk about how it will change their life in five easy steps – use charts – graphs, and other visuals to encourage them. Pick the thing you want your readers to see the most. Don’t highlight the price. Buyers for anything need to be talked into a purchase. This is not the impulse buying aisle at the grocery store. Make them ooh and ahh over your ebook first, and then when they are in buying mode, that’s when you tell them how much (at the end of your sales page). By then, they’ll have their minds’ set and won’t care if your price is higher than someone else’s.

If your price is lower than another’s

…then you can switch gears and use that to your advantage by highlighting it throughout your sales page. Make it stand out! Your price is your BEST selling point for this type of transaction.

It’s important to remember you have the power to price however you want to as an indie. Not so much if you are traditionally published, and that alone has sent some to try out going the hybrid model. If you believe your ebook should be sold for more, then do it! Try and see if it works. If not, you know you can easily change the price and find that price that works for both you and your readers.

Ack. Here we are at over 600 words again! More next time !

Do you have an effective sales page for your ebook?

You can have the perfect item on the Internet, but if you are ignorant about peddling it, you’re going to be disheartened at the outcome. So to speak, getting the word out about your item is critical. Consider how Nike sets aside millions in their budget for marketing and to insure buyers know about their products. This makes it clear that those of us without big bucks are just mushrooms in a world full of daisies if we don’t use everything at our disposal.

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So, here is a post about getting the word out about your ebook in our little series.

If you haven’t checked out the previous posts, here they are:

Paper versus Electronic
Creatives Get Busy: create an ebook
Ebook series: Have a font on me
Ebook series: Inside the book
Ebook series: PDF fun

On the Internet, specifically, when selling stuff like an ebook, the biggest asset is the landing page (or sales page). Some people believe that the right setup to sell your work, the better your chances. Some even think that the book can be sludge but a good landing page will bridge the gap. I wouldn’t go that far but let’s look at the sales page anyway.

Here we go.

A Superb Landing Page

A superb landing page has certain elements to it that sort of look like a well-planned out campaign to get your business. It addresses certain problems a reader might have, and it gives solutions. Let’s break it down.

1. The problem – have you ever gone to a landing page and the first thing you see is your problem posed as a question in GREAT BIG LETTERS? well, that’s because that person who is trying to sell you something knows the reason you even clicked to go to the landing page. They want you to think about your problem and see that they know a thing or two about it.
2. The answer – then they tell you the answer. It’s all about their product and how it can help you with your problem. I will try to come up with an example soon.
3. Presentation – now there will be some sweet graphics to illustrate what has been said before – to really drive home the point that this product will fix your life in three easy steps etc.
4. Evidence – now they show you how this ebook or whatever they are selling has worked for others. This can be done in the form of references, testimonies, or good reviews.
5. Info about the product – here now we get to the meat of the landing page where the actual ebook or product gets discussed and details about it are shared. (and usually, the benefits of the problem solving is reiterated)
6. Pricing – here is what the reader has been dreaming of…a price for all this goodness. They will at this point read to the bottom, or click off. Make your price GOOD.
7. The End…or is it? – usually (not always) you get some sort of bonus. If you buy this book you can get another one. Or if you buy this product you can get a manual on the extra part to it. And this bonus oftentimes is FREE.

There can be other parts to a superb landing page, but this is basically what you will find. I would list some examples but seriously? EVERY dang site out there has a landing page of some sort. Even online colleges are using them to very good effect. Usually, you have to give them your email when you land on a landing page in order to get the free stuff if that is what they are about, so heads up.

When I get Lifestyle Reboot finished, I will be creating a cool new landing page for it.

Next time…how about some info on ebook pricing? This is always a good informative thing. Check back. And keep comments coming…I live for them!



Weekend Wrapup and Couponing

I know lately I have been talking a lot about money, saving, selling stuff to make it, etc. I hope you are enjoying it. I started last week writing a new ebook. It will be offered on this site. It chronicles this journey of mine and will give you all the details on my efforts and how I intend on getting out of the hole I am in. If you are new and haven’t even heard about “the hole” be sure to check out my Gofundme page.

So, many of you who are my writing friends will be happy to hear I am working on a book. It’s non-fic, self-help too, so it will have a wide appeal.

Weekend Wrapup and Couponing

The garage sale over the weekend was a much bigger success than I expected. Those of you who follow me on Facebook probably laughed until you cried over my nearly hourly reports on how much money I was making.

It ended up netting me $100 which I spent on groceries and gas in my car. (I also bought us lunch on Saturday and dinner on Sunday night – my hubby deserved to be treated for all the hard work he did). There is even money left over thanks to couponing, which you all should be doing. I never thought about couponing before (well, I didn’t have to!).

If you want to try it out for yourself to cut your food bill, try these apps that I downloaded to my iPhone:
Ibotta (also has a website)
Food Coupons – this is an app for iPhone on the app store…it lists restaurants in your area and gives you all their deals for the day, week, and ongoing. I ended up emailing myself sheets of coupons for Krystal and Burger King. Good deals for two people to eat cheap. Does not have a website that I can find.
Coupons.com has great grocery coupons and they are printable. I saved on cereal, and food items. My grocery trip this week was UNDER $50 !!

So, that’s about it. Hope your day flies by – I will be back with more ideas for saving money or making money soon. If you know something about couponing, leave me a comment with the info.