Learning to Build a Platform

Hey Readers,

It’s been too long since my last post. I’ve been doing a lot of research on how to get noticed for my next book. For my first book I needed go through the right channels to be more successful and I didn’t. Not to say going the Amazon route is bad because it’s not, and I’m gunna do it again. What I am saying is there are so many other social media outlets that have yet to be tapped into.

So, if you’re like me, and looking to build your following and platform this is what I learned.

You can either sloooooooooooowly build your followers over 2+ years, buy a platform for a **it ton of money OR you can borrow another person’s platform.

What does that mean? I can either not get help from anyone and just post a bunch of stuff over time, which is how many people do it and there’s nothing wrong with that but I’m not that patient. On the flip side you can gain a bunch of followers by paying for them, which is too much money and in my opinion it seems kind of cold. Like these people only follow and like your content because you pay them not because they are genuinely interested. Finally, the third option, which is what I am digging more deeply into and borrowing a platform.

To borrow another person’s platform can take shape in different forms. You can do a guest post on someone else’s blog and some how relate yours back to what they wrote about in a not jerk way (I’m still figuring that out). Also, you can ask another company or popular blogger to feature you for a limited time on their sight. There’s also the option to see if you can score a podcast or interview with someone that discusses what you write about or even what you’re selling.

For me, I have written another book, this time it’s more of a “How-to” rather than a romance. There are certain brands I wish to refer to in my book and have written to each company that I want to feature in my book. I’ve asked for permission to use their brand as well as asked if when my book get’s published if I can feature it on their sight for a limited time. I’m now waiting for replies. If even one of them says yes I will have gained all of their followers for the time my book is featured there and perhaps end up gaining a few of my own. This is a form of borrowing a platform.

Even though I am more focused on borrowing a platform right now it doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore the first option either. I will want to continue to connect with those that follow me and try to gain more through my day to day posting and such. This is harder to do when you want to stay anonymous because normally you post pictures about your daily life because people want to make sure you really are a person just like them. So if you are not being anonymous try out a rule I just heard about. The 80-20 rule. Where 80% of your content is NOT about your business but about just being you and 20% is about your business. This could be sharing someone else’s content that you felt was pretty cool, from pins, tweets and so on and pictures of you want what you’re up to. Then after 8 posts of that you can do 2 posts for you’re actual business on discounts, new products, new ideas, asking people to order/buy something.

I’ve been learning a lot over the last few weeks and I’ve got more to share but I’m going to leave it here for today. I’ll let you know what I’ve done to increase views and my platform and what worked and what didn’t. I’ll also keep you posted on what I would like to try next!

Yours Truly,

Lady Venus

 

Making money with Scratcher ticket apps

Hey Readers!

THIS was a fun one to test out! LOL

You definitely could not quit your day job with this one though.

The first app I tried was called Lucky Day. This one is a free app. I would get 23 scratchers waiting for me every morning and 2 raffles. I would scratch them all and see if I won anything and then in the evening I would get 10 more scratchers. To scratch all my scratchers and watch the ads that pop up takes about 5-7 minutes.

Not all the scratchers offer money. Some offer tokens, then you can redeem your tokens for gift cards and various items they have. Keep in mind 1 Million tokens equals about a $1.00 so even if you win 250,000 tokens it means you just earn $0.25. It sounds exciting to win 250,000 tokens but it’s just a quarter.

In the two weeks I have now been playing these scratchers I have won $3.75 cash and 1.7M tokens. Most of the money I won was as quarters. So if you convert the tokens into dollars I’ve made about $5.00 in two weeks and each week I spent about 30 minutes scratching. Nope definitely can’t quit my job at $5.00 an hour. LOL but I will say it’s super fun to play and it’s super easy; and for a free app there really isn’t as many ads as you would expect there to be.

However, for the app Lucktastic I gave up on it after 2 days. There were just SO many ads and you had to scratch certain ones, that would make you share or post on social media, before you could go forward and scratch other stuff. I don’t like the idea that I don’t have a choice to skip over them. Also I spent so much time watching ads. It was such a waste of time compared with Lucky Day.

I picked these two apps because when I was researching ways to make money, one person had suggested it because it could make you up to 500.00 a week. I think that was dangerous for the person to be advertising and I’m pretty sure the app doesn’t realize how it was inadvertently advertised in a unrealistic way. Also I wonder if the person that posted the article even tried half the suggestions that were on there because most of them would probably earn you next to nothing and nowhere near 500.00 a week.

Yours Truly,

Lady Venus

Reading your Results/Royalties on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) on Amazon

Hello Everyone!

If you’ve been following me on how to get published on Amazon as I’m learning it, AWESOME! Thanks for following.

However, if you missed the first few steps scroll to the top of the page and check out “How to get Published on Amazon” from the “Blog” drop down menu.

Now that you’re published the fun doesn’t end. When you log into your Amazon KDP Select site you will have a “Reports” tab, once you click on it you will see the two graphs below.

Kindle picture

The first graph shows you how many books were bought on each day in orange and if you are running some kind of free book promotion it will show up in blue. On my graph you can see I did a free book promotion and had just under 40 people download it for free. However, I have not managed to sell my book to anyone so far. Meaning no one has swiped their credit card to pay $0.99 for my book. (I know not hot but I want to be honest with you, I’ve only been on this journey since August 17, 2018 making today, as I write this, 2 days shy of a month of me doing this. My goal is to record what I’m learning as I’m learning it and share it with you).

The second graph is a little more complicated. If you have enrolled with the Amazon Kindle Unlimited program or the Lending Library you will be paid each time a person downloads your book and reads it. You only get paid for the pages the customer has actually read. So if someone has downloaded your book and read only half of it, you only get paid for half the book. So you can see I have made a tiny bit of money from this, but it looks like a lot because it displayed the number of pages read.

Below those two graphs there is a “Royalties Earned” section. As you see mine is empty because this only reflects those that actually paid for the book, which I don’t have any at this point. However if you click on “generate report” you’ll have a slew of more information in an excel spreadsheet. See below:

Royalties section

1combinedsales

This first tab shows everything about your sales and promotions/digital and paperback. The next two tabs show the same exact thing but breaks it down by one tab showing the digital downloads and another that shows the paperbacks sold. Following that there is a orders tab. See below.

2orders

This just shows a summary of the first graph from above.

The final tab is KENP Read (Kindle Edition Normalized Pages).

KENP3

The dashboard is displaying The second graphs information from above.

The real difference with this spreadsheet, that I think is fun to look at, is the money conversion and what that means for you and your customer. For example: I’m selling my book for $0.99 USD but those in Canada would pay $1.29CAD. While at the same time those in the UK would pay 0.82GBP. However, when it all gets converted USD at the end of the month it will equal 0.99 as long as they finished the book and it does have an effect on your royalties. This is also great if you do choose to do the paperback set up as well because you can see how much people are paying for shipping and handling on top of the cost of your book.

I hope that helps!

Yours Truly,

Lady Venus

User Testing Update

Here’s my quick update:

I’ve had over 35 tests come through the past week and all of them required I take a screen test before the actual test. The screen tests figure out if I am part of the demographic they are looking to target; Of said 35+ tests I have qualified for none of them so far. That is quite disheartening. On top of that I feel like I have enough information on my profile that most of these tests should not have come through to me because it was already on my profile. Example: I needed to know how to speak some German to take one of the tests but I don’t so I couldn’t take the test. In my profile I wrote down that I only speak English. So why did I get a German test? That doesn’t make sense to me…

I’m not really sure what demographic you need to be in order to actually qualify, but an early 30’s, full time, female, mom, who only speaks English doesn’t seem to be it. LOL

Has anyone else tried this? What results did you get. Leave a comment be low and let me know!

I’ll keep you posted if I get any that I qualify for.

Get your E-Book noticed on Amazon

Hey my Authors!

I wanted to let you in on what I’ve learned so far to get my book noticed. Please keep in mind that there are things I still need to learn and there will be updates following this one.

When you sell your book on Amazon for less than $2.99 then you can’t do the Kindle Count Down promotion (More on that later) but you can do a book give away, which I did do the free book give away since I’m only selling it for $0.99.

On your KDP website you can go under promotions and set up a free book give away that lasts anywhere from 1-5 days. When I did this for my book I choose the full five days. I’m telling you no one would have downloaded the book for free without promoting it on Facebook. Because it has no reviews it get buried at the back of every list every time. So I created a page on Facebook and paid $10.00 to have my book promoted for 5 days in 4 countries. All the downloads that I got was a direct result from those that saw it on Facebook. I ended up getting about 40 people to download the book for free. Not crazy high numbers, I know, but I’m also just starting out. I’ve been doing this now for, what…., a month. Give a girl a break!

Also, another thing to note is that I can’t give away my book or do ANY other Amazon promotion to it in the space of a KDP quarter. What does that mean. It means when I published my book on Aug. 17 I can only promote it one time between that date and Nov. 16th. Then starting Nov 17th I can promote again. So if you really wanted to do a giveaway back to back you could always do it the last five days of one quarter and the first 5 days of the next quarter. Though that sounds a bit weird to me…

Amazon also offers Kindle Count Down. This means if you have a book you published for 2.99 or higher and it’s been on the market for at least 30 days than you can sell your book at a discounted price and Amazon will market out to its readers that the sale is coming! I want to try this for my next book so be on the lookout for updates in this area!

Yours Truly,

 

Lady Venus

Becoming a User Tester

Make extra money by becoming a User Tester for Apps and Sites

Hello you amazing people!

Recently I found a way to make money by being a user tester. What does that mean? It means, there are people developing apps and webpages and want to have them tested out by everyday people. So you sign up, take a test, if you pass the test you can get $10.00 every time you give feedback. Feedback takes about 15-20 minutes. So you can potentially make about 30.00-40.00 an hour.

Sounds like something you want to try? Okay, here’s more details:

-Go to usertesting.com

-While there they will ask you to complete a test video. What does that mean? It means you have to download their recorder. They will make sure your microphone works. (They will be recording just your voice NOT your face but they WILL record your screen.) Your voice is tested when you read a sentence on the screen.

Once that is successful you move on to completing your test video. I won’t lie, it was a bit intimidating if you’ve never done that before. What happens is, they will have popup instructions and you just follow the instructions while the recorder is going and you just say what you’re doing as you’re doing it and give feedback. In this case they gave me a link that took me to the Air and Space Museum in DC. The instructions where things like, locate the map. So you talk out loud on where you think that would be. So for me I said something like, “I see a visit tab and having a map when you visit seems logical; so I am hovering over that tab and I see a menu that shows the map option. I clicked on map and now I can see first and second floor layouts of the building with a  guide below it. Now I’m going to the next task.” And I just continue to talk out loud as I complete the tasks. The last task was for me to find which holiday they are closed on, which was harder for me so I gave feedback that said something like, “It was easy to find the closed holiday with the search option but for someone who just scans pages quickly like I do it would be nice to have it bolded on the home page so it catches my eye better because right now it just kind of blends in with the rest of the content.” From there I was asked about 3 questions. It took maybe 2 minutes to answer them and I was done.

After that it takes a few minutes for the video to upload but nothing crazy long. It was about 3 minutes for my 13 minute video.

From there you just wait for a response. The automatic response is that your video is under review and they will get back to you in a few days. In my mind that means they have a week or less. Lucky for me, it took 4 days. I’m not sure if this is the average or not, but that’s how long it took for me.

Once you pass their test you will need to fill out your ‘Profile’. The more information the better here, because if they want to test a certain demographic they will know if you qualify or not. Then there are two Lessons you will need to read/watch and there will be 3 or 4 questions after each section in the lessons. They are super easy as long as you’re paying attention. Each lesson is about 10-15 minutes (or longer if you have children hanging on you!)

Once that is all set up you just leave you browser open and you wait for the “PING” sound to let you know you have a test you can do.

Upsides and downsides

So the downside is I have small children. This means having a quiet, uninterrupted session is iffy. On the upside, there is a pause button. So if you need to pause your video you can and when ready, you can resume.

Another downside is that the example application video they had doesn’t work; so I didn’t have an example to go off of. The upside is that the written instructions, once you get in there and do it, is pretty good. However, you’re not sure of the level of information you should be giving. So, at the back of my mind I’m thinking… hmmm is that too much information or not enough? I’m thinking more is better because they need to know the thought process behind the user. However, they may not have needed a 5 minute session of why I think something should be logically in a certain spot. So again, having a application video example was a good idea, but unfortunate that it didn’t work.

Downside- You might not want or even qualify for all the tests you get and you don’t get to control how many you get. In order to get tests on your dashboard screen you have to leave it open. Once you get one you might not want to take it because it asks you to enter personal information or there are more questions then there is time  or something. Some might be longer than you want it to be (upside to longer ones, if you do a good job you will get a bonus). Also, there doesn’t seem to be that many tests per week. It looks like it averages about 2, but maybe it’s just me and my demographic. I’m not sure yet. I think it’s also because I am not a rated user.

Over the next week or so I will be actually doing the User Testing so check back in and I’ll let you know how much time I spent with it and how much I was able to make.

Be sure to check back in for an update!

Lady Venus

How to set up an Author page on Amazon

Hey there my Entrepreneurs!

Now that I’ve walked you through how to get published on Amazon you’re probably wondering “What’s next?,” “What else can I do to get my book noticed?”

I found creating an Author page helped. Just click this link. Then at the top there is a “Author Page” Tab. Click it and start filling out the boxes. Then click save after you’ve edited each box. Yup, it’s just that easy!

Just a couple of tips.

  1. Hardest part is figuring out your RSS for a URL if you want to link your blog to your author page. For wordpress.com users  just use your domain link and add “/feed/rss/” to the end of it. For other blogs I would suggest doing a quick Google search that specifically relates to the blogging site you use.
  2. This makes it so that readers can follow you. Amazon doesn’t release how many followers you have though. So sure you can click it and know you have at least one person but Amazon will not release how many follows you have. I tried to find out why that is and it seems to be some big mystery that no one can solve. I think that’s pretty silly but Meh…at the end of the day having a bunch of followers isn’t my goal. It’s having paying customers.

Be sure to comment below on your experience setting up an Author page on Amazon and any tips and tricks you might have.

Yours Truly,

Lady Venus