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

 

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

Publish your EBook on Amazon

Hello my fellow readers,

You’re there! You’ve written this amazing book, it’s been edited, you’ve added your cover photo, you’ve set up your book with all the extra pieces it needs and now it’s time to actually put it out there!

It may seem daunting but I promise it’s pretty easy peasy. You can do it!

First got to https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/ and sign into your amazon account. Don’t have one? No worries all you need is a name and email to set one up!

When you click on the link above there is a brief video you can watch (I recommend doing so!). When the video is done scroll down and click on the words lit up in blue “Learn how it’s easy.”

From there all you have to do is follow the steps. Here are some items that would be good to know or have before you start.

  • Account information- Where do you want your money to be deposited? *wiggles eyebrows*
  • Tax information (just basic, name social and if a company EIN)
  • Have your content ready to be uploaded (Cover photo and your manuscript)
  • Have the summary of your book that is 4,000 characters or less ready to go.
  • Keywords- you get 7 but you don’t have to use all 7. These words can’t repeat what is already in your book summary. You can always adjust these later or add if you’re not sure of 7 to begin with.
  • Category- You only get 2 so choose well and these can always be changed later.
  • Distribution- Are you good with everyone around the world having access to your book or do you want only select areas have access to your book?
  • Also there is a section called Digital Rights Management (DMR), where you can protect your book so no one can share it’s information and no one can just take your book. Even if you select yes to protect your book you can still allow people to share your book for a 14 day span and it allows people to buy your book as a gift for someone else.
  • Price listing and Royalties is the fun part. It’s pretty straight forward you can sell your book for less than 2.99 and get 35% royalties on each book you sell or you can sell it for 2.99 or more and get 35% or 70% royalties back per book. You get to decide.
  • Finally decide if you would like your book to be part of KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Select. This means an Amazon customer is part of the Kindle Unlimited program or their Lending Library. Each month that customer pays Amazon each month to read as many books as they like that are part of that program. If you choose to be part of the program you get for the amount of pages that customer finishes.

So for example if I am selling my book for $0.99  and a customer buys my book I’ll see only $0.35 back in royalties but if someone on kindle unlimited downloads my book for free and finishes it I will see $0.70 back. However, if they only finish half the book I will only see $0.35.

I know that seems like a lot of information but Amazon does an amazing job walking you through every step and giving guidance. This article gives you a jumping off point and an idea of what to expect in the process. Any additional questions you have will be in the above link. However if you get lost or not sure about something, leave a comment and I’ll try to help you out! For me to get through all the set up information took me no more than 20 minutes and that was with a crying baby in my arms.

It can take up to 3 days before you see your book on Amazon. You’re book will be going through a back end review process of checking to make sure your book meets all the requirements that Amazon has laid out.

Still with me? Okay great! Next week I’ll be showing you how to track the health of your book.

You’re Truly,

Lady Venus

Make Money Fast

Hello my sexy smart readers!

There are lots of schemes out there that tell you, you can be rich over night by investing little to no money and takes hardly any time at all! Well if it sounds too good to be true it probably is, but why not test a few…

Some items I am wanting to test out are:

User Testing– This is where you test out different sites and apps by completing tasks and giving feedback.

Matched Betting– this is where you take advantage of free bets given out by bookmakers so that you can do a back bet (for something happening) and a lay bet (against something happening), the bets cancel each other out and you walk away with the winnings no matter what the outcome is.

App scratch offs– Online scratchers. How much money can we really ever win off of these “free” scratchers?

Healthy Wage– This one is where you bet any were from $5.00 or $1,000.00 that you can lose the weight you said you would for the month. And if you lose weight they pay you but if you don’t lose it you pay them (I could totally use this motivation!)

As a full time employee and mom it’s hard to find time to do all of these at the same time so be sure to keep checking back in for updates. I already have a couple of these rolling along so be sure to check back in for updates here soon!

Also, leave a comment below if there is something you think I should try! Any “get rich fast for no money at all” Schemes that I should try?

Yours Truly,

Lady Venus

Save Money Cleaning Out your House

Hello My Readers,

My blog is mostly about how to make money but I thought it would be also good to talk about ways to save money as well and improve our life styles with healthy habits.

Sometimes I think it’s good to start at the basics and purge what you don’t use or what you don’t want to use. And hey, make some money off of it the same time!

Checkout Kara Daniels blog on some really great tips on using Poshmark to live a lighter life style and how she makes some money off of her used items. You don’t have to use Poshmark. There’s also many other sites such as, Etsy, Ebay and even Amazon to sell your items but I feel like the basics that she outlines really apply to the general selling your stuff online.

Also, if you don’t know how to get started on deciding what to get rid of because you just LOVE it all be sure to read through  Jenny in Neverland on how to start some of that de-cluttering started. She is more of living a minimalist life style and you don’t have to go that far but I do feel the key take away is that a lot of us have junk around our place that we can probably part with.

I wish I had some words of wisdom from me to you on how to do this but if you saw my house, I think you would agree that I would be talking out of turn. LOL Though trust me when I say that there are times when the house starts to crowd around me. At that point I start to throw all my crap into garbage bag after garbage. However, instead of selling it I do tend to donate it all because I don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling it. I just become over whelmed with this need to get it out of my house. Yesterday. But if you have the patience and the time to pursue it. Do it!! Then comment below on how you did it!

Yours Truly,

Lady Venus