Discover how to make money online as a self-publisher in just seven steps. You’re a writer. Good. Now what? One of the best ways to make a good living as a writer isn’t writing blockbuster books, simple because so few people can achieve that level. Instead, how about becoming your own information publisher online? It’s a lot easier than you might think.
Make Money on the Web as an Information Publisher
By Jason Gaspero
Have you discovered your lifelong passion yet? Maybe you have more than one…
It could be world travel… or horseback riding… being an early adopter of the latest technologies… or something completely differentand surprising.
What if you could take that passion-whatever it is-and turn it into a surefire way to make money on the web?
Doing so might be easier than you thought. Just take a look at self-publisher Gary Scott’s story.
Becoming an Information Publisher Online
Gary’s dream was to create a business that would allow him to provide for his family and enjoy unparalleled freedom. He wanted something that could deliver high profit margins and that could provide security and stability. He explored a variety of opportunities over the course of 20 years without much luck.
But then he discovered self-publishing. When he realized he could write about what he loved doing most and sell that information for a hefty profit, he knew the search was over.
Now Gary is worth millions. He publishes a variety of informative newsletters-nowadays entirely online-on international business and investing in international real estate. He spends part of his time in North Carolina and part of his time in Ecuador. No matter where he is, he and his wife Merri live life completely on their own terms.
You might be wondering how to make money online. Mirroring Gary’s system is a great place to start. Let me share with you seven steps that can get you started on your own path to self-publishing success. This is the perfect way to make money on the web.
STEP 1: Rediscover your passions
Start out by sitting down with a fresh, blank Word document or a pad and paper. Let your mind drift-I find it helps if I close my eyes. Think about what you love doing the most… what you’re really good at… what you like to do in your free time… what things your friends and family ask your advice about… even what careers you considered as a child. Let the ideas flow into your head. Then start writing them down. This is not the time to censor yourself. Write down everything that comes to you.
Some of your ideas might seem random or even wacky. Write them down anyway. They might turn out to profitable beyond your dreams. When Jim Everroad came up with his idea for a book-How to Flatten Your Stomach-he had no clue it would go on to sell 2,000,000 copies. If he’d dismissed the idea as too silly, he sure would have missed out on a lot of success… and income.
STEP 2: Delve into the marketplace.
After you’ve picked your passion-the one that resonates with you most- it’s time to make sure there’s a market. Without a market, there’s no profit potential, so this is an important step.
Take a trip to the local bookstore or visit Amazon.com and peruse the books, magazines, DVDs, and other products related to your passion. If you turn up a few publications, congratulations! You probably have a winning idea.
If you come up completely blank, you might be narrowing your focus too much. You might try broadening things a little. Or you might explore one of your other ideas.
HINT: If you can phrase your passion as a “how-to” you might really be onto something. “How to bake the best cookies” or “How to land great travel deals” for example. How-to information is very engaging. If you can promise to solve a common problem, you can make a great income. John Muir’s book How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive is the perfect example. People love their Volkswagens, and they’ll pay to learn how to take care of them… So far 2.3 million people have bought the book and it continues to be a strong seller year-to-year.
STEP 3: Don’t skimp on the research.
You might be an expert on a subject, but if you are then you know there’s always something more to learn. As you research the marketplace and profit potential of your idea, spend a little time adding to your expertise, too.
Make sure you have a solid handle on the main topics behind your passion… on the themes… the concepts… the ideas. Reread books you’ve already read on the subject. And read new ones. Take good notes.
Then combine what you learn with your own experience, and you’ll be ready to write.
STEP 4: Start with an outline
Whether you plan to write a newsletter, a report, or a book, outlining is your friend. Creating an outline will help you stay focused and avoid long, boring tangents that are common in subpar books.
To help you get started, review the tables of contents in the books you like in your market. Consider their structure and find ways to improve what you see with your own experience and ideas.
Use that to get a barebones outline. Then flesh things out with as much detail as you possibly can … BEFORE you start writing.
HINT: Use Microsoft Word’s outlining feature to speed things along.
STEP 5: Write your heart out.
Now you get to the heart of the matter. Take your experience, your knowledge, your ideas, and your outline and pour everything onto the page.
Just WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, WRITE … and WRITE SOME MORE! Get everything out on paper-you’ll sort out the mistakes out later.
This is often the most difficult stage. You might be tempted to edit as you go, but don’t do it. It’ll slow you down and stem the flow of ideas. Let yourself write freely for a half hour, and then take a little break. Then get right back to it.
Before you know it you’ll start to see a book taking shape before your eyes.
STEP 6: Revision is critical.
Now that your book is down on paper, you want to let the creative side of your brain rest for a bit and hand the controls over to your more analytical side.
It’s time to clean up what you’ve written.
Read through your draft, this time with your editor at full throttle. Make additions. Strike unnecessary information. Reorganize for better flow. Watch for grammar and spelling errors.
You want to get things as clean, sharp, and clear as possible in this stage.
HINT: When it comes to catching errors, two heads are better than one. Ask a trusted friend to read through your draft, too. He might catch a number of errors you miss.
STEP 7: Ready to print.
You’ve finished the first draft. Revised it. Polished it. You can say with confidence that you’re happy with it.
Now you’re ready to print.
When it comes to printing you have choices. You can go the traditional route and have it printed and sold at bookstores-this can be gratifying, but also expensive and risky. You can use print-on-demand technology-a printer will print your book whenever an order is received. This option is growing in popularity with self-publishers. Or you can publish your work as an ebook, and deliver it digitally-this is by far the most cost-effective option, and the one that Gary Scott recommends.
And Once Your Book Is Printed …
You’re still not quite done. Now it’s time to market your book and start making sales. Follow these seven steps and you’ll be well on your way to making money online as a successful self-publisher.