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building an indie business in the center of venture capital i am alex edmonds people know me as supremerumham on the internet and this is the building indie business podcast okay so today i'm going to be talking about what i learned writing a book it's a lot of things related to the book um related to a building on product um yeah so uh let's get into it the very first thing i learned is that virality is fake um in my research of how to promote a book um i stumbled onto some services that will help uh companies um get more views on their social media posts by basically having bots not bots but like um what do you call it it would be more like accounts that this company created to get more eyeballs on the product and like retweet it and like it and they had different types of accounts so like one for sports one for beauty things like that so i realized that anytime a product goes viral in quotes um it's probably not actual actual virality okay another thing i learned and this is a very big one is to accept help um yeah so i had a lot of help on this book brendan helped me with editing and so many more things that's why if you read the the special thanks in the book he's in the special thanks section for that reason um yeah he helps me he let me use his grammarly account to edit the book um he would help me with stuff related to the blog and like getting more people to see it increasing the seo score so that way i could generate traffic organic traffic and then shaw shaw really helped me with the blog um i said hey um how do you get more email subscribers like how how would i for open podcast and like an hour later he comes with um picture examples of what i could do instead of just saying hey do this so yeah the pop-ups um that was his idea in every blog post there's a like in the at the intro paragraph right after that there's like hey did you know you can subscribe that was his idea and there was one more thing the pop-up um i can't remember but there are three things and he created examples of what um they could be okay another thing this is kind of related um use tools to make my life easier and so using tools to for me is a difficult thing because on some level i feel like i'm cheating because i'm making it easier for myself but uh that's not the case the only thing that matters is the end result and unless you cheated someone like you stole their their their content or their code or whatever then you're okay um those the tools are there to make your life easier so that you can focus on you know the big picture things like for me that was writing um so i used a lot of tools i used hemingway threading editing grammarly threading gum road to uh to purchase the book to get people like as a storefront so um um the tools would be another form of accepting help and so those tools that i used helped me focus on writing instead of things that wouldn't move the book forward so like instead of gumroad uh my other idea was to set up a stripe store and that would have taken me some time because i had to figure out how to set up the book and set up stripe with it um and in may that that shouldn't have been something that i focused on right because the book wasn't done i needed to focus on writing the book and getting it done and gumroad helped me do that okay um yeah so tools a plus um another thing i learned is of course how to create an ebook and yeah so you need an epub dot epub file and you need a mobi file and sorry um yeah i don't want to go into this too much because i'm doing an episode on creating an e-book but yeah you need those two files um for different um devices um okay try to control as much of these okay so try to control as much of the user experience as possible so what i mean by this is it's very important to manage the experience of a user so that way you they don't get distracted with other things on um like that if they were if there was another platform um they would get distracted by so let me give you a perfect example so i um originally at the gumroad page and i would um give people just the link to the gumroad page and when i wasn't controlling that user experience um on the gumroad page um they could leave the gumroad page and like look for other products instead of just sticking to mine right so i didn't want to lose people like that so what i did was i embedded the gumroad page um on what do you call it on on my personal website not my the podcast website and the blog oh yeah on the blog like i created a page on the blog for the embed and that way when people left to go somewhere else on the website they would still be going to my content right so that is an advantage and then another way to control the user experience is through promotion so um i don't really focus on social media what i do is i focus on email and the reason why i do this is because it's very easy to just scroll by um a post on social media i've talked about this it's in the book and so when you send an email to someone um they focus on it more because they have to click and open it and they'll read it and people get less email than they do um what's the word i'm looking for oh yeah then posts they see less email than they do posts on social media so they're giving their email extra focus compared to a social media post okay um i learned about the publishing industry i just i had no interest in getting this book published by another company but i looked into it a bit it turns out that sometimes an author only makes a dollar per book sold so because there's so much money that goes into the promotion of the book and you get an advance from the publishing company when they um when they say yeah we'll take your book and this advance it's literally in advance it's it's a loan they're loaning you money so you can finish the book or whatever um yeah and so you have to pay that back and sometimes they get the first money that comes in so if they give you a hundred thousand dollars um the first hundred thousand dollars made from the book it's their money and yeah so uh yeah that's on cool okay the next thing i learned about writing the next thing i learned is about writing sorry um yeah i learned about passive and active voice i remember learning that in school but i never really learned what it was so um yeah and then where am i i learned how to shorten my sentences um because hamming away that's what hemingway teaches you uh its main feature is that it highlights your long sentences or sentences that doesn't don't make sense and so what was i going to say sentences that don't make sense oh yeah so you have to get rid of those and i learned how to shorten my sentences before even putting it through hemingway eventually when i was at like chapter 20 of the book um yeah and i learned editing i learned how to like change my passive voice to active voice shorten my sentences and other errors i was making so yeah um and help me become a better writer okay um seo i learned some search engine optimization so all i really knew before is about backlinks and i really learned um that actually i'm not going to talk about this too much because i want to do an episode on podcasting seo um yeah so i learned about backlinks domain authority meta tags um i didn't really know their purpose before right but i knew they were related to seo like before all this no web page of mine had meta tags but now all of them do all 100 of them okay i learned book formatting as well and what i mean by this is like there's h1 tag h2h h2 tag in an h3 tag i didn't know what the difference was so i learned that h1 is like the title h2 is the subheading and h3 is the subheading of the subheading right so it would be like this chapter is about um live streaming um that was the h1 tag h2 tech would be like how to live stream and then the h3 tag would be um use twitch so yeah and then i learned that the um h tags are used to create the table of contents so yeah that was interesting okay the next thing i learned about is hiring um so i'm not going to go into too much detail about this either because i'm going to do an episode on it but i hired a bunch of people to um to become an affiliate to help me sell the book and this helped me learn like what a nice resume looks like what uh all the formats and everything and i paid attention to what resumes caught my eye and so that way i could take what i learned from those people and use it on my own resume and then i learned about job descriptions and i learned um what really needs to be said in a job description to get people to understand what the job is because i had two different job descriptions i had i think i did commission sales associate and i did commission marketing associate and the only difference was i changed the job description and i still got like the same questions so i had the next job i'm not gonna do another job description but um like if i ever wanted to hire someone again i know what words i would need to use to stop people from asking me the same question so yes um yeah um i learned many famous authors have uh substance abuse issues so like hemingway um what's the other guy the one who wrote the gatsby um bukowski they all have like problems with alcohol um i just happen to learn that because i was trying to um when the book was done i tried to like figure out how i can level up my my my writing for the next thing i'm gonna do so um i ended up like looking at their history and what they do what they did and it turns out like all of them um they talked about alcohol like in their wikipedia postings so i thought that was interesting for the most part i don't know um i learned about automation so um i'm really bad at like automating things and i like to do things myself and um i learned just to automate and that would help me focus on things so like one example would be the tools um because i used grammarly and hemingway i didn't have to you know like go line by line and wonder if my sentences were wrong or the way i phrased something was wrong because i had grammarly and uh hemingway that would automatically tell me automatically that my sentence was wrong another thing i learned to automate is the sales process so with hiring um i was automating the sales because someone else would be doing that work for me instead of me having to go door-to-door on the internet and get each person to buy the book so yeah i did that with sales and then seo uh i'm doing a lot of seo to raise my search ranking um my rank in the search results and so that way that would automate the traffic to the podcast website and the blog and hopefully that would lead to more people finding the book and buying the book so yeah i learned automation um yeah the next thing i learned is that the amount of sales you get is directly linked to the size of your audience so if you have a small audience you're going to get a small size small amount of sales and so what i mean by this is usually a small percentage is going to buy a book or any product that you have so let's say you have a hundred um you have an audience of 100 right um you would be very lucky if five people bought that book because it bought that product because it's five percent that's huge that's a huge conversion rate so yeah it yeah so if you have 50 people in your audience expect one person to buy it so yeah the smaller your audience the s the less amount of sale the fewer amount of sales that you will be getting just saying um i learned that writing a book is not about book sales and what i mean by this is when you write a book that creates opportunities um that will lead to more money so when you write a book people will ask you to come speak at their conference or to their employees or whatever and they pay you half a million dollars and that's to give a speech to a thousand people so you have a big publisher right you make one to two dollars per book and you're getting paid half a million dollars to come speak um like summarize your book to that a thousand people so if those people bought your book you'd be making at most five dollars so five thousand dollars now they're paying this company is gonna pay you um a hundred times that to go speak to their employees about the book that's where the money's coming in for someone who published a book and you might do that maybe five times so that means you're making 2.5 million dollars off your five speeches about the book right so um yeah for some people books are about opportunities and not book sales okay um i learned about email marketing of course because shaw helped me with that and so i learned how to optimize a blog for email subscribers so like there's doing pop-ups there's having a tab where people can subscribe to the email list and things like that oh and making sure people reading the article can subscribe in the middle of the article things like that um finish promoting before launching so yeah this is one thing i did not do but i will do next time so i had 20 25 chapters let's just say that and i already wrote two of them before i decided to write the book and then i went off and i just started writing writing writing writing writing and then i realized that these blog posts could become a book i could stitch them all together and they could put they could become a book and so i then announced the book and then um after that i just kept releasing blog posts and i didn't really time it out so what happened was i had blog posts left over in my drafts page that i hadn't released before the book was released and something happened one of those blog posts blew up on the internet they got a lot of traffic for me and um email subscribers and i keep thinking what if i had released this blog post before um the book those were people that i could have launched the book to and increase my audience size and got more people to buy the book because not one of those subscribers has bought the book and i also keep thinking what if one of the three three four other blog posts that are in my drafts um also blew up on the internet and gotten me subscribers those are more people so i'm leaving out people that i could have launched to simply by waiting to launch the book so my my lesson that i learned here is finish promoting then launch right um and this is related in a way don't announce so soon so like the book was written i knew the book was coming out i didn't need to tell people in april that i was writing a book so um the reason why i should have waited and announced later is because you don't want to annoy people you don't want to annoy people with the with you talking about your product so much so i announced it in april and the release date was july so i had may june and july talking about the book and um i may have run out of things to talk about but if i had just announced it at the end of june and said it's one month i'm launching in a month um that would give me i wouldn't i would definitely have not run out of things to talk about not that i did but it would be okay for me to tweet every day about the launch and um that would the launch would stay fresh in people's minds by seeing it and maybe i would get more pre-orders for the book yeah so that was a lost opportunity the final thing i learned is that gum road is slow with their in beds so um it would take me like it would take the page on the blog to load like maybe 10 seconds which is very slow considering that with my code my personal code the code on the um the blog not the blog website the podcast website it loads in less than a second so i looked into it and i saw why it was taking so long because it adds everything to the embed it'll add stripe which they use to take payments it adds every um discount code that i used to the code um it adds stuff from facebook and from google yeah every discount code this is so ridiculous even discount codes that were used like when i gave a discount code to a single person and they had used it that was still in the code it's ridiculous it's insane so yeah um gumroad is a great service um that's the only thing bad i'm gonna say about it that it was slow it's not a big deal but truly i will probably be using another service for another product um one that's faster i'm gonna have to look at the code from now on and see if it adds another layer and so when my blog when i did the embed on the blog um it had so many layers and that's why it was even slower than on my the podcast website so it had everything from ghost everything from firebase um everything from um from pork bun so and then on top of that was gum road yeah so it had three or four things loading and that's why it was so slow the reason why i was faster for my podcast website was because it just had things from firebase and pork bun and gumroad so it had three things first five things which is what the podcast website not the the blog has okay thank you for listening if you have any questions you can email me remember there's the open podcast community podcast so if you want to record an episode without the hassle of podcasting to get the experience contact me uh on twitter at supremeham same thing on telegram supremeromeham gmail.com and i'm looking for writers to write about their podcasts and experience for the open podcast blog so if you're interested contact me for that as well thank you for listening have a nice day bye