What Is The Common Book Publishing Process?

Guest Post by Kim Porter 

The book publishing process is quite simple, but it can be over complicated at times for first time authors. Publishing a book is something millions of people around the globe are doing. Whether you want to share your knowledge or simply create new fiction stories people need to know, publishing your first book does not have to be difficult. In this article, you will discover the simple book publishing process, and how you can start getting your book out there in bookstores and making money.

What is the book publishing process?

- Creating the Manuscript

This is the very first step of being able to make your book get the attention it needs. You first have to actually create a manuscript in order to finally get the attention of a book publishing company. Usually, the manuscript is the most vital aspect to help an author get their book published, so a nicely created manuscript is very important. Making a manuscript is easy to do and does not require too much difficulty once you have your book outline finally made.

- Literary Agent

You then want to find a literary agent who can help present your manuscript to publishing companies. You can always be able to find your book gaining a bigger chance of a publishing company looking at your book this way. An agent can help showcase your book in a professional manner. If you are not able to properly promote your book to a publishing company, they will reject your idea. An agent can also help you manage your manuscript properly. Literary agents are important to consider since they are very valuable and can showcase everything you would want to experience. Your agent may get in touch with Dorrance Publishing or another publishing company. They will help you out regarding this part of the book publishing process.

One of the main reasons writers should get a literary agent is the fact that they can successfully showcase your book to the right publishing companies who will actually look into publishing your book. Certain publishers only accept books and manuscripts from a certain brand. A literary agent can be just what you need to look into. There are also publishers for first time authors, and your literary agent can help you get in contact with these people specifically.

- Building the book

Making the book is then the next step. It is not uncommon for an author to struggle when it comes down to making that book within a short period of time. This is why writing the book while your agent tries to find a publisher is a good idea. This is the way to ensure that your vision is made and properly given enough time to have a few edits in the future.

- Proper Editing

The editing of the book is then taken care of during this time after your book is completed. Usually, the writers and editors will help go through the entire book to find any typos and other grammatical errors that need to be fixed. Proper editing is so vital for you to consider thinking about. It is during this time where you will find out how your book has been made. It is going to be really exciting when you get the chance to finally get proper editing done completely.

- Printing and Ordering

After all of that is completed, you will find that the publishing company will work hard on printing a certain amount of copies to go out to the bookstores all across the world. It can take several months, and even up to a year to finally reach this level of success online. Printing and ordering is really easy to do, and it can be quite fun once your entire book is written completely.

The book publishing process is not all that hard to consider. It is truly one of the best feelings once your entire book is given away to bookstores. It can really take longer than a year depending on how your literary agent finds that perfect agent specifically for your book, and how long they decide to edit and print it all out. Publishing a book is not that difficult, but it can be done with no problem as long as you are a hard worker.

Learn more about the book publishing process by visiting

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Image copyright 2013 Karen Cioffi


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Selling eProducts Through PayPal and Common Courtesy

Okay, this is kind of a rant on a couple of issues.

I sell e-products on my website via PayPal, as part of my online marketing strategy. While this is a convenient and normally great selling method, once in a while there’s a problem. This, I guess, is the way with ecommerce.

The Cause of the Problem

PayPal, for whatever reason they deem necessary, makes it very unclear as to how to download your purchase once you’ve bought it.

This in no way is the consumer's fault. PayPal just uses a confusing way to provide the ‘instant’ downloadable link to the product you bought.

Once you pay for the product, you’re brought to a PayPal page that shows this:
“[Name of buyer], you just completed your payment.”
It gives the transaction number and notes that they’ll send you a receipt via email.
Under this you’re given three links:

Return to [the seller’s email address]
Go to PayPal account overview
Add funds from your bank

NO WHERE does it say: Click Here to Get Your Product, or other clear call-to-action.

The buyer must automatically know that one of these three links is the product download button.

Just so you know, it’s the first link – the link to “Return to [the seller’s email address].

How is anyone to know that’s the link to get the purchased product?

Because of this confusing process, I’ve had a couple of people who have filed a dispute against me with PayPal over the years. While they have been quickly resolved, it’s annoying and time consuming for me, the seller, and for the buyer.

Fortunately, I was able to get online and check my email to find the problems. BUT, when super storm Sandy hit, I was without electricity for almost two weeks. And, I couldn't drive anywhere for internet access.

What happens then? What happens if you have a problem with your internet service or electricity? Or, if your computer crashes.

PayPal needs to develop an easier method for buyers to be able to quickly find the download button.

People get upset when they can’t immediately get their purchases!

This leads me to the second rant.

When Purchasing Online, Please Use Common Courtesy

My most recent mishap with a PayPal purchase just happened. I promoted a product related to the content in my newsletter, The Writing World. Happily, subscribers found the product to be helpful and I got a number of purchases.

This is GREAT and I appreciate every sale, but . . .

One buyer, after 'not being a mind-reader’ and realizing she needed to click on my email address to get the ebook, filed a dispute with PayPal.

Now, I can understand the frustration in buying a product, even at $7, and wanting it immediately. However, I buy e-products online also and my first course of action if there’s a problem with the download is to contact the seller, not file a dispute or complaint.

To add to this, the people buying were buying from a promo in my newsletter. These are people I send useful writing and marketing information emails to regularly and offer free webinars to.

This is where common courtesy comes into play. The buyer who couldn’t get the product not only filed a dispute with PayPal, but also sent me this email:

Hello Karen,

As you can see by the receipt below, I paid the $7 for the eBook "Editing Books Like A Pro" , however, I have NOT YET received the instantaneous download as promised. Please send immediately!

Thank you,


I, of course, immediately sent an email apologizing for the inconvenience and attached the ebook.

Then I had to go to my PayPal account and let them know I took care of the matter.

Then, annoyed over the matter, I created a test .49 cent product, uploaded it to PayPal, put it on my site, and bought it through my husband’s account, just to test the buying process.

I have to say the PayPal 'download process' is sorely lacking.

After that, I wrote this post.

So, thanks to PayPal, for a $7 product I wasted well over an hour and a half.

What's to Come

I'm sure I'm not the only PayPal merchant this occasionally happens to. PayPal is making enough money from its merchants; they should make the buying process much easier and clear.

Aside from this MAJOR problem, I'll still use PayPal, at least for the time being.


Want to learn how to sell products and services through PayPal, right from your own site? Then you need Create and Build an Author/Writer Online Platform - Website Creation to Beyond Book Sales. One of the Lessons covers using PayPal to sell your products.

For more all the details, CLICK HERE!


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Profitable Content Marketing - How to Use What You Already Know for More Prospects and Profits

By Jeff Herring

Content Marketing and Content Creation can be leveraged into a constant flow of prospects and profits. It's still the best way to build and online business from scratch and create all the prospects and profits you want.

And you do want more prospects and profits, right?

So Why Content?

The internet runs on content. Text is content. Audio is spoken content. Video is spoken and viewed content. Social media is content in small chunks. The internet runs on content, and always will. No matter all the people who would like to fool you into believing otherwise, so they can sell you their latest "here-today-gone-tomorrow" flavor of the month.

Content Creation
I'm going to make this really very easy for you. Pick a specific topic in your niche. The more specific the better. Come up with either 3 mistakes to avoid or 3 tips to do. Based on your content, create a compelling title to pull in your prospects. Then craft a call to action that shows your prospect exactly what to do next and what's in it for them.

While the above is a bit simplified, that's basically it. I could complicate it for you, but why?

Content Marketing

Now that you've created your content, what in the world do you do with it?

Get your content in front of as many hungry eyes as possible. Hungry eyes that want what you are offering. This is called smart marketing.

Article Directories - There are these great web sites called Article Directories that will host your article and include a link back to one of your sites at the end of the article, just like as the end of this one.

Your Blog - I recommend not putting your entire article or piece of content on your blog all at once. Break your content up into a blog post series. If you are offering 3 tips, make it a 3 post blog series.

Social Media - At the time of this writing, here's a brief glance at the amount of traffic Social Media is pulling in: Facebook is the #2 most trafficked website, YouTube is #3, Twitter is #9, and LinkedIn is #12. Why wouldn't you want to get your content onto these top ranked sites?

TeleSeminars and Webinars - Repurpose your content into online events like teleseminars and webinars. The strongly builds your online presence and increases the trust your prospects have in you.

Brought to you by Jeff Herring, The King of Content Marketing...
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Copy Editing - Line Editing - Substantive Editing

If you’re an author or freelance writer, you will occasionally need the services of a professional editor. When this occurs, it’ll be a good idea to know what types of editing your manuscript or article may need.

Below are three types of editing. Hopefully, the descriptions will give you an idea of the differences between the three.

Copy Editing

This is the bare-bottom basic of mechanical editing. It covers:

•    Spelling (includes checking for homonyms)
•    Punctuation (periods, commas, semicolons, dashes, etc.)
•    Typos
•    Grammar (verb tense, numerals, etc.)

A homonym is a word that sounds just like another word, but has a different spelling and meaning. (e.g., hear/here/hair; it’s/its, to/too/two). These are words that spell-check won’t usually pick up.

Line Editing

This is the mechanical aspect of editing. Line editing includes checking for:

•    Copy Editing
•    Run-on sentences
•    Sentence clarity
•    Overuse of adverbs and adjective
•    Words used to begin sentences and paragraphs
•    And, more 

 It also checks for certain inconsistencies, such as:

•    Are the chapter titles all written the same?
•    Are names, such as countries and states, treated the same?

The manuscript is checked line-by-line. This is one of the most common editing requests.

Substantive Editing

According to the CMS [Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, 2.46]:

"Substantive editing deals with the organization and presentation of content. It involves rewriting to improve style or eliminate ambiguity, reorganizing or tightening, recasting tables, and other remedial activities. (It should not be confused with developmental editing, a more drastic process; see 2.45.)”

This form of editing is in-depth. This is where the entire story is checked, line-by-line. It includes:

•    Line Editing
•    Rephrasing/rewriting sentences
•    Rephrasing/rewriting paragraphs
•    Checking for tight writing
•    Check POV (point of view)
•    Checking plot credibility
•    Advising if particular content (sentence/paragraph/story) is appropriate for children
•    Checking for clarity
•    Checking for readability
•    And much more

Substantive editing is time consuming and if this is what you need, keep in mind it can take up to four weeks for an editor to thoroughly go through your manuscript.

NOTE: It often happens that the author doesn’t realize the needs of her/his manuscript. If you start with line editing, your editor should let you know if it’d be a good idea to ‘take it up a notch.’ Obviously, it’s the author’s choice though.

What’s the point of paying for line editing if the story’s structure needs an overall.

Image copyrighted 2013 Karen Cioffi



Karen Cioffi Editing Services

Have a project you need help with? Let me take a look at it

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Bluehost Website Hosting Prices You Don’t Want to Miss

Everyone who wants to sell a service or product or who simply wants a place to voice their thoughts and opinions needs a website. This includes authors, writers, and marketers.

While websites come from a number of sources, free and paid for, it’s the ones with paid hosting that offers the greatest support and freedom.

I use Bluehost for all my website hosting needs and I appreciate their service so much, I’m an affiliate for them.

And, currently, it's only $3.49 a month for 36 months.

This is an amazing offer.

So, if you’ve been procrastinating about signing up with a hosting service, or if you’re new to writing and marketing arena, you should absolutely take advantage of this special pricing.

If you’re not sure what the difference is between free hosting and paid hosting, let me explain.

Free hosting comes from services like and The do provide some useful features, but they are lacking compared to paid services, like Bluehost.

For example, with Blogger you don’t have the ability to optimize your images and you’re limited to 10 pages per site. When it comes to SEO, this is a big deal.

With Weebly, you are only allowed up to six pages per site.

With Bluehost, you can create as many pages as you want on your site. And, there are unlimited domains on ONE account. This means if you sign-up with Bluehost, you can create as many websites (with different domain names) as you like. I currently have about 10 sites.

In addition, freeservices don’t have support if something goes wrong with your site, or if they do, it’s a pain-in-the-neck: difficult to find, difficult to navigate and difficult to get prompt answers.

One of the other BIG differences is Google loves WordPress and most free sites don't support it. This will affect your SEO efforts.

This folks, is a no-brainer. If you need a website this is the time to get it. If you choose the 36 month plan, you pay only $3.95 $3.49 per month!


And, to make this special offer even better, if you order through me, I’ll include my Create Your Author-Writer Online Platform eCourse.. You can check it out at: (scroll down to the Options section).

Just send me your receipt. I’ll verify it with Bluehost and then send you your bonus ecourse!



5 Reasons Why You Should Use Content Curation as Part of Your Blogging Strategy

Just a note on something I'd like to share before I begin: I used to check this post. As a writer I want to put my best foot forward, Grammarly helps me do that while saving me time!

Okay, on to the article.

Content curation has been around for a while, but many bloggers don’t realize the advantages or benefits it offers.

This form of marketing comes in various forms throughout the internet. Of those variations there is one common thread: Content curation is related to article marketing, or more specifically to content marketing. You can think of it as one of the strategies under the content marketing umbrella, the same as content aggregation.

If you’re wondering whether content aggregation and content curation are the same, they’re not. A Forbes article by Susan Gunelius explains that the primary difference between the two is that content curation offers “the human element.”

What does this mean?

Well, content aggregation is simply finding and linking to hot topics, trends, and other news or information worthy content from your site. Some sites use all sorts of topics and others use content that is focused on their platform.

Content curation on the other hand offers more. While linking to the information source, those using this strategy add their own spin on the information, or enhance it with personal experience or additional information on the topic.

The information used for content curation is targeted and so is the audience it’s prepared for. As an example, if you have a health site on alternative medicine and alternative health options you would search for and use information/content on that topic or niche. You obviously wouldn’t use sports content on your site. It’s treated as any other niche marketing strategy – it must be focused to your platform or brand.

By taking advantage of content curation, you offer a broader view and understanding of a particular topic by providing your own input and that of the source content.

Now on to the five reasons you should use this blogging strategy.

5 Benefits to Content Curation that will Boost Your Blogging Efforts

1. Simply put and most importantly, it brings your readers more ‘bang’ for their stop at your site. Rather than offering a single view of a topic, or one site’s experience, you offer your reader the world and a broader information experience.

The reader will appreciate having more information to work with and this will motivate him to appreciate and trust you. That’s the beginning of a great relationship.

2. It’s a source of ideas for your blogging. Find current trends, hot topics, and new information in your niche. The content is already there, you simply add your spin on it in a paragraph or two and voila, you have new a new post.

3. It’s a time saver. Using tools like Google Alerts, you can quickly find relevant information to blog about. And, like ‘number two’ above, it’s ready made content you simply add to.

4. It can support or enhance your own blog posts, adding more value. Even if you write effective and engaging articles, the reader will find it helpful if you supplement it with additional information.

5. Linking to quality sites is an effective search engine strategy. When you link to a site that ranks high with Google, you’re noticed. It can help bring more traffic to your site and help convert visitors into subscribers. And, that’s what online marketing is all about, the ‘golden’ list.

Content curation will boost your blogging efforts. You don’t have to use it for every post, but you can switch it up a bit and offer your reader something extra.

So, why not give it a try and add it to your existing content marketing strategies. Check it out in action here:
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I hope you found this information interesting and helpful. Too advanced, not enough, just right? I’d really love to know, so please leave a comment – good or bad.


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Book Reviews Are a Doubled-Edged Sword

By Judy Weir

Authors seek reviews of their novel with the intention of:

1. assisting readers to make informed choices about their reading selections
2. increasing their visibility in the book market
3. increasing their book sales record
4. establishing their reputation as an accomplished writer
5. improving their writing skills

Book reviews are a double-edged sword. On one side of this marketing sword, the strong positive reviews may help catapult their novel to top of the book sale charts. However, on the other side of that sword is a sharp blade that can cut deep into the author's reputation and morale, sending their novel to the basement in Amazon ratings.

Type of Reviewers:

I've found there are two basic types of reviews. One type is primarily objective. It's based on the construction of the story, assessment of the writer's talent in developing characters and plot, theme, flow, dialogue, accuracy of details, completeness of the editing. It is an objective critique of how well the story was written. These reviewers will provide more information related to cause and effect. For example: "The point of view shifted quickly between three characters making it difficult to follow the action." This type of review is generally provided by a professional who is trained and experienced in writing.

I've received dozens of reviews, most of which are very positive. Any worthy negative comments are from professional reviewers I respected. Their feedback provided insights on how I can improve my writing. As a result, I benefit from their expertise.

The second type of review is primarily subjective. The reviewer provides an assessment on how they reacted to the story, how much they liked or didn't like the characters, plot, climax, and sometimes the ending. Their report is based primarily on their feelings, rather than on the construction of the story. These reviewers may be someone who regularly reviews books for authors, or a customer who read the book and has no reviewer reporting experience.

Both review types serve a purpose. The objective review will point toward the author's writing talent; the subjective will focus on the reader's enjoyment of the story. A story can be well written but may appeal to only certain type of reader, or may be loved by a wide range of people. However, a novel that is poorly constructed will likely fail to impress any reader, regardless of the genre.

Let's look at the world of reviewers. An author will have to do research to find the kind of reviewer that will suit his/her novel. Research will include looking for reviewers who specialize in a particular genre. It is important to read the reviewer's previous reviews to determine if their focus is on an author's writing knowledge and skill, or if they focus on how exciting the characters and plot are. Many receive more requests for reviews than they are able to accept.

There is no standard on how a review should be written. Reviewers are not paid for their assessment and posted reviews. This reduces the chance of a person being paid to fabricate a positive review.

Anyone can to claim to be an authority on how a novel should be constructed. Some reviewers have built a reputation for being the 'go to' people for honest, unbiased, and professional reviews. Others are new to the industry, but show great enthusiasm of becoming the authority on what books you should consider buying.

One of the challenges in being an author is that many times, if not most of the time, you do not get to choose who posts a subjective review of your book. Anyone who reads it can post a review, which is wonderful. The problem is that a subjective review can be misleading, and sometimes malicious.

Writing a review is challenging. The reviewer wants to report their findings/issues/feelings without disclosing key elements of the story. Unfortunately, there are occasions when subjective reviewers post details about the story's plot, all the twists, and even reveal the ending. This is unprofessional and disrespectful to the author.

If you're hunting for reviewers, select ones who:

• exhibit knowledge of writing standards
• able to articulate their observations clearly in their written reviews
• have high standard of professional ethics
• offers constructive criticism which is respectful of the author
• identifies strengths, what was enjoyable, unique

I believe a subjective review is secondary to the assessment of the (a) writer's talent in development of characters, (b) brilliant construction and execution of the plot to its conclusion; (c) depth of scenes and dialogue, and (d) if the editing was thorough.

Subjective reviews are very personal. Every author loves to hear from a reader, especially if the reader loved their book. For the readers who are less enthusiastic, authors welcome those comments as well - so long as the communication is respectful. If an unsatisfied reader comments, it is beneficial to explain why their feedback is negative (not their kind of book, didn't like the characters, too little action, etc.).

How much emphasis should there be on reviews and ratings? From what I'm learning, readers more often select their reading material from a variety of sources. Reviews, it appears, is a relatively minor source compared to the book's synopsis. Some readers have reported they don't trust the reviews and ratings, especially the ones reporting a 5/5. They suspect friends and family might have been the source of those ratings.

If the synopsis appeals to them, they often read a few randomly selected pages. In short, readers will wisely do their own review.

The book publishing industry is being challenged by new technology. Now anyone who has written a manuscript can self-publish with greater ease than before. It may be a masterpiece, or the author may have poor writing skills and skipped the editing. Note: many self-published authors write first class books. Whether a book is published through traditional or other avenues, the book industry and authors need be conscious of risks to writing standards. Reviewers play an important role to maintain (or improve) the quality of books available.

Thank you to all the reviewers who burn the midnight oil reading, care about the world of the written word, and honor authors with your time and wisdom.

About the Author

Feather Stone (Judy Weir) is the author of The Guardian's Wildchild, published in 2011 by Omnific Publishing. Over a course of ten years, the manuscript underwent several rewrites until Feather was certain that the reader would not just enjoy the read, but also experience the love and hatred, fear and anticipation as though it was real. Read more about The Guardian's Wildchild at:

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Copywriting - Choose Your Niche Carefully

Jack-of-all-trades…and master of none

By Will Newman

Imagine you're standing on a road that branches in many directions. Even though you're not sure which direction to take, you certainly wouldn't choose to take all directions.

Doing that gets you nowhere.

But I see many beginning copywriters taking the same approach when it comes to picking a niche to work in.

A niche is a specialized area such as financial, alternative health, or the like. There are hundreds of niches in today's copywriting world. So beginning copywriters feel they can write for many of them and increase their chances of succeeding.

"More is better," their thinking goes. "If I want to be successful in copywriting, I should write for as many niches as possible."

It simply doesn't work that way …

This approach just isn't the most effective one for building true, lasting success. Here's why …

Let's say you seriously injured your ankle. Who would you call? Dr. Smith, General Practitioner? Or … Dr. Jones who specializes in injuries to the lower leg, knee, and ankle?

I know who I'd choose. The doctor who's spent time and effort specializing.

It's the same with copywriting. Clients aren't looking for good generalists. They want to hire someone who knows their business. If they sell educational products, they want someone who understands that market. They want someone who knows what motivates those prospects. What benefits are most compelling.

Makes sense, doesn't it?

Don't waste your precious time …

Specializing will build your career much faster than taking on all comers.

It's tempting to start out trying to write for as many different niches as you can. But learn from my personal experience.

I began my copywriting career by apprenticing myself to a well-known copywriter whose focus was financial. As a result, I wrote a lot of financial copy for him.

But, at the same time, I also wrote copy for a lot of other clients in other niches. I took the "more is better" approach. And my copy showed it. By trying to succeed in too many niches, I didn't do very well in any of them.

I did a great deal of introspection during this period in my career. Even to the point of thinking I should give up. But that soul searching had a very positive outcome. I realized I didn't have any passion for writing financial copy and decided to only write about things I truly cared about.

Figuring out what that was wasn't difficult. All my return clients were in the three niches I enjoyed writing the most: health, educational products, and fundraising. So that's where I ended up.

I wasted a lot of time by not taking the advice I began hearing early in my career.


What niche should you choose?

You've probably heard the advice to "write what you know." Take a similar approach in choosing a niche. But it's not so much 'what you know' that's important. We all have areas of experience and knowledge that don't excite us. Instead, when choosing a niche, write about what you enjoy doing.

You don't necessarily need to know a lot about the details of the area. You can learn along the way. But if your love and excitement isn't in that niche, you'll be writing mediocre copy.

Let's say you take natural supplements and feel they've made a difference in your life. But you don't know a whole lot about antioxidants or free radicals.

That's not a problem. Since you have belief and passion firmly planted in natural health, you'll learn the details. And you'll love doing it. When you write alternative health copy, you won't be selling something. You'll be educating a friend, helping to improve her life.

Finding Those Specialty Areas

How do I suggest you find your best-fit niches? Make a list of everything in your life you love to do, to hear about, to learn about. Do not censor the list in any way. Everything that meets the "excitement requirement" goes on the list.

Keep this list available for several days. Ideas may pop into your head at odd times. Just because something didn't come to mind immediately, doesn't mean you wouldn't love to write about it.

For example, alternative health might head the list. But two days after starting it, you're drinking coffee with friends and the reality strikes you. "I'd love to write about coffee!"

Once you have that list pretty well filled (10 or 15 items), pare it down. Pick three areas that excite you most. Don't worry about whether they're in the top moneymaking niches or not. Be honest with yourself. Would you have fun writing about these things? This is where you want to specialize.

So, should you stop at just one niche? Not necessarily. My feeling is "specializing" means finding three niches at most … three that you're really excited about writing for.

Find the excitement. And the paydays will follow.

I'd love to hear from you. Have you chosen a couple or three niches yet? How did you make the decision? Are you having trouble making the decision? Let me know. Write me at:

Next week, we'll chat about how to become a top copywriter in the hottest — and most exciting — niche in copywriting right now.

Until then, keep writing!

Yours for a successful copywriting career,
Will Newman

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit</

Image above is copyrighted 2013 Karen Cioffi


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The Computer and Data Storage – From Speed to Hard Drive to the Cloud

Whether you’re a freelance writer, an author, an online marketer, or other, you need a computer. And, you need a place to store your files, pictures, videos, applications, and so on.

In the 90s, the computer was all about speed. You wanted enough MHz to do what you wanted or needed to in as short a time as possible. If you can remember the old dial-up internet access you can understand what I’m talking about. And, then you had to hope that all the lines weren’t being used or you’d have to look for another phone number to use for access.

In a blog post, Matt Cutts pointed out that speed got fast enough in the late 90s, and the focus then changed. Since speed was captured, next up was the size of your “Intel or AMD chip.” The size or capacity, which is actually a better word to use, determined how much data you could store on your hard drive. The more space the better.

I remember upgrading to a new computer each time the memory capacity of my old computer was at its limit. I needed more and more space. Of course, now and then came the harrowing crash or unexplained lost files that would put me in tears. That’s when the use of the personal zip drives grew. There were many sighs of relief.

Those who were smart backed up their new data every night, but unfortunately, even zip drives can crash. More tears.

Then, somewhere around 2010, the cloud and network storage for personal use came along. Computer capacity could no longer meet the demands of data. People needed something bigger and better and safer, and companies met the need.

Today, most people use a service like Google docs or Dropbox to save and access their data. And, they can do this from different locations and on multiple devices, making it very convenient.

I use Dropbox and absolutely love it.

The one drawback I’ve found when working directly from a storage network is if you come across a problem, the data is lost forever. An example of this is when the delete button on my laptop got stuck. YES, it was stuck and I couldn’t stop it. I watched as each character, sentence then paragraph I was working on disappeared. I frantically hit the Esc key. I tried Ctrl-Alt-Del. Nothing worked. Finally, the entire document was gone.

If I was working from my hard drive or a zip drive I could have restored the document from my storage network, but that wasn’t the case; I was working directly from Dropbox.

If I had thought fast enough, I could have closed the document after it disappeared, without saving it, but panic set in and I didn’t think. So, puff, it was gone. This happened to me twice. I have since removed the top part of the delete key and it hasn’t gotten stuck since (fingers crossed). It doesn’t look too good, but it works.

Interesting, the experience hasn’t stopped me from loving Dropbox. I just try to be more careful now and try not to panic when something goes wrong. And, as an extra safety net, I also have a Carbonite backup plan. I also occasionally backup my files to a zip drive.

Paranoid? Maybe. But hey, better safe than sorry.

What data storage and backup strategies do you use?

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Marketing for Other Companies on Your Website

Guest post by Anny Solway

Some people put up blog sites to market their own products or themselves and others put up blog sites to market other people’s products. The latter can be done using a traditional advertising model, where you simply sell advertising space or it can be done through affiliate marketing or even other arrangements. If you’re going to market other companies or products, here are some things you have to do.

Understand Banner Ads

Banner ads and other types of directly-purchased advertising that’s placed on websites has to be placed in good locations and be eye catching. Some WordPress themes come with features that make it very easy to place advertisements on pages and these are better solutions than actually trying to place ads manually on your own.

It’s a good idea to make sure that your advertisers don’t expect you to create the ads for them unless this is something you’re set up to do. If you’re not a graphic designer, you’re not set up to do it. You’ll have to give them ad size specifications and you can price your ads based on the size, how much they run and where they appear on the page.

Your Obligations

You have to have a viable venue for your advertisers to get their products seen in before anyone’s going to want to buy space from you. Many online marketers are going to use PageRank as a way to determine whether or not your site is viable at all. It might not be worth it to start trying to sell ads until you have at least a 3 for a PageRank score. The higher your PageRank goes, however, the more you can charge for advertisements.

Advertorial Content

Advertorial content is content that you generate that’s designed to pitch a product but that also has some use to it. In this regard, it’s very similar to most SEO writing, but it tends to be a bit more direct about the fact that it is pitching a product that readers can buy. You might want to add this service to your advertising options or, if you’re comfortable with it, charge advertisers to run their own content on your site. Make sure the content that they want to run is up to the standards of your site, however, as some advertisers will try to run awful content if you don’t make it clear that there are standards they have to meet.

About author
Anny Solway is a dedicated writer at ThemeFuse. She likes to discover new ideas about internet marketing, social media and blogging.


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Is Blogging Worth the Time and Effort?

The writer and marketer must do lots and lots of things to keep their head above the marketing waters. And, those marketing waters are constantly moving. How do you keep up? And, what are the most effective marketing strategies to use?

Since the game is always changing, it’s important to keep up with marketing trends. One useful tool for this is Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report.

According to their new report, which is based on “over 6,000 influencers, 1,200 consumers, and 150 top brand marketers,” blogs are now heavy hitters with consumers. Blogs are regarded as trustworthy, they are popular, and they wield influence over consumer buying decision making.

So, to answer the title question, yes it is.

To further validate the importance of blogs, the report shows that blogs have more motivational buying power than Facebook (FB). That’s pretty amazing since FB is the top social network brands use to create visibility and develop relationships with consumers. In other words, brands use FB more than other social networks and they put more budget dollars into it than other social networks.

Reviewing the Technorati Report, Social Media Examiner explained that the reason blogs are so influential is because “bloggers tend to be very honest and sincere in their reviews of products and services. They talk about both negative and positive aspects of a brand, and in doing so become a trusted source of information. Trust drives action, and thus consumers look to bloggers before they buy.”

The study also showed that FB cornered 91 percent of brand presence, while Twitter cornered 85 percent.

Another important finding of this study is that over 50 percent of consumers feel that smaller communities offer more influence. Even new sites were trusted over social networks.

From this study it would seem that people like connecting with other people, not crowds. They like the personal relationship, the kind of one-on-one relationship that social networks don’t necessarily offer.

While the study focused on brand marketers, the results are applicable to your author or freelance writing site. Knowing that people in general trust blogs and look to them for information along with help and guidance to make purchasing decisions is powerful.

It’s understandable that this information may not be interesting to most. You may not care about knowing which social network is more popular with the heavy hitters or the percentage of marketing budget dollars brands spend on social networking. But, having proof that you’re not blogging in vein should put a smile on your face.

Take advantage of this knowledge. Blogs matter. They’re important and can be influential. Keep blogging!



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Social Media Marketing - Businesses Using Twitter Should Act (and Tweet) Like People

Guest post by Emma-Julie

Twitter is one of the top 2 social networking sites in the world and, according to this statistic, as of May 2013 there were over 550 million registered Twitter accounts. Although many of those are not active users and are merely “following” the tweets of famous celebrities, friends and brands, there are still 58 million tweets counted each day, and for each second that passes there are 9,100 tweets tweeted.

With such high numbers, businesses left and right are taking the opportunity to use Twitter as well. Here, they can accomplish so many things at once: market their goods or services, interact with loyal customers, attract new patrons, branding, and maintain a constant online presence, among others. It doesn’t take an SEO company to create a Twitter account, but having one would definitely be helpful in managing followers and tweets. All of these are excellent goals; now the question is, are businesses doing it right?

People Like to Tweet People

The environment in Twitter is very personal and intimate. Each tweet is ideally written by a person who wants to share short messages with friends and followers. Each Twitter account is associated with an individual. This is why it is often better for businesses to treat their tweets as a message from a real individual, or at least to take the tone of a real person typing genuine messages.

This accomplishes two things:

1. Followers will feel gratified that the business or brand they are following closely is taking the time to pay attention to their tweets. That often translates to better results, as far as business PR is concerned.

2. It creates a candid atmosphere and a more personal interaction between business and customers. People will feel more comfortable tagging your business or tweeting you directly.

Other than saying that as a business you ought to “speak” like an individual in Twitter, it would be difficult to tell you precisely how to tweet your messages. What works for one business may not work for every other business. For instance, while it would be easier for Starbucks to be very casual and friendly to its followers, CNN cannot really take the same tone of voice.

So, below we have the common mistakes businesses often do with their tweets. If you know what not to do, then there should be a good chance you’ll end up doing the right thing.

1.    Adding too many hashtags in one tweet. Not only are they distracting, because each hashtag breaks the flow of reading and the words are highlighted, they also run the risk of being recognized as spam.

2.    Replying fan and followers’ tweets using automated responses. Followers can tell when a reply is automated, and they are often dejected and discouraged when that happens. Take the time to compose a brief and honest reply to your followers’ tweets. They’ll be more responsive and welcoming of your future tweets if you do this.

3.    Mistakenly tweeting a wrong message. This is in conjunction with the previous item. There’s always a possibility that your tweets will get screwed up. Or, if your business has opened branches in various states or countries and you’ve made a Twitter account for each of them, you might mistakenly switch tweets—like what happened with Starbucks Ireland’s Twitter gaffe in June 2012.

Caption: Starbucks Ireland mistakenly referred to followers as British, much to the Irish’s ire.

4.     Promoting your business too much. When you speak of nothing else but how great your products or services are, you come across as promoting and sales pitching, and people in social media don’t like that.

5.    Tweeting 10 different messages or more in rapid succession. It hits too close to over-promotion because it gives the impression that an employee is tweeting messages composed ahead of time. Plus, it will flood the walls of your followers and possibly irritate them enough to stop following you.

Lastly, think about what types of tweets you yourself would want to receive from the brands and celebrities you follow. This exercise can help you develop a candid and level plane of communication between you as business entity and your customers.

About the Author:
Emma-Julie writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a Vancouver company that provides SEO services to businesses across North America. If you would like to invite the author to write on your blog too please contact


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