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Make Money Blogging - Brandon Connell
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Kindle Publishing Series Update #5


Welcome back to the Kindle Publishing Series. Tonight I am giving you a VALUABLE tool… The spreadsheet that I created to track my progress.

Why did I create this tool?

In order to keep an eye on my productivity, I felt a need to record every aspect of my book publishing numbers. This spreadsheet will record:

  • Writing hours: How much time was spent actually writing the book. This is the actual time you spend on the first draft, second draft, and any other draft.
  • Editing hours: How many hours are spend with spelling, grammar, and book formatting with the TOC and headings.
  • Graphic design hours: How long I spent designing book covers, and images used within my books, as well as marketing materials.
  • Distribution hours: This is time spent uploading files to CreateSpace, Amazon, and ACX, as well as writing descriptive copy and keywords.
  • Marketing hours: This covers how much time I actually spend promoting my books. Whether it is through my blog(s), social media, articles, guest posting, blog hopping, or whatever.
  • Sales: This is the most important number. I will track this in sales dollars, not the amount of books.
  • Word Count: This will tell me how many words I am writing. The more the merrier.
  • Total number of hours: This will reflect all of my hours on every aspect of my book production.

These numbers are tracked on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Grab the xls document by clicking here.

I recommend you also use this tool for tracking your progress, and modifying it to your needs. Be careful. It is using functions to count totals.

Now on to the good stuff…



Hello everyone,

Thank you for the incredible patience while I roll out this series. I haven’t yet published an income report because I have been developing content. I can tell you that I published audiobooks of some past titles. So far, it amounted to $200 in sales over the past 30 days. Not significant I know, but hang in there. Soon, many books will be published using Amazon KDP, CreateSpace, Audible, and iTunes. I promise I will publish detailed income reports with this series.

Anyways, let me begin by telling you about my solid creation for this series. During the plan for this series, I knew that I had to make changes to my habits. I needed to force myself to write for long stretches. With this fact, I decided to start a new niche blog and develop books that aligned with my goals.

The Result: http://www.CreateLifeSkills.com

The basics are all there. On my to-do list is finishing my free report titled “7 Steps to Personal Relationship Success”. This will be provided completely free to my newsletter subscribers on the Create Life Skills website, so head on over there and subscribe! As soon as it is ready, you will be sent a download link. About a month later, this report will also be made available as a 99 cent Amazon ebook for those of you that wish to have it stored in your Kindle provided cloud. I will also develop it as an audiobook.

After the free report version is published (within the next few days), my first book on the self-improvement niche will be published to Kindle. Shortly after, it will be made available in print and audiobook download as well. Within 2 months, I should have made significant improvements in the monthly income.

Kindle Publishing Series Update #3


Hey folks, I did not forget about you or this series. I have been steady working on my books. I got sidetracked because I am about to get a divorce, and have been depressed. I tried to fix things, but she just doesn’t love me anymore. That aside…

The novel series I am working on is almost ready. It is crunch time now and I will be diligently plugging away at it over the next couple weeks. Once you write the “draft”, it’s important to read and re-read your book multiple times to make changes. You won’t believe how many things you catch during this process.

Alright, here it is. The name of my first novel series is called “Perfect Rape”. It is a sick and twisted book about a man leading a double life as a special agent in forensics who caries on as a kidnapper, snatching women and brainwashing them into being his sex slaves. You may already think “SICK!”, but there are twists galore. I will keep you all up to date, and release some little nuggets in the meantime.

Help me build some interest by sharing this series as much as possible, and I will repay you with my unlimited gratitude and prayers.

Kindle Publishing Series Update #2


Hi everyone. When I started this series, I intended to knock out many books in a short amount of time. As any author knows, it’s never that simple – is it? Here’s what happened with me.

As you know, I am in college. I am 32 going on 33, and late last year I got my GED finally. I signed up for Colorado Technical University for a Bachelors in Information Technology with a focus on programming. I am doing the full-time thing so I have 2 simultaneous classes for a month, then one class, then two classes, and so on. Right now, those classes are algebra (my favorite), and introduction to networking. While I love the topics, these classes are pretty demanding and time-consuming. I am getting an A-average for both classes, which means I am taking them seriously and doing the work. This leaves little time for my writing projects on top of the freelance design and marketing work that I do.

All of that aside, I was 30+ pages into one of my blogging books when an idea popped into my head that I just couldn’t shake. Ever have one of those? Did you hear the story of the Twilight author who was laying in bed and couldn’t sleep because she had an idea. She had to get up and write it down. Well, it was one of those. I ended up writing 30+ pages for this new idea in under 3 days. What is it you ask? Well, it’s a fictional book. I am starting a new fictional series which I will be doing for the Kindle, but also in print. I am going to be using CreateSpace.com to distribute this book. I am also going with full distribution which means it will be made available to outside stores, libraries, etc. So not just Amazon will get it, but Barnes & Noble will have it as well. This will still work with the Kindle Publishing Series because I will be reporting that income. I am just going to add to the data, and let you know how much income I am getting from print and other ebook sales as well.

I know many of you are trying to do just the non-fiction thing, but I wanted you to see that you can come up with a great idea and write your first story as well. I am going to publish the non-fiction books during this series too. It’s just that I needed to get this idea out of my head before I could focus on that.

I will make an announcement ahead of time before this new book is published. I hope you will pick it up if the genre is within your tastes.

Kindle Publishing Series UPDATE #1


As promised in my last post, I have begun writing for the Kindle Publishing Series in order to create an income of $20,000 per month or more.

In order to reach my goals, I need to write at least 20 books over the course of the next 4 months. That amounts to 5 books per month. This is based on one of my smaller books earning over $1,000 per month in the past. Also note that I enroll my books in the Kindle Select program so that I get paid when someone with a Prime Membership borrows my book. Currently, the Kindle Select pool is sitting at $1.2 million dollars for the month of February in 2014. The amount received per book borrow depends on the total of books borrowed in the Kindle Select library. This is a huge amount of books available from thousands of different authors or “pen names”. The more books an author sells, the more they get from the total pool.

My first book is about blog marketing, but goes beyond what anyone else is doing. I should have the book ready and published by next week. I will update this series when it is published along with a link to the book because it will be published under my real name. In addition, I will add it to my list of published books that I include permanently on this blog.

Keep watching! You do not want to miss a thing…

I’m Back and Here to Stay


I have been gone for a long time now. It seems like forever since I last published an article on this blog. I have been busy with other things, but not I am back and here to stay. I cleaned up the blog a bit by eliminating irrelevant posts and projects that simply didn’t happen. Some of them had no interest, so I let them go. I also got rid of the forum awhile back. It was attracting way too much spam and not enough active users or moderators to make it worthwhile to my readers.

As for comebacks, I want this to be a great one. That’s why I am going to create a new series where the readers (YOU!) hold me accountable with results. The challenge? $20,000 per month from Amazon Kindle eBooks! We will be going from a zero count for this series. Part of the kindle publishing experience requires me to publish some of the eBooks using pen names. Because of this, I may not be disclosing nearly all of the titles I publish as a part of this challenge. I will however, let you know of the ones I publish using my own name.

One of the major reasons for using pen names is when an author publishes books in other niches that he/she is not known for. As I have posted blogging and marketing books in the past, it would be out of character for me to publish books about household organization or politics using my own name.

What I will disclose is the numbers…ALL of them. This means the amount of paid downloads, free promotion downloads, returns, EVERYTHING! I will also be keeping a close eye on my monthly income going from zero to $20k. The end result is not only the happiness that only money can provide, but also your ability to see how I reach this goal step by step. If you choose to do this challenge with me, I promise that you will also get a happy ending that won’t result in your being arrested.

The Darker Side of PLR


The main thing that holds people back is fear.  It isn’t that they do not have the ability to do something (anything IS achieveable), it is that they do not trust that they CAN do anything, and learn anything.

Many new Internet Marketers find this online world overwhelming.  They are often confused by conflicting information and lack the necessary basic understanding to take them forwards.  Not because they cannot learn, but because they have not found the right tutorial, teacher or teaching method.

One of the reasons for this is the plethora of people producing and selling products on topics they do not understand themselves.  This is the darker side of PLR.

It is too easy to buy a product that has PLR attached and take some simple steps to make it look a bit different from all the rest selling the same PLR product.  All you have to do is:

  • change the title,
  • create new cover graphics,
  • put your own name as the creator,
  • re-write the sales page.

You can then put it back on the market without ever having read it or understanding the content, and therefore not knowing if the method advocated actually works or not.  Some marketers don’t even make those basic changes before selling on.  They just buy a domain name and put the product straight back on the market.

How does any Internet Marketer tell the difference between genuine products that advocate proven methods and ones that are poorly produced and sold indiscriminately, especially when many of the testimonials are written without the writer having read or used the product either?

Many marketers create products that outline ‘proven methods of making money’ that are simply lies.  They are just ideas and the creator of the product has no proof that they work as they have never tested their theory on the open market.  They then give Private Label Rights (PLR) on their product, potentially creating a rush of buyers wanting to cash in on a pre-written document, and let other people sell it on without any verification of its feasability.  Once someone attaches an indication of potential earnings from the method to it then many buyers can be swayed into grabbing the product simply from the compelling sales page.

Of course the saving grace for all Internet Marketers is the money back guarantee offered through schemes such as Clickbank, but often once a product has been purchased this option is not taken up by the buyer, either because they don’t get round to actually looking closely at the product within the guarantee time frame, or they think it is themselves who are at fault rather than the method advocated.  This is particularly true of the new Internet Marketer who can feel quite daunted by technical wording and processes that they are unable to grasp at the beginning of their Internet Marketing career.

If you fall foul of this darker side of PLR use your right to ask for a refund before the guarantee runs out!

If you do use PLR products it is always best to assess the product thoroughly before you sell it on.  Don’t fall into the trap of selling poor quality or misleading products for the sake of saving a bit of time and getting something on the market.

In order to avoid the darker side of PLR you need to make all of your offerings stand out from the crowd.  The best way to do this is by having unique content.  Don’t throw any product you have obtained either through purchase or through a PLR membership site straight back onto the market without a serious re-write.

Look at the main thrust of the argument, the guiding theme of the product, and think about how you can present it in a different way.  Are there any glaring ommissions in the information offered?  Have you had an experience that would enahnce or illustrate the points being made?  Personal experiences are very valuable in your writing.  Your readers will see you as a real person they can identify with and will be more inclined to buy from you in the future if they think they know you.

In addition to the re-write don’t forget the other edits mentioned above – always:

  • change the graphics,
  • change the title,
  • re-write the sales page.

All of these steps will not only help the product to stand out against others that are selling the same PLR, but a good quality product will encourage your readers to come back to buy more.

And at the end of the day returning customers are your most valuable asset.  Don’t let the darker side of PLR tempt you into its shadows.

Popular Blogging Topics for 2013


I have been posting popular blogging topics for the past couple years. This would be my 3rd I believe. Maybe the 4th. Use these ideas to start a blog that gets the maximum amount of traffic.

  1. Politics – This made my number one spot for 2013 because of how heated the presidential election is this November (2012). Obama vs Romney. Normally I wouldn’t comment on political issues, but I feel the need to here. Not only because it is in fact the hottest topic to blog about now, but also because I have paid more attention this year to what’s going on. Ron Paul was my favorite because everyone else lacked the common sense that he has. I admit I made the mistake of voting for Obama last time, but now it’s about making a change and protecting important rights such as gun ownership. I was also mad that he made promises on marijuana, then broke them by going after growers. If you were to write about these kinds of things, imagine how much traffic you can conjure up. I mean, if you are an Obama supporter, you probably are angry with me right now. See? It works!
  2. Jobs – Unfortunately, not everyone is smart enough to understand that careers are no longer an option for stability. Even so, people are trying hard to get and keep jobs rather than start their own business. If you can create a blog about these issues, people will flock to them. You can monetize in many ways, including affiliate programs for digital products on finding jobs or resume services.
  3. Facts – I found an app which is really more like an ebook. It’s focus is facts. Strange and weird facts. People love to read them, and when you think of sites like lifehacker.com where they post small items, you know that a site that published small facts would likely be successful. People share them. People come back to learn more. People forget what they learned and come back to relearn it. It’s just common sense!
  4. Self-Help – The information business is very profitable. I know because a lot of my ebooks are on how to make money, marketing, etc. I teach people how to do things, and I sell lots of books. I also get good traffic on this blog providing information like this, and I get some good affiliate sales for various things. Come up with a subject in the self help arena and you can make it successful.
  5. Technical – I own a web design company, and when I used to post code examples and other technical data, I would get some excellent targeted traffic. It’s one industry that will never go flat for a blog. If you know something about computers, programming, or something else technical, write about it and I promise the traffic will come. A lot of it from Google!

That’s my top 5 on the popular blogging topics for 2013 to write about. It’s not a huge list, but seriously it shouldn’t be. You want to know what works and this is it. Going to write about one of these topics? Let me know about it with a comment below!

Wishing Everyone a Safe Halloween


I remember back when I was a kid. We would take a pillow case and scour the neighborhoods. We would walk through 2 connecting towns and cover a LOT of territory. Back then, we could go out on our own when we got a little older. Now-a-days, people can’t be trusted. Back then they couldn’t, but it was a bit safer than it is now. I would never let my kids do the things I was able to do back then.

Some safety tips…

  • Don’t assume your kids are safe because they are older. Kids can be kidnapped easily due to a lack of muscles, and a lack of common sense. They are KIDS people! Protect them!
  • Don’t let your kids just dive into the candy. Even back in my day, people put razor blades in the candy. Pay attention and be a parent to your kids. You are NOT their friend.
  • Curfews are here for a reason. Back when…we could be out until 11PM. Now I think it’s 8 in our area. Maybe sooner. The daylight is your friend.
  • Make sure your kids can be seen. Use a bright orange reflector or something and attach it to them. Make sure you walk with them to each house instead of hanging out at the end of the street and letting them go on their own hoping that they come back to you.

Stay safe!

5 Ways You Annoy Me in Social Networks


Today I log into Facebook and I am instantly hit with a stack of notifications. I scroll down and find the usual.

  • My sister’s birthday is today. I comment with a happy birthday and an elderly joke.
  • I see new comments on items I commented on, or items I liked.
  • I see people have shared some of my photos from my timeline.
  • Then I notice that TWO people tagged me in their photos.

Photo tagging has to be one of the worst Facebook features ever. I mean…it’s nice when you get tagged in a photo after you went to a party or some other event, but to get tagged in some stupid inspiration photo or an obvious advertisement just makes my blood boil. I instantly head towards the “remove tag” feature and I make sure to select the “REPORT SPAM” item at the same time. I do this in the hopes that the persons account will get restricted. It’s my way of revenge. People are always trying to take advantage of my name…my celebrity if you will. They want to get their crap on my wall in the hopes that they will get some traffic from it.

Social media is a great way to get traffic and a loyal following. You know where I stand if you have read this blog at all. It’s got a good function, but it also has an appropriate way to be used. There is a right way in social media marketing, and there is a wrong way. Unfortunately, most people use the wrong way. Let me break it down for you…

  • Tagging – This is problem in Facebook, but it’s also a problem in other social networks as well. People get annoyed by being tagged in some stupid photos that have nothing to do with them. The only reason you tagged me was to get me to comment on your stupid photo or post. Guess what kind of comment I will be leaving… Save yourself the headache.
  • Suggestions – This is a problem I have with StumbleUpon. I log in and instantly get slapped in the face with article suggestions by other members that I can care less about. Sure I took an interest in marijuana legalization, but it doesn’t mean that I want to see every single article you write about it.
  • Private Spam – Thanks for sending me a private message with your spam. It’s nice of you to make sure other people didn’t see your blatant advertisement. Now do me a favor…kiss my ass. Probably the worst thing Facebook can do to throw salt in the wound is to leave out a bulk delete feature. You can check everything and “archive” but not delete. Are they stupid? To be fair, Twitter does the same thing. I do not see how it makes sense to leave out a bulk message delete feature. Do you have ANY IDEA how many messages I receive? No wonder why I just leave most of the direct messages in my Twitter account. How’s that helping your server space clutter by the way?
  • Email Spam – This is more about how a company runs things than how users use the service. One such problem is Change.org. It’s the social media equivalent of a petition website. I signed a petition one time against SOPA when it was a big thing. A few months later, I get an email from another Change campaign talking about gun control. She claimed that if guns were made illegal, the Colorado shooting wouldn’t have happened. It pissed me off immediately. I tried hard to understand how someone can be so stupid. Yeah sure…a criminal is going to give a shit about the laws that are in place. IF everyone had a gun in that theater, I guarantee that the gunman would have been killed before the  innocent bystanders. I was also annoyed because I got SPAMMED with a cause I would never believe in. I don’t believe in getting raped by my government. I like my rights, thank you. Keep your spam and shame on the woman that abused the service to spread her stupidity.
  • Games – Fine. One of the things that made social media popular were the games that people can play for free and get hooked on. The reason why they grew so much is because of the forced feature that you can be invited to them. You can block specific apps when you get invited, but you can’t block ALL OF THEM at once. There should be a feature to block all games, or all apps in general, or specific types of apps. You shouldn’t have to manually block every single game that you get invited to. It’s annoying. I don’t want to play with you, so stop it. If you weren’t wasting your time playing those stupid games, you might have started a successful business by now.

Ok, so I packed that list with a bit of a rant, but that’s ok. Got issues with social media? Share them below so I can agree with you!