Can Amazon publishing be profitable?

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I’m setting out on another little challenge.

However, this time I’m not saying I’m going to do it in 30 days. Because, honestly, I don’t know how long it’s going to take me.

The goal is turn some Amazon Kindle books in to another $1,000 per month income stream.

I’ve got several books on Amazon Kindle right now that are mostly in the health niche that are off to a pretty good start. I’ll be posting my income report for July right around August 15th because that’s when Amazon releases my final numbers for the previous month. As of right now, it looks like I’m going to end right around $450 for the month of July but that’s just based on some preliminary estimates from Amazon.

Still $450 isn’t bad considering that in June, my first couple books netted me about $25.

My goal for this challenge is to add another $1,000 per month income stream ON TOP of that $450 per month that I’ve done with Amazon already.

The books that I’ve published so far in the health niche have been under a pen name that I use in that niche. The books that I’ll be releasing for this challenge will be under my own name.

I will be sharing details about the books and I will be leveraging my existing assets like this blog and my mailing list to get some extra eyeballs (And hopefully some reviews) on the books.

I’ve got three books in the works right now that I’m hoping to release over the next two weeks. I’ve yet to pick names for any of them.

Book 1 is all about WordPress and I will be answering all the most common questions that people have about WordPress.

Book 2 is about different traffic strategies. With this book I’m leveraging the contacts that I have online. I’ve done a series of interviews on traffic strategies and I’ll be compiling them in to a book for Kindle.

Book 3 will be about my experience trying to post books on Amazon. This is the only book I haven’t begun writing because I intend to share how the whole process went from the first two books and what I’ve learned along the way.

None of these books are published yet but the first two are already in process. The first one and the third one I’m completely writing myself. The second one will consist of a compilation of interviews from other talented traffic strategists.

I’ll post progress reports on the blog as I go, similar to how I did in the previous challenge but I won’t hold details back about titles, etc…

I’ve been studying several existing products about Kindle publishing and found that some are amazing but most are crap. More details on the ones that I really like and the ones to avoid in a future post.

Some things that I’ve learned publishing in the health niche so far…

Here are the top 10 tips that I’ve learned so far… Hopefully some golden nuggets for people just getting started.

1. If you write multiple books, put links inside each book that link to the other books. Someone buying one book may enjoy it and buy all the rest. (I’ve seen it a ton)

2. Create high quality book covers. Don’t use Amazon’s stock image or higher some crap designer on Fiverr. The book cover is the first impression.

3. Offer people a bonus from within your book. Send them to a squeeze page to get the bonus. When you build a list this way, you can promote future books and similar books to that list.

4. As you build that list, ask the subscribers to go back and leave reviews. Reviews spur sales.

5. Make the title of the book as descriptive as possible. People don’t want to guess what the books going to be about.

6. Only use high quality content. Avoid outsourced content from people that don’t speak English as a first language. Never ever EVER use PLR content. This will get you banned from selling Kindle books.

7. A 40 page minimum book seems to be the sweet spot. Anything shorter seems to die for me.

8. I use OpenOffice to create my books and save them as .doc files. I’ve tried saving them as .pdf and .mobi and both seem to screw up the formatting a lot. Doc files seem to maintain your original formatting the best.

9. Avoid using bullet points in your book. Use “*” or “-” instead. Bullet points never seem to format properly.

10. Take a look at Amazon’s top reviewers list. Send people that have reviewed books in your niche an email and ask for a review. In exchange, “gift” the book to them through Amazon. It will cost you the cost of your book but you’ll get most of that back in royalties and it will help your sales ranking move up.

Those are probably the top 10 best tips I can think of to get started on Amazon. Currently, I have a team of writers (all from the USA) writing books in the health niche. The marketing books that I’m about to start working on will be all written and edited by me.

So now it’s on to Step 1…

Finish writing my first book.

I’m about 10 pages in to the WordPress book and I’ve got all the interviews finished for the traffic book. I just need to finish writing the first one and compiling the second one.

In all reality, I’ll probably have the traffic book finished first (even though it should be second in the series).

The traffic book just needs less work to be finished.

I’d also like to try my hand at publishing fiction. However, I’m not creative enough to write it so I may be looking to outsource a good story sometime in the near future.

More updates on that later if it pans out. For now, I just need to get these first two books finished and published.

So now… It’s back to OpenOffice to put my head down and just start writing away.

I need your help! Here’s a little contest for you…

As I’m writing my WordPress book, I’m looking for the top questions about WordPress. That’s essentially how I’m writing the book. I’m taking the top 50 questions that people have and then giving in depth answers to each question.

If you can do me a huge favor and post your top WordPress question in the comments below.

I will do my best to answer all of the questions in the book.

I will pick 5 people who posted WordPress questions and give them free copies to all 3 of the books that I will be releasing on Amazon. I will gift you the copies via amazon to read on your Kindle, iPad, PC, Mac, or whatever else you use to read Kindle books.

I’ll announce the winners in my next update.

Also, I’d like to hear from people who have created Kindle books already. What are your best tips? What has your experience been like so far? The most helpful responses will also receive free copies of all my books.

I can’t wait to hear from you. This is a really exciting time and I can’t wait to see how lucrative Amazon and Kindle can really be.

I already know that only have a few books on there can add $400+ per month to my business. Let’s see what happens when I use my real name and share the details of my books with everyone!

Looking forward to your comments and tips!

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  • http://www.gardenmagiconline.com David Soper

    My biggest challenge with WP is figuring out how to upload products like themes to my sites. If I buy something can I use it on all my sites?

    Good luck with your books. . .I’m a Kindle author, too.

    • Matt

      Good question. I’ll definitely address themes in the book. When you buy a theme, it really depends on the license for the specific theme for whether or not you can use it on multiple sites.

      Some licenses only allow you to install the theme on one site. Some allow multiple. You just need to check out the license agreement.

      Any tips on the Kindle stuff from someone already in the trenches?

  • http://marketingwithsergio.com Sergio Felix

    Hey Matt,

    Here’s one question (hope it’s not too basic)

    1. What’s the easiest way to administer and maintain a given number of blogs each hosted on its own domain?

    The main problem is when a new update comes out and I have to manually log in to each of the sites and do it on every single wordpress site.

    And numero dos in case the previous question was too easy…

    2. What’s the number one recommendation for building your list on your wordpress blog?

    I see you don’t use a sidebar form on this site, nor above the fold and definitely not a pop up so… is your post’s form enough?

    Sorry that I can’t give you any feedback on Amazon as I haven’t publish anything there yet but I’m looking forward to start myself very soon.

    Thanks for the tip on linking from books to books and using the landing pages, I didn’t think of that but a word of caution here…

    I have seen some bitter people doing very nasty reviews when writers use (probably a lot) affiliate links in their books (and probably lousy books too) so maybe keeping the book awesome even if it has links, could definitely pass the quality control of those sad amazon trolls.

    Take care man and looking forward to your next update! ;-)

    Sergio

    • http://incomepress.com Joey Kissimmee

      Hey Sergio, wassup brotha. Haven’t seen ya in a while ;-)

      Anyway, I’d like to try and answer your question, hope you don’t mind Matt.

      For the first Q, It depends on which hosting you have and if you have all WP sites under one hosting account. For example, on bluehost, they have an option to upgrade all wp sites.

      If they are on different hosting accounts, I’m afraid you’ll have to do it the hard way. I have several different hosting accounts and what I do is that whenever I go on the blog for any updates, I update it when I get there. You’ll be ok if you miss a few updates here and there.

      Hell, there’s blogs I haven’t updated in over a year and still running.

      For Q2, I can tell you that it all depends on the market and niche you’re in. I’m an email marketing and list building is my thing. And I could tell ya that pop ups work on some, while not on others, and the same goes for the other methods.

      It’s something you’ll have to split test and whatever gives ya the best results, stick with it. I know it may sound basic, but that’s what we all do, I’m sure Matt will agree with me since I know he does many different niches.

      There’s really no secret. Split test and figure out whats best.

      Hope this helps some brotha….

      • http://marketingwithsergio.com Sergio Felix

        Hey Joey!

        Good to see you my man, I was traveling for the past 15 days but I’m back now and ready to roll!

        I just have two hosting accounts.

        A reseller for small offline clients and a regular shared account which is the one I was thinking of using for doing the multi blog thingy.

        For question number two, I already have a pretty solid information to test so… I guess I just need to start working on that instead of asking about it haha

        Anyway, thanks for chiming in and looking forward to hop on to your own kindle experiment bro, all the best!

      • http://www.salsamusicrhythms.com Peter Coe

        Good to hear from you Matt!…
        Kudos to you for exploring your hidden talents, just be yourself while writing and publishing, people appreciate natural expressions.
        As for WP, I’m learning something new all the time.
        Q) How can you market or convert comments as a list building strategy?

        Best success,
        Peter Coe

      • Matt

        Thanks Joey. You’re completely right… Most of my older niche blogs, I barely ever update to newer versions of WordPress to be honest. I just keep my main business blogs up to date (like this one and The WordPress Classroom). Missing an update here and there won’t kill it.

        When I do update, I update manually.

        As far as list building with my blog… I’ve tested several ways. I’ve used pop-ups and felt they were too interruptive so I removed them. I’ve tested the sidebar opt-in and no one used it…

        So far for me, the best quality leads have come from putting my opt-in at the bottom of my posts, AFTER someone just finished reading…

        I’m not trying to capture a lead from every single person that comes to this site. I really want the people that have a true genuine interest in the stuff I’m talking about.

        This is different on my business sites… Those sites I DO try to capture a lead from everyone who lands on them. But with my blog, I just want to grab the people who care about what I have to say. I’ve found that the below-post opt-in works best for that…

        I’m not too worried about Amazon trolls yet… They haven’t bothered me so far. I don’t use affiliate links in my books. I just link to other books on Amazon which is something that Amazon approves of. I don’t do it in an annoying way either. I just offer a resource section within the book to find more reading from that author… It’s pretty common practice so I don’t think people will have issues with it.

        Thanks for the comments (and the response from Joey!)

      • Matt

        Hey Peter,

        There’s actually a plugin out there. I’ll have to hunt it down for the book that allows you to add a checkbox on your comments with something along the lines “Subscribe me to your newsletter”. If people check the box, they automatically get added to your list.

        I don’t use it… I may test it in the future. Seems like a cool idea though.

      • http://valwaldeck.com Val Waldeck

        I use Niche Site Updater. Works fast and updates all your sites automatically. Google it.

        Val

  • http://www.YourHealthyDietIsKillingYou.com Barry Ferguson

    How do I integrate a Facebook Fanpage into my wordpress site and what is the best plugin to use to accomplish this?

    • Matt

      I just use the Facebook social plugin for this. It adds the little box that you can see in my sidebar. That allows people to follow me on Facebook.

      I then post updates about my blog on Facebook. That’s as far as I go with Facebook integration. It seems to get the job done. :)

  • http://valwaldeck.com Val Waldeck

    My biggest problem is with plugins. Some seem to use up memory resources and get my site limited. Which are the best ones and should we limit how many we use?

    Yes, Kindle publishing is fantastic. That’s my area of expertise. Would love to gift you a copy of my eGuide “Kindle Publishing Made Easy” (http://kindlepublishingmadeeasy made easy.com). If you would like that, please email me.

    Love your membership videos. Stunning.

    Val

    • Matt

      Hey Val,

      I’d love to check out your ebook. The Kindle stuff has been amazing and I’m so excited about the results I’ve seen so far.

      As far as plugins… That always seem to be a grey area… There’s no real rule for how many you should or shouldn’t have. Some take up almost no resources and some are total resource hogs…

      You could have only one plugin that’s a resource hog and that one plugin is already too many. Conversely, you could have 100 plugins that use up almost no resources and be completely fine.

      I can definitely dive more in to this… The best thing to do is just test. Don’t go and install 20 plugins all at once. Install them slowly over time and see how your site reacts to each individually. Hope that makes sense.

      • http://www.valwaldeck.com Val

        Hi Matt,

        How can I send you a private download link to my eGuide?

        Val

  • http://incomepress.com Joey Kissimmee

    Matt my brotha, I’m with ya on this. we spoke already about this. I’m almost done with my book. Then off to the editors ;-0

    We should do a podcast or something on this ya know.

    All the best with this one homie ;-)

    • Matt

      Definitely. Let’s get it on the books.

      What topic did you end up going with on your book.

      Let’s have a call soon man!

  • http://www.nendyscreativecorner.com Nendy Kerr

    I guess you are writing a book on my main question – getting traffic to my site. My other question is about how to make sure my posts are SEO optimized so I can get more search engine traffic.

    • Ray Maselli

      Looking forward to you finished books in both areas. If they are a s good as your instruction they will be a hit. Keep up the good work. Being a newbie it will all be valuable to me, Thanks.

    • Matt

      Hi Nendy,

      Both my first books actually touch on SEO. I recommend using something like WordPress SEO by Yoast. It’s the latest and greatest SEO plugin. If you haven’t already, check out the free WordPress bootcamp at this link. It touches on what I do for some basic SEO.

      • Louise Price

        Hi Matt,

        If you are using an SEO optimised theme like Socrates or a plugin like Platinum SEO can you still use WordPress SEO by Yoast or is it not necessary? Or can you use WordPress SEO by Yoast in place of Platinum SEO.

        If you are using an SEO OPTIMISED theme like Socrates, what would be the advantage of using WordPress SEO by Yoast?

        Most courses I have purchased on building niche websites recommend using a plug in called All in one SEO; please are plugins like WordPress SEO by Yoast and Platinum SEO alternatives to All in One SEO or can you use all of them on one site?

        What about other software like Easy WP SEO; SEOPresser and Measure my SEO by Jason Fladlien are they all alternatives to WordPress SEO by Yoast?

      • Louise Price

        Hi Matt,

        I would be very grateful if you explained the difference between all the different SEO plugins in my previous post; and which ones you consider are necessary?

        Thank you and Kind Regards
        Louise Price

      • Matt

        Hi Louise,

        Most of these plugins do the same thing. I still use All-In-One SEO but WordPress SEO by Yoast is great as well.

        I haven’t tested every single SEO plugin. However, I can tell you that you really only need to pick one and use that. If you install more than one, they will most likely conflict with each other because they are all trying to do the same things.

      • http://www.makingmoneyontheinter.net Jay Mueller

        Hi Louise,

        I thought I’d though my 2 cents worth in here. Like Matt, Ive tried and tested just about all of the SEO plugins that are in the WP Library and other paid for plugins for SEO.

        For about 2 or 3 years I had been running All in one SEO. But over the last couple of weeks I’ve been switching over to WordPress SEO by Yoast. Not be cause it is better per se, but because it has several categories which SEO is based with idiot lights from red to yellow to green for each of them. It also has the same for the overall SEO of the page. Green is good and each category stirs you in the right direction to make the whole site/page/post the best it can be.

        This is all based on personal preference.

        I also agree with Matt that having only one SEO plugin is best to stay away from unwanted problems.

  • http://apowerrevolution.com Jeff

    Hi Matt

    I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

    My big WP question is turning posts into pages. How is it effectively done and why should I do it. I have been struggling with this somewhat ineffectively.

    Thanks

    Jeff

    • Matt

      Hey Jeff,

      To be honest, I’m not quite sure what you’re asking. Why would you want to turn WordPress posts in to pages? The both serve different purposes.

      Pages are for static content like “about me” pages or resource lists where posts are more frequently updated…

  • http://www.LifeForeverNow.net Rich Guy Miller

    Hi, Matt, although the answer to this question on WP may vary according to the niche, I love writing, but need to show some income from my blog. I want to offer free health related content, so somehow the hosting (video hosting in addition) has to be paid for. Here’s the question: how can a blogger rate the effectiveness of the various monetization strategies for a blog? Adsense vs. affiliate products vs. backend products built up from an effective list. Maybe there are other strategies… like Kindle books… you could give an opinion on. I like the margin of profit on ebooks!
    I am looking forward to hearing more about your Kindle strategies. I have two books on Kindle and a ghost written book on Kindle and they pretty much sit there unnoticed. I do like your tip of gifting an ebook to top reviewers!

    • Matt

      When it comes to testing different monetization strategies for your site, it all comes down to just trial and error really. I’d test affiliate promos for a month or so and keep track of how much you made. Then switch to Adsense for a month or so…

      Keep track of what has worked over time and go back to whatever was the most effective.

      I think 100% you’re going to find that creating your own product for sale is going to be the most profitable but it’s all worth testing.

    • http://www.lifeforevernow.com Rich Guy Miller

      Thanks, Matt. I have created some ebooks (as my own product). I think the best thing might be a sales page for them and traffic building strategies. I wish you lots of great input for your upcoming books. That’s a smart tactic.

  • Jeff TenEyck

    YES I could ask you this by other means but I’m wondering if anyone else has noticed this too??

    WIDGETS…. just about every tutorial I have ever seen on widgets only shows how to activate them and deactivate them, maybe a brief description of how versatile the text widget is, but I’ve yet to see anyone get really comprehensive on all the things you can or can’t do with them to change the look and feel of a blog…when and why to use them or not, with plenty of examples.

    Just seems to be an area nobody goes into much serious detail about.

    Great post and some awesome tips. Been thinking about trying some of that myself in a few topics I’m pretty keen on. I just MIGHT have enough imagination and writing skill to even pull of a fiction piece.

    ~ Jeff

    • http://www.makingmoneyontheinter.net Jay Mueller

      Hey Jeff,

      The idea of explaining the versatility of the Text widget with a bit-o-code could help a lot of folks and it is a great idea.

      A lot of questions from folk about “how do I do ‘something’ in my second column?” I answer with….thats easy, just use the text widget. Of course then I have to teach a bit of code and show them a few sites where they can get tutorials on code.

      Jeff, when are we going to do a site about survival which includes books, pamphlets, blog, maybe a forum, and maybe a few dollar membership? Have you ever thought about this?

      Jay

      • Jeff TenEyck

        JAY!!!

        I’m SO sorry I missed your comment her until just now. I forgot to check the magic little “notify me” box. OOOOPS!!

        Thanks for the reply though!! I DO want to know more about “fun with widgets”.

        As for a site about survival… MY MY that’s suddenly becoming such a popular topic!! As for when, based on my radar I’d say VERY SOON would be best!!

        Let’s talk about it and see what ideas can best “survive” being kicked around the most.

        ~ Jeff

  • http://www.makingmoneyontheinter.net Jay Mueller

    Hi Matt,

    I did some backtracking through all the questions I’ve answered in the Word Press Classroom Forum.

    The question that I answer the most is: Why isn’t my Custom Header showing up on my page? (size is incorrect) This may change with the latest version allowing you to choose different sizes from the admin area.

    The second most asked question is: How do I exclude pages from my menu? (I explain the custom menu option as well as the “Exclude Pages from Navigation” plugin)

    So, use these if you want. But I would sure be interested in some of the other questions people come up with.

    Jay

    • http://valwaldeck.com Val Waldeck

      I use Page Lists Plus plugin. Let’s you exclude pages or redirect them. Works well.

      Val

    • Matt

      Thanks Jay and Val. Great stuff to include!

  • http://www.raisedbedvegetablegardening.com Ron Meyer

    How do you determine the best theme to use for a given blog? I am never satisfied and always looking for something better.

    • http://valwaldeck.com Val Waldeck

      Try the Flexibility theme. Nice.

      Val

    • Matt

      Hey Ron,

      That’s tough. I guess the best theme is always a matter of personal taste. I’m the same way… I get unhappy with my theme and change it up every few months or so. In fact, my current theme is probably my longest running theme on this site… ever. (And I still actually like it).

      I think you just gotta keep searching and eventually one will stick.

    • http://www.saifullahbutt.com/ Saif

      Hey try genesis frame work.

      It is the best one and getting a lot of fame. :)

      Thank you

      Saif

  • John Day

    Is there a simple, low cost, and fast way to make money using WordPress?

    • Matt

      Hmmm… I’m not sure if I know if any easy answer that will guarantee money from your site easily, cheap, and fast…

      You can probably get a combination of two of those… Maybe…

      Simple and Fast… Yes. Outsource the work of creating a monetized blog.

      Simple and Low Cost… Yes. Write amazing content for your blog and monetize it with affiliate links or your own products. Over time you’ll see traffic grow and income grow.

      Fast and Low Cost… This one is a bit harder but if you can create some great content and get others to promote it for you, it’s definitely.

      All three… May be a bit harder. Successful businesses usually take a time to build.

      This site, for example, started in 2009. I’m just now getting blog posts that get a lot of comments.

  • http://ControlyourSugar.info/ Cararta

    On some of my WordPress site I have 2 problems that so far don’t seem to have a solution. I don’t know if it was caused by my web host or me.
    Problem 1.
    Using IE8 sign into Wp-admin, choose Page or Post, then edit

    when the “editor” opens there are no icons or text on the EDITOR TOOL BAR. If you “hover” text will appear.

    Along with this lack of icons and text, in the left side bar where there should be icons for some of the plugins there are boxes with red x the plugins on SCD are auto Commando SEO, Select sociable Plugin, SS pro, and WP Mobile Detector, super cache3

    When viewed in chrome the icons turn into the little symbol google uses for “book marks”. Description is the same for the editor toolbar.as in IE8 above.

    Front page Icons of grouped social share button also turns into symbol for bookmark if using chrome and a red x if using IE 8. On IE8 if you click the red x a blank box displays, but if you hover over it text will appear eg., reddit, digg, posterous what ever you have checked when setting up the sociable plugin. In admin these icons are the red x.

    • Matt

      The best advice I can give on solving an issue like this would be to disable plugins one at a time until the problem goes away. When you find the plugin that’s causing the problem. Reactivate the rest and remove the bad one.

      Issues like this are almost always cost by plugins conflicting with each other or your theme.

  • http://alistbloggingbootcamps.com Mary | A-List Blogging Bootcamps

    I’ve got some questions about your Kindle adventure:

    1. How did you launch your eBook?
    2. Did you use keyword research to pick the topic?
    3. Are you publishing the health books in your own name as author, or are you using a pseudonym – like “Dr. Wolfe MD”? (Has a good ring, eh? :-)
    4. Regarding your compilation traffic book: Will you put yourself as the author?

    I’ve got an eBook ready for publishing which is a compilation of top posts on WritetoDone.com. I had a look at the Kindle form and it only offered ‘Author’ as a choice and not ‘Editor’ – which would be more appropriate. So, what are YOU going to do?

    • Matt

      Hey Mary,

      Good to hear from you. In regards to your questions…

      1. I will touch on in a future post about this challenge.

      2. I did keyword research for my health themed books. The books for this challenge, I did not. I’m sticking to what I know.

      3. My health books are under a pen name. (Actually my mom’s name and my dad’s name combined) No claims of being a Dr. though… Won’t be going down that route. :)

      4. For the traffic book, I will put myself as the author and the people that I interviewed as contributors.

      5. “Editor” is actually an option when submitting your book. I just double checked now to be sure. I will actually be putting myself as the author, however, and listing all the contributors in the books description.

      I’ve cleared this already with all the people that I’ve interviewed so there should be no surprises…

  • http://www.forwardsteps.com.au Thea Westra

    You’re a breath of fresh air, Matt.
    Thank you for those priceless tips.

    My WordPress questions:

    What are the top 20 advantages of using WordPress ahead of simply creating web pages?
    (I say 20 so that the response digs a bit deeper than the obvious).
    What are the “must have” plug ins that no WordPress site should be without?
    What are the “must have” items/widgets to show in any WordPress sidebar for a business blog?

    I have not yet published any of my books to Kindle so have not tips based on personal experience.

    I do use my own Kindle reader a lot (my favorite gadget) and from a reader perspective, free or 99 cent books with ridiculously awesome & practical content which then refer to a product linked from inside the book, at the end, have worked best to move me to considering checking out the author’s site & buying. Similarly, linking to a super useful & practical free tool or resource, at the end of the book with amazing content, has produced the action of me adding myself to the author’s subscriber list.

    I have bought Kindle versions of regularly priced books too, because the Kindle version is offered cheaper than the physical copy & because I no longer want to add physical books to my book shelf at home. I like keeping those trees in the forest where they belong! :)

    Hope that’s helped somewhat. Thank you again Matt.

    Cheers,
    Thea

    • Matt

      Great questions and great feedback for anyone wanting to produce Kindle books. I’ll touch on your questions in the book for sure. (That’s some of the content I’ve already written.) :)

      So far, I’ve found that people don’t have any issues with links to other books or with links to opt-ins as long as the book is high quality. In fact, people are usually drooling to get more from that author if the book is really great.

  • http://valwaldeck.com Val Waldeck

    Some comments about Kindle publishing. Amazon frown on duplicate content and PLR can get your account closed. Also point all adverts, reviews, articles, press releases, Facebook and Twitter comments, etc., to your blog and have only ONE link to your kindle book. They also do not allow advertisements of any kind in your kindle books so point readers to your website only. Eg If you would like more information about “whatever” visit my website at…

    Val

    • http://alistbloggingbootcamps.com Mary | A-List Blogging Bootcamps

      Hey Val, can you please say some more about only having ONE link to the kindle book. Are you saying that on one’s blog one should only link to it once. Why?
      From a point of SEO it would make sense to link to it more often, for example, by writing multiple posts about the book.

      Thanks for the tip about advertising!

      • http://valwaldeck.com Val Waldeck

        I meant, if you write the same info multiple times on different platforms, point them all to your blog link. Of course, write lots of different posts about your books!

        When Amazon’s robots scan links to.your book and see more than one URL with the same content linking to your listing, they consider you to be in violation of their TOS and your book may be blocked.

        They also do not allow you to post any press releases appearing on their site. They have a thing about duplicate content! Probably because the spammers who nearly destroyed their reputation when they discovered just how lucrative this platform is.

        Visit their site and read their Terms of Service.

        Val

  • David M. O’Neill

    Matt,

    How do you find themes and plugins to meet your requirements? Where to you look and how do you conduct/structure your searches?

    Regards,

    David

    • Matt

      Hey David,

      I use good ole’ fashion Google to hunt down plugins and themes. Blogs like mine, Joey Kissimmee’s and Pat Flynn’s can be great resources as well.

      You can also search http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ to find pretty much all the free plugins available.

  • http://www.TwilightVideoProductions.com Brittain Cephas

    Hi Matt,

    My biggest issue with WP is changing the info in the footer and sidebars so the pages look like a normal html webpage. So my question is how do I effectively customize my WP site without having to know coding?

    Thank you, Brittain

    • Matt

      You should be able to search for themes that meet your requirements. Each theme is slightly different for how you’d edit it yourself and would probably require messing with the code.

      The easiest way would be to get someone to edit for you for $10-$15 off a site like oDesk because it would probably only need to be done once.

      • http://www.beyourownboss.co.uk John Kirk

        Two possible ways to change the footer content:

        1. The easy and safe way – Choose a theme that has widgets in the footer area, then you can easily put whatever you like in a widget. Some fancy themes let you put footer text in a custom option also.

        2. The hard, risky but satisfying way – click on Appearance and then Editor in your WP admin menu and make changes to the footer directly (normally footer.php listed on the right sidebar of the Theme Editor). Normally you can find the text you want to change but be careful not to change any code. This should work with most regular themes but not always the more flexible ones.

        John

  • http://www.howtobeasupervisor.com Dianne

    Hi Matt:

    I had so many questions as someone new to WordPress. A few of my top questions as a newbie were very straightforward:

    1. How do you add the “Read More” feature to an article on WordPress?

    2. How do you make an image a clickable link?

    I’ve been a Kindle author for about 8 months now in a niche that isn’t necessarily a money maker, (HR), but it’s steady income. I have grown sales of my Kindle book from roughly $16 the first month to a consistent $150 a month over the last few months.

    What I’m realizing though; especially in my niche is that I need to have more than one book in order to really increase my income with Amazon. I’m working on that now; although not in the HR niche. I’ve been more particular about my next book being in a highly searched niche that still aligns with multiple areas of expertise. I’m also looking at hiring people who are strong writers who can perform thorough research on a topic for me.

    • Matt

      Hey Dianne,

      Great questions.

      1. When creating a post, there’s a little icon between the break link button and the spell check button. Click this button after typing the preview text. It will draw a little line in the post. Anything below this line will show up after clicking “read more”.

      2. If you using the latest version of WordPress, when you add an image in to a post, there’s a box to fill in where the image links to. Simply plugin the link in that box and it should do the trick…

  • http://www.joefizz.com Wayne (Joe) Evans

    Hey Matt,

    As a Kindle user already, it’s nice to see the simple things I miss all the time!

    Thanks for reminding me to do a proper job!

    Llwyddiant!

    Joe

    • Matt

      Thanks for the comment Joe. I love my Kindle :)

  • http://aerial-photography-academy.com David Rodwell

    This is a Killer post today!! I am keenly interested in Kindle Books. I only have one on Amazon currently and have learned an immense amount from the one effort. ….Cover…Content and Formating are the big items for me.

    I look forward to your experiences and am hoping for The Kindle Classroom training program…

    Which leads me to my next item. You are looking for WordPress questions. Here’s mine:

    How do I CLONE a site. I have just finished creating an Aerial Photography Training site for pilots and photographers. It is a Jim Dandy site and I will no doubt want to duplicate it for use in other ventures. I know there are Cloning Packages…but…the whole thing is a black hole for me.

    Thank you for all you do!

    David Rodwell

    • http://www.beyourownboss.co.uk John Kirk

      There are a few plugins that claim to do the job, some do – some don’t! Two popular premium plugins ones are WP Twin and Backup Creator Pro. Personally I find it quite easy to do manually just as quickly as any plugin but it involves a little knowledge of two Cpanel features: Backups and MySQL/PHPMyAdmin. They look a bit daunting but are really quite simple with a bit of practice. They also come in very useful for a lot of WordPress repair work.

      My best tip either way is to make a backup of every site you make (files and database) before you add any content but after you’ve set it up the way you want it. Then save these backups in a “Clone” folder. That way you can make copies or restore a damaged or hacked site very easily.

      John

    • Matt

      Hey David,

      Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. :)

      No guarantees on The Kindle Classroom… (Pretty sure that would violate some copyright laws anyway). Maybe just some good blog posts on my experience should do the trick?

      For cloning… I personally love and endorse WP Twin. It works great and is really simple and fast. Not the cheapest thing in the world but it’s definitely paid for itself already.

      • http://aerial-photography-academy.com David Rodwell

        Good morning Matt,

        I hear you on the Copyright stuff. But there are hundreds of Warrior Forum WSOs on the topic so apparently the waters can be navigated and when you think about it, it only enhances the brand and the number of titles they can offer.

        Try a quick WSO to test the water…just saying!!

        Have a lovely weekend.

        David Rodwell

      • http://aerial-photography-academy.com David Rodwell

        I gotta take a minute to thank you…6 months or so ago my 3rd web guy went mustang on me and I vowed to never be dependent on them again.

        Enter Matt and the WordPress Classroom, 6 months of study and yes hard work and we will be launching this weekend.

        It’s a world class site created by following the WP Classroom and just putting one foot in front of the other.

        Thanks again!! As I always say…You have changed my life!

        David Rodwell
        Aerial Photography Evangelist

  • Michelle

    I’m sure there are many places out there I can find to point tme in the right direction, but my question is as a newbie to WP, where do I start? Even with the basics, such as choosing a domain name.

    • Matt

      Thanks for commenting Michelle. That’s a real tough question. Your domain name is really going to depend on the niche that you’re going in to.

      Once you know your niche, go to a site like NameCheap.com and start checking to see if domain names that are relevant to that niche are available.

  • http://www.divramis.com john divramis

    Hello Matt! l have a real wordpress question for you: how can l restore my rss feeds in wordpress? l have lost thme, due to heavy experimentation and l am trying to find the file the php file or the source code. Where l can find it?

    Plus a bonus question for you: l am from Greece, english is not my mother toungue, but l really like writing ebooks, posts and articles. Why not to write a kindle book?
    Can a non native speeker overcome the language barrier?

    • Matt

      Hmm… I’m not quite sure I understand your question completely… For your blog, your default rss feed would be at http://www.divramis.com/feed/. It appears to be there to me…

      I think publishing on Amazon is definitely possible if English isn’t your first language. As I mentioned in my post, I actually hired writers to write for me in the health niche. As long as the people writing the book have English as their first language, you should have no problem writing a book that’s going to appeal to the broadest Kindle audience (US & UK)…

  • Lee

    Matt:

    My biggest question about WordPress would be how to set up a download page with a product you are selling or giving away.

    • Matt

      Hey Lee,

      That’s a good question. You’ve actually inspired me to create a plugin to do this real easily. There’s expensive plugins like Wishlist that will protect the download pages and there’s real basic membership plugins that lock down the entire site but I can’t think of any real great plugins to just lock down one single piece of content for a download area…

      In the past, before I started using Wishlist member, I simply created URLs with really names… TheWPClassroom.com/download3gf0hz… Then I only gave them the URL once they’ve opted in or purchased… Obviously it’s not the best way to do it because people can share the link but it did work for a little while…

  • http://www.beyourownboss.co.uk John Kirk

    Hi Matt

    My biggest issue with WordPress is security, having been hacked a couple of times and having helped out clients whose sites have been hacked. I usually find it’s not too difficult to fix the sites using the backups (which I always use) but it is time consuming. A chapter on WP security would be a great addition to your book.

    John

    • Matt

      Thanks John. I guess I’ve been real lucky. I haven’t had much issue with being hacked. Even on my largest sites. I think the key for me has always been making sure WP is up to date (new updates usually patch security holes), changing my password every 4-6 weeks, and never ever using the default “admin” as my username…

      These three things have kept me pretty safe. I’ve also experimented with a plugin called login lock that shuts people out who try to login more than 3 times or so with the wrong details. This prevents brute-force login attempts.

      I’ve only had to restore from a backup once but it was due to a database crash and not a result of a malicious attack.

      • http://valwaldeck.com Val Waldeck

        Great advice! You are definitely the “Go To Guy” for WordPress, Matt.

  • Fred G.

    Hey Matt,

    This is a great article post. My thing with WordPress is this. You find a lot of written and video courses that teach you about setting up and using WordPress some good some not so good. Most of them cover registering a domain name, hosting, installing, plugins, etc. which is great for the people who are just learning how to do this. But, most of the sites or should I say courses cost more than the course itself if the person wants to follow along with it. That is understandable and what I think would also be of a great value for someone starting out is to have a written and video course of showing the new learners how to setup and host a local server on their computer so they are not going live and spending a lot of money getting setup until they feel comfortable enough. You could make some videos showing them how to do this with WAMPServer2 for Windows 7 and for the Mac users MAMP. This way they can follow along and learn and practice what the course is actually teaching and when they feel confident enough they get the best of both worlds because their site is done but, they would also know how to upload it to a real web host and have it all good to go. It would also save them a little money with these hard economic times before they put their newly designed website Live on the internet.

    One thing I am not sure if it can be done or not as I have never tried it before is if you can have more than one site let’s say as many as you want on a local server using WAMPServer2 for Windows 7 so you can put together more than one site at a time without having to buy different domain names, etc. before it is complete or if a client backs out of a design or whatever the reason may be. This would make a nice video tutorial for new learners and the best Plugins to use and like others here have suggested more in depth on Widgets and modifying the them code(s).

    Sorry for the long post but, this is just my feelings and I do not know if you would use it in your book or not but I think it would be of great value for people starting out and give them the option to do some things free on their own local hosted server after paying for a course and finding out that it costs more money to follow along and feel pressured. I think they would be more appreciative of the fact that they can learn before going live with their new site. I am teaching a couple of people now how to do this and they are happy campers because they had no idea it could be done. They were under the impression they needed to buy a domain name and hosting before they could do any designing. They told me that found this as a great value too. Well, that might give yo something to think about or some more ideas. Thanks for putting up with my long post and have a great day.

    Fred G.

    • Matt

      Thanks Fred. You really do make a great point and I will consider teaching people how to develop the site offline first.

      To me though, I think there’s something to people actually getting skin in the game. If someone sets something up offline and plays with until they feel comfortable with it going live, most will probably never feel comfortable. It will just sit on their hard drive and they won’t take steps to put it out there.

      However, if you invest a little to have hosting and have a domain, you are that much more driven to make things in to your vision. You’ve got money invested in to it and you’re now much more committed to seeing it through…

      Maybe it’s just a different perspective. I want to see people succeed and I have a slight fear of teaching people to test the stuff for free first. I think many people will never make the leap if they don’t just go for it…

      • Fred B.

        I would agree with you on part of that Matt. It does help to give people a leap of faith if they just dive in there. On the other hand is is also a good way to practice and have a backup if something goes wrong with their online host which is rare but, you never know.

        One other thing I think people should learn more about is making a Child Theme so they do not have to worry about losing what they have already created. It needs to be done for beginners and in a KISS (Keep It Straight and Simple) method as I call it. Would you agree with that?

        And one other thing I think people would like to learn in WordPress is how to embed a PDF file so that it is readable and not just downloadable. I have never tried that as I do more video and Podcasting. I have what some call overkill for my Home Studio Audio Setup but, it does more than just my podcasts and screen recording videos. I record music on my guitar, bass, etc. and with and for small bands.

  • http://valwaldeck.com Val Waldeck

    Hi Matt, my eGuide “Kindle Publishing Made Easy” with the video tutorial has launched a lot of Kindle authors. How can I send you a private link for a review copy?

    Val

    • Matt

      I just sent you a message. :)

      • http://www.valwaldeck.com Val

        Hi Matt,

        For some odd reason, my website is no longer forwarding messages. I’ve changed it to a link with my email address.

        Please resend your message to vwaldeck@gmail.com.

        Thanks.

        Val

  • Fred G.

    Hey Val. I would not mind having a copy for review for that if possible on the site I am going to be working on and hopefully have done in the next month. Thanks and have a great day.

    • http://valwaldeck.com Val Waldeck

      Hi Fred,

      My pleasure. Click on my name and it will take you to my website. Then contact me with your email address and I will send you the download link..

      Val

      • http://www.valwaldeck.com Val

        Hi Fred,

        My website is not forwarding messages so please email me at vwaldeck@gmail.com.

        Thanks.

        Val

  • http://valwaldeck.com Val Waldeck

    Matt, what do you think of the WPBackup plugin from WordPress?

    Val

    • Matt

      Hey Val,

      I use a plugin called WP-DB-Backup. I’m not sure if it’s the same plugin that you’re referring to or not…

      I think it’s absolutely essential. If your blog crashes and you need to restore it, that plugin can be a lifesaver. I’ve had a crash before and that plugin saved me.

      • http://www.valwaldeck.com Val

        Thanks, Matt.

        Val

  • Matt

    Quick sidenote to everyone. I’ll be announcing who get’s free book copied over on my Facebook fan page. So make sure you’re following me there when the books are released! :)

    https://www.facebook.com/businessandblogs

  • http://valwaldeck.com Val Waldeck

    Hi Matt, please resend your private message to vwaldeck@gmail.com so I can send you the download link. I am really interested in your comments.

    Thanks.

    Val

    • Matt

      Message sent. :)

      • http://valwaldeck.com Val Waldeck

        Thanks, Matt. Link sent.

  • Fred B.

    Hi Val. I sent you an email and I am just waiting to hear back. I accidentally deleted all my emails instead of the Junk folder. Look forward to reviewing your eGuide on Kindle Publishing Made Easy. Matt keep up the great work and I am keeping an eye on your Facebook.

    Thanks and have a great day.

    Fred G.

    • http://valwaldeck.com Val Waldeck

      Sent!

  • http://perfectearningtips.com IGBALAYE OLAYEMI

    Thanks for the useful and powerful post. please is there any perfect wordpress plug-in that i can use to manage my subscribers. i know there are many plug-in that can help with that, but is there a perfect one that can help me.

    • Matt

      Have you looked in to Feedburner.com? That is what I use to manage subscribers to my blog and it works great. You shouldn’t even need a plugin…

  • http://valwaldeck.com Val Waldeck

    Hi Matt, are you familiar with these membership scripts – Profits Theme, Easy Member Pro, Fast member? Which, if any, would you recommend for a new membership site?

    Val

    • Matt

      Hey Val,

      I have only experimented with Easy Member Pro and I thought it stunk. I didn’t like it and there was no flexibility with the sites layout.

      I maintain that Wishlist Member is the best membership plugin. You can make the site look however you want with WordPress and Wishlist protects the content perfectly.

      Matt

  • Fred G.

    Thanks Val. Please check your email. I sent you two emails with some information. Let me know when you get them. Have a great day.

    • http://www.valwaldeck.com Val

      Thanks, Fred. Responded via email. Looking forward to your comments.

      Val

  • http://www.valwaldeck.com Val

    Hi Matt,

    I see you recommend Easy Video Player for videos. What do you recommend for mp3 audio?

    AI have some audio files I want to play on one of my websites that will work well on portable devices like the ipad as well. I used to use Impact Web Audio but it won’t work with WordPress, only HTML pages.

    Do you have some suggestions for me?

    Thanks.

    Val

    • Matt

      Hey Val,

      Easy Video Player actually works for mp3 audios as well. It’s still a great recommendation to get your audios on your blog.

      If you’re planning on making a podcast with your mp3s, I like PowerPress. (A free audio player that will help you turn audios in to a Podcast)

  • http://aerial-photography-academy.com David Rodwell

    OK…Matt,

    This is H O T !! I took about 90 days, as I said in an earlier post, and studied what you taught…I did what you recommended and I set everything up the way you said.

    Saturday 8-4-12 at 4:03 PM EDT, I launched Aerial-Photography-Academy.com In our first 24 hours, we had $675 in sales. This is all before any promotion, YouTube video advertising…nothing, nada, zip, zero.

    This is truly remarkable. What you teach, the advice you give and the philosophy you prescribe is as solid and dependable as the North Star.

    At 63, a non technical schmo, went from zero to Hero in 3 months.

    I just got up this morning to find my PayPal account heavy with cash…all while I slept.

    You said it would work if we did our part. Send me the Kool Aid….I’m drinking it!!!

    August 4 is my Independence Day from the man. I know my retirement and my future are secure. This would have been impossible without you.

    If you ever wonder if you have the power to change lives, rest assured…you do!

    Thank you Matt Wolfe.

    David Rodwell

    • http://www.makingmoneyontheinter.net Jay Mueller

      Hey David,

      Congratulations! I told you that your idea would “take off”, pun intended. ;-)

      I am so happy for you. It is always fun to see people succeed who have taken their time and efforts to learn new stuff….especially at our age. Looks like you can teach old dogs new tricks.

      Now that your seeing the tide move, you should create some blog posts (write a good one applying SEO, graphic and killer content) then modify it several times over and pass it around for folks with good traffic that can post them for you.

      If you are going to do a big launch, start investigating other marketers in the photography and video niches and try to get them on board as affiliates (same niche better chance of bigger profits). I have three sites that I can run them on if you want. I also have several other sites that I could probably get my clients to put a banner add with a small write up in their side column (photo site).

      For an example of a page(s) providing affiliate tools (like texts, emails, graphics, articles, blog posts), take a look in the resources area in the WPC that Matt set up.

      Again, I am so happy to see your project take off. Isn’t it great to see your hard work pay off?

      Jay

    • Matt

      Congratulations on sticking with it and seeing results! Your site is looking good and you hung in there until you made it work!

      This makes me so happy and so pumped up about what I’m teaching. I know this stuff works, I just love getting messages like this, hearing about others making it work.

      Today’s a great day! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.asksusanne,.com susanne

    two wordpress questions;
    1. how to build a membership site with wordpress–what plugins are best
    2.how to use child theme for editing,

    all the best with kindle, I have published 3 kindle books and each time it gets easier and faster.

  • http://aerial-photography-academy.com David Rodwell

    Susanne,

    Not to speak out of school, but the very very best way I found to build our membership site, like the one we just completed, is to go to The WordPress Classroom that Matt has created and join.

    Some of it is free and some has a modest monthly or a one time lifetime charge. I used that training program to create my membership site. It is thorough, well thought out and high quality.

    There is even a Free Forum with moderators who will answer any questions you may have.

    Our site is professional with world class content, all because of the WordPress Classroom. Matt is too modest and too much the gentleman to push his Course much here but it is a premiere training in all aspects of creating a high quality and if you desire, highly profitable site.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I get absolutely nothing if you join other than the comfort in knowing another brother or sister Internet voyager might have the blessings that I have gotten there.

    I strongly recommend you stop by the site when you get a minute and explore what they have to offer. It is quite remarkable. Here is the address:

    http://www.thewpclassroom.com/

    You may well get what you need for free in the “no charge” portion. As I told Matt the other day, when my 3rd web design guru disappeared, I was able to design and create my own World Class site in 90 short days.

    Anyway, enough about my story….go there and start building your story!

    Best of success.

    David Rodwell
    Aerial Photography Academy

  • Michael Knapman

    Hello Mr Wolfe, Ive been following your online presence for a while and have decided that I want to be mentored by you I believe that I can learn a great deal from your teachings and would love the opportunity, please consider it. I know that with your help I will be able to attain great things. I’m just fed up of not getting anyway in life and wasting opportunities but not anymore.

    Yours sincerely,
    Michael Knapman

    • Matt

      Hey Michael,

      Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed what I’ve done so far! I’m not quite sure what you’re looking for in a mentor… My blog and The WordPress Classroom have kind of been meant to be my way of “mentoring” anyone who wants to learn from me.

  • phil

    How do you market your amazon books? Can you write a post on this?

  • http://www.jeffsbesthemp.com jeffrey von stetten

    Hi Matt,

    Hopefully you can help. I’ve done two ebooks and they had a good amount of free downloads, but hardly anyone has come back and bought anything. In over 3 months I’ve barely made $25.00 despite over 600 free downloads and I’ve pretty irked. I put alot of great info into one of my books and I’ve barely gotten anything back for it and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I did them on amazon and it’s been way frustrating. I’m very well known in the health food stores and california la/oc/sd region but somehow that hasn’t translated into a lick of sales and it’s really got me down. Any suggestions?

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