Sunday, July 26, 2015

Plugin Review: MyMail Newsletter

Well, my migration over to my website is complete! What a nightmare that was! However, it certainly wasn't because of the new newsletter plugin I installed. It was because it took me a lot of time to find a plugin that would do what I needed AND because of the other plugins that DIDN'T do the job...I was trying to fit my website to match their ridiculous structure. As I said...nightmare.

Part of the mess was the data I was trying to clean up, but if I had found MyMail Newsletter plugin before I messed with these other plugins, I wouldn't have had so much trouble!! I'm hoping that by sharing this review, you will save some time, too.

NOTE: I have a WordPress website that I host on a shared server with hosting services. I have been using Pair since 2002 and they are, by far, THE BEST hosting service I have had the pleasure to work with. Their servers are hardly EVER down. I think in the 13 years I've been using them, my website has been down...twice? At least due to their server issues versus the times my site was down because of something I did. And when I did mess up, they were there to help. They have THE BEST customer service in the business. With all that being said, the information below won't apply to you if you use a public blog. You have to have WordPress the site application/platform installed on your own shared server to be able to use this information.

MyMail Newsletter - DA BOMB!!!

Buy their product HERE and I would HIGHLY recommend spending the small fee to get the plugin. It is SOOOOO worth it!!

Why do I like this plugin?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Arial's Author Toolbox

I've been doing a LOT of reading lately, but not fiction. This year (2015), I've been spending a lot of time honing my craft and doing my best to be a more efficient writer. In addition to that, I've been focusing on how to best market myself as an author.

Self-published authors - and actually most authors these days regardless of who publishes their books - have to devote a portion of their time to marketing. More and more publishers DON'T do marketing for their authors or the marketing is very broad (e.g., specials on a genre versus pushing a certain author).

So how does an author find the time to write AND market? THAT'S the big conundrum I've been putting nose-to-the-grindstone effort to find out. And guess all will get to benefit from my efforts! UPDATED 2/9/16: I've just updated this post. See changes noted below. Also, though I've changed some pricing and removed other, please check pricing before you buy. They change all the time.

Summary of My Findings

There are two things an author should focus on:

  1. Writing: You can't sell a product that isn't there. Never, never, never stop writing. Period. Don't be the author who puts out one book and says, "I'll see how the sales go on this one, and if it pays off, I'll write more." Stop writing right now if that's your philosophy because you will never make the sales to justify your writing. Readers won't invest in someone who's only written one book. They want to know you'll be around. AND if you write well, they'll want more and you need to be ready for that.
  2. Mailing List: Bottom line - THE most important marketing effort you as an author can do is build your mailing list. Hands down, this should be the primary concern of anyone who owns a business...and we, as authors, own a business.

Honestly, that's pretty much it. It's that simple. And I, personally, think you should spend at least 75% of your time writing and 25% doing the things you need to do to build your mailing list. Be sure to check out my article series on this blog on this very topic. UPDATE: I will be publishing an article soon about some recent projects I've been doing that will help build your list faster than you thought possible.

Also, social media is not the best use of your time to generate sales. Use social media, and even ads, to direct people to your mailing list! THAT'S the best use of your money and time.

Arial's Author Toolbox

Sounds easier said than done? Not really! Not with the list of books I'm going to provide here. I HIGHLY recommend you get these books ASAP and read them all completely. Most of them are very quick reads while also being entertaining and they're VERY effective. Disclaimer: All the links below are affiliates, but if you don't want to use the links, just go to your favorite online book retailer and type in the titles yourself to search and buy them. The Scrivener link, though affiliate, will take you to the Literature & Latte site, the original distributors of the software, but you can get it at Amazon. (UPDATE 2/9/16 - Scrivener links removed. See update below.)

Without further adieu, here's Arial's Author Toolbox: