TBEX 2013 Tim Leffel - Expanding Your Publishing Empire

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Travel Blogger's Exchange Conference talk on expanding beyond one blog or website to creating a real media company.

Travel Blogger's Exchange Conference talk on expanding beyond one blog or website to creating a real media company.

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  • 1. Beyond Blogging: Building aPublishing EmpireTim LeffelGo here to tweet it - travelwriting2.com/tbex
  • 3. Tweet this the easy wayAlready autofilled attravelwriting2.com/tbex(Want to do this yourself? Use ClicktoTweet & Pretty Link Wordpress plug-in.)
  • 4. From Blog to Sustainable BusinessWhy expand beyond one website or one business?How do we spot opportunities and build revenue streams?How do we do it without losing our free time and our minds?
  • 5. The grim reality of relying on others for youremployment:- Unemployment in Canada is 7%, the USA and UK is 8%, Portugal 17%, Spain 27%, Greece 27%- For those aged 16-24 it’s 14% Canada, 17% USA, 21% UK, 38% Portugal, 52% Spain, 60%Greece. Only Germany below 10% in developed world.- “More than half of Americas recent college graduates are either unemployed or working in ajob that doesnt require a bachelors degree.” (Associated Press)- 25 percent of retail sales clerks in the USA have bachelor’s degrees. (USA Today)- As of April, “Only 56% of the law school graduates of 2012 [in the USA] had found a stable, full-time job in the legal profession.” (The Atlantic)
  • 6. Who’s responsible for yourlivelihood?
  • 7. How is real wealth created?• Selling something of value repeatedly, with a sizeable margin• Saving & investing income from a high-value service performed repeatedly• Building businesses that generate income and can be sold
  • 8. Wealth should be created by investing to create more wealth. Income is the fruit of wealth.
  • 9. I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of not trying.
  • 10. “Sometimes we are called to wait and it canbe a good thing, but other times I reallybelieve that we need to make thingshappen, and pursue our dreams withreckless abandon.”
  • 11. “Don’t be put off by failure. Work really hard to make your ideasucceed. If it doesn’t, bow out gracefully and try again.”
  • 12. It is impossible to live without failing atsomething, unless you live so cautiously thatyou might has well not have lived at all, inwhich case you have failed by default.
  • 13. “Putting all your eggs in one basket and watching thebasket really carefully isnt nearly as effective as theother alternatives. Not when the world gets crazy.”- Seth Godin
  • 15. Luxury Latin AmericaPractical Travel GearCheapest DestinationsBook royaltiesFreelance writingPerceptive TravelEARNINGS SPLIT
  • 16. The benefits of multiple sites, $streamsA buffer against factors beyond your controlIncreased inventory for advertisingCross-promotion opportunitiesIncreased outlet/content/travel opportunitiesIncreased affiliate sale opportunitiesIncreased tax write-off opportunitiesIncreased media/marketing opportunitiesMultiple streams of income – earning diversity
  • 17. Pandas, Penguins, and(Un)predictability
  • 18. Pandas, Penguins, and(Un)predictability
  • 19. Test and Experiment; Fail orSucceedStart-up costs are the lowest in historyData measurement tools are cheap or freeFinding your audience is easier than everWeb publishing is a no-overhead businessPublishing books is cheaper than everJoblets can be farmed out as needed
  • 20. Publishing paths to profitabilityFAST BUT WITH LESS POTENTIAL1-writer blog or content site (6 – 9 months)Short e-book (3 - 6 months)Freelance writing (1 - 6 months per article)SLOW BUT WITH MORE POTENTIALMulti-contributor blog/content site (1-2 years)Full length book POD (3 - 9 months), Fulllength book traditional (1.5 - 3 years)
  • 21. Where are the future opportunities?Owning a specific nicheServing an underserved marketBeing first to a categoryBeing completely differentBuilding a tribe of followersBeing better, stronger, faster
  • 22. Passion + = $
  • 23. Do readers care…enough to come back?enough to subscribe without a pop-up ad in their face?enough to follow you where you ask them to go?enough to tell you what they like/don’t like/care about?enough to spend money on something?
  • 24. I’m trying to find a website with…Adventure spas for guys Kayaking routes in FloridaCheap travel advice for GuatemalaReviews of wine biking toursEvery ship sailing the Galapagos Surf lodges under $40 per nightHotels in ______ that aren’t on ExpediaAll the safari operators in Kenya A directory of 1-day cooking classesHiking trails in Mexico Lift ticket discountsNon-hostel cheap hotels in BoliviaTravel information on Zacatecas Windows RT apps for travel
  • 25. Where to look for ideasMagazines (Wired, Inc., The Week, Mental Floss, Economist…)Conferences (esp. non-writing)Good TV (in moderation)Conversations with infrequent travelersBiographiesGood history booksGood filmsIn natureReader comments
  • 26. Go where the money isLOW INCOME POTENTIAL (UNLESS YOU’RE TOPS)Long-term backpackingBudget travelDestinations with few visitorsUnpopular activitiesNarrative travel writingResponsible travelVolunteeringHIGH INCOME POTENTIALLuxury travelHotels & resortsPopular destinationsPopular activitiesTravel products and gadgetsAdventure & toursVacation ideas
  • 27. What advertisers care aboutNOT IMPORTANTHow often you postHow much time you spend on FacebookYour three weeks in MoldovaWhat you ate for lunchHow many countries you’ve been toYour history in the Peace CorpsHow you pay your billsVERY IMPORTANTTheir salesClick-through ratesNumber of readers OR focused audienceEngagementStrength of brand, followingClearness of message/slantInfluence
  • 28. Non-advertising revenue optionsOngoing sponsorshipsBook royaltiesE-book salesCoursesConsultingLeading toursFreelance writingSpeaking for companies/brand
  • 29. Relationships and visibility better yourodds“All things being equal, people would rather work with people they like.”Who knows you?Who likes you?Who trusts you?Whom can you help?Who should know you?Who should trust you?
  • 30. Expanding your empire(without losing your mind)MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR TIME AND EFFORT
  • 31. What I accomplish each month26 blog posts2-8 freelance articlesSocial media promotion for 6 websitesTravel 7-10 daysHave fun on the weekendsManage 21 bloggers and assistantsPublish Perceptive Travel webzineEdit 6-12 feature articlesInterface with 10-20 advertisersSleep
  • 32. Do the real work, but farm out therestElance, Sologig, Odesk, Guru.comCraigslist, TaskrabbitPA services like VirtualStaffFinder.comNetwork for writersLook abroad to lower expensesAutomate when it makes senseHave a predictable scheduleDon’t overextend on $ or time
  • 33. How to do the work of many peopleLimit social media time to x minutes per dayHave a weekly entertainment time budgetSpend 80% of time on creation, revenueSet weekly goals, not a long daily task listUse the phone to get more done fasterKnow what your time is worth and leverage itNOT Leverage
  • 34. Promote when it matters, not when it doesn’t
  • 35. Big ideas require thinking time“People who work 50 or 60 hours rarely get more done than people who work 40 hours”- What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekends
  • 36. And don’t forget…1. Do work that you’re proud of.2. Do work that will last.3. Create publications that will take on a life of their own.
  • 37. Beyond Blogging: Building aPublishing EmpireTim Leffel – www.TimLeffel.comGet the materials - travelwriting2.com/empire/