TBEX 2013 Tim Leffel - Expanding Your Publishing Empire
Beyond Blogging: Building aPublishing EmpireTim LeffelGo here to tweet it - travelwriting2.com/tbex
Tim LeffelBEYOND BLOGGING – BUILDING A PUBLISHING EMPIRE
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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?
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)
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
Wealth should be created by investing to create more wealth. Income is the fruit of wealth.
I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of not trying.
“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.”
“Don’t be put off by failure. Work really hard to make your ideasucceed. If it doesn’t, bow out gracefully and try again.”
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.
“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
Tim Leffel’s Media HoldingsPLUS MULTIPLE BOOKS GENERATING ROYALTIESPLUS FREELANCE INCOME
The benefits of multiple sites, $streamsA buffer against factors beyond your controlIncreased inventory for advertisingCross-promotion opportunitiesIncreased outlet/content/travel opportunitiesIncreased affiliate sale opportunitiesIncreased tax write-off opportunitiesIncreased media/marketing opportunitiesMultiple streams of income – earning diversity
Test and Experiment; Fail orSucceedStart-up costs are the lowest in historyData measurement tools are cheap or freeFinding your audience is easier than everWeb publishing is a no-overhead businessPublishing books is cheaper than everJoblets can be farmed out as needed
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)
Where are the future opportunities?Owning a specific nicheServing an underserved marketBeing first to a categoryBeing completely differentBuilding a tribe of followersBeing better, stronger, faster
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?
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
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
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
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
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?
Expanding your empire(without losing your mind)MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR TIME AND EFFORT
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
Do the real work, but farm out therestElance, Sologig, Odesk, Guru.comCraigslist, TaskrabbitPA services like VirtualStaffFinder.comNetwork for writersLook abroad to lower expensesAutomate when it makes senseHave a predictable scheduleDon’t overextend on $ or time
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