Are you curious about a half-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.
May 2017 was… average. Not much out of the ordinary had happened.
I was busy writing Quora answers, importing them to Medium, formatting and submitting to publications. I added the usual batch of income reports and email broadcasts to the mix.
Coaching and Coach.me
At the beginning of May, I was featured on Coach.me’s email broadcast. Coach.me’s staff contacted me in advance and made sure I was available and wanted to get new clients. I was excited; I hoped for an onslaught of new clients. I got only 6 of them, and it appeared that some of them were freebie seekers. They sucked me dry in the first free week (that was my deal with Coach.me) and cancelled.
However, I still got 2 clients that stayed with me for several months. Each client means about $30 more in my monthly income. The best was that it was zero hassle for me; I already was doing it.
A Praise for Coach.me
From time to time, a new coaching platform contacts me and invites me to use their services. Once or twice, I even created an account.
And totally nothing has ever happened. The power of Coach.me lies in the fact that they are doing the marketing for you. If you are a good coach, you will get noticed and you will get featured.
Their system ranks coaches based on their client’s performance, something I hadn’t seen anywhere else.
I did on Coach.me only what I had done on other platforms: I created a coaching profile. 90% of my clients are finding me inside the platform. The fact that I use Coach.me for tracking my personal habits every day only enforces my position on the platform and is another advantage I didn’t see on any other platform.
You can use the application and teach others inside the community. It’s simply awesome.
I found enough keywords for three additional campaigns for each of my books. For the sake of this report, I checked their profitability. They earned me about $300 in less than four months, and they are still providing new sales. I guesstimate that my rate per hour spent on creating those ads is north of $80.
And those particular campaigns weren’t especially profitable nor efficient.
A Battle with a Gatekeeper
At the beginning of the month, I discovered a great opportunity to earn decent money with writing. Medium has created their paywall and they paid $500 per article about personal development. I contacted the editor and provided my idea. I even had a draft article ready on Medium.
Initially, the editor gave me a green light. I was stoked! That might have been my way out from my day job! The story hadn’t finished in May, which is one of my complaints, but I will tell it to the end.
I wrote a long and well-researched article. I paid my proofreader to correct it. I applied her corrections. Then I waited about a month, following up a few times. In the end, I got the reply that my writing stinks and it’s not what the editors hoped for.
I fulfilled his every requirement. I spent hours on researching, writing and correcting. He had a look at my material before he gave me the green light.
Yet, in the end, he rejected my article.
That was a straw that broke the camel’s back. I had enough of gatekeepers. In fact, I’ve had enough gatekeepers for the rest of my life. You would have to be very convincing to persuade me to solicit a single article to a magazine, publication or blog.
The exact process happened to me for the second time. In 2013, Firepole Marketing rejected my guest post a few days before publication. I went through a few rounds of edition to comply with their wishes and they told me to back off.
At least they told me something. 80% of the time I pitched my writing, I got no response at all.
So, when it comes to gatekeepers, I don’t care for the whole lot anymore.
Strangely enough, when there are no middlemen between me and my readers – on my blog, Amazon, Quora or Medium -readers engage with my stories. Thousands of people joined my email list, bought my books or followed me on Quora and Medium. I have several hundred positive reviews and testimonials from my readers.
Why would I waste my time on pleasing the editors, when I can please my readers without banging my head against an editor’s gates?
Gatekeepers are from the dinosaurs’ era, when writers needed to beg them to put their words in front of readers.
Nowadays, this is upside down. Now, gatekeepers are desperately looking for writers who can engage readers. Editors are willing to pay them or reward them in other ways. Writers who write good stories are rewarded by Quora with exposure. When you write regularly and readers like you, Quora sends more readers your way.
On Medium, publications reached out to me and invited me on board. Recently, Medium started to invite writers to their “behind the paywall” program. And writers will be compensated based on readers’ engagement.
My 16-year-old son writes fanfiction on Wattpad. His writing is horrible compared with traditional publishers’ standards. I don’t believe he edits his stories at all. Yet, he has a few dozen followers. People are reading his stuff and interacting directly with him.
Dinosaurs died out. Gatekeepers will die out too.
In May, I prepared two manuscripts for audiobook production. I sent them to Archangel Ink and got quotes. Those productions were costly, both of them summed up to almost a thousand bucks. They drained my investment fund in June.
A Fruitful Call
On the 1st of May, 2017 I called American author, Pete Smith, and gave him some free tips about how to improve his Amazon presence. We chatted for about 30 minutes. I helped him because I was very impressed by his book. I had no agenda in mind.
I had no idea what I had started. Down the road, Pete became the first client of my Amazon ads service. Because our cooperation was so successful, I reached out to other authors and offered them my help with marketing their books. As of now, I run campaigns for 11 other authors.
However, on 1st of May, it was still months ahead and I had no clue what I had started.
I split ways with my previous proofreader; she definitely wasn’t satisfied with the meager allowances I paid her, and I didn’t blame her. I basically paid her Fiverr’s rates, because that was all I could afford. Or I thought so.
Anyway, I was lucky to have another proofreader at hand. She did a few jobs for me pro bono publico, and I was very happy with our cooperation. I offered her proofreading everything I produce, and she was glad to take the job even with those laughable fees. Well, she did that for free before, so I think it was an improvement for her.
So, in the exact moment I needed a new proofreader, I got one. People call it serendipity. I call it Providence.
Our cooperation is as smooth as possible. She proofread about 150,000 words of my works, and I found only a few cases when she misunderstood my intention. That’s incredible. We understand each other so well, that it seems like magic. She is very accurate and replies promptly to my messages. She took quite a lot of editing workload off my shoulders.
We’ve never met each other. We’ve never even had a phone call. Yet, we work as a well-knit team. How is this possible?
God is good.
The Income Report Breakdown
Amazon royalties: €1082.97 ($1191.27)
CreateSpace royalties: €875.72 ($963.29)
Coach.me fees: $370.87
Draft2Digital royalties: $16.35
Audiobooks royalties: $65.66
PWIW personal coaching: $143.85
Affiliate commission for KD Sales Machine course: $38.5
$36.9, View From the Top Community fee
$29, Aweber fee
$20, InstaFreebie fee
$265, Business on Purpose mastermind
$80.80, royalties split with co-author
$261.62, Amazon ads
$20, RA’s (RA = Real Assistant; my son 😉 ) remuneration
$65.33, my editor’s income share
$5, Medium premium membership
$43.5, Buck Books promo
$100, Book Report yearly fee
$347, audiobook production of Master Your Time
Net Result: $1495.64