Jan 232017
 

Picture from Nepal, Renjo LaLong time has passed since I updated the blog for the last time. But don’t worry, they didn’t arrest me again, and I didn’t get run out of ideas either. 🙂

Honestly, I’ve done very little for the book marketing between 23rd November and 3rd January. I spent those weeks in Nepal, in the Himalayas. ‘Doing nothing’ and letting go, for a few weeks at least, is vitally important for someone who works intellectually, creatively, and even tries to write something unique and innovative.

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Nov 212016
 

Donation IRRCSix weeks still left in 2016. For me, however, the working year will end in two days already.

On Wednesday I’ll leave for Nepal, where I’ll spend the rest of the year living a simple life of a backpacker in the Himalaya Mountains.   

The trip should help me restore my mental and physical energy levels. Typically it works, and I really need to restore them. I need to spend extended time in the nature at least twice a year, to maintain my inner equilibrium. Forgetting all world problems and leaving my personal challenges, pleasures and duties behind, these backpacking trips allow me to function normally and work hard for the rest of the year. The rest of the year is when I do not travel. 🙂

Occasionally I may connect the two, writing while traveling, but it won’t be the case in Nepal. . . .

 

First donation to Red Cross

I wanted to make a first donation before leaving Slovakia. So I counted all money we received for the sales of the University of Solitude, from 2nd May 2016 to 15th November 2016. It included:    Continue reading »

Nov 142016
 

Homepage of Criticue.com“The more you contribute the more feedback you receive.”

Criticue.com is an interesting concept—a peer to peer website review portal. You create a free account, submit your website, and start reviewing other users’ websites. (start-up owners and web designers form the majority of user base).

You earn one credit for every submitted review, and each review cost you one credit. Putting it simply, if you review 10 websites, you’ll get 10 reviews of your own website(s). Note: You an also buy credits, if you do not feel like reviewing websites.

Site moderators check each submitted review, and users rate reviews they receive, which helps to eliminate spam, and ensure that your credits won’t be wasted.

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Nov 082016
 

Visotrs overview, May-November Our long term book marketing strategy consists in the following promotion techniques:

  • Driving traffic to the book landing page through our YouTube channel
  • Gaining organic Google traffic with the help of search engine optimization
  • Building my brand as a writer and thinker, posting comments to relevant videos and participating in discussions on philosophy forums

 

These promotion techniques form our long term marketing strategy, as we try to promote University of Solitude to the world. In this post I’ll update you on the progress we achieved so far, and describe lessons I learned along the way.

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Nov 012016
 
One of my ads displayed on Amazon.com

One of my ads displayed on Amazon.com

Amazon ads. I was tempted to give them a try. After all, they differ from all other promotion we have done for the book so far.

When people click the ads, they’ll land on Amazon product page of University of Solitude. In all my previous and ongoing marketing efforts, I have tried to bring visitors to Universityofsolitude.com website, and not to Amazon. Could bringing them to Amazon yield better results, in terms of sales? I decided to give it a try.

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Oct 192016
 

Our book on AmazonNearly six months has passed since we published the University of Solitude on Amazon.com. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Six months, that’s exactly how long I’d been imprisoned in Iran.

Those memorable six months, from August 2012 to February 2013, felt like a few years to me. The last six months of my life? They just flew by. . . . The perception of time is indeed relative.

But I do no want to be nostalgic, or summarize what we have achieved with our English publication so far. There’s nothing to brag about anyway 🙂. We’ve sold just a couple of dozens of books. That will neither spread my philosophy of life, nor help the Red Cross in their humanitarian operations (we donate all the book royalties to Red Cross).

There’s nothing to brag about, and there’s also nothing to summarize – since we are far from done yet!

Six months, however, is about a right time to start building backlinks to Universityofsolitude.com, in order to try and rank on Google for the keywords of our choice. I’ll try to outline my strategy, what we want to achieve on Google.com and how we’ll progress to do it.

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Oct 052016
 

How to rank your video on YouTube?

How long will it take to reach the top? Can we game a system and boost our rankings on YouTube in a very short time? And, if it is possible, how much time and money will such a ranking manipulation cost?

As I already mentioned in my earlier posts, I came to a conclusion that the only marketing campaigns worth investing our time in are those with a potential to bring targeted, recurring traffic to our book landing pages.

Building your own YouTube channel and ranking the videos for keywords relevant to your book belongs to these techniques.

If I, for example, managed to rank a video for a keyword “prison stories” on the first page of YouTube search results (or Google search results), I’ll get a number of targeted views every day. People search for this keyword all the time. Just see:

2 days and so many views

More than one million people have seen the second video on the list in last three years… Can you imagine our book trailer holding that spot? The first video has 8K views only, but it was uploaded just two days ago! Their high ranking is a result of 100K subscribers, and probably some algorithm manipulation (We’ll talk about it later)

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Sep 232016
 

Serious marketing requires serious effort. Success of your book (website/music album/business) does not primarily depend on your creativity. It depends on your willingness to work hard.

Shortcuts do exist, true, and creative social media campaign can bring big traffic to your website (see my Reddit experiment as a good example of it happening). But, speaking from long term perspective, you will never build your business on foundations of these campaigns. The traffic from social media campaigns simply doesn’t last. Once the campaign ends, you will end up without any visitors. And you can’t repeat the same thing time and again. It won’t be effective anymore.

Therefore we should primarily focus on long term marketing strategies that will eventually result in recurring traffic to our websites.

 

I have three such strategies in mind for the University of Solitude. All of them require a lot of effort and patience, but I don’t mind.

Ninety-five out of hundred people are either lazy, or they give up too soon. They will not devote enough time to these long-term strategies, or they will quit too soon. Which means less competition for me and you, so nothing to complain about… I am not lazy and hope you aren’t 🙂

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Sep 142016
 

Unknown website visitorAn unknown person, let’s call them X, reaches our landing page. We know little about them—how old they are, what they do for living, where they come from, how they feel today.

Person X simply reached the website of the University of Solitude—that’s all we know. They may scroll the page, they may read the excerpt, or they may click the menu. They may do all kind of other things as well.

But eventually, doesn’t matter who they are and what they do, and how much attention they pay to our message, they’ll either leave the website, or click “buy now” button and navigate to purchase the book on Amazon.com.

Most people will always decide for the first option—leaving the website. And it doesn’t matter how good your landing page is. That’s just how things work in the world of internet marketing. Just a fraction of visitors (always less than 5%, doesn’t matter what niche we talk about) will eventually make a purchase.  

But a small percentage of people will actually purchase the book, or  at least complete some other, desired action (like the website on FaceBook, subscribe to your newsletter).

Now, the question stands: What decides whether they leave the website, or whether they purchase the book?

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Sep 102016
 

Ten days ago I had a conversation with a good friend of mine. Knowing most of my activities and plans, he suggested I should proceed with opening a vegetarian restaurant, something I intended to do one day, most likely in a horizon of few years (he himself started the vegetarian diet recently)….

“Eating well and being healthy are the most important things,” he said. You should focus your efforts on this rather than philosophy. Vegetarian restaurant is something realistic, tangible, a place where you can see the results of your work immediately, in people coming and trying something new, potentially changing their eating habits. And that will result in an improved quality of their life. You should go for it now.”

(Note: There aren’t any vegetarian restaurants in my city, or in a bigger city nearby. We combine together for nearly 100,000 inhabitants.)

 

Philosophy, the queen

I thought about what he said for a second, and gave him my reply:

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