Farm work hit my writing this week – fixing fences for those errant “children” of mine – plus a freelance project needed major overhaul. But work continues. And – NaNoWriMo starts this week…
The Great Writing Business Challenge – Week 43 Results
Instafreebie/PW: 15/85 (Actual vs. Reported: 17.6%) 0 non-IF. 64 no-openers moved off.
Overall Total: 2982 (new subscribers dropping behind, gradually) Those IF/PW subscribers remaining after a year: 1333/6220 (21%) Back to average retention levels.
Book Sales: See Week 42
Published Words Fiction:
– free – Own Site: 0, Medium: 0, Wattpad: 3 chapters
– paid – Book Outlets: 0, Medium: 0
Published Words Non-Fiction:
– free – Own Site: 1735 this blog, Else: 0 articles on Medium scheduled
– paid – Book Outlets: 0, Medium: 0
Fiction Books re-published with updates:
- No recent progress – will be addressed after courses.
Books In Progress:
- HS Book 3 prequel: “Walkaway Blues” sequel “Walkaway Diner Doubts”, “NaN”
- “Erotika Jones” prequel (and re-starting that series for NaNoWriMo)
- HS Book 5 prequel: “Felicity”, “Sitting Felicity”, “Their Eyes” – a trilogy now.
Courses in Progress:
- “Strangest Secret” (now in beta),
- “Get Everything You Want Out of Life”,
- “If You Can Count to Four…” (now in beta),
- “Completely Change Your Life in 30 Seconds” – still in alpha.
New Podcast Episodes:
Meta data changes: Increased price of CYL a dollar, again.
More farm work and a freelance job I’m paying for – hit my plate this week. Cows getting out, getting them back in, finding where they got out (during daylight) and fixing these took time away.
Producing courses with a ghost writer
The freelance job is getting some PLR re-written, which has proved the computer adage: garbage in = garbage out. Once I really looked at what was selling, I completely revised the re-writing this guy was going to do. And gave him material that held together and could be produced as a course.
The point is to have this set up so that it will work out when you start to make a course of it. I know there is going to have to be more editing and revision, even after I approve and pay my freelancer. He’s mentioned it as well. The point is to keep this down to a minimum.
This is the realization that made paying him so much for something I could do myself. Because I never would otherwise.
PLR has the problem that the bulk of it is crud. The books are mostly a bunch of articles all collected together and don’t necessarily really address the area in a comprehensive nature. I saw this when I started reading through the articles. Most would repeat sections, sentences, or phrases from other chapters, and so it simply didn’t hold together as a course.
What was making this particular piece sell was it’s cover and blurb. (Big surprise.) The text sucked. No worse than the rest of them, but that’s not good enough.
Any new course you have has to fit in and push the other courses in that set. So you’re better off seeing what PLR you have, reading it, and then writing from scratch.
What I gave this author was excerpted chapters from other books, in 500-word +/- selections, that could be re-written into modern language. He also got 6 chapters with three selections in each one. So – 1500 words, which would fit into the 12K budget we agreed on. 500 words makes 2-3 minute videos. 12K words also makes a book about 40 pages long in print.
Record that book and you have the basis for the audio book and also will be able to make the course go into beta without the videos, just audio and text. More than likely, this will be how I produce these courses to get them done rapidly. People like videos, but they are a time-drain to produce.
Again, the assembly line goes: Course, audiobook, printbook, ebook. This enables you to create coupons for courses and use then in the other book versions. Similarly, the course gets updated when the other three versions are made available. And you can then create a bundle which includes all the digital versions and a discount “coupon” to have the POD book printed for them (“custom”).
Three Sizes of Courses Fit All Content
I learned this week from Teachable that there are three types of courses:
Mini is usually free, but can also be an email course – and upsells the standard and flagship courses. Sitting down to do this would be a day if they get it all at once. These are subscriber magnets. (You give it away so they can sample.)
Standard is your medium-sized and can be completed in shorter time. The attention span is probably about a week. These are paid. A medium transformation for your audience.
Large courses are flagship courses – they’re high-dollar courses that gather ALL of your knowledge in a niche and promise a huge transformation to your audience. And can take a month or more to work through – and months to create.
So the work is to get the mini and standard courses into beta quickly. The flagship is gotten out as alpha quickly – with audio included, but probably not the “content upgrades”.
In this, you can build your “idea-containers” such that each standard course is then included in the flagship course. Much as the “quick-reads” are rounded up into longer collections.
Compared to fiction works, mini’s are 6-12K short stories, standard are 12-40K novellas, flagship courses are 50K on up. Practically, this 12K book I’m getting re-written will become a standard course.
Generally, you want a mini-course able to be delivered by e-mail in 5 main messages. Your intro and upsell emails will add to these, but aren’t the course proper. None of the courses I’ve put up currently are really mini-courses. I’d have to edit them down to that amount. But give a 100% discount coupon for people who made it through the mini-course of 5 lessons – and get the additional content. Then they’d be intrigued (and cross-sold) on the other courses in that student area. As well as free access to the portions (note!) of the flagship course still in alpha. So you can use the feedback to adjust your flagship course as you build it.
Earlier, this was confusing, since several authors recommended not writing any lessons until you heard from your subscribers. But if you don’t have enough subscribers to get feedback (expect only 1%) then you’re up a creek with no paddle. So you start with a mini, expand it into a standard, take those standard courses and build a Flagship course out of them. (And providing “content upgrade” downloads you can count will tell you what are the most popular standard courses you need to finish first.)
There’s a lot more to courses. And this data will also be refined once I finish up another review of copywriting classics. (Expect a series of courses in this area.)
But here’s a sample – like I’ll do with the copywriting data:
- Assess your expertise in an area and assemble an outline of the data you can share.
- Blog posts that are reviews of available data in the area (book reviews) with quotes and dissection. (Lessons)
- Collated into areas of similarities – and a summary post cross-comparing these books goes in at the last.
- Headlines for modules and lessons are all tailored to prompt action.
- Post has a download top and bottom to get that data (and more…)
- Track your download counts and work highest downloads up with audio recordings, bringing them into beta first. (And shutting off non-paid access.)
- Streamline your outline and re-sort/revised based on what your audience actually wants.
You can also build a content calendar to accomplish building your flagship course at the end of a year:
- Take an existing book that needs updating (and is in public domain or orphan) and split it into 50 obvious parts.
- Schedule these to be posted as the original chapters and schedule them through that year. Create that download PDF and track these.
- In probably 500-word bites, divide and re-write those chapters and record these as part of the editing. A 2000-word chapter would then have four lessons, itself being a module. Work on revising a few each week – no real hurry, pay attention to quality.
- Meanwhile, you offer the original book for sale (at discount)
- Eventually, you complete the re-writing and post your updated version – in addition to the original, and also as a bundle, along with the audiobook.
- As sections are completed, they become standard courses and are put into beta (and over into paid, exclusive content.)
- When all your course sections are complete, then create a webinar that promotes the entire mini-standard-flagship scene. Re-release the content for the chapters (mini-courses) as a perennial podcast that re-starts each year (and promotes the books and course. As you’ve selected evergreen material, you’ have little to do to keep these updated every year.
- Writing the “Erotika Jones” Series for NaNoWriMo outlines for the major plot-shifts to fit 8 books. Starts this Friday. I’ll set up the book-series and start writing on Sun/Mon. Hopefully the earlier covers already created will need little, if any upgrades.
- “If You Can Count to Four…” course went in to beta with audio only.
- Work on “Get Anything You Want Out of Life” and the Medium/Wattpad postings were delayed this week. (Still working – day 3 tomorrow – on repairing the fence to hold these cattle once they return from their current pasture.)
Last week’s to-do’s:
- This analysis, emails out (Sun) – Yup
- Remaining mini courses – takeaways, action steps, videos (Mon-Wed) – Nope
- Move beta courses to Thinkific (Thurs) – Nope
- Start advertising (Bookbub) re-study (Fri) – Nope
- Wattpad, Medium postings (Sat) – Nope
- Preps for NaNoWriMo – Yup
This week’s to-do’s:
- This analysis, emails out (Sun) –
- Remaining course – takeaways, action steps, (Mon-Wed) –
- Move beta courses to Thinkific (Thurs) –
- Start advertising (Bookbub) re-study (Fri) –
- Wattpad, Medium postings (Sat) –
- Set up book series for NaNoWriMo (start writing 12.5K on Sun/Mon the week following, but free to set out core data as inspired.)