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[GLR Writer] Posts

A Self-Publishing Lesson from Legoland

lego character

My family was lucky enough to spend the weekend at Legoland for my son’s birthday. We had never been there before and we had a blast. Besides the rides, the food and the weather, one thing stood out. It was a self-publishing lesson I know I can apply.

Above and Beyond

My wife and sons have to eat a relatively strict diet because of food allergies. This isn’t a decision based on preference or to be cool. If they eat certain foods they get sick.

Most places we go if the they have a gluten-free, dairy-free menu option it isn’t very tasty. Or, they are stuck with assorted fruits and veggies of varying quality.

This morning when we went to the buffet breakfast the hostess asked if we had any questions. My wife mentioned her allergies and probably expected the usual response. Most times it is either no or a limited selection.

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Beginner Self-Publishing Roadmap Vol 1.2

A map and tools for your beginner self-publishing roadmap
Your roadmap to indie author success

Here is Vol. 1.2 of the beginner self-publishing roadmap. Enjoy.

BOOKS

Level Up Your Life – Steve Kamb (audiobook)

I don’t listen to many audiobooks – straight Kindle app on my iPhone son – but this book by the founder of NerdFitness.com was a great deal and impossible to pass up.

EBOOKS

The 5P Approach to Copy that Crushes It

Downloaded this free ebook from My.Copyblogger (their free online education site) and plan to read all the books in their archive.

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How to Build a Unique Website

image of computer and how to build a unique website

Here is the question: how to build a unique website?

Back in 2010 there were less than 250 million sites. Today we are well over one billion.

With that much information getting generated by that many sites, how do we stand out? How do we build a unique website that speaks to people?

How to be Unique

For me, tracking everything I learn and come across on my self-publishing journey will be different than anyone else’s. It will be different because it will be my own experience. But to think nobody has done this type of thing before is silly.

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My Daily Writing Routine

person typing during daily writing routine

Building a daily writing routine is one of the best things a new author can do. Getting the words down on the page daily is a cornerstone habit of any successful writer.

The problem is finding the time, environment and inspiration to write daily can seem like an insurmountable obstacle.

Today I’m taking a closer look at my current daily writing routine. Hopefully you’ll see some similarities with your own routine and together we can strengthen this vital piece of our author business.

My Current Daily Writing Routine

For the past few years I’ve written daily on and off. I get motivated some months and commit to 1,000 words/day. Other months I’m more realistic and shoot for 250 words/day.

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My Self-Publishing Journey So Far

self-publishing journey

This blog is a record of my self-publishing journey and I haven’t talked about publishing yet. Today I want to share where I’ve been, what my platform looks like today and goals going forward.

Self-Publishing History

I have self-published four Kindle books in the past. They covered topics such as time management, confidence for introverts, gratitude and how to conduct effective meetings.

None of them are currently on Amazon.

The quality was not high. I did all the writing and editing and cover design myself.

The writing was OK, the editing should have been done professionally and the cover was OK, but not jaw dropping.

I learned the ins and outs of uploading e-books, how to write an effective book description and all the little things that need to be done to get a book into Amazon.

That was almost two years ago. Two years ago I thought I had Kindle publishing figured out. Fast forward to today and there isn’t much I would do the same. That is the reason I pulled the books.

I’ve seen plenty of books that were worse than mine. The problem is I saw a whole bunch that were better.

I fell into the trap of writing quickly and waiting for the market to tell me what I needed to improve. The issue was if you don’t do the writing, editing and marketing well you will get lumped in with all the other Kindle authors who take the easy way to publishing.

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How to Write Everyday

how to writer everyday of the monthly calendar

One of the hardest things I’ve found as I’ve started my self-publishing journey is finding the time to write everyday.

Actually that isn’t true. I’ve found it hard to write well everyday.

I have enough writing prompts in Evernote alone that I’ll run out of ideas sometime in 2025.

The problem though is just getting down to the writing everyday on a consistent basis.

I think about how I want to call myself a writer and I can. I don’t need anyone’s permission. What I do need to do though is write. That kind of helps the whole calling yourself a writer mean something.

So here are the four things I’m focusing on to write everyday. I hope they help you overcome any hurdles as you start to build your author platform.

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Beginner Self-Publishing Roadmap

A map and tools for your beginner self-publishing roadmap
Your roadmap to indie author success

I have three goals for the weekly series Beginner Self-Publishing Roadmap.

One, I want to share all the great resources I come across on a weekly basis. I know you are busy and finding time to write is priority #1. Priority #2 should be how to build your author platform. That is where the Beginner Self-Publishing Roadmap comes in.

I hope the articles, podcasts, webinars, etc. that I share every week will help you pick and choose where you want to spend your valuable time to learn the ins and outs of author platform building.

Two, I have the bad habit of reading, watching or listening to helpful, valuable content and knowing that what I’m learning could change my business. Too often though I don’t act on that information and it goes to waste.

The Roadmap then will serve as my virtual to-do list of actions I need to take to continue to build the best author platform I can. I’ll share the best of what I come across and after I implement whatever takeaways I pull from each resource I’ll share my results as well.

Third, I read constantly about the highlights (and lowlights) of someone’s journey to entrepreneurial and author success. What I want to know is what exactly they did to achieve what they have. I know what worked for them may not work for me. However, specific activities done over the period of years are more helpful to me (and I hope you) then platitudes about positive thinking and the power of attraction.

So here is issue one of the Beginner Self-Publishing Roadmap. If you have questions feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at GLRWriter.

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Rabbit Hole SEO

image of rabbit in rabbit hole which is perfect metaphor for rabbit hole seo
SEO can easily lead you down the rabbit hole

I’ve started a few blogs in the past. I know all about rabbit hole SEO.

You know, the latest hack you learn that you have to try on your author platform. Or the cool plugin that promises to rocket you up the Google search rankings.

I know how one good looking idea can turn into hours (or even days) of tinkering and iterating that never stops.

Somedays are like yesterday though. Yesterday was my journey down the rabbit hole of SEO.

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The Author Platform Trap

image of car stuck
Does building your author platform feel like this sometimes?

I’m trying to build my author platform from scratch. I guess how else would I build it but from the beginning right? The problem I have is I have 10,000 ideas and no time.

Right now it is 11:30 p.m. on a Friday night and I’m just starting my daily writing. I usually write during my boy’s nap time, but my youngest was fussy today and didn’t sleep his usual couple of hours. Like most days something came up and my writing saw the short end of the stick.

I know, boo hoo me.

I did have time to listen to a short podcast today and found a system that I have to try to get my 500 daily words written. In yesterday’s post I linked to Jeff Goins’ podcast The Portfolio Life and how I wanted to take on his challenge to write 500 words per day.

In today’s episode 3 Writing Habits, Blogs, and Books You Need to Succeed as a Writer Jeff talked about his Three-Bucket System and how it can help any author hit their daily word goals.

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What if You Wrote Everyday for a Year?

image of typewriter for writing daily
A sweet daily writing setup

I just listened to the podcast The Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins and Andy Traub. The episode is called The Hidden Benefits to Writing Daily and Blogging Consistently. The funny thing is the episode was very powerful and as I listened to it I started thinking, yep, this is what I have to do. Writing everyday could be the secret I’ve been searching for.

Then I get home and I read an article. I do some more work on my two new websites – getting them setup on Google Search Console – and other easy tasks that make me feel like I’m working. I read some more articles.

Now it is almost midnight and the little voice comes a calling. Maybe it is Resistance, maybe it’s me being tired and knowing that even though tomorrow is Friday I have all the little things to do once again. Maybe it would be easier to just get on Twitter and feel like I’m doing something when deep down inside I know I’m not.

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