Become a Writer Today

Create Content And Grow Your Business Fast with Daniel Cooper

March 31, 2021 Bryan Collins Season 2
Become a Writer Today
Create Content And Grow Your Business Fast with Daniel Cooper
Chapters
Become a Writer Today
Create Content And Grow Your Business Fast with Daniel Cooper
Mar 31, 2021 Season 2
Bryan Collins

What does SEO look like for creatives today?

It's a great strategy for building traction for a business or a book, how can you do that without throwing money at Facebook or Google ads?

My guest in this episode is the Founder of Lolly Co, Daniel Cooper. His new book, Upgrade, shows business owners how to use key strategies and techniques to grow their business, including producing engaging content.

Content can come in many forms, from blogging, writing guest articles, newsletters - in fact, anything where some type of creative writing is involved.

But it's not just about producing volumes of content for the sake of it. It's learning how to craft exciting and useful content that will ultimately get you seen.

In today's episode we discuss: 

  • Writing content that engages the reader
  • The benefits of creating a newsletter
  • Using the right tools when crafting your content
  • Where to place your content so that you retain full control over it

Resources:


Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/becomeawritertoday)

Show Notes Transcript

What does SEO look like for creatives today?

It's a great strategy for building traction for a business or a book, how can you do that without throwing money at Facebook or Google ads?

My guest in this episode is the Founder of Lolly Co, Daniel Cooper. His new book, Upgrade, shows business owners how to use key strategies and techniques to grow their business, including producing engaging content.

Content can come in many forms, from blogging, writing guest articles, newsletters - in fact, anything where some type of creative writing is involved.

But it's not just about producing volumes of content for the sake of it. It's learning how to craft exciting and useful content that will ultimately get you seen.

In today's episode we discuss: 

  • Writing content that engages the reader
  • The benefits of creating a newsletter
  • Using the right tools when crafting your content
  • Where to place your content so that you retain full control over it

Resources:


Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/becomeawritertoday)

Daniel:
This whole phrase, content is king has really damaged I think online content in that people are just pumping out anything just to make noise. But actually, I'd rather see one really well-thought-out article that was super interesting than 50.

Introduction:
Welcome to the Become a Writer Today podcast with Bryan Collins. Here, you'll find practical advice and interviews for all kinds of writers.

Bryan:
How can you use content marketing to promote your business, to promote your book or to promote your website? Hi there, my name is Bryan Collins and welcome to Become a Writer Today podcast. And that's the topic of this week's episode. Now I set up the Become a Writer Today site back in 2015, and since then I've written or published well over 500 articles on the site, but at the moment there are only about 300 articles live. And the reason for that is I've spent the past few months going through all of the old articles that I've written over the years and I've either deleted articles that weren't attracting traffic or merged articles that covered the same topic. Or if I found an article that was performing particularly well in Google Analytics, I've expanded on content in that article, added more information like FAQ's, up-to-dates, that's more relevant, links and so on.

Bryan:
And one thing I've been struck by while doing this exercise is that some articles I wrote four and five years ago are still attracting organic website traffic to Become a Writer Today. So in other words, a piece of content that I worked on, an article that explained a particular writing topic, is still ranking in Google and people are visiting the site and if they enjoy the article or they find it helpful, they're either joining the Become a Writer Today email list or they're sharing the article, or maybe they'll even turn into a listener of this podcast, or perhaps they might even buy one of my courses or one of my books. Of course, not everyone does this and not all of the articles perform, which is why I also delete or remove articles that haven't worked over time.

Bryan:
But the other thing I was struck by is how it didn't cost me much to create any of this content over the past few years. Unlike Facebook ads or Google ads, all I had to do was invest time. And for the first year or two, it did take a lot of time to create these articles. I think I spent two hours every morning writing articles for the site, publishing them, adding images, sorting out the internal links and so on. More recently since the site has started earning more money, I've started working with guest and freelance writers who are helping me bring different voices to the site and creating different types of content from different points of view.

Bryan:
If you're interested in creating content to grow your business or to promote your book, you don't have to rely on blogging and publishing articles, although that's obviously a format that lends itself to any writer. You can use podcasting, which is a fantastic way of engaging with readers because somebody will listen to a podcast far longer than they'll spend reading an article. Or you can use YouTube, which is the number two search platform in the world.

Bryan:
And one of my interests, which I've talked about in the show before is long distance running. And one of the ways I'm managing stress during the lockdown is by getting more into long distance running. And so I'm currently trying to run about 60 kilometers a week and that's more than I've run in the past, although it's not a huge amount compared to some other runners I know. But the way I'm getting advice about this is from somebody else's efforts at content marketing. So I follow a popular YouTuber who records running advice videos. He reviews gear, he reviews shoes, he talks about how to increase your mileage, and he provides training plans in short 10 minutes videos each day. And watching these videos, I find them either informative, enjoyable, or entertaining, and any of those things are the hallmark of great content. It should be informative, enjoyable, or entertaining in some way. And if it's not, if it's just some random article or video about what you did or some award that you've won, readers or listeners probably aren't going to be able to do much with it and they'll probably stop paying attention.

Bryan:
The bigger take away from following this YouTuber is he talks about his recording process or his content creation process. And he says he spends up to six hours a day creating his YouTube videos. That includes editing, coming up with the ideas for the videos, recording them and publishing them and promoting them. And that's a lot of time so it actually put me off doubling down on YouTube as a channel when I heard that. But then I thought about it and I realized that I probably spent a similar amount of time on content marketing over the past few years, albeit, a little bit more spread out.

Bryan:
And he's seen results on his channel from all the hard work he's invested into content marketing. He's a full-time YouTuber who specializes in running and I've seen results on my site. It's helped me increase book sales and it's helped me increase course sales and find more readers to content marketing as well. So basically what I'm getting at is, if you have a book that you want to promote, particularly if it's nonfiction, if you have a course that you want to sell, if you want to start off doing coaching, or if you just want to build a name for yourself as a writer, content marketing is a fantastic way to do it. And that's actually the topic of this week's podcast interview as well.

Bryan:
So I recently interviewed Daniel Cooper who has a new book coming out it's called Upgrade, and the book is out in June. And in the book, Daniel talks about a number of different topics, including how you can create your own content machine and what should be inside of this content machine. He talks about the types of content that you can use today. He talks about what's working in SEO and he talks about how he advises his clients and the customers that he works with to use content to grow their businesses or to promote their book. I also asked Daniel about his book writing process and how he manages such a business mindset with the creative process. I started off of course by asking Daniel about why he wrote, Upgrade the book in the first place and if he could give a little bit of context to what he sees the content machine as today.

Bryan:
But before we get over to this week's podcast episode, I do have an ask. If you enjoy the show, please could you leave a short review on the iTunes store or wherever you're listening, because more of you is more ratings, more stars will help more people find the show and it will also help me get more listeners and I'd be extremely grateful if you would do that. Now with that said, let's go over to this week's interview with Daniel.

Daniel:
Sure, absolutely. So we work with a lot of different companies and we solve general issues that they have in treading water basically. Being too busy to actually do what they want to do. So we automate stuff is the overall thing. And one of the things we talk to them about when they are digitizing their business is putting content out there. Most people listening to this show will already be writers or aspiring writers, or I suppose if you write anything creative, you're a writer automatically, right? There's no badge. But the thing that I really push to our clients, and this book really is meant to be a gift to all businesses or anyone thinking about starting a business, because we can't work with everyone, that's impossible. And you might as well just give everyone all the information because it's going to come anyway. You're going to come at us anyway.

Daniel:
But the idea behind that chapter of the book we're talking about a content machine is that people don't quite understand that unless you put content out there, one of two things is going to happen. One, you're going to have to pay to gain I suppose eyeballs and whatever you're doing or gain attention. And that's what we're all vying for, right? Is attention. Whether or not that's for an essay we've written, a short story or a book or whatever it might be or a business. So if you don't put anything out there, you're not going to get any attention or you're going to have to pay someone like Facebook or Google or Twitter or LinkedIn to use one of the advertising platforms to bring in traffic to get eyeballs and attention on yourself. And that can be really expensive.

Daniel:
So what we try and show people is that you should be producing content and it should be really creative. And it doesn't matter if you have got the most interesting thing to tell the world or the most boring, depending on how you communicate, can actually flip those two things on their head. So you can have the most fascinating thing that you do and you can tell it the most boring way, or you can have the most boring business and tell it in the most fascinating way. So that's really what we're trying to focus on that.

Bryan:
So you don't just see content as blog posts and articles, it could be other topics or formats as well?

Daniel:
Yeah, absolutely. I mean the creative process is there whichever way you think about it. And I think you have to go with certain amount of writing, whichever way you go. So if we're talking about video, you really need to loosely script that. Unless you're super talented and you can just go off the cuff, we're not all Lil Wayne and can't just make a rap song up at the top of our heads and then have it sell at number one. It's unlikely. So we have to sometimes script some things. Now I think that there's too much low effort content out there. It's really difficult sometimes when we go and see a client and they say, "We've got this business, this amazing soliciting firm." You say, "Great, wonderful. Your legal work is excellent." And we developed this amazing blog. And we look at the blog and we say, "Oh, we see you won the award for the best Devonshire legal firm. Wonderful. And we see you won your five a side football team last week and you're entering the rugby competition amongst all of the solicitors in the South West, brilliant, but no cares."

Daniel:
And then that's the thing, right? And I think people are not very creative in that. They're not really bothered about hiring anyone creative for that. This whole phrase content is king has really damaged I think online content in that people are just pumping out anything just to make noise. But actually, I'd rather see one really well thought out article that was super interesting than 50. I mean, that's the point of it. And I think that's why we're starting to see movements now for journalists and writers head towards newsletters again. It's kind of gone full circle.

Bryan:
Yeah, newsletters are more popular. I have a newsletter on Substack. Kind of talk to some other writers who use Medium or Substack or Ghost for their newsletters. I liked what you said there about the example of the law firm. Because when I was in a content marketing team, it felt like people who weren't really working in the area just thought that they could say whatever they want. Whereas in fact, good content is actually about a problem the reader is having or something they want to learn more about. It's not necessarily about an award that your business won or something exciting you did at the weekend. So if somebody has an online business, let's say, and they decided to set up a blog or a podcast or a YouTube channel to promote it with content marketing because they can't afford advertising, how would you help them define their content strategy?

Daniel:
Sure. So you need to do some initial research and there are a number of tools out there that can help you with that research for what people are searching for. There are a few SEO tools you can look at to give you the volumes of people who are searching through Google and other search engines each month. What you want to really do is you want to find low hanging fruits. So don't try and write with the aim of, I want to get ranked or in Google or people on my page, just about car sales. Let's maybe bring it down a few notches and let's say, we want to write content just about the best family cars that you could possibly buy in 2021. That's a bit more realistic because less people are searching for it.

Daniel:
But what you then need to do is you then need to Google it and read so many articles about it you've almost had enough for the day, and then you need to make it your aim to make it 10 times better than what anyone else has written. So that means it needs to be 10 times engaging, which is a really important point, and it does also need to be that it's giving a lot of value back to the reader. So you need to really consider what all of the things that the reader would also look to Google to gain information on, and then add those to the article. You should really be able to have a reader come to the page, have their answer almost instantly answered and then answer any other side questions they've got. Because then whatever your aim is with your content, you're likely to better achieve it at that point. There's a reason why we will write content.

Bryan:
Yeah, so I use tools like Ahrefs to research keywords. That can be quite expensive for people starting out I guess, I think it's $99.

Daniel:
I think they have a free tier.

Bryan:
Oh, that's right. Yeah. They've introduced a free tier actually, yes. So I'd recommend checking out Ahrefs for anybody who's new to keyword research. And then I also use kind of more advanced tools like Clearscope or MarketMuse, which are a bit pricey, but they'll tell you what to put in to the articles, and then you just have to almost fill in the blanks, so to speak.

Daniel:
Yeah. Those are really smart tools. There's another competitor now called Dashword as well, which is much cheaper. If anyone listening hasn't heard of those types of tools, what they really do is they go to Google and they look at the keywords you're looking for, or you're trying to appear for, and they look at the top 10 results and they work out what words are required or sentences or phrases to appear at the top. You want to use that kind of sparingly and creatively. Don't just spam in a load of words and it doesn't make any more sense. That's not really the idea because we're trying to build content that people engage with and they really love, and they really want to share. And that's a really important point.

Daniel:
So I think to kind of bring it back to your original question which was, what are we saying when we're talking about a content machine, is that you should be thinking about your company as a mini version of the Huffington Post, whatever it is. Sure, there might only be two or three of you who are doing content creation, but really, really focus on it because it can be massive rewards over time. And the great thing that I love about content is it stacks. It's not short term. And yeah, your first few pieces, they're going to take a while to kick in, but after time, oh, you're flying.

Bryan:
Yeah. I find articles I published years ago still get traffic. Sometimes I go in and I give it a little update or change the headline or rework some of the keywords, but yeah, they still perform really well. So you talk there about creativity a few minutes ago, do you think a lot of the creativity has been taken out of online articles because Google is after such a specific template for how to posts, guides to topics? Like I said, it's almost a format you have to follow these days if you want it to rank.

Daniel:
Sure. And I think that's the reason why we're starting to see services like Substack and people post on Medium really come back around. They've almost come full circle because we've come from a place where you would write something, and sure there was a bar to the competition you had to meet to really rank in Google, but now because everyone's doing it, suddenly you get drowned out in the noise and you get drowned out by this horrible, horrible content and it's hard to get your head above water. And also let's not forget that really what we're doing is we are relying on global corporations that at any point can just change their minds. For instance, Facebook decided two days ago that they would just turn off all the news publishers in Australia, because Australia was saying, you need to pay all of the news providers for every link someone clicks. Facebook said no, so they turned it off.

Daniel:
Allowing Facebook or Google or whoever it is to control your creativity and the people who get to see your stuff is very dangerous, I personally think. That's why I'm a really big fan of things like Substack and email marketing now. And of course writing a book because you're able to control your audience a lot more because it's your small walled garden, not Mark Zuckerberg's or someone else who can just decide actually, turn you off.

Bryan:
Yeah. I'm in a group with some writers who publish a lot of content on Medium, but some of the more successful ones direct their Medium readers onto their email list, which lives off Medium. And then when the Medium algorithm changes, they're still able to have a relationship with their readers and offer courses or coaching or just even share their articles, even if they're not ranking highly on Medium. So, definitely agree it's important to own the relationship. Are there any particular formats that you recommend to clients these days because it is quite hard to, if you're drowning in the noise, for a blog to take hold like it'd take a year or two, unless you have some advanced SEO or link building strategy. So what other formats do you recommend to your clients?

Daniel:
Primarily we stick to just either eBooks, short eBooks or white papers. We stick to email marketing and we do actually still stick to blogs, but we love the long format, deep thinking stuff, no short form.

Bryan:
And how do you get your clients to promote their work or attract readers to their work, what you recommend they do?

Daniel:
Well, our main focus actually is SEO and ranking things that way. I mean, we know that Google is highly focused on links to site. They're obviously moving away from that more and more. They're going to struggle to do it completely, but I do honestly believe that good content does rise to the top and it only takes a few links for Google to pick up on that. So doing things that way is very, very nice. And we'll actually try and push a bit of digital PR if we can with people. That is a very, really nice way of doing things. A good example is being on this podcast is a great example of that. It's spreading the message in a way that we can both control.

Bryan:
Did you have a background in SEO before you set up your agency?

Daniel:
No, I didn't actually. I mean, I had a couple of businesses before. We'd worked really hard on SEO and Google 2008, 2009, they released an algorithm. They had two in a row like Penguin and Panda and they basically pulled our pants down pretty badly. And we got a slap on the wrist for that because we were building links in what was a successful way, but what Google would decide later on was perhaps manipulative. And that ended up, really the business suffered because of it and it took us a while to climb out of that hole.

Daniel:
So I've been doing SEO for a number of years and certainly learned a number of lessons with it. And I think that from my own perspective now, if you asked me, how would you build a website that had potential to get a lot of traffic? It comes down to great content that you spend a long time laboring over and really care about and then pouring everything you've got into it, and then just doing really clean normal company stuff like digital PR. Literally get a PR person to work with, find a PR agent who can get you into articles or in the news, things like that because it will just attract attention and you will just rise to the top like that. And don't worry about the SEO, in my opinion, beyond just making sure you've got the basics down. You've got a title on there. You've got some nice content, your images aren't too big and fat. Things like that really will help and I think naturally it will just come.

Bryan:
Yeah. That makes sense. So do you spend much time on link building for clients anymore or you moved on from that?

Daniel:
No, the only link building that we will do for either clients or ourselves is we will either do, as I said, PR and do things that way to gain links, or we will use services like HARO, help a reporter out, which are fantastic for gaining really, really good press mentions, which often come with 90% of the time come with a link. And it's a really natural way of building links. The key to it is to avoid getting in trouble, I believe, with Google, and just building up slowly over time. Don't buy links. Recipe for disaster

Bryan:
Yeah, they've definitely changed the way they approach how content ranks over the past few years. I worked with an SEO team a few years ago and we used to put articles on content farms I think they were called back then. Since then, that kind of stuff's been penalized by Google.

Daniel:
Sure. Those were the good old days.

Bryan:
It was probably easier back then. What about others? Do you look at other channels like podcasting or YouTube?

Daniel:
As far as podcasts is concerned, it's not an area that we've headed into yet, our sales person in and really push clients into, although we'd certainly like to. With YouTube, we do push a few clients into that. That's a big area that we think clients should really consider. At the end of the day, YouTube is the second biggest search engine there is and you're crazy not to pick up on that. I mean, how many times have we all needed to learn something or do something so we always just go onto YouTube. It's almost a weekly occurrence that I want to cook something new, straight to YouTube.

Bryan:
Yeah. I'm always looking it up when I have to fix some random thing in the house like a dishwasher door and I can't follow the instructions. There's normally some YouTuber who's broken it down for me. But it seems like the rules are different on YouTube. The top of YouTubers they're publishing every day to kind of feed the YouTube algorithm so it seems like it's more work.

Daniel:
Yeah. I think there was a lot of work in it, but I think in whichever medium or channel you publish content, it does involve a lot of work. Absolutely. If you'd have said to me nine months ago, "Oh, you're thinking about writing a book?" I'd say, "Yeah, how hard can it be?" Turns out it's really hard. And I think that's the same with anything. And I think as a creative, you become a bit obsessed with perfection and you want to go back over everything constantly. I mean, how many times do we write books or newsletters or blog posts and then we write it once, then we go back over it, throw away half, rewrite it, continuously edit it, and in the end you think, I've just got to publish this because I'm just going to stay here forever.

Bryan:
Yeah. It's finding a balance between rewriting until it's good enough to publish versus actually publishing it so you can get feedback about your work. I spend a lot of time working on long form articles and then I publish it and I get some comments or emails and I have to change it. But I wouldn't get that feedback if I didn't hit publish.

Daniel:
Yeah. I think that's quite a good point. I'm not on social media, I'm on Reddit, which is just a place where everyone's anonymous and they say whatever they want. Which is fine. But I'm on Twitter, but I don't really say much. I'm not on Facebook. I'm not on Instagram. I'm just not very good at social media personally. Because I don't like to... I'd like to say stuff to put it out in case someone criticizes, or I'm just not really sure what to say. What do I shout into this empty room? And I think part of me is the same with either writing a book or writing an article that I have to very much put a hard stop in, a deadline, otherwise I will just keep going and then I think, oh, I'll just leave that thing, come back to it, and never actually publish it. So there's a real danger that I think being a creative person, you have to be really careful with yourself that you don't do it.

Bryan:
Yeah. Actually there's one chapter in your book and I'm curious how you approach just for creative work or do you approach it at all for creative work? You have a chapter about OKRs, which has stands for objectives and key results. I had to do a quick Google search there. I know businesses use OKRs for setting targets around sales and hiring, whatever business goals they have for the quarter. But do you use OKRs for creative work or would you advise clients use it for any content that they create?

Daniel:
So the good thing about OKRs is that you're really striving for something big. And if you're hitting your OKRs on the nose, you're not really there. So I think you've got to set something really, really big and audacious as the goal to do it, and then you have to break it down into the key results. So let's look at a book for example. So our objective is to be, let's say you and I start writing a book together. And our objective is that we want to be the number one book in self-help for writers on Amazon for six months in a row. Well, we know what the key results of that are, and we can boil those down and those are actual measurable results those actual results, those key results. So then we give ourselves a timeframe to do it in, and then we work our socks off to try and actually get it. Now, if you reach that, you probably weren't aiming high enough. And if you don't, that's okay, because you still tried.

Daniel:
When it comes to writing the book for me personally, I have to set deadlines for each chapter and each section, otherwise it's never going to happen. There's a rule called Parkinson's law, I don't know if you've ever heard of it? It's one of my favorites. You remember when you're at university and they say you've got the dissertation to write. No one starts the next day. "I'll leave it a bit." And then everyone knows that when it comes to a couple of months before, everyone starts getting a bit sweaty and suddenly the work starts at a much shorter period of time and magically you get it done, but this is the great thing about Parkinson's law. No matter the time you give someone to do something, as long as it's realistic, don't get me wrong, you will magically find the time to do it. That's what you need to be careful of with yourself and with others, in my experience.

Bryan:
Yeah. So I find it with books I give myself a deadline and I try and get a first draft to an editor by a particular date. That works quite well. Sometimes I'll track the word count to try and hit a certain word count for the week or I'll try and finish editing a certain amount of chapters per week and both of those work quite well. What about content? Do you use just traffic stats for OKRs or do you use some other metric?

Daniel:
You're talking about our own personal OKRs in the company about how we kind of operate?

Bryan:
Well no, the contents that you are advising clients to create or perhaps content that you've created, like a series of articles. Do you have OKRs for those?

Daniel:
Sure. So we'll really work on KPIs, [inaudible 00:24:29], absolutely. So you've got to look at incoming traffic, but really what we're looking at is engagement rate. That's what really interests me, engagement rate. I'd rather see a hundred really engaged people than a hundred thousand people who bounced in a second. So when we're looking at that we're using tools like Hotjar to understand the engagement on that. So we're using heat mapping to really get an idea of the percentage of people who are scrolling at least halfway down the article before they exit. And it's a really, really important device to really go with when you're measuring how effective your content is.

Daniel:
Because often you can start to get an idea of the type of style that you should be writing in for that niche and get an idea of really how that should be laid out on the page as well for that niche, which is really, really important. There are many ways of breaking that up and writing so that you really engage the readers in a much better way, in my opinion. So yes, heat mapping is very, very good for bounce rates and engagement, which is key. Obviously social shares is a really, really good indicator in general traffic incoming.

Bryan:
Okay. And do you find you have to wear two different hats, one for creating and one for analyzing, or do you just do it all at once?

Daniel:
Yeah, I mean that spans across my job as a whole actually I think because we make software at the end of the day and apps and things like that to automate stuff. And a lot of that is a really creative process as well as writing. So I have to block out my day and be quite tough on myself on when that's going to happen. So from seven till nine is a real creative point for me, and then from five until six is my other creative slot. In between that will be all of the normal business and analytical stuff. The rest of it, those three hours is really my important point. So whether or not that's writing content or whether or not I'm designing a UI layout for a new piece of software or trying to think creatively around a problem, it's those blocks of time. You've got to do it that way I think actually, because you'll be constantly interrupted otherwise.

Bryan:
Yeah. And interruptions when you're doing anything creative, just detrimental. It's very hard to get back.

Daniel:
Yes. Deep work. And I think that's another way to really look at it is to say to yourself, when can I do deep work and not be interrupted and when can I do the light stuff? I mean, light stuff is send an invoice or I need to email that person. Deep work is when if you get distracted by someone or interrupted, it takes you massively off course and it takes you a while to get back to it, which is a real problem. I've been knowing myself personally when we're really at crunch points, I will start work at 4:00 AM, but I'll finish at two in the afternoon just because I know between 4:00 AM and 9:00 AM, I'm not going to get disturbed by anyone.

Bryan:
Yeah, I've done the same. I mean, there's no emails or phone calls at 4:00 AM or at least if there is an email that you don't have to answer it.

Daniel:
Yeah, exactly. And I think that's a really nice way of doing it. It's not for everyone and I understand that, but if you haven't ever tried that, if you listen to this and think, that sounds awful, honestly, try it. Try getting up next week at 4:30 in the morning, just for one day and say, I'm just going to sit there, I'm going to have a really nice strong coffee, and I'm just going to write for four hours until my wife or husband or the kids or a girlfriend or my boyfriend wake up. You'll be amazed at how much you get achieved and you'll feel so good and you'll feel so set up for the day. Sure, you'll be tired when it comes to 4:00 PM, but you will have really, really achieved something I believe.

Bryan:
Yeah, if you do that for a while as well, really key to writing a book. Did it take you long to write Upgrade, your book?

Daniel:
Yeah. It's taken a bit of an age actually because the funny thing is is you think you have the whole thing worked out when you start and inevitably you end up pulling it all apart, and then putting it back together again. It's taken a really good solid part of my life I think so far. Nine months it's taken to do it. I mean, I'm not working on it every hour, every day. I wish I could. But yeah, it's taken quite an effort there to really pull that together.

Bryan:
So we're recording this middle of February and I think your book is out June, is that right?

Daniel:
Yeah, so I'm going through edit right now and then obviously we then have to prepare it for Amazon's buy to print service that they have, so we have to have it all set up that way and then I've got to then edit it up for, oh my goodness... Kindle. That was good, forgot the word. And get it all set up there. And then in a nice PDF format for anyone who wants it on PDF. So there's quite a process involved.

Bryan:
Yeah. [inaudible 00:28:41] is a good tool that can help with some of that. I don't know if you use that? It's Mac only but it's a good tool for self publishing, if that's what you're doing?

Daniel:
Yeah, that is what I'm doing. Yeah. I mean, it'd be great to get it with a publisher. I suppose the funny thing is, is there time? Should we just write the book, get it out there, get it into people's hands or go through the ups and downs of going to publishers with it? Maybe it will, maybe it won't. Who knows? But for me, the reason why I'm writing the book is really to spread the word about what we do. And if it helps someone who reads it improve their business, amazing. Brilliant. And if we make the money back just on it, that we've had to invest into it with all of my time, then brilliant. If not, that's okay, it was a good experience nonetheless.

Bryan:
Yeah, writing a book is enjoyable, even though it is hard work. But do you have a plan for getting into readers' hands or are you just going to wait until you get the edits done first?

Daniel:
Well, we are a digital company, so our efforts will be primarily digital. So it will be a mixture of PR and it will be a mixture of digital paid marketing to get into people's hands.

Bryan:
Ah, very good. Very good. So where can people find out more information about Upgrade the book?

Daniel:
You can go to upgradethebook.com and you can download the intro and first chapter for free from there. And it'll be available on Amazon on the 1st of June in both Kindle, now I can remember the word, and print format.

Bryan:
Very good. Yeah, I'm looking at Upgrade the book now and when we were chatting just before the interview, I was just saying that it's a great book sales page. So I encourage people to check it out to see what way you can position a book to readers or pre-launch a book. And actually just before you go, you're promoting your book on Product Hunt. That's an unusual strategy for authors.

Daniel:
Yeah. I mean, why not? Product Hunt is really a tech focused place so I think that potentially it is unique in that aspect that it's a tech focused book, which is certainly helpful to get it up there. Potentially if I was writing a book about horses, may not be as applicable.

Bryan:
Did you get much engagement on Product Hunt? I don't use it that much personally.

Daniel:
Yeah. We got a fair amount and I think that was all right. I mean, it's not going to change the world our engagement on Product Hunt, but it's good to see a fair few people like it, download it, check it out and give you some feedback. It's good for early feedback and that's what I love about it. And then it's also a good place format.

Bryan:
Yeah, it's definitely different to some of the other marketing strategies that authors are using these days. It was very nice to talk to you today, Daniel, and best of luck with the book launch.

Daniel:
Well thank you so much for having me. It was a real pleasure and I look forward to listening to more of the shows.

Bryan:
I hope you enjoyed this week's episode. If you did, please consider leaving a short review on the iTunes store or sharing the show on Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you're listening. More reviews, more ratings and more shares will help more people find the Become a Writer Today podcast. And did you know for just a couple of dollars a month, you could become a Patreon for the show. Visit patreon.com/becomeawritertoday, or look for the support button in the show notes. Your support will help me record, produce and publish more episodes each month. And if you become a Patreon, I'll give you my writing books, discounts on writing software and on my writing courses.