The Secret to Publishing Success

POSTED ON May 28, 2012

Joel Friedlander

Written by Joel Friedlander

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Okay, I’m going to come clean with you about this whole blogging thing. (And yes, this is about self-publishing, too.)

When I started this blog, I knew almost nothing about blogging, about WordPress, about linking, keywords, traffic or any of that stuff.

Yep, I was truly a “clueless newbie.”

But something about blogging really struck a chord with me, and kept me moving forward.

Now that the landscape had changed so much in book publishing due to ebooks, internet marketing, social media and the economic downturn, it was time to take the leap.

Like a lot of people—maybe like you—I started reading everything I could find about blogging and how to do it.

But also like a lot of people, it seemed like the more I read, the more confused I got.

In true “clueless newbie” style, I had no idea what was important and vital to know, and what just didn’t matter:

  • Was Blogger the best platform, or WordPress, or did it even make a difference?
  • Did I need a designer, or could I do it myself, even though I knew absolutely no HTML, CSS, C++ or whatever that stuff is.
  • Did I have to keep my articles to 350 words maximum? Or was it more important to really explore a topic, no matter how many words it took?

Oh, there was a lot of advice around, but much of it was contradictory or incomplete.

I tried setting up a blog on my business website, but despite hours wrestling with software, I couldn’t get it to work.

Blogging and Self-Publishing

In a lot of ways blogging is very similar to self-publishing.

And the situation I just described is almost identical to the one many authors find themselves in when they get caught up in the enthusiasm for self-publishing.

I stumbled along, spending more hours than I want to admit reading other people’s blogs and researching. And sometimes I wondered if it was really worth it.

Lots of writers get to that point too, and it’s disappointing to think of all the books sitting unpublished because their authors just couldn’t figure it out and gave up.

You can’t blame them, but we’re all worse off because their voices aren’t being heard, nobody is reading their stories, learning those lessons, and that’s a shame.

Creating an Award-Winning Blog/Book

Today, a couple of years later, my blog is read by tens of thousands of people all over the world every month.

My inbox is full of inquiries from people who would like me to work on their books and I get requests for interviews, guest articles, and speaking engagements all the time.

I’ve got a big article in Writer’s Digest this month, and correspond with publishing people everywhere.

So what happened?

Education, that’s what. e-learning, to be precise. While I tried to figure out blogging, eventually I stumbled on a free ebook that lucidly described exactly how to build a successful blog.

There was an audio version of the book and for weeks I listened to it over and over, trying to grasp the lessons that would work for me.

It seemed that the training course offered by Yaro Starak, the blogger who wrote the ebook, cost $500. I was aghast. I didn’t have $500 to spare, and started to wonder whether or not I was insane to even think about it. $500 for blogging? Isn’t that supposed to be free??

But I didn’t have all the time in the world, and knew that the help of someone who had gone where I wanted to go, who could show me what was important, and what wasn’t, would be invaluable.

You probably also know how much time it can save, because you already know how much time it takes to find out the simplest things about blogging, or about book publishing. Random Googling isn’t a very efficient process.

Oh Yeah, You Have to Work, Too!

Over the coming months I studied the lessons in this course, and tried to do each of the recommended exercises.

It took time and thought, but my blog articles got better. More readers commented, more people linked to my content, I got more followers in social media.

There were days when it seemed like nothing was happening at all, that I was simply “pouring from the empty into the void.”

But little by little, reader by reader, it grew to where it is today.

Online Training Comes to Self-Publishing

Since then I’ve bought and studied several other online training courses, because now I know they work—as long as you do the work.

And it’s also why I’ve wanted to bring this same kind of organized, goal-driven learning to self-publishing.

Over a year ago I started thinking how I could do that, and provide the same kind of launchpad for authors that I had been able to use as a student of blogging.

Because life has lots of distractions, and because there’s been an incredible amount to learn to create and deliver the course I imagined, it’s taken me much longer to create than I thought it would to get this course ready for you.

Which makes it even more exciting to tell you that I’m getting ready to launch that course I dreamed of, and that I think it’s going to be fantastic.

If you’re looking for in-depth education on self-publishing, the kind that brings you to this blog and others like it, I think you’re going to be pretty excited about it too.

The course is called The Self-Publishing Roadmap, and I’ll be talking about it a lot more over the coming weeks as I get ready to open registration to the public for the first time.

As part of that conversation you’ll be invited to learn some of the key steps to publishing success though a series of videos. Whether or not you think the course is for you, I hope you’ll take the time to check them out.

Don’t miss this opportunity to find out about the Roadmap and how you can join an amazing group of people going through this course together. It’s easy. Just put your name on my early notification list and I’ll let you know as soon as we’re ready to go.

Here’s the link: The Self-Publishing Roadmap Advance Notice List

Are you in a situation where you’d like to cut through the confusion, find out how to strategize your publishing, learn how all the pieces fit together? Tell me in the comments.

But first, here’s that link again, so you don’t forget to get on that list: The Self-Publishing Roadmap Advance Notice List

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Joel Friedlander

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Joel Friedlander

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