Todays’ guest on the Niche Pursuit podcast is Chandler Bolt, the author of 7 best-selling books, including his latest new release titled ‘Published.’ Chandler is also the CEO of Self Publishing School (a business that helps people write and publish books).
The conversation and advice during the interview are relevant for website and business owners alike, and Chandler does a great job explaining the benefits and reasons we should all publish a book.
One of the main benefits is authority, and Chandler explains how writing a book can propel you as an authoritative figure in your market.
In addition, he also talks about monetizing your book and using it to build leads. Further to this, he explains how the book isn’t just an endgame to success but how it can also open many doors and opportunities for you and your business.
A big takeaway during the chat is how easy it is for website owners to create a book, and he goes into detail on how you can do this.
Other things mentioned during the interview include:
- The eight milestones for publishing a book
- What to charge for the book
- When to give it away for free and why
- Where to publish the book
- How to get a free copy of his brand new book
- Vertical SEO & Content Marketing
- The most efficient way to monetize the traffic
- High buyer intent
- The 4 Ps of a high converting offer
- Whether to niche down or not
- Marketing the book
- Using a book as a testing ground for creating a product
Overall this is an exciting episode for everyone, including content creators, business owners, and even affiliate marketers.
So as always, take notes and enjoy!
Links And Resources Mentioned In The Podcast Interview:
This Episode is Sponsored by: The Blog Millionaire
Watch the full interview:
Read the full transcription:
Jared: Welcome back to the Niche Pursuits podcast. My name is Jared Baufman today. We’re joined by Chandler bolt. Welcome on board.
Chandler: Jared. Good to be here. Thank you for having me.
Jared: Yeah, it’s good to have you now you’ve been on the podcast before, but it was quite a while ago and it was a Spencer. So this will be a good, this will be a good reboot.
A what’s happened since then. Anyways, why don’t well, let me just give everyone a little quick cliff notes, but you could add a lot more to it and give us maybe a catch up on your backstory. So you’re with self publishing school. You’re the founder and CEO and a Forbes 30 under 30 author of seven best-selling books, including one of the ones we’re going to talk about today, published with which just came out.
You host a seven figure principles podcast and the self publishing school podcast. And we’re gonna be talking publishing today. That’s probably what we’ll dive deep into. Y anything you could fill in for us on the backstory? Yeah.
Chandler: I mean, self-publishing school. We exist to help people write books and publish books to grow their income, their impact, and their business.
If they have one. And I was just looking at last episode in, was in June of 2017. So we’ve published thousands of books since then, but we, gosh, been on the Inc 5,000 list a few times. At Forbes 30, under 30, like you mentioned, but then also relevant to this audiences. I’ve learned a lot more about content marketing and SEO and how that fits in with publishing books, selling books, we’ve acquired a few sites and kind of, so we’ve got now have the right life, make a living, writing, not com in addition to self publishing, school.com and a bunch of stuff like that.
So the worlds are colliding and there’s a lot that’s been learned and a lot of.
Jared: Yeah, I was going to say if we could, I’m sure what we’ve between the two topics that we could talk about how you’ve grown self-publishing school as an executive and as a founder and as somebody just growing a website. And we can also talk about all the value that self publishing is.
As a service can provide to website owners and content creators in terms of publishing themselves. So we’ll weave in, in between and back and forth. When did you start self-publishing school? Like when did all this begin for you?
Chandler: Yeah, so I’m self-publishing school launched in February of 2015. So we’re going on seven.
Yeah, I guess, I guess actually right at 17. And we published about 6,000 books and we’ve learned and grown a lot since then.
Jared: And I was perusing around in the, on the site and you guys have, you know a really all-inclusive guide on how to write a book and whatnot, just so everyone kind of gets a little bit better of an understanding it’s self publishing school, more about.
Publishing for people that have already written or is it really all inclusive and helping people write a book that can actually get sold?
Chandler: Yeah, I’d say probably the latter, the majority of our students have not written, published a book before, so we help them write and publish their first book. And then some people work with us that have published it, but maybe it just wasn’t as successful as they’d like, we’re really good at the marketing and.
Book sales side of things, as well as the using a book to grow your business. And so a lot of people joined to get help specifically with that. And then probably as it relates to this audience too. I believe that in a lot of ways can be not even just, I believe this we’ve just seen the data to, to, to back it up that a book or a lower ticket offer is one of the best ways to bridge from niche website.
Someone’s coming onto my site to now they go from viewer to paying customer or even to subscriber if you’re giving away the book for free and stuff like that. So that’s kind of the, that’s kind of our sweet spot on who we help and how it fits. So let’s talk
Jared: about that. I’d say, you know, a lot of the listeners are going to be creating websites.
They’re going to be perhaps a mixture, but a lot of content creators, right? Definitely have econ people listening, SAS, folks listening, but certainly a lot of content creators using SEO to drive traffic, they get a lot of monthly visits, perhaps monetize by maybe affiliate revenue from Amazon or some private affiliate networks.
And then also putting display ads, you know, like monetizing through these ads and stuff. How much. Revenue would you say people are leaving on the table by not, you know, maybe tapping better into this audience? They have coming to their website.
Chandler: Oh gosh. So much. I mean, and it really depends on what your goals are you trying to anonymously run a niche site on the side, or are you trying to use this niche site to build a brand and to build a product and that sort of thing.
And I look at this too, and I even look at, you know, we’ve acquired some sites in the space and you know, when a site is monetizing strictly through. Ads and affiliate, it’s kind of in a lot of ways, the most inefficient way to monetize that traffic. Now, it’s also the most passive way to monetize that traffic.
So you’re, I mean, if you’ve got maybe a pendulum here, right. Where, okay, it’s maybe less efficient, but it’s more passive. And if that’s what you’re optimizing for, then that’s great. But no matter which side of that spectrum you fall on, I mean, Or a great way to, I look at them as like good news. You’ve already written the content.
You’ve already created the content, but how do we go from visitor to purchaser building a brand, like all those things. And so in the same way that I’ve gotten to self-publishing school podcasts, and that can correlate directly to, you know, the audio book version of my new book. Audio to audio, physical version, to physical version or ebook.
I mean that parlays directly off of, directly off of the site itself. And now there’s obviously that, I mean, we can go into in a bunch of different directions, but there’s, you can go the Amazon route or even some of the sites that we’ve acquired have really solid e-books that they sell for 20 to 50 bucks and they don’t sell them on Amazon, but they only sell them on the site.
And that is one of the main ways that they monetize in addition to affiliate revenue. And then there’s the kind of the hub and spoke. I mean, you can refer out. I mean, you’re already GSR. If you’re running affiliate stuff, you’re already referring out to Amazon affiliate program. So you can do the same with, with folks purchasing books, but then also you can kind of, that can lead into if you’re writing a book.
That encompasses some of the products that you recommend, then there’s kind of some synergy there. Like there’s just a lot of different ways that you can skin it depending on what your end goals are. Is it to go, is it to grow the business that I’m running or is it to passively have, I mean, I have the niche site that’s monetized.
And so then the kind of how I would extrapolate that out and strategize, there would just be slightly.
Jared: So let’s dive down that deep hole of topics, right? If I’m a, if I’m a site owner and I have a website that generates traffic, it’s, you know, it’s getting views and let’s say I’m looking for a bolt-on, you know, I’m looking to continue to foster a brand and develop the traffic, but also the revenue.
What would a process look like for creating. Through what you guys are doing on self-publishing school. Like, is that a process where I’m just going to hit you with some, maybe some buzzwords or buzz topics? Like, can I just take some of the content I already have on my website and roll it into an ebook?
Do I need to actually be a good writer? What if I outsource all my content? Can I then use that for an ebook? Do I need to go hire somebody else to write this? So I’m just, I don’t have to answer all those, but these are the thoughts I’m having and going through my head as a site owner and someone who has content, but feels overwhelmed by the idea of publishing a book.
Chandler: Yeah, that’s a great question. So there’s a few routes that I would go with this. So as Stephen Covey says, begin with the end in mind, right? So is your, I’m going to assume for a second, that your goal is to grow the business that you’re running and monetize the traffic that you have. And so that, that first step is creating a product that you can sell where you get a hundred percent of the royalties right off of that, or, you know, a hundred percent of the royalties that come to you from it.
So kind of how I look at this. What are your top blog posts and top traffic sites? What are the pain points that, you know, if you’re already selling a product, I mean, that’s the easiest fit. If you’re already selling a product of your own, what are the pain points? The highest, what we would call high buyer.
Content. So for us at self publishing school, if someone is searching how to write a book, how to publish a book, best book, writing software, those are highly correlated to them signing up for self publishing school. Right? And so what are the, what’s the equivalent of that for your brand and for your site?
And you know, this Jared, like you might have some posts on your site. They get a ton of traffic. But they’re just not buyer intent. So that can be a kind of a red herring for us. That’s writing prompts is one of them. Right. Cause writing prompts that could be, I’ve got to write a, you know, we get a lot of kids that are writing papers that, and so then they don’t, they’re not financially qualified nor do they even want to write a book.
And so that’s
exactly right. So there’s, there’s three writing prompts. And so we’re how to write a short story or things like that. And so. I look at that and I would blend like, okay, where’s the buyer intent? Where’s the traffic that I already have around content that I’ve already created. And that’s where it would plug in with our process.
And that’s where folks would, you know, could, if they work with us with book, a call with our team, talk to a coach, say, all right, what’s the three, it was the four PS of a high converting offer the person that I’m writing to the pain that they have, that they know that they have. And the promise that I can make with this book.
And then there’s the price, right? But so the price is pretty straight forward for books, but I’m so person pain promise. And then that gets really specific. And then if you have a team of writers already, I mean, you’ve got someone on staff that could write the draft of your book, or you can go through some of the process that we teach.
And this is what I talk about in a. Let’s see chapter five, six and seven in my new book is my mapping outlining and then actually writing the book. And so at a minimum, you can my map an outline and then use that to either write the book yourself or have one of your writers on staff. Write the draft of the first, first book.
Jared: What are your thoughts on, because there’s so many different ways that we see. Books monetized. We see books for free as lead generation pieces, you know, for my email list. And I’ll send you this guy to this ebook. You certainly see it a lot on Amazon where you see books for like $3, $5, 9 99, and then you also will commonly see, you know, books for 20 or $30.
How does one arrive at what to charge, especially when you’re thinking through the book and thinking through the revenue potential of where you might want to land
Chandler: on. Yeah, that’s a great question. So when I look at is. I mean, there’s so many different components and I hate to give broad, it depends answers, but I would say, you know, say I’ve got a niche site that’s best green smoothies.
Right. And then I want to write an ebook. That’s 101 best smoothie recipes or something like that. Or 10 best smoothie recipes. Like one route I could take might be to give that book away for free as a lead magnet, especially if within those smoothie recipes I’m recommending specifically. Products. Right.
So I want to get as much traffic on that ebook because then that’s going to refer out to, you know, Amazon affiliate links or other affiliate links of products that I have. Right. So that might be one strategy now, but you could take that a step further. Right and publish the book on Amazon and now you’ve got vertical SEO.
Right. Which I’m sure you’re familiar with, which is okay. And I think about this is how do I own the traffic on each vertical? So how do I make sure when someone searches write a book on Google, we show up on YouTube. We show up on Amazon, we show up on apple podcasts, we show up, right? So I have a podcast episode around how to publish.
We have a video in our published book. And then my book published right. Is exactly. But then also, because I mean, when you do vertical SEO, well, well, best green Smith and I haven’t, you know, haven’t searched this, but I would have a hunch that one of the results is going to be something on Amazon or some other high, high domain authority site.
Right. And so that’s where you can take it a step further. And now I’m building vertical SEO on another platform, but it’s a platform that I can directly monetize. And then I’m sending traffic to that. And then. The jumping off point from there. And then I’ll just directly correlate, just like give a very tangible example.
So with my book published, We take all of our high buyer intent, traffic goes directly to this and we promote it through the podcast. We do a bunch of things like that, but also I want to look at like, how do I use this book to get more leads, sales, and referrals for my business. So that’s the main purpose.
And so we’ll give it away for free in a lot of places too. We’ll give away free digital copies. If people show up for a webinar or show up for trainings and stuff like that. So that increases our. Traffic to lead ratio, our lead to appointment ratio, our show up our clothes, like all the parts of our sales funnel.
It helps is aided by the fact that we have a book. We have our free plus shipping funnel, which is one of those. Top performing channels that we have also what’s done really well for us is just retargeting our warm traffic with a free plus shipping book offer. And so it’s a way to monetize that traffic, but then also most importantly, like get them into our ecosystem, right.
People who pay attention. And so we want. I, this is just a random example and hopefully this is helpful for people, but one of the ads we ran back in the day, we need to bring this back was me hanging in a tree with a copy of the book. And it’s like, Hey, I’m like waving. And people’s feed is on Facebook and Instagram and Hey, like, Hey, you’re leaving me hanging.
Like you came by the site. You didn’t get a copy of the book, blah, blah, blah. Just like a pattern. People grab a copy of the book. They book a call with the team at self publishing school. They signed up for cell function school. So that like all those different ways is we kind of use the book to feed into the business and monetize our highest intent traffic.
Jared: that. So clearly they’re clearly in the book that you just published, that is not the end game. The end game is for them buying them to grow a higher. More PR higher monetize, more profitable, more high touch aspect of your business, which is self-publishing school. What are, okay, so let’s expand then.
So we might’ve started off the interview by thinking I have a website and let me bolt on a book for added revenue. Now let’s go down the road. You just went down. Let’s say I have a website and I want to add a book to explore and open up other business opportunities. How can I use a book to open to actually grow my business?
Chandler: Yeah, that’s a good, that’s a great question, Jerry. I want to back up just a second to, just to clarify. Cause I think everyone will know, but just to make sure is just because the book isn’t and isn’t the end game doesn’t mean the book sucks, right? Or like the book should suck. Like I want to make sure that when people get this book and this is part of the reason for doing the second edition, which is what you’re seeing here, you know, the first edition was downloaded and purchased hundreds of thousands of times, but.
I was like, it’s, it needs to be better and it’s outdated. And so the goal with the book is you drop the mic and whether they pay for it or get it for free, they’re like, oh my gosh, this is amazing. And so then they want to take the next step. And so that almost like kind of circles back to answer your question too, is it’s so good that people want to take the next step with you and with your company.
And so kind of the way that I look at this. For a lot of folks, the book can be the testing ground to see if you want to create a full-fledged product on that thing. And then if you don’t, you can keep it very passive. Like that book is just selling and it’s one more thing, but it just so happens to be a product that you own, not an affiliate offer that could change the terms or stop paying you or whatever else or not, you know, ad networks that fluctuate or whatever else.
Like it’s a product that you own that isn’t. Got consistent revenue, but if you do that and you say, Hey, this went really well. It resonated now how could I build a product off of this? And so that’s kind of the steps of the value ladder of, you know, tell me how to do it or teach me how to do it. Show me how to do it with me, do it for me.
And so you can kind of slide up as far as you want on that value ladder. And that’s where I look at the book is the instruction manual. You can parlay that into an online course. Which would be the show me how to do it. You can parlay that into group coaching or some sort of coaching and done with you offer, and then you can parlay that into done for you services, right.
Agency software, but whatever the thing is that you’re attaching on the backend of it. So that’s how I look at it. And then more specifically, how do I use a book to grow my business? I look at it in three ways is how do I use the book to get more leads, more sales and more referrals. So more leads. These are folks who hear about me because of my book, right?
So these are folks who might be browsing. They see published, and they would never know about self publishing school. But now they’ve heard about me because of the bug, right? Then there’s people, some more sales. These are people who are in the know about. But decide to do business with me because of the book.
So that’s kind of the nudge in that direction. And so this is what I was kind of talking about is use a book to improve every part of the sales funnel and every part of the sales process improve your traffic to lead your lead, to purchase or lead, to appointment your appointment, to show up your show up to closed, like all those parts of the sales funnel.
And as. You know, the saying is the root word of authority is author and you can’t spell the word authority without the word author. And so it just, it boosts your perceived authority and your sales in the process. And then thirdly, I look at how do you use a book to go to referrals? And so if you have a, a higher ticket product or service or program or whatever it is, or.
I look at, okay, let me send two copies of this book to every new customer and or give if it’s brick and mortar. And so now, and it’s one for them and it’s one for a friend who needs help with XYZ. So a book is a new business card and it’s better than a business card in my opinion, because you give someone a business card, they’re going to throw it away.
Within 24 hours probably, but you give them a book. They see, they keep it. And every time they see it, they think of you and what you do. And so it’s just a way to engage people, to refer to your business. And we use this beyond that. We have a short link for all of our customers that we say, Hey, if you ever know anyone, that’s thinking about writing a book.
Go to this link and put in their information and I’ll ship them a copy of the book for free, and I’ll tell them it came from you and it will help them on their journey. And then that turns into referrals, paying customers for self publishing school, all that good stuff.
Jared: It’s almost like creating a book, gives you a license to give to people, to contact people, to reach out to people.
You know, I mean, certainly in the website world, we talk about things like create, you know, creating natural links or link bait. We talk about how to, how to outreach to people with a unique offer. You know, these are all things that are going through my head. As you’re mentioning the value of a book that it could bring, you know, specifically to a website
Jared: So let’s talk about brass tax then what does it look like to create a book I’m in? You’ve convinced me. What does it look like? And certainly with the tools at self publishing symposium school, but in general, what does it look like to kind of walk through
Chandler: creative? Yeah. So I look at it as kind of it’s really eight milestones, right?
And I know some people will be listening on audio. Some people will be watching on video, but this is page 17 in the new book. And so it’s really these eight milestones that walk you through the process. And my whole goal with creating these milestones is as an author, it can be daunting going through the process.
And so I’m. I’m a C level English student and a college dropout with ADHD. So I kind of need things to be simple. And that’s my goal is create a super simple, so the milestones are met to say, Hey, what is my very next step? And nothing else matters. All right. Great. My title doesn’t matter. My cover doesn’t matter.
And it’s like, oh my gosh, SEO world, hold on to title. Doesn’t matter, of course the title matters, but it’s not the first thing that you do. Right. And so that’s what the milestones are all about. And so it starts with creating a mind map. And this is what I call the more writing method. So it’s an acronym.
M O R E. So mind map, outline rough draft. Right. So your mind map, then turn that into an outline, then rough draft and then editing. And so that’s, the more writing method is kind of that process, but so you move into self editing, then professional editors. Then cover design and creating your title, then formatting then launch.
So that’s kind of the eight milestones and at a glance. And obviously there’s a bunch of intricacies and things to do within each one of those milestones, but that’s how I break it up. If you’re looking to get started with your book, the most important thing is to get your rough draft finished as quickly as possible.
Because then you’re going to start to believe that this is possible. You’re going to start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and then the starting point, which is what I would recommend everyone do. As soon as you stop listening to this or watching, this is take 15 minutes, we’ve got my mat templates you can use, but, or you can just grab a blank sheet of paper.
Let’s take 15 minutes and write out everything you can think of on the topic for your book, most popular posts. What are the broken record conversations that you’ve had with prospects or customers, ideas, you have stories you have hooks, like kind of all those things. And once you do that, you’re going to realize you got a whole lot more than, than you thought you could write about.
And it’s going to make the whole rest of the process. Whole lot easier, kind of like probably a lot of people do when they’re writing posts to post. I was going
Jared: to say, I, it sounds to me like the process of creating a really effective post versus just spitting out content. I think most people have been in the content creation game for a while.
Know that starting with an outline is always going to make for a better article and how it’s going to make. You know, and so I’m kinda, like you said, like you probably start with the keyword, but you probably don’t title that key to that article until you get finished with it and really see how the post shaped up and see which directions you went and see what content became relevant.
Chandler: Exactly. And, you know, my teachers always told me to start with an outline and I’m like, well, that’s dumb. I want to just start writing. And it seems like I’m wasting a lot of time with that. So outline thing. And then as many people who are listening to this probably realized you actually saved so much time by doing it on.
Jared: Yeah, so true. It’s so true for the record. For those of you listening champion does have a nice little offer, but I’m going to save it till the end to keep you in intrigued. Although, I guess I could just skip ahead, but hang on. And you have a fun law for, for people at the very end here. You, you mentioned earlier and I actually, I wrote it down cause I want to come back to it.
So let’s talk about the monetization of a book and, you know, I mean, certainly for someone not as experienced, having no experience really with publishing, like I do think Amazon, I think KTP. I know you can also self publish and self sell or self-host like talk through the different monetization channels.
And then just, you know, if you could give us some insights on, you know,
Chandler: Yeah. So I mean, one of the best and most direct way, I mean, this is the, the publishing industry has been democratized over the last few decades really. And it used to be the only way that you could publish was to get a book deal.
And, and that was the only way you could get into bookstores, which bookstores were the only way that you sold books. Right? Well, now it’s kind of a crazy stat, but about 70% of all books sold are sold on Amazon. So, I mean, Amazon is the thousand pound gorilla kind of in the space. And so AMA Amazon and specifically Kindle direct publishing, that’s one of the best places.
And for folks that the royalty rates are pretty strong as well, and it doesn’t hurt that. It also can plug in with some of the other stuff you’re doing with Amazon associates and all that good stuff. So it’s pretty simple and pretty streamlined in that way. And so that’s one of my biggest recommendations if you’re not just going to sell directly on your site, which.
The benefit of doing it on Amazon is it is, you know, there’s hundreds of millions of customers on that platform. You can vertical SEO it, you can do all those things. Obviously you might make less per book than if you’re charging, you know, 20, 50 bucks for like a book pack on your website or something like that.
But, but I mean, it’s, it works really well. And you can own yet another channel that brings folks into your ecosystem.
Jared: Can you do both, can you sell through a, you know, your own shopping cart and also sell on KDP or.
Chandler: Yeah, you can it’ll change some of your SA it’ll change some of your role. T’s like breakdowns you’ll make less money on Amazon.
Cause they liked doing the Amazon exclusive. So there’s trade-offs but you can certainly do both.
Jared: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. And like, I guess maybe. Unpack a bit for people who are listening, do you see, because again, I’m speaking from experience and stuff that we’ve gone back and forth on prior to this podcast and recorded, but do you go down the direction or do you recommend going down the direction of creating an all-inclusive really large book?
Or do you think more in terms of creating smaller micro books? Because I see both done. Are your thoughts on that? Yeah,
Chandler: that’s a great question for me. I go smaller micro or more books. I mean, the riches are in the niches and rather than writing the broad book that tries to appeal to everyone. I just recommend write a specific book that solves a specific problem or a specific person and in doing so you’re going to sell more copies and your SEO is going to be better in the process.
It’s going back
Jared: to our example, instead of writing, like maybe the best smoothie recipes on the planet. You’re right. Hey, here are the, here’s a book on the best smoothie recipes for bodybuilders, which I am not one obviously, but carrying on the example here in the end of the best disease for after a workout and the best smoothies for you know, breakfast and, you know, whatever, carry that through.
Chandler: A hundred percent. I love where your head’s at. And I completely agree. So what
Jared: would someone, what, helping someone get it? Self publishing school. I mean, if I get the book published, why would I go to self publishing school? Like, what are the differences between what you share in your book? And then what, you know, self-publishing school, it will help.
Chandler: Yeah, that’s a great question. So, and this is what I recommend for people who are writing books, as well as your book is it’s overarching strategies and it’s the 10,000 foot view. Right. And you know, there’s a saying, I love, which is a giveaway, all of your best stuff for free, and people will pay you to tell it to them again.
Right. Eh, it, some of it is that, but really beyond that, it’s all the accountability, the resources, the, so when someone is signing up for self publishing school, they get paired up with a coach that works with them. One-on-one, you know, we’ve got tons of group coaching calls. We’ve got advanced curriculum.
I could click by click, like through everything you need to do. Like, it goes in way more in depth and all that good stuff. And then we’ve got exclusive discounts with cover designers, editors, formatters, you name it. So our goal is self publishing, supposed to save people, hundreds of. Of hours in the process and hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the process.
And then now we’re rolling out here soon where we’ll be, you know, doing book covers for folks doing format. So a bunch of the stuff that you’d have to do and pay for and work with a bunch of people, kind of all under one roof. So it saves people a lot of time and money and energy in the process. Okay.
Jared: I want to transition for the last few minutes here and ask you actually about your growth on self publishing, school.com and kind of some of the things you’ve done to grow that.
I mean, a lot of times what we have on the podcast here are basically business success stories, like people who took a business from starting here and got it to here. You clearly done very well. With your business and, you know, transitioning away from you, giving tips about how to publish a book and into tips for how you grew your business.
I’d love to just get some insights from you on some of the strategies you used.
Chandler: Yeah. One of the big things is exactly what you guys teach. I mean, it’s using content and SEO and that has been the game changer for us. We, you know, when in the start, when we started out, we didn’t have, we just had a landing page.
I had a book and we did some affiliate stuff and that sort of thing, like to get our first customers. In fact, Spencer in his pursuits was one of our first kind of, one of our first supporters back in the day. And. And so we did that. And then we said, all right, we, you know, we’re relying on Facebook ads, we’re relying on Google or Orlando on some of these other things.
Like we need to really build content and something that is going to have a long tail and continue to bring in folks. And so when we started shifting towards that, I think we started the blog in 2016. And with that, I mean, it’s just continued to grow. So that’s grown. Obviously we do a bunch of partner partnership stuff.
Affiliate stuff in BizDev still. And that’s what actually one of our fastest growing channels right now, but one of our steadiest and most consistent growing channels has been content in SEO. And then that’s further, further grown with other acquisitions back in 2019. Maybe I think it was, I purchased self publishing.com, which is a pretty.
When in our, I mean, we went on this self publishing space, so that’s kind of the best domain to have for that. And so we built that out into his own site and we’ve done other acquisitions in this space with the right life. The book designer.com make a living, writing.com a bunch of other sites. And so we’ve kind of created a content hub where we help solve people’s problems through content.
And then when it’s a fit, we say, Hey, you should work with self publishing school to write and publish your books. So that’s been a big part of our growth over the.
Jared: You talked about acquiring different sites, where they are the domain names, where they were, they just websites that were producing content, where they full brands.
I mean, how were you? Yeah.
Chandler: Yeah. Great question. So some of them were, are, I mean, we bought them for the SEO and the consistent traffic, and we said, Hey, this hasn’t been, this hasn’t been updated as much or. We can go in and improve the site speed, update a bunch of the articles and improve the monetization through self publishing school.
Cause like I said earlier, if it’s just being monetized by affiliate traffic and ads, well then it’s one of the most inefficient ways. So if we can buy traffic that has high buyer intent to self-publishing school, then that will just monetize through. And as long as you’re doing everything above board disclosing, being super transparent, which we.
It doesn’t feel like, oh, whoa, this is like a fake review site. That’s like really just owned by this company. Right. And so, so there’s that, but then there’s other, you know, maybe one other instance where like self-publishing dot com. That was for the domain name. They had a site there’s a long site history.
The sites it looked like it was 1980s. Like Microsoft paint. Like we started with a thousand organics a month or something, maybe even less than that. And then we rebuilt the whole layout. We really did a bunch of stuff and. I mean, we even contemplated, you know, changing, changing to self-publish dot outcome as the business, but we just decided not to, but, and so we have built that site up to what it is now, which is somewhere between 50 to 70,000 or something like that.
Organic uniques a month, that’s been a slow and steady build. And then there’s been a. Domain acquisitions, like self publishing, school.com. We’re technically still hosted on self dash publishing school.com because that’s where we started. But we purchased that and did the redirect because we knew that people were getting confused and going somewhere out.
And it’s just like little things like that along the journey to just help kind of. Put the wind at our back with our content acquisition and then small things like the self-publishing school podcast, which is, or sorry, self-publishing school podcasts, but then you have this whole public school, YouTube channel, which kind of exists in the content ecosystem.
That’s been grown through a lot of the traffic and doing vertical SEO. They’re connecting that with some of the stuff we’re doing on our blog post. So, you know, just kind of this big content web of. Yeah of helpful tools and the content and video and audio and all that, so that we can meet people where they’re at help them make progress with what they’re working on.
And when it’s a fit, lead into self publishing school, to help them write and publish a book. Let
Jared: me ask you one more question on that, because a lot of site owners who acquire. Brand’s domains, et cetera. A lot of them will do like a merge, right? So I’ll take the content from the new acquisition and they’ll in the correct way.
Move it over to their main site, do the three oh ones, all that kind of stuff. And you’ve opted for the most part to keep these sites existing in silos. And all working together and like you, like, you call it like a web. I mean, I’m [email protected] It’s a completely new platform or a completely different platform from self self publishing school.
So why did any insights into why you chose to go that route? When so many others choose a different.
Chandler: Yeah, it’s a fantastic question. I think when we’re still exploring and figuring out, cause I don’t know that the way we’ve done it is the best way to do it. And in fact, I’m pretty sure it’s not, but I would say that there’s a couple, you know, there’s so when it makes sense, we’ve done some 3 0 1 is we’ve done some, you know, there’s when it’s a lower quality site or like the aesthetic, especially, and it doesn’t have a crazy amount of traffic.
It’s like. Well, it’s 3 0 1, redirect this to a hub that fulfills the same intent of the searcher. That’s a better article somewhere else. And so we’ve certainly done some of that, but what I would say is. Yeah, we’re still kind of figuring it out, but, and I’m trying to go up the chain too. Cause I think we did a little bit too many small acquisitions and so it’s kind of a little bit spread, but our current working thesis is that it can and will continue to be its own site.
If. Specific demographic and specific type of content that it’s writing for that site. Right? So the book designer is all about helping like DIY self-publishing, which is actually a lot of that content. We don’t cover on self publishing school, like the formatting and the land, which is like hierarchy.
Right or do you know, or hire a cover designer. Whereas, you know, this gets really in the nitty gritty, the right life, more for freelance writing and that sort of thing. And so there’s when there’s a unique person that they’re writing to unique content strategy, all that it’s like, okay, this can exist as its own.
Now it makes it a little bit more complicated to juggle all this stuff, which is kind of what we’re figuring out now, which is. Okay. Do you have one person that runs all content? You have content manager per site. What’s the threshold at which that makes sense? Like how do you get all these to kind of play nicely together?
And that’s the part that, you know, we’re one of our core values is fail fast, fail forward, fail often. So we were failing fast forward and often on all fronts, but we’re trying to figure it out in a way that will be most helpful to all the folks who land on these.
Jared: You’ve downplayed it nicely, but I mean, the way you described it makes perfect sense.
I’m looking at again, I just pulled up self publishing.com. It’s a beautiful site. And the way you described the designer site, the way you described the freelance writers side, like it all makes a lot of sense to me. So I was just curious. I don’t think there necessarily is a clear cut and dry black and white right way to do it.
So that’s why I wanted to ask the question because you know, your insights are unique to your space, but we can all learn from that. Especially as a lot of people are doing this type of strategy with their websites these days. No doubt, no doubt. So let’s talk about the book publish and, and please share where people can find the book share at self publishing school.
Just how can people keep up with you if they want to learn more about some of these topics about writing a book where is best to direct.
Chandler: Cool. Yeah. Thanks for asking. So I’ll go to, I’ve got two resources that might be helpful for folks. So first and foremost, the book that I talk about published, or that I’ve been talking about.
So this is my brand new book just came out. It’s published the proven path from blank page to 10,000 copies sold. You can get it on Amazon. You can also get the audio book. I recommend the audio book. I narrate the audio books. You can get that on audible, but if you’d like a physical copy and you’re one of the first 50 people I’d like to give away 50 copies to the niche pursuits audience.
So if you go to published book.com forward slash niche, right? Published book, like I published a book, so published book.com/niche. If you’re one of the first 50 people there, I will literally print package. A physical copy of the book, no shipping and handling. No, nothing. All you have to do is just tell me where to send it.
So that’s the first place that we’d be best to go. If you want to grab a free copy of the book. And then the second piece, if you’re interested in learning more about self publishing school, go to self dash publishing school.com/apply. That’s where you can book a class. With my team, we can chat about your book, your goals, start putting together a plan.
And then if you’re a fit, we can talk about what it looks like to work together. So those are kind of the two best places published book.com forward slash niche. If you’d like a free copy of the book and then self dash publishing school.com forward slash apply. And if you’re interested in booking, come with a team,
Jared: I’m guessing those 50 are going to go relatively fast.
I’m lucky. I’ll get, I’m gonna, I think I’m gonna be the first one to apply. I’ll get it before this goes. Live
it. Should people do that mind map exercise before they go to. The self-published school.com a self dash public school.com or should they just go over there and learn all the information I needed? I
Chandler: mean, you can go book a call with a team and then between now and when your call happens, just scribble the mind map, and then it’ll be a good starting point to then have that conversation where you map out.
Where, what, where am I going with this book? What are my goals and how do I put together a plan and get started?
Jared: Well, you really got my head spinning a bit in terms of thinking about my own personal sites. I also run a marketing agency. You’ve got my head thinking about. The value of book could provide just in terms of adding authority.
Yeah. I think I’m going to always remember, and we talk about authority and SEO all the time, but we I’ve never heard it mentioned authority with the word author at the root of it. I love that too. So those are just a couple of things I took from, I really appreciate you coming on and you know, maybe we’ll bring you up in five more years for it, for a third visit on the niche proceeds podcast.
Chandler: I appreciate it here. And thank you so much for.
Jared: Yeah. All right. Cheers. .
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