Perseverance: A Must-Have for Authors to Be Successful

Becoming a published author is not an easy task. I’m sure you’re already aware of that… While writing may seem like the hard part, you have to think about how to design and format the book, find a publisher, secure endorsements, market the book, and promote it when the writing and editing is done.

You’ll probably even have a moment or two where you consider giving up.

When it comes to being a successful author, the key is perseverance. Tweet: When it comes to being a successful author, the key is perseverance. #success #writing http://ctt.ec/hY_lq+ #aleweb

Keep reading for tips on how you can dig in and persevere through the hardest parts of being an author.

No matter what step you’re working on in the writing process, perseverance is the key.

Forget About Your Comfort Zone

Bob Parsons, GoDaddy founder, has a list of 16 “rules for survival,” many of which can be applied to surviving and thriving as an author.

His first rule is to “get and stay out of your comfort zone.”

(You can read the rest of his rules here.)

Writing, publishing and marketing a book isn’t an easy process. If you’re unwilling to step out of your comfort zone, achieving your goals can be much more difficult than it needs to be.

The truth is, things rarely get done while you’re safe and warm in your comfort zone. [Read more…]

2014 is the Year It All Gets Better

Have you been struggling to make ends meet? Have you been working hard, but getting nowhere? Have things happened that you never anticipated?

Here’s how to turn your pain into greatness.

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Book Review: The Millionaire Map by Jim Stovall

The Millionaire Map by Jim Stovall, cover imageAs I was posting my own book for review on StoryCartel this weekend, I saw that Jim Stovall’s latest book, The Millionaire Map, was available for review as well. Knowing Mr. Stovall’s work from his great movie, The Ultimate Gift, and another of his books, The Lamp, I eagerly grabbed a copy, excited to read it.

Little did I realize at the time that it was exactly what I needed to read right now.

Less than 24 hours later, with 6 pages of notes by my side, I’d read all 160 pages of the book.

I found myself frequently posting quotations from it to my Facebook friends, and sending personal notes to specific friends whom I knew would benefit from reading his thoughts as well.

Mr. Stovall was hitting on the same struggles and sticking points that my friends and I have been sharing of late, and it was great to have the wisdom and insight of someone who has been where we are, leading us to where we want to go.

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3 Video SEO Tips You Can Use Right Now

Today’s guest post is from my friend, Chris Westfall, the National Elevator Pitch Champion. Enjoy his insights into how to use video SEO properly to share your compelling story.

Your brand deserves a great story, and these video SEO tips will help you to make your message matter.

While YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world, if you want your story to be heard, you’ve got to master video SEO tricks. But you may be surprised to know that YouTube may not be the best place for your video. Or, perhaps a better way to say it, there’s more than just YouTube, if you’re interested in the best video SEO.


Three Tips for Creating a Great Video Message Online

Once you’ve crafted your great video content, you still have to ensure it gets found! So, here are the next steps to follow.

  1. For Great Video SEO, put your message on Vimeo.com – It may seem counter-intuitive since Google owns YouTube, but videos on Vimeo.com are actually ranked higher in searches, in terms of video SEO. While the audience for Vimeo is smaller than YouTube, the SEO rankings are based on the relevance of the content. Google will often rank Vimeo.com above YouTube, even with similar keyword content. So, what’s the takeaway from this tip? Get yourself a Vimeo channel and post your content on Vimeo! And, if you don’t believe in the power of video SEO juice from Vimeo, make sure you include a link to your YouTube channel and post your content in multiple locations. While many will disparage duplicate content from an SEO perspective, video SEO is multiplied when your content is posted on multiple sites. Make sure Vimeo.com is part of your marketing mix for great video SEO.
  2. Get smart about your keywords and title, if you want great video SEO – Do you use Google’s keyword search tool to determine the name of your video? How about for the keywords you include in the video’s description? Using the keyword search tool from Google adwords will give you great insight into your video SEO. It’s counter-intuitive, but you want to be general (not specific) in order to be found. If you want your video to attract eyeballs, use the Google search tool to identify where the eyeballs are. In other words, use terms that are highly searched and include those words in both the title and the description for your video.
  3. Great video SEO starts with great links – Make sure that your description field includes at least one link. It’s a great idea to include a link to your website, your blog, or other content that’s meaningful (for example, if you have a Brand Yourself page for your personal brand, or an About.me page, or even a LinkedIn profile, you can include these links and improve your video SEO. Want to get really fancy? Then include a link to your vimeo.com page, and do the same from inside Vimeo.

Video SEO is What Your Brand Deserves

With these three ideas, you can create greater backlinks, identify additional resources for your viewers, and generate the kind of traffic that gets your message noticed. If you’ve taken the time to create some good video content, you deserve to have that content viewed. Use tools like YouTube and Vimeo to make sure your message gets out there.

And remember, there’s no substitute for great content. Video SEO is about understanding how optimization works, but great content is an even bigger boost to your brand.

About the Author:

Chris Westfall is the national elevator pitch champion, and the author of The NEW Elevator Pitch. His YouTube channel has nearly 700,000 video views and over 550 subscribers. His website is westfallonline.com and his YouTube channel is /westfallonline. His video production business is Your Online Video, Inc. and he regularly consults with high-growth businesses on effective video production.

An Interview with Jeff Goins, author of “Wrecked”

Today’s post features an interview with author, Jeff Goins. Tara Alemany, owner of Aleweb Social Marketing, had the opportunity to ask Jeff a few questions recently as part of his virtual tour for his new book, Wrecked, which came out in August 2012.

Jeff Goins, author of Wrecked, interviewed on alewebsocial.comJeff is a writer who lives outside of Nashville with his wife, son, and pup. He works for Adventures in Missions and blogs at goinswriter.com.

When you started your blog in 2010, you had some burning questions about making a living as a writer that you were trying to answer for yourself. (To see Jeff’s questions, click here.) With the recent publication and success of Wrecked, it looks like you found the answers. I’d love it if you could share part of that journey with my readers because it’s a trip they’d all like to take too!

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How to Really Listen

Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't. ~ Bill NyeI have a client, a winery, who is short-handed for the next month. Since I really enjoying going to this place, when they asked if there was anyway I could help them out by working there a couple of days a week for the next month, I said “sure.” It’s an exciting time of growth for this business, and I enjoy being a part of it.

Today, I was “manning the shop” all alone when an older couple came in for a wine tasting. Being an early Friday afternoon, the place was quiet, and I was able to simply enjoy engaging in conversation with them. Over the course of the next hour, we shared stories about our lives back and forth with each other.

As the husband went out to the car to load their purchases, the wife stayed a talked awhile longer. She confided how much she valued the time I had spent with them. Her daughter had just remarried, her grandson had gone to college and her granddaughter was starting a new job at a local hospital. They have been a close-knit family, living on the same property for years, in and out of each other’s homes on a daily basis, and now this grandmother was feeling “an empty nest, times three!” The sorrow and grief in her eyes was heart-wrenching, and I was grateful that we’d had that time alone to just enjoy one another’s company.

As I was thinking back on that experience this evening, it occurred to me that so few of us really know how to listen. There was a moment when this woman was leaving the winery where our eyes connected, no more words were spoken, but she knew that she had been heard, and her thoughts and feelings mattered to someone else.

In social media, where we don’t have the opportunity to make eye contact, and listening can echo back like an empty chasm if you don’t make your presence known, how do we let someone know we’re listening?

I had another instance earlier this week where I’d seen someone’s name flit through my Twitter feed whom I hadn’t spoken with in a long time. So, I reached out and sent her a tweet, asking her how she was doing. This led to a private (DM) conversation where she shared that Life had been rough of late.

The best way that I could show I was listening was to actively participate in the conversation, but always keeping the focus on her. It’s so easy to want to relate our own experiences with a topic. But sometimes a person just needs to be heard. When using social media, oftentimes it’s feedback (or the much-bantered word “engagement”) that let’s us know anyone is even listening.

Here are some tips on how to demonstrate active listening in social media:

  • When someone needs to talk, let the conversation be about whatever it is they need to talk about.
  • In real life, eye contact and touch show that we’re engaged. Online, substitute a private message or directed contact to let the person know you are there, you are listening and you care.
  • Don’t steer the conversation to yourself. Instead, be genuinely interested in what the other person is saying.  If you can’t be genuinely interested, perhaps it’s not the right person to be deepening a relationship with.

These tips aren’t for every conversation you have online. But it’s important people know you care about more than the product or service you are selling, and that you’re a real human being capable of engaging, feeling and being authentic.

Online friendships can remain at a superficial level for a long time. But when we take the opportunity to deepen those connections, perhaps even bringing them offline, it’s amazing what can happen. What tips do you have for connecting with individuals in real and authentic ways?

Dancing As Long As I Can

Tango Pictures, Images and PhotosI recently came across an essay in NPR’s “This I Believe” series that was written by Robert Fulghum, author of “All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” The piece was entitled “Dancing All the Dances As Long As I Can.” In it, Fulghum speaks of a passion of his, dancing, and what it means to him. He relays a recent enthusiasm for tango, and his initial intimidation to try it. However, he thought back to an earlier time when he’d chosen to “stay on the sidelines” when the dancing began after a village wedding on the Greek island of Crete.

The fancy footwork confused me. “Don’t make a fool of yourself,” I thought. “Just watch.”

Reading my mind, an older woman dropped out of the dance, sat down beside me, and said, “If you join the dancing, you will feel foolish. If you do not, you will also feel foolish. So, why not dance?”

And, she said she had a secret for me. She whispered, “If you do not dance, we will know you are a fool. But if you dance, we will think well of you for trying.”

This statement got me thinking… How many times are we thought to be fools because we let our fears of appearing foolish keep us from trying something new? Not only that, how often do we miss out on finding something we actually love doing because we’re too afraid to even try it?

In February of this year, I met the owner of a local business development center at a networking event. He was setting up a social media seminar series, and asked me if I would be willing to speak about the relevance of social media to business owners. While I had given presentations at work in the past, it was always to people I knew. The idea of speaking in front of a bunch of people I didn’t know scared the heck out of me! But I’ve been prayerfully building my business by stepping through the doors that open for me, so I said “yes” even though I had reservations about it.

That was one of the best decisions I’d made since starting my business. Since then, I’ve spoken an average of 3 times per month at various locations to different groups; all of which is free publicity for my business. Each engagement has led to new clients and prospects and, if nothing else, it’s ensured that people know what I do and recognize me the next time we run into one another somewhere. As you know, the sales process requires multiple “touches” before a prospect is ready to buy from you, and this has definitely been a means of shortening that process.

So, what have you been sitting on the sidelines avoiding? What’s outside of your comfort zone that you probably should be doing? What are you afraid to try that might actually be a blessing to you or your business? If you feel inclined, leave a comment below and share what it is. Then, screw up your courage, realize that you’re going to feel foolish whether you face your challenge or not, and determine to make people think well of you for trying! And while you’re getting started, consider this quote from VaroTango. “There are no wrong moves in tango, only new ones.”