Sep 252017
 

Summer months have ended; people came back to work and school. Step by step everyone returns to their routine, working, relaxing, reading some books…. Autumn is actually the best season for book retailers.

Falling leaves remind me of good times, and they also symbolize a change. So why not changing something in my marketing strategy? Why not try something new to finally boost the sales of the University of Solitude?

 

Learning from the successful

I’ve been working on a new income model in the sphere of internet marketing lately (related to paid traffic), experimenting, analyzing, creating new content, and reading.

I believe that we should learn from the successful. If you want to achieve something, you should look for inspiration in someone who has already achieved the feat…. And so I’ve been reading blogs of internet marketers who specialize in paid traffic campaigns and affiliate marketing, and who do nothing else for living.

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Aug 232017
 

The day was a Thursday, the twenty-third of August, 2012. It was eight o’clock in the evening. I walked out of my room in one of Tehran’s three star hotels, entered the elevator, and went down to reception. I expected to meet my friend and colleague Amir in the lobby;

……

I didn’t expect to meet officers of Iranian security service in the lobby on that evening 5 years ago. My imprisonment, solitary confinement, espionage for CIA accusations, possibility of death sentence, six months in prison, my business ruined—all those things that came as a huge surprise, and shock for both my body and mind, seem like a dream now.

Did it all really happen? Did I really survive?

Perhaps it is good that we people have selective memory—that we can forget or at least learn to live in the present (a tough ‘skill’ to learn indeed), not letting the demons of the past to steal from us the most precious thing we’ve been granted — the present moment.

 

Significant? Or insignificant?

Many things have happened during those five years … and though I’d call them the best years of my life, and feel extremely grateful for the opportunity to do all the things I’ve done during the time, in the sphere of business, literature, charity, sport, traveling, spirituality, I want to confess that the last five years were far from easy….

With my new vision of the world and of my own life (and its insignificance), with the marks that the prison cell had left on my heart, those marks only a very sensitive person could recognize, I’d often found myself a complete outsider among people, not really able to fit into the society, the way it functions, thinks and lives.

Though I may seem an easy person to get along, someone who doesn’t struggle to talk to anyone, or go anywhere, you should know that below the surface—on the profound level of my heart and soul, I have quite often felt misunderstood, or even lonely among people.

 

Free to exist

Nevertheless, in both high and low moments, it’s good to travel in time for a second, at least in mind, reminding myself where I’d been five years ago—and compare it to the place where I am now—in a normal flat, being free to walk, to write, to take shower. Free to choose my food, to meet people, to go outside. Free to enjoy and suffer. Free to exist. Free to feel misunderstood. 🙂

If you are reading this article, you likely find yourself in the same boat. You are free.

Live neither in the past, nor from the past, but never forget that those things I described in previous paragraph should never be taken for granted. Don’t think about what you do not have (and some others do)—enjoy what you do have. Billions of people are not as lucky as you.

Five years. A lot of time for an individual? A grain of sand for the Universe? Who knows…. Happy anniversary to all of you!

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Jul 262017
 

Very simple PBN diagram, M.S. means “money site”, in our case University of Solitude

Several months have passed since I wrote about building a PBN. I was trying to rank University of Solitude in Google search results, for search terms “real life inspirational story”, “true inspirational story”, and many other long-tail keywords, related to inspirational stories.

Just to help you remember, very briefly, a PBN is a network of websites (typically aged, expired websites, with some authority and links from other domains pointing to them) that link back to your money site, and that were built with a sole purpose: to help ranking your main website (called money site in SEO terminology) higher in Google search results, for keywords of your choice.

Note: To read more about building PBN, check my article from March.

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Jun 142017
 

Every writer dreams of reaching the Amazon bestseller list. To gain visibility among millions of books, to attract the eyes of readers who browse Amazon by categories. There are supposed to be millions of them. Some writers may spend their fortune, or perhaps their youth :), trying to crack the list of bestsellers.

Well, I did it in a day. And it didn’t cost me a fortune. I actually spent just a couple of hours, and a bit less than $250 to rank nr. 1 in all three book categories that feature University of Solitude (Criminology, Middle East, Iran), and reach a top 500 paid kindle ranking on the entire Amazon.

On 8th June, shortly after noon, I reached top 1 in all three categories, and top 350 on the entire Amazon.

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Mar 312017
 

Time fliesI don’t like to repeat myself, but long time has passed since I’ve published the last blog article. Well, not only has the time passed—it has done so rather quickly!

Nothing new in this department either—time always flies by when you are free, and when life feels good.

February and March brought to my life some opportunities to speak in front of young audiences. Two speeches took place at high schools, and one time I was invited to speak during a special Christian gathering, a weekend the believers spent together in a very nice locality in the nature, ‘outside of civilization’.

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Jan 232017
 

Picture from Nepal, Renjo LaLong time has passed since I updated the blog for the last time. But don’t worry, they didn’t arrest me again, and I didn’t get run out of ideas either. 🙂

Honestly, I’ve done very little for the book marketing between 23rd November and 3rd January. I spent those weeks in Nepal, in the Himalayas. ‘Doing nothing’ and letting go, for a few weeks at least, is vitally important for someone who works intellectually, creatively, and even tries to write something unique and innovative.

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Nov 212016
 

Donation IRRCSix weeks still left in 2016. For me, however, the working year will end in two days already.

On Wednesday I’ll leave for Nepal, where I’ll spend the rest of the year living a simple life of a backpacker in the Himalaya Mountains.   

The trip should help me restore my mental and physical energy levels. Typically it works, and I really need to restore them. I need to spend extended time in the nature at least twice a year, to maintain my inner equilibrium. Forgetting all world problems and leaving my personal challenges, pleasures and duties behind, these backpacking trips allow me to function normally and work hard for the rest of the year. The rest of the year is when I do not travel. 🙂

Occasionally I may connect the two, writing while traveling, but it won’t be the case in Nepal. . . .

 

First donation to Red Cross

I wanted to make a first donation before leaving Slovakia. So I counted all money we received for the sales of the University of Solitude, from 2nd May 2016 to 15th November 2016. It included:    Continue reading »

Oct 242016
 
Some of my books, most of them read from 2013 to now, when I started to read much more than I did before.

Some of my books, most of them read from 2013 to now, when I started to read much more than I did before.

Word of mouth—the oldest marketing, and for a long time the only one. We can probably call it the most honest promotion as well—you spend nothing, and you get nothing for your effort, unless you’re recommending your own product or service (which wouldn’t be a true recommendation anymore).

Don’t worry, books like University of Solitude spread by word of mouth,” a Slovak friend of mine said after a tennis match we played back in July, earlier this year.

He has lived abroad for a past few years, and he really liked my work (he read the original book back in 2014). In July, after we finished the tennis match, I told him that we were not doing great with the English edition of the book, selling just a few copies here and there. He was not worried, however, believing in the power of personal recommendations. He himself recommended the book to a few people, or at least he ensured me about doing that.

We talked for about half an hour and said goodbye to each other afterwards. I haven’t seen him since that rainy afternoon, and I soon forgot what he had said about my book.

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Aug 102016
 
  • Can you rank your book in Google with a help of YouTube channel?
  • How do people rank their videos on YouTube, so other people will find them when searching for relevant information?
  • And does it actually make sense to spend time with YouTube, editing videos and trying to rank them on YouTube or in Google search results?

I will try to find the answers. . . .

Ranking in Google

In two of my previous posts about Google marketing (lesson1, lesson 2), we looked into non-orthodox methods of getting traffic from Google.com. We tried commenting on articles and blogs that already ranked in the search results, making our website visible to the people who read the articles. We even considered acquiring some domains from their owners.

But the most common, and the most rewarding Google marketing technique consists in ranking your own content—your website, blog, book page on Google. Or your YouTube video?

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Jul 062016
 

Evening out, or just chatting in a hostel. Meeting new people, making good connections with the others. A beer or two, easy talk, a stupid joke or maybe even a good one. People laugh, you have a good time.
Finally we introduce ourselves. One does that and another one something else. You ask a question or two, either to pretend to be interested for the sake of your own speech that is about to follow, or because you actually care to know the people you’ve just met on your journey.

Finally, your turn comes. Either you started talking directly, or you patiently waited for the right question that is bound to come in this evening conversation: “And what do you do back home?”

20160706_172200“I’m a writer.”

“A writer? My gosh! I have never met a writer in person! What kind of books do you write?

Touching the screen of your mobile phone, you show them your blog, and your book page on Amazon. You talk, they listen.
Should they have their kindles with them, they may order your masterpiece immediately. And if not, an original business card you take out from your pocket (because you always carry a few of them) ensures they will not forget on your book until tomorrow, when new evening will bring new connections and thoughts. A life of a traveler. . . .

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