Sep 232016

Serious marketing requires serious effort. Success of your book (website/music album/business) does not primarily depend on your creativity. It depends on your willingness to work hard.

Shortcuts do exist, true, and creative social media campaign can bring big traffic to your website (see my Reddit experiment as a good example of it happening). But, speaking from long term perspective, you will never build your business on foundations of these campaigns. The traffic from social media campaigns simply doesn’t last. Once the campaign ends, you will end up without any visitors. And you can’t repeat the same thing time and again. It won’t be effective anymore.

Therefore we should primarily focus on long term marketing strategies that will eventually result in recurring traffic to our websites.


I have three such strategies in mind for the University of Solitude. All of them require a lot of effort and patience, but I don’t mind.

Ninety-five out of hundred people are either lazy, or they give up too soon. They will not devote enough time to these long-term strategies, or they will quit too soon. Which means less competition for me and you, so nothing to complain about… I am not lazy and hope you aren’t 🙂

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Sep 142016

Unknown website visitorAn unknown person, let’s call them X, reaches our landing page. We know little about them—how old they are, what they do for living, where they come from, how they feel today.

Person X simply reached the website of the University of Solitude—that’s all we know. They may scroll the page, they may read the excerpt, or they may click the menu. They may do all kind of other things as well.

But eventually, doesn’t matter who they are and what they do, and how much attention they pay to our message, they’ll either leave the website, or click “buy now” button and navigate to purchase the book on

Most people will always decide for the first option—leaving the website. And it doesn’t matter how good your landing page is. That’s just how things work in the world of internet marketing. Just a fraction of visitors (always less than 5%, doesn’t matter what niche we talk about) will eventually make a purchase.  

But a small percentage of people will actually purchase the book, or  at least complete some other, desired action (like the website on FaceBook, subscribe to your newsletter).

Now, the question stands: What decides whether they leave the website, or whether they purchase the book?

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Sep 102016

Ten days ago I had a conversation with a good friend of mine. Knowing most of my activities and plans, he suggested I should proceed with opening a vegetarian restaurant, something I intended to do one day, most likely in a horizon of few years (he himself started the vegetarian diet recently)….

“Eating well and being healthy are the most important things,” he said. You should focus your efforts on this rather than philosophy. Vegetarian restaurant is something realistic, tangible, a place where you can see the results of your work immediately, in people coming and trying something new, potentially changing their eating habits. And that will result in an improved quality of their life. You should go for it now.”

(Note: There aren’t any vegetarian restaurants in my city, or in a bigger city nearby. We combine together for nearly 100,000 inhabitants.)


Philosophy, the queen

I thought about what he said for a second, and gave him my reply:

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Aug 182016

People strive for recognition. We like when others listen to what we have to say, and when they give us credit for our thoughts and opinions.

And that’s exactly why discussion forums haven’t died yet, and probably never will, unless the end of the world really arrives. 🙂

Whatever your specialization, whatever you think about, dream about, or write about, you can certainly find forum boards where people discuss the topics of your choice.

But can you promote the book on discussion boards? I will try to answer the question in the following paragraphs.

Three main marketing techniques

You can apply different promotional techniques on discussion boards:

  • Paid banner advertisements (negotiate the conditions with forum owners, and pay a flat monthly fee for direct promotion of your book)
  • Forum spam (spam relevant (or even irrelevant) discussion threads with a link to your book, difficult to carry out on moderated boards…)
  • Joining the forum and building your authority in the niche (engaging in the discussions, making relevant comments, promoting your book or website in the signature (signature is typically allowed for senior members, and you can achieve the senior status by reaching certain post count, typically one hundred posts).

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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 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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Aug 042016

Google, Google, Google. I’ve used the most popular search engine dozens of times since I wrote the last article about promoting a book there. People all around the world have been doing just the same, day after day. When they had a question, or looked for information, they’d google it.

50,000 searches every single second, remember?

In the first post we analyzed keyword research, trying to identify keywords relevant to our book, and how many people searched for them on Google every month (with a help of a free tool called Google Keyword Planner). We made a database, specifying the average monthly searches of each key term, and assigning a relevance factor to each phrase in the database.

Now, finally, we will use the database, and try to promote the book.

As I said earlier, there exist several ways of benefiting from Google traffic. They range from paid promotion (Google Adwords), to SEO (search engine optimization), the two most orthodox methods. But you can find many other methods, and today we will look at one of them.

We will try to benefit from the websites that already rank in the top 10.

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Jul 252016

I promised to throw in an occasional marketing experiment, while working on my long term goal—building a personal brand as a writer and thinker. I did one such experiment last Tuesday, and it concerned YouTube.

Then idea came to me while browsing some SEO blogs in the afternoon. I landed by chance on a stupid YouTube video and was surprised to see that it reported one hundred millions views. The video was uploaded just a year ago. I did a quick math in a second:

If 100,000,000 people really watched that video since it was published a year ago, it actually means that in average, more than 250,000 people watched it every single day. That’s not a little number, I thought.

Stricken by this idea, I started to look for the videos that boosted the highest number of views on Youtube. I discovered a playlist that featured 500 most viewed videos on the entire network. You can find the list here:


An example, a second video from the list, right after Gangnam style :):

Youtube example video with many views


This stupid song actually boosts a whooping 4 millions views every single day! That’s huge. YouTube users can comment on the video, and a certain percentage of viewers will definitely check the TOP comments while watching it, or after they finished watching.

Now, imagine that just five percent of people checked the top five comments of Wiz Khalifa’s song. If it was true, and it easily can be true, 200,000 pairs of eyes would see the top messages today, and tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow…

Remember, we still talk about one single video.

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Jul 192016

Google processes more than four billion searches every day. That’s more than one hundred fifty million every hour, or, if you want, more than 50,000 searches every single second!

What do people search for? According to this source, words like “weather”, “calculator”, “translate”, “YouTube to mp3”, top the list. However, they omit all sex-related keywords, and as you can see from a quick experiment I made, “free porn” easily beats even the highest ranked keywords on the list…

free porn searches

Expected, unexpected, sad? Well, if you were lucky enough to understand people around you, at least to some extend, these results should not come as a surprise….


People search also for YOU

Anyway, with the billions of searches Google processes every day, we can certainly find many that are relevant to your book and website, at least to some extend :).

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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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Jun 072016

Does it make sense to promote your book on Is it possible to reach the top of their board? How many visitors can we get from such a campaign? Will the visits from convert? And finally and most importantly, can we somehow game the system? 🙂

The experiment I did on Saturday answered all my questions, and it should help you to understand whether it makes sense to promote your book (or anything else) on, and how to maximize the efficiency of your campaign.

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