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The toughest undertakings are often the most rewarding. When something is so easy that everybody can do it, it’ll take an extraordinary effort to do it successfully. Podcasting is an activity that still has a learning curve and an equipment barrier, which could allow you to stand out if you make sure your show is unique and fills a niche.

Podcasts are a great way to reach your readers. Thanks to major improvements in apps, hardware, and software, these audio programs are easier to listen to than ever before. Many of your potential fans spend all day listening to podcasts to pass the time as they work at the office or from home. Whether you choose to make your show informative or entertaining, you’ll have the opportunity to succeed if you answer the right questions before you begin.

Here are five questions you should consider before you invest the time, money, and energy into creating a podcast.

Direct download: 5questionstartingpodcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT

The habit of writing 5,000 words a day will likely make you a successful author. Doesn’t that make you a little bit mad? There are writers out there who not only accomplish this feat every day, but they’re also blogging about it. Heck, some of them even write books about how they’re able to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat day in and day out, 52 weeks a year.

There’s no way to guarantee that you’ll be able to increase your writing output to this high number. Something you can do, however, is make sure that you spend your writing time doing one thing and one thing only: putting words on the page.

It takes a lot of training to get yourself to want to write for a certain number of hours per day. At first, you’ll seek out any possible excuse, such as cleaning the kitchen, playing with your cat, or anything else that’ll take you away from your laptop. Don’t cheat yourself. Even when you don’t feel like writing, you need to get your butt in the chair to unpack those sentences from your brain.

Here are seven ways to force yourself to write when you feel like you have nothing left for the day.

Direct download: ultimateguidetowriting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:55pm EDT

Facebook can be a time suck. A few minutes scrolling through the posts of your friends and family can easily turn into an hour. It’s tempting to cut out your Facebook use altogether when you’re trying to become a more productive author, but it’s still one of the best places to find new readers for your books.

Facebook has changed dramatically over the years. While it was once free to reach all of your followers with a single post, the social media site has become a pay-to-play platform. You must optimize your posts and the ways you connect with fans to ensure the most effective use of your hard-earned money.

Here are seven ways you can make Facebook worth your time and generate genuine connections with fans who’ll love your work.

Direct download: 7facebooktimesuck.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:46pm EDT

Have you ever gotten jealous of another author’s book launch? Obviously, you’re excited for your peer to be able to vault his or her book into the Amazon Top 1,000, but you can’t help but wish that your own work could reach the same heights time in and time out. If you want the kind of results other authors will be jealous of, then you need to put in the effort to build up your email list.

Emails are far more targeted than social media posts or Google search traffic. It’s a good use of your time and money as well. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing has a 4300 percent return on investment. The authors with the best results have leveraged the power of email to help them sell more books.

Here are five ways to build up your email list to find true fans of your work.

Direct download: 5buildupemaillist.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:50pm EDT