Lemongrass: A Home gardener’s Guide

Lemongrass: A Home gardener's Guide

Lemongrass: A Home gardener’s Guide

Known for their leaves and lemony flavor lemongrass can bring your meals to life! Lemongrass has a long food tradition in Asian cooking.
This home gardeners guide is bursting with straightforward information that makes growing, using, and preserving lemongrass enjoyable and trouble-free, so anyone can get the full potential of this infamous herb and spice all year round.
From gardeners, herb enthusiasts, and everyone in between, this practical guide will provide its readers with help with cultivating and maintaining a thriving and fragrant garden of lemongrass, whether indoors or outdoors!

Lemongrass: A Home Gardener’s Guide On Amazon

Kindle Edition

PaperBack Edition

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The Bean: A Home Gardener’s Guide

The Bean: A Home Gardener’s Guide

The Bean: A Home Gardener’s Guide

Of all the many vegetables found in the common garden at home, the many varieties of bean plants may be one of the most widely popular planting options of all time. From snap beans to shell beans, these powerful plants provide a spectrum of possibilities for the home gardener to work with in terms of involvement, benefits, and nutrition.

Author and experienced gardener, provides this in-depth guided tour of the world of bean gardening, covering everything from which seeds to use, what soil is best for which plants, how to select the best seeds, and how to prepare beans for cooking, pickling, and canning. There is even a section devoted to basic, standard recipes involving different types of beans. Any gardener certainly knows that there are many factors which contribute to the success or failure of a garden plot, including soil quality and pH balance, irrigation control, support structures, and seed type and quality. It can be a lot for a beginner to process, but Swope’s easy to read guide provides plenty of encouragement and information for any gardener to absorb. Swope grants concise, straightforward recommendations on how to prepare your garden for various types of bean plants and how to best encourage their growth and prosperity.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a greenhorn just starting to discover your green thumb, “The Bean: A Home Gardener’s Guide” is a thorough, detailed exploration of the different kinds of bean plants, what it’s like to grow your own bean plants, and how beans can make a difference both in your diet and in your home garden

The Bean: A Home Gardener’s Guide On Amazon

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eBooks and DRM: Should eBook Authors Use Digital Rights Management (DRM)?

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

What is DRM?

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a term that refers to a set of control technology approaches that restrict unauthorized access and use of proprietary hardware and copyrighted works in digital media. While the applications are endless, the DRM controls are more popular with eBook writers and independent publishers, as they try preventing customers from copying, modifying, and redistributing the work they’ve purchased.

How does DRM work?

Publishers use certain applications, which encrypt content and make it viewable only to people with the correct decryption key or a dedicated ’Reader’ application often downloaded. There’s a licensing system that is used to transparently transmit the decryption keys to the ‘Reader’ app. Normally, the keys are locked to only authorized devices.

The ‘Reader’ application checks for the correct decryption key so that it loads the content with the DRM protections applied. If this app does not have the correct keys, it then confirms with the licensing system to ascertain whether the reader is authorized to access the protected content.

eBook authors can choose the type of DRM controls to apply depending on the work published, audience, and distribution to readers. Well, it could be preventing printing, screen grabbing, document expiry, or watermarking documents with unique user information to establish identity.

Should eBook authors use DRM?

An honest answer? NO. The truth is DRM really does little to prevent piracy regardless of the technological protection you put on your files. Any form of DRM control can be cracked, often very easily by readers that paid for your content.

This because the publisher must allow the buyer to unencrypt the file, and this is just the fundamental flaw with any copy control scheme. Worse even, nowadays there are free tools, which pirates can take advantage of to remove DRM from an eBook. And when this happens, there’s nothing that would be stopping them from uploading your files anywhere they want.

Reasons not to use DRM

Besides not being able to stop piracy, here are the other reasons not to use DRM in self-publishing:

Restrictions will only hurt paying readers

Imagine purchasing an eBook, but you’re still prevented from reading the book in another format or device. Such restrictions are quite off-putting for your customers. Some readers will easily get annoyed and even refuse to buy books that are DRM enabled.

No complete ownership for customers

The DRM enabled book is locked to a store that the customer bought it from, meaning if the store stops to exist someday, the reader loses access to the eBook they legally paid for. Simply put, the current DRM approaches are downright making the life of paying customers a little difficult without fully preventing piracy.

Conclusion

With constant advancements in technology, however, there’s hope of getting new effective piracy control measures in the future. But until that happens, eBook authors should just avoid putting DRM on their books. The truth is that piracy may not the problem for most authors, but obscurity is. Removing the DRM controls can mean that more customers get to access and read your books. Your messages can be shared by customers to reach more people and positively impact their lives.

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What is a Book Blurb?

Back Cover Book Blurb

Back Cover Book Blurb

In the last decade, self-publishing has grown exponentially with the emergence of platforms such as Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace – that have made publishing a book an easy and accessible process. Numerous independent authors have been able to leverage different marketing techniques to boost their sales and build sustainable self-publishing businesses. A key tool for sales, branding and marketing your book is a book blurb.

What is a book blurb?

A book blurb is a brief description of a book written for promotional purposes. It gives the reader a sense of the content of the book and proposes the value that the reader is likely to derive from reading it.

Imagine your book was a person on a dating website.

The cover page is like the profile picture, and the book blurb is the part of your profile that describes you. Therefore, while a good profile picture will attract a potential suitor, your description is what will motivate them to engage. Consequently, you want your description to stand out and convince. You want the book blurb to make marketing your book a walk in the park.

While the front cover of the book serves the primary purpose of branding, the blurb is like the “pitch” which persuades a potential reader to buy and read your book.

What A Book Blurb Is Not.

The book blurb is neither a detailed summary or outline of your book nor an overly promotional sales pitch. It is also not a detailed review of your book, although you may opt to include a sentence or two summarizing a reader’s review of the book.

Where Is the Book Blurb Positioned?

Traditionally, the blurb was placed on the inside of the back cover. However, as online publishing gained popularity, and people opted for digital books, most writers chose to place the blurb on the back cover to make it easily accessible to the reader.

Components of a book blurb

The content of a book blurb may vary depending on the author’s preference and whether a book is fictional or non-fictional. That said, the most common components of a book blurb include:

  • A summary of the plot (for fiction books).
  • Thesis statement or main ideas presented in the book (for a non-fiction book).
  • A brief introduction of the characters-mainly the antagonist and protagonist (for fiction books, biographies, autobiographies and memoirs).
  • A few quotes picked from the book.
  • A short biography of the author.
  • Praises of the book by other authors.
  • Reader’s reviews.
  • A value proposition to the reader.

You may include some or all these components.

Using the Book Blurb for Sales and Marketing, And Branding

You can use your book blurb for branding, sales and marketing your book across the various platforms. To do so effectively, ensure that it is strong and well written.

As is the case for most online content, most of the readers will not read through your blurb word for word; rather they will scan through it. To improve conversion, make the content easy to scan in the following ways:

  • Begin the first paragraph with an attention-grabbing sentence.
  • Write short, succinct paragraphs (2-3 sentences).
  • Incorporate quotes, e.g., excerpts from the book or what a reviewer said about the book.
  • Incorporates text in different font styles but do not overdo it. For instance, you could bold the value proposition or a subheading, or italicize quoted text.
  • Keep in mind that for a book blurb you have less than 150 words to intrigue and persuade a potential reader into buying.

Online Marketing Strategies Using a Book Blurb

You can display the blurb on:

  • Amazon/CreateSpace book description box: Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace provide a description box that is meant for the author to write a short description of your book. You can use this space to publish your book blurb.
  • On your social media pages. Convert the back page to a JPG or PNG image and upload it on your social media pages. You could also run a promotional campaign for the book whereby you pick a segment of the blurb and paste it on your pages.
  • Your website. When promoting the upcoming launch of the book and throughout its sales promotion phase, ensure to publish the blurb on your website.
  • Marketing email. When sending out your marketing emails to boost sales for the book, you may include the book’s blurb as part the email content to provide a potential reader with the overview of the book and persuade them to buy.

Conclusion

A book blurb is a crucial tool for marketing your book. Its purpose has transitioned from the traditional back cover that provides the reader with an overview of the book, to serve as a powerful sales tool for marketing your book across the various online platforms.

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Blogging – What Are Long-Tail Keywords And To Use Them

Long Tail Keywords

Long Tail Keywords

Long Tail Keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important things you can learn if you want to find the fastest way to the top of the search engines. And if you’re not at the top of the search engines (preferably in one of the first 3 positions), your chances of making money online decrease substantially.

What is a long tail keyword?

  • Long – tail keywords are typically two or more words (a phrase) that you type into a search engine to find content, a product, or service.

How to use long tail keywords?

  • Use your favorite keyword tool – like Google’s keyword tool. Search for a phrase like your main keyword, but does has less competition. Think of it as a phrase off the beaten path, but is still used by some.
  • Write your post based on the long tail – Make sure to include the long-tail in your title, and naturally throughout the body of the article. Be relevant, and make sure to deliver on the promise of the post title. One thing to avoid is keyword stuffing. Using your phrase will only get you in trouble with the search engines.
  • Submit this post to a few Article Directories – This is a great way to repurpose your post while building backlinks. Submit the article to some of the more popular article directories. Make sure you follow the editorial guidelines, and you should have no problem getting it approved. As long as this is your writing, and not copied you can use your post in other places. When done correctly you can avoid the duplicate content penalty.
  • The long tail can be utilized to drive small, but loyal readers to your blog. The key to making the long tail keywords a vital part of your blogging strategy is to use these phrases as the subject of many different posts. Quantity and quality is the main goal.

What is an example of a long tail keyword for Meta tags?

  • Let’s say you have a wedding to go to in Los Angeles and you need to rent a tux. Well, if you just typed in the one keyword “Tux,” you would come up with about 6,870,000 results, which isn’t very specific and is far too broad of a search for you want to find. So if you type in a long -tail keyword, it would be more specific and look something like this: “Wedding Tuxedos in your best place” which will generate about 448,000 results and give you more precise and relevant results that will help you find a tux much faster.

What are the lengths of a long tail keyword?

  • Unless your Niche has entirely no competition, the minimum length for the long tail keyword should be least four words phrase. There is no maximum length for the long tail keyword.

What is the difference between long tail keywords and short tail keyword?

Short tail keywords

  • A short tail keyword is a very broad search term, eg. New Cars. If you searched for this term, you would get millions of search The New Cars search term has a lot of competition to reach the 1st-page, and you will be unlikely high up the search engines for this extremely popular term

Long tail keyword

  • Long tail keywords are a combination of keywords or a phase which is much more specific to your article, for example, How to Grow Tomatoes. How to Grow Tomatoes will be more specific and searching for only ‘tomatoes,’ and it will be a lot more likely to get on the 1st-page results You can make long tail keywords by including the local area you are marketing to or the brand name of the product you are selling.
  • Long tail keywords are so specific; there will be fewer people searching for them, as a result, the people that arrive at your site will be more qualified to the article provided.
  • A balance of the correct short and long tail keywords will bring in the best traffic from both sources.

Long tail keyword rule of thumb

  • Natural language search strings are best
  • Think in single short questions
  • Search string need to be related to the content to be meaningful and produce the correct result
  • Exceptional content does not equal clicks
  • Keywords still impact search engine results
  • Search engines help you get clicks

Benefits of using long tail keywords in your web content

Higher ranking pages in the search engine results

  • The more targeted and specific the long phrase query, the less demand and competition it faces. For illustration purposes, “cat food,” returns 62 million Google search result pages. However, “Purina wet cat food,” returns 192 thousand search result pages which, though a great quantity, are significantly less than the former. The chances of finding one website among 62 million pages are very much less than finding that same site among 192 thousand pages.
  • Less competition very often leads to higher page rank in the search engine results page (SERP). The higher a specific page ranks in SERP, the greater the chance of a searcher finding that page. Using long keyword phrases that help your site get on the first page of SERP will greatly benefit your online endeavors. You can utilize online keyword tools to find the relevant long tail phrases searchers are querying and incorporate them into your web content.

More targeted traffic to your website

  • A long tail query like”Purina wet cat food,” shows the Purina brand dominating the first page of the search results. On the other hand, the results of the short tail query, “cat food,” give general information on cat food as well as other brands of cat food in the first search results page.
  • Therefore, the long phrase query in this example is better targeted to getting the results to the searcher wanting to purchase or get information on, Purina wet cat food. If you are selling that brand and type of food for cats, you can to sparingly sprinkle this keyword phrase in your web content, and place them in browser titles and page headers. In this way, people who are looking for that specific keyword will have a greater chance of finding your website.

Increased sales

  • With increased page views by a targeted audience, increased sales would result, because more people who are prepared to purchase would arrive at your website.
  • If you’re an advertiser or trying to make money online, you’ll want to research what Long – Tail Keywords people are typing in so you can build your campaigns around them. And if you can, you even want to take the domain name as it gets more attention from Google.
  • Long tail keywords are a great method to find the “low hanging fruit” or the “little fishing holes” that you can build an online campaign around.
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How You Can Leverage Pronouns To Improve Your Blog Article SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Despite all the hype around search engine optimization (SEO), there are some very simple things that a writer can do while creating their blog posts which will improve their SEO and in some ways make the blog procedure read. Perhaps, the easiest way to do this is to replace pronouns with the actual name of the person object or subject being described or discussed. Instead of saying ‘it’, say car, barn, bus, or whatever ‘it’ refers to. With a little practice and some careful editing this is a simple approach which can add much SEO value to your writing.

Table of Pronouns

Here’s a quick list of pronouns to consider when writing and editing your blog post. This table of pronouns is by no means complete but it is an excellent starting point for some quick wins.

Subject
Pronoun

Object
Pronoun

Possessive
Adjective (Determiner)

Number

Gender

Person

I

me

my

singular

Neutral

first

you

you

your

singular
or plural

 Neutral

second

he

him

his

singular

masculine

third

she

her

her

singular

feminine

third

it

it

its

singular

 Neutral

third

we

us

our

plural

 Neutral

first

they

them

their

plural

 Neutral

third

one

one

one’s

generic

 Neutral

third

Here is an example of how replacing pronouns can quickly and easily improve the SEO of a paragraph in an Article and provide some tactful repetition for the reader to reinforce you message.

Before With Pronouns

Raspberries are the perfect summer treat. They can be quite prolific, producing baskets of berries, if they are cared for well. Having raspberries growing on your property adds beauty and delight; walking out to your yard and picking raspberries fresh off the bush is one of the small joys of life.

After Without Pronouns

Raspberries are the perfect summer treat. Raspberries can be quite prolific, producing baskets of berries, if raspberries are cared for well. Having raspberries growing on your property adds beauty and delight; walking out to your yard and picking raspberries fresh off the bush is one of the small joys of life.

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The Struggles of a Self-Published Author

Royalty Check

Royalty Check

 

When it comes to writing, many people worry that they are not going to make enough to live on. This is especially true when it comes to self-publishing your book. Now while it is the easier option, there are some things that need to be considered when it comes to self-publishing, and how to make a living while doing it.

Many people swear by traditional publishing, while others claim that self-publishing is better, which path is the best one to take, and what are the pros and cons of each?

Traditional Vs. Self-publishing

The thing about traditional publishing is that it is not all that it is cracked up to be, but neither is self-publishing. With traditional publishing, you are likely to get a few thousand dollars as an upfront payment, and then royalties are not paid out until a year has passed. That is if you are even accepted and if they even offer an upfront payment.

Traditional publishing royalties barely get higher than 10% per book; the publisher gets the other 90%. And even with this, you still have to advertise the book by yourself. However, it does give you book a sense of notoriety. But what about self-publishing?

There are many online self-published books providers, such as on Amazon, or Lulu. While you have full control over your book, this also means that you have to do most of the work, as well. Depending on where you go, you can get 50-90% of the value of the book.

So, knowing this, how much can you get when you self-publish a book?

How much can you Earn as a self-published author?

Self-published books are famous for making very little. While you may have heard of someone’s friend or some random person online who claims to have made millions selling their book online, in reality, you are rarely going to get anything from your book. Less than 2% of self-published writers make $100,000 in a year.

In fact, the average income for a self-published writer is less than $5,000 a year, with at least 20% claiming that they have not earned anything at all. Of course, this depends on what you publish, how often you publish, and how actively and well you market.

One of the things that affect earnings is the genre. With hundreds of thousands of aspiring writers trying to have earnings, there is a lot of competition out there. This is especially true for genres such as fantasy, young adult, and erotica. If you can find a niche, you are more likely to be able to make more money, but as are no guarantees.

For instance, some people can earn a lot, while others do not earn anything at all. But you do need to understand that even though a website says that you may get up to 90% of the royalties, with taxes and vats, etc., you are most likely going to get far less. At least one author has shown that the real numbers for the “70%” that you get from Kindle Direct Publishing are actually more like 41% in profits.

How to make ends meet as a self-publisher?

Now that we know how little that the average self-published author makes, how do we go about making a living as a writer? $5,000 to $8,000 a year is not really going to pay all the bills. So we are going to work on the side to help supplement our book writing endeavors.

This is one thing that a lot of authors do not want to do, as there is a kind of pride in getting all of your money from royalties. Since when writing the book, you also have to focus on many other aspects, such as making a cover and editing it. In fact, if you hire someone else to do this for you, this also lowers the amount of money you have overall, even though it is best to have a book be a more shared process.

Being an author is more like a job in and of itself, as you can easily spend hundreds of hours on writing. Then hundreds more on advertising, editing, book cover creation, etc., etc. Being an author really is hard work. You have to make sure that what you write does not have any plot holes, and appeals to the reader. Otherwise, you may just have a dud on your hands rather than a book that will earn you some extra Galleons.

Most self-published authors have a day job or have some other form of income that helps to pay the bills. Most consider self-publishing as something that they do on the side in order to make some supplemental income. It is considered bad advice by many in the publishing industry to quit your day job and just self-publish full time.

One thing that many writers do on the side is freelance writing. With sites like Fiverr and Upwork and plenty of work to find in places like Problogger, freelancing is becoming far more accessible to the average writer. This is a great way for many authors to be able to continue doing what they love while also making enough to pay the bills and earn a living.

Not all books make the same amount, and although royalties are passive income, some writer will earn a lot more than other writers. So trying to find out how many books you are going to have to write in order to earn a decent living is going to be hard. Although writing books, even self-publishing, can be a great way to earn a side income if you are diligent enough.

 

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