This is a question I get asked very often. How exactly am I working from home?
I get many new emails every day asking me this question, and I meet people who keep asking me what I do for a living almost every day.
Well, to respond efficiently to all of them, I decided to write this post explaining what is it that I do, that allows me to work from home (or should I choose, any other place I would like to be).
The "job title" if you like these fancy terms is Online publisher.
But in reality, it's a lot more than that.
In essence, what I do is I publish eBooks online, on Amazon. Then Amazon sells these books, and I get a commission out of every book I sell. Depending on the book price, this commission can be from 35% to 70% per sale.
Apparently, the more books I sell, the more I get paid.
Work from home
Working from home (or from a non-office environment to be exact) has many advantages - and only one disadvantage I can think of.
The only downside is that you don't have casual Fridays when you work from home.
Jokes aside, there are no downsides at all. At least, none that I can think of. If you can think of any, feel free to mention them in the comments section below.
On the other hand, there are plenty of advantages in working from home, some of which I will mention here.
Advantage #1: You manage your time exactly as you want
This is a no brainer. Since you are your boss, you can manage your time and your schedule as you please. You can wake up in the morning when it fits your schedule (don't turn that into a bad habit, though). You can work as many hours as you want.
Your daily, weekly schedule is 100% at your disposal. You don't have anyone to tell you what to do, and when to do it. You are entirely responsible for your time management and productivity.
Advantage #2: You don't spend your time on useless wasters
Have you ever thought how much time you devote to daily commutes, pointless meetings, etc.? Well, you might be surprised if you do.
When you are at home, you don't have all this overhead, and you save precious hours out of each day. You plan your day as efficiently as possible and then all you have to do is execute your plan.
Advantage #3: You can travel and work at the same time
Another significant benefit. Since you're not anchored by an office or a company to go, all you need to work is your laptop (and a few MBs of Internet maybe). And luckily these are two resources you can have everywhere in the world nowadays.
By the time your actual income allows you to live the "laptop lifestyle," there's nothing really that can stop you. You can rent a home in the Philippines for a few dollars a month and live like a king. No stress, no pushy meetings, no boss of yours to be yelled at. It's just you, your laptop and possibly a tropical paradise to admire.
Way less stress, way fewer problems, way fewer health issues, way more life.
Who wouldn't like that?
Actually, this is my mid-term plan after my Kindle business takes off for good. At the moment, I make enough money to support my lifestyle, but most of them are reinvested back in the business to achieve growth. There is always time for vacation. Now it's time for growth.
How does the Kindle business work?
For anyone who hasn't used Amazon ever, it is the largest online marketplace in the world. Its annual revenue is well over $20 billion at the moment, and a pretty significant chunk of this comes from Kindle.
eBooks published at the moment, are way more than the physical books published at the same time. As we speak Amazon's royalties paid to self-publishers are many millions each month. So why not enjoy a piece of that pie yourself?
It's not that difficult after all. Sure there are tips and tricks like in every business, but with time, hard work and a lot of studying, most of them will be covered.
The best part of all is that anyone can start with literally 50 dollars and make up to $500 even from the first month. The initial investment is very small, and if you make a right choice on your niche and your book, you might make this amount of money back in less than two weeks. I know because I have done it. If I remember correctly I made more than $200 the first month I got involved in the Kindle business. All that with an initial investment on the content of about $80.
To be honest, the big cost for anyone starting on this business is ignorance. By the time I had spent $80 in my first book, I had already spent more that $800 in courses and resources that would teach me how to publish on the Kindle store successfully. Back then I wish there was a comprehensive and honest program to teach me all I wanted that wouldn't cost much.
So I made it the hard way. I bought some online courses. Some were OK, and some were scams. I read everything I could find on this area, and I took the long journey of Kindle publishing that brought me to where I am today.
But, enough with the theory for now. Let's see how a real "work-from-home" business operates.
In this post, I intend to explain to you, how I make more than $5,000 a month using only my Mac and an Internet line.
So if you're ready, let's go.
Kindle Publishing Step #1: Find a profitable niche
First of all, you will need to decide what your book is gonna talk about. There are thousands of categories available on Amazon Kindle Store. But not all of them are profitable.
Truth to be told, it took me quite some time to learn how to do an efficient niche/keyword research on Amazon. The spectrum of available categories is so vast that someone can very easily be lost.
The most important factor for a successful business growth and maintenance is to be able to find a niche with high demand and little competition. If you can do that, your success in Kindle business is almost guaranteed.
I had made quite a few mistakes in the past when I thought I had found a good profitable niche. I spent my money on writing a book. I published and promoted the book, only to find that nobody wanted this kind of book. There was no demand at all.
Similarly, I have tried to place by books into some super competitive niches, and then I learned firsthand what real competition means. I had to draw every hidden ace I had in my sleeve to compete as an equal. Sometimes I pulled it through; sometimes I just quit because I thought it was not worth it.
The point is, that after I invested many hours on niche research, now most of the books I publish have an 80% chance to be a hit. Just in the sweet spot of high demand and low competition.
I have learned not only to make a killer niche/market research but also to learn from other publishers' mistakes and make them the strengths of my books instead. I learned how to find a good profitable book and model mine after it, by improving on this book in every way I can.
Step #2: Learn how to write a fantastic title that will sell your book
Now that you have decided on your niche and the book you are going to write, it's time to publish your first book.
But what is the title going to be?
Apart from the cover, a book's title is the single strongest selling point. A good title can send your book to the moon, and a bad title can destroy it.
I have seen several of my books with brilliant cover designs and descriptions sell only a handful of copies because I have chosen shitty titles for them.
A good title will need to be as intriguing as possible, while on the same time informing your potential reader on what this book is about. You really need to capture peoples' attention but not to scam them into something fake.
Sure it's easy to grab the attention of someone if you title your book:"This is how I made a million dollars by selling my books on Amazon in less than 6 months." But if it's a lie, your credibility and sales will vanish.
I have learned what words to use to attract the attention and which words to avoid in order not to make people lose interest. A language is a powerful tool and title creating is where it really shines.
So keep it authentic, informative and exciting on the same time. After literally hundreds of written titles for my books, my blog posts, etc. I saw myself getting better and better on this. Headline writing is a form of art that can be taught but only with time it does get perfect.
Step #3: Outsource the book creation
To write a book is not easy. It requires a lot of time and effort, and most of the times it's not worth it, and it's not very scalable. What I do instead, is I hire some people, who are called ghost-writers to write the book for me. They are professionally qualified writers who are excellent at researching on topics and then write on almost every topic you assign to them.
I have actually posted a pretty comprehensive article on the process I use, a few months ago. After I post my job about the book, I want to write I negotiate with the potential writers until I find a good one. I then assign the task to him/her and wait to collect my book.
After any corrections/proofreading, I have the final copy to be published in my hands. I format it according to my standards to be professional and of the highest quality possible, and it stays there, ready until I have all the components ready for upload.
Step #4: Design the cover
Like I said before, your book cover is probably the single most important element that will attract peoples' attention (and sales). Unless your book cover isn't carefully and professionally designed, it can ruin your book for good.
Especially on Amazon, you can only initially judge a book by a small preview of the cover and the title. There you have a very short period of time to capture the customer's attention. If you don't, you will most probably lose a good sale.
Depending on the cover, sometimes I design them myself, but I have streamlined a method of outsourcing them as well. These days you can get a professional book cover designed for as little as $5.
The tricky part is to know what to ask from the freelancer and what to expect. Sure you may know what a good cover looks in theory, but when it comes to the point where you need to be specific in your directions it might not be that easy.
To be able to tell a good cover from a bad cover, I have seen thousands of them, I tried hundreds of different cover designs on my books, and I have even studied online courses on cover design and photography to have a general overview of this form of art.
Trust me this is a really tricky part, and to be frank, I have spent countless hours (and much money) up till now experimenting with cover designs, and customer psychology. You won't believe me how much of a difference a little detail can make for an eBook cover. I couldn't believe it either, the first time I saw it.
Step #5: Marketing, Marketing, Marketing
Some people say that for every dollar you spend on product development you should spend $4 promoting it.
Well, I can't confirm if that's true, but in my experience, the business success comes down to two things. Everything else is just to make our lives more complicated.
PRODUCT + MARKETING
In my opinion, they are equally important. But imagine that. You spend hours and hours, resources, money, etc. developing the best product or book ever made. But then nobody knows about it.
Even the greatest book will need a significant marketing effort to be a success. At least in the Kindle business, unless you know the marketing game very well, you are going to have a very hard time.
This is where the whole game is played. Most people can put together a good book, with a decent cover and an interesting title. But believe me, marketing, promotion, Facebook advertising, and email list building ain't a kid's stuff.
I have spent A LOT of money refining all the methods and procedures for these channels to work nicely. Some months I spent more money on promotion than my revenue just to learn how the whole process works.
Even today, I still discover new things on marketing methods I would never think of. Actually, if you really think about it, since I am not the actual writer of the book, my only job is to promote the thing.
Since only a few months ago, that I learned quite a few tricks, I saw a huge spike in my sales. Moreover, I found ways to decrease my advertising costs on Facebook tremendously resulting in a faster pace of collecting e-mails.
For example, as we speak, I have brought my CPC (cost per click) on my ads on Facebook below 10 cents (with the USA as the targeted country). But to get down to these numbers I have spent quite a few dollars.
Working from home is as good as it gets in terms of time management and freedom. I don't regret it even for a moment for all the effort I have put to build this business.
Despite the fact that I have spent a lot of money and time, eventually, this paid off. For the last months, between KDP and a few affiliate commissions, I earn more than $5,000 per month, and this will only go up.
I have built a good foundation for my business, with multiple pen names, associates, freelancers and a big audience of customers in various niches.
The whole Kindle publishing business is some kind of art and technology put together. You need both technical and artistic skills. You need to be able to tell a good book from a bad book, a good title from a bad title and a professional cover design from a cheap one.
But even more than that, you need to be a marketing and a promotion expert. Competition in such marketplaces is fierce, and the only way to keep up and get the advantage is by leading the way. As in every business, you always have to come up with new things and techniques to introduce. Innovations that will give you the edge. Maneuvers that will propel you ahead of the competition.
It's not always easy, but the better you know your business, the easier it will be to make it happen.
*As a final note, because you often ask me what is the exact methodology I use, the authors, the designers and the exact promotion techniques I utilize in Kindle Publishing, I decided to put together a thorough program, in which I explain in every detail (videos, scripts, resources), the exact same method I use to get these results.
In case you are interested, this is the program I have put together. Thanks!