Product Creation/Development: Journals and Blank Books Are Popular, Profitable and Fast

Journals and blank books have been popular sellers since paper became affordable to the average guy. Just think of the value of DaVinci’s notebooks. Or Anne Frank’s diary. Almost everyone gets the urge at one time or another to keep writings and/or drawings from their deepest selves. And they want to keep them together in a handy place. When we see what the famous journal and notebook keepers have produced, we’re glad they answered the urge.

If you’ve never experienced the kind of need to physically record self-expression, you’ll just have to take the word of people who do have that experience. Because of them, booksellers have made endless profits from selling books full of blank paper. Or books with inspirational quotes at the tops of pages, with blank lines below. Or books with dated pages and otherwise blank plain or lined paper.

Just look at the variety available in any bookstore, stationery store, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and so forth.

You can easily and quickly make these profitable items. You can make them so easily and quickly that if you are reading this in the morning, you can be in business with a few items this very afternoon.

That’s because the only thing you have to do that requires much time is produce cover images. Putting those cover images on blank pages is a snap.

Then you can sell them at places like CafePress, Lulu and CreateSpace, as well as for sale at craft fairs, through your websites, or on places like Etsy.com and even Amazon.com. All depending on how much of the work you want to do yourself.

As I’ve said in my other articles about image-based products, you can create your own images from scratch, you can get free images from the public domain, you can buy images that are commercially licensed and you can modify images to fit your niche.

You don’t have to be an artist or fine photographer. You just have to have a good eye for images and a sense of what makes a good one. You don’t have to have expensive software. The GIMP is a perfectly good substitute for Photoshop.

You don’t have to produce the items yourself. You can go to CafePress.com and get a template for the journal, plop your image into the guides, modify it until it looks right and upload it to your CafePress Shop. They take care of everything else.

Of course, you do have to know how to use an image manipulation program.

You do have to know how to set up and run a CafePress Shop.

You do have to know how to market products on vendors like CafePress, Lulu and CreateSpace etc. (All of those are great for book products.)

If you do want to physically produce the books yourself, you can do it with a good quality printer, a hole punch for spiral binding and a supply of binding spirals. All you have to do for a quick production is buy a bunch of spiral bound notebooks and replace the covers.

Then, you can set up your listings on Amazon.com and send your books off for fulfillment by Amazon. Or you can opt to do your own packing and shipping and sell them through Etsy.com, EBay.com and Amazon.com. (Yes, any one or all three at the same time.)

However, I’d opt for the easiest way: pay the commissions and let the experienced vendors take care of the advertising, handling and shipping.

Publishing Syndicated Content Is A Long-Time Honored and Honest Practice

Today I read another of the many critical articles that condemn those of us whose website content is not 100% unique to us. Most seem to think we should be banned from search engine listings forever. Every time I see one of those scathing rants, I scratch my head, completely bewildered by the logic.

Publishers don’t write everything they publish. In fact, most publishers don’t write anything they publish. They publish other people’s work. Shall we ban all books that were not self-published?

Newspapers have in-house writers and also publish syndicated content. Most of the content is a duplicate of what every other newspaper is publishing. If every newspaper had to generate unique news stories, we’d surely get a very limited selection of news. And, without syndication and duplication, how would we get the comics — and the New York Times crossword puzzles to drive us crazy?

More often than anything else, web publishers are attacked for publishing articles from article syndication sites like ezinearticles.com and ideamarketers.com. Yet the whole idea of such sites is to make it possible for bloggers and other writers to get publicity and backlinks to build traffic to their own sites. It is a tried-and-true method of getting known and followed. Especially when first starting a site or blog.

Like me, a great number of webmasters who write their own material, and have garnered a reasonable amount of traffic, find that other writers send material to us for publication. It helps both sides. The publisher gets more content for his/her readers and the writer gets better known. And other publishers like me realize that rather than wait for writers to send us content, we can find relevant material on syndication sites.

We do it because we want to provide our readers with as much good, relevant content as possible. More than we have time to write ourselves. Content that gives more than our own limited perspectives. Content that adds value to our readers lives.

I can’t speak for what other honest publishers like me have in mind when they publish other writers. But I can tell you what I’m trying to do.

First, I believe that there is a great deal that I know about developing high performance and productivity. I can write about it myself and do so. But I have the knowledge and expertise to also recognize good information that other people have written. Things that I might write if I had the time. Things that I might have written differently, but not as effectively. Things that interest and delight me that I’m happy to share.

I get an extra boost for my site by sharing them directly rather that by simply publishing a link. I deserve the boost. It’s hard work to constantly search through the bad articles out there and find some solid stuff that helps my reader. I spent a lot of years acquiring the expertise to recognize other people’s work that would help my readers. (Remember the Ph.D. after my name? I doesn’t stand for fuddy-duddy.)

When I read articles that I think about publishing for others, I don’t just read the article. I go to the website. I see what the author is offering. There are articles too numerous to count that I will never publish because the authors have websites that are all about selling, selling, selling low-value or obnoxious products. I’m very selective about whom I publish. I want the articles and the authors I publish to reflect well on me.

Furthermore, when I started accepting articles from other authors, I was happy to have the opportunity to help others who were newer to the scene than I. I’ve never stopped making that a consideration. Not only do I publish others, I also take the time to boost their websites when I can.

In addition to the added value on my site of having a psychologist preview articles for you, you find a summary of the article on the front page of my site, along with a label telling you its category. I have a list, with the summaries, for an entire month after I publish the article. So, you can pick and chose from more than a mere title.

You also will find that I’ll often write a blog post elaborating on the content of the article from my own perspective, or expanding a section of the article into a different article of my own. So, more unique content from me at the same time I’m publishing another author’s content. (BTW — all my blog posts are my own writing.)

I’m not alone. Plenty of webmasters who use other people’s content do it in similar ways and for similar reasons. We are honestly serving our readers what we believe is the best content we can produce or find.

We’re tired of being tarred with the same brush that limns the content scrapers, publishers of worthless “spun” articles and spammers.

(Temporary end of rant. Reserve option to continue at later time.)

Can decorating your blog or site make it more profitable?

Want to improve your website or blog performance in terms of traffic and stickiness? Regularly “decorate” it for the season, holidays, events and special offers.

Yesterday, I wrote an article on why and how it profits you to add visually appealing graphics that relate to the time of year or special occasions that many people celebrate or commemorate. (Think of things like “Google Doodles” on the web and the digital equivalents of holiday-dressed store windows.)

Read the article to understand the influence and value of spiffing up your site in such a targeted and effective way: “Profit by Decorating Your Website or Blog for Holidays and Events.” Remember, Halloween is coming soon. Now’s the time to get ready.