When Daniel was 21 years-old, he moved from the US to Spain. He ended up doing what most native English speakers in Spain were doing; teaching English.
A few years after he started his English teaching career, he started a blog where he helps Spanish speakers to learn English. Today, Daniel has created what he calls an ‘’English teaching empire’’, without having any physical students, a boss, or a schedule. Most of his revenue today comes from book sales on Amazon and selling digital courses on his website. In this interview you will learn: – How Daniel beats his competition through imperfection – How you can publish your own books and sell them on Amazon – How to create an ecosystem around your business
From Teacher to Blogger
Daniel liked working as a teacher, but what he didn’t like was the salary and the schedule. When the financial crisis hit Spain around 2008, Daniel started a blog so that he didn’t have to depend on local students anymore. At the time, he thought that teachers with a website could charge more for their lessons and that was his first motivation for starting a blog. Daniel saw that he got many website visitors from people from Latin America. These people were engaging with his content, but most of them would never book lessons with Daniel. That’s when he realised that there was an opportunity. Instead of using the website as a tool to charge more for his lessons, he started thinking about other ways to monetize his blog.
Imperfectionism as a strategy to outbeat this competition
Daniel remembers that when he got started, there were already four or five big blogs out there of people who taught Spanish speakers English. That made him feel discouraged and he thought that he would never be able to match them. When Daniel looks at their blogs today, he thinks they’re a joke. His winning strategy? He says he is embarrassed to talk about it, but he basically puts out a lot of content there and some of it is going to suck. ‘That’s ok’ he says; I’m not a perfectionist.
‘’I’ve published over a thousand articles on my blog and over 500 videos. The algorithms pick up some of it and that’s what has eventually created the success of the blog.’’
He also says: I meet people who are like ‘I’m going to start YouTube but first I need my perfect home studio setup’.
When I hear that, I think to myself ‘‘great, but by the time you have your studio set up I’m going to make twenty more videos. On top of that I’m going to improve the process by the time you haven’t even started’’
How to publish your own language books on Amazon
Daniel has published more than a dozen Kindle books on Amazon and most of his revenue comes from their sales. Besides revenue, his books also bring him new qualified traffic. Website visitors who have bought his books on Amazon already know about Daniel’s brand and do have a credit card. These initial buyers are more likely to convert into further sales.
Another benefit of publishing your own language books on Amazon is that you create something that can provide you income for the next five years.
How difficult is it to publish and sell books on Amazon? Let’s explain how it works:
1. Decide on the title/content
Do some research on Amazon and see what kind of books are already selling well in your specific category. How can you create something better than your competition? Maybe by coming up with a better title, better cover, better content? Are people searching for the keywords that you’re going to use in your book title? These are all important questions to ask yourself before deciding on the content and title. It’s also important to know what your own audience wants, because this is the group of people you’re going to be selling to first. These are also the people who more likely give you reviews so that you can quickly establish your brand on Amazon.
2. Writing the book
There are two ways to do this: 1. Write the book: you can do this by setting a goal for yourself to write 1000 words per day, for example. 2. Turn your most popular or quality blog posts into a book: order them and see which articles you can bundle and turn into one product. Editing and improving the content is key here.
3. Design a cover
It’s important to design a good looking cover for your book. If you’re not great at design yourself, look for a designer on platforms like Upwork.com
4. Formatting your book
Daniel did the formatting for the books that he published first himself, but he recommends hiring someone to do this for you if you have a budget. This way you’re sure that the content looks good and is easy to read.
Also want to sell your book in paperback? Make sure to hire a designer to convert your book into a good looking PDF.
5. Upload your book on Kindle (Amazon)
Before you upload your book, you need to convert your content into a Kindle-friendly format. Daniel does this with a program called ‘Scrivener’.
Once it’s done, you can go to kdp.amazon.com, upload your book, and add the title and other metadata. Within 24-48 hours, your book will be available on Amazon.
6. The launch!
This is the crucial part that many writers forget because they don’t like marketing and sales. If you want to become a successful Langpreneur, you can’t skip this part!
Do a promotion during the first week where you sell your book for only $0.99, for example. Then send out an email to your mailing list, announce your new release, and tell them about the limited time offer. This way you will make a lot of sales in the first week, Amazon will notice that and will rank you higher in their listings, which will result in even more sales in the long run. Also ask your audience to leave a review after buying.
Some of the people who buy your books on Amazon will visit your website. That’s when you can ask for their email address (with an opt-on form), share more valuable content with them, and eventually sell more expensive courses.
Some of Daniels books on Amazon
More tricks to successfully sell your language books on Amazon
1. Engage with your readers Within the text of the book, suggest that people write you a message. Once they’ve written to you, ask for a review. They’re likely to do that because they have already engaged with you. Engaging with them also helps you to better understand your clients’ needs and ambitions. 2. Become a best-seller If you have a following and you do a proper book launch as described previously, it is possible to become a best-seller for a few days in your specific category. If that happens, make sure to take screenshots so that you can use this social proof to develop more authority in your industry. 3. Do promotions every now and then If you give Kindle exclusivity, you can promote your books for one week every six months (more or less). If you have an established brand, Amazon will suggest that you do a promotion every now and then. Make sure to do regular promotions to gain more exposure. Some readers will come back and buy more books and courses from you.
Create something new every day, put it out there, and see what works. Improve from there. Don’t let yourself be paryized by perfectionism.