How Much Money You Make Blogging: Month 1

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So there you are, wanting to start a blog. Congratulations! Boy, oh boy do I have a good article for you today. This article you read here is something you will have difficulty finding out in the wild. My blog/ website that you landed on is very unique in the way that it is organized, coded, and scheduled. The dream of most bloggers is to make passive income doing what they want, writing about what they want, and creating content when they want to do it. So, just for fun, I decided that I would create a blog that reflected exactly that.

My blog talks about my experiences in the book publishing world and the lessons that I have learned throughout. I write when I have time. I write about what’s on my mind for that day. I had no idea how to make a website when starting. I try to optimize my book publications with keywords, but not my blog. Literally everything you see around you on this site was from scratch with no knowledge on how to set it up. This sounds like how a lot of bloggers start, right? So the question rears it’s head. How much can you expect to make on month number one? Let me walk you through my experience.

Right away, I had no idea what I was doing. Heck, I still don’t, however, I was excited to be doing it. I wrote about tons of random stuff. There was financial advice, life advice, publisher advice, you name it! I had some views on the website, but not very many. Maybe, like, a handful a day? Traffic primarily came from my Twitter and Facebook pages which were also new at the time. There were very few organic searches for my content. For approximately 2/3rd’s of the month I watched my Google Adsense remain at $0.00. It makes sense though why the royalties were like that. Why would anyone want to spend money on a website that is obviously new with basically zero traffic. All of a sudden, it happened. I made $0.01!! I had never been so excited to make one cent in my life. I even tweeted about it with a screen shot (not too many were impressed, but heck, I was!). I was finally rolling in the cash. For the remaining third of the month I would average about one cent a day. Some days I would make like three cents, the other days I would make zero.

Also, If you are curious to see what my website looks like and pretty much has looked like since I started it follow this like here. That should explain the amount of posting and the number/ words used. Like seriously you should check it out for research reasons.

Are you ready for the grand total that you can expect to make month #1 knowing what you know about me now? Remember, this information is from my experience based on the criteria listed above. $0.17. That’s right let it soak it. If I had a dime, a nickle, and two pennies, I’d have exactly what I made for my first month of blogging.

Do not let this number get you down. I can assure you, I made more month #2 just doing the same thing. How much more? Click the link below to find out!

Blogging Month Two

-ZHanny

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Five Most Curious Writer Work Spaces

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I personally find it fascinating what professionals in the writing field/ community find to be the best work spaces. Everyone operates differently in this area of expertise. I find that when I am out exercising or running on our city bike path that I come up with some of my most interesting ideas. However, when I come back to the quiet of my home office the heavy work begins. With that in mind, I began to wonder what makes others tick. What environments are best suited for the creative mind. Below I complied a list of my favorite five famous writer work spaces for your enjoyment (and maybe inspiration). 

  1. We’ll start off with a good one! Agatha Christie: Some find it relaxing to soak in a bath. Some find it relaxing to snack on some food. Agatha Christie took this to a whole new level. During the renovation of her mansion she made some very special demands. Agatha cornered her architect and demanded that she have a large Victorian tub. Not just any Victorian tub mind you, one with a nice ledge so that she could eat apples and work in peace. 
  2. Dame Edith Sitwell: When relaxing or trying to find inspiration, do you ever just chill on a couch or bed? Have you ever considered replacing those options with a coffin? That’s right, you heard me correctly. Dame found her inspiration in the confines of her personal thinking coffin. There was just something about the tight space that allowed her creative thinking. 
  3. Maybe you are one of those that enjoys the feeling of riding around in the car? That is what Gertrude Stein also thought. While out and about, Gertrude would stay in her vehicle (Model T Ford) to utilize that pen and paper. Her partner would be happily running errands while Gertrude would happily write. Everyone wins. 
  4. Are you a Benjamin Franklin fan? Great! Benjamin enjoyed what he called, “Tonic Baths” while he worked. What is a tonic bath you ask? Well, it is not much like #1. A tonic bath for Benjamin was standing/ working naked in his bedroom. Nothing quite like the fresh open air up to an hour each day. Refreshing. Especially in front of a window!
  5. Finally number five. I personally enjoy the quiet of my office like I stated in the beginning paragraph. However, I have not corked my walls like  Marcel Proust. Marcel enjoyed writing at night, however the streets were beginning to get a little too noisy for his liking when trying to sleep during the day. Marcel lined his walls with cork to dampen the sound. I bet his room was nice and quiet after that!

What is your quirky work space like? What makes you original and fun? Let me know in the comments down below or on my social media! 

-ZHanny

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Three Crazy Tips For When You Can’t Describe A Scene

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Ahh! Writer’s Block! Or maybe you do not understand what a certain scene looks or feels like. Step one, stay calm. You will find out soon that I take a more hands on approach to these things. When watching my Twitter feed, I notice that this question pops up several times a week. This is a tough situation for a lot of writers since, well, you can not be experienced in everything. How am I supposed to write about being a brain surgeon? Alas, I am just a writer! Unfortunately this is the kind of thing that reflects in your writing. You can tell when a writer has and has not experienced what it feels like (I am a horror book publisher mind you) to walk through a dark dreary basement or what it feels like to see (or think you see) those peering eyes from in your closet late into the night. So what do we do? Here are three things that I do what I am unable to fully describe a scene. 

  1. Take a field trip. We will just jump right into a good one that I use. My next book takes place in a closed store. I have found myself walking through the aisles of my local retailers asking myself, “What are the small details that I see? What do I hear? What would surprise me right now?” It does not have to stop there. You can be creative with this tactic too. This is especially true if you have a good imagination like most writers have. A lot of my books harness the power of darkness and silence. There’s a scene in my upcoming book that uses a dark shed to introduce a powerful character. Off to the dark garage I went asking myself some of the same questions.
  2. This tip adds onto the last one. You will not be able to always have something so convenient close by. If you character is cave spelunking, and there are no caves around, create a similar situation. Sit in your silent basement with the lights off or something similar. You can hold a flashlight if you want for brownie points. You will be surprised at the words and ideas that come to you. No, I am not saying that if you have never broken up with your boyfriend or girlfriend to push your relationship to the edge to find out what if feels like ha-ha (however, it would give you great descriptive words). Try and create a similar situation where you can close your eyes and imagine that you are in that place. 
  3. Finally number three. Talk to your friends who are experts in those fields. There is a wide variety of professions that my and quite possibly your friends decided to take up. Everything from business managers, doctors, fire fighters, construction workers, and farmers (the list goes on and on). It’s a great pool of knowledge that I like to dip into from time to time. No, I have not deep sea dived to look at a ship’s wreckage , but I know people who have. Ask your friends or acquaintances about their experiences. What was the coolest part about it? What scared you? Do you have any pictures from your travels? You get the idea!

Do you have any other tips for writers who need to write content of things they do not know about? Let me know in the comments down below or on my social media!

-ZHanny

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Three Jaw Dropping Publisher Tips On Finishing A Manuscript

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Congratulations! You and your team finished that manuscript! That is no small feat my friend. Not small at all! The meat and potatoes of the project is now plated. Unfortunately for us, the job is far from done. The stressful part is about to begin in fact! The correct to do list for us is lengthy, but let’s break it down a little and concentrate on the topic at hand. How do we give that final “OK” to a manuscript? What are we looking for exactly? Here are three things that you and I need to look for to make that final decision:

  1. Much of time time (if we are doing this right) us publishers have a contractually itemized to do list for the writers. Here is a good example of this. Total word count. Did the writer(s) meet the final word count? Did they get close? I personally break down the writing of the manuscript into several small achievable chunks which allows me to better pay attention to the small details. In the contract I enclose what the writing needs to be about. Did the writer stay on track? Is the final product something that will take only small changes to complete? Make sure that all the contract is fulfilled by the writer. That brings us to the next tip.
  2. I view the completed manuscript much like a skeleton (horror publisher reference). You need to make sure that the bones are there for the team to add to and manipulate. I make sure that I fully read the story several times through before sending the final payments and ending a contract. That being said, I completely understand that several people need to read through a manuscript in order to catch all the typos and improper sentence structures. With a limited amount of time for the writers to finish the story, it would be unfair for me to expect perfection. Heck, look at some of the blogs on this site that accidentally make their way out. They’re sometimes, eh, not so perfectly written at first. Alas, there is no editor for this blog. Just good ol ZHanny talking to his peeps. Make sure that the final product is something that you can foresee only taking a little effort to finish and correct
  3. Finally random tip number three. What are the relations between you and the writer/ team member that just finished the contract? Is everyone content with the way the product turned out? It is vitally important to make sure that if the writer did a good job they are happy and set up for the future. This is especially true if you plan on re-hiring any previous contracts. Be genuine and appreciative. Leave a good review for them. I have never said anything negative about my staff nor do I plan to in the future when other publishers ask about my team. I feel my heart jump with happiness when they are specifically asked for. I always look forward to increasing the value of the writer’s worth/ value as you should to. What comes around, goes around.

There are certainly more than three tips on finishing up a manuscript. What is your advice on what to look for or what to do before closing up that contract? Let me know in the comments down below or on my social media! 

-ZHanny

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Three Tips For Publishers to Keep Your Team Happy

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I know that I personally understand the frustration that comes on the writer’s end when it comes to getting your baby, getting your hard work, and getting that extension of yourself out into the world. You put a lot of effort and hours of your life into that little masterpiece! Unfortunately sometimes it boils down to what people are looking for when purchasing a book. I have written several article in the series of “three tips” like the three tips for hiring overseas, three book ruining ways to interact with your publisher, and everyone’s favorite three shocking tips on hiring/ working with your artist. Today I present to you three tips on keeping your writers happy. Let’s just jump right into #1:

  1. Explain what you are doing and why you are doing it. A lot of writer’s are brand new and do not understand what is going on behind the scenes. Here’s a good example: Yes, I’ll admit your book title that you chose is awesome! There is no denying that. However there is competition for every word used in the internet world. I want your book to thrive and get out there to the people! With those chosen words, the poor little thing will not be able to keep it’s head above the water in the vast sea of those same words. There are reasons why we do what we do. That is just one example. Explain what’s up. Writer’s are a smart lot. He/ she will understand. 
  2. Let your writers in on some exclusive material if you are comfortable with it and trust them not to leak information. They love to see their baby come to life! Here’s an example of that: I got some concept art the other day and, since my writer was doing so well, sent some of it his way to look through for fun. He was pleasantly amused! He’s happy, I’m happy, ZHanny Publishing is happy. 
  3. Some books do well, and some flop. Be thankful either way. If the book the writer helped with does well enough, do not be stingy with your earned money! Send them a bonus for being part of the process! Not only does this say, “thank you!” to the team, but it helps keep those bridges open for future collaboration. 

Keeping your writer’s and team happy is a vital part of the publishing process. No, we can’t grant every request but I will certainly do what I can. I can tell you from personal experience that it pays off in the end. 

-ZHanny

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The Number One Rule For Longevity

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You know what’s tough? Making sure that you take care of yourself first before anything else each day. I’ve read countless books and watched/ listened to hours of informational videos/ content about how to be the best person that you can be. There was consistency throughout all the content that I absorbed. Taking care of yourself first was the key from all the greats. I implemented this rule in my life. From experience, I can tell you that was the single greatest game changing life hack that I have ever done.

What do I mean by taking care of yourself first you ask? Well let me explain: In order to build a house, you need a solid foundation right? Your body and mind are most certainly the same way. Life is so much easier to win at when everything is working at an optimal level. When you make your mental and physical health a priority right away every day, your work, relationships, and happiness more easily falls into place. Let me lead you through what my mornings look like normally. I’ll wake up early. First I will go to the gym and focus on a different area of my body each day. When I come home I will have a healthy breakfast, followed by some light reading on a topic that I am trying to self improve on. Finally when, I feel that I have made adequate progress on those topics I will finally start on the blog. I make sure that I’m drinking plenty of water throughout the day. The party days are long gone now, and that certainly helps too. It is truly amazing what a healthy diet and lifestyle can do for oneself. 

I am not saying that you need to steal my morning routine, however it does work really good for me! I am a creature of habit. That being said, it was very difficulty to commit to a new routine as it might be for a lot of you out there. There are so many that start and stop new routines. My advice for you, before you start showing signs of burnout, is to slowly implement these new tactics into your life so that they stick better. I was so stuck in my habits that it took me multiple tries over years to get that whole gym thing to stick. All that hard work payed off over time though as did the rest of my new found habits. Start with some small changes and work your way up. That was the only way that I was able to do it. Take care of yourself my friends. Your body will reward you. 

-ZHanny

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Are You Writing In The Right Genre?

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If there is one thing that I love about my full time job, it is the fact that I have the opportunity and privilege to sit down for different variations of time and talk with life experienced individuals. Everyone has a different story to tell. Different people are experienced in different areas of life. I hear stories about how people spent their life bull riding, traveling the world, raising families, managing huge companies, and an assortment of other random accomplishments. I was talking with this pleasant lady the other day who just had her 50th wedding anniversary. Now that’s a person I’d want relationship advice from as opposed to a honey-moon eyed couple who had been together for just a couple months. (I guarantee that she’d be good at writing a relationship book!) This brings us to the topic at hand:

These different life experiences bleed into our creative process whether we like to admit it or not. Different individuals have the edge on different genres if they harness what they already know and believe about the world. Successful romance writers and publishers understand their audience’s desires. Much of the time, those stories are based on real life/ experiences. Successful horror writers and publishers understand what people’s deepest rooted fears are and act on them. A good example of this is of course ZHanny Publishing. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I love telling scary stories based on real experiences. I would be the one with the flashlight pointed up at his face around the camp fire waiting to jump scare you. When you read about how the protagonist peers into the darkness with his flashlight revealing a rocking chair rolling back and forth on squeaky wooden floorboard, it’s probably something the team has seen or experienced in real life. (That last example was actually from my full time job).

Now my question to you. What are you more experienced in compared to others? Do you have any passions? Sometimes you have to take a step back and ask yourself what is working and what is not. I actually wrote an article not too long ago about learning from success and failure. You should check it out! A lot of the time, the changes will only need to be small adjustments so you do more concentrating on your strengths. I talk a lot about that in the link above. Harness that inner power and experience you have and release it in your work. Trust me, it will pay off in the end.

-ZHanny

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Six Shocking Tips on Hiring and Working With An Artist

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Today we are expanding on a topic that we have covered in the past. Huzzah! The article went over so well last time, how could I not give you more information to keep afloat in the vast sea of content out there. If I were you I would soak up these first three tips, then immediately come back here for the other half (trust me, those first three are life and time savers). If you are in the publishing world like I am, you know how important it is to hire and work with quality artists. Between the advertising images, cover, back, and spine, there is a lot that needs to be accomplished. Let’s get started:

  1. Time frame, time frame, time frame. What I mean by that is have a set and reasonable schedule in which the artist will submit due content to you. This needs to be clear as day in the terms by which someone is hired. I actually touched upon this subject in the past when talking about tips for hiring writers. When starting out in this field I made the mistake once of letting a hired artist take his time creating images. I did not know any better and neither did he. Needless to say, we all missed the deadline on that project. Calm down now. I am not saying that all artists are like that. Quite the contrary my friend. That was my fault due to a poor understanding on how the system is supposed to work. This tip provides some protection for yourself and saves some time. Always have a schedule in which things need to be done.
  2. Be very direct and clear on your vision of what needs to be in the image. In the link I provided at the beginning of this article, tip #2 talks about a great way to accomplish this. Check it out! However, if we are being very honest with ourselves, rarely will an artist read the entire book in order to create the art. Ultimately it is your job to understand the story. It will be difficult for them to fully grasp the tone, images, and characters. Protect yourself and the project. Make sure you get all your “W’s” covered. Who, what, when, where, and why. What color does the evil suit of armor need to be? What is the protagonist wearing? What time of day is it? You think of it, you provide it. The less renditions, the more happy everyone will be (trust me).
  3. Be honest with your artist about what changes need to be made. It is the artist’s job to make sure that you are provided with the content needed per the agreement made. Always start by telling the artist what you like and appreciate in the images. They are trying their best to keep you happy, really they are. After you do that, nicely explain the changes that need to be made and ideas on how to fix the problem. Patience is crucial both ways here. Nothing happens immediately. Follow the steps talked about in the above paragraph. Be very clear in what you want. But, don’t be a brat! Their interpretation may be different than yours.

So what do you all think? Do you feel there are more tips and tricks that should be added in the next post? Let me know in the comments down below or on my social media.

-ZHanny

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How to Learn From Blog Success and Failure

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Oh boy, I could talk about this topic all day long. Learning from success and failure is habit that all successful people are refining throughout life and is something that people like you and I need to strive for. I already have thought of a good example of this topic. Lucky you! Over the course of this blog I have been adjusting everything from the pictures used to the way that the titles are phrased. Everything is purposeful, I can assure you. I am beginning to see trends thanks to Google Analytics and Adsense.  I invite you to look back through my posts and see how they evolved over time if you are interested in how to evolve your blog in the right direction. This is truly an example of changing criteria over time in order to find out what people enjoy reading about. I certainly have had some wins and losses.

Just the other day I put a white board up in my office so that I could write and graph out what posts did well and what posts did not. Some of the data is a little screwed since my Twitter audience is mostly made up of writers, publishers, bloggers, and artists. However, doing this gave me a good idea of what interests my current audience.

Now to turn the focus on you. Have you been experimenting with what works and what does not? It’s important to try something new each day. I invite you to start switching things up a little. You’ll be surprised at how drastically changes can be made. Try changing what is shown in your images. Entice your audience with different words used in the title. Change up the length of your posts. I have found that individuals do not like reading super long articles despite how much I like to write. Big surprise, huh? There is certainly a sweet spot in between all the previously listed extremes. It’s all about learning something new every day and acting to change or adjust what does not work.

What have you found that works and does not work for your web pages? I would love to swap experiences and knowledge with you! Hit me up on the comments down below or on my social media!

-ZHanny

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The One Misunderstood Aspect of Horror Fiction

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Throughout my articles you will find that I praise authors for the job and artistry they perform. Here is what I see as a publisher and enthusiast when an individual submits parts of a horror manuscript to me: A mirror that reflects that person’s past experiences and emotions and the boldness to overcome fear and judgement. Nothing reflects this, in my experience so far, better than horror fiction.

Everyone has been scared of something in their life. We can all relate to this concept as human beings. Reading horror fictions give people the privilege and opportunity to learn from what the authors have already perceived or experienced in life in regards to this genre. This perspective makes this concept a rare opportunity to learn how other’s think or how others think others think (this is becoming a strange sentence) in those little talked about human moments of fight or flight. Yes that last excerpt is carefully thought out and correct. One of the most important skills you can learn in life is to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. When one writes a book, this concept is brought to the next level. They’re not just putting themselves in someone else’s shoes, they’re putting themselves in the individual shoes of sometimes a town full of people. This concept is important to understand when moving on. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is a gift not many utilize. The world would be a much different place if that was to happen. A lot can be learned from those with that ability.

The different genres of books each have something unique to offer beyond what the upfront story tells. For me, it’s important to find the meaning behind the meaning. Sometimes that is exactly what the author wants. Whether it be the comparison between Peter Pan and the analogy of never growing up, The Exorcist and battling one’s inner demons, or Pinocchio and cutting your own puppet strings, there are even better lessons that one can learn from deriving abstract thoughts from different stories.

Next time you read a horror book realize that you a receiving not just one story, but multiple stories. Always be open to new things and ideas. I find myself deep in thought sometimes thinking about the concepts behind the concepts after finishing a book. What experiences or thought processes the author had to have been put through in order to reflect to the world different scary situations, analogies, and scenarios. I invite you to go back through books that you have read in the past with this new perspective. You never know. You could just experience a completely different story all together!

-ZHanny

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