DAVE CHESSON'S CAREER JOURNEY
Dave started his career as a nuclear engineer which required him to spend a lot of time away from his family. This didn't sit well with Dave so decided to take a step back and look at how he defined success. In other words, he took the time to become self-aware and define his brand.
Dave assessed his skills, his traits and most importantly for him, his values. Doing this helped him realize that he valued being close to family over the traditional military career path. As he assessed his career, he quickly realized he had an affinity for internet marketing.
In other words, he knew what he wanted to become known for.
So he started to change or re-arrange his life in order to fit it in. This included things such as cutting out movie time every night and getting up earlier in the morning. This quiet morning time allowed Dave to practice and grow in his new chosen direction.
It took him 3-½ years but Dave was able to build his side business in the margins of his life and now his side business is his only business.
If you are struggling to find time in your life to pursue your side business or passion, I have a chapter in the book CareerKred, specifically designed to help you. It’s called repurpose your time. Between the chapter and the companion workbook, you’ll be able to easily see how you can repurpose and refocus your time to pursue your dreams.
KINDLEPRENEUR IS BORN
Like many side business owners, Dave didn’t end where he started. His first venture into internet marketing was building niche websites. His original goal was to build a lot of niche websites, get them to rank high in Google and use affiliate links to make a steady income.
Dave quickly realized this was a lot of work for very little return. While he was making money doing this, he realized the way to really make money is to build your own product.
His lightbulb moment came as he was assessing his niche websites and realized that many of them had so much information about how to solve a particular pain point that he really could package up the content on the site and make a book.
This thought led him to Amazon where he realized that like Google, Amazon is a search engine with one key difference.
People searching on Amazon were looking for solutions to specific problems no unlike Google. However, because they were searching on Amazon these people were more likely ready to purchase their solution.
WHAT IS A KINDLEPRENEUR?
As you might think a Kindlepreneur is a combination of Kindle and Entrepreneur. Dave’s site, Kindlepreneur, is a site dedicated to advanced book marketing tactics. His customers are typically dedicated entrepreneurs who want to roll their sleeves up and “get dirty” so to speak.
They don’t want him to do the work for them, instead, they want to learn how to do it from him and then do it themselves. If you’re looking to learn how to market your book on Amazon, Dave is a great choice.
WHY WRITE A BOOK?
Dave tells us there are many reasons to write a book and the reasons are very personal. They include having a vehicle for getting your words out in public, they have a story they believe will benefit others and some people are just looking for money.
[Tweet “You don’t have to be an amazing writer to be able to write a bestselling book. – Dave Chesson”]
Regardless, Dave says one of the best reasons for writing a book is the distinction and notoriety that comes from becoming an author. This distinction has the ability to build your brand by boosting your CareerKred.
A book can give you the ability to position yourself and separate yourself from the crowd which can allow you to charge more for your services.
During the show, Dave gives a great example of how an attorney who wrote a book. When pressed by Dave, the attorney considered his top request from his customers and decided to write a book on the topic for his target market.
Now when the attorney meets with new clients he is able to hand them a copy of the book and tell him he’s a bestselling author on the specific topic for which his clients are there to see him. Talk about distinction.
Think about this point for a minute. Generally speaking, attorneys not unlike engineers, or doctors, all have degrees. In many cases advanced degrees. Without some point of differentiation, when put against other people in their field, all we have as potential clients to compare them against each other is where their degrees come from and their experiences.
Now add to that mix, a best-selling book by one of them on the topic that you are talking to them about. Would that sway your decision?
HOW DO YOU NARROW DOWN YOUR BOOK IDEAS?
We all have ideas for books so one of the questions I asked Dave was how do you narrow down your ideas into a topic for a book. Recalling his skill set in using Google to rank niche websites, can you say transferable skill, Dave suggested reviewing keywords on Google and Amazon.
The key is to look for pain points that your book can help people solve. Dave is big on writing books that people are actively searching for online. It makes the marketing so much easier.
A Keyword, you may recall from this post, can be a single word or a string of words or a phrase that you type into Google or Amazon when looking for a solution to your pain point. As an author, keywords are, well key, to getting found in a search.
WHEN DO YOU START MARKETING YOUR BOOK?
Dave suggests the day you start writing the book is the day you start marketing it. This will help you identify your target market and learn their language. Knowing this is the difference between using the term resume and curriculum vitae. If you use one and not the other, you may miss out on half of your market.
The more specific you can be the better your chances of finding your target market which will help you convert and connect.
Once you’ve identified your audience, Dave says from a marketing standpoint than trying to market your book everywhere is a really bad idea. In his experience, you will get nowhere quick and probably super frustrated along the way.
Instead, focus on the places where your audience hangs out and be laser-focused on your specific market.
WHERE TO USE KEYWORDS
The key to keywords is to know that people are searching for them on Amazon. Backing up a bit, remember that Amazon is a search engine that uses its own proprietary algorithm called A9.
This algorithm’s sole purpose in life is to figure out which books should show up for a particular keyword and from that list, which ones should show up at the top of the list. Sounds very Google-ish don’t you think?
Dave suggests at a minimum your keyword needs to be in the following locations.
- The Book Title – Sounds obvious but your keywords should show up here. Dave also recommends using the title to capture and convert a potential buyer’s attention.
- The Book Subtitle – The next best place for keywords is in the book’s subtitle. Dave likes to use the subtitle as the defining moment. It should convey both the pain point and the benefit that comes from reading the book.
- The Book Description – Adding your keyword or words in the book description will also help Amazon’s algorithm find your book.
- In Book Reviews – This one surprised me a little and frankly is out of your control but Dave suggests from his experience that when writing reviews, most people use either the title or subtitle in their review. Hence the importance of placing them there.
- Amazon’s seven keywords – When creating your author page, which you do on Amazon’s Author Central platform, Amazon allows you to add up to seven keywords for your book. This serves as a starting place for the algorithm.
There are other measures the A9 algorithm looks for as well and Dave goes into greater detail on each during the show. Additionally, we spend a lot of time talking about keywords and how they can impact your rankings.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE REVIEWS?
Dave tells us that reviews on Amazon are very important both directly and indirectly. From a direct standpoint, a review, any review is a direct indication to Amazon whether or not someone actually liked the product.
This makes sense because if you think about it, Amazon knows that reviews are first, hard to come by and second, can be a factor in whether or not someone else buys your book. So as you’d imagine reviews are important for both Amazon’s algorithm and customers.
The interesting thing to me about reviews on Amazon is that anyone can leave a review for anything. Even if you haven’t purchased the product. Amazon looks at these reviews as just simply reviews.
A verified review, on the other hand, is a review from someone who purchased your book on Amazon using their account then went back and left a review using the same account. Amazon weighs verified reviews much heavier in the ranking process.
Dave believes unverified reviews don’t impact your ranking but verified reviews do.
SO HOW DO GET REVIEWS?
Dave suggests the following simple thing, ask. You can ask in several ways but his favorite method is the personalization that you can do at the end of your book.
Dave suggests at the end of the book authors take the time to remind the reader who you are as a person and how grateful you are they just finished your book. In this section, it’s important to not only ask for the review but to express your gratitude as well.
This will help people remember that you are indeed a human with feelings. Dave suggests this will help the reader emotionally connect with you which can make the difference between leaving a review or not.
WHAT IS KINDLE UNLIMITED?
Kindle Select or Unlimited is a way for you as an author to help you boost sales. Amazon Select is a program that allows authors to promote their work usually at a discounted price. To enter the program the author needs to agree to only sell their book on Amazon, nowhere else.
In exchange, Amazon allows the authors to “sell” their books for free for seven days out of every 90 day period. The seven days do not need to be consecutive. During the free days, you send notices out to book promotion sites, your email list, etc.
During this free period, your book will be placed in the free book category so it is not treated the same in the regular search algorithm. This does, however, offer you the opportunity to get more reviews and downloads which can help push your book higher in rankings after the free promotion.
WHAT IS KINDLE (KDP) ROCKET?
With all of Dave’s experience building niche sites and learning how to rank things on both Google and Amazon, it makes sense that he would build a piece of software to help you use both to validate your book ideas.
The software is called KDP Rocket and can be found at KDPRocket.com. Using it is as simple as typing in your keywords and the program will bring back to you a list of book ideas suggestions. It also provides the average amount of money made, estimated Google and Amazon search volume per month, the number of competitors and how difficult it will be to rank against your competition.
Full disclosure. I purchased KDPRocket and used it as a basis for my seven Amazon keywords.
The interface is easy to use and the information it returns is very interesting and valuable. If you’re looking to narrow your keywords.
THE BEST WAYS TO CONTACT THE KINDLEPRENEUR