Selling on WordPress



Selling on WordPress

A wee post about my experience here. I figure I’ve done some experimenting now, so allow me to pass on some experience.

Earning as a blogger, writer or artist is hard darned work. Look at how many blogs and websites litter the internet and then count how many famous bloggers you know who’ve made it big. How many fingers and or toes did you count? So for most of us, the best we can hope for is getting by. Maybe reach a minimum wage. To me, that’s not depressing. It just shows that I need to do more than a website to earn a living. Such as selling prints at local markets (more on alternative earning later).

You all know what I sell by now. Art prints on Etsy. Art prints and Tees on Threadless. Books on Amazon.

The Beginning 

Back in the early days of the blog when I first started selling I had a signature in my posts like this:

~

Patreon | Etsy | Kindle | SkillshareThreadless

I quite liked that. It was subtle. I had maybe a 1%-2% per view click rate. That’s pretty high. I’d say there was a 1% rate of purchase from that though. Ouch, right? That’s not good when you’re only making £1 a sale.

The Middle Bit

At some point, I switched over to a series of icons at the bottom of each post.

   

They looked a bit more visually appealing and fitted nicely at the bottom of the posts. They looked awful in WordPress reader though. They enjoyed a 2%-3% views to click rate and had about 6% sales from that 2%-3%. By this my point my blog was over 20,000 subscribers and it was turning into £100 a month or more.

The Recent Bit

I removed everything from the bottom of my posts and left the links at the top of my screen the only links to my wares. The click-through plummeted and died a death. I’m into the less than 1% view to click through here.

What happened? Well, most of my readership on site is WordPress bloggers. Most bloggers use WordPress reader to view websites. So advertising in sidebars, header banners or menus is never going to be seen, let alone clicked. If the adverts aren’t in the post, WordPress bloggers will never click them.

Sales links in blog posts hurt Google ranks

It really does. Google isn’t stupid. If you include the same links in every post you make, Google, Yahoo, Bing and the other search engines assume you’re an advert/bot farm website. They then actively push you down the search rankings. So what can you do?

Make a sale posts

Uuuuruurururuhghgh! Arreeghghgghgh! Nooooooooooooooo!

But they work…

An experiment follows with my recent books. Grey Moon and Seeking Hydra. When I released Hydra, I posted here daily about it being free for five days to readers. Asking people, please leave me a review. Hundreds of copies were taken for free. 10-20 copies paid for. Then I had a roll for a month or two where I sold one or two a day. It picked up 20 Amazon reviews (UK, USA and other) and did OK on Good Reads.

Contrast that with Grey Moon. I posted about it twice before and twice during the first five days of it being free. I gave away maybe 50 copies. Sold 8 copies. Then it died a death immediately after. I think I’ve sold 5 copies since. It has four reviews on Amazon.com and 3 on Amazon.co.uk. For all the effort I put into Grey Moon, it tanked.

(Click here to see Amazon.com review figures)

To follow that up, when I advertise a new Threadless tee, I get the most sales off the post I make about it. The has been shown with Walker and Terror-Dactyl.

So, yes, sales posts do work and are needed, even with freebies. The drawback? If you do a sales post every day, you’re gonna piss your readers off. The flip side of that is that when I have mentioned sales posts here before, the response is always “if you don’t tell us about your products, we don’t know they exist.”

Two more Fears Fears…

I have two other problems I need to address myself with sales. First, I don’t push products past the initial release. Like seriously, I launch a product, then never mention it again. What the crap?

My other issue is that I’m a terrible artist. I write awful. My spelling and grammar are poor. How can I possibly ask people to give me money for my rubbish?… What did you say? Imposter syndrome? Me? Well, I don’t think so mis…. Oh… Crap… Yes, you may be right…

I need to address both of those points, don’t I?

What will I do?

I will be giving more focus to other platforms and not be spending all my time on WordPress. Bluntly, there’s only so much marketing you can do on a blog. Post too many sales posts and you’ll annoy everyone, yourself included. Twitter and Instagram have a bit more leeway there. Even Tumblr you can post more frequently than WordPress. I’ve said I was going to spread myself out more a thousand times and I never do. Now, after my six-month long house sale has fallen through, I need the income. I need to sell. Twitter and Instagram, here I come. Though don’t talk to me about Facebook…

I will also try and do a weekly sales post on the blog. An entire post a week dedicated to something I am selling. Maybe explain or show the process of what I did to create the product. It doesn’t have to be all sell, sell, sell right? But it needs to be something. Posts dedicated to products work.

image of little fears presents spiders book 3, a book of flash fiction and short stories

The Alternative

The other thing to do is find alternative incomes in the real world. I adore the internet in all its messy, troll-filled, poorly spelt and grammarededy ways. But I’ve always felt I need real-world incomes too.

A market stall with my art prints on for example. This time I want to take books with me too. I recall seeing Emily with a pile of self-published books behind her sofa. A quick search only shows cats on her sofa, but imagine that sofa with a pile of books behind it. That’s what I need to do. Get a small print run of the Little Fears books and take them with me to a craft market along with my art prints. You get the idea.

What do you do?

Ooo, look at that. Ending a post on a question. How very professional blogger of me. So how do you feel about marketing on a WordPress blog? Have you tried different methods? Let me know in comments.

      1. It takes courage to actually be honest about iffy sales or flops. So kudos to you–you’re more courageous than most of the folks who try to sell their creative work on the Internet! They either tall all around things, or resort to unhelpful bluffs such as “I’m doing great! How about you?”

        All that said, it’s tough to make money on the Internet, especially with only a blog. I think your plan to spread your story to other platforms is a good one, but remember that you OWN the blog. If Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest go down in flames tomorrow, you still own your blog, so don’t stop feeding it.

        Do you have an e-newsletter? That’s a thing people sign up for, so there’s no worry about how it will appear in the search results–your subscribers WILL get it. Keep the tone of your emails like your blog posts, only shorter (one or two screens, max). Offer some fun, special-to-the newsletter content, and spotlight a product for sale (here’s where it would be easy to renew awareness of things you’ve created in the past that are still available). Maybe offer a “bundle” of several at a special discount. Make it regular (weekly? bi-weekly? monthly?), so people expect to see it. Put a “get my newsletter” signup form link on your header, and when people sign up don’t leave them hanging: send something! You can start with a service such as MailChimp for free.

        Finally, do you have a group of other bloggers you could unite with, who do things that would appeal to a similar group of people? No one can be the ONLY artist or writer a person loves. But perhaps a group of you who promote each other because you genuinely believe your work is compatible are less competitors than allies. A lot of indie authors belong to “co-ops” that are set up in a variety of ways. You might want to do more research into that.

        Going offline, out into the “real world” is another necessary thing, in my opinion. Art or craft fairs (we have a fair number of them in the US) are a venue that works for many, but it’s physically hard labor to haul your “store” someplace, set it up, tend it all weekend, then tear it down, and haul it back home for re-stocking. You also usually have to be juried in, so there’s a lot of advance-planning and fee-paying before you ever make it to the show.

        I have a friend who’s been selling his work art fairs in the United States for 40+ years. At the height of his activity, he was going to 35-42 shows each year (that means not too many weekends at home)–but he also lives in a large house that’s paid for, drives a Jaguar, and vacations at the beach every year (usually a beach in between art fairs, but a WARM beach!) The exhibitors become a bit like a traveling community, too, and they often form friendships and help each other, especially in bad weather.

        Bookstores–start small and local, if possible–may provide a venue for a book-signing. Local galleries might offer some of your art, but don’t expect massive sales there.

        Have you exhibited work at science fiction conventions? Once again, you can’t expect large sales there, but science fiction and fantasy fandom is a community that I think might respond well to your work, and they are loyal to someone they’ve met and discovered they like.

        I have been doing research about this for my own artwork and writing, so I haven’t had a chance to try all of these myself. But maybe some of them could work for you?

        1. Darn Jan, awesome comment. Longer than my post haha!

          With regards to failures on the internet. It’s hard darned work as writer/blogger/artist/creative. We’re all in the same boat. “10 great tips” posts don’t help most folk. Putting down actual experiences and processes that people can follow and understand the whys and hows, I think that’s more helpful.

          Being on more than one platform is helpful for me because when the blog goes down, I go down with it. I’ve shared that experience a few times. JetPack is flaky at best with self-hosted blogs. Then you go through DDOS attacks. Hide behind a Cloudflare firewall and suddenly JetPack refuses to communicate with the site. Then my huge WordPress following never see my posts. My blog will always be my hub and the place I point people too, but spreading to 3 or 4 platforms gives me a lil protection and expands on PR.

          Newsletter is planned. I’ve signed up to MailChimp, but it’s near the middle of a long to-do list.

          We’ve done a few collaborations here. They have been enjoyable and worked quite well. Another process post, huge one HERE. I’ve put of repeated collabs because I’ve been on the verge of moving since December. With a house sale now fallen through I’m stuck in London for another 3-4 months, so collaborations is something I can return to now.

          Agree on the real world. I’ve always said a real-world presence and offering was necessary. I do design work and odd days in-house for companies I know well, which is at least half of my income. Again, I’ve been putting off markets due to not know where I’ll be week to week. I have a collapsible market stall that fits on the back of my motorbike. I generally only took art prints with me last time I did stalls. Another thing put off due to the house move that never happened. That’s where I need to go next though. When I move home, I’ll have no mortgage and I’m a minimalist, so it will make finances a lot ruddy easier. I could get away with doing the Sunday craft market up there each week. £10 a stall, easy. Right now though, I need to keep up with London costs heh.

          I haven’t tried shows yet. I didn’t feel until Christmas that my stuff was established or good enough. It’s only this last couple of months that my attitudes changed and the possibility of Little fears being a primary income has come into my head heh.

  1. Excellent advice. I am the worst seller in the history of the world, I’ll try and implement some of this info and push my artwork through the blog. I find it an uncomfortable thing to do, sell, push for sales on my writing blog, but I’m going to have a book out with my hand printed illustrations in at some point and I will want to sell that through WP, so . . . I’ll keep reading you eh? Hahahahaha. See if I get the chutzpah.

    esme hiding her chutzpah under her bushel upon the Cloud

  2. It’s a tough situation that as bloggers all of us are battling. How do you do what you love i.e. write, travel, etc. and make a living. I’ve decided to take it month by month until I gain my own expierence.

  3. Hey!
    It was nice reading your blog..very informative.
    I am free blogging on wordpress from past one year,now I have switched to premium wordpress and also joined various affiliate programs but I dont see much plugin options in this plan..How does it work with premium plan of mine?

    1. I’ll be honest, I don’t use plugins. If it’s Amazon Affiliates, I believe you can just get a link to a product from the top banner. As or other programs I’m afraid I’m clueless. I do not use affiliates for Etsy or Threadless. If you need me to screenshot you how to get Amazon affiliate links, let me know. I can get something over to you.

        1. I’ll have a look, been a while since I used WordPress.com’s posting tools. Will get something up for you tomorrow.

  4. I began writing on WordPress about a year and a half ago. Your incredibly funny and touching drawings, incredible wit and hard work left me breathless. I love your two cents, and hope you know that we all treasure you~

    1. Awwww, cheers Michele!

      As writers, artists and bloggers this stuffs hard. Happy to share my process and hope it helps others.

  5. This post was an eye opener. So much struggle and so much work into your stuff and then nothing really works. Too much of something doesn’t work either. Now I’m scared but thank you for this. I’ll know what to expect now.

    1. Ooooh, don’t be scared Pradita! Experiment! Mix things up. Try different things. What works for me doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s nice to share the odd learning experience.

    1. Yeah, oh man do we need to push our stuff out there! Even a local car boot sale could help if you took along some books heh.

      1. I hear ya. Trust me, I’ll definitely promote the crap out of my stuff once it’s published. Haha! I’ve heard stories about people selling thing from their car boots (or trunks as we say over here).

        1. I think the alternative there is a swap meet? Our car boot sales we literally rock up, plonk down a table and get to it!

  6. ; p your grammar seems good to me, and I think your drawings are neat and unique. : D If that helps lol
    Thanks for sharing your experience, very useful! I have all my links in the sidebar of my blog, which I have to admit has probably only been clicked once. I might try occasional links below posts, see if they get any hits. I have a strict no pestering my readers with too much advertising rule, but I think there’s a reasonable amount. My main concern with my blog is to get my name out there, and also to provide samples of my work. Of course, I’m just starting out, and I prefer slow and steady. I’m already pretty pleased with the progress I’ve made.

    Meno<3

    1. Arf, thank you for the compliments.

      Yes, I think there’s a happy medium between too much and too little marketing. There’s not wanting to badger readers and then there’s actively hiding our own stuff to a point where we can’t pay our bills. It’s just most of us never seem to find that sweet spot haha!

        1. Ooooo, I’m so far off the mark haha! I need to show my products more. I’ve been under it this last month with the house sale cocking up, but that’s not a good excuse when my income has tanked so hard in February. I gotta work a lot harder in March and get back on the horse.

  7. I am horrible at marketing! Thank you for sharing your ideas! I am trying my hand at real world selling. Next week I will be taking my books to an arts and crafts fair. Hopefully it works out! I am also going to contact local coffee shops and children’s clothing resale stores to see if they would carry a few copies for sale.

    1. Oh, hey, that’s a good idea! With the coffee shops and stores. Yes, real-world selling is deffo needed alongside the internet sales.

      1. I am finding that small local businesses are a bit more receptive than the larger chain owned stores. Though I have seen local artists and authors displayed works at Caribou and Starbucks so I haven’t completely ruled them out

        1. Ooo, Starbucks would be a good one! I know they are a big scary chain, but personal service and local knowledge is a Starbucks trait isn’t it?

          1. From what I’ve seen at my local Starbucks I will say yes. My issue is finding a time to speak to a manager when the shop isn’t busy! One strategy that I have heard is to go in person because it’s harder for them to say no.

  8. Great tips about link placements. I need to reexamine mine. And a giant YES to bringing books (and shirts and prints) to the market. I sell way more books in person than online. People like to flip through the actual thing before buying, and I think they feel more generous for some reason when they’re helping the starving artist or in person. So definitely give that a try!

    1. Hah, you left me with the image of an artist standing in tattered clothes giving big kitten eyes to passers-by. To be honest, that’s how most of us look anyways haha! Sorry I couldn’t find the right post to link too.

          1. Awww haha. Not the one I was thinking off. I’m sure there was a just a pile of books behind the sofa. It was not long after you’d got them. Good grief though, that’s nearly a year ago!

  9. I can relate.
    My problem is my Blog is my writing, my photos and my art.
    My site is my Art and my products.
    Rarely any promoting on either site and how to tie the two together?
    Agree with your plan to go to shows or markets. There I could take all with me to sell.

    Good Luck! 😀

    1. Yeah, it’s hard tying it all together. The real world is definatly what I need to do next. Good luck to you too, Patrice!

    1. Heh, it’s not necessary. If it’s the same purchase links (or affiliate links) and you put it in every post, your readers will see it, ut your google rank may drop. Tough decision heh.

  10. I was really interested in your experiences, too. As an author, I too struggle with the selling part of it. I am bracing myself to go the traditional publishing route for the next novel (not finished) so I may get swept under by rejection letters, before I find my agent. Sigh… an artist’s life is not an easy one!

  11. I have affiliate links to Amazon books on The Law of Attraction (not mine) on my blog. I see no harm in it and if anyone feels annoyed by that – just don’t click, it’s that simple isn’t it? A blog should give one the freedom to reach out in any way you think fit. Sadly, there will always be a few souls who ‘get on their high horse’ about it. 🙂

    1. Thankfully, it’s been a while since I encountered a high horse rider. The only time affiliate links or ads bother me are when they are either intrusive (flashing banners) or have a word in every sentence of a post with an affiliate link in. Then it’s annoying heh.

  12. Glad I’m not concerned about selling my wares. That is if I had any, and if anyone was not in their right mind to buy them. Then I might suffer from Blog Stress, or Blog Burn then I’d have to pay more taxes on what I didn’t sell – this is 25% VAT in Denmark. Sorry, I tend to babble….

    1. Ooof and ack. It’s a tough life earning a living as a creative, but the bold and the brave need to do something other than a 9 to 5 heh.

  13. Lots of struggles for a self-employed person. It’s a lot of work! I’m in the midst of learning that while working on my stories and how the publishing process works. I admire your perseverance and will to keep plugging along.

    I agree with my fellow bloggers here that your post helps us to understand how these things work for blogging and other avenues to get out our creative works. I hope to do advertising/marketing/promoting of my novel via my Facebook author page, Twitter account, and my blog. Oh, I do have a LinkedIn account too, but I don’t do much on it, to be honest. But I suppose I could advertise there too if it is okay to do so there. I need to start an amazon author page and one for Goodreads. I have accounts at both, but they aren’t official author accounts, and I’ve not figured it all out yet on those. Hopefully will soon!

    I wish you great success!

    1. Thanks, Dot!

      I have an authors page on Good Reads (never visit that site, it depresses me heh). I have an Author Central on Amazon for UK and USA. You need one or each region annoyingly.

      1. You’re welcome, and thanks for that info! I would like my novel to be sold internationally, too, so I guess I’ll have to do the same? Not sure how that’s done, though. lol @ the author’s page on Good Reads. Yeah, I know how that can be.

        1. I do OK on Good Reads, but the abuse I’ve seen some people take. The really pissy one-star reviews from people that nobbled a book for free and didn’t even read the cover text. Urgh. Good Read is a cesspit or that stuff.

    1. Real world sales definitely seem the way to go, by my experience and comments here. Pamphlets are a good idea, especially for someone who creates visual like yourself.

        1. I want to get in front of a video camera and do slightly longer form stories (maybe 2-5 minutes) in a Jackanory style reading. For animation, I have a series of silent films of the bugs planned, but that’s waaaaaaay down the line. 🙂

  14. Very candid and relevant information for WordPress bloggers who may be struggling to make something work in online commerce. I have noted that my readers from WordPress are not the big crowd out there. But they are faithful regular visitors. We have silently formed an invisible social network by mutual interests often through photography and travel. Sometimes in poetry too. On the other hand my large viewership comes in the form of serious readers all over the world who browse through a few big browsers. They use key words and hit my blogs through their search. I hope this is of some use to some readers. Thank you.

    1. Cheers for the detailed comment. I do find a lot of my online earnings come from people I consider internet friends heh. The hardcore Fears followers I talk to on Twitter daily and such. A solid core of mates. The social side of social media heh.

  15. Hey, first of all try to avoid feelings of doubt and fear! Believe and trust in yourself you are doing a great job. You can do 3 blog sales a week with different items… and also you can offer reposts to bloggers that need to gain followers… start cheap giving a promotion… if you will do I’m happy to be your client… Patreon is the link working? Are you still there? Thank you for sharing and stay positive!

    1. Howdy Me. Too many sales posts on the blog would clutter my feed. An issue of a super sharp focus on the content a provide more than a blogging issue in general. Same as paid reposts I’m afraid. There’s nothing wrong with paid reposts, it’s just not something I can do here heh. Even award posts look painfully out of place here heh.

  16. Best of luck with all that! Big ups for being that brave!
    Personally I hate advertising, I’m one of those ‘i’ll look for it if I want it’ peeps … but what you’re doing seems tasteful and honest I like honest

    1. Cheers, Me!

      We’ve spoken about hawking our wares a few times here. Generally, most people don’t mind bloggers advertising something. It’s the flashing or distracting banner ads or single paragraphs with 20 affiliate links in that turn most people off. I have never done either myself, but they are pet peeves we’ve discussed in comments heh.

      1. I completely agree lol.

        Glad you haven’t stooped that far … yet 🙂 At the end of the day though .. you gotta make a living ay … so whatever works <3

  17. How does one add the buttons such as “amazon” you refer to in “the Middle?” Enquiring Minds Want to Know. 🙂 This is a very helpful post, thanks for sharing your experience.

    1. I’ll get a picture guide up next week along with the Amazon affiliate links question above. It’s just a JPG hosted on Flickr. Inserted into the post with a link the same way you insert any image. Then right-click the image and set the link address.

  18. One of these days, I may add a button myself. donate a few pennies to support me, twenty-five cents to inspire me; fifty cents for some wisdom to read; a dollar to shut me up…

  19. A very interesting and honest post. Thanks for sharing your experiences.i have to say I really admire your perseverance and wish you success in the long run. I have trouble even promoting my blog and getting subscribers, never mind selling things though It would be nice to get to that point.

    1. Anyone can run a blog as a side hustle for a bit of extra income. Be it self-made products, affiliate links or sponsored posts. Having it as a main income though is awfully hard to achieve. We’ll all get there in the end! 🙂

  20. Your mention that sidebars etc are useless in Reader is helpful to me, thanks! I’ve done ok on the rare occasions I do a New Release sales post. I also sometimes get a sale when I do a post about an exciting author milestone, like receiving my first box of my new books or being chosen for an author event – a big photo of me and my book, and I say it’s available on Amazon with a link.
    But many of my sales are made in person at events. I do recommend that as supplemental income. But choose events carefully. You either want enormous foot traffic numbers or very targeted to fan niche or very local. People love meeting and supporting an artist from their immediate area, even at holiday bazaars and such. Splitting a table with other artists is also a way to improve income and minimize risk at events. Good luck!

    1. Sidebars being invisible is unique to people with large WordPress followings. If your readers find you through other means, then they will, of course, see your site how you present it. It’s just unfortunate I spend far to much time on other peoples blogs and not on social media. So I’ve ended up with a 30k+ WordPress following heh.

      Yeah, everyone seems in agreement, real-world events are where it’s at. For the local car boots, it will literally be £10 for a table and whatever I can get on the back of a motorbike. Some craft markets in town shopping centre, but they always look dead to me. Never seen anyone actually purchasing anything at their stalls. Want to approach some local art and bookshops, see if I can do anything with promotion in them.

  21. I’m definitely still in the learning stages and this post has helped shade light on the inns and outs of this whole online business aspect of an artists life. I do empathize with you,so thank you for sharing your experience and giving some of us a clue on how to go about it all.

    1. The two greatest ways of moving forward with this stuff. Experimentation and knowledge sharing. We’ll all figure it out together. 🙂

  22. I’ve been meaning to apologise for not liking or commenting your posts.

    To start with most of them seem to be continuations I don’t but could make time for. Plus you get plenty of likes as it is.

    But I appreciate your support.

    1. Howdy, please don’t apologise for not liking or commenting here. 🙂 My like button doesn’t work half of the time due to a self-hosted blog and there’s only so many ways someone can say ‘lol’ at the stories. Also, they are continuations, sort of… The tales are intended to be read as stand alone. Out of 700 tales here, only 4 should be read in order. Even then, the puns and horrors are still stand alone heh.

  23. In the non-internet world, Leigh and I are taking our short “Party Balloons” to a coffee house, where we’ll be doing a visually interesting “reading” of it. And we too have done a print run of our book, some copies of which are now in a local bohemian shop waiting for Spring and its increased foot traffic. We have made our “2-Guns” logo into a pretty slick business card that goes with us everywhere and gets left wherever we can leave it. We are trying to use our unique “personality” online wherever we can, but whenever we have the time, we’re taking Ann-William on the real road too. Even this weekend- we’re going to a coffeehouse with our biz cards and a few print books, and just be “us”. We figure that in some instances, we can be our own best advert. And then try to drive people to our site and books. Good luck man!

  24. Geez. I dunno. I actually read this the other day while out doing some work in the “real world”. Arg. Ick. Blah. Meant to come home and comment, but time’s gotten away. I just dunno. I have a hell of a time promoting myself at all. Even years ago when I did a more regular blog that gave me the platform to say more than haiku…..I had a full website and sold stuff but never promoted. Much. Like You. Actually less…..and it got me nowhere. I think most of us in blogland are preaching to the choir. The majority of us are trying to get our boat floating and we all seem to need/want to sell our wares to do so. I’m furiously trying to get my website built at the moment…it’s taking forever….but I have the same questions as You. I think You are right when You say selling outside of blogland may be the answer; or part of it. You have such an amazing personality that I think doing the tent shows will be great for You once You get on a good roll. Where we live there are many and people LOVE to know the actual artist. When I am able and have enough product, I will go that route. But the money to get started. It’s such a circle. God. I’d be curious as to why You chose Patreon. Saw them on Your site and looked them up. The part that says they own Your art 100% to use as they please scared me a bit. But then I thought, well, hey, if I were ever lucky enough to have them use my art as advertising…that would be fantastic! As I can’t seem to make myself post a tip jar (which I could really use!!! me and everyone else!!! ) I just may join up. Do You like it and does their ownership of anything You post scare You? What You are doing is SOOOOO unique and joyful…..from where I stand if You hang in there, something wonderful is going to happen. I just sincerely feel it. TRULY!!!!

    1. Howdy Forrest. I’m dropping you an email (saw the one you sent me). But to address one thing, which is a future blog post. Patreon owning your art.

      Most social networks say this (Facebook, Instagram, G+, Twatter). Generally no bad has come of this yet, though it can in the future. It’s a bit shit they can use your images in promotion without crediting you. But if you’re using their platforms, that’s the price you have to pay. In addition, this is internet land. Once you upload something, post something, say something or do anything, someone will rip it off. I’ve seen my stories badly splodged onto JPGs and uploaded to Instagram. I’ve seen blogs copy every one of my posts without crediting me. I’ve even seen scans of pages of my book uploaded. If I was precious about the Little Fears, I wouldn’t be able to upload anything.

      It’s an unfortunate situation and opinion to hold, especially from someone with a strong positive outlook like myself. But once you upload your creation to the internet, it’s no longer yours because the human race lacks courteous and respectful boundaries of creatives ownership of their own work.

      1. Yeah…all that horrible internet theivery I was aware of but just try not to think about. Yikes. But a company saying that surprises me. That they don’t credit when they use Your art IS shit. Ah well. The price one pays. I see them around a bit, and You seem to like them…..so….perhaps I will give them a go. Thank You for this answer!

        1. It’s a real mixed bag, isn’t it? One of those situations that’s never black and white. I think any social media that uses creators creations as an advert for their services has too. It doesn’t make it better or right for them to put it in the T&Cs. Eh… I don’t know heh.

          1. Sigh. I just come back to, “It is what it is.” But it sure is fun communicating with so many artists of all mediums and walks of life. Keeps my spirit up and juices flowing in times when I’m asking myself, “What in the hell are You doing?????!!!” And we do have to use social media so that people know we exist. Ah well. I truly appreciate your thoughts! I learn a lot from You and others who have forged ahead more broadly and consistently than I ever have with this. You’re very generous with information and I truly appreciate You! Cheers!!!

        1. Eeeehhh… Thing is, even 10-15 years ago, a pre-Fears storytelling was something we did over voice in the digital theatre, Blue Moon. We had a competitor send an alt character who recorded the audio of a play we did. Transcribed it to text. Then shared it with all her group. I saw 3 derivatives of the work over the following months. Humans are hard-wired to take the easiest path and there are always those who will copy. The internet just enables that even more. If you spend your life fighting that you’ll burn yourself out.

  25. Pushing my art and my words is something I just don’t do. I probably should, since I have an abundance of each, but I never think any of it is crafted well enough. I have a very fragile ego, so when I do push something (the occurrence does happen, just infrequently!) and it fails to sell, I go into hiding in this abyssal, shadowy shell of mine and attempt to forget I ever tried!

    1. You sound exactly like me! And every other artist on the internet haha! Stick with it. It takes years to see any success. Even then, success is a defined in different ways heh.

  26. This was very helpful and interesting. Thanks for posting this! Also, your items are always clever and funny, and your artwork is fun and interesting. It fits perfectly. I hope your sales keep growing. More people just need to see your work, it’s great.

  27. You’re spot on selling on Word Press. It’s hard for an unknown artist and writer to get people to buy their products. The people I know who are successful artist and writers are represented by major art galleries, literary agents, and have books through publishers like McGraw, Henry Holt, etc. And if you’re not established through the traditional route, it takes countless hours of promoting and exhibiting your art and books to make a decent living.

  28. Hey lil fears! This is TinyBold who used to be MuchAfraid (there’s another story). I love how honest and helpful this post and some of the comments to it are. Thank you and I feel you will succeed, not least because there is a huge market where you live. Your books look so adorable!

  29. Online efforts enhance real world marketing where physical products or actual services exist. Keep up the good work, and bring that small press run – then a larger run, and so on…

    1. Journeys great, but it’s nice to reach the end of the path. Have you considered getting an editor to look at it?

  30. All told, my followers, subscribers and social media contacts barely add up to 1500! Oh, to have so many subscribers. This is a consequence, I suspect, of not focusing. I am a writer, that’s why I blog. Selling my books – at all, anywhere – other than to friends and family, has totally tanked. Facebook advertising is a total joke. I am encouraged by your can-do attitude, and wish you amazing success.

    1. It’s not the size of the following that counts, but their relationship with you. I only have a total following across all platforms of 70,000? That’s nothing like the millions so many have on social media alone. But then you see those people, with 300,000 twitter followers, who follow 299,000 twitter peoples. And you notice, nobody retweets their tweets. They get an odd like here or there. For all the following they have, nobody that follows thm is interested in what they are saying. Shrugs A true display of it’s not the size that counts IMHO. 🙂

      With regards to the con-do attitude, thank you. In my experience even so-called passive incomes require leg work to market them. Gotta be pro-active to sell our wares.

  31. A bold and brilliant blog! My hits dropped when I added the Amazon sales button to my website. As you say, readers rarely move on to the carefully constructed website. Like all introverted artists I hated marketing and have few social media sales. Thanks for the “Good Reads, bad review” tip. iIm off to a decent start via word of mouth. i’m 84, my memoir is a good read, people tell me they can’t put it down. No point obsessing at my age, I’m switching to a focus of what works.

    1. Thank you, I certainly hope it’s useul to someone. Yeah, creatives in general I think struggle with marketting. No real anser to it exept get out there and see what works, then share experiences aye?

  32. Hi! I just wanted to stop by to say “Great post!!”

    I had actually been going through months worth of e-mail to finally get rid of some clutter, and I found that I had left this post of yours starred so I would know to go back to it when I had the time!

    Well, tonight I had the time.

    I don’t have much experience with selling on WordPress, my blog just turned into a freelance writing career and that is how I use it to create an income. However, I wanted to say thank you for posting so much information!

    It was really interesting to read and I appreciate the time and honesty you put into it.

    All the best,
    Joanna

  33. I love ‘how to’ posts that are about the real process, not blogger-listicles! Straight out selling is fine but for frequency those production type blogs are a great way for me to get into someone’s work, looking forward to seeing them

    1. Cheers, Sherri. I don’t mind listicles, but when they’re carbon copies of the same list I’ve seen a hundred times… Meh… Haha. Frequency is still hard for me. I’ve life hitting me for the last 2 months so haven’t been on my game. But I still never think of writing sales posts despite knowing they work and telling everyone they do. Need to re-wire the brain at some point I think.

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