How to Sell More Article Part II

A place where authors can exchange ideas or thoughts. Talk about what categories are hot and which ones are not.

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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby Celeste Stewart on Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:03 pm

I think that there are way too many variables for any "acceptance to sale" metric to make sense. Price, length, topic, request/not request, article voice, timeliness, length of excerpt shown, writer reputation, etc., all come to mind. If you want to make a quick sale, you'll write a different article and price it differently than if you have the luxury of putting out feelers and waiting to see what happens.

Instead of worrying about how long it has taken the community as a whole to move their articles, what are your goals for the site? Do you want to sell articles regularly? Do you want to repurpose previously published (usage) articles? Find a high end niche? Sell a few articles a month? Build relationships with CC customers? There are so many different variables, each with its own avenue and life cycle. Plus, you may have several different goals here.
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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby Antonia on Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:25 am

Celeste hit the nail on the head. For me personally, looking at my acceptance to sale statistics, it wouldn't be particularly helpful to think about the average because certain pieces sell the same day and others sell months later. On the other hand, I am continually re-assessing my goals. I find that when I'm focused on the things I can control (like how long I spend writing per day, the types of articles I write, the titles and short summaries I use) my sales increase. And the days when I obsess over the things I can't control (like when a specific article will sell), I seem to waste a lot of time hitting the refresh button on the sales page...and you know what? You'd think that would magically increase my sales, but it doesn't! :)
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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby RobertCade on Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:09 pm

I don't think the mean is a meaningless statistic, but seeing a spread would be even more helpful. Seeing that some articles sell the same day while others take years does slightly skew the impression it would give, but you need to start somewhere when estimating how much you can make month by month. My goal is to start making at least a few hundred a month, immediately. If a user completes a higher percentage of articles for requests his lag time will obviously be squeezed down, so maybe just looking at non-request articles would be the most helpful indicator.

I still don't have a very good idea of the turnaround. I wonder what percentage of non-requests sell within 1 month, 2 months, 3 months? Is the spread of time of acceptance vs. sales roughly a horizontal line, a downward slope, or a trend of exponential decay? Okay, maybe I'm getting carried away, but I like this stuff.

Thanks for the replies so far.
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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby Celeste Stewart on Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:40 pm

Being the geek that I am, when I started CC, I started a spreadsheet tracking my sales. I can share a few numbers with you from my first month, January 2006, to give you an idea. This was long before I had any private requests.
I submitted 34 articles that month, ten of which sold that same month. I earned $289 (after the cut). Since then, 15 more of those original articles have sold via CC (some several times over for usage). I removed a handful and sold those to AC back when AC was paying more for content.

Of the ten that sold that same month, four were non-request articles that sold in one to four days, six were for public requests with similar turnaround.

Of the articles that sold later, the dates fall like this:
One in Feb 2006
One in March 2006
One in July 2006
Four in October 2006
One in Nov 2006
One in Jan 2007
One in Feb 2007
One in May 2007
One in July 2007
One in October 2007
One in July 2008
One in September 2008

Only three remain from that first month, and each of those three only remain because they sold for usage rights. One sold once, one sold twice, and the third sold six times.
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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby Celeste Stewart on Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:51 pm

So, what can we gather from these numbers? I don't know. For me, I guess I can gather that one out of three will sell promptly and the rest will eventually sell. Of course, I continued submitting since then, so my results have changed since that first month. Now, I have three years of inventory that didn't sell right away selling periodically and most of my work here is spent working on private requests. I'm still surprised at which articles get snatched up right away and which ones don't when I do submit but like I said before there are so many variables to really be able to predict anything.
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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby RobertCade on Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:13 am

That is a great help - your "geeky" organization will take you far. :wink: Thank you.
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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby cindylanecc on Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:39 pm

Thanks for all the stats. Geeks rule!
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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby CaseReynolds on Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:12 pm

I love the geeky stuff, too. It's not someone gushing and acting like a sycophant, and it's not someone complaining. It's just cold, hard--and honest--facts. Very instructive. Thanks Celeste.
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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby SuzanneBosworth on Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:39 am

I guess it's because I'm new and insekewarrr ... :D ... but my view figures are starting to climb into double figures. I had a quick tweak downwards (but not by much) of the rates but I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing.

What do you think - put them back where they were, stick with my convictions and wait for buyers to snap 'em up at full price or try and flog them for a bit less? Three of them were for public requests but they haven't been taken.

Perhaps I'm being impatient and should just get on and flippin' write ... :)
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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby Debbi on Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:10 am

Just write and forget those others. Think of them as an investment. I had three articles sell this month that I wrote six months ago, two at the original price and one at an offer a bit less than the original price. The good thing about having public request articles in your portfolio is that you know someone likes that topic. Sometimes even the same requester comes back later and buys them weeks or months later--or someone else does. Some authors say they sell 75% of all the public requests they write. I am more at 50% but it keeps edging up the longer I wait.

So, yes, just keep writing! :)

Debbi
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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby SuzanneBosworth on Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:51 am

Debbi, thank you very much for the help! I shall go and tweak them back up again. Must admit, it didn't feel right lowering the price, so I shall stick their price tags on in future and not worry. 8)

Too keen to make my first sale, that's the problem!
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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby Debbi on Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:26 pm

Suzanne,

I only see four articles listed in your profile, four! Some authors don't make a sale until they have 10 or 20 articles up there. So just start pumping them out and never look back at the older ones. I looked at your prices and they look reasonable.

I was thinking you could turn that article on wirting fiction or non-fiction book reviews into two articles--one for fiction and one for non-fiction. Fill each out to 400-500 words and charge $40 each. Many buyers want specific content. One thing I've been fighting against is throwing every piece of information into an article (and a zillion examples) when maybe a brief to-the-point piece would sell better. Not that long articles aren't good when they need to be, but I do tend to run on.

Speaking of running on, I noticed that your bio is so long I couldn't even see the first article listed. You might want to look around at other bios and cut yours down to a couple of paragraphs. I'm not sure how much a bio factors in to sales but if buyers are looking for concise work, they might be overwhelmed by a super-long bio. As they say, sometimes "less is more". A brief background paragraph and then a list of your writing interests and expertise is probably sufficient. Some people don't have bios at all, I've noticed. When I first started here, I wrote a looooooong bio but after a while went in and chopped it down. Mine could be shorter than it is and I may decrease it one of these days.

Anyway, those are my thoughts.

Debbi
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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby SuzanneBosworth on Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:44 pm

Debbi - thank you! What a help you are. I really appreciate it. I wondered about splitting the fiction and non fiction up - that's a much better idea and I'll do that. Same with the bio - just feeling my way really so any input is worth a ton of gold.

Thanks so much! :D
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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby RGrimsby on Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:42 am

Hi there,

I've had some success with sales recently. However, my sales to articles ratio is stuck at about 25%. I'd love to raise that number, but I still haven't found what really sells. I've tried writing for requests- a few have sold. I've also tried to write about popular search topics. I guess I'm feeling frustrated. Does anyone have any advice to offer? What am I doing wrong?

Much appreciated,
R. Grimsby
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Re: How to Sell More Article Part II

Postby timothywcrane on Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:10 pm

The mantra seems to be write for requests and write often. Getting a list of requests in your inbox makes choosing popular topics a breeze. The hardest part that seems to make or break the success of a writer here is to not become discouraged with unsold inventory and reducing the voracity of your writing.

If you have ever written for content mills, you sell all of the articles you write and you get paid on a pretty regular basis from the start. The downside is the slave wage rates and the inability to write about anything you want. With CC you may have to wait a little longer and do a little of your own promo work, and even see a few articles go unsold, but you have more control over article rates and licensing, as well as written subject matter choice. Sure, some of the content mills have a direct request system, but when clients can get you to write for less than a few cents a word, very few will pay more, no matter how good you are.

The bad side of this is the fact that patience is a virtue needed to succeed here, making a me kinda feel like a whore in church. With the plethora of accounts with zero to only a few articles written, I see that I am not alone.

At least I know this about myself and can try to overcome.

Thanks for all of the great info and advice.
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