This is part one of a three-part-post about publishing blogs to Amazon Kindle. I have been asked to write it by various people on Twitter, so my apologies to all my non-blogging readers, and to those for whom the topic holds no interest. The remaining two posts will follow on Tuesday and Wednesday, with normal service resuming after that. For those who asked for the tutorial, I hope it’s useful.
Earlier this year I published my blog on Amazon Kindle. I did it partly out of idle curiosity and mostly to help my search engine ranking when someone Googles the name of my blog. I forgot all about it until someone tweeted me to congratulate me on my ‘best seller’ status; at that time More than Just a Mother was #9 in the Amazon Kindle blog charts. All very nice, but I promptly put it out of my mind again until a cheque arrived in the post. Then it got my attention. I’ve since had a second cheque and at the time of writing (it changes daily) More than Just a Mother is #12 in the overall Kindle blog charts, and at #3 in the ‘Humour andSatire’ category.
What’s the bottom line?
Amazon sets the price of all blogs on the Kindle store, with most set at either 99p or £1.99 for a monthly subscription. They retain a mammoth 70% of this, while you receive the remaining 30%. Now, if I were to publish an ebook I would not for a second consider it a good business decision to allow a publisher to keep 70% of my earnings, but this is not an ebook, this is a blog. My blog is freely available on the internet, it’s content I write anyway and therefore any money earned from Kindle blog sales is a bonus. Since April this year I’ve earned an average of £50 per month from Kindle sales; not a fortune, but enough to keep me in gin. More or less.
Why publish a blog to Kindle?
Like I said, it’s free money – why wouldn’t you do it? But aside from the – admittedly small – income stream it provides, I think there are good reasons to publish your blog to Kindle. I mentioned earlier that I was motivated by SEO, and my Amazon listing now appears as the third entry when I Google my blog’s name (which, naturally, I do frequently). Secondly, any publicity is good publicity, so I figured that even if no-one subscribed to my blog via Kindle, at least I was raising the profile of my blog. Thirdly, I write for a living. I regularly use my blog as a vehicle to demonstrate my online influence and my ability to build an audience. Writing the third best-selling humorous blog in the world (hey, the stats don’t lie) helps persuade magazine editors to commission me and will, I hope, one day convince a publisher that my novels might be worth a punt. The final reason is, in my view, the most important. Making my blog available on Kindle is simply making my content more accessible to readers. It gives them more options. Just as some of my readers prefer to subscribe to posts via email, or via a RSS reader, so some prefer to read on a Kindle.
What’s the catch?
There isn’t one. Not really. It takes about half an hour to publish your blog to Kindle, and then you can sit back and forget about it. That said, if you carry advertising on your blog, you need to weigh up the stats for yourself, particularly if you have pay-per-click ads. I run adverts but my site traffic seems to satisfy my advertisers, so for the time being I’m not concerned that 500 readers (300 Kindle subscribers and 200 email subscribers) never actually click through to the blog.
How do you do it?
That’s tomorrow’s lesson, I’m afraid, as this post is far too long already. In part two I’ll take you through the very easy process of publishing a blog to Kindle, then part three will cover tips for marketing your blog on Kindle. Bet you can’t wait.