Bio: Ty Cohen is an accomplished Internet marketer, personal development coach, mentor, internationally known speaker and author who over a decade ago, took a major gamble with his life financially by quitting his corporate job and starting a business of his own.
That business soon became both an offline and online success generating millions of dollars in sales and totally transforming Ty’s life as well as the lives’ of countless others in just a few short years.
Today he is an internationally renowned Internet marketer, business consultant, speaker, radio personality, personal development coach and author of over ½ dozen amazing book titles, but life wasn’t always all roses for him
From Expected Failure to Celebrated Success Story…
As silver spoons go, Mr. Cohen did not start out as a success, in fact his life started out just the opposite. He was born in one of the nation’s most crime ridden and notorious housing projects, Father Panic Village and with the chronic, life treating disease Sickle Cell Anemia.
Ty soon learned that life is what you make it…. As he likes to say, “Either you accept the fate that was handed to you or you make an unwavering decision to create the one you want.”
At age 12, just shortly after losing his older sister to Sickle Cell disease, Ty got another dose of reality while lying in bed at Yale New Haven Hospital. Just outside of his hospital room door, he overheard one of the doctors tell his mother, in a matter of fact tone “Unfortunately Mrs.Cohen, you should not expect your son to live past the age of 17 due to him having Sickle Cell”
At the ripe young age of 12, death became his reality.
He had nothing to live for, either he would die young from the disease that just took his sister’s life or in the mean streets of the ghetto, either way his fate was to die early like many of his peers.
Accepting that an early death was the inevitable for him, as a teenager he started to live a fast, reckless life but soon, something, something very small and very unexpected would change his life forever…
Zephan: Zephan Blaxberg here with another roundof the Year of Purpose podcast, and today I’m joined by Ty Cohen. Now, Ty is an accomplished internet marketer, personal development coach, mentor, internationally known speaker, and author who, over a decade ago, took a major gamble with his life financially by quitting his corporate job and starting a business on his own. That business soon became both an offline and online success generating millions of dollars of sales and totally transforming his life as well as the lives of countless others in just a few short years. Today, he is an internationally renowned internet marketer, business consultant, speaker, radio personality, personal development coach, and author of over half a dozen amazing book titles.
But life wasn’t always this way for him, and this is exactly why I wanted to bring him on the show. So I didn’t want to ruin this in your bio, Ty, but I wanted to see if maybe you could share with us just a little bit about what it really took to get here. Because we all hear about the overnight success, and overnight success really happens over the course of quite a few years.
Ty: Yeah, absolutely. My overnight success was several years, actually. Growing up, I grew up in—I grew up in Connecticut, so here’s the thing that’s gonna blow you away. When you thinking of Connecticut, you’re probably thinking fields, pastures, cows, right, and just really, really awesome suburban areas. But I actually grew up in one of the worst neighborhoods in Connecticut. It was called Bridgeport, Connecticut. If you’re watching, you can go in a do your research. There was a time where we had the highest crime rate and the highest murder rate—and I’m not saying that to gloat, I don’t think those are things that people would be product to announce, but I’m just saying it to pretty much paint the picture as to what my upbringing was like. It wasn’t the best. It wasn’t the silver spoon.
And, in addition to that, I was born with a blood disorder disease called sickle cell anemia, which is something that you’re born with and you never get rid of. There’s not cure for it as of yet. We’re working on that and hopeful we can come up with something. Sickle cell anemia is a disease that causes your blood cells to, instead of being this—they go from this nice, round pliable shape that allows them to easily flow through your veins, your capillaries and everything else, to this hard sickled crusted shape which makes it extremely difficult for them to flow through the blood veins and as a result, they start to clog up. And they can clog up in your joints, your legs, your arms, your chest, and it creates this excruciating pain. It’s this pain that’s unlike anything else.
They actually say—and for the females that are watching, I don’t want to downplay the childbirth pain, but they that this pain is actually worse than that. And the thing about it is it can last for days, it can last for weeks, it can last for months. And they put you on some of the highest medicine that’s out there—Demerol, morphine, delaudid, and things like that—so that shows you how severe this is.
It’s also a chronic disease, so you—people that have it, you tend to fairly die young, in most cases. As a matter of fact, I remember I was in a hospital at one point, and I had been in the hospital for about a month at Yale-New Haven hospital, and just outside my hospital door, I could hear my doctor talking to my mom—and I’m about eleven years old at the time—and he says “Mrs. Cohen, you shouldn’t expect your son to live past the age of seventeen.” Now, I wasn’t supposed to hear that, but I heard it, and for an eleven year old, I’m like “Whoa…” I just was really blow away by that. It was just so surreal. And I sat there and I cried and I cried and I cried and I cried, and I tried to not let my mom know that I had overhead the conversation, because obviously I wasn’t supposed to hear it.
So here I am, I’m done with that, and on top of that, my sister, who also had sickle cell anemia, two years later, she died from it. So this is my reality. I’m thinking “Oh my god, are you serious? Why me, Lord? There’s seven billion people on the earth, why did I have to get this darn thing?” And I actually came up with the thought of “Who better than me?” because it’s been life changing for me.
So me hearing this at eleven years old, a death sentence. My sister dying about two/three years later after that. me just being in this environment where there was nothing but destructiveness—you had death, a lot of my friends were getting killed in their teens, you had a lot of them going to jail because of drug use and crime and things like that. so I actually had it in my head that I probably wouldn’t—the reality for me was that if I made it past the age of seventeen, it would be a miracle, because either I would die from sickle cell anemia or because of the environment that I was growing up in.
So that was the beginning. Things changed for me when, one day, my dad is driving me and my younger brother home from church, and I was just seventeen at the time. I actually never thought about that until just now. I was just seventeen, we were driving home from church, and he had a book in the back seat, and I’m sitting in the back seat and I pick up this book and it’s a book by Les Brown, the motivational speaker. And I had never read anything like this before. I was a huge comic book fan, because—well, that’s another story. I was a big reader, but big into comic books. So I picked up this Les Brown book and we had about a fifteen minute ride back to the house and I’m flipping through it and it’s talking about our personal power and the ability to create our destiny and we’re in control of our lives and someone else’s opinion of you shouldn’t become your reality.
That was the focus for me. Someone else’s opinion of you shouldn’t become your reality. And I was taking it out of context a little bit because those doctors had said I would be lucky to live past seventeen. But I was thinking, at that time, now I’m thinking “This is just his opinion. I don’t have to make this my reality here.” So I actually did something—my next step was something that I shouldn’t have done, but I’m glad I did do it—and my dad has passed since then, so please forgive me if you’re listening somewhere in the universe—but I stole the book out of his backseat.
So I stole the book and I took it home and I locked myself in my bedroom and I stayed up all night reading this thing until about three/four o’clock in the morning. And I was just totally, totally blown away. Because, number one, like I said, I never even heard of the term personal development, and I had never even experienced this. Before, everything else was the destruction. “You’re not good enough,” or “you’re never going to amount to anything,” and here I’ve got someone telling me the total opposite. And he looked like me as well. Les Brown is a black guy, for those of you who may not be familiar with him, but he’s one of the best motivational speakers that are out there. I put him around with Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar and some of the others that are out there.
So that totally, totally changed—that was like a pivotal point my life for me. I know that was a bit longwinded, but I still get excited just thinking about how we have these obstacles or these hands that we’re dealt, right, and it’s not until we realize that we can switch cards at any moment. We can change things at any moment. It doesn’t matter. We could radically change things. We could change things so much so that—now when I think back to what my life used to be, it’s kinda hard. It’s like I’m living in two different universes now. And I’m extremely grateful for it, but it’s just like—it’s just so much different, the house, the environment, the individuals, the people, my health, my finances—just everything. I’m still the same handsome guy here, as you can tell, everything else has changed.
Zephan: So I’m hearing some interesting stuff out of this, only because a lot of the time if we need help, if we’re struggling, if we ask the world for something, if we ask for some sort of a sign, an answer, some hand reaching out, the world tends to give it to us. And it sounds like you were not ready to accept your fate or the decision that someone else had made for you. Like at that moment when you heard what that doctor said, it sounds like you were not willing to accept that as an answer.
Ty: Not at all. And I’ll tell you, I’ve got to thank Spider-Man. I say Spider-Man because, like I said, I was a big comic book fan. And my mom, as a coping mechanism for me having to deal with sickle cell anemia and as I’m in this crisis, she would go in—very smart lady. Didn’t go to college or anything like that, but very, very common sense smart. So she knew that “if I went in and got my son something to take his mind off the pain, then it would help him.” So she would come and get me stacks of comic books, and I would read them. The Hulk, Superman, Batman—and Spider-Man was my favorite. And whenever I would go into a crisis, I would say “Would Spider-Man let this defeat him? Would the Hulk let this pain defeat him? Would he sit here shriveled up or would he break out of it and be able to control it in some way?”
So yes, I was ready at that point, because I looked at—my mentors we superheroes. And in a weird way, we all need mentors to some degree. We need someone to be able to show us a different way. And these superheroes that I read about in the comic books, I said “These guys would find a way out. I need to find a way out. How the hell can I change this?” and that was that.
Zephan: Yeah, and one of the most unique things about stories and superheroes is that, more often than not, they start out as very human beings. Batman wasn’t Batman until he fell into a cave and lost both of his parents. Spider-Man wasn’t Spider-Man until he lost his uncle and accidentally got bitten by a spider. So I think that all of these superhero stories are really metaphorical around our lives. Because the who Spider-Man spider bite, it’s kind of like the person lighting the fire under maybe Les Brown where he first started or someone lighting the fire under you when you first got your start.
So I think that, in reality, we really are all superheroes and we just have to—we look up to these types of superheroes because they’re so exaggerated. The Hulk is this big, green guy, right. So think it’s really cool that we all look up to superheroes, because in the end, I think we all become superheroes because of that.
Ty: That’s beautiful. I’m gonna steal that! That’s gonna become a Facebook post, a Ty Cohen original—
Zephan: Go for it! You just have to tag me.
Ty: “Inspired by Zeph.” There you go.
Zephan: So—yeah, I just love the superhero story. I think that’s why, as kids, we’re all raised to believe in them. So I’m curious, because you were like seventeen when you found this book, most people aren’t fortunate enough to learn about people like this or learn about this whole inspirational motivational world until they’re much older.
Ty: If at all.
Zephan: Yeah, right? And so what do you think it was about his book or about what we was saying that you really latched on to?
Ty: You know what, I think it was just the fact that, number one, it was new to me. I’m a very inquisitive person, I like learning new things. I’ve always been that way. And I think it talked about us being able to control things and being able to take responsibility to a degree and being able to control and direct and steer where we want our lives to go. So that was a totally new concept to me. And I think it allowed me to say to myself “Okay, let me try this. If what’s been working so far”—because I’ve been taking the advice of other people, even if it’s well-meaning but it may not have been the correct advice—doctors and things like that—“let me know start to research my illness.”
Then, we didn’t have Google, the internet, things like that, so I’d jump on the bus and go to the library and things like that, or ride my bike to the library. “Let me start to research my illness. Let me start to find out what really happens when a sickle cell anemia crisis takes place. Let me find out what are some of the things that I can prevent—that I can do to prevent a crisis?” And I found out that things like just changes in the weather. So going from an extreme cold condition to an extreme—or just being exposed to the extreme cold or the extreme heat can trigger a sickle cell anemia crisis. I also found out that stress could trigger a sickle cell anemia crisis. One of the biggest things for me was finding out that caffeine is just—because it restricts the blood cells, the amount of oxygen that’s in the blood cells and I used to love tea. So I’m like “Holy cow, I’m drinking tea two or three times a day and it’s not doing any good for me!”
So just being able to go out there and take Les’ advice, which means that we can control our destiny, and then taking that and saying “Okay, let me educate myself on how I can go about doing that.”
Zephan: Yeah. Absolutely. And I have to ask—how old are you now? Because you were given essentially a lifespan of about five years at that point in time.
Ty: Forty-three, baby!
Zephan: So that just goes to show, whatever you want to make your reality out to be.
Ty: Yep. Absolutely. And the other thing is—I’m ready to change the direction of this whenever you are, but I just want to put this out there as well. There used to be a point where I would get sick and have a sickle cell anemia crisis as least two or three times a month. And I would be in the hospital for either a day to two/three/four weeks, a month and a half at times. Since I started to learn some of the different things to cope with this, I haven’t been in the hospital in years. So—and I’m not a doctor and I’m not advising anyone who may have a chronic illness to go in and take it in their own hands, but do educate yourself. There’s points now when I talk to my doctors where I actually know more than they do and they say “Oh, that’s awesome. Let me go in and research that so I can help my other patients with it,” and it’s—well, they used to be surprised. They’re not surprised anymore because they come into the room with their pens and pads ready to take notes.
Zephan: Well, so for this one, I’m gonna have to quote Spider-Man and say with great power comes great responsibility, but I’m gonna change that and say with great knowledge comes great responsibility.
So you’re got a very unique story here. I’d love to move into how you’ve been able to successfully live your life beyond what could have been very debilitating. Because I think far too many people just make the excuse and think “Alright. That’s it. This is my death sentence,” and they accept it and this is where they’re supposed to go. And you’re really someone who said “Uh-uh. This is not gonna happen. I’m gonna do everything in my power to get this until my control as best as possible and to create the best out of it.” So I’d love to hear how you’ve been able to create very successful businesses and really given yourself a passionate and amazing life.
Ty: Yeah, absolutely. So I started working when I was fifteen. My first job was Walgreens Pharmacy. I worked for Walgreens ten years, and one of my managers, he was having—he was getting married, and I ended up going to his wedding. And he lived in a different town called Tremble, Connecticut, and he had this incredible house, and I’d never seen anything like that before. And I said “Wow, there’s people that actually live like this. I need this in my life.” So I sought out to figure out how can I increase my finances. One of the ways was, because I was a comic book collector, I also collected a lot of actions figures and things like that. So I had more action figures than I knew what to do with. GI Joes and just everything—Marvel, DC.
I said “I need to start selling some of these. Maybe I can generate income doing that.” So I started studying folks like—we were talking about Dan Kennedy before we actually went live—so I started studying folks like Dan Kennedy, [inaudible 17:37], Gary Halbert and all these great copywriters, and I would go down to the library and pick up business books and take them home. And after I got out of work, work at Walgreens from two to ten at night, I would then got some and read these books from like eleven to, again, three/four in the morning and wake up the next morning exhausted and do it all over again.
So I ended up starting a company called Planet Toys where I would sell all of these toys. I would buy collections, and knew not what I was doing—but I would go in, buy collections, and then resell the pieces individually and make a profit, and then I would continue to do that. I started writing copy and publishing ads into specialty magazines like Toy Shop and Action Figure Digest and all these other magazines that were out there. And then I got that business to a point where it was doing really well, and I had no clue what the heck I was doing. Because it could have probably done ten times as well had I know what I was really doing or had I had some time of a formal business education or maybe if I had some YouTube videos or some courses or Dan Kennedy seminary to go to, right.
So I took that business, and then around that time was when the internet was just coming around a point where the masses were accepting it. So I started to ten study online marketing and how to build a website, and my first site was just incredibly, incredibly ugly. It was like a black background with white text—it was just the total opposite of what you should be doing. And I started to get some sales. I got my first sale, and that first sale really put a spark in me. When I got that first sale, I said “Okay, this is possible. If one person buys this, there’s gotta be ten”—I wasn’t thinking thousands or hundreds. I said “There’s gotta be at least ten more people that want to buy this.” So that was my journey into online marketing.
And then from there, I went to creating books that taught people how to start online businesses, selling those in a digital format, like an ebook format, from my own website. And just around THAT time was when Kindle publishing came into places and I started dabbling with Kindle Publishing and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done because it’s created an amazing—like I already had a good lifestyle with the other businesses, but when Kindle Publishing came on, it really just opened up the doors for me and allowed me to teach just literally—I’ve taught tens of thousands of individuals how to publish their own books on Amazon’s Kindle platform. And that’s where we’re at now.
Zephan: [cut in] I love this episode so far, and I want to take a brief moment to talk about improving yourself each day. I know you’re a huge fan of living life on your own terms, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my journey, we need to constantly grow and look to others who have been in our shoes. Which is why I’ve partnered up with Audible to give you one free download of your choice from over a hundred and eighty thousand books. Start your free thirty day trial but visiting yearofpurpose.com/audible. Now back to the show.
Zephan: Very cool. And this is actually something that I picked up recently, because—you know, I never was a writer, I actually—funny story, I’ve told a couple people this. My mom was an occupational therapist and—well, still is, but—growing up, she would practice on me. I was the guinea pig. And one of the things that she would do is she would teach these kids how to properly hold a pen, or pencil, and so practice on me, being the little rebel that I was as a kid, she would sit there with me and put those little funky things on that makes you hold the pencil properly—the little foam thingies—and I had taught myself around that how to not hold a pencil properly.
So I always hold a pencil kinda weird, like this, when I write, and it makes it much harder for me to write. So all through college, like I always hate writing papers, I always hated taking notes. I never thought I would be a writer. And, on top of that, you never think you have a message that other people want to hear. You never realize how much information you actually know about a certain subject. And so that’s—this is a really cool topic and that’s why I’m excited to talk to you about this. Is that everybody either has a story or has knowledge on a certain thing that you can write about, and you can be very surprised how easy it is to be able to publish an ebook and actually make money off of it.
So I wonder if we could go into a little bit of what does that process look like when you’re creating these Kindle books and how to people figure out what it is that they can actually write about?
Ty: Yeah, absolutely. You know, every New Year, one of the top ten goals is to write a book. As you said, everyone has a story within them. We all want to—or if not a story within us, we all have expertise in some area that we downplay, whether we might be great at quilting or we might be good at podcasting or videography or whatever it may be. So Amazon has given us—me, you, and just the average individual, the individual that’s watching this video or listening to this audio right now—the ability to use their platform to go in and either get our story out, if that’s the direction we want to go in, or to be able to go in and share our knowledge with other people.
Or if you simply want to use the platform as a way to generate income, you can do that as well. Because a lot of ebooks that I publish, I have no interest in the topic. Like Japanese tomato gardening, I could care less about growing, but I know that it’s a money maker, so we go out and I publish books on that subject.
So, again, Amazon has given us this platform, it’s called the KDP platform, which is short for Kindle Direct Publishing. And you can actually go in and take a look at it at kdp.amazon.com. You’ll see that they give you a few cool things. Number one, they give you the option to sign up for free, so you can become a publisher for free. They don’t even charge you—and there’s a reason behind that, we’ll talk about hat in a minute.
The other thing is you can literally—I know you probably have an international audience, so this is just—it’s not restricted just to the United States or just to Canada or Australia. There are dozens of countries you can publish your content from. So if you live in like New Zealand, that’s totally doable. I’ve got one of my top students who lives in Perth, Australia and the dude makes like twenty thousand dollars a month, and he’s sixty-seven years old. His name is Darren DeVry, I’m really proud of this guy.
The other thing is Amazon allows you to, number one, make your content available globally. So it give you like this global platform. They have this built in customer base. They’ve got three hundred million people that have their credit cards on file with Amazon, so it makes it super easy to go in and find customers for whatever it is that you’re publishing. Your customers will actually find you.
So let’s go into some of the steps. The first step is to figure out what it is you want your ebook to be about. so do you want it to be an ebook that is more on a non-fiction side of things where you’re teaching people how to go in and put together your own podcast or how to market your podcast? How to get more viewers for your podcast or your video cast?
The second thing is, once you do that—that’s called a market research. You figure out, number one, what do you want to publish your ebook on and then number two, you go in and do that market research, find out if people are actually looking for that type of material. Because I’d hate for you to go in and put the effort into this and then no one’s looking for it. So there’s some pretty cool ways to go in and do the market research. The first is to search Amazon.com itself to find out if there’s competition. Competition is good in this sense. You go in, find out if there’s anything else published around your subject matter, find out if people are buying it.
Now, the way you can find out if people are buying it is if you look at the sales rank for any particular book that you’re looking at. Have you ever seen that? If you go on Amazon and on the left hand side, towards the bottom, and you’ll see a sales rank and there’s numbers there. So if it’s got a sales rank of anything less than forty thousand—I actually like to say less than twenty thousand—then it’s a good seller. It’s something that people are actually buying. If the sales rank is like one point six million then you need to go and do more research because people are not interested in that.
Or another way of doing your market research is to use Google. You can use Google’s search platform. And their actually—their software that you can use is called the Google Keyword Planner. I almost forgot about it, because they switched up this thing. They’ll change it up every once in a while, but now the name is the Google Keyword Planner. Hopefully if you’re not watching this video four or five years from now, they haven’t switched it out. But if you go to Google, type in Google Keyword Planner, type in the idea you’re considering publishing your ebook around. And it could be something like “how to build a raised deck” and Google will show you a few things. Number one, they’ll show you how many people have searching in that phrase within the last thirty days.
Number two, they’ll give you similar phrase that people are search, so other things that people are looking for. It might be something “how to paint a deck.” You’ve got fifty-two thousand people that types in “how to paint a deck” within the last month. And you may have seventy thousand people who typed in “how to build a raised deck” within the last month. I like to find—for me, over the years, I found that if I find where the monthly search volume is between ten thousand and a hundred thousand, then that’s a good indicator that there’s some demand there. So between ten thousand and a hundred thousand.
And the reason why is because if it’s less that ten thousand, then the market place is just really small. Like we want to make money off of this thing. And if it’s more than ten thousand, then you’re offering more competition. There’s more competition that’s out there.
So that’s the first step there, is to market research. Number one, come up that idea, number two, figure out if people are actively buying this, if they’re going to pay money for it. So—does that make sense? Do you have any questions on that?
Zephan: Yeah. No, it makes perfect sense. I guess the next question—this is probably one of your next steps, is how do you figure out getting all this information together in one place because maybe you don’t have all the answers?
Ty: Absolutely. So for me, I’m in the same boat as you. I despise writing. I despise writing so much that I wanted to prove it, so I failed English 101 not once just twice. So that—[laughing] so you gotta be a pretty bad writer, you’ve gotta be terrible with grammar and everything else and that’s a whole other story. So there’s a few ways you can do this. The first way is you can write yourself. If you want to be individuals like my wife and one of my business partners. They just love writing and they can crank out a book in like two to three days. I really envy those guys. I pretty much—I just don’t like them much, to be honest with you.
So the second way is you can go in an outsource it. I want to throw this out there—when I say you can write it yourself, when you’re selling a Kindle book, think shorter books. You’re not selling—more to the length of a report. So these are like thirty or fifty pages. We’re not talking about the Bible, we’re not talking about any of the books that you might see because me here that are a hundred, two hundred pages. People now have shorter attention spans, especially when they’re reading an ebook on a mobile device like their phone or their Kindle device or tablet. They want to be able to go in and, if its fiction, they want to be entertained, get a short burst of entertainment. Or if it’s non-fiction, they want to go in and get a solution to a problem that you’re providing. “How to build a raised deck: Bam, bam, bam. Here’s how you do it.” There’s no filler, no fluff, you just give them the solution.
So with that said, these are forty/fifty/sixty—I never publish anything that’s more than seventy-five pages.
The other way that you can get this done is you can go in and outsource it, which is how I’ve actually published 99.9% of the books that I sell. I’ve hired writers on sites like—and if you’re watching, maybe grab a pen—guru.com. There’s another site called—it used to be called Odesk, but they just recently changed the name. It’s called Upwork now. So Upwork—U-P-W-O-R-K—dot-com. And then elance.com. And my favorite site for going in and hiring writers and outsourcers, in this order, would be Upwork, number one. I’ve hired dozens of writers from that site. And then after that, I would use Guru and then Elance last.
I just really love Upwork because they’ve got—there’s just a lot of security measures in place. There’s an escrow feature that you can use. Guru has one as well—I think Elance may have one as well, now, but I haven’t used them in years.
So those are the two ways. You go in, you write it yourself. Again, they’re shorter books, and if you’re someone who’s passionate about writing or you just don’t mind being creative and just going in and doing the research, you can go in and pen it yourself. If not, you can go in and outsource it to someone.
What’s cool about this is the folks that you’re hiring on these freelance sites, in most cases, they’re great researchers as well. So not only are they good at writing, but they’re also good at going in and finding out what should be included in the book. Like what should you include? And I make sure that everything I get back from my writers is high quality content. Because this is a real business, it’s something that can generate you income for years and years and years. I’ve been doing it for five years now. And you want to make sure that you’re publishing quality content and you want to make sure that you relay that to your writers also.
So what I do is I ask them for a few things before they turn in a finished project, if you’re outsourcing. I’ll ask them to give me a summary first, before they start writing the book. Because if you can’t give me a decent summary, there’s no way in hell you’re gonna give me a decent forty or fifty page ebook. So it’s a prequalifier, and the summary is only two to three paragraphs. Then I’ll use that summary in a few different places. I don’t know how much time we got but you let me know where to start, where to stop—
Zephan: Yeah, man, you’re good for now.
Ty: Okay, cool. So then I’ll take that summary. Your most important parts of your ebook are going to be, number one, your title. I like to say that your title is your first line of defense. People—when we’re searching through Amazon, we type in our keywords when we’re looking for a book, and the first thing we look at in most cases is the title to see if it’s something that we’re looking for. If it’s what resonates with us. If we type in “how to fix a car” or “how to become a mechanic” and we type this into Amazon, we’re gonna look at those titles and we’re going to—subconsciously, we’re going to gravitate towards the ones that most resembles the title that we put in. so your titles are your first line of defense.
Your second line of defense is your cover. And covers you can have created for fairly cheap on the same times that I just gave you. I never spend more than ten bucks for an ebook cover. Once I find out that this ebook is selling and it’s actually generating significant income, then I may go in and spend more money on the cover. But initially, I keep the cost low, as well as the time investment. So your cover is your second line of defense. Now, that varies, depending on if you’re selling to men or women. Because men, we’re more visual—which gets us in a lot of trouble sometimes—so we pay more attention to the covers. Women are more analytical, so they’ll pay more attention to the titles first.
And then your third line of defense would be that description. So that’s where your summary comes into place. you use that summary that your writer has provided and you can add that into your description and then actually go in and pretty it up if you want, add some more content to it if you want, or just post it as is.
So, number one, you go back and decided “Do I want to write this ebook myself or do I want to outsource?” and then you can use those three sets—Guru, Elance, or Upwork. And then the second thing is you go in and start working on a title, the cover, and then that description because those are your first, second, and third lines of defense.
Zephan: So, quick question for you, because I’m sure it’s on everybody’s minds right here. If you were to go and outsource this, how much does something like that cost on average? If we’re paying somebody to write forty to sixty pages of content, doing some of the research, does this mean that I’ve got to shell out ten thousand dollars upfront? What does this look like?
Ty: Great question. The first ebook that I ever had outsourced—it was a learning lesson. I spent seven hundred bucks on it. I spend seven hundred dollars and I thought it was a great deal. Now I don’t spend any more than a hundred and fifty bucks ever. Ever. And now I look back at the seven hundred bucks and I’m like “This dude owes me four more books.” And a hundred to a hundred and fifty dollars is usually what I pay to get an ebook written.
Now, here’s how you do tha.t when you go in and use any of these outsourcing sites, you want to be totally transparent, totally transparent in what your expectations are. “I want a fifty page book that talks about how to navigate Windows 10, and I want it to be written in Arial”—this is the font type—“and I want the font size to be ten point or twelve point. I want the margins, all the way around, top/bottom to be no more than an inch around or half inch”—just be very specific. You don’t have to be anal about it, but just let them know and then, at the bottom, you’re gonna say—or even at the top so there’s no surprises—you’re gonna say “My budget is $125/$150” and then you tell them what you expect. You want the summary, and then you want the actual report.
It’s very important that you always phrase it as being a report, not an ebook or book. Because the words “ebook” and “book” have a higher perceived value, and those people are thinking “Wow, he wants me to write a book. There’s no way I’m gonna do this for a hundred bucks.” So a report minimizes it a bit.
And then the other thing is you always want to make sure that you own the rights. So in your description, you’re going to put in—I just put a disclaimer in. “Once you’re fully paid, I will own the rights, all rights, including the by line and resale rights.” So that goes into your project description.
And it may seem a little bit intimidating at first, but if you go back, you watch this video, and you do it two or three times—because you don’t want to sell one ebook. You want to go in and just open he flood gates. So after you do it a few times and you can literally—I remember, I was at my daughter’s cheer practice, and I’m writing out a description here for a friend of mine, because he wanted to get involved with it. I literally wrote out this description in two minutes and he couldn’t believe it. And in my head, I’m thinking “Is he serious? There’s nothing to this,” but he was pretty much overcomplicating it. But that’s because, number one, it was his first time seeing it done and, number two, I’ve done it dozens of times, so it gets easier, it’s like riding a bike.
Zephan: Yeah. And so—this has been a really cool talk and obviously one of our longer ones, but I think we have some really cool stuff here, because not only do we get to hear your amazing story, but you’d really provided everyone listening in today with—I mean, this could be pour next—this could be your way out. If you’re in a 9-to-5, if you hate what you’re doing, if you’re looking for something different. Maybe you’re bored, maybe you just need a new hobby. It sounds like this is a really great option for people.
You said this sis something you’ve coached a lot of people in. Do you have a website or somewhere where people can check this out and learn more about you and your trainings for this?
Ty: Yeah, absolutely. You can go to kindlecashflow.com. So it’s Kindle—K-I-N-D-L-E—Cash—C-A-S-H—Flow—F-L-O-W—dot-com. And if you ever have any questions, listen, I love talking about this stuff. I love talking about marketing in general. So, Zeph, you can I have to jump on the phone or Skype or something because in know you have a bit of a marketing background. But if you’re watching this and you have questions, I’m a firm believer that there’s no such thing as a dumb questions. That’s how you learn, that’s how you grow.
Contact me on Facebook. You can reach out to me on facebook.com/CohenTy. T-Y, so it’s C-O-H-E-N-T-Y. And just shoot me a message. “Hey, Ty, I saw your video with Zeph. How do I do this? What’s the best price point for me to price this on?” There’s no such thing as a dumb question. I’d love to hear from you because I’d love to hear that you’re getting results, I want to hear from you even more. Just let me know “Hey, Ty, I’m making five hundred bucks a month with this” or “a thousand bucks a month” or whatever it might be. That just tickles me to death.
Zephan: Very cool, man. So it’s kindlecashflow.com?
Ty: Yes. I’ve got some cool videos. Actually, videos that are much more detailed than what we just went over, so you can go in and check those out.
Zephan: Awesome, man. Well, it’s been great speaking with you and we’re definitely gonna keep up this conversation because we’ve got a lot more to talk about. But thanks for being here for this podcast episode and we’ll talk to you soon.