Categories
Content Creation Programming

WP Plugin for WLM – Sell Bundles

I created my first WordPress plugin last night. It allows me to sell “bundles” of courses on my MasteringCoronaSDK.com site. WishList Member is an awesome way to handle my membership stuff, but doesn’t have any way to let you sell a bundle of courses at once. So I changed that.

Using their API I dusted off my PHP skillz and created a plugin that allows me to create bundles — I can specify as few or as many courses as I want and when someone buys it, they are added as members to those specific courses.

Besides bundles, it also allows me to add on a course as a bonus. The old, “Buy X now and I’ll also throw in Y, for free!” As far as the plugin is concerned, that’s just another type of bundle.

Selling Bundles in WLM

That link will take you to a 4-minute video that shows what it’s all about. It also allows you to grab the code to make it all happen. It’s free. It’s also *not* the plugin version, but I do tell you how to incorporate it into your site. (Warning, it’s a solution for people who are more technically-oriented.)

Categories
Content Creation Game Development Product Creation Unity Unity 2D

New Unity 2D Game Tutorial Videos

The last couple years I’ve been developing games and tutorials with Corona SDK but I’m always on the lookout for new cool tools. Unity has been around for a long time but I was never really interested in it because it focused on making 3D games — and I don’t really care about those.

But when version 4.3 was released a couple months ago they included tools for creating 2D games and I took another look at it. And it’s cool enough that I’m going to branch out and create tutorials for Unity 2D as well as Corona SDK.

The first series of game dev video tutorials for Unity 2D beginners can be found here:

Unity 2D Game Tutorial

The tutorial is based off the written tutorials from Pixelnest Studio (I received their permission first) and will get you started making a simple shoot ’em up game using Unity.

Categories
Content Creation Game Development Programming

Poked at Javascript or PHP? Want to Try Game Development?

I have a “Crash Course” video tutorial in game development using Corona SDK (a 2D mobile framework) that’s hosted on Udemy:

Game Development Crash Course

The course is free and even better, can be done using the free trial version of Corona SDK. This is for beginners, but I assume you’ve played around with programming at some point, maybe with QBasic back in the day, or done some Javascript coding on your web site, or similar.

It’s fun, it’s quick, and it should whet your appetite for more game development. 😉

Categories
Content Creation Internet Marketing Product Creation

Kindle Publishing Riches! Swoon!

In recent months there have been a rash of “systems” promoting all the money that can be made simply by publishing for the Kindle on Amazon.

“We’ll get rich, Martha! It’s guaranteed! Look, all these other guys are doing it!!!!”

Um, yeah.

Those other guys are not starting from ground level. They have a built-in audience who will buy whatever they pitch. And once you have a base that will help push your Kindle book to the top, it’s within view of “normal” people who might find it interesting and buy a copy.

But the rest of us? Those folks who don’t have tens or hundreds of thousands of people on a list?

We publish to Amazon’s Kindle store, step back and…

*crickets*

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I despise the “internet marketing” world.

Because nobody makes it?

No, some people do. There are exceptions to the rule. But those systems are promoted to make you think you are the exception. Sure, not everyone makes it, but I will!

And maybe you will, but here’s the question I’d like you to think about…

Are you an author? Are you a publisher? No and no? Then why are you messing around with book stuff on Amazon?

“Because it’s the new gold rush! I’ll get rich!!!”

Maybe, but I doubt it, because the people who think like that are “business opportunity seekers” and as much as they like to think they are, they’re not building an internet marketing business. The mark of those people (sorry if this describes you) is someone who was building web sites to flip last month, is publishing Kindle books this month, and will be doing who-knows-what next month.

Always jumping from one “opportunity” to another, because the next one is the one that will finally make all their dreams come true.

Sigh

If you want to write a book because you have a story to tell or information that’s useful to people, write the book. But don’t do it because you think you’ll get rich — odds are you won’t.

Making money as an author has always been a rare thing, and the fact that you can now self-publish doesn’t really change that. In order to make money you need to sell a truck-load of books, and to sell the books you need people to see that book.

In other words, it boils down to traffic. Just like it always has for every product. You need to get eyeballs on the product. Every one of those “gurus” has the traffic in a bag. All they have to do is point it in the right direction to kick start sales.

(Note: I’m not anti-guru. Some of my best friends have been gurus.)

Do you want to make money writing?

About the only surefire way, assuming you have some skill, is freelance writing. Someone hires you and you write something for them in exchange for money.

Writing a book and hoping it sells is like buying a Lotto ticket and waiting for the numbers to be called out.

The guys who are making money with self-publishing — and I mean the real guys, not internet marketers — are the ones who are writers. And they write a book, throw it online and forget about it because they’re busy writing the next book.

And maybe they make a few bucks, but usually not, though that doesn’t stop them. They write the next one and get it online and forget about it. And they keep doing that…

…and according to those guys, the ones actually making money with self-publishing, something magical happens somewhere around book 9 or 10. Sales start to pick up all across their line of books. I’ve heard multiple people give that as their experience. No extra marketing, no special PR blasts, just writing decent quality books and putting them online.

But they don’t write one book and call it good. Or even two. And they don’t expect to get rich because someone sold them a “system” that says Kindle publishing is the road to riches.

The real secrets to self-publishing

Here are two truths — and I believe them to be truth not because I came up with them, but because the guys who have had true success with self-publishing prove these things work:

1. You need to have about 10 books available before you start making any money to speak of. You may get lucky earlier, but assume at least 10 books.

2. Don’t go exclusive with Amazon. If someone uses a Nook, or some other ereader and they hear about your book and it’s not available for them, you may never get them as a reader. Ever. When you self-publish, publish to all of the major venues so your book is available to everyone in every format.

That’s it. The secrets to self-publishing.

Unfortunately for me there’s not enough there to charge $497 for a system.

Categories
Content Creation Miscellaneous Programming

Making Mobile Business Apps with Corona SDK

I’m finishing up the last of the videos for an online course, “Business Apps Using Corona SDK” and just finished the sample app for Lesson 7.

The Lesson 7 videos should be done and online today, and then all I have to do is put up the 3 bonus videos and the course is completely done!

I think it’s turned out pretty well. I wish I’d had something like this available last year, I would have had a lot more apps available! 🙂

Categories
Content Creation Game Development Programming

iPad – Programming on the Go

While some folks continue to claim the iPad is a “consumption device” other people are using it for creation. And not just the artsy-fartsy types who use it for cool “finger paintings” but more and more programmers are getting into the act.

Apple still has some rules in place that keep the iPad from being a total portable software studio, but it’s really close now — depending on what kind of programming you’re into.

Game Development

Probably the leading tool for game programmers is Codea (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/codea/id439571171?mt=8). It uses Lua as the language and includes a graphic framework that allows you to “easily” create games, from simple to complex. All of the games you write have to run right inside Codea — that’s part of the Apple restrictions I mentioned earlier.

However, the guys behind Codea created a “wrapper” that can be used with a Codea-based game and fed into Xcode — and out pops a native app that can be submitted to the App Store. With that addition you can now work on a game on the go (Riding the train to work? On your lunch break?) and when it’s done, convert into a native app.

Web Development

There are a lot of text editors on the iPad that cater to programmers (Textastic and Diet Coda are my two favorites) but there’s a new app available that’s aimed at PHP programmers — and even allows you to run PHP code on your iPad. Offline. You don’t have to be connected to the internet.

That’s an awesome advantage to those of us who have wi-fi iPads and are running from place to place and writing bits of code here and there.

It’s called Kodiak PHP and is brand new on the App Store (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kodiak-php/id542685332?mt=8). Full disclosure, I was given a pre-release copy to play around with but it was with the understanding that I wouldn’t promote it unless I really liked it.

And I do. It’s a very cool tool for anybody who does PHP programming (or wants to get into it). The editor does syntax highlighting and includes an extra row of buttons along the top so you can get to things like $ and ; without needing to switch keyboard layouts.

It’s only $10 after the launch special, but even if you miss the sale it’s worth the price for the ability to code and execute PHP right on your iPad.

If you’re into web development/programming and find yourself away from your desk with time to kill, Kodiak PHP is a cool tool to have at your fingertips.

Look at one of the examples in the screenshot below — grabs info from a Twitter URL in JSON format, decodes it, and displays it on the screen. In PHP, on your iPad. Just way cool.

Kodiak php screenshot1 480

Categories
Content Creation Feature Game Development Programming

Mobile Game Development: Crash Course

On May 5th I’ll be teaching a 2-day course for beginners who want to get started in mobile game development.

Have you ever wanted to create your own game for iPhone, iPad, or Android? This weekend course will show you exactly how to do that!

Get all the details here:

Mobile Game Development: Crash Course

Categories
Content Creation Product Creation

One Reason Publishing Companies Should Die

In the olden days a writer needed a publisher in order to get their book in front of their audience. But with Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Kindle and iBook stores, that’s no longer the case.

And while I could argue for their usefulness still, one thing I continue to see makes me hope for the DEATH of publishing houses in the near future…

..if you charge the same price (or even close) for a digital copy of a book as you do for a physical copy, you are ripping people off. But I see that happen over and over again.

And not just on new books, but older ones as well. Here’s a book from the 1990s that’s cheaper if I buy the physical copy — and if I have a Prime membership I even get free shipping:

Amazon com Interface  9780553383430 Neal Stephenson J Frederick George Books

I’ve seen several stories recently about best-selling authors refusing large advances on their next book because they know they can make more selling it themselves. It’ll be nice when more and more authors (and musicians and other artists) do that and tell the publishing houses to take a hike.

Categories
Article Marketing Content Creation Internet Marketing Product Creation Video Marketing

My Top Internet Marketing Tools

I’ve written a LOT of tools over the years but the ones I use day in and day out are the following (and you’ll notice these are all aimed at creating and promoting products):

Article Architect – While I don’t do tons of article marketing anymore (I do it, but it’s very focused — no more shotgun approach for me) I create content all the time, and I still do most of my writing in AA. It’s one place where I can find all my content and then auto-post it to my WordPress blog or export and upload as an HTML web page.

Sonic Sneak – I’ve been cloaking and tracking my links for years and it’s probably the single best task I’ve ever done. At any time I can look at my dashboard and see which sources are bringing me the traffic. Is it a post on my blog? An article? A forum message? With Sonic Sneak behind the scenes I never have to guess about that, I simply know.

Instant Video Web Pages – Web video is a proven workhorse, whether you’re using it to promote a product, show someone how to use some software, or giving people a glimpse at how clever your cat can be. And since we should make use of it, I created IVWP to make it brain-dead simple to not just put up a video, but put up a complete video web page. Fill in the blanks, choose a template, and boom, it just works.

Product Creation Station – Finally, while I don’t “use” this actual product on a daily basis, the ideas and knowledge that went into creation of this course is what I use to create all the products I crank out. If you want a comprehensive course on info product creation, delivered on a weekly basis, PCS is perfect for you.

Categories
Article Marketing Content Creation Internet Marketing Product Creation

Article Marketing Explained for Kindle

If there’s one thing I’ve preached in the years I’ve been doing internet marketing it’s to reuse and repurpose the content you create. I’m not a big fan of using PLR materials for much when it’s really pretty easy to create your own content.

And once you have that original, unique content, you can put it to use in many different ways.

Here’s a perfect example:

Article Marketing Explained on Amazon

Click that link and you’ll be taken to amazon.com where you’ll see a new ebook on article marketing. While some material is new, the bulk of it was created with content I wrote a year or two ago for a different project (membership web site).

Over the weekend I pulled together the materials, wrote some “glue” content to pull things together, and submitted it to the Kindle book store. Today it’s available.

And honestly, I didn’t know what a thrill it would be to see my name and ebook on amazon.com until I opened the page in my browser. 🙂

I have no idea how sales will be, but the point is that I did most of the work previously and used the content for one project (or more), and now for this project that I can just set and forget. Amazon handles all the sales, order-fulfillment, etc., so I can turn my attention to other projects.

Actually, one of my next projects is to take the same content and either turn it into an ebook app for iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, or get it into the Apple iBooks store.