I have been sending some of my articles to IdeaMarketers for a long time and one day I decided to look at the website of the person who runs this wonderful resource. I discovered that the person behind it is a lady called Marnie Pehrson. She runs quite a few websites and most of them with different themes and ideas. Indeed, after reading her answers to my questions, I’ve learned a few new things. I’m sure you will as well …
Aneeta: Hi Marnie, thank you for taking part in this interview.
Marnie: Thank you for this opportunity.
Aneeta: To begin with, please tell me a little about you – where you came from, where you live, how you got into this business and a little about your career.
Marnie: I’m a wife and mother of 6. We live on 24 acres in Ringgold, Georgia, which is about an hour and a half north of Atlanta. I got into business back in 1990 when my husband had a job transition that didn’t work out. I started doing computer training from my home. Eventually I wrote a book on How to Run a Successful Computer Training Business from Home and started marketing it on AOL and Compuserve. I’d upload a sample chapter and people would send me checks in the mail for the book.
In 1995-1996 I got into Web development with a friend that I met on Compuserve, and we started an online mall. Over the years I’ve continued to develop niche sites like IdeaMarketers.com , SheLovesGod.com , 1ChapterFree.com, BelieversAtWork.com, LocateACoach.com and most recently SyndicatedWriters.com . My next project is ReadyToPublish.com, which I hope to launch in late April 2006.
Aneeta: You’ve done many things and it’s hard to think of where to start. But, let’s start with the most applicable one to storytellers, your experiences as an author. Tell me a little about how you started out as an author, the kinds of book you’ve published and any that you may have in the pipeline.
Marnie: As I said, I started with “How to Run a Successful Computer Training Business from Home.” After that was “How to Get & Keep Customers for Your Computer-Based Business.” Then I went into a season of Web development. With SheLovesGod.com that I opened in 2000, I wrote weekly study lessons for my subscribers. Eventually many of the concepts from these study lessons went into “10 Steps to Fulfilling Your Divine Destiny” and “Lord, Are You Sure?”
In 2003, a romance novelist friend of mine, Marcia Lynn McClure, introduced me to her distributor and they picked up “Lord, Are You Sure?” along with a couple other of my inspirational books. Between reading Marcia’s novels and my distributor suggesting I try fiction, I decided to write a historical romance novel that I’d been mulling for years about my 4th Great Grandmother, Dicey Langston. She was a Revolutionary War heroine who carried information she overheard from her Loyalist neighbors to her brothers in the Patriot cause.
Writing Dicey’s story completely hooked me on fiction. Since then I’ve written 4 additional novels that have gone to print and 10 ebooks. Marcia Lynn McClure and I started the www.CleanRomanceClub.com in February of 2004 and both our ebooks are available there.
I’ve also continued my inspirational writing and last fall released “You Can’t Fly If You’re Still Clutching the Dirt: How to Stop Worrying and Achieve Your God-given Potential.” As for the future, a publisher has picked up Hannah’s Heart and plans to release it in a romance series sometime this summer. I’m currently turning one of my Civil War period ebooks, Angel and the Enemy, into a full-length novel.
Aneeta: I understand that you’ve been in the online business since the Web’s infancy. How long is this? What have you learned/observed thus far?
Marnie: Back when I first started, I was one of very few people using articles as a marketing tool. In fact, if you look at the article directories on the Web through Alexa, www.IdeaMarketers.com has been around the longest. Since then “article PR” has become a major method of promoting yourself online. I feel truly blessed to be in on the start of it.
What I’ve learned is that in order to succeed long-term on the Web, one must be willing to continue to learn and adapt. Those who last are those who persevere with determination and adaptability. For me, during the dot-com bust a few years back, it was having multiple streams of income that left my business growing instead of disintegrating as some of my friends’ businesses did.
Aneeta: I also understand that you run a number of websites. I think the best way to tackle this would be for you to explain what each one is about and in particular, how they could help storytellers.
IdeaMarketers is a place for people to post articles that they’ve written or even book excerpts and reviews, and then link to their sites for more information (and hopefully sales). Webmasters and ezine editors come to IdeaMarketers looking for content. We even have print publications that use the site. They can then request permission to use the articles. “Payment” is promotion. When the article is reprinted, the author’s bio, contact information and link to their site are included. It’s a way to build link popularity, traffic and a reputation for expertise on the Web.
This is the site where I showcase all my books. You can find sample chapters, make purchases, read my personal blog, or read a sneak peek of what’s new.
You can download a free e-book here on “How to Become a Syndicated Columnist on the Web” which walks you through how to use this site (and IdeaMarketers) to create your own syndication feed. This is a great way to advertise your products or services because it puts your work (and a link to your Web site) automatically out on multiple web sites through our streaming technology.
Pehrson Web Group is the home base for all my Web projects. You’ll find links to my Web sites as well as links to client sites. I offer a unique Web service that includes Web design, hosting, promotion and maintenance for authors who want to launch themselves and their work on the Web.
Christians can sign up for a free writer account here and post articles, poetry or stories. This site is multi-denominational and while it’s primarily geared toward women, we do have some men who post and they are most welcome to do so.
The theme of this book is “Don’t judge a book by its cover, read a chapter instead.” Authors receive a free profile page and may list their books here along with sample chapters.
This is a site for coaches to showcase their articles, teleclasses, specials, books and more. LocateACoach is closely integrated into IdeaMarketers and the true value of this site goes far beyond the listing coaches receive on LocateACoach. It’s leveraged with prominent promotion on IdeaMarketers.com – a site that receives between 1.2 and 1.5 million page views/month.
This site is a directory of ebooks. Anyone who has a writer account at IdeaMarketers.com may post up to one ebook for free that will appear in the BuildEbooks directory. BuildEbooks also has links to resources and articles about building and promoting ebooks.
Aneeta: That’s quite a lot of information to digest. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Marnie: I do have a free teleclass I’m offering that may interest your readers: “Insider Secrets to Self-Publishing” on Tuesday, April 11th. You may register at http://www.ideamarketers.com/services/selfpublishing.cfm
Aneeta: How can my readers contact you?
Marnie: They may reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 706-866-2295.
Aneeta: Thank you, once again.
Marnie: Thank you! I appreciate this opportunity to speak to your readers.
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