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EmmaRoid

Micro-Incomes And Blogging

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I know there's plenty of people in Web type work here, so where are the good resources for starting something like this?

Something very basic, just a hobby based blog that you fill with regular blogs about your hobby that you want to try to monetize a little without putting out blatant spamming shit.

Obviously Google points you in the direction of sites and forums but some HPC off topic filtering wouldn't go amiss.

Thanks all

:)

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As far as the mechanics of setting the blog up are concerned, something like Wordpress may be your best bet. I tend to deal more with the programming than the "content" so it's not an area I deal with so much.

That will get your site up and running and then you can create your content and add to it over time.

Monetising such a thing can be tricky though - it depends on what it is (you may not wish to say).

For instance if your ultimate goal were to be editor of an economics column then your (in this example, economics) blog might get you the job but it doesn't make money directly.

If you're a specialist in a consulting area then a blog may well give you the authority and advance credibility you need to approach clients, for instance.

I have dealt with a fair few proposals over the years to build what I'd call "hobby" sites - one was football, a site for local teams with some sort of sequence designer. It would have cost at least £20k to build (complex Flash based designer thing) and there was no obvious revenue stream. That's one example, but there have been lots like this.

The work I do with SME clients is more "consultant" than just "programmer" so I always have one eye on "will this actually make any money?" because fundamentally at its most basic level, since I do lots of e-commerce stuff, I exist to make my clients money. And the more they make, the more likely they are to keep me. "Everyone wins" :)

But if you have the idea thought out, then spend an evening or two playing around with Wordpress or whatever anyone else recommends should begin to make the idea become a reality as far as getting the site up is concerned.

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Basics:

Get a domain name. You don't want to be stuck if you outgrow a Wordpress.com/Blogger site. Or if they decide they no longer like you.

Technology:

In terms of platforms: Self hosted Wordpress > Blogger > Wordpress.com in my view. But Blogger & Wordpress.com are free... I started off on blogger sites for everything - but eventually moved onto self hosted Wordpress.

Resources:

http://www.smartpassiveincome.comis not a bad start for giving you a few ideas of how to make it work. Feel free to also PM if you want to bounce ideas as I know a few people have made this kind of hobbyist site work quite well (including myself - although I do less nowadays).

I would also say the Four Hour Work Week is a dated (technology wise) but good read for inspiration, but will encourage you to make sure it doesn't become an enormous time suck if it morphs from hobby to business. Lean start up is another good (and more recent) read.

Finance wise:

Keep all of your receipts etc for self assessment if it becomes more than a hobby at some point.

Amazon associates, Google adsense and perhaps eBayPartnernetwork are good initial sources of micro-income if your hobby suits them (and the barriers to getting approval from them are fairly low). But with Amazon in particular, bear in mind you may need to sign up for different countries (e.g. US and UK etc.) - and more niche affiliate partnerships could be more profitable in the long run.

Advice

Take it slow. Don't launch a zillion social media presences, an online shop, commit to daily updates etc. Unless you are unemployed, you'll likely kill your enthusiasm for both your hobby and your blog in a month or so.

Why are you doing it? Pick either: money or vanity. If you are doing it for recognition, you'll make different choices to those in it for money.

Pay attention. Expect to be surprised. That post you dashed off in five minutes on a slightly peripheral topic might end up being the direction you should shift your entire blog/monetisation programme in. Equally, that brilliant post you spend days crafting might never be read by anyone other than your mum. Experiment - a friend of mine makes £100+/month with Adsense. I've never made more than £60/year from it.

Know when to stop banging your head against a brick wall. If no-one's interested after a year (recognition) or you've made no cash (money) despite putting lots of time into it- then it's time to move on and look at another area. It probably ain't going to happen for you in this area. A blog should be at least able to wash its face (i.e. cover costs) in first year.

Give a lot of thought to marketing. At least as much as writing. Blogging is not a field of dreams sadly. You'll have to work to get people to it.

Be clear what you are doing with your blog. If it's about inmates on death row, don't do a post about flower arranging - just because it's another hobby of yours. Create a new blog.

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As far as the mechanics of setting the blog up are concerned, something like Wordpress may be your best bet. I tend to deal more with the programming than the "content" so it's not an area I deal with so much.

That will get your site up and running and then you can create your content and add to it over time.

Monetising such a thing can be tricky though - it depends on what it is (you may not wish to say).

For instance if your ultimate goal were to be editor of an economics column then your (in this example, economics) blog might get you the job but it doesn't make money directly.

If you're a specialist in a consulting area then a blog may well give you the authority and advance credibility you need to approach clients, for instance.

I have dealt with a fair few proposals over the years to build what I'd call "hobby" sites - one was football, a site for local teams with some sort of sequence designer. It would have cost at least £20k to build (complex Flash based designer thing) and there was no obvious revenue stream. That's one example, but there have been lots like this.

The work I do with SME clients is more "consultant" than just "programmer" so I always have one eye on "will this actually make any money?" because fundamentally at its most basic level, since I do lots of e-commerce stuff, I exist to make my clients money. And the more they make, the more likely they are to keep me. "Everyone wins" :)

But if you have the idea thought out, then spend an evening or two playing around with Wordpress or whatever anyone else recommends should begin to make the idea become a reality as far as getting the site up is concerned.

Cheers Mark, you're thinking of something far grander than I had in mind to start with. The ultimate aim is the promotion of a business online but I want to play around with how online marketing works first. Blogging/affiliates etc seemed like a start.

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Basics:

Get a domain name. You don't want to be stuck if you outgrow a Wordpress.com/Blogger site. Or if they decide they no longer like you.

Technology:

In terms of platforms: Self hosted Wordpress > Blogger > Wordpress.com in my view. But Blogger & Wordpress.com are free... I started off on blogger sites for everything - but eventually moved onto self hosted Wordpress.

Resources:

http://www.smartpassiveincome.comis not a bad start for giving you a few ideas of how to make it work. Feel free to also PM if you want to bounce ideas as I know a few people have made this kind of hobbyist site work quite well (including myself - although I do less nowadays).

I would also say the Four Hour Work Week is a dated (technology wise) but good read for inspiration, but will encourage you to make sure it doesn't become an enormous time suck if it morphs from hobby to business. Lean start up is another good (and more recent) read.

Finance wise:

Keep all of your receipts etc for self assessment if it becomes more than a hobby at some point.

Amazon associates, Google adsense and perhaps eBayPartnernetwork are good initial sources of micro-income if your hobby suits them (and the barriers to getting approval from them are fairly low). But with Amazon in particular, bear in mind you may need to sign up for different countries (e.g. US and UK etc.) - and more niche affiliate partnerships could be more profitable in the long run.

Advice

Take it slow. Don't launch a zillion social media presences, an online shop, commit to daily updates etc. Unless you are unemployed, you'll likely kill your enthusiasm for both your hobby and your blog in a month or so.

Why are you doing it? Pick either: money or vanity. If you are doing it for recognition, you'll make different choices to those in it for money.

Pay attention. Expect to be surprised. That post you dashed off in five minutes on a slightly peripheral topic might end up being the direction you should shift your entire blog/monetisation programme in. Equally, that brilliant post you spend days crafting might never be read by anyone other than your mum. Experiment - a friend of mine makes £100+/month with Adsense. I've never made more than £60/year from it.

Know when to stop banging your head against a brick wall. If no-one's interested after a year (recognition) or you've made no cash (money) despite putting lots of time into it- then it's time to move on and look at another area. It probably ain't going to happen for you in this area. A blog should be at least able to wash its face (i.e. cover costs) in first year.

Give a lot of thought to marketing. At least as much as writing. Blogging is not a field of dreams sadly. You'll have to work to get people to it.

Be clear what you are doing with your blog. If it's about inmates on death row, don't do a post about flower arranging - just because it's another hobby of yours. Create a new blog.

Thanks, thats great. I'll try smartpassiveincome. As I said to Mark, the end point is something else but this is probably a good start.

As for the reasons, vanity? :lol: It will be about the money and how it works, hopefully some transferable skills at the end of it. It would genuinely be hobbyist thing, for example - I like beer, here's some beer I tried, here's some good pubs i went to, Interesting places associated with beer, I make my own beer etc (The actual topic has nothing to do with beer before anyone starts) and if it makes even the smallest bit of money, it'll have to go in my wife's name who is below the income tax threshold.

If anyone else could point me in the direction of useful resources to read up on, I'd be very grateful.

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I've hit straight on the point about "monetising it" perhaps because actually, monetising internet activity is harder than some people imagine than it is.

Actually there's a video about this which I suspect every developer who deals with the web has seen. I can't track it down right now, but it's hilarious.

That might sound like some up-himself IT type guy (shifts in his seat slightly uncomfortably) belittling peoples' efforts, but, it is something that I have consistently dealt with over the years - "yep, we can do that, but it won't actually make you any money. But, if we did this...".

Suspect SSC's reply is more relevant to what you're doing. Though the same theme of "if you want to make any money out of it, be careful of your expectations and know when to stop" is also present.

Basically, if you'd like an online presence, have some time to kill, and view something as a hobby you can't "lose", but if you have an expectation of income (the consultant in me again) then think very carefully about how you apply your efforts and direction - see SSC's comments.

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Are blogs in decline? I've tried thinking of any I read regularly, and can't, I only land on them from a google search occasionally.

I also suspect that the money will be small beer, for anything slightly cerebral, and that where it's at will be make-up, fashion, fitness, celebrity gossip and other such Muggle high interest areas - though, having said that, at the other extreme, I wouldn't be surprised if something about Star Wars figurines, Dungeons and Dragons or shit like that was a goldmine.

Also the strength of a blog can often be in the comments and although the readership might be decent it's hard to get a lot of people to interact. Not a new internet thing though someone I knew, who published quite a few top selling magazines, would always complain about how much hard work it was having to constantly make up readers' letters as there were so few genuine ones. In fact, I seem to recall, that amusingly it was a constant battle to prevent many long-running bitter internal feuds amongst staff spilling over into the letters page under pseudonyms.

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SNACR & DTMark - make some very valuable points. I spent a few years from 2006 looking and experimenting with this. It was difficult to make money then, probably even more so now.

SNACR comments on topic selection and engagement with the readership are extremely valuable.

If you want to make some cash, you have to go mainstream or very niche. A good tip is: Are there books and magazines about this potential blog topic? If there are, there's a good chance it can be monetised. If you are going mainstream, you have three choices; work out a unique angle, inject lots of personality (and hope other people like you), or be a copier. I don't mean an absolute copier - but there's something in what a friend used to say to me; Open a pizza store in towns that have pizza stores already - at least you know they eat pizza. One very useful angle is to spot a US blog/trend that doesn't have a UK equivalent. British people will tend to prefer to read something homegrown that is grounded in their cultural references rather than baseball etc. Be very afraid if no-one else is doing what you are planning. My first website was like that - and while a few people (2-300/month) came, it made virtually zero cash. Days of effort wasted because I didn't research the market sufficiently at the outset. And the daft thing was the hints were there at the outset. I remember emailing the author of only two books in the area asking if they wanted in/to do an update of their book and they had no interest (and were currently writing about completely different areas). Obviously it had made them no money either!

A lot of people just want free info and aren't wanting to buy/be sold anything (fair enough - I'm exactly the same).

You don't have to engage with readers, but they'll spread the word for you if you do it successfully. As SNACAR says, almost none of them will (about 99% will do nothing) so be respectful and welcoming of those that do. Look at Buzzfeed - well over 1m views on many of their pages, and around 200 comments on average. Reader engagement is a whole ton more work - and when you're dealing with spammers, trolls and people nastily arguing with each other it can be very boring at best.

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> Experiment - a friend of mine makes £100+/month with Adsense. I've never made more than £60/year from it.

there was a time when I took that in a day, sadly no more.

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Basics:

Get a domain name. You don't want to be stuck if you outgrow a Wordpress.com/Blogger site. Or if they decide they no longer like you.

Technology:

In terms of platforms: Self hosted Wordpress > Blogger > Wordpress.com in my view. But Blogger & Wordpress.com are free... I started off on blogger sites for everything - but eventually moved onto self hosted Wordpress.

I've previously had a dabble with a website hosted through 123-reg. They were terrible hosts - extremely slow loading and the website experienced a lot of downtime. I gave up pretty quickly because of this.

I've a few more ideas I'd like to try out, but know that it won't be through this host again. The problem is the research I've done indicates that most low price hosts are similar.

Can anyone recommend the best way about getting hosting for multiple websites at a reasonable cost and reliable hosts? These would mainly be niche blog/review style affiliate sites.

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I've previously had a dabble with a website hosted through 123-reg. They were terrible hosts - extremely slow loading and the website experienced a lot of downtime. I gave up pretty quickly because of this.

I've a few more ideas I'd like to try out, but know that it won't be through this host again. The problem is the research I've done indicates that most low price hosts are similar.

Can anyone recommend the best way about getting hosting for multiple websites at a reasonable cost and reliable hosts? These would mainly be niche blog/review style affiliate sites.

What you want is a small operation, not some massive one like 123-reg or go-Daddy. The thing with the larger ones is it's all done automatically by script (hence the cheap price). Fine when it all works but a nightmare to deal with when something goes tits up.

I can recommend Wiser Hosting (https://www.wiserhosting.com/), cheap enough and the level of service is excellent. Any time I have ever needed something done and raised a support request I have had a personal reply almost instantly and nothing has ever been too much trouble.

As for the original question, what nobody has mentioned is you need a massive slice of luck. You are also about10 years too late to really make any money IMO. The thing with technology is the cost of entry is cheap and so every man and his dog can and has done it. If it's something you enjoy and are passionate about then by all means give it a go, but as a route to making money it's likely to be a waste of time.

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Find something you enjoy to blog about. That way it's not work, it's fun.

I've got a book somewhere that nicely expresses all that you should do to make yourself the brand.
Will post the title when i find it.

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Heart Internet are very good and repeatedly win awards. You can preinstall some apps including Joomla and Wordpress from the control panel.

https://www.heartinternet.uk/

What you want is a small operation, not some massive one like 123-reg or go-Daddy. The thing with the larger ones is it's all done automatically by script (hence the cheap price). Fine when it all works but a nightmare to deal with when something goes tits up.

I can recommend Wiser Hosting (https://www.wiserhosting.com/), cheap enough and the level of service is excellent. Any time I have ever needed something done and raised a support request I have had a personal reply almost instantly and nothing has ever been too much trouble.

As for the original question, what nobody has mentioned is you need a massive slice of luck. You are also about10 years too late to really make any money IMO. The thing with technology is the cost of entry is cheap and so every man and his dog can and has done it. If it's something you enjoy and are passionate about then by all means give it a go, but as a route to making money it's likely to be a waste of time.

Thanks for the suggestions.

I actually used Heart for a relative's online store. They never put any product on it so I didn't know how well it would have performed in real life, although it was more reliable than 123 for uploading content and checking it was functioning.

Wiser do look decently priced and hopefully their service is as good as you say.

Find something you enjoy to blog about. That way it's not work, it's fun.

I've got a book somewhere that nicely expresses all that you should do to make yourself the brand.

Will post the title when i find it.

All of my projects are things I'm interested in that I can't find decent collated information sources for. They're pretty technical, but I do believe that they can be explained in everday language and, if understood better, may influence peoples' purchasing decisions. Unfortunately they're not high value items, so I know I'm not going to make my fortune, but it's something I'd like to try. If I made £100/year, I'd be happy and I'd certainly learn a lot.

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I've previously had a dabble with a website hosted through 123-reg. They were terrible hosts - extremely slow loading and the website experienced a lot of downtime. I gave up pretty quickly because of this.

I've a few more ideas I'd like to try out, but know that it won't be through this host again. The problem is the research I've done indicates that most low price hosts are similar.

Can anyone recommend the best way about getting hosting for multiple websites at a reasonable cost and reliable hosts? These would mainly be niche blog/review style affiliate sites.

I always had good results with vidahost. But they've grown from a 2 man band when I first started using them to a sizeable company now I think. I've not had need to use their support for a year or so - but I've literally emailed someone at 2am sometimes and had a response back in half an hour (and from someone who is obviously a Brit too).

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Find something you enjoy to blog about. That way it's not work, it's fun.

That is pretty much the starting point.

I've got a book somewhere that nicely expresses all that you should do to make yourself the brand.

Will post the title when i find it.

I'm Stuart Baggs (and so is my wife)?

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I did say micro-income.

I'm under no illusions that anyone would pay me for my content but that's not the same as my content generating small amounts of money. that's always a possibility.

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I did say micro-income.

I'm under no illusions that anyone would pay me for my content but that's not the same as my content generating small amounts of money. that's always a possibility.

Well I would think if you could cover the cost of the hosting and domain name fees you would be lucky.

It's basically one of two things, it's something really popular and in which case it's just another site in an ocean of others like it. Or it's something niche which does well and has high visibility but seriously low traffic.

I have/had one in the second camp, basically ranks No.1 in google for pretty much every relevant search term, but it's so small scale in terms of visitor numbers (even though it possibly gets all the visits for specific search terms) that earning opportunities are seriously limited.

I'm not saying don't do it.

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I have a SME (operated it for 8 years now) and use 1and1 Internet for my hosting. Not a blog as such but my business internet presence.

Experimented with different software solutions over the first 5 years until 3 years ago decided it was time to go with wordpress. Set aside a few days to learn it using the multitude of video's available on you tube and the excellent tutorials available on the web. Wordpress is also very useful for the plugins it can use, without you having to learn any other fancy programming . Ability to place a google map on your pages or tune the back end for error free SEO. Back then 1and1 did not support wordpress so I has to install it the long way round but most web hosting solutions these days will support it.

When I chose Wordpress I was also very mindful of the shift to mobile and chose a responsive theme before I even started on the site design.

Essentially mine is a static site with a blog bolted on. I post maybe once or twice a Month mainly to keep my content fresh for SEO purposes. Blog subjects concern things customers may want to do whilst consuming my product.

Site is built on static pages with blog items placed on posts and integrated onto the front page through the theme.

My site appears page 1 of google for 90% of it's chosen keywords. I have no doubt that Wordpress and the way the SEO plugins are configured are responsible for at least some of that.

Don't worry if some of the terms you see here are gobbly gook you will pick it all up pretty quick and it is a clever and versatile system once you get to know it.

In the first instance you will be looking for income from adsense and will have to consider carefully how many and where these ads are placed on your page. Google will mark your site on this and place it in the SERP accordingly.

Some of today's biggest websites started out as small blogs. Martin Money thing, lastminute.com and of course this one which is a HPC blogsite with a user forum bolted on such as this.

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I have a SME (operated it for 8 years now) and use 1and1 Internet for my hosting. Not a blog as such but my business internet presence.

Experimented with different software solutions over the first 5 years until 3 years ago decided it was time to go with wordpress. Set aside a few days to learn it using the multitude of video's available on you tube and the excellent tutorials available on the web. Wordpress is also very useful for the plugins it can use, without you having to learn any other fancy programming . Ability to place a google map on your pages or tune the back end for error free SEO. Back then 1and1 did not support wordpress so I has to install it the long way round but most web hosting solutions these days will support it.

When I chose Wordpress I was also very mindful of the shift to mobile and chose a responsive theme before I even started on the site design.

Essentially mine is a static site with a blog bolted on. I post maybe once or twice a Month mainly to keep my content fresh for SEO purposes. Blog subjects concern things customers may want to do whilst consuming my product.

Site is built on static pages with blog items placed on posts and integrated onto the front page through the theme.

My site appears page 1 of google for 90% of it's chosen keywords. I have no doubt that Wordpress and the way the SEO plugins are configured are responsible for at least some of that.

Don't worry if some of the terms you see here are gobbly gook you will pick it all up pretty quick and it is a clever and versatile system once you get to know it.

In the first instance you will be looking for income from adsense and will have to consider carefully how many and where these ads are placed on your page. Google will mark your site on this and place it in the SERP accordingly.

Some of today's biggest websites started out as small blogs. Martin Money thing, lastminute.com and of course this one which is a HPC blogsite with a user forum bolted on such as this.

As it happens, your line of business (iirc) is exactly where I am trying to end up. The business is well established but the web side of stuff is done by a third party.

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A lot of people just want free info and aren't wanting to buy/be sold anything (fair enough - I'm exactly the same).

I've been considering starting a blog this very week... and was intrigued to know how to monetise it. From what I can tell, if you can get targeted adds popping up which specifically relate to what you mention in your posts, then people may well click through to purchase. Luckily my proposed area of blogging would refer to numerous products widely available on amazon/ebay, many at relatively low value, so hopefully would generate a lot of purchases.

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I've been considering starting a blog this very week... and was intrigued to know how to monetise it. From what I can tell, if you can get targeted adds popping up which specifically relate to what you mention in your posts, then people may well click through to purchase. Luckily my proposed area of blogging would refer to numerous products widely available on amazon/ebay, many at relatively low value, so hopefully would generate a lot of purchases.

Google adsense will look at your blog content and automatically display relevant ads (NB they are not necessarily ads relating to the content - a friend runs a sports blog, and the ads displayed are often debt management ones).

What you are suggesting is a good starting place. Generally speaking you'd hope at least 1/200 visiting your site would click on an ad. For adsense, you get paid for every click (but don't be tempted to game the system - once you are banned from Google Adsense, it's a life ban I believe).

For ebay/amazon - you'll probably have to do a bit more work i.e. select products which are relevant/even write reviews or user guides that then link through to the product. In short, add more value. Also you'll only get paid if someone buys something within a certain time period as a result of clicking a link/ad on your site. That's likely harder than you think. If you consider your own purchases, you probably flit around various pages and sites getting reviews, finding out specs, determining which is the cheapest supplier before committing. I think I remember Amazon saying that people tend to visit their site about six times before buying the thing they were planning to buy. The good news, however, is that you will get a cut of anything bought in that time period. So if you're promoting Christmas cards, and someone clicks and buys a 50 inch telly instead (or as well) for their Christmas viewing, you have lucked out. You'll get a commission for that purchase.

As others have indicated though. It's difficult to make money from this. For example, it was about five years before I stumbled on an area that made decent cash from Amazon. This is because the areas I was blogging around previously were low value and niche so the deadly combination of low visitor numbers and little commission if someone did click.

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I've had moderate success with ebook publishing for Amazon Kindle and Amazon Createspace (print on demand paperbacks).

Monthly passive income is around £150 and I think there's potential to get that to about £400 in the next year or so. At the moment I'm building my back catalogue, spending two days a week (about 16 working hours) but once I've published 100 books, the list hopefully won't require much maintenance to produce passive income.

Since 2013 I've published about 40 books (usually around 40-100 pages) on a variety of 'how to' nonfiction subjects that interest me. Most titles sell around 5 copies a month averaging about a pound per copy in royalties. It's not a lot but it all adds up. My best selling title (about 20 copies a month) is a book on wedding planning.

It does help if you know a bit about how to set out type, design books, copy edit etc but you can pick most of that up yourself.

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