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Follow up from my last week post: https://www.reddit.com/CompetitiveTFT/comments/hoisx2/everything_wrong_with_c9_tournament/ TLDW
: 1. Some of the qualified players for the C9 tournament didn’t actually qualify based on rules in the C9 website.
The qualification process on C9’s website isn’t being followed.
- C9 offered a ‘remake’ of Group A due to the patch, which seems unprofessional because it is unfair to the players who won the group. Even though patch day tournament is not the ideal format, you can’t just redo a tournament after you get some backlash when the games were already played.
- Also I spoke to a tournament admin and there is a lot of information not being shared or made publicly available for the ladder snapshot points.
If you can’t even get the qualified players correct, how can any other part of the tournament have any legitimacy?
Note: I will not share the spreadsheet because I want to respect the work done at thetftspot.com. However, I thoroughly review the spreadsheet in the video.
Cloud 9 TFT Tournament Fiasco Part 2: I’ll make the text post short because with all the screenshots, standings spreadsheet, and DMs I have in the video, it will take too long to put it in a text post, and the text post would be too difficult to follow because the standings spreadsheet can’t be shared, so if you actually want to know what’s going on, just watch the video
. The text post will simply be a longer TLDW than the text above. I highly recommend watching the video if you want to get a full picture, which is needed because it gets a little complicated (again, monetization = off
so you should see 0 ads on the video). Video
Timestamps in Video Description
0:45 Cloud 9’s statement
3:00 Cloud 9’s response to the patch day tournament.
3:15 Lobby 2 Podcast Reaction
5:15 Qualification process and TFT Leaderboards. Riot’s Standings is wrong.
8:06 C9 admin reaches out to me
9:50 KCI invite justification by C9 admin
10:34 Google Sheet of TheTFTSpot
11:35 Cannot copy or export the Google Sheet. C9 wants me to go through each cell individually in order to find out who should have qualified.
12:20 The Spreadsheet and color coding key
13:48 People who have more points than KCI
15:38 Skipping June 16th due to Set 3.5 (patch 10.12)
15:52 C9 Website saying they will drop the lowest point week (which they fail to do)
17:14 Standings with Weighted Score (Score with lowest point week dropped)
18:10 C9 failing to understand the point dropping on their website.
19:34 Reached out to C9 to see if they tried to get in contact with certain players.
20:26 C9 dodging questions
22:04 C9 dodging the same question again
22:58 Partial answer. I also reached out to a few of the players in question, and some are indeed NA residents + wanted to play in the tournament
23:17 C9 tries to acknowledge lowest point week issue
28:10 Riot should release public standings and have them properly updated and credible
28:34 If Riot’s data is inaccurate, C9 should post theirs for transparency
28:54 Asking same question for 3rd time, no answers still.
After talking with one of the admins from C9, we learn that Riot’s standings are inaccurate, so it shouldn’t be used. But then why is Riot’s website being referenced in the rules AND linked on C9’s website? How are we supposed to know who actually qualified because their website provides 0 standings. Upon clarification from the C9 admin, I am brought to thetftspot.com—a fan made site not affiliated with C9 or Riot as far as I know. I am told to use data from weeks 4-7. I am highly active in the TFT scene and this is the first time I am hearing about this. Upon checking https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/thetftspot.com
we will see that this site is not being tracked by other sites meaning it is either very new or very low traffic. For reference, my website https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/bunnymuffins.lol
shows up, and I barely get any meaningful traffic, which means that thetftspot.com is known by pretty much no one. How is anyone supposed to know who actually qualified? I asked C9 for their ‘internal’ standings sheet and was refused.
Upon further discussion, I am linked the spreadsheet handled by thetftspot and it is a google doc that is UNCOPYABLE AND UNDOWNLOADABLE. Understandable because the creator doesn’t want other people stealing his content. But why am I being sent to a site by the C9 admin where I can’t download the data in order to find out who actually qualified? Sounds pretty sus. Luckily, I am tech savvy and I have other means to access the data without manual data entry on 9936 cells. This leads us to a few names who have more points than some of the invites. Who are higher on the list than some of the qualified players, and even more who have higher points than KCI, which the admin defends as a valid invite. Go to timestamp https://youtu.be/7ZG8UBKOgNE?t=740
. Again, KCI has admitted that he has 0 social media presence, so it begs the question why C9 would invite someone with a lot of points, but not the most. Now for the complicated part.
C9 contradicts the qualification process posted on their website. Again, this could all be AVOIDED if they just posted the official standings. Cloud 9 refused
to give me their ‘internal standings sheet’ and only sent me to thetftspot and you are unable to copy, download, or print their sheet because it is protected. On the C9 website
, it states that “After the 5 competitive weeks, each player will have their week with lowest points earned dropped
, for a total of 4 counted weeks of ladder play. The top point earners will then “earn their seat.” – 2 seats are applicable through Cloud9’s Nebula Qualifiers.” Again, I understand that they say there will be a total of 4 counted weeks of ladder play, but this scenario is impossible (this is a failure to properly plan the tournament with Riot).
Notice that June 16 was not counted because of this tweet from Riot: https://twitter.com/TFT/status/1268970368292667392
From DM’s from the C9 Tourney admin, we see that THEY DID NOT DROP THE LOWEST POINT WEEK. Imagine if you read the C9 rules and decide “hey, I can take a week off because the lowest points get dropped” and then you learn after the fact that they are not and you don’t qualify even though you should. According to thetftspot’s data, Kalsuo, Ralliartt (name changed to Susanu), replayreplay, Mango TheHun, TACOBELL WlFl, 1 1 0 9, Treebeard TwTv would all have higher point totals than J or C, a person who qualified for the tournament. Some of the players listed above would be higher than snbpsk and WowitsPat as well.
I directly ask the C9 Admin 3 times
on whether certain players were reached out to OR if they were not NA residents, and these questions were all conveniently not answered. I reached out to some of these players personally, so I know for a fact that some of these players are indeed NA residents and they wanted to play in the tournament. Conclusion
This dodging of questions + the unwillingness to share or publicize an official standing chart is very suspicious. Being directed to a spreadsheet in which you can’t actually check the real standings (weeks 4-7) is also sus. The contradiction on their website where the lowest point total would be dropped is also not performed. Even though the snapshot for June 16 was not counted, points were NEVER recorded for this week, meaning you can’t drop a score that doesn’t exist.
Again, watch the Video
for details as I go over everything there. It's very difficult to include 20+ screenshots in a text post in a digestible format.
You guys were not joking with the amount of shit posts that are ending up on this sub lately.
So, in order to change that, I thought I would throw out something that I have done in the past and am still seeing success with today. Leveraging your blog posts/articles to build a BRAND.
I did it, you did it, almost everyone does it. They get started, they crank out some content, and they expect money to come in. You can make a great living doing this, but you will find it almost impossible to hit the "next level" unless you focus on building a brand. You see the rare comment here of people hitting 20, 30, 50k+ per month....I would bet almost anything their site is a brand that people actually CARE about.
In order to actually get there, you have to create value, have a strategy and create trust with your audience. But how the hell do you create value and trust with an audience that does not yet exist?
One of those ways is utilizing a platform that people already trust: Amazon.
The basic idea before we get into the actual guide is twofold. 1:
You are going to take your longest article or articles, and turn them into an ebook. You will create a coveinterior and publish this on Amazon via the KDP platform. Chances are, no one will actually want to buy your 99 cent ebook, so you are going to make it FREE (with a work around) and use this as a lead gen for your website/email list. 2:
You are then going to take your longest article/articles, and turn these into an AUDIO book, which again acts as a springboard from Amazon to your content to build trust, educate and let them know about your website.
Step 1 brings you no money up front, but if you do this right can net you a LOT of affiliate income and build your list at the same time. Step 2 actually surprised me when doing my taxes. I currently have a single audio book live and it brought me in a few thousand dollars in royalties the past year and I havn't looked at it or touched it since.
Here is a bit of proof that this works and has led to hundreds of thousands of downloads:
So, let's first go over the free book, and then the more exiting method the audio book. Creating A Free Book On Amazon With Your Blog Posts
I am not going to go into detail on how exactly to create a book (this is fairly straight forward), but you will need two things. 1:
Get a KDP Account (free): https://kdp.amazon.com/ 2:
Get a Smashwords account (free): https://www.smashwords.com/
Create your book, format it, and get it uploaded to KDP. This is so straight forward (Google it)
In order to get your book perma free on Kindle, you need to get your book free on other major retailers that Amazon actually has some respect for. The one that I used was Barnes & Noble and this took about a week. Here is how to do it! Smashwords
Smashwords is another retailer of ebooks. What makes this service so powerful is that its free, and they also distribute to major retailers such as Barnes & Noble, OverDrive, iBooks, and Kobo. Upload your Book and set a price of free
It will almost immediately go online at Smashwords as a free book. On your dashboard, you will see that it has been submitted for premium status. This is where the magic happens. A real person will take a look over your work, and if it has followed all of proper formatting, then it will soon show up in the big retailers mentioned above.
It is VERY important that you follow their style guide. It can take a few days at a time for Smashwords to review your book. If it is not up to par, they will deny you, give you a list of things you need to fix, and then you can resubmit it. One of the things that I did wrong was do my table of contents a different way than they wanted.
Another reason I was denied was that my book had links back to Amazon, so remove those as well if you want perma free status. Premium Status Achieved
Once your book has been looked over and has achieved premium status on Smashwords, it is just a waiting game from here.
Eventually, your book will show up on Barnes & Noble. This is one of the only online retailers that Amazon seems to care about. I tried to ask Amazon to price match me as soon as it was free on Smashwords, but it seems they have no respect for this service and I had to wait. Emailing Amazon
Now, you could wait and wait and eventually Amazon should pick up on the fact that your book is free somewhere else. If you are not in the business of waiting for months on end, it is time to do something about it!
What I did was take the URL from Barnes & Noble, and email Amazon from inside my KDP dashboard. At the very bottom of your dashboard, in super small text, you should see Contact Us.
Click on Contact Us –> Pricing & Royalties –> Price Matching, and send them an email asking them to help you out. I told them I had a reader on my blog disappointed that he could get my book for free on my website as well as Barnes & Noble but had to pay for it on Amazon. A few hours later I got an email back stating that while they can decide to price match or not, they had forwarded it to the correct department and a few hours after THAT it was priced to free!
Do keep in mind that this is going to be geo dependent. If you want your eBook free on All Amazon TLDs you need to give them links from all GEO URLs from the major retailers Note:
There are a million and a half Facebook groups for free books. Go post in a few of them to get the ball rolling. Once you have those initial downloads, everything should take off and remain a stable stream of downloads and traffic back to your site if you put links in your book. ALSO, make sure to put some sort of ask at the end of your book for a review, a subscribe to the email list, or give the reader something if they visit your site.
Now, let's get into how even more money is made, by taking that same book/books and turning them into audio books spreading your brand around the internet. Making Money Selling Audiobooks (ACX) Through Amazon Note:
I am going to be copy and pasting images from my own site because there is no way I am downloading a rehosting these. Feel free to complain about self promotion in the comments XD.
In order to be a successful internet marketer, you always have to be testing new ideas and markets. Time and time again I see people who want to make their first dollars online actually succeed in doing so but after many months or many years, it all dries up.
Because these people were not willing to adapt and keep learning. This is the number 1 reason that people fail. They do not want to test the market but keep doing the same thing over and over again, getting stuck in a vicious cycle.
During some downtime a while back, I stumbled across a video of a guy doing thousands of dollars through audiobooks. What really perked my interest is that these books are being sold through Amazon, or more importantly, Amazon’s audio book platform audible.com.
This is one of the biggest audiobook portals in the entire world and I myself have purchased a few during some long road trips.
When I first started selling t-shirts online, the driving factor and where most of my success came from is that they are being sold on Amazon where the customers already are. I did not have to drive traffic at all, only give an existing audience what they wanted. This opportunity looks EXACTLY the same and the competition is so low, its crazy! Chances are, your blog posts will fit right in. Why Audible.com (Amazon’s Audiobook Platform)?
The very first thing I did was take a quick look at how much traffic the platform was getting. I was seeing people put up some pretty impressive numbers (into the 10 figures a month range) so before I dove in, I wanted to make sure the market was actually there.
What I did was take the domain (audible.com) and run it through similar web. This website is incredibly helpful in estimating the amount of traffic that a platform receives each and every month. It is WILDLY inaccurate, but gives a brief overview. https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/audible.png
As you can see at the time of writing this (I wrote this ages ago), there is almost 22 million visitors per month with an average duration of close to 5 minutes.
This is exactly what I want to see!
Lots of traffic, and relatively little competition because there are not that many books out there.
I was down to give this method a try and to my surprise over a year later, it actually worked. Getting Your First Audiobook Published on ACX
Before you attempt to put up an audio book at all, you need to make sure you RESEARCH the niche. Just as with everything else when it comes to internet marketing, you need to make sure that there is customer demand, but that you can break into the market in the first place.
The way we do this is pretty simple. Audiobook (ACX) Niche Research
First, you want to look at Amazon.com for books (NOT audiobooks). For the sake of this example, lets use the first niche that came to my head “merch by amazon”.
Head on over to Amazon.com and just type in the niche you are interested in. If you are pulling back results that are not books, just follow it up with “book”. https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/amazon-page.png
At the very top of the image, you can see that there are over “10,000” results for this niche. This is a good sign, that means there is customer demand there! Customers want to read and learn more about this niche.
I also happen to hold the first and third position for this keyword (those are my books) so it makes this experiment a little easier to start!
Even if there are a lot of results, you want to make sure to click on the first page of products, and look at the BSR or best sellers rank of an item. The lower the rank, the better it is selling.
You can see this in the product details section of the product page: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/product-details.png
The best sellers rank is dependent on the category you are selling in. In this particular instance, this book gets about this many downloads per day: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/merch-by-amazon-book.png NOTE:
Old screenshot but this book still averages almost the exact same downloads per day even over a year later.
Now that we have determined that there is customer demand here, we need to check the competition on Audible.com
In the upper right hand corner you will see the search box. This is where you want to put the same search term that you checked over on Amazon.com.
Click on search and see what comes up!
In this particular case there are ZERO results (note: there are now more than a few results). That means that there is definitely customer demand over at Amazon.com and there are literally zero books on this subject on the audible platform that Amazon owns (and gets 20+ million visitors each month). There is clearly an opportunity here.
After you get good at searching, you will realize that almost every niche under the sun has very very little competition.
What you want to look for is where there are lots of results with a good BSR (under 100k on Amazon.com) and you want to see that there is less than 100 results on Audible.
The opportunities here are almost endless. Remember, it is all about niching down! Vegetable Gardening: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/veggy-gardening.png Sleeping better: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/sleep-better.png Make Money Online: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/make-money-online.png
If one of the most competitive niches on the internet (making money online) has such small search results, then you KNOW this is an untapped gold mine. NOTE:
Screens are from when I published the book. Numbers are changed, but go check. Still stupid low competition in most niches that your blog posts are in. Getting Your Audiobook Created
Now that we have a niche, we need an actual book! Any one of you reading this has the ability to write their own books. It does not matter if you are a great writer. However, if you are NOT a writer, no interest in being a writer, and simply want to get a book up to test this method, there is an easy way to do that.
I will be going over how to outsource the actual book creation as well as the audio voice over for that book once it is complete.
Your book can be as long as you like or as short as you like. However, how long it ends up being is going to determine what kind of royalty you get once the entire process is complete. Because of this, I would recommend about 20-25k words per book. This should put your final audiobook at just over 3 hours in length and this is where you make the best money. To hit this, you may want to take a few of your articles and combine them.
We have a niche, we have a target length for the book, now we just need to find someone to actually write the thing!
Go hire someone or do it yourself. This is pretty self explanatory.
I find that having a general outline for your book is the easiest way to get a good quality product. You can do this by looking at the chapter headings of some of the best sellers. Compile a list of all the headings, and then formulate your own online so that your book will be the most comprehensive book on the market for that niche. Upload Your eBook to Kindle (if you didn't previously)
Before you can actually create your ACX book, you will need to upload your book to Kindle. This is a platform for ebooks that sell on Amazon and ANOTHER avenue for you to make money with your book (outside of audible sales).
Head on over to kindle here: https://kdp.amazon.com/
Sign up for an account and enter in all your information so that you can get paid.
Now that you have an account, you need a few other bits before you can actually upload your book.
First, make sure you familiarize yourself with the cover requirements here: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201113520
You now need to get a cover for your book created. The idea image requirements for kindle for your book cover are 2560 pixels by 1600 pixels.
Your book cover is important!!
I know everyone always says not to judge a book by its cover but we all do it. You do it, I do it, and your potential customers are going to do it too!
Because of this, head over to upwork and post a job for an ebook cover designer. There are a lot of very very talented artists out there and you should get an amazing cover for your book for $20-$30 dollars.
You can see here the cover that I went with that sticks out on the page: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/blueprint-cover.png
Now that you have your book and your cover, let’s upload to Kindle!
Log in to Kindle and click on the Kindle new title button: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/create-a-new-title.png
After you are done adding the Kindle eBook, I would highly suggest adding a paperback as well. We will not be focusing on the paperback, but this is just another avenue that you can make money from your book.
Give your book a title (what is on the book cover), an author, and a description.
Make sure your description is long and detailed. I like to tell a little bit about what is in the book as well as outline the chapters and what the customer will be learning when they read the book.
After you have filled those out, it is time to enter in some backend keywords. These are keywords that you want the book to rank for. Think like a customer here. Whatever they might search for, enter these as your back end keywords.
You have 7 boxes of keywords to fill up here. No need for any punctuation. As long as the keywords are relevant, enter them in.
Once you have your keywords selected, choose a category for your book, and then click on continue.
Now all that is really left is to upload your book, the cover, and pick out pricing: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/manuscript-.png
You do not need to enter an ISBN so go ahead and click save and continue at the bottom of the page.
Set your book at $2.99 or above, and select the 70% royalty share. If you price below $2.99, you will get a much smaller cut. Since we will not be focusing on the actual ebook, every time it sells, we want to maximize our profit. (This is if you are just doing audiobooks and not the free book method mentioned above)
Now all you have to do is scroll to the bottom and click on publish your book! https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/publish-your-kindle-book.png
It can take a while to publish, but I typically see all my books going live within 24 hours. You need to wait for your book to go live, so in the meanwhile, I would suggest publishing the paperback version as well! Publishing Your Book to ACX (Audible)
If you have made it this far and are still with me, impressive.
So far you should have a book with a cover, and it is published on Kindle meaning it is for sale on Amazon.com.
This means we can FINALLY start creation of our audiobook!
To begin, head over to ACX.com and sign up for an account. This is the dashboard for audible.com which is where we want to publish our book.
Again, fill out all your information and take the tax interview. Once you have done that, click on “Add Your Title” from the upper right hand corner.
Search by keyword and find your book on Amazon.com. Once you have found it, click on “This is my eBook”. https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/my-ebook.png
Once you select your book, you will see a popup that asks what you want to do with your ebook: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/produce-ebook.png
Now the fun part starts!
You can either upload audio for the book you already have (which I assume you don’t), of you can find someone to narrate the book for you. This is not going to be free, but you can find some real talent out there that will read your book and allow you to publish audiobooks without ever using your own voice.
Select the first option and click on continue.
Accept the terms and conditions, and click on continue.
The next page is where you want to fill out your book information. Since your book is already on Kindle, most of this is going to be selected for you.
The interesting parts are these: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/book-deetz.png
This lets you say that you want to receive auditions from narrators but also lets you describe the voice you are looking for. I like to select this based on the topic of the book and what would fit best.
After you upload a test piece of your book for your narrator auditions, click on next.
The next page is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the entire process. You can pick how you pay the person that is narrating your book. https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/pay-narrator.png
By default, the first option is going to be selected (Royalty Share) but you do NOT want to do this!
If you have a successful book, that means you will giving half your royalty away for many years to come.
Instead, select pay for production and pay your narrators up front. I have found that the lowest level of $0-$50 per finished hour (PFH) works well and you get some quality people applying to narrate your book.
For a book of 20,000 words, you can expect to pay a little over $100, but you do not have to do any of the work yourself!
You will start getting auditions almost immediately over the next few days and you will be able to see this in your top menu. https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/auditions.png
Make sure to go through all the auditions and listen to each one of them as everyone has their unique style and some attach specific notes about the project to their audition: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/auditions2.png
Once you have someone selected, all you have to do is then make an offer, and they will do the rest!
The narrator you chose may send you a few questions over messages, so make sure you are watching your email whenever those come in.
Once your narrator has finished the book, you have to approve it. After you approve it, you MUST pay your narrator before the book will go live on audible. This is not very clear for a first time user.
I was expecting the system to use my card on file, but had to follow up and actually send the narrator the money over paypal. After that occurs, they will also approve the book, and it will get final approval from the ACX team! https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/approval.png
Once you receive that email, it is just a waiting game as the book is pushed out to retail! https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/book-to-audible.png TIP:
If you email the ACX team and ask nicely, they will give you 25 codes for free books so that you can give them out to people for review. This is a good way to bump your book inside of audible and start getting downloads. Wrapping It Up
When building your business, use every tool at your disposal to drive traffic and build up your audience. Focus on building a brand and not just a website.
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