Last Updated on September 28, 2022 by Ava
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This week, The Candid Cashflow Podcast is excited to present this interview with Kelli Roberts! I met Kelli through her husband, Dale, who was and is a client of mine. I did a bit of work for Kelli and have followed her progress this year as she’s launched a course and a new YouTube channel!
Kelli focuses mainly on creating and self-publishing no content and low content books. She also has a print on demand side hustle through Merch by Amazon.
I find several really cool things about Kelli’s approach to her business:
- She doesn’t try to be a guru
- She does ZERO marketing
- If something doesn’t make money or isn’t enjoyable, she doesn’t do it
- She cares about the people she reaches – for example, she pulled her course off the market so it wouldn’t become outdated and she is still working with her students to help them with aspects that are changing in the market
Kelli is a rare gem in the make money online world. She began back in the late 90’s with eBay and her business has evolved into its current iteration. I’ll let Kelli tell you all about it. Do NOT miss this episode.
If you do nothing else, visit Kelli’s links I’ll share at the end or grab the show notes at HeyYoAva.com/Episode48 so you get all her links because you’re going to want to follow her! I will also include her links in the description area on whatever platform you are receiving this broadcast.
So, if you want to learn about self-publishing journals and other low and no content books on Amazon without marketing and scaling that to 6 figures, then you’re going to want to stay tuned!
This holiday season, choose from the Most Wished For items Amazon has to offer. Get inspired and find the perfect item for everyone on your list. See Amazon’s Most Wished For Items at HeyYoAva.com/mostwishedfor.
“Real” Jobs, and the Path to Self-Publishing
Kelli started her career with college and a degree in Political Science with ambitions toward being a lawyer because she thought it was the “thing to do” to succeed. She ended up in a similar place as me and probably many of you out there listening. She found the corporate world chained to a desk is a soul-sucking experience.
In 1999, Kelli started a little side gig with eBay only to find she really enjoyed it and did quite well with it. At the behooving of her husband, Dale, she quit her job to do eBay full-time. That was her first experience without a 9 to 5 job, and she’ll be celebrating the 6-year anniversary of that decision in February of 2019.
Eventually, Kelli got bored with eBay and moved on to Amazon FBA. She found that Amazon FBA had all the same caveats of working with physical products that eBay had, and the model she was working with was becoming saturated quickly. She was on the lookout for something new again.
That’s when Kelli found out about self-publishing. She started out hiring ghostwriters and trying to build a brand that way but found she didn’t really like managing writers and telling them what to do.
Right about this same time 2 and a half or 3 years ago, Kelli saw a webinar about publishing low content and no content books and the light bulb flickered on. She tried it, she loved it, she made some decent money and hasn’t looked back since.
The Side Hustle of Selling Shirts
Kelli zeroed in her laser focus on a challenge from a friend in the business to target one aspect of her business. She had several smaller streams of income at the time that she was trying to maintain from her previous endeavors. In August or September of 2017, this friend suggested that she choose one thing and really crush it.
That was probably the best thing that could have happened because Kelli is not one to back down from a challenge.
Kelli chose to design. She chose designing low content and no content books as well as t-shirts for Merch since those two avenues kind of feed into each other. Once she focused in on this one aspect of her business, her income shot up.
Grant it, it was close to Quarter Four, but the upswing in income gave Kelli the confidence she needed to really go all in, and it’s paid off exponentially for her in the long run.
As far as Merch by Amazon goes, Kelli treats it as a part-time side hustle. She spends about 30 minutes to an hour per day on it. During Q4, she does a bit more. If you compare the amount of time you’re putting in with the amount you are making, Merch works great as a side business.
Kelli does upload her designs on a few other platforms, but she differentiates the designs and she doesn’t upload everything. Those platforms are:
Kelli’s biggest money maker as far as platforms go is KDP Print, formerly known as CreateSpace.
Getting Started on YouTube
Kelli also started her YouTube channel, Kelli Publish, this year. From her first video 6 months ago (She had some unrelated videos from before, but changed the focus of her channel back in April 2018.), as of this broadcast, she has exceeded 2000 subscribers.
She shares videos about self-publishing low content and no content books as well as information about Merch by Amazon, and her live videos pull in quite a crowd each time she does one.
Should We Expect Any New Courses in 2019?
Kelli released a course in 2018 on publishing low content and no content books that did quite well but became quickly outdated with the changing of the market and Amazon’s move to merge CreateSpace and KDP Print.
This is one of the things I like about Kelli. Once she realized the information was going to get outdated so quickly, she pulled the course even though it was still making her a nice amount of money.
She doesn’t have any plans to release anything new for 2019 at this time, but she still maintains the information for her students who did invest in her course. That’s rare!
If you’ve explored self-publishing at all, then you probably know there are PLENTY of outdated courses on the topic, and because they make money, the authors leave them to mislead people. Not Kelli!
With Kelli, you get someone who is truly interested in helping people and puts that before her money-making. That’s how I like to do business as well!
Kelli’s Advice for Newbies
Don’t look at self-publishing as a get rich quick process.
People have selective hearing. They hear that I made X amount of dollars and I have X amount of books up, but they choose not to acknowledge that it took me 2 years and ton of work to get to that point. – Kelli
Do a little bit every day in your business on a consistent basis and eventually, it’s going to snowball.
Kelli’s favorite thing about what she does is the variety, she loves doing live videos on YouTube, and she also enjoys Print on Demand and watching her creative side develop.
She also finds that her daily experiences feed into her inspiration. For example, if something frustrates her, she can create a funny design based on the situation and release the tension.
She also loves the learning aspect of what she’s doing. Through research and trying things, she is constantly learning new things.
Resources That Have Helped Kelli in Her Business and Quarter Four Advice
In general terms, self-development and networking have helped her in her business. After that, apps like MerchBuddy, the Over app for designing on the run, and Google Drive.
Kelli pulled her reports from last year to find out what her top sellers were. What she found was that her best sellers for Q4 of 2017 were designs she had uploaded that summer. It wasn’t the designs she was uploading during actual Q4.
So, Kelli’s best advice for you in Q4 is to be consistent all year long and not just during Q4.
If you’re lazy for 9 months out of the year and only hustle for 3 or 4 months, Q4 is not going to be a happy time for you. – Kelli
Kelli on Not Doing Any Marketing for Her Business
Kelli does ZERO marketing for her business outside of the content she creates for YouTube, and you’ll notice her videos do not link to her own products. Kelli doesn’t do any PPC or anything like that because she simply doesn’t like it or want to.
She has been hammered like all of us on creating an email list and the other basics of Internet Marketing, but she asked herself as she was walking home one day, “Why can’t I just create products?”
That’s exactly what she decided to do and it has worked wonderfully for her.
While she is sure she could make more money if she did market her business, she considers her marketing style to be unconventional. Instead of marketing what she’s made, she markets by trying to create what people are looking for.
Kelli believes that even if she learned marketing she might see growth in her business because she’d be spending time away from creating, so she’s happy with her current business model and we don’t blame her!
Kelli’s Number One Tip for The Candid Cashflow Audience and Where You Can Find Her Online
Be open to anything and always keep learning. -Kelli
Kelli never saw herself as a designer. If someone had told her she would be earning 6 figures with self-publishing and a YouTube channel, she would have laughed in their face. She didn’t take any design classes in high school or college, and she’s a really shy introvert by nature. So, for her, it’s crazy that this happened to her!
Find Kelli online at:
- Her website – http://www.kellipublish.com/
- On YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/kellipublish
- On Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/kellipublish
That’s a Wrap
A huge thanks to Kelli for coming on the show. I’ll try to get better at thanking my guests during recording. This one ends a bit abruptly!
Also, the high ends of the audio have a bit of buzz. Lesson learned there as well. Thanks for listening and bearing with me as I feel this content is highly valuable to you as my audience.
Deciding to bring guests onto The Candid Cashflow Podcast was a huge step and will continue to be a learning process.
I hope you will consider subscribing and joining me each week for The Candid Cashflow Podcast. My focus is to help you find financial freedom through building multiple streams of income online. Subscribe in your favorite listening app at HeyYoAva.com/candidcashflow.
Don’t forget to grab a copy of the show notes so you get all the links and bonuses including where to find Kelli online at HeyYoAva.com/Episode48.
Remember, I release a new episode each Wednesday!
Until next time, turning your passion into cashflow!
Dare to be different.