Kindle Matchbook

Kindle Matchbook

Amazon has released a new program called Kindle Matchbook. If you purchase or have purchased in the past a physical book from Amazon, which use to be the only option prior to the release of the Kindle reader, they now offer the digital copy of the book to the owner at a lower price point: $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free. You can read these on your Kindle or using your Kindle reader app. I believe that providing a digital copy of a book is up to the publisher’s discretion so there may not be a ebook copy for every book you own, but here’s how you can find out:

1. Go to Kindle Matchbook main page and check out Q&A if you like.

2. Login to your Amazon account and click on the Find Your Kindle Matchbook Titles button (found on the Kindle Matchbook main page up above). This will automatically look through your physical purchase history and then pull up which books offer a digital version.

find matchbook titles

3. When I tested this, only one book came up, but that’s probably because only about 74,000 books are currently part of the Matchbook program at the time of this writing. You can continue to check back as I’m sure Amazon continues to add more titles. But as you see from this example, when I pulled up one of the books that I own: Taming Your Gremlin, it shows that I qualify to buy the Kindle version at the $2.99 price point rather than the regular Kindle price of $9.78.

matchbook example


4. Another way you can search is to scroll through the list of Matchbook eligible titles. This is where you’ll see the list of over 74,000 titles to choose from. But don’t panic, you can search through the titles using the categorized links in the left hand sidebar.

kindle matchbook titles

I think this is a great program offered by Amazon. It really provides an author with a backlist of paperbacks to offer readers an opportunity to enjoy the book again on their eReaders. You’d be surprised how many people will take advantage of this upsell. I’d definitely purchase my non-fiction books in both formats. One for marking up and the other for reading on the go.

5. If you are an author and want to learn more about enrolling in the Kindle Matchbook program, login to KDP and then read their Q&A on the program.

matchbook kdp program

What do you think of this new program over on Amazon? Hurtful or helpful for authors?

Get More Writing Done With The Write Or Die Productivity Application

write or die application

I am gearing up for this year’s National Novel Writing Month (which is every November) and I wanted to put a few things in place to help keep me focused. The goal of the month is to write a 50,000 word book in 30 days, which basically amounts to 1667 words a day. It’s definitely challenging for writers of all levels, but it’s a lot of fun and there are a lot of ways that other writers will support you during the process. All for free of course:) While I will be in fact working on a novel, please note that you can also use this challenge to write your non-fiction book as well. In fact I encourage you to do so.

One of the problems that many writers face is becoming distracted and/or editing their work as soon as they type it (a big no-no). I am definitely guilty of both of these blunders. Checking emails is one of my deadly sins. For others it’s social media. For others it may be distractions in the home, etc. Whatever it is, a few successful writers I know of have recommended a web application called Write or Die for getting them laser focused when it’s time to write. This is how writers have been using this particular app with success, and I’ve decided to try it as well during my NaNo challenge.

1. The first thing you need to do is to decide on a chunk of time in your day when you’re going to write.

2. Then you need to commit to it.

3. Once you’ve committed to it, then you need to start writing.

4. Using Write or Die will keep you on task with the “start writing” part because the application punishes you if you STOP writing for a certain period of time. That’s right…punish you.

With this application you can set a word goal, a time limit, and then start writing. If you stop writing after a certain period of time the app will punish you based on the “mode” you’ve set the app for. Gentle mode shows you a pop up window that lets you know you need to get writing again, normal mode plays an “evil” sound as a warning, and the kamikaze mode starts erasing what you’ve already written if you don’t get started writing again! Crazy huh? Crazy like a fox:)

You can download the app for your iPad in iTunes or you can download the desktop version (which works with PC, Mac, and Linux). Either version is only $10 bucks, which I think is a great deal.

Write or Die Desktop Version

Keep in mind that this is not a sophisticated writing and editing tool like Scrivener. The point of this tool is to get words written. 1st draft only. The whole point is that you don’t edit yourself like you usually do which may be hindering your production. The whole idea is to FIRST get a daily dose of word production. When your finished your goal for the day, you can then copy and paste that into your Scrivener or Microsoft Word document and edit later.

Sounds fun right? If you’ve downloaded the app and are using it or have used it in the past, let me know your thoughts in the comment section. I’ll post an update on my usage of it after NaNo.

Sound a little too hard core for you? This is a different (bare bones) app that has a much softer touch for you chickens:)



Writing Resources For The Disabled Writer

disabled writer resourcesI take for granted that I can wake up, sit in my office chair, and write/type all day long if I want. No restrictions. Nothing is hindering me. I’m physically capable of doing it, but there are many people who have a physical disability that restricts their ability to write with ease on a daily basis. For example, I have a friend who has multiple sclerosis and no matter how many times she tells me, it doesn’t totally seem to register to me that some days she just can’t get a lot of writing done in her business because sitting at a computer for long periods of time is just too physically painful.

Yet writing is the ultimate freedom for someone who may be restricted in some way physically, and so as a writer, I am very much committed to promoting the career of writing as a viable income source for people who are unable to work traditional jobs outside the home on a regular basis due to their disability. I hope that this list of resources that I’m sharing today will help support those that choose to do so.

*Please note that this list was originally compiled by novelist Lynn Viehl of PaperBack Writer. She is a self-described “handicapped writer”. You can support her by purchasing one of her books. Thank you Lynn.


Click-N-Type Virtual Keyboard

CNT keyboard customizer (to customize Click-N-Type keyboard)

Cyber Buddy text-to-speech freeware

Dot-to-Dot MacIntosh Braille Editor

EZMagnifier screen magnifier freeware

Java Accessibility Helper (aids developers in making their JFC-based programs accessible to users with disabilities.)

MouseCam screen magnifier

Natural Reader text-to-speech freeware’s free braille and deaf language fonts

Point-N-Click virtual mouse (designed to be compatible with Click-N-Type keyboard)

Rapid Keys Intelligent Virtual Keyboard

Additional Resources:

Grants for Disabled Writers

Helpful Products for Blind and Physically Handicapped People

Simtel’s list of 114 programs for the handicapped user

Programs for handicapped users

Do have any other resources that may be useful for a physically disabled writer? Please share them below and I’ll add them to the list.

Writing Software


A few years ago you could have asked me about writing software and I would have given you a funny look. “Who needs writing software? Just use Microsoft Word and keep it moving.” Is probably what I would have said. But I have evolved. I have grown. And so for the sake of better organization which leads to faster production (something any writer paying the bills desperately needs), I bit the bullet and finally decided to try writing inside a software program. I use it for ALL of my writing (blogging, reports, articles), not just book writing, because a good program can literally turn writing chaos into bliss.

Fast forward to the present and I am so very glad that I started using writing software. While I only use one particular software program, I have compiled a list of all the writing software programs that I know of for you to try for yourself. I have them listed for both Windows and Mac operating systems, and some are free while others are paid. I have noted which are totally free to use (freeware) and which are paid tools ($). Keep in mind that most paid tools have a lengthy free trial. I have placed a ** next to the program that I am currently using in my business.


1. Scrivener For Windows $

scrivener writing software

Scrivener is a premium software program that you can download for free to try (I think it lasts about 30 days). I highly recommend that you take advantage of the free download from the developer Literature and Latte because you can use the time to learn the program. Scrivener was designed to make first drafts easier and is used by novelists, short story writers, script writers, journalists, academics and other writers who need to organize long writing projects.

I downloaded this software (Mac version) about two years ago and ending up putting it to the side, but found myself going back to it when I was working on a rather difficult writing project. I had too many research notes and quotes and other stuff saved to word processing documents, in my phone, on pads of paper. I needed to organize everything and so AMAZINGLY enough I still had a couple of free days on my original download and I took those days to learn the program and haven’t looked back since. A big bonus of this software for authors is that after you’ve written your book, it will compile and format your book properly for paperbacks (ex. CreateSpace), ebooks (ex. Kindle/iBooks), or as a manuscript.

2. PageFour $

Page Four software

PageFour permits you to edit and organize your writing in a tabbed interface. It provides word processing and outlining capabilities and also provides versioning (called “Snapshots”). A favorite of many writers.

3. SmartEdit $

Smart Edit Software

SmartEdit focusses on the editing phase of a writing project and is created by the developer of PageFour (above). It’s not a replacement for a human editor (like myself:), but it will help make your manuscript editor friendly. It contains tools to help you find repeatedly used phrases, adverb over-use and other common problems.

4. RoughDraft (Freeware)

RoughDraft allows you to create and edit rich text files in a tabbed interface, organize them in a Windows Explorer-like side panel, and to keep notes on each one. Unlike other writing software mentioned here, RoughDraft doesn’t keep your files inside its own package, but instead just aids you in organizing them on your hard drive. The only issue with this software is that the developer is no longer updating it. He doesn’t have time, he’s a writer:)

5. WriteWay Pro $

Write Way Software

WriteWay Pro is a designed to be a professional writer’s tool. It limits you to using Acts, Chapters and Scenes, but other than that it is fairly freeform, with a “scratch pad” for storing ideas or scenes you don’t know what to do with. It has decent word processing capabilities, but for me it’s a little over-complicated and clunky, with the option to fill in numerous forms about characters, what should happen in chapters and so forth. I prefer my software not to prompt me, but to leave me to get on with things. Nonetheless, WriteWay Pro seems powerful and relatively flexible, and it is fairly popular.The developers of Liquid Story Binder seem to have had a similar idea to me: to allow writers to store and view their research in the same application as they do their writing. It lets you view pictures and multiple files, although it does force you to do so in different windows. It also features a decent labelling system and various other tools aimed at the creative writer

outline 4d writing software6. Outline 4D

Outline 4D (was StoryView) is essentially an outliner, except that as well as being able to view your story synopsis in a traditional(ish) outliner, you can also view it as a hiearchical storyboard. So at the top, you have a very wide box that may be a description of your book as a whole; underneath that, you might have three boxes describing the three main sections of the book; beneath each of those, you might have several boxes describing the chapters in each part; and so on.

7. yWriter (freeware)

yWriter is a free application which helps writers organize their work into chapters and scenes. It is a freeform tool which doesn’t impose plot ideas or perform other creative tasks. Rather, it helps the author keep track of characters, locations, point-of-view, notes, and so forth, all in one application. yWriter is a multi-platform application, which can run on Linux and Mac OS X as well as Windows, using the Mono platform.

8. NewNovelist $

New Novelist Writing Software

NewNovelist seems to be one of the more popular creative writing software titles available on the PC and has received some pretty good reviews from tech experts. It is a pretty rigid program though, because it forces you to divide your writing into twelve parts, which are based (through various onscreen prompts) on Christopher Vogler’s twelve-step interpretation of Joseph Campbell’s work on the hero’s journey. So if you want to write anything that doesn’t fit that particular structure, you may want to try a different software.

9. Writemonkey $

Similar to WriteRoom for the Mac, Q10 for Windows, and jDarkroom for multi-platform, Writemonkey presents a bare bones, isolated space for pure writing. It is a plain-text editor, optionally integrating with Markdown or Textile to allow for easily formatted exports. It’s primary purpose is the development of text, rather than the editing of text, promoting the theory of reduced distractions to increase writing quality and speed.

10. Q10 (freeware)

A free, lightweight, full screen plain-text editor for Windows featuring useful tools for writers, such as live text statistics, customizable page count calculation, target goals, autosave, timer alarm for timed writing sessions, a spell checker, inline comments, and more. If you are looking for something like WriteRoom which runs on Windows, Q10 is an good alternative. It will not help you out with planning and organizing long texts, but as a focussed first-draft tool, it’s isolated full-screen implementation is great for blocking out distractions.

11. ConnectedText $

Connected Text Software

Known as the personal wiki system. This research, information manager and creativity tool brings the power of wiki-style connective thought to your computer. While it’s not a dedicated writing program, it has interesting, unique features that could easily be used in conjunction with a more robust software, as a research assistant—or even as a stand-alone writing application.


12. Scrivener For Mac $ **

scrivener writing software

(See Windows version description above) – This is the writing software program that I currently use and I absolutely love it. Totally worth every penny. I may do a tutorial soon around it because there is somewhat of a learning curve if you’ve never used writing software before– although the developer provides tons of documentation (pdf and video).

13. WriteRoom $

Write Room Software

WriteRoom is a dedicated full screen writing application for distraction-free writing. Imagine a better-looking TextEdit that can operate in a beautiful full screen mode. WriteRoom has deservedly caused quite a buzz among the Mac writing community for its simplicity, style and ability to help you concentrate on the text. In all fairness though, you can really accomplish the same thing if you own Pages.

14. Ulysses $

ulysses app

Ulysses, by Blue-Tec, was one of the first programs on the Mac to be targeted specifically at creative writers. It may have been the first program to offer a full-screen view for text-editing. While they are in the midst of updating their software, I believe it still only allows plain text editing and makes you use tags to define where you want italics to go. The designers have a very strong design philosophy—so this is a writing program that you are either going to love or hate.

15. CopyWrite $

copywrite software

CopyWrite was once the most popular creative writing software available for the Mac, although I’m not sure how often it is updated today. Their last award seems to have been given in 2004 which they still feature on their website. Features include: Simple, consistent editor, Handy notes drawer, Full-screen editor, Version control, Automatic project backup, and Easy project export.

16. Jer`s Novel Writer (Freeware)

I’ve labeled this as freeware, because there is a fully functional version of this software that you can download as a free trial for as long as you like. But the developer basically uses an honor system and asks you to purchase a license key if you choose to keep it. This software is another popular and unique Mac writing program. It allows you to annotate your text using margin notes (which could possibly be why Apple decided to handle comments in Pages), and provides an outline of “text blocks” in a drawer, with which you can move around chunks of text. It also lets you keep notes on your whole text and provides a basic database for storing ideas, character information and research.

17. StoryMill $

StoryMill Writing Software

StoryMill (originally Avenir) is a piece of writing management software written by the same developer, Todd Ransom, who developed Montage, the new Mac screenwriting software, for Mariner Software. There are a lot of similarities between the two. StoryMill provides scene, chapter and character management capabilities along with the ability to annotate your text.

18. DevonThink $

DevonThink Software

Not so much writing software as a great database tool for your research, DevonThink is a very powerful organizational tool and does provide basic text-editing capabilities.

19. OmniOutliner $

Omni Outliner Software

I require all of my clients to become proficient when it comes to preparing an outline and OmniOutliner is probably the most powerful—and popular—outlining tool available for the Mac. The basic version came free with new Macs, until Apple abandoned their bundled software program. Remember when we use to get all kinds of cool free software with our new Macs?

20. WriteItNow (Mac and PC) $write it now writing software

WriteItNow was originally designed for the PC, so the interface isn’t quite as sexy as other Mac software because it isn’t written in Cocoa. However, it provides hierarchical organization of your work and some powerful research tools.

21. MacJournal $

MacJournal Software

MacJournal is journaling/blogging software rather than creative writing software, although you could bend it to creative writing if you really wanted to. It is very powerful, very easy to use, and has won numerous awards.


Source –



What Kind Of Book Should I Write?

what kind of book to write

As you are probably well aware of there has been a huge shift in the publishing industry that has made writing and publishing books much more appealing and more accessible for the average person. So that’s why I tend to get a lot of people who write me mention that they are definitely interested in becoming an author but really aren’t very sure about what kind of book they should write.

Believe it or not a lot of these people don’t have any idea what they want to write about (and this may be you), because they have zero clue on what kinds of books they like. The reason? They don’t read. Now obviously I don’t mean that they’ve never read, but I’m talking about the average North American adult who works well over 40 hours a week, has a spouse perhaps, children, and/or pets plus a social life. In other words, I’m talking about people who don’t make time to read which can very easily happen but have always had a dream of writing a book. Sound like you?

You Have To Read

The first step to understanding what you like and don’t like and what kind of book you should write is to READ, and I mean read a lot! Start with a genre you are interested in, read a few books, and then move to another genre and rinse and repeat. This doesn’t have to break the bank either. The best way to dive into different genres without spending tons of money is to download free ebooks.

Don’t worry! A free ebook does not necessarily mean that it is synonymously a “crappy” book. For example, many established authors who are trying to introduce their work to new readers will run a promotion and give away the first book in a series etc. for free.

How To Find & Download Free Ebooks

Amazon – Free Kindle Ebook Collection

Barnes & Noble  – Free Nook Ebooks

Kobo Books – Free Kobo Ebooks

Try this post:


Here’s another zero cost way to get to know your genre. I just discovered that my local library allows me to check out ebooks and magazines digitally! How cool is that? I can read Newsweek and a NYT bestseller right on my iPad for free. Sweet! So I highly recommend that you check with your local library and see if those services are available to you. You might be pleasantly surprised.

One More Thing…

Consider this if you’re not totally sold on my whole “read a lot” thing yet.. Perhaps you watch a lot of one genre on television (let’s take crime mysteries like CSI) and you even read a few of the New York Times Bestseller crime novels when they come out , BUT you want to write a book about your life growing up on a farm. Your next step would be to read a LOT of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. Be sure to read a lot in the genre that you are interested in so you can recognize what you like and what you don’t like.

Let me know in the comment section when you’ve taken your first step by downloading a new book and what genres are peaking your interest. I look forward to seeing your progress!


How To Convert PDF To Word

pdf to word

When I hit a big period of writer’s block, one of the things I like to do to get my mojo back is to “edit” rather than write from scratch. So I dig in my archives, pull out things I’ve written a very long time ago, edit, then publish. What I’ve found is that over the years I’ve been sloppy in keeping final drafts of a lot of things so I may only have a finished product which is usually in PDF format.

PDF To Word

A free and easy way to convert any old PDF document you may have floating around to an editable RTF or Word document is by using this cool website I found recently. This one really works! I didn’t run into any problems with the size of my document and I didn’t have to leave any credit card information. 100% free.

Here’s the site:


How Do I Get A PDF Document To Show On My Website?

Frequently Asked Question – PDF Uploads


One of my favorite clients is planning and promoting a huge workshop and created a digital flier that she wanted to share with her community via her website. She created the flier as a PDF document, because she is also sharing the flier with different online/email groups etc. and needed to pass it around electronically. So here’s the dilemma…

What She Tried

1. She wanted to upload the PDF flier to her WordPress blog so that people could view it immediately when they visited the page.

2. She tried uploading it via her media uploader on her WordPress blog and then pasted the link on a new page on her blog.

The Problem

The web reads PDFs as files so any file with .pdf at the end of the url will be shown as a downloadable link (http://myguide.pdf). People click on the link and they can download your pdf file which is great in many instances where we are sharing information to be downloaded and read – but the client wants people to immediately be able to view the flier. So…

The Solution

There are several workarounds for this issue. The end result we want is a visual representation of the flier. In other words we need to make an image versus a file.

1. Use the software that you used to create the original document and “save as” a .tiff, .png, or .jpg file. All of these are image formats.

2. If you cannot save your document as an image then the next best thing to do is to “take a picture” of your document. This is what I usually do because it’s a super fast solution.

So you would simply open up your pdf file and take a screenshot of it. I use Jing to take all my screenshots. It’s free and easy to use. I also have a screenshot tool which is a browser extension on Chrome, but the problem with some of these tools is that they are only for capturing things you have showing in your web browser and not your entire computer. That’s why I end up mostly using Jing. Whatever you use, most screenshot software is free.

3. Save and name your new image. Upload it to your website using whatever FTP method you use. In WordPress you could simply use the Add Media option. Add the image to a new post or page on your website and presto! Now people can see and read your pdf file without having to download it first.

Note: This obviously works well with one page files because you are creating one image, but if you have more pages you just need to create an image file for each page, repeating the screenshot process for each page, and then inserting each image into your post or page.

Troubleshooting Your Google Authorship


I try to set aside a working day every month or so to do something I (not so fondly) describe as “clean up day”. This usually means digging in the archives of my hard drive and tossing out applications or files that I don’t need and other things of that nature. One thing that was on my “to do” list for ages was troubleshooting why my Google Authorship was working on some pages and not others.

I played around with this a little a few months back, but gave up after a time because I felt like I had better things to do. But I’m going to be honest here, getting Google Authorship right is important especially for a writer. When I see the picture of an author by an article that I have searched for on the web, it immediately gives me the impression that this writer is credible, that I kind of know the person or at least can connect with them on a human level, and entices to me to click rather than on the search results without Google authorship. Why wouldn’t I want that same advantage for my own work?

There are a lot of tutorials on the web (I published one back in 2011) that tried to simplify what Google did a very poor job of explaining to us lay people…how to get the darn thing to work. Since then there have been WordPress templates (Genesis), WordPress plugins, and more tutorials which have popped up all over the place trying to make it a bit easier to accomplish.

I used a lot of these solutions when first troubleshooting my Google Authorship, but every time I went to test my site in the Google Structured Data Testing Tool a.k.a. rich snippets testing tool (you’ll find this in your Google webmaster tools area), there was always something not working. Some pages would work, but not all. You may not even know that your authorship isn’t totally working if you don’t test several different pages in the testing tool, so here’s my advice:

1. Identify the websites, pages, and posts you’d like associated with your Google profile.

In most cases, the obvious answer is all of them, but remember this includes all your guest posts too. There are a lot of major sites out there who have set up Google authorship for themselves but not for their guest posters, so it’s critical that you identify yourself as a contributor to sites like this and link those articles to your Google+ profile.

2. Test a few of your most important pages in the Structured Data Testing Tool.

I made sure to test my main site’s url, my high traffic pages, my popular guest posts, reviews, etc.

google authorship testing


3. Establish More Direct Connections

Most tutorials instructed us to link from our Google+ profile to an ABOUT or BIO page on our site. This has varying results, so one thing you can do is to make more direct connections from your articles/posts to your profile. Now if you have hundreds of posts this might not be the right solution, BUT if you identify the posts that are high ranking in search results you might narrow that number down quite a bit and then can manually add your link to the end of your posts. Perhaps you could add a copyright notice.

Example: © <a href=”[Google+ Profile Url]?rel=author”>Lisa Angelettie</a>

4. Layer Your Solutions

Honestly, I don’t know what ONE solution ended up being the ticket for me. I have layers of solutions:

WordPress Plugins

2013-09-04_1830 2013-09-04_1831


Thesis Theme Skins

I use Thesis as the template for my site, but I use a “SKIN” on top of it to make it look the way it does. An email optin box at the top and bottom of my site AND the option of adding an author box to the end of every post. This author box is where you can add your Google+ link.

Manual Linking

I have added the direct links to my profile manually on certain pages on my site and to certain guest posts.

That’s how important it is to me to achieve Google Authorship and finally it works!!! I hope this was helpful to you in some way. If you have any questions or tips please add them in the comment section below. Now go out there and claim your content!




What Are Your Book Writing Goals: One Book Or A Book Writing Career?

book writing career

If you’re thinking about writing a book or have written a book already, I’d love for you to read this post over on fiction author Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog, because I thought it brought up a few excellent points that every writer needs to consider.

What are your book writing goals?

Is it a goal for you to simply write a book (which is no easy feat:) to say that you did it? Would that be a major accomplishment for you that you could check off of your bucket list? Or perhaps you would like to write a book that gets published by a mainstream publishing house that you can haul around with you to your speaking engagements?

Or do you want carve out a career writing and publishing books? Perhaps you’ve been trying to write a book or series of books for years. Maybe you make a living at writing in some other capacity and always thought of book writing as a “side hustle” or a “dream deferred”.

Did you even think that it was possible to make a substantial living as a writer even if you don’t have an existing platform to stand on?

Listen– I’m not judging. Whatever kinds of goals you have as a writer and entrepreneur are perfectly fine, but perhaps you haven’t really given it much thought. Honestly this post gave me some food for thought for myself in regards to my own writing. Check it out…

The Business Rusch: A Career Versus Publication

I was a bit stunned at the response to last week’s blog, not because the response was negative—it wasn’t—but because so many of you said that you had no idea that writing was a career choice.

On a gut level, many of you knew that some of us had made careers as writers, but over the years—decades, maybe—the idea that a writer could not just make a living, but spend her life writing without financial support from some other job, had gotten lost.

The fact that so many of you had no idea writers could be in this profession for life while, at the same time, wanting to become professional writers helped me realize something that I hadn’t been able to understand before.

People make different choices when they’re looking at a career as opposed to the choices they make to achieve a single goal.

Read the rest at:

Are you looking to publish one book or make a career of writing books? Let’s all check in. I’ll go first…I would like a book writing career.

How To Use Google’s New Keyword Planner For Quick And Easy Keyword Research

With plenty of advance warning from Google, Keyword Planner has now finally replaced their Keyword Tool. If you’re like me, you probably used Keyword Tool quite a bit to do some of your keyword research for blog posts, articles, book topics, and other SEO for your business. Because I absolutely LOVE keyword research and am a bit OCD about it, I like to do “layers” of keyword research for anything I write. This is all about living by one of my writing principles which is to always write with a purpose. I never aimlessly write anything and neither should you. Your time is precious and every minute counts.

My first layer of keyword research always begins with Google’s Keyword Tool (now Keyword Planner) primarily because at first I only want to identify a variety of keyword phrases related to my topic AND I want to isolate those phrases which have decent amounts of traffic (at least over 3,000 monthly views). I’ll do my deeper research on competition for these phrases using a more robust keyword tool like the LongTailPro Keyword Research Tool. For what I want to do first though, Keyword planner will help me do it rather quickly.

1. You Need An Adwords Account To Login to Keyword Planner.

With the old version, you use to be able to directly access the tool and use a CAPTCHA if you weren’t logged into Adwords to prove that you were a human being. That is no longer the case. Everyone has to log in. Don’t worry if you don’t have an Adwords account. There is no cost to open one and there is no requirement for you to start making an ad. If you already have a Gmail address, use Google analytics or Adsense then you already have a Google account and all you need to do is log into that account and sign up for Adwords. If you don’t use any Google products, you can easily just sign up for a free account in Adwords.

Once you login you’ll see the main Google Adwords dashboard asking you to create your first ad. You will instead click on the Tools and Analysis Tab and in the dropdown menu you will see the option for keyword planner.

keyword planner

2. Search For Keywords

Next you’ll be asked what you want to do and so next you’ll want to select search for keyword and ad group ideas.

keyword ideas

3. Customize Your Search

Next is the area where you add your primary keyword or keyword phrase and set up your filter options. For example, if you want to do keyword research on clean energy just type clean energy into the first box (where the arrow is pointing).

Most of the default options are fine for a basic search but you may want to play around with some of the targeting or customized features. For instance, I add the feature of making sure that my results only show results for phrases that get at least 3,000 searches a month. Just click on keyword filters and add the number in the average monthly search box.

keyword phrases

4. Keyword Planner Uses Exact Match By Default

In the old version, you had to select whether you wanted to search for your keywords using broad, phrase, or exact match– but it used “broad match” by default. That proved to be disastrous for a whole lot of people, because using a broad search gives you skewed “inflated” results. You may think 10,000 people search for your term every month when if you did an exact search for the term you would find that actually only 2,000 people do. So one thing that the new keyword planner has gotten right is making sure that “exact match” is the default search filter. So you won’t see that option in the filter area like you use to. I love this change!

5. Get Your Keyword Results

By default the planner takes you to ad group ideas first, but we don’t really want to use that for our research purposes, so just click on the next tab named “keyword ideas”. It’s here where you’ll see average monthly searches, rate of competition (for ads), and average cost per click of an ad for that keyword. Below is how Google describes what the data in each column means.

keyword statistics

6. Save Your Keywords

If you want to save your keywords which I highly recommend so that you have an easy go-to list when doing your long tail research, it’s easy to do by simply clicking on the download ideas tab and it will save in Excel CSV format.

download google keywords

Tada! The End. Simple wasn’t it? If you have any questions or tips to share about the new version of Google’s Keyword Planner keyword tool then feel free to add your two cents in the comment section below and on Facebook and Twitter.

Google Keyword Planner Documentation:
Long Tail Keyword Tool: LongTail Pro