I’ve studied a number of Internet marketing courses and very many of them have overlapping information. One thing that they all agree on is the importance of list building and one of the most effective ways of building a list is to offer readers something for free, very often in the form of an e-book.
You have two choices, you can buy a PLR (private label rights) e-book or you can write your own. Many internet marketers use PLR as a source for ready-made articles and e-books, but the problem is many PLR sellers do not limit the amount of copies they offer for sale which means the e-book you offer to your readers may be exactly the same as the giveaway offered by any number of other sites.
Writing an eBook to be used as a giveaway isn’t difficult if you know your subject. There are no restrictions as to size, an eBook can be five pages long or 50, it all depends on what you’re writing about. Writing an e-book to sell is a different proposition altogether – there’s going to marketing involved if you want to make money from it.
The topic of your eBook should be focused – the subject of which you can explain succinctly in a couple of sentences. If it takes more than that, then it will not be focused enough. Remember this is not going to be the last e-book you write hopefully, so don’t put everything you know into just one book. The question is, what do your prospective customers want to know about that you can write about effectively and with authority? In your business if people keep e-mailing you the same questions, or you get the same questions posted on your blog, then that may give you a clear idea of what you could write about.
There’s nothing better than being able to say “click on this link for my free e-book about xyz” rather than repeating the same answer to the same questions over and over again. If there are certain articles and posts on your blog that get more response than others, then those subjects could be expanded into e-books. You must be focused, and if you understand your audience you will soon get to know what they’re looking for.
Most people are either lazy or in a hurry, and even though the subject you choose doesn’t have a lot of unique information you could add, it is far easier for a reader to click on a link to an e-book on your site, rather than visiting dozens of different websites to find the same information. If you can add your own twist on the subject and inject your unique personality into what you write, then that’s even better.
You’ll also want to be able to offer your e-book in a year’s time, so it’s a good idea not to include time-sensitive material. Of course the beauty of writing your own e-book is you can always go back and edit it if something changes and then offer it again as an updated version.
Writing an e-book is a marathon compared to writing a 500-word article, so you will need to get your thoughts organized. One of the best ways to do this is to use Bubbl.us, a thought mapping tool that’s free to use. Instead of writing down ideas on bits of paper you can add your ideas to different bubbles that you create and eventually organize all those idea bubbles into order, then move them around and get your chapters into logical order.
Nobody can sit down and write a 20 page e-book without being organized! Start out by writing everything down that you want to include and keep adding to your ideas. Once you have enough material and your chapters are in order, then it’s time to start writing. Each chapter will be pertinent to the main topic of your e-book and you should also add lots of bullet points – which will make your pages easy to read. Make your paragraphs short and have a lot of “white space” i.e. there should be plenty of space on the page without any writing at all. You’re not writing a boring thesis!
You can also insert hyperlinks into your text that refer to other things such as reputable sources and even affiliate products. Don’t have too many or the reader may become distracted. If there is some valuable information you can provide to your reader don’t be afraid to link to it, the reader will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Obviously this is a very small explanation of how you can build an e-book, but if writing doesn’t scare you then a well-written and helpful e-book can bring you a lot of qualified leads. If on the other hand you hate writing and a 500-word blog post is all you can do in one day, then you can always hire somebody to write it for you. You will still have to come up with the chapter headings and offer a lot of guidance to the writer, so in other words you’re going to have to do the majority of the work yourself anyway.
It’s useful to download a couple of free e-books that are relevant to your business. Take a look at the layout and the length of these books to see what you like about them and then make notes about the things you don’t like. Graphics and layout are very important; you want the finished product to look professional. Put a lot of thought into what you title your e-book. Titles that include the words “tips”, “tricks”, or “how to” are always attractive to readers.
The first e-book will be the hardest – the second one will be a piece of cake!
Have you written an e-book, and was it worth the time you spent doing it? Did it increase the number of leads and opt-ins on your site as you had hoped?