First things first: there are a lot of ways to get an e-book wrong. Just look at all the confessions from those that have braved the e-Book cave. It can go very badly, you’re not going to know what you’re doing until it’s done, you’re going to make a lot of rookie mistakes, and you’re likely going to fall flat on your face and/or pull all your hair out in the excruciatingly long process.
Scared? Sorry about that. The good thing is that there’s also a ton of value to be had in creating an e-book: you can make a little money off of it, build and expand your audience, strengthen your credibility as an expert thought-leader, and increase traffic to your website
Before you take the plunge here are some things to keep in mind if you want to produce a high-quality e-book that will bring results.
Do you have time?
Start to finish this is going to be a multi-year project. If you do nothing but dedicate all of your time to the e-book you can probably deliver a decent e-book in under a year… but how many of us have that much time on our hands?
- Research deciding on your topic or topics and gathering materials
- Outlining the grunt work, the more you do ahead of time the less you have to do on the day
- Writing months and months of writing, rewriting, overcoming writer’s block, and writing some more
- Editing proofreading, editing for content, copy editing, and even having 3rd party editors do passes
- Formatting & Design this is where you put the “spine” on the book, design the pages and assemble it for…
- Distribution adding the book to your website and looping it into your sales funnel, promoting the book, connecting it to your blogs and social channels, and following up with customers
- Tracking tracking sales, traffic to your website, traffic to and from your blogs and optimizing it to increase the conversion rate on sales
What does your audience need?
Not what you need, but what the audience needs. Do they need another e-book on organic gardening? Probably not since there are about an umpteen bajillion of them out there. Do they need an e-book about monetizing your organic backyard garden through farm-to-market and farm-to-table entrepreneurship? That’s starting to sound more like something you can sell. At the risk of sounding redundant: niche, niche, niche!
Do you have expertise and can you deliver authoritative content?
So you’re writing an e-book on farm-to-market organic gardening… but do you even garden, bro? If not then it probably isn’t a good idea. But more importantly, if it’s a hobby that you do organic gardening then ask yourself whether you can create authoritative content. Do you have expertise that they can’t find anywhere else?
Similarly, do you already have content that you can repurpose into an e-book and is that content high-quality? Blogs, white papers, and guides that you’ve already developed will help to inform what kind of authoritative e-book you’ll be able to deliver.
Do you have a sales funnel in place to distribute/convert/capture?
Writing an e-book isn’t a “if you build it they will come” kind of scenario. Once the book is together is when the work really begins. The beautiful things about e-books is that they can go just about everywhere on the internet, but that also doesn’t mean you should put it just anywhere.
We talk a lot in this blog about the interconnectivity of SEO, Content, and Social Media and how they work best in a package supporting and contributing to the success of one another. Writing an e-book will be great for your brand, but you should really considers how it fits into your marketing efforts as a whole. How can it elevate your current efforts and bring you to the next level? Not as a standalone piece, but as part of a whole.
Developing your e-book strategy
Want to figure out if an e-book is really right for your brand? Contact us so we can go over your options and help come up with the best marketing strategy for your business.