eBooks are generally written to assist, to entertain or to educate readers. But let’s face it, as much as you have the best intention of helping people, writing an ebook takes a significant investment in time and effort, and is therefore generally written with a specific business goal in mind. I have detailed four key reasons an individual or business should consider embarking on the journey of writing an eBook below. (Before you read on: I strongly suggest choosing just one of the four reasons listed below as your point of focus rather than a hybrid, as otherwise you run the risk of diluting your progress towards the end goal).
1. Lead Generation
In my experience, the most common reason to write an eBook apart from selling it, is to generate a list of future leads by growing your email database. This is a relatively straightforward process, most often initiated as a simple call-to-action on your website prompting your website visitors to leave their email address in exchange for a downloadable copy of the eBook.
For example, on xxx’s website you will see a simple online form, where visitors simply type in their name and email address to get their hands on xxxx book. When you consider the alternatives for growing your email database (such as running competitions promoted by Facebook Paid Posts or Google Adwords) which can easily end up costing in excess of $2 per database lead with high attrition rates, writing a compelling eBook and offering it for free proves to be a cost-effective method of drip-feeding a constant flow of high-quality leads to your email database.
Traditional publishers of books and magazines will be all too familiar with the concept of a ‘cover price’, and the revenue model for selling eBooks is no different. The main difference is that in comparison to the traditional print media, there or virtually no overheads to physically produce the publication. Even better, the ‘supply’ of your eBook is uncapped, which means your shopfront or resellers will never run out of stock.
While selling through your own website seems like a logical place to start, and allows you complete control of your marketing, relying on your website alone will significantly restrict your revenue potential. Just as books and magazines are predominantly sold through major retailers online and in local shopping malls, eBooks can be sold to the public through specialist eBook stores such as Clickbank and xxxx. Due to the strong reputation of these retailers within the global market, you will unprecedented reach to new audiences globally. Some of these retailers (namely Clickbank,) double as affiliate networks, allowing even further reach to new audiences while only charging an agreed commission per completed sale.
Whilst the overheads are low and therefore offers an attractive return on investment, the revenue model for eBooks is not foolproof. The relative ease of sending an email with a pdf attachment, means that the risk of your eBook being unlawfully redistributed is always real. Piracy is a reality in the modern digital age, so a small loss of sales due to piracy should always be factored into your revenue projections, though surprisingly rarely (if ever) has piracy been reported as significantly impacting the sales of a great eBook.
3. Boost Brand Reputation
Let’s say that you are a new player in your field, and you are looking for a way to increase awareness of your brand. A great way to build rapport and trust within a community, is to offer qualified free advice to those in need, and an eBook can be an ideal method for achieving this at scale. Why? Because you could spend an entire lifetime speaking to people individually about precisely the same solution to precisely the same problem. Alternatively, you could add each individual to a group email, and send them a pre-written solution in eBook form which still solve their problem and therefore still boost your reputation, but with a fraction of the time. And the best bit about this approach is it usually leaves them wanting more; this desire is a powerful force for a brand to have with a consumer.
The approach to writing an eBook to grow the reputation of brand (be it a personal brand, or a business) is relatively uncomplicated. The first step is research, research, research. This could be through conversation with a sample set of your target market, it could be through online research on social media and in forums or it could be through Google keyword research . The next step is obvious – write and publish an eBook that addresses the common problem or need that you identified during your research. Once this is complete, hatch an eBook marketing plan to get your digital publication in front of them. Simples!
Did you know that you can improve your visibility in Search Engines and achieve great SEO results by releasing an eBook? SEO = Links, and the better the book, the more links back to your website (where the book lives). There are a couple of ways to encourage even more backlinks. Firstly you can become an active participant in newsgroups and discussions related to the topic of your eBook…just make sure your posts are informative and valuable and are not just spruiking your book. Secondly, you can submit your free eBook to eBook directories such as:
- Know free
The more quality links which point back to your website, the more website’s rankings in Search Engines will improve, so get creative with your outreach strategy and maximise those link opportunities.