Writing an eBook can seem daunting if you’ve never done one before. If you’re uncertain about whether it’s worth the effort, keep reading. No matter what your budget is or what industry you’re in, consider an eBook when developing your marketing plan.
1. You’re Halfway There Already
The good news is that you’re not penning the great American novel, you don’t need to stare at an empty word document and pray for inspiration. If you or your company has a blog, chances are you already have most of the content you need to create an eBook.
Have you written multiple graphic design tutorials for infographics? Consider writing The Nitty-Gritty Details to Perfect Your IG. Ebooks aren’t just for the content marketing industry; almost any client can transform blog content into an eBook. Look at frequently asked questions for the industry that you have answered and work to put them all together. You’re on your way to a comprehensive “Everything You Need to Know About…” or “The Basics of…” eBook.
By repurposing your content, you don’t blow your entire marketing budget for the year and you don’t stress out your copywriters with the task of writing an entire book.
2. They Build Your Credibility
One of the main selling points of WordPress and Blogger is the fact that they’re free. Anyone can sign up and start blogging, which means you have a lot of competition. Creating an eBook establishes your credibility above your competition – or on-par with your competition – and builds trust.
While the actual content itself will build up your authority in a particular industry, we can’t forget about the SEO love that comes with an eBook launch. Other blogs will use your eBook as a resource and link back to your website. This gives you link juice that will build up your credentials in the eyes of search engine crawlers who can move your site up in the SERPs.
When you create a quality eBook, you’ll attract your target audience and become more appealing to the search engine robots.
3. They Open New Mediums to Promote Yourself
Your current marketing strategy might include posting regularly on social media, sending out a weekly newsletter and contributing to other blogs in your industry. While your audience grows in each of these tactics, you’re not reaching sets of completely new people who are interested in your work.
Enter Ebay, Amazon, EBooks.com, and a multitude of other eBook sites on the web. Choose the websites you want to post on based on whether you want to charge for your eBook or offer it for free. Look at what your competition is doing with their eBooks and where they’re having success.
There are plenty of Kindle and iPad readers out there that are interested in your content, they just haven’t found your blog yet. Show off your best work and use your eBook to get in front of fresh faces to build your audience.
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4. You Can Go Into More Detail
Blog posts are usually limited to a few hundred words — maybe a couple thousand for longer articles — which means have to be more concise and make their points faster. EBooks give you an opportunity to really flesh-out your ideas, give all the examples you want, and go into the detail needed to fully explain your concept.
Ebooks tend to give back as much as they take. You can reference the eBook in future blog posts to guide readers to learn more about a certain subject. For example, if you’re writing an article about pairing different fonts and readers need to know the basics of typography to full understand the concepts, you can link back to your Typography for Dummies eBookto get them caught up.
5. They Require Little to No Special Skills to Create
Creating an EBook doesn’t have to be a project that takes all of Q3 for your copywriter and graphic designer to assemble. Yes, a quality eBook will take time to compose, but you get to determine how easy or hard yours is to publish. If you want your designer to sit down in Illustrator and Indesign to create it in actual book format, it’s your call. If you want to take PowerPoint slides or a Word Doc and hit the Save As PDF button you can do that too.
The number of bells and whistles needed to launch your eBook can be dictated by your time, budget and resources. They’re one of the most flexbile marketing tactics out there.
6. They Show The Differences Between You and Your Competition
You might be wondering how this is different from building your credibility. After all, you wrote an eBook, they did not, ergo: your blog/site/company is better. However, this point relates to industry practices and your company’s personal tastes and preferences. You don’t have to give away trade secrets, but if your company uses a certain tactic that no one in the industry does, brag about it. If there are two different techniques to solve a problem, teach readers how to do both, then explain why your company prefers one way over the other.
Your eBook should be a resource that anyone in the industry can learn from, but can also promote your company’s vision, techniques and products to potential clients.
Which brings us to our final reason:
7. They Bring in Leads
Any way you slice it, eBooks help bring more business to your company. The purpose of the above steps – raising your search ranking, getting in front of a different audience, showing off why you’re better than the competition – is to convince potential clients that you’re the company they want to hire. You know what you’re doing and you’re going to produce a product that’s as high quality as the eBook you created.
In a more specific measurement manner, eBook sign-ups can help grow your mailing list for newsletters, news and coupons. When you release your eBook, be sure to have analytics tools set up to track the progress and calculate how many conversions you have made from the eBook. All of your work could be for naught if you can’t prove the ROI of your efforts.
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Bonus: Blog Content
Take everything you learned while assembling your eBook and make a podcast, an article, a webinar, whatever you want. If on your first try you fall out of the failure tree and hit every branch on the way down, create a blog post called X Obstacles to Look Out for When Making Your First Ebook. Even if you fail spectacularly, at least you will learn along the way. Go out and share your knowledge with the world!