Writing e-Books To Generate Leads

You don’t need me to tell you that you need to have a regular flow of visitors to your websites and offers to have a successful online business. It is something that is just part of the environment we work in. However, generating those leads is often the biggest challenge that many marketers face and is often the reason that many simply give up before they see any real success. In this article I am going to introduce you to the idea that writing e-books can be a great way to generate leads for your business.

In my last post I wrote about 5 Steps To Building An e-Mail List. This article is really an extension to the second step – Find Or Create Something To Give Away For Free. Before you click away because you think that writing an e-book is too hard and that you could never do it I would ask that you hear me out. You see, that reaction is usually the very first that someone has when presented with the Idea that they could write an e-book. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

When I use the word ‘e-book’ I am including the concept of both a report and a full e-book together. The difference is in the size of the finished document. If the final product is 10-15 pages long it is a report and if it is longer than that then it is an e-book. But for the purposes of generating leads and building a list it is not the size of the final document that matters as much as the value of the content. People are quite willing to give you their e-mail address if they feel that they are getting something of real value in return. If it solves a problem for them then the size of the product does not matter because it is the solving of the problem that is important!

Let’s explore the process that you could use to create your very own e-book… and remember that once you have created your first one then you know the process and the second and subsequent products are easier to create.

Have A Clear Objective

Just as you would do when writing a blog post build your e-book around one topic, with a single objective in mind. Believe me when I tell you that you will never create a single publication that will address every need of every potential reader so don’t even try. The best approach is to find a problem and then solve it.

Let me encourage you at this point with this… don’t allow yourself to be put off by the fact that you might not know all the answers when you start your project. There is nothing wrong with that and it is nothing that cannot be solved with a little research. This means that writing your e-book might very well be a part of your own education. The reality is that your potential readers don’t really need your publication because they could do their own research and find the answers but equally as real is the fact that people are inherently lazy. They want things dished up on a plate for them without having to do any work themselves.

Anyway back to the point I am making about having a clear objective. Find a problem and solve it. Now you are the expert! Stay focused on the problem and don’t allow yourself to get sidetracked. As an example let’s say that you are operating in the dog training niche and you have found that there are a lot of people having trouble with their dog not coming when called. So you head off to Google and find out from a number of sources that the problem can be addressed and that there are a number of steps to achieve the goal. Now it is time to write your report/e-book and when it is done here is what it contains. An introduction that outlines the problem, a discussion around why it is a problem if your dog does not come when called and then a step by step guide to fixing the problem. This section has as much detail as is needed (including pictures if that is appropriate). Your publication then ends with a conclusion and of course your bio and a reference to your website where the reader can find more of your valuable information on this and other dog training topics.

Will this publication appeal to everybody in your niche? Of course not but it will appeal to anyone who has a dog that won’t come when called. To attract people who are not having this issue you simply create another publication that addresses a different issue… for example, barking. My point is that you need to have a defined objective and address that and only that.

Keeping It Simple

The common acronym ‘KISS’ is appropriate here. Keep it Short and Simple. In other words say what you have to say and then finish. There is no need to try to sound like anything that you are not… your reader has a problem and you have the answer. What could be more simple?

Having said that your publication needs to say everything that it needs to say. Don’t be tempted to give half the solution and then try to send them to your website for the rest. My mentor once told me that I should be giving away my best stuff. What I am saying here is don’t shortchange your readers. Give them all the information they need and then wrap it up. Put another way, tell them what you have to tell them and then stop. Your readers will appreciate this and be happy to come back to you as they need more help in the future… after all your e-book has established you as an expert.

What’s In A Name?

A good title is important, even vital, to the ultimate success of your final e-book so spend some time to come up with the best title that you can. So what makes a good title? Think for a moment about how you choose what you will read and what you will ignore. I would almost be willing to bet my last dollar that you most likely choose what you will read by looking at the cover and the title and if it appeals you might look closer. If it does not grab you then you will simply move on. No matter how much we are encouraged to the contrary we do indeed judge a book by its cover!

A significant part of the cover is the title so you need to choose a good one. The best way to find a good title is to spend some time on this… at least in my experience. I like to have my e-book written (and the same applies to blog posts and articles as well) and fully edited while I think about a title. Ideas will come as you create your content and I suggest you write them down and put them to one side as you are creating.

Once you have finished the contents of you e-book walk away for a while. I often leave an e-book for two or three days while I chew over different ideas for a title. I will write down each idea so I don’t forget it… even if it is a silly idea because once it is safely on paper I can forget it and move on to other ideas. Silly ideas can frequently be the catalyst for another idea that might not be so silly… so don’t just ignore them.

You could also enlist the help of other people. Friends and family, as well as other marketing contacts, can help with a bit of brainstorming. It is a simple matter of saying, “I have written an e-book about … and I have some ideas for a title. What do you think?” You might be surprised at what comes out of this simple question.

Once you have your title written it is time to get the rest of the cover sorted out. Unless you are an exert in graphic design the I strongly recommend that you outsource this as it is another vital component to your e-book. Shop around a bit because prices do vary but it is possible to find a good deal. You could try places like fiverr.com or the Warriors For Hire section of the Warriors Forum.

Editing Makes The Difference

It is true that we are not all skilled to the same degree when it comes to writing and structuring language so while you are waiting for the graphic component (ie the e-book cover) go back and edit and refine the final text of your e-book. You might like to use someone you know who can do this better than you to assist or even do the task for you. As with the production of the e-book cover you might even consider outsourcing this function.

However you undertake this task it is important to understand that the finished e-book will be all the better for the attention. Consider for a moment that it is your reputation that is on the line every time you publish something be it a blog post or an e-book so it is important to publish the very best content that you can. This is just as important for a product you intend to giveaway as much as it is for one that you intend to sell.

On the flip side don’t spend so much time editing and tweaking your e-book that you never get around to actually publishing it. Once it is finished it is finished and it is time to publish.

Conclusion

As you can see the process is not difficult. All it takes to produce an e-book of your own is a little time and discipline. As I suggested earlier as you get more experienced each subsequent e-book is easier than the one before. I recall when I first started writing in this blog I struggled to think of things to write about and my posts were very short. All in all they weren’t really very good. Yet people still read them and found helpful information in them. Over time it has become much, much easier to write and I have so much that I can write about. It’s all about doing it and with practice comes a better product.

As I finish with this article let me point you to a product I bought some time ago called The 6-Hour e-Book by Mailei Iske. Mailei is an accomplished freelance writer and wrote the 6 Hour e-Book to help others learn how to create their own e-books. It is a very good course and if you are looking for more help on this topic you will find this well worth investing a few (and it is only a few) dollars in.

I do hope you have found this helpful and even challenges you to ‘have a go’ at writing your own e-book. If I can help further please feel free to e-mail (check out the Contact Donald Gavin page on this site) and ask. Alternatively you can leave a comment and don’t forget to share this article with others by using the social buttons on the left hand side.

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