This is a guest contribution by Karol K.
E-books are surely nothing new in the online space, but this doesn't stop them from still being hugely popular.
Both the bloggers and niche marketers have really gotten to enjoy using e-books for various purposes and effectively making them one of their main marketing tools.
Now, there are many ways to create an e-book.
If you have the time and the budget, you can simply focus all your efforts around creating 100 percent unique content and then publish it as an e-book.
But the other way around is to take the posts you already have and build an e-book by recycling the content.
For example, this is exactly the approach that Darren Rowse took when creating his flagship e-book, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)
In this post, you'll find:
- Why e-books are great.
- How to create your e-book content the easy way.
- How to put the content together into an e-book.
Let's start at the beginning ... why would you even bother creating an e-book?
Why e-books are great
Many reasons for that. E-books are great both for the readers and the publishers (in this case - you).
First of all, you're creating something that is a complete resource on a given matter or issue.
An e-book, just like any other book has the task of explaining that particular issue in depth and in a manner that can be used as a go-to resource.
People respect e-books because they know that it requires a lot of work to put them together and that it's never a simple 30 minute task.
For the most part, the perception of e-books is kind of similar to traditional books (it does depend on the scale of the e-book though).
Also, e-books are very user friendly. They can be stored as PDFs, sent over email, printed out, or put on a Kindle, etc.
Now let's talk about why e-books are great for the publishers.
In niche marketing, for years now, e-books have been used as the main tool to get people to subscribe to your email list.
We all know that simply slapping a newsletter subscription form on your site won't give you high conversion, unless you have some kind of incentive to offer to the visitors. E-books are perfect at being that incentive.
But that's not the whole story.
In many cases, you can also attempt to sell the e-book as a standard product.
One surprising advantage that e-books have over traditional books is that you can use whatever price tag you wish for them.
Whereas with a standard book, it will be difficult to sell it for anything more than $50 or so. E-books, on the other hand, are being sold every day for $99, $199, or even more (especially in the internet marketing niche).
How to create your e-book content the easy way
Well, the headline says it all, but let me say it again - the way you create an e-book is by taking the content you already have and re-purposing it.
But this isn't as simple as it sounds.
You can't just choose some random posts, glue them together and release the whole thing as an e-book with a crappy cover page at the front. People will see through it and, sooner or later, call you out on this.
In order to make the whole project successful, you need to add some special ingredients.
First of all, the content you choose needs to be connected in a way. Preferably, talking about individual issues within the same bigger topic.
A good way to make it happen is to start by publishing a series of posts, and then take this series and turn it into an e-book.
Here are some pros of using series of posts on your site:
- They engage your readers and keep them waiting for more.
- You can find out if the topic receives the recognition you've hoped for before releasing an e-book.
- You can also announce at some point that the series is going to be turned into an e-book, so your readers will already know what's coming.
How to create a series of posts
Here are the basic guidelines:
- Find a topic that's wide enough so you're able to fit at least five posts in it. And I don't mean to force it by publishing semi-useful content just to get to the five post mark - this is not the point. The point is to find an issue that truly needs a significant amount of words to explain it properly.
- Divide the main topic into separate sub-topics, one for each post. You don't need to, and actually shouldn't, build a post around more than one idea.
- Write and publish the series - at least one post every week.
- Use the last post in the series to announce the releasing of the e-book, and what readers have to do in order to get it.
How to put everything together
We're not done yet. Simply taking some posts, combining them together and releasing as an e-book might not be good enough.
An e-book needs to have a proper production value, good introduction, some additional info, table of contents, etc. And of course, it needs to be designed well.
Don't fall into the trap of simply converting a text document into a PDF and then saying that it's an e-book.
People can really see through a half-produced e-book, especially these days when there's so much stuff available.
For starters, use a good document template in MS Word, PowerPoint or some other tool (e.g. you can find 5 nice templates here - by Hubspot - opt-in required).
Make sure that every page has good typography, readability and that there isn't too many lines of text per page.
Next, take your posts and align them in a sequence. Each post becomes an individual chapter.
If it's possible, make sure to include additional graphics and images.
Finally, include additional content. Here are the possibilities:
- Title/cover page and the title itself. Everyone, and I do mean everyone will judge your e-book by its cover and the title. So spend a significant amount of time coming up with the perfect one. Getting a good graphic for the cover can be as cheap as $5 thanks to sites like Fiverr.
- Table of contents. It's best to do this last.
- Disclaimer. You don't want to get sued by someone misreading your advice. This is where you explain that whoever reads the e-book will not hold you accountable. Here's a template you can use.
- Copyright clause. What are the rules of reading and sharing your e-book? Can anyone send it to their friends or is it forbidden?
- Preface. Why did you write the book? What can you tell the readers about the book itself?
- Tools and resources. This makes a great bonus chapter. If you're in a niche where it makes sense, you can include some additional chapters containing links to helpful tools and resources that can aid the reader in learning/doing whatever the topic of the book is. You can also use affiliate links here to make some extra money.
- "Thank you" page. It's where you say thanks to your readers. You can also use this opportunity to tell them what's next and where they can find you.
Once you have all the blanks filled in, there's nothing left for you to do other than export the e-book to PDF and begin distributing it.
So there we have it … how to create an e-book from your content. What do you think? Does the idea sound like something that might work for you?
Author Bio: Karol K. (@carlosinho) is a blogger and writer for hire. His work has been published all over the web, on sites like: NewInternetOrder.com, MarketingProfs.com, Lifehack.org, Quick Sprout, ProBlogger, Six Revisions, Web Design Ledger, and others. Feel free to contact him to find out how he can help your business grow by writing unique and engaging content for your blog or website