Creating and selling a reasonably priced, instantly downloadable ebook is the kind of blog monetization strategy many bloggers have only just come to realize. I usually see it as the next step in blog monetization. The first one being revenue through adverts.
It’s fairly easy to write and create an ebook if you are well-versed in your niche, but the real problem arises when you think of ways to market your ebook. This seemingly daunting problem can delay, or worse, maim your plans.
Many full-time bloggers have sold ebooks with such success that even they didn’t expect. It’s time to discard the thinking that people don’t buy information products online, and that bloggers should keep on churning out free high quality content.
Breaking: Those who enjoy reading your free content would not mind paying a few dollars to read your premium content.
It’s not my intention to sell you on the idea of selling ebooks. This post is for the converted who are trying to figure out ways to market their ebook.
I usually don’t go into too much detail, but this post warranted detail. So here are 11 strategies for successfully marketing your ebook.
1. Create hype and anticipation
You know it works. You must have seen the teaser ads on TV where they show a brief intro of a new product or service for weeks before revealing the full commercial. Regular TV users curiously wait for the full commercial that contains more information about the new product. And they become more likely to buy the product when it finally comes out.
To adapt this tactic for your medium, you need to blog about your upcoming ebook project and ask your readers for suggestions. This way, you’ll not only make them a part of your project, but also get their feedback and increase their anticipation.
Since your readers will already have made up half of their mind about buying the ebook, they’ll be more likely to make up the other half after the ebook launch.
2. Use word of mouth marketing
Your readers are your ebook’s first buyers. And they care about you and your efforts. Ask your readers for the following favors:
- Email their friends to urge them to buy the book.
- Tell their colleagues about the ebook.
- Mention and review the ebook on their blog if they have one.
- And promote it on social media.
If you feel shy, you don’t have to ask them directly. Create a list of recommended actions similar to the above list and urge your readers to help you out. What happens is, even if they don’t go out and start promoting your ebook right away, they’ll remember your ebook whenever their friends and colleagues have the needs that your ebook fulfills.
Don’t be surprised if you get an overwhelmingly supportive response from your readers. It’s only a teaser of what to expect later in your campaign.
3. Give away free sample chapters
People love to taste the food before deciding that they want to consume it as a meal.
Also, there is a certain charm attached to Free offerings. We are instantly drawn to the things that bear the word free.
If you have a fairly lengthy ebook, it will be a good idea to give away the first few chapters for free. This will not only attract the hesitant buyers to your ebook, but also give your real buyers a taste of what to expect in the full package.
Once your prospective buyers consume the free chapters, they’ll be itching to read the whole ebook. And what other choice do they have than to buy the ebook?
4. Create a landing page for your ebook
A simple page with a photoshopped cover of your ebook, a description, and a ‘buy now’ button is not very appealing.
Spending time on creating a landing page for your ebook is worth the effort.
Create a special page on your blog that is meant to convert the prospects into buyers. A good landing page must contain:
- A descriptive heading.
- A hype-less description.
- A list of chapters from the ebook.
- An appealing list of practical benefits one can get from reading the ebook.
- Testimonials from your satisfied readers and well-respected bloggers (This is a must-have).
- And of course, a buy now button.
Remember, your landing page must not look like an ad. People have grown aversion for ads. Keep your description as friendly and realistic-looking as possible.
5. Keep the price reasonable
Keeping in mind that people are attracted to free offers, they are also more likely to buy cheap products.
Internet is the ultimate treasure chest of free content and information. We expect the information on the internet to be free. If it isn’t free, we expect it to be the closest thing to free. We expect it to be cheap.
An ebook is an information product, so we naturally don’t want to empty our wallet for an ebook.
Keeping your value-packed ebook reasonably priced (or very cheap) is going to make you more money than if you put a high price tag on it. Why? Simply because the number of people buying a cheap ebook will far exceed the number of people who even think of buying an exorbitantly priced ebook.
6. Get other bloggers to review your ebook
Every bloggers has a unique group of readers who trust the blogger’s recommendations and follow his advice.
You can tap into the audience of other bloggers in your niche by getting them to review and recommend your ebook. Leo Babauta, the author of Zen To Done ebook, has successfully used this strategy.
Send the bloggers with large audience personalized emails, and offer them a free copy of your ebook. Ask them to kindly recommend the ebook to their readers. Some might ignore your email, but many will respond positively, and a few will review your ebook on their blog too.
7. Buy reviews from related blogs
These reviews will cost you money, but if you spend the money wisely, the return on investment will be huge.
If your pocket and conscience allows you (which they should) to pay the bloggers for reviewing your ebook, do it. Otherwise, stick to free and less devious strategies.
8. Share profits with referrers
Sharing is caring. If I refer a buyer to you and make you money, I’ll be more likely to keep sending you new buyers if, as a result of sending buyers to you, I make some money too.
Aaron Wall of SEO Book has made thousands, if not millions, with this strategy. Almost every guy related to SEO and internet marketing is a passionate promoter of SEO Book, simply because he can pocket some cash on referring buyers to Aaron Wall.
By giving your affiliates a share of the profits, you’ll make sure that the stream of buyers never stop, and you make constant profits in the long run.
9. Grab testimonials from the A-list bloggers
I’ve mentioned this strategy before, but I am going to emphasize it again.
People don’t buy on the internet unless they trust you. Internet is a playground of scammers and fraudsters. So it’s only wise to use one’s money with caution.
To get people to trust you and your ebook, you have to get your customers AND the trusted and respected bloggers to recommend your ebook.
If you email the bloggers politely with a free copy of your ebook, and ask for a review, some might think you are demanding too much from them. So if they ever reply back, ask them to give you a short paragraph of feedback. Chances are they won’t disappoint you.
If a kind blogger reviews your ebook, copy a few lines from the review and slap it on your landing page as a testimonial.
Getting testimonials from the customers is slightly easier. Grab their emails before finalizing the purchase, and email them a week later to ask them if they liked the ebook and if they would like to give their feedback. You can automate the whole process, but I’ll leave the details for another post.
If you don’t feel comfortable with the above process, simply put a line on your landing page urging the buyers to give their feedback about the ebook. Many will get back to you with positive reviews.
10. Advertise on online communities
Online communities are great free advertising places. Throngs of people frequent niche specific forums to get help and advice. All you have to do is find the right forums to tap into the forum–loads of prospective buyers.
But remember, don’t come across as spammy, and don’t bother creating such a thread if you haven’t been active on the forum before.
You can also place a link to your ebook landing page in your forum signature, and post on the forum often in a hope that people will notice you and trace you back to your blog.
11. Write follow-up posts and talk about your ebook’s success
Your marketing efforts don’t stop with the launch of the ebook. You still have some readers who want more proof that your ebook is worth reading before giving you cash.
What they want to see is a proof that others have bought the ebook. So how are you going to convince them?
You’ll have to write follow-up posts and boast about the huge success you have seen with the ebook sales so far, giving them all kinds of stats and quoting positive reviews from other bloggers. Tell them how surprised you are at the enormous response you have received about your ebook.
To revive the buzz, release ebook updates, and make special offers such as discounted ebook price for a limited period.
Just keep things alive. Don’t let your ebook die in the flood of regular posts.
Making money with an ebook is a hot trend in the blogosphere, so cash in on the opportunity, and make some regular, steady income. The kind you have only dreamed of so far.
Will you ever publish an ebook? If so, when will you do it and what will it be about?