The Ultimate Guide to Writing, Promoting, and Selling an eBook

Have you always wanted to see your name in print? Are you an entrepreneur with a missionary bent? So full of ideas that your blog is no longer the best medium to share them? Or do you simply want to make your affiliate marketing sites more profitable? No matter what your reason for wanting to write an eBook, this article will provide all the information you need to set you on your way. It’s written with the non-fiction entrepreneur in mind; however, the basics will apply to any novice writer, whatever the market.

Write

Writing is communication. To succeed, you need to reach your audience on both an intellectual and an emotional level. You want them to understand your premise–and feel inspired to use your ideas. So, for the moment, forget about sales and promotions and focus on creating a quality product.

1. Ideas

If you’re seriously considering an eBook, you’ve probably got a few viable ideas. But just in case you don’t, here are some places to find inspiration. Remember, choose a topic you enjoy, not just one that seems marketable. If you’re not interested in the subject, it will show– that is, if you finish the book at all.

  • Brainstorming
    Yes, it sounds so obvious, but that’s because it works.  Take a pencil and paper and let your mind go wild.  It may go slowly at first, but you’ll soon find yourself scribbling with abandon. After an hour or so, scratch out everything involving zombies and look at what’s left. Chances are, you’ll find something inspiring and viable.
  • Your Experience
    What do you wish you had known when you started your business? What have you learned–and how did you learn it? What would you still like to know? You know from your blog traffic that people are eager to learn from your experience; an eBook is an ideal way to share it.
  • Your Audience
    Use your blog traffic for inspiration. What topics garner the most interest and comments? What questions pop up over and over again? Which posts are shared most frequently? These are the topics your potential readers care about–the ones they want to read about in an eBook.

2. The Process

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Five Basic Mistakes Most People Make While Picking Keywords (and End Up Crippling Their Income Significantly)

So you’ve picked out your niche based on fantastic money making ideas. You’re sure it will attract swarms of traffic and catapult you to the top of Google in no time. All you need to do is throw in some content, put up some ads and wait for the cash to roll in, right?

Well, not quite. How are people going to find this terrific site of yours?

They just type in Google what they’re looking for and my site will pop up, right?

Not quite.

The thing is, you can’t take the risk that someone searching for something in your niche will find your site, informative as it is, “magically”. You need to pave the way for this to happen by making sure you have used the right keywords to attract the right kind of traffic. Keywords (or keyword phrases) are the terms people type into Google and other search engines when they need information. How can you be sure that your content contains the right ones?  The key is to do a little bit of keyword research before your build your site.

Here are some of the mistakes most people make when they build a website. Avoid them, and you will increase your earning potential significantly.

Mistake #1: Building a site around a keyword or phrase that you think is “obvious” or “great”

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The Core Elements of a Great Landing Page

People search for information because they have a problem. If you have done your keyword research and link building, that search will hopefully land them on the sales page of your eBook or information product. When they scan through your page, they’re looking for evidence that you can help them solve that problem. They want clear, credible information that steers them towards a plan of action. You need to provide them that.

When you design a sales landing page for your product, only one reason truly matters: the customer. Your customers won’t hit the “buy” button because they want to support your dream. They click because you’re offering them something they need to achieve their dreams. So, as you design the landing page for your eBook or other product, always remember – its all about the customer. If you share your dreams, it must be with the intention to show them that they can achieve their dreams too. If you pour your gut out, it must be so they are moved by it to click that buy button. Every single sentence and every single paragraph must be carefully crafted with the customer in mind.

Here are the five core elements of a great landing page.

#1 Keep it Simple

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A Few Things You Need to Know About PayPal

If you use any of the money making ideas that require online transactions e.g., eBay selling, freelancing, blogging, etc., then you need to have a means to accept payment online. And you need to be able to do this in a secure and easy-to-use fashion. Before you run off to invent your secure payment system, stop. That wheel has already been invented. And it has become a household name for people who buy or sell online. Yes, we are talking about Paypal.

PayPal has taken international business money exchange by storm. If you’ve purchased anything online in the past few years, chances are that you were offered the option to pay for your purchase using your PayPal account. If you want to make money online, you should consider creating a PayPal account so you can offer your customers the option to buy your products or services without ever touching a check or credit card.

Here are a few things you should know about this online payment juggernaut –

Accounts

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The Secret to Getting Your eBook in Front of Millions of Potential Buyers

You know the saying: “Everyone has one book in ‘em.”  But you’ve gone “everyone” one better: you’ve actually written yours. And now you can get that eBook out in front of millions of potential buyers with a few clicks of a button. How? Sell it on Amazon.

Only a few years back to publish a book and have it available to thousands (let alone millions), you’d have had a limited number of choices: to play the endless lottery of agent search, continual rejections, and unwelcome over-the-transom submissions; or simply to pay someone to slap a cover on the thing and do a smallish print run so you could hawk it out of the back of your car, waiting to be “discovered”. Publishing a book was just not one of the viable money making ideas unless you were a serious writer willing to sacrifice the best years of your life pursuing a dream.

Now, with the rise of the eReaders, it is a completely different ball game. According to this wikipedia entry

In July 2010 Amazon announced that e-book sales for its Kindle reader outnumbered sales of hardcover books for the first time ever during the second quarter of 2010

You don’t need to chase publishers to get your book out there in front of millions. Instead, you can put your eBook for sale on bookselling giant Amazon–with over 65 million customers per month to its US website alone–with very little effort. All it takes is a little know-how. Your readers are out there and here’s how to reach them.

A Great Product

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5 Simple Tips Guaranteed to Help You Discover Ideas for eBooks that Sell

You’ve been looking for money making ideas and doing your research. You have thought of several different options but finally decided you’d like to try your hand at writing and selling eBooks. There’s only one problem. You can’t think of what you can write about that people would want to pay for. Don’t throw in your pencil–er, keyboard–just yet! Ideas are everywhere; you just need to know where to look.

1.  Your Interests

New writers are always tempted to see what the best sellers are, so they can write something “just like X.” Unless you like “X,” however, this is a mistake. When you try to write something you care little about, your reader will know. It shows up in your tone, your craftsmanship, a hackneyed premise, and myriad little ways that all add up to a lousy book. That is, if you finish it at all. So list topics that interest you. What would you like to tell others about them?  What would you like to know more about? What needs elaboration? What do you know that no one else does? Spend some time brainstorming about your favorite topics and you’re bound to come up with a long list of ideas suitable for an eBook.

2.  Your Questions

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Writing and Selling eBooks: The Money Making Idea That Keeps On Paying

If you were a layman, when you heard the term eBook, you’d probably think about books in electronic form that people buy and read online. But since you are not a layman, the term eBook is probably synonymous to “ka-ching” to you, as you probably think about writing and selling them. Fortunately, there are a lot more people that think of buying and reading, than those of us who think of writing and selling. And thanks to all the flashy new eReaders like Nook, Kindle, the Sony eReader, the iPad, etc…the ratio is only going to tip in our favor a lot more. The best part about writing and selling eBooks is, it is one of the money making ideas that has great passive income potential – you write the book once, and have your marketing channels in place, and you’re all set. Just sit back, and watch the money roll in. Score!

Here are some basics on the topic to help you determine if this is the best route for you to take.

How Much Can You Make?

Writing and selling eBooks is one of the money making ideas that can make you a good amount of money, especially if you pick a popular subject that people are willing to pay money for. You could charge a price ranging anywhere from $1.99 to upwards of $100.00 per download depending on the length and depth of the eBook, and the topic it covers. Typically, most eBooks sell in the $10 to $69 range. Now depending on how you market your eBook, you may be able to sell only a handful of copies, or thousands of them. As you can see, the earning potential depends entirely on you – how well you choose the topic, how well you write, how well you can hype it up (marketing) and how good your network is (affiliate and joint venture sales – more on this in the archives).

What Are The Advantages?

The biggest advantage of writing and selling eBooks has got to be the fact that, once you finish writing your eBook and are past the initial hurdle of cracking into the market, it is a very passive stream of income. If you write on a topic that stays relevant for long periods of time (say, parenting advice), once you make the first few sales and build your affiliate relationships, you can just sit back, relax and watch the money keep rolling in.

The second biggest advantage of writing and selling eBooks is that it is a much easier approach to being a published author compared to writing a traditional print book. You don’t have to worry about finding an agent or sending drafts to publishers or being rejected. You don’t have to do book tours to promote your book. You just write it, edit it, market it and you are done. If you are a writer, then the “marketing” aspect may seem a bit intimidating – but believe me, it’s far easier than trying to get a print book published (See our Success Tips archives for marketing tips). That said, if your heart is set on being a published author of a print book, the experience of writing and selling eBooks will definitely provide you an edge when you start approaching publishers with your proposed print book draft.

Finally, with the eBook sales rising at a phenomenal pace, knowing how to write and sell eBooks puts you at the forefront of the next new wave. It lets you embrace new technology and you will have an edge compared to all the other writers in your niche that may have only published print books before.

And all this is in addition to the more obvious advantages – you can make money, you can share your passions, you can share your knowledge, or you can promote a cause (a lot of non-profits sell eBooks to promote their causes, and to raise money for their causes).

What Are The Disadvantages?

The biggest downside to writing and selling eBooks is that unless you train yourself well in Internet Marketing, you may not be able to make any substantial income. Unlike a print book, you do not have the backing of a publishing house or an agent to take care of the “marketing” end of it. So, you need to be much more than just a writer (or be willing to hire someone to do it for you) when you are an eBook author. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are a marketing guru, then you will either need to hone your writing skills or hire someone to write that eBook for you. The bottom line is, if you want to be successful, you need to figure out how to be a good writer as well as a good marketing person. Unless you master both aspects, your success potential will be severely crippled.

And the second disadvantage, which is a much bigger issue is protecting your content from theft – whether it is from someone who plagiarizes content or from someone who tries to illegally sell you eBook and keep all the profits, or someone why finds a way to download it for “free” without offering you your fair share. As opposed to popular belief though, most people are decent. Even though there will always be some thieves, the number of decent, paying customers far outweigh the thieves making it worthwhile for most eBook authors to continue trying to write and sell eBooks.

What Types of eBooks Sell?

You can write an eBook on pretty much any topic that you fancy. But if your intention is to make money, you need to do some research on the topic of your choice. A quick Google search, or some keyword analysis with a tool like Market Samurai, can help you narrow the area to write about. Following it up with a search on Amazon, can give you an idea of what products are already available out there. eBay is another place to look. And finally, the clickbank marketplace provides a lot of information as well.

EBooks on popular subjects like self-help, healthy lifestyle, world issues (current events), online marketing, making money online, SEO, and learning a trade are all great sellers. You could also try your hand at writing fiction. The world of self-publishing is opening a lot of doors to writers who cannot find a publishing company willing to take a chance on them.

All in all, writing and selling eBooks is one of those money making ideas that requires passion, talent, marketing know-how, and a bit of a risk, but if you can come up with an eBook people will pay to read, you could potentially make a lot of money.