Do you have a lot of content on your small business’s blog? Have you ever wondered if you can get a wider audience from your website? Do you have a lot of things to say about your small business?
If your answer to all three of these questions is “yes”, you may want to consider learning how to create an electronic book (ebook) that is free for downloading off of your website. You have the content to start with – now is the time to use it to your advantage.
Ebooks are great tools for marketing your small business. They can extend further than your business’s physical limitations by being shared among prospect customers online. They are also effective building up a positive reputation for your business. With an ebook, you can present a lot of content from your blog in a neat little package for everyone to refer to with the click of a mouse, rather than searching endlessly for the information they need.
If this all sounds great and you want to know how to get started on creating an ebook, here is how to do it in ten steps.
Step 1: Acknowledge its Limits
By this we mean, you need to realize your ebook is not a novel – it is shorter than that. Ideally, you want to keep it to a word count of at least 3,000 words or so. Pushing it to 4-5,000 is a novel. If you find you have too little or too less content to use for your ebook, you may want to write a few more blog posts that would fit your theme – which coincides perfectly with step 2:
Step 2: Determine the Theme of the Ebook
To do this properly, you will need to think backwards, considering the needs and desires of your target audience. For example, “Tips and Tricks of Getting Pro Results from Marketing” – this could apply to any kind of marketing, so being a bit more specific would help to shape the theme. Is there a specialty your small business uses and has been written about many times on the blog? Is that content widely searched for from your target audience? If so, that could be your theme.
Step 3: Get the Content You Need
Bear in mind that this step relates to what content you have created yourself – not pulled from other sources. You can cite the sources if you feel they have something worth saying, such as a study from a doctor’s essay or the latest research on what your theme is based on, but your content needs to be yours 100%. This is the real starting point to making your ebook.
If you need to, write more content. As mentioned in step one, you may want to write more blog posts if you’re short of the suggested 3,000 word count – who knows, maybe you came up with an idea or two while pulling content!
Step 4: Combine Everything Together
Even though it’s not a novel, your ebook needs to read similarly to one – i.e., it needs to be a whole book, with an instructive narrative that flows together the way a quilt does. This is something novelists, heck, any writer, must and does do when it comes to creating new stories, books, and so on. The same applies to ebooks – make it flow, make it coherent, make it whole.
Step 5: Edit and Proofread
This should be a real no-brainer, yet it is one of the most important steps for ebooks. Imagine the embarrassment of finding out your title of the ebook is misspelled, or finding that something doesn’t gel right when you read it! Take the time to look at your ebook critically and check for any and all possible mistakes or grammatical errors. Get someone else to help you, too, in case you miss something.
Step 6: Design the Ebook
To design your ebook, there are a number of templates you can use – some are available in Microsoft Word, Power Point, and Publisher to name a few. To make your design look better, include lots of images, charts, and any other pictures you will think will make the ebook easy to read and interesting.
Step 7: Final Quality Control
Just because everything is put together now at this point, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect off the bat. An image may have shifted text to a different page, formatting could be rendered askew by a new box of text or photos, and so on. Go over everything one final time after you’ve completed step seven to make sure everything looks and reads great.
Step 8: Convert the File
This is one of the simpler steps to do, so long as you have the right technology. The file for your ebook needs to be changed into something accessible, specifically a PDF (you can easily download the reader program from Adobe if you haven’t already). This type of file makes it easy for your readers to download online.
Step 9: Get a Link
Ideally, you want to add a link to your ebook on your business’s website, for those visiting who want to download it. This is also an effective way to get people to subscribe to your mailing list, for newsletters and e-mail marketing in general.
Step 10: Monitor the Results
One way to track results is by featuring your ebook in a newsletter. Mailchimp is a great system for this step, as it allows link tracking to see who on your mailing list downloaded what by checking out their Click Performance page. Bear in mind you will need to set up a campaign on Mailchimp first in order to initiate this step, if you haven’t got one already.
A bonus step, if your ebook is a huge success, is to repeat the first ten steps outlined. Who knows – you may have more to share with your customers than you may even realize.
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