The Beginner-Blogger's Guide To Selling Their First Ebook.
Tips and strategies that if applied correctly can translate to your own success making $$$ through writing
I've finally done it…
I've made my first $100 selling my ebook through blogging.
This achievement — while perhaps small in the eyes of a lot of people is monumental through my eyes. The truth of the matter is, you have no idea the head slamming, keyboard punching, tear holding I went through in order to make this happen.
But I digress..
This isn't about the mental and spiritual strain I went through to start making my dreams become a reality.
This is about sharing the strategies, techniques and steps I took that you can use to build and progress towards your own dream.
I want to let it be known that while I fully believe that if these strategies are followed, you can be just as successful as I have been — if not more, however, it is going to take an extremely amount of hard work in order to get there.
- You are going to need to make may sacrifices you probably didn't think you would need to make.
- You are going to spend a lot of lonely hours.
- You are going to research technical facets of blogging that will probably make your head spin.
In the end, however, it's more than worth it — it's loving the process.
Below I have various questions that I asked myself through my experience blogging.
I asked these questions because I found myself at a crossroads that made me think on a deep level what I was doing — it was really the uncovering of an obstacle.
After the question and trying to dissect it, I offer up an action step that I took and that you can take in order to put this technical piece into place to help improve the monetizing side of your blog.
So let's begin…
What are you even doing with your blogging?
This was a question that when I first started out blogging I never asked myself and since I've gotten very serious I've refined over and over.
Taken directly from my blog:
I’m here on one mission:
To Help You Stop Settling For Mediocre Lives and Careers and Help You Start Acting On Your Dreams
This scared me at first — mainly because I knew I was talking to myself…
I was sick and tired of what I was doing with my job. I didn't find much meaning in it and I wasn't fulfilled.
So I took a chance and started writing online.
When I started out, my writing was about interesting thoughts and ideas I had. I realized I wasn't providing any type of value to a potential audience, however.
This is a key facet in building means to financially actualize your blog: What kind of tangible and valuable information are you providing?
Since figuring this out, I have made it my efforts to write about and share ways to better oneself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Furthermore, I have included tangible and technical methods for improving your entrepreneurial endeavors when it comes to blogging/writing (this article for instance).
This is an important first step in figuring out what your ebook is going to cover. There are so many niches you can cover that you share an expertise in:
- You want to educate people on how to build a "Greek God" body with six-pack abs.
- You are an expert in video editing and want to share your methods with a budding Youtube generation of creators.
- You are an expert in diet and nutrition and want to share radical recipes in the paleo niche or the vegan niche.
The possibilities and directions you can go with are nearly endless.
Action Step 1: Consider your audience and what value and action steps you are going to provide them
From my own experience, my ebook — Take What's Yours: Your unfair advantage to growing an audience, perfecting your brand, and building a financial income, is a coaching tool to achieve precisely what it promises.
I know I can illustrate this and share this type of information because I went through the gauntlet of doing just that:
- I built my audience from 0 to over 1 million views in a matter of 3 months.
- I built an email list of over 1,100 subscribers in the same span.
- Finally I used these gains to leverage my impact and knowledge to financial gain.
For you, this should mirror what the overarching mission or message of your blogging is as well. I wouldn't make sense if you are blogging about building and selling iOS apps and then your ebook covers how to invest through dividend-earning stocks.
How are you building a direct-channel of communication to sell your ebook?
This is an important question to ask yourself.
Where is your communication channel?
The truth of your blogging is that you are probably unknown. No one really cares about your ebook unless you show them that first it exists and second that you communicate the value of said book with your audience.
The best way of doing this is through an email subscriber list.
So how does one go about doing this?
There are a plethora of information on how to build an email list if you just Google it (should you need more in depth reading).
The way that I did it is as follows.
A community of doers, thinkers, creatives and badasses. Optimize your life. Tap into hacks to unlock productivity tips…www.tribeloyal.com
Take a moment and take inventory of what is going on with this landing page…
For starters, I offer a clear incentive for the potential audience member to sign up — I let them know there is a free and valuable reason they should sign up (my 6 day mini-course and free 10 step guide).
So often do I coach people over the phone and email that they need to change their signup from "join my newsletter and receive compelling content" (or something along those lines) to "signup and get my free [fill in the blank with valuable giveaway]."
This is paramount to your success in building your market for your ebook.
An email list is a direct communication stream to contact potential audience members you can help with you expertise.
If and when people are so compelled to join the course, they are added to my Mailchimp list (I recommend using Mailchimp seeing as it's free until your first 2k subscribers).
Action Step 2: Build your landing page with free offering
It is extremely important here to build something of value as well as fulfill on any of your promises.
If you are in this blogging game for the long-haul any type of deceit of cheating your future audience with result in your catastrophic demise. People can smell a fraud a mile away.
You are in this game to help people — so live through that.
Mailchimp offers free landing page build outs. They are relatively simple to use and Mailchimp provides copious guides in order to change formatting, buildout etc. (and no I don't have any affiliate business going on here — I really stand by what they do and how they've helped me).
How do I "funnel" and get potential audience members into actual audience members?
I'm not 100% sure if Russel Brunson is credited with coining the term "funneling" when it comes to online commerce and blogging but for purposes of this article, I'm going to give him the credit.
The above listed lesson and action point is great in terms of what is necessary in getting people on your list but let's take it a step back for a second and consider how to get people on your actual landing page…
Through your blogging, with consistently putting out valuable content, you should be getting some type of exposure. Exposure is great — in fact it's paramount when you are trying to get your name out there in the initial stages.
When you are getting exposure (mainly views at this point) you are drastically wasting potential future sales down your pipeline if you aren't capturing an audience via someone's email.
It is necessary in this case to apply a "Call To Action" at the bottom of your articles whether the articles are written on your blog, Medium, Quora or any other publication (should the publication allow for it).
Take for instance my CTA (screenshot below and actual CTA at the bottom of my page.
Let's pull apart what is going on here:
The actual CTA is the question being proposed: "Who Else Wants To Be Their Own Boss?" What I'm trying to do here is to gain curiosity with someone to click through to my landing page.
Now I fully stand behind the products that I have out in the marketplace right now. I fully believe that the time I am putting in with writing and delivering valuable content should be compensated down the line — you should too.
The last two paragraphs are to generate conversation with my articles — this is something that I firmly believe in as well. This blogging is about the community. I am nothing, but together, we are all something. This goes hand and hand for selling the ebook.
Action Step 3: Write and craft a compelling CTA.
Considering your niche — what kind of draw are you going to present your audience with?
- If you are in the health and fitness realm, do you have a secret workout that few know that can help lose weight/gain muscle quicker than a conventional route?
- If you are in relationship coaching, do you have psychological and relationship tools to help your audience prosper and flourish within their relationships?
This is going to be presented at the end of your articles and you are going to have the link to your Mailchimp landing page embedded. Through various FAQ's and training modules you will see how your emails will be added to various lists within your Mailchimp (all of it might get a bit overwhelming — if so, always feel free to reach out to me directly)
So I have my email list growing…now what?
When I first started growing my email list, I was super excited but absolutely terrified at the same time.
I had no idea what I was supposed to do when opening up communication with this new audience.
I kept getting in my head, writing and rewriting emails over and over.
I was afraid that I would look stupid and be considered a fraud (my perception is that these followers could see I was perhaps in over my head).
So I started just to have a conversation with these people.
I started to let them know what types of articles I was working on and what ideas I was excited about.
I sent links to these new articles.
I asked questions about what struggles the audience was working on.
Through the questions I opened up scores of direct communication with people and learned what obstacles and triumphs they were experiencing.
In my honest opinion — the blogging is about relationships. It's about community. It's about making sure that everyone rises and achieves the goals they set out for.
The conversation is letting people who took a chance on me know who I truly am. They have so graciously let me into their world and it's my responsibility to help seeing as that's my mission.
So I do just that.
Action step 4: Start a conversation
When you start building your email list, also start a conversation.
- Who are you?
- What caused you to start writing and start blogging?
- What is your mission with your blog (sometimes people serendipitously find you and don't know much about you)
- What are your interests?
- What are you working on?
- What are you excited about?
- What books are you reading?
- Also, ask these questions to your audience — again this is about building a community.
When's the right time to start selling my ebook?
I always thought that I needed somewhere along the lines of 20k email subscribers before I could make and sell any product.
I thought no one would take a chance on me if I didn't have the credibility of a massive following.
This isn't the truth though — I know what I'm worth and I know what value I provide.
This should be the case for you…
You're a writer and a blogger, part of the business here is writing ruthlessly.
There's never going to be a "right" time to start and complete your ebook and subsequently start selling it.
I have found that once you have an ebook written on Word or GoogleDocs you can find someone on Fiverr to add the stylistic finishing touches on it.
After a lot of research, I found how to format the styling on my own through GoogleSlides for free (sorry, I won't be including how to do that here — way to in depth and will be building a video of how to do that in the future…stay tuned).
Your ebook should be extremely thought out and offer extreme value when solving a specific problem.
This isn't to be compared to your giveaway on your landing page.
My own ebook took months to writing and was rewritten countless times (and now that I have a sample of feedback I am going to do a revision to add even more value).
At this point, I can't say from my own experience what you should write in terms of your ebook. At this juncture, the story you want to share has so much to do with you.
You have certain experiences and skills that you can offer the world.
When it comes to the structure, components and content of your ebook, you are going to need to discover what exactly you are going to write.
Action step 5: Write your ebook
I know I know… this may seem overly simplistic.
It took me months of thinking about what I was going to write and then months actually writing and rewriting my own ebook.
This was part of my own journey.
I know the steps and technical aspects needed that open up the infrastructure to building a channel to actually sell the ebook, but I cannot say what you need to write — this is your responsibility.
I'm confident you know…
I'm confident you have that voice inside your head that tells you that you are/can be an expert in [blank].
It's your responsibility to act upon that.
I will let you know my ebook is over 40 pages in terms of the amount of content.
It is very in depth.
It has personal experience and technical aspects.
It is the step-by-step method I used to achieve the promise laid out on the front cover.
Action Step 5.5: Market your ebook
I was terribly afraid of this step.
I spent a few weeks drawing up a marketing campaign for my ebook.
Ultimately, through MailChimp, I constructed a week's long worth email campaign highlighting certain facets and draws on why my ebook was valuable and why it should be bought.
I also, during this email campaign, offered it at 1/3 the price.
What came of it?
Well, for starters, I lost a bunch of subscribers. In one week, I lost over 30 email subscribers.
But I also made a handful of sales!
I started to understand that the people I lost weren't at a point to take a chance on themselves — that's okay.
The other people, the people that did take a chance have reached out to me directly and we have opened up even more communication.
This, to me, is what it's all about — people actualizing and starting the life where they make their dreams a reality.
This is what I think you can do with your own journey.
I think, that if these steps are carefully applied, you can build the foundation for actually monetizing and turning your blogging into a viable business.
Again, the work that you are going to put in will be long and arduous at times.
- These lessons aren't for the weak at heart.
- These lessons aren't for the blogger who does this as a hobby.
These lesson are for the person that wants to change their life!
So if this person sounds like you, try these action points out!
If there is anything here that needs more clarity, please reach out and let me know. I am happy to expand upon the ideas presented in this piece (only so much can be expressed in an article).