So one of the marketing tools I am trying to embrace is the ebook. I even wrote a very short one that you can find here The Sleepy Mommy’s Guide to Getting Baby to Sleep. This ebook strays from my platform, however, and I also have it up for sale. Those are two no-nos for promoting your brand, people. It was more an experiment and had less to do with marketing, but now that I am focusing back on building my online business, I need to narrow down my focus when it comes to writing ebooks.
First of all, don’t sell your book, give it away, for FREE. Yes, FREE. People will buy free stuff, even if they don’t need it. Then they will come back looking for more free stuff. And they just might learn something useful if you offer some value to your free stuff and come back to check you out. You are building a relationship with your readers, so if you want them to follow you, you need to give them some incentive.
You are now resigned to sell your book for free, good. Now you need to narrow your focus. This is the step I am currently working on, so I will use myself as an example. I am a working mom that is trying to move from my very demanding engineering job to a full-time writing job working at home. I could write an ebook about all that, but a) I am still working through the process, so I don’t have a knowledge base for write about it yet b) that is way too much information. So narrowing it down from there, I need to focus on a subject that I am knowledgeable in and can completely and precisely cover in an ebook. At the risk of getting trapped -style, I could write an ebook about writing an ebook. But I feel like the market is saturated with those, and you know, really? So I think that I will write an ebook about job search techniques for the working parent. I have had to do some interesting maneuvering to maintain my workflow and my household while I look for new work, so that is a skill set I can offer to my readers.
Now we have an idea, time to start writing. It will probably take you 3 or 4 hours to write a short ebook, 9 or 10 if you really want to jam pack it with information. But my advice is, say what you need to say in 10-15 pages. More than likely your ebook is a How-To, and no one likes to read a million pages of instructions. It needs to be concise and to the point. So I will focus my book on key points of job search techniques for working parents. This is niche, it does not include unemployed parents, or working singles, it is specific to a target audience. So my key points need to revolve around how I look for jobs, apply to jobs, and go to interviews while working full time and then raising two kids. There is a lot of information there, but I have already found three key points that I can begin my outline with.
In review, these are the steps to start writing your first ebook:
1. Give it away for FREE
2. Narrow your focus to a niche topic that is brand related
3. Keep it short
Now it is time for me to get started writing. Tomorrow’s blog will include a more in-depth look at the writing process of an ebook and what to do with it when you are finished writing.