This week we are thrilled to welcome Tom Clifford. We really enjoy Tom's straightforward and practical inights. if you're thinking about writing an eBook, here are some ideas for you!
You think giving away your e-book isn’t the brightest idea, right?
Actually, you’re wrong.
How do I know? I used to think the exact same thing.
After all, why would you give away your e-book, which you’ve spent hours writing, proofing and designing? Of course you want people to pay for it, so you resist giving it away for free.
But resisting giving away your e-book can have the following negative results:
- It limits potential subscribers.
- It limits promotional opportunities.
- It limits future business opportunities.
But there is a simple way to reverse these negative results
Reward your readers with a free e-book when they subscribe to your site.
Here are three eye-opening benefits I found when I gave my subscribers a free e-book:
- I increased subscriptions by 25% in seven days.
- I increased e-book promotional plugs without lifting a finger.
- I increased my number of ideas for future paid e-books.
Chances are good that you’ll receive the same kinds of benefits if you give away an e-book, so let’s take a look at each one more closely.
Eye-opening benefit #1: I increased subscriptions by 25% in seven days.
I wasn’t really sure what effect my free e-book would have in terms of gaining new subscribers. Would there be a boost? Would the rate remain the same? New subscribers were always trickling in anyway.
One week after launching the e-book, I did the math: New subscriptions increased by 25%. I was stunned.
I know what you’re thinking: They got their freebie, so now they’ll unsubscribe, right?
Wrong. To date, not one person has unsubscribed.
If you’re looking to boost your subscriber rate, consider putting together a free e-book. It’s simple to do and your readers will appreciate your insider knowledge.
Eye-opening benefit #2: I increased e-book promotional plugs without lifting a finger.
Ever wish people would spread the word about your work or your website? Or call you for an interview? Well, try writing and giving away a free e-book.
After I gave away my first free e-book, lots of folks told me, “Hey, this is really neat. Can I tweet about it?” It was really cool to see people’s generosity in action. I didn’t ask anyone to promote the e-book; they asked first.
E-books make it easy for someone to promote you. It’s like the e-book has “handles” that make it easy for someone to “grab” it and share it with others. An e-book is something specific people can promote.
Eye-opening benefit #3: I increased my number of ideas for future paid e-books.
Now that my first e-book is out, new ideas for future e-books are streaming in from friends and colleagues. Once you’ve written your first e-book, you might feel the urge to write another one.
If you venture on to write a second or third e-book, charge for it. Your confidence is up. You know you have something valuable to offer the community. You’ve been through e-book “boot camp” with your first free one, so now it’s time to capitalize on your experience and knowledge.
What if you don’t want to give away your e-book?
Giving away your e-book may feel like you’re ripping yourself off. After all, you put time into writing it, and you have valuable information to share. So why not just charge for it immediately?
You can. But consider this: Your free e-book doesn’t have to be lengthy; it can be 7-10 pages. That’s about three or four short articles’ worth. Keep it short and pack it with valuable information, and readers will not only value it but also help promote it.
Don’t make this mistake
You might be tempted to throw something together because, hey, it’s free. People aren’t paying for it, so why bother making it that good?
Well, you want to make it that good not only for the reasons I’ve mentioned but also because your professional image is at stake.
But don’t be a perfectionist about getting it just right so people will happily pay for it.
And in the words of Seth Godin, “Ship it!”
Writing a free e-book for your audience will benefit you in a number of ways:
- You’ll gain more subscribers.
- You’ll receive more promotional opportunities.
- You’ll generate ideas for future e-books you can make money from.
If you’ve been toying with writing an e-book, now’s the time to get going. Lots of resources on the web can guide you through the e-book process if you need some help.
Or if you have the guts, do what I did:
- Fire up Word.
- Collect your articles.
- Proof it.
- Create an attractive (but simple) design.
Grab your free copy of my e-book
Would you like a copy of my free e-book “5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways to Write Faster, Better, Easier?” If so, take a minute to swing by my blog and subscribe for updates.
About the author: Thomas Clifford is an award-winning business communicator and blogger. Tom’s copywriting focuses on jargon-free marketing articles, homepages, landing/sales pages, e-books and B2B case studies. You can follow Tom on Twitter at @ThomasClifford . His blog, “Humanizing Business Communications,” is packed with new media business communication tips and writing strategies. His e-book “5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways to Write Faster, Better, Easier" is free to new subscribers.