E-books are great marketing tools. They’re informative, easy to put on the market, and inexpensive to produce. But the time and effort required to write an entire e-book is a huge obstacle – or is it?
If you have a blog, making an e-book from your posts can be a great way to get new life out of old content. Those evergreen posts from years ago may not be generating a ton of traffic anymore, but they could soon be earning you money and attention on the digital market.
Why Turn Your Blog into an E-Book?
If you already have content on your blog, why bother moving it to a new medium?
Great question. Here are just a few reasons:
- Your audience is built-in – Chances are, the existing fans of your blog will buy your book.
- You’ll find new readers – With a little luck (and some cunning promotion), those same fans will recommend you to others, getting more fans for the blog.
- Publication improves your skills – Writing and editing a book, even a self-published book, isn’t as casual as blogging. This can be the next step in developing your writing and marketing skills.
- Stronger, more relevant content – Revisiting the content of your blog for e-book publication is a great opportunity to freshen it up and make it more relevant.
- It makes a great incentive – A free e-book is a great way to build your email list and get new subscribers. A great free e-book is an avenue toward getting subscribers to buy more books.
Creating Your E-Book
When turning your blog into an e-book for the first time, here are a few things to consider.
- Focus is the key – Many blogs feature the occasional interlude, side note, or other topic drift. An e-book should be laser-focused on a single topic.
- Use your best material – An e-book is your chance to put a spotlight on your strongest content, so pick only the best posts for inclusion.
- Create new content – Though most of your content can be spruced up for e-book publication, your loyal readers deserve some fresh, original content from you. Pen a new, exclusive chapter or two to give existing fans an incentive to buy your book. (Be sure to promote this as well!)
- You need an editor – The casual tone of a blog is one thing, but readers tend to expect more from an e-book. Hire an editor and / or proofreader to spot any spelling or grammar mistakes and address any weaknesses in your theme or tone. Spell check and editing software will only take you so far.
- Attractive design is vital – If you want to keep up with the competition, slapping a stock photo on your cover with a title in Comic Sans is not going to cut it. Like it or not, a killer cover design can make a huge difference in whether people buy your book. Take your time and do it right, or hire a professional.
Tools for Making E-Books
There are any number of ways you could go about assembling your e-book.
For products you’re giving away for free on your website, a PDF is probably the best format. Your options range from exporting a PDF in MS Word to using a feature-rich application like Scrivener.
If you need to format your e-book into a variety of formats, (.mobi, .epub, etc.), one of the best free tools on the market is Calibre. It can easily convert your book into any number of formats for submission to online sellers.
Once you’ve completed and formatted your book, you’re ready to put it on the market. Some authors take the simple route and submit their e-book to Amazon and other online stores. For the more DIY-inclined, there are a variety of WordPress plugins for selling your e-book on your own website.
Handling the selling yourself takes a bit more legwork, but lets you keep more of the profits and gives you more control over presentation and sales tracking. For help with distribution, you can look into services like Bookbaby.
Thanks to the wealth of free and inexpensive tools available, it’s easier than ever to breathe new life into your blog content with e-books. Do you have some great content just lying that could be getting you more money and traffic?Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community