If you have a blog, a regular audience and an email list (even a small one), selling eBooks is one of the best ways you can make a sizable passive income and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
Thousands of bloggers are making money by selling online courses, trainings, eBooks and other forms of digital products. But studies show that there’s demand for more.
In the U.S alone, eBook sales are expected to cross $8 billion by the end of 2016.
Clearly, there’s a lot of money to be made if you can create the right eBook for your audience.
However, even if your eBook has lots of value in it for the readers, there are still chances you might not make a lot of sales.
Why? Not because there’s anything wrong with the content of your eBook. But because you’re likely to be missing out some of the other crucial factors that are necessary for a successful eBook launch.
And you’re not alone.
The majority of eBook launches fail to reach their potential because of poor preparation. Most bloggers are so focused on creating the content of their eBook that they forget about creating the right launch pad.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that can dent your eBook sales even if it offers immense value to your audience.
1. Offering a Poor Buying Experience
Since everyone in your niche seems to be launching eBooks and courses themselves, the purchase experience on your blog or website can be one of the biggest differentiation points in your eBook sales strategy.
Studies show that as many as 66% of your potential buyers might leave without purchasing your eBook just because of poor user experience and a complex buying process. Even more surprising is the fact that only 55% of companies are doing online user experience testing.
But what are exactly makes up the buying experience on your blog? Here are a few key factors to keep in mind.
- A clear indication of where and how to buy your product (hint: an attractive Buy Now button)
- Detailed information about the product and what it offers.
- Multiple and secure payment options, especially PayPal, for buyers.
- A short checkout process with minimum redirections and text forms.
- A responsive/mobile friendly website design.
In general, you need to make it as easy and convenient as possible for your buyers to purchase and download your eBook. But you also need to make your product look attractive. So you can’t just display the direct download and payment link on your sales page.
A much better option is to go for a modern digital selling app like Selz, which allows you to create attractive and mobile friendly product widgets that can be embedded on your blog with a “Buy Now” button.
It also allows your buyers to pay with multiple secure payment options like PayPal, Master Card and Visa, and integrates seamlessly with your email marketing tool – ticking all the major user experience points.
Unfortunately, many bloggers don’t focus enough on creating a user friendly buying process which costs them heavily in the form of lost sales and dejected customers.
2. Designing the eBook Cover Yourself
Unless you’re a professional graphic designer yourself, I would strongly advise against designing your eBook cover.
Why? Because a poor cover can have a drastic impact on your sales. In a recent study, nearly 79% of book readers said that book covers played a decisive role in their purchase decision. While 60% consider the book cover as the sole reason behind their decision to purchase a book.
Clearly, the cover design of your eBook can make or break your sales numbers. So taking it lightly and designing it yourself may not be the best idea.
Unfortunately many bloggers don’t understand the importance of their eBook cover, and use different DIY tools just to save costs.
Don’t make that mistake.
Even hiring an expert designer doesn’t cost much, especially if you invite design concepts on portals like 99Designs and Upwork.
You’re an expert in writing, not design. Don’t ruin your hard work to save a few dollars.
3. Not Building Anticipation Before the Launch
You’re proud of your eBook, right? Then why are you shy of announcing it to the world?
Many bloggers, especially the ones selling eBooks for the first time, are too shy to get the word out about their new product. Many would just quietly add a link to the sales page in their blog’s side bar, or send an email to their list once.
That’s not how you launch an eBook. You need to create some noise and spread the word about your new masterpiece.
Here are a few things you should definitely do.
- Start mentioning your eBook in your blog posts months before its launch. Tell your readers that you’re working on something epic. Create anticipation and excitement.
- Ask your audience for feedback on your eBook cover design. Get them involved and make them a part of your journey.
- Offer an exclusive discount for pre-lunch orders.
- Host a webinar on the topic of your eBook.
- Approach other bloggers in your niche to host joint webinars.
- Create a series of emails focused on your eBook and the value that’s inside.
- Once your book is up for sale, write guest posts on the top blogs in your niche to spread the word.
The world won’t know how valuable your eBook is unless you tell them about it. There’s just too much noise on the web and, unless you create anticipation before your launch, no one would take notice.
4. Not Using Paid Advertising Channels
Selling eBooks is a business, and every business needs to invest in marketing and promotion. If your blog has a strong SEO foundation, you will receive traffic from search engines. But that is not enough in most cases.
You need to take your product to the right audience who’re willing to pay for it. This is much easier now thanks to the different paid advertising options available.
Facebook ads, in particular, offer a huge opportunity for eBook sellers to aggressively promote their product and reach their customers before anyone else does.
Facebook has more than 1 billion daily active users and the majority of your target customers are already using it.
Why not approach them on a platform they’re comfortable using.
Facebook offers advanced audience targeting features that will allow you to zoom in on your potential customers and maximize your sales.
The costs incurred in paid advertising is a small investment that you should definitely make in order to boost your eBooks sales. Think like a business owner, not just a writer.
5. Creating a Weak Value Package
If you avoid the four mistakes that I’ve mentioned in this post, your eBook launch is likely to be a success. However, if you really want to change it into a block buster sales campaign, offer something valuable in combination with your eBook.
Think like a marketer.
Instead of giving them just the eBook, package it with different value added products such as worksheets, templates, free tools or a free consultation call with you. Convert this simple eBook into an irresistible offer.
Create three different packages for different kinds of buyers. Offer just the eBook at its base price in your basic package. Add a couple of worksheets and resources related to the eBook to create a mid-level package. Add a bit of more spice with a personal call to create the third package.
Price them differently to attract all kinds of buyers. This will also give you the opportunity to upsell buyers later.
Here’s a good example.
Packaging your products intelligently can help you significantly boost your sales numbers and increase the perceived value of your product.
The consumption of eBooks is at an all-time high right now, and the trend is likely to continue for several years. Publishing and selling eBooks has also become much easier thanks to the different tools available on the web. So your chances of success are already pretty high.
You only need to avoid these silly mistakes to ensure that your hard work doesn’t go to waste. Once your eBook is ready for selling, put your marketing hat on and think from your customer’s point of view.
Have you ever sold eBooks to your blog readers? Any plans of doing it this year? If yes, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the post.
What Should You Write about for Your Blogging eBook?
I have written and self-published over 100 eBooks.
About 40% focus on blogging tips.
As I promote my eBook for writing and publishing eBooks, I want to answer a common question. What should you write about? Why cover that topic?
Many of you run blogging tips blogs so you would write blogging tips themed eBooks. Since I wrote a high volume of similarly themed eBooks I have an idea of what vibes with folks. On a deeper level, we all know what works. Does a blog post sell? Does a blog post seem popular compared to other blog posts? If yes, write a 6000 word eBook on the same topic. Literally flesh out the title and topic into 6000 words. Save your time and energy. People told you what to write about via blogging. Be smart. Be wise. Cover the same exact topic via eBook. But write new, evergreen, unique content to ensure authenticity.
I know this beats a dead horse, but you cannot go wrong dissecting blogging profits and traffic themed eBooks because most bloggers struggle to generate profits and traffic. We know this. Now the common mental block: bloggers fear somebody covered the topic already. Welcome to life. Over centuries, billions of humans did long ago what you do today, in some way, shape or form. I did something today in writing this specific post you may do 6 months down the road. Count on it. Well into 2020, you may write a blog post discussing what eBook topics resonate with your blogging tips audience. But hey! I already covered the topic. So did 1,001 other bloggers. But people seek abundance and will read your blog post.
Write about how to increase blog traffic. Write about how to increase blog profits. Build your tribe. Generously befriend bloggers by helping them and asking for nothing. Blogging buddies buy your profits or traffic eBook over the thousands of similar eBooks on Amazon because buddies trust you and your advice over anybody online. Do you see why tribe-building matters? Loyal people choose you over all else, dissolving the fear of competition in your mind. Fear dies, and you write another eBook.
Listen to Your Readers
Readers asked how I wrote and published a successful eBook a few times before I pondered writing an eBook on the topic. Someone even nudged me to do it by asking if I wrote and published such an eBook. I recorded the idea, wrote the eBook and now you see it above. But blogging themed eBook ideas are as easy to spot. What do readers complain about? What do readers struggle with? How do readers tackle problems? Can you improve the process by writing an eBook. Scores of bloggers spam blogs daily with 3 word comments. I wrote an eBook to help bloggers see 3 paragraph, genuine comments work better than 3 words for grabbing people’s attention.
Tune into reader needs. Scan comments. Read emails. Folks genuinely bring eBook ideas to you, to your blogging door step, if you willingly open your eyes, open your ears, be quiet and listen to their needs. Traffic and profits posts rock but ideas for blog commenting, networking on social media with bloggers and how to choose blog post titles also rock for eBook topics.
Do no sweat word length fears. Anybody can write a 6,000 word eBook if you practice your writing daily for 3-6 months. 6K fits perfectly into the Amazon short reads category.
Get writing, bloggers.
Advertising Revenue: Yes or No?
Are you a new blogger ready to hop on the Adsense train?
Pump your breaks a few times. Slow down and think this through.
Advertising revenue can prove to be a lucrative income stream for bloggers over the long term. Build a large, loyal following. Be generous. Be patient. Success will be yours, as will Adsense ad clicks and increased blogging revenue. New bloggers have a different Adsense experience though. I see excited newbies ready to cash their first Adsense check on receiving approval. 6 months later, after making $.02 per month, the enthusiasm dies and the blogger removes Adsense from their blog. Why? Bloggers learn a harsh lesson about advertising revenue: you need a huge, loyal following to generate significant income through advertising channels.
Most new bloggers get 5, 10 or 50 people to visit their blog daily. Imagine if 20 people visit your blog daily. How many of those 20 people click on your Adsense ad, or any ad? 99.99% of the time, none. Tomorrow sees 14 blog visitors. None click your ads. After 1 month, 240 people visit your blog. 2 people click your ad. This sounds about right. At the end of the month, you made $0.04 USD. Of course this is common because you are a new blogger with little traffic. Low traffic blogs generate low profit ad revenue.
Do you know who makes hundreds to thousands of dollars in Adsense revenue monthly? Bloggers who blog effectively and generously for 2-3-5 or more years generate this type of sweet income. Advertising revenue takes SERIOUS work! Maybe 1% of bloggers – or less – put in the work that drives the thousands of people daily to blogs which nets a steady, solid Adsense income. But most new bloggers mistakenly believe their 30 visitor a day blog will yield $100 to $500 per month or more. Never gonna happen guys. Sorry to burst your bubble.
Advertising Revenue: Yes or No?
I share profitable income streams in my eBook:
Buy it to explore different ways and means of profiting, to beef up your multiple streams of income.
Newbie bloggers should never open ad revenue streams because they do not have a large, loyal, targeted readership needed to generate substantial ad revenue. Write and self-publish an eBook. Toss that widget on your sidebar, replacing the ad widget. Brand yourself. Make more money.
Experienced bloggers with large, loyal tribes should consider ad revenue if the ads:
- feel like a match for the blog and brand
- are highly targeted for your readership
- add value for your readers
Think targeting. Sites like the Huffington Post can post any ad and completely disregard relevance because millions upon millions of humans visiting the blog monthly have millions and millions of interests. When advertisers pay a million dollars for a short Super Bowl ad they understand not every one of the 1 billion people watching the Super Bowl is highly interested in their ad, but many folks out of the billion plus people will be interested, and net advertiser revenue, through the commercial.
For you, even if your tribe is large and loyal, you likely do not attract millions of blog visitors monthly. Target advertisements to ensure most if not all of your readers seem highly interested in the ad. Even if a small percentage clicks through you will generates steadily increasing ad revenue by this approach because you intelligently match your ad with your reader.
As a new blogger go with non-ad income streams. Experienced veterans can lay out ads but make sure your ads align with your readers.
The Ultimate Checklist To Grow Your Blog in 2019
Perhaps you’re here because you’ve had a blog for a long time now, but you feel like it’s just not growing as you hoped it would. The good news, however, is that you aren’t alone. Even blogs that you think are “famous” may have also gone through this same challenge. Fortunately, there are many tricks you can apply to help your blog reach its fullest potential. These are doable, and with a little help from experts, you’re sure to achieve the growth you’ve been dreaming of.
Here’s a checklist you can follow:
- Venture Into Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective strategies in digital marketing, which you can also apply on your blogs. Affiliate marketing refers to the act of partnering with companies and businesses that are looking for bloggers who are willing to try out and promote their products and services. In the beginning, you might not be able to reach more prominent brands and companies, but if you keep going, affiliate marketing can also be very effective in helping your blog grow in terms of audience reach. The more you network with affiliates, the more traffic comes to your site.To provide you more insights on digital and affiliate marketing, read through this digital marketing checklist.
- Link With Other Bloggers
In the blogging industry, success isn’t so much about competing with each other. In fact, there’s a lot you can achieve by simply linking with other bloggers as well. This means that, from time to time, you create posts that allow you to connect with others in the industry, or you create collaboration posts with other bloggers. That way, you’re both doing each other a favor by expanding each other’s blogs to the current networks that you both have, much like exchanging gifts.
Here are other ways for you to also link or engage with other bloggers:
- Comment on the posts of other bloggers
- Mention other bloggers in your posts
- Engage in the social media pages of other bloggers
- Create Detailed Content
Especially if you’re writing about solutions to common problems of your viewers, be very detailed about it. Readers want to have answers as soon as they visit your website. Without clear, actionable content, you’re not only going to lose one reader, but you’re going to lose others as well.
Some of the best strategies you can employ to ensure detailed content are the following:
- If you’re talking about technical or serious matters, include statistics and case studies
- Stay away from broad statements that are going to leave your readers guessing
- Whenever you can, include actionable and real data. (e.g. Climate change is expected to hit a _____ mark by 2020. To combat this, one of the things you can do is…)
While the optimum length of every blog post should still be around 500 to 2,000 words, this doesn’t mean that you cannot put in detail. Never write and post anything haphazardly. Be sure to do your fair share in researching beforehand.
- Enable Social Media Sharing
If you’re a blogger, you’d know it’s inevitable to also have social media accounts. If you can, go for the three major social media pages, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The more active you are on social media, the more effective you become as well. Keep in mind the following techniques in terms of social media posting:
- Keep a fixed schedule of when you usually post new content. This will make it easier for your visitors to expect new posts. Through this, you can also build anticipation among your readers.
- As you schedule your content posting, also factor in the usual available time of your target market. For instance, if your blog is about parenting, you might want to post at night, when all mommy duties have been done for the day, and they can check their social media.
- Refrain from posting every hour. Keep your posts within a healthy interval so that your followers won’t become bored or even annoyed. At least every other day is enough to keep your followers excited.
What you can do is post an update on each social media account when you also have a new blog. Link your blog post to your social media post so you can draw traffic to your website. With social media, it’s also easier for your followers to share and spread the word about your content. By simply clicking the share button, they’re able to post this on their social media sites as well.
When you strive to make your blog perform better, it shouldn’t end only with the growth per se. You also have a more significant task to fulfill, which is to apply the necessary strategies that are going to motivate your readers to keep coming back. These above-mentioned tips can help you achieve these two goals. Now you can be on your way towards running your blog to its fullest potential.
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