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.
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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.
Do You Need to Make a Huge Blogging Shift?
Sometimes, you get bogged down with your blogging routine. Routines feel comfortable, right?
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But blogging is a feeling game like life is a feeling game. All flows based on your emotions. If you feel really good – first – then you take good feeling blogging actions and over time, with patience and trust, see good feeling blogging results.
Unfortunately, most humans give almost zero thought to their emotions before diving in to a blogging routine. Bloggers believe you need to do something or follow a set routine to succeed, to drive traffic, and to make money. Day after day, year after year, most bloggers follow a routine without giving zero thought to how they are feeling, if they enjoy blogging, if they have fun following the routine, and if they feel detached, patient and trusting in the process.
This is the only reason why as of about 7 years ago, 80% of bloggers never made more than $100 during their blogging careers. If 8 out of 10 humans can not make $100 through blogging over 1, 2, 5 or 10 years, 8 out of 10 bloggers clearly give zero thought to their feelings BEFORE blogging. Feel bad, and you see no money. But those 2 out of 10 bloggers who feel really good make lots of money over the long haul.
Maybe it is time to make a shift, guys.
2-3 months ago I made one shift. 1 month ago I made an even bigger shift; quite huge, for me. But what I did differently made almost zero difference. How I chose to feel marked the big shift, then, I moved into different blogging actions.
For example, I faced some deep fears, felt the fears, and instantly, after feeling pretty crappy for a short time, I felt better and better. Choosing to face fear, clear it, and feel better, helped me see things clearly. I tired of my blogging schedule, my social sharing groups, blog commenting and heavy cross promotion. In truth, I hated it. I did have some fun with each for a while but the passion long left me. Since how you feel before and while you blog means everything, my mindset-feeling shift told me I’d have so much fun guest posting. So as of about 3-4 weeks ago – maybe less – all I do is guest posting because I have fun guest posting and guest posting comes easily to me.
Making the shift involved facing deep fears of failure, loss and struggle. I had to feel the fear of letting go lifeless activities for me – at the time – to clear out the fear, and properly release these strategies, and to move forward so I could feel good, then, decide what blogging actions would feel fun and easy and enjoyable to me.
All shifts happen emotionally first, by your choice. After feeling some muck and then feeling better, you clearly and intuitively feel through the next fun-feeling, enjoyable step.
What About You?
Do you need to make any shifts with your blogging campaign? Or do you need to make one big, sweeping, all-encompassing shift?
Getting caught up in blogging routines feels comfortable, familiar and safe, sometimes. But do you feel good before you begin the routine? Do you feel good working the routine? Do you feel detached, relaxed, trusting and like you are cared for, and prospering, while following your blogging routine?
Be honest to make a necessary shift. If you love following your routine, cool. Proceed. But most humans are taught – me included – to follow some routine (no matter how you feel) to get something, specifically money, so you can avoid failure, struggle, poverty, going hungry, illness, and embarrassment. This is exactly why most humans work jobs. Follow a routine to get money even if you feel really bad or terrible following the work-routine; aka, even if you hate your job and it feels lifeless, or soul-less.
May be time for a big shift guys.
Why Comedians Teach You a Powerful Blogging Lesson
Last night I saw a funny comedian perform in Atlantic City.
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Chris Delia charmed the audience with his silly, somewhat absurd, level of humor.
He also explained how comedians need thick skin to become successful. Humor is a very personal, subjective topic. Some people find some comedians hysterical but never laugh at other comedians. As you imagine, bombing feels terrible to most comedians. At least until they develop a thick skin.
I once read how Kevin Hart often waited until 1 AM to work an open mic. Sometimes he waited until 1 AM and the place closed down so he never got the chance to do his set. Imagine how thick-skinned you need to be to not let that bother you? Is it any wonder why he is now worth $150 million? He became immune to criticism, failure and rejection. As a matter of fact, after developing a thick skin, he likely did not see criticism, failure or rejection.
All those evenings of 1 AM sets in front of 1-2 lifeless people or all those nights of being told to go home at 1 AM after waiting for hours to do his act purged the fear of criticism, failure and rejection from his being. Void of these fears, he rose up to being one of the most famous, wealthy and powerful comedians on earth.
Bloggers Need Thick Skin
I once promoted a course to the tune of 8000 page views before I sold one copy. Did I quit promoting the course? No. I developed a thick skin during the process. I did not see 8000 rejections. I only saw meeting and helping more human beings through my blog. Even during moments when I felt like giving up I trusted in myself and believed in the blogging process. Quitting and failure were no options for me. But in the same vein, I needed to be thick skinned to see through criticism, rejection and failure.
I needed to be aware of opportunity amid the appearance of nobody reading my blog. Toss in being patient and persistent in helping folks during my most trying times and you have a pretty thick-skinned individual.
Do Not Care What People Think
Chris Delia shared how he could care less what people thought about him. He dressed down a few hecklers during the show.
Comedians succeed because they care less about what people think of their acts; being heckled, ignored or criticized had nothing to do with their belief in self and their belief in their comedic style.
As a blogger, give no thought to what people think of you. Guess what? You cannot control your reputation. No matter how long and hard you work in life to maintain a positive reputation, you can never physically control what people think of you. I am largely a nice guy 99.99% of the time yet some people genuinely hate me. I cannot control their demons. Plus I know we see the world as we see ourselves so if someone hates themselves I cannot do anything about that self-loathing.
Focus on yourself. Focus on what you think about yourself because this is the only thing that matters. Being comfortable in your own skin aligns you with loving, loyal followers who appreciate you for who you are. Let go everybody else. Critics form an energetic yoke if you care about their thoughts but dissolve into thin air when you could care less about what they think of you.
Bloggers become successful because these few folks who have thick skins shine brightly in a world of thin-skinned bloggers who fear criticism, judgment and rejection. The few who step it up do wonders because we all want a piece of free spirits who march to the beat of their own drum without caring what people think, say or do, in response or reaction to them simply being themselves.
Do You Have an Exit Plan for Your Blog?
This past week I ceased sharing posts in blogging tribes.
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I finally got it; I joined tribes because I feared unless I shared other blogger content, nobody would read my content. I feared if nobody shared my content, nobody reads my content, and I needed to share other blogger content to effectively influence bloggers and people to share mine. Ouch.
As you can imagine, I put in many long, hard hours working a job, NEEDING to be online to succeed with my blog. Rewind. Working a job. Did you see this phrase? I worked a job. I needed to be online to succeed. Largely, at least. Does that sound like a business owner to you? Does that sound like leveraging? Sure I drive some passive traffic and profits to my blog but being honest, I largely worked a job and had a job for much of my 10 years online, and I did not have a pure business so I could step away from my blog and business for months, at a time. Or, forever.
I have more of an exit plan now. I have a blogging business. I am writing my tail off to be in as many spots as possible without relying on sharing tribes and other groups that require me to be online, to social share posts, so other people can social share my posts, so I get traffic and profits. I began to think; what am I doing? I mean, if you love joining social sharing tribes, do it. Nice friendship builder. But you need to have some exit plan with your business and need to see how you can step away one day so it is about a 100% passive income machine – or, so you can sell it at a tidy profit – in order for you to be a free entrepreneur, versus a bound employee.
I am having so much fun writing blog posts and guest posts daily. Plus it is easy peasy. Every piece of content is forever, unless all these blogs vanish or get closed out by all these bloggers. Fat chance. Plus I can drive to Atlantic City today with my wife and enjoy a show this afternoon into evening and my business will still grow from a heavy passive element. Even though I am online writing this morning, all my blog posts and guest posts serve as a passive promotional army for the Blogging From Paradise blog and brand.
Imagine me trying to social share other blogger posts as I am driving down the Parkway? Not happening.
Network. Have fun making friends. Build a rock solid foundation for your blog. But eventually, evolve into someone who leverages your presence so you work a business, not a job. Any strategy 100% dependent on you being online, sharing blogger content so other bloggers share your content and boost your success, is a job, not a business, because you are tied to the online world and have no exit strategy, and a light passive element to your blogging business.
Gradually place less emphasis on networking online. Focus on purely passive elements, like writing more blog posts and guest posts, which last forever. Humans change, quit, fail, change tastes; you never want to be at the mercy of the fickle human beast. Unless all blogs close down, all of those blog posts and guest posts you wrote are pretty much forever.
Focusing a bit more on things – things helping people – helps you leverage your blog and business powerfully so you can make an exit plan and step away from your blogging business for 1, 2 or 3 months. I know bloggers who take vacations for months; everything keeps growing money-wise because they leverage, and are not dependent on people for cash flow, because their system creates the cash flow.
Trust in the process plays a big role too.
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