One of the best things you can do for your business is to create an information product to allow you to earn passive income again and again. Last week, we introduced part one in our eBook series on 3 Big Reasons to Write an eBook and today, in part two, we share the 5 Steps to Writing a Winning eBook with helpful resources to get your moving:
1. Poll your audience
The first thing you should do before writing an eBook is determine the need for what you want to write. While you may have lots of ideas floating around in your head, it doesn't mean they are all bankable or in demand ideas. If you're blogging and have a good size audience of readers, write blog posts related to the eBook ideas you'd like to explore and see how they react. You can gauge the better ideas based on the discussion you receive either via email or comments as well as how many people decide to share it via Twitter, Facebook or their own blog.
Along the same lines, send out a short survey via Survey Monkey to newsletter subscribers to subtly determine which of your many amazing ideas should be expanded on first in the form of an eBook.
2. Get your head in the right place
While you have the experience and information to write an insightful eBook for future readers, feelings of doubt and worry will creep in before you even pen your first word. I know from personal experience that it's not easy to sit down and begin writing an eBook if you aren't confident with yourself, your brand or the direction you want to take people into.
To get your head in the right place, think clearly about your eBook's goals and values. What are you going to help people do? How will people benefit from reading your work? Once you realize that you do have something of value to publish, you'll find it much easier to let the words flow.
Besides doubt, some people just feel overwhelmed by the idea of writing an entire book of words. But, if you think about it, an eBook is just like a long series of well written and highly informative blog posts with relevant photos and pretty graphics thrown into the mix. My advice is to skip thinking about the books end result, such as saying it will be 30 pages long or it will be finished by the end of next week, and instead concentrate on a superb outline which will propel your content further by allowing you to write in sections and chunks until the work gets done.
3. Outline your eBook
I can't sum up how to get content ideas and an outline for your eBook better than marketing queen Naomi Dunford of IttyBiz. In her post "How to Make $12,246 in a Day, Part Two: Writing Your EBook" (which is worth reading several times), she mentions these important tidbits on outlines:
- Start with a Mindmap
- Turn Your Mindmap into an Outline
Most important to note from the article, Naomi says: "Ideally, your mindmap should be done about two days before you plan to start writing your outline. Your outline should be done about one day before you start writing your eBook. Long enough that you can jot down the stuff you remember over the next few days, not so long that you over think it."
4. Reward Milestones
Once you've gotten through your outline, it's time to start plugging away at the bulk of your writing. Trouble is, that's the long part! To get you through the hardest and longest phase of your eBook, why not set up small milestone rewards to keep you on track and motivated to complete the work sooner.
5. Pretty it Up
Don't forget that while it's called an eBook, it doesn't mean it needs to read like a novel. Just like with blog posts, break up your chapters and certain paragraphs with relevant photos, graphics, screenshots and other important images in order to help audiences better digest your book.
Helpful Resources for Writing an eBook:
- How to Write an eBook that Sells by Copyblogger
- You Should Write an eBook by Seth Godin
- Thirteen Steps to Write and Publish a Free ebook In Thirteen Hours by Problogger
Justine Smith is an Etsy success story who used her experience selling online and turned it into a full-time wholesale business. Her real passion is helping handmade sellers find success marketing their craft products. She offers tips on advertising, branding, social media and growth via email through her blog Justine's Media.
Main Image Courtesy of Steve Berardi