For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a writer. I vividly remember creating a daily publication as a kid with book reviews, poetry (both original and unoriginal), quick tips, and serial stories. I spent hours creating a comic book about my hamster made from white construction paper I had stapled together, and I also wrote several tiny school books for my stuffed animals to use in my “classroom.” In college I wrote multiple research papers, literature reviews, personal essays, and creative short stories. And all of this culminated into a career where I write content on a daily basis.
But despite all this preparation and passion for writing, there was one content form that caused me to feel a pang of fear: the ebook.
There is something so daunting, but also exciting, about writing your very first ebook. That is why I’ve put together this blog to help guide you through the process of creating ebooks your audience will absolutely love.
Understand Your Audience
An essential factor when it comes to any aspect of your marketing, you need to have a clear understanding of who your audience is and what they are looking for. Without defining your audience, you will quickly discover the difficulty of identifying a compelling topic, targeting your research, and choosing a tone and style for the copy.
This step is essential and will ultimately makes things easier on your, because you want to be sure your audience will want to download your ebook and benefit from the contents once they’ve done so.
Choose the Right Topic
This may feel like the most difficult aspect of the ebook creation process, but it is key to pick a narrow and focused topic before moving forward. Because you have a clear understanding of your audience, keep who you are looking to attract and convert on your ebook in mind when selecting a topic.
Your ebook topic should be something non-promotional that makes sense in the context of your industry and sales process. You don’t want to choose a topic that does not provide a simple transition for your sales team, because that defeats the purpose of the ebook. But you also want to avoid anything that feels too salesy.
It may be useful to review your highest trafficked and interacted with blog posts to get an idea of what topics your audience loves and wants more of.
Of course you’re the expert in your industry, but you want to back up your ebook with solid, credible research. Taking the time to gather data, statistics, and advanced research into the topic will give you the information you need to easily prepare an ebook that is credible, useful, and interesting.
You may also want to gather together your own knowledge of this subject and see if there are any gaps you need to fill in. This ensures you have a well rounded approach to your subject.
Create an Outline
Once you’ve done your research, it is time to focus your ebook by creating a clear outline. Choose the specific aspects of your topic you want to cover in your ebook, and arrange them in a way that makes logical sense and will flow.
Keep in mind that your ebook doesn’t have to be fifty pages long. In fact, if five pages is enough to fully explain and cover your topic, write five pages. Just be sure that you are providing quality information that will prove itself worth the download for your readers.
I would recommend for your first ebook to keep it very simple. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself by trying to write a 100-page all-inclusive guide. While you may get to that point one day, you should simply start small and see what the reaction is to your ebook, before investing too much time and energy.
Write the Copy
When writing the ebook copy, keep it simple and educational. No matter who your audience is, they probably do not want to waste time or effort on irrelevant words, so be sure to keep your message clear and easy to digest.
Keep in mind that writing ebook copy is not much different from the other copy you write. Once you’ve completed the copy, be sure to go back over it and edit it. And try to get an extra set of eyes on your writing to clear up any mistakes and point out potentially unclear passages.
Brand Your Ebook
Okay, as a writer and not a designer, this is where I used to always struggle. Often, I would simple write up the copy and pass it along to a graphic designer with maybe a few comments about what I had in mind for design. But this is not a luxury everyone has, and it isn’t always the best use of the designer’s time.
So we began to brainstorm solutions, and we came up with what I think is a genius fix: Google Slides.
Our graphic designer used Google Slides to create a standard template that reflects our brand. She incorporated contact and business information at the bottom of the pages, used our color scheme throughout the slides, and chose fonts that made sense for our branding.
All I have to do now is make a copy of our standard ebook template, and add the copy I’ve written into the Google Slides. And presto! A fully branded ebook.
The great thing about Google Slides is that it is also very easy to add visuals and manipulate them as needed. But even if you choose to use another program, try to add images that break up the content and are relevant. If you have some stats, create a chart or graph that demonstrates those stats. Visual content, even in the midst of an ebook, is still very important so don’t skip this step!
Publishing your first ebook may be a bit nerve wracking, but by following these steps you’ll soon discover that it is not as difficult as you might have first thought. And once you’ve crafted the perfect downloadable ebook, be sure you make the most of it in your marketing!