eBooks are an amazing tool you can use to establish trust with your buyers and build your email lists by capturing more leads through your website. The only problem? They can take forever to write.
How are you supposed to find time to write an entire eBook when you have a business to run and a blog that’s also in need of your attention?
Justin Champion (marketer and instructor at HubSpot) believes that you can create awesome eBooks without having to spend time away from your blog. And in his course, Extending the Value of Your Content through Repurposing, he outlines a 7 Step process you can use to painlessly write your first eBook as follows.
It all starts with a topic:
#1 Find Your Topic
When Joe Pulizzi, CEO of Content Marketing Institute, first decided to write another book, he didn’t exactly know what it was going to be about. Years of weekly blog posts at CMI left him struggling for content ideas.
But instead of spending hours in his own head trying to solve the puzzle, he decided to play it smart. He simply asked his social media audience what kind of eBook they wanted to read.
We love this method of idea generation because it perfectly portrays the goal of content marketing: To solve your buyers’ problems.
When you’re coming up with a topic, always look towards your audience for answers first. Don’t assume what they want to know–speak with them directly to figure it out.
But what if you’re a new business that doesn’t have clients to speak with yet?
You’ve still got a few options for mining great topic ideas that’ll appeal to the kind of customers you want to attract.
- Visit online groups or sites such as Reddit and Quora to see what kinds of questions people have about the topic you’re considering writing about.
- Use Google’s free Keyword Planner and enter a few keyphrases to see what monthly search volume is like for each of your topic ideas.
- Use Google’s Search Engine Bar and enter your topic idea, check out the automated suggestions Google makes (yay Google!) which represents the words people use when searching for information regarding your topic.
Once you’ve got your topic, you can start branching out.
#2 Split Up Your Topic into Subtopics
Not long after Joe created his social media post, he had a confirmed topic for his book: How to Use Content Marketing as a Business Model.
Now, that’s a pretty huge topic. And he knew that if he was ever going to finish this book, he needed to shear that behemoth into small shavings that he could work on over time.
So, he sat down and brainstormed a list of every concept his audience would need to understand in order to “use content marketing as a business model:”
- How to find a sweet spot in the market for content
- How to find a differentiating factor
- How to grow an audience
- How to promote their content
- How to develop relationships with influencers
- How to monetize their content
And much, much more.
Now Joe had plenty of ideas for what he could write about–perhaps too many. So, he decided to slim things down a bit.
#3 Choose the Strongest Subtopics to Write About
The cardinal sin of writing is “long-winded” copy. So, when you write your eBook, you should aim to only include topics that are fiercely relevant to your overarching topic.
This was common knowledge for Joe. He had been a writer for decades. So, after a few snips, he compiled his eBook into 6 main subtopics:
- Finding the “Sweet Spot.”
- Finding the “Content Tilt.”
- Building the Base of Content.
- Harvesting Audience.
- Content Diversification.
As you slim down your subtopics, it’s useful to think of them as the chapters of your eBook.
Joe had planned every topic that he wanted to cover in his book. All he needed to do now was blog (yes, blog).
#4 Write Blog Posts About Your Topics
After slimming down his subtopics, Joe effectively used this new list as an “editorial calendar” for his weekly blog series at CMI.
Writing chapters of your eBook while simultaneously creating content for your blog:
On week one, he wrote a blog post about using different tools on the internet to find a “content tilt.” On week two, he wrote about how to develop relationships with influencers. On week three, he wrote about monetization. And so on.
Pretty smart, right?
Joe continued this process until he had written a post about every topic he wanted to include in his book. Then he put the pieces together.
#5 Combine Your Posts and Write the Rest
At this point, Joe had completed the entire body of his book.
Now all he had to do was throw his posts into a word document, organize them into chapters, and write an introduction and conclusion to finish the whole thing off.
In other words, Joe “repurposed” his blog posts into book chapters.
For Joe, writing an intro and conclusion wasn’t simple. He had to introduce a much larger text, gather quotes from guest authors, and compile hundreds of sources together for his conclusion.
But for you, it’s much easier!
Writing introductions for short eBooks is simple:
Simply capture your reader’s attention with a nice hook, introduce the information your readers will learn, and get to it. Your conclusion, however, may be a bit trickier.
Before you write your conclusion, you must ask yourself:
“After reading this eBook, what next steps do I want my buyer to take to become a more qualified lead or customer?”
Once you have the answer, write your conclusion and structure your writing in a way that leads your readers directly to that action. Make them feel like it’s the only logical next step.
And after you’ve got your intro and conclusion, ask someone to proofread it for you, give it one last edit and you’re done!
How to Capture Leads with your New eBook
By now, you should have a great idea of how to create your first eBook while simultaneously creating content for your blog. But here’s the thing:
Creating the eBook is only the first step. Now, you have to drive traffic and earn leads:
Most business owners don’t have time to promote their content or optimize their CTAs for conversions. That’s why we’re here.
At McAllister Marketing, we take the pain of inbound marketing off your back. Freeing you up to focus on your business, while we take care of your content creation, promotions, lead generation, conversion and retention.
Want to learn more about how we can tailor our services to fit your business? Let’s talk!