So maybe you’ve gone through the process of having an article, white paper, blog post or something like that written for you. You can take that to the next level. Now consider writing an e-book. Whether you write the e-book or you outsource the e-book, you can expand that article into a longer version, add a little more context, add some more stories, give some testimonials, some case studies—that kind of jazz. This longer document doesn’t have to be too long; think 10 or 20 pages (it doesn’t have to be 100 pages.)
Tip: When you produce your e-book, you can space the lines so they’re a line and a half instead of line-line-line. Not only does it make your e-book appear more substantial, it’s easier on the eyes and it helps people read on mobile platforms.
Once you’ve completed crafting your e-book, you can put it in a number of places across the Internet. You can put it on your own website and—just like you might offer a white paper or instructional video—you can also offer the e-book as an incentive for folks to join your mailing list. To do this, you would use an email marketing service like Aweber or GetResponse, where you will you stand up your mailing list and your opt-in form. Place the opt-in form on your website next to a picture of the e-book and say, “Hey, if you want a copy of this e-book, just add your name to my list and I’ll be more than happy to send it out to you.”
Promoting Your E-book
So now you’re building your mailing list and of course, in your e-book, you have links back to your own site, your own offer, maybe even affiliate offers. Make sure the offers and resources you promote are congruent with the e-book’s subject. Your offers should provide the reader with the next step if they want to continue their journey with you. With e-books, you have an opportunity to provide a ton of value, do it for free (or for the low cost of an email address.)
Next, you’ll put that e-book out into directories. E-book directories are free online directories where folks shopping those directories may pull down a wide assortment of e-books to collect information of interest, just like they would at a library.
Another trick: You can take that same e-book and turn it into a PowerPoint presentation. You can share that PowerPoint presentation at SlideShare.net. SlideShare is a site where you’re able to stand up your own PowerPoint presentations and funnel traffic to your site and offers.
Kindle and Nook
Then you can also place your e-book into a Kindle or a Nook format and put it out on Amazon. Then folks shopping Amazon looking for an e-book on your topic can find you. Offer your e-book for a low, introductory price (or whatever you’re comfortable with). Remember: You’re not simply selling an e-book, you’re building an audience. You’re building a community.
Now you’re seeding the Internet with your e-book and—provided you’re offering solid value—you should begin seeing a little traffic from these sources. It might be two or three clicks a month. It might be thirty clicks a month. It might be three-hundred clicks a month. It might be even more.
With an e-book, you produce it once and then place links to it out in different corners of the Internet. Here again, you’re doing the planting of these seeds once. Say you did that once a day for a year. You’re going to have 365 links facing back to you, if these links stuck. Even if they didn’t stick—even if just half of them stuck—you’ve still got 180+ inbound links?
You’ve got real opportunity for residual return once you’ve created and promoted your e-book, so if you do it once and you get it out there, that one time, that one burst of effort can keep paying you a return over and over and over and over.
That’s how you start to get your time back. That’s how you start to get more exposure in the marketplace without you having to go shake every hand and go to every networking event. I’m not saying there’s anything bad with those strategies. I’m just saying—by using e-books—you have an opportunity to make that investment once, and let then allow that investment to work over and over and over for you.
About Matt Schoenherr
Matt is a husband, father of four, marketing consultant and founder of Marketing Ideas 101. As a student, teacher and published author, Matt supports the worthy goals of service and commerce in the small business and nonprofit communities. You may find him on Google+, Twitter and Facebook. Creative marketing ideas and marketing strategies may be found at MarketingIdeas101.com.