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WRITING EBOOKS TO ENERGIZE YOUR BUSINESS

by: Cary Christian

As you read the title of this article, I know that many of you are immediately thinking that you would never be able to write an ebook. In most cases this is simply a mental block. If you allow yourself to get past the notion that you can't and just leave yourself open to the possibility that you can, you'll soon realize that you are just as capable as others who are regularly publishing ebooks. Most of you have a creative flair already or you wouldn't be building a business on the web.

It is true that the web is nearly saturated with ebooks on Internet marketing, or at least it seems that way. But it is also true that every day someone finds a niche to write about to breathe fresh life into this subject.

But more importantly, I am thinking about those of you who sell products or services that are not marketing related. This territory is wide open for producing ebooks on a wide variety of subjects that can prove very valuable in building traffic to your site, establishing your expertise, and increasing your sales.

Take Verisign, for example. They advertise free "white papers" on ecommerce and secure Internet transaction processing quite frequently. There is only one reason for this: when you think of ecommerce, they want you to automatically think of them. And it works to a great degree.

You can do the same, no matter what it is you sell. If there are people interested in your products or services, they will also be interested in the information you can provide them. Your ebook might find its way into the hands of thousands of people. And if you allow them to give it away, you'll have viral marketing working for you. You could receive hits to your site for many years to come from the circulation of just this one ebook.

You may have already begun to think of topics or subject matter you could use in ebooks to promote your business. If so, that's great! Get started as soon as you can. If, instead, you're starting to think of excuses for not doing it, let's anticipate a few and see if we can't get past them.

I CAN'T WRITE

I realize that many people do not like to write, and therefore, they are not very good at it. Practice does make perfect. If you don't write, you won't be able to. But you can learn to write if the desire is there.

You can also get help. In fact, you can hire someone to write the ebook for you. You provide the ideas, the research, information on your site and products, and let a professional do the writing for you.

You could hire an english major from a nearby college who would probably love to do the work for a relatively small fee. You could farm out the work online by going to a site like Elance and let qualified people bid on your project. You can even contact us. We have people who would provide "ghost writing" services for you. Not being able to personally write the book should not stop you.

I CAN'T WRITE HTML FOR THE EBOOK!

Get yourself a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editor. You can buy Microsoft FrontPage or Dreamweaver, or just download 1stPage2000, which is free. It will work just as well as any commercial software you can buy. You can get your free copy at http://www.evrsoft.com/

If you're going to be doing business online, and you don't have employees or consultants who regularly do it for you, it certainly won't hurt you to learn to produce HTML pages. It's a skill you will be able to use in many ways. Make the commitment. It's really not that difficult.

If you prefer, you can do your ebook in pdf format. You will need the full version of Adobe Acrobat to do this, however, and you will probably find it is more difficult to learn (at least to learn to do it the right way) than using an HTML ebook compiler. It is also more expensive if you're on a tight budget.

I WOULDN'T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT!

Sure you do! You are an expert on your products or services and the benefits they provide to your customers. Think about why your customers buy products like yours. What benefits are they seeking? How do products like yours fill these needs? Educate your consumer on your products or services and how they can vary from provider to provider. What makes your products special? You get the idea. There is an endless list of subjects related to your products or services that you could write about. In fact, once you write your first ebook, you'll probably want to start on your second right away!

OKAY, I'LL WRITE. BUT WHY SHOULDN'T I SELL MY INFORMATION?

Perhaps you should! If the information is valuable enough and not easily found elsewhere for free, or if your expertise is such that you have something exceptional to offer, by all means consider selling your ebook. If there is a need for the information you can provide, there is a market you could sell to.

The key is to understand the tradeoff between increasing your product sales and generating additional revenue from your ebook. If you are selling the ebook, it will be owned by fewer people, you will get less traffic to your site, you will lose the viral effect of the ebook and, consequently, you will sell less of your existing products. You need to decide which route will provide you with more profit.

Of course, you can always publish one free ebook for viral marketing purposes and another for sale! Don't limit your possibilities.

SUMMARY

If you haven't considered producing your own ebooks, you are missing out on a real opportunity to energize or reenergize your traffic and your sales. Don't let excuses deter you from realizing the full potential of this strategy. You CAN do it!



Copyright (c) 2002

 


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