4 min read
Quick poll: how many ebooks are on your hard drive or in your Dropbox folder?
If you're anything like me, the answer is “more than I care to share”.
The time tested advice for list growth is to write an ebook and it's for good reason. Ebooks are popular (see: your computer files) and they attract the audience you want to reach.
If you have been creating content for any length of time, writing an ebook is an easy first step to start building your email list. In this post you'll get simple and actionable steps to writing and publishing your first ebook so you can grow your email list.
Remember the assignment from the 10 person rule? Part of the assignment was to ask what people wanted to learn from you. If you have been following through on that assignment, you will have written several blog posts on the topics that were suggested to you from you audience.
Now the next questions is, what of those blog posts most resonated with your audience? A few things you you can do to answer this question:
After doing that research, you may begin to see a pattern. Is there an idea that stands above the rest? Or maybe there is a trend between several of the top posts.
If there is a single post that sticks out, use that post as the base for your ebook. Ask yourself, “what is the next logical step that my reader will need after reading this post” and write the ebook that answers that question or gives them a solution to the problem that is lingering after that single blog posts.
If you see a trend in some of your top posts, I have really good news for you: you may already have a completed ebook in the content of your posts.
This step is what stalls a lot of people out. But not you. You have this guide.
The general belief is that writing a lead magnet, like an ebook, is too much work to accomplish. And while writing is hard there are a few things to keep in mind when compiling the content of the ebook:
Compiling all of your valuable content on a subject, with an appropriate beginning and ending frame will can be very helpful for your audience. Don't feel guilty about doing this because it can add value and/or time for your reader by putting all of this into one place.
This is easier than ever. There are services like 99designs and Fivrr that can help you create a cover and layout for your ebook for minimal cost and time if you aren't comfortable doing it yourself.
If you have design skills (or want to try your hand at it), you can create your own cover in Photoshop, InDesign, or any other design software, layout the document in Microsoft Word or Pages, and finally export the entire document as a PDF.
There are many places where you can promote your ebook. First it is important to give the ebook away to your audience (or a segment of your audience for free). These are your people. Chances are they will love the content and will share it with their network as well.
That is an easy and important first step.
Next, talk to any influencers you might know. Don't assume that people will share, so you will need to make the ask. You would be surprised how simple it is. Just ask.
Check out what happened when Nathan asked Chris Guillebeau to share his book:
Next, guest post or find other sources of traffic for your ebook. There are many many services you can pay for, that will feature your ebook to their large audience. One very popular forum for this is called NoiseTrade Books.
Also, don't feel stuck if you don't have a budget for this. Make a list of 10-15 blogs that would benefit from the topic of your ebook. You can go back to the 10 person rule here again and use the list of where people are currently learning about your topic.
Write valuable content and offer your ebook. It is a foolproof way to grow your email list.