Should Your Blog Release an Ebook?
Most bloggers monetize their blogs in the same way - placing ads throughout their site. While high-traffic blogs can easily generate a sustainable income with nothing more than a Google AdSense campaign, many bloggers find this to be a difficult approach. If you count yourself in this category, you'll have options ranging from affiliate partnerships and blog consulting services to drop shipping and even developing and selling your own unique physical product. However, one blog monetization method has become especially popular in recent years - ebooks. With increased popularity, however, comes increased competition and a consumer market that knows exactly what it wants and exactly what it's willing to pay. If you don't know what a successful ebook requires, or if you don't have a good reason to develop one, an ebook could be a complete waste of your resources. What goes into a great ebook?
Great Ebooks Have a Reason to Exist
I know this sounds abstract, so let me explain: if the content of your ebook could be delivered just as easily on your blog on a normal post-by-post basis, it probably won't be worth it to write one. An ebook should not be a collection of musings that, while focused in general on a specific niche, outlines a wide variety of loosely related topics. Instead, you should only write an ebook when you want to deliver a detailed, in-depth exploration of a single topic (and not all topics warrant an in-depth exploration, by the way). Of course, this doesn't mean that a great ebook needs to hammer the same information into the readers over the course of its thousands of words, but rather that it must be devoid of "fluff and filler" and cut directly to the information the reader is expecting based on the title and summary.
Great Ebooks Target Their Audience Directly
If your blog is just getting started, you can safely place your ebook plans on the back burner. That's because successful ebooks are designed to appeal precisely to their blog's target audience. If your blog is just developing a presence on the web, you may not even know what your target audience is yet. Sure, you probably already know that your target audience is "gamers" or "gardeners" or "fitness seekers," but gamers of what type? Gardners looking to grow what? Fitness seekers of what age and fitness level? These are the types of questions you'll need answered well before you even start planning an ebook.
Great Ebooks Tell Readers How to Do Something
Unless you're literally one of the most established bloggers in your field (and, realistically, even if you are), you won't have any success with an ebook that simply explains your views, opinions and perpectives on a topic, even if it's the most interesting topic to ever exist. When people directly spend their money on a piece of online content, whether it's a premium site membership or an ebook, they expect actionable advice in return - advice or instructions that will help them accomplish something tangible, and preferably immediate, in their lives.
Great Ebooks are Backed by Great Marketing
If you're looking for a set-it-and-forget-it blog income stream, forget about ebooks. A successful ebook is always one that's backed by a robust, strategic and multitiered marketing campaign. This means you'll need to actively promote your ebook on social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), your own blog, your friends' blogs, and preferably even your competitors' blogs. How would you promote your ebook on a competitor's blog? Simple. If it's good enough, it will be on the radar of everyone involved in your niche. If your competitors care about their readers and their own SEO efforts, and if they truly respect your ebook, they'll write about it and link to it. An ebook that actually benefits many of those in your niche will simply be impossible to ignore, even for those without a direct stake in its success.