If you run any sort of WordPress blog that gets traffic, writing and selling your own eBook is almost certainly a good idea. A successful eBook can create a long term revenue stream that grows with your blog. The more readers you get, the more sales you make.
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In many ways, an eBook is a natural extension of your blog. If you’ve got a large repository of quality content on your site, your eBook is already half-written.
Take that blog content, edit it, repurpose it, add value to it. String it together in a logical and coherent manner. Dress it up with pretty pictures and formatting. Lo and behold, you’ve got yourself an eBook.
If people dig your blog, there’s a very good chance they’ll dig your eBook, and be willing to put down some money for it.
The revolution will not be available in paperback
Print is a dying medium – we all know that. While some argue that digital publishing has cheapened the written word, on the upside it’s also leveled the playing field and given authors full control over their work.
Unlike those old school paper books that people used to read, the author of an eBook has the final word on content, editing, promotion and – most importantly – price.
Producing an eBook will cost you nothing substantial except time. And if it sells, you keep 100% of the takings, which is a damn sight better than the 10% royalties that most authors receive for their paper books.
A successful eBook will earn you far more money than the paperback version would.
Convinced yet? If you’re already running a WordPress blog, you’ve got a good head start. With a couple of plugins and a few tweaks here and there, you can use your blog as a platform to promote and sell your eBook.
First things first: creating a successful eBook
The content of your eBook is obviously what’s going to compel people to buy it, but you shouldn’t neglect the aesthetics either. An eye-pleasing layout and high quality formatting will earn kudos from your readers, and help build a good reputation for your work.
Remember that a lot of people will be reading your eBook on a computer screen, so follow the same principles of design and content creation that work on your blog.
While plenty of people write their eBooks from start to finish using nothing more than a word processor, you could also consider investing in dedicated eBook software for a more professional-looking finished product.
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Make your WordPress site eBook-friendly
Once you’ve got a product that you’re happy with, it’s time to equip your WordPress blog with the necessary tools to get the thing sold.
To sell a digital product on your site, you need a robust e-commerce plugin. MarketPress is far and away the most effective solution for selling anything from your WordPress blog. This video gives you an overview of how it works.
The latest version of MarketPress has been expanded to cater for digital products. This plugin allows you to upload your eBook file to WordPress, where it can then be securely downloaded by the customer, once payment has been received through the gateway of your choice.
Spread the word
Once you’ve got your WordPress blog set up to sell your eBook, you’ll want to start promoting it like there’s no tomorrow.
Like any kind of advertising, there are a million different places you could make your sales pitch and try to catch people’s attention.
But think about it logically – where are your best chances of success?
The most profitable place to advertise your eBook is right on your WordPress blog.
The people who read your blog are the most likely to buy your eBook. They know you and trust you, so focus your energies on them.
Putting a ‘buy my eBook’ widget in your sidebar is certainly a good start, but you’ll need to get a little more creative than that if you want to really cash in on all your hard work.
These are a few ways you can make sure that every visitor to your blog knows about your eBook and feels compelled to throw money at you.
Create a dedicated sales page for the eBook on your blog
All advertisements for your eBook should link through to your sales page, which includes a big shiny ‘BUY NOW’ button at the bottom.
A plugin like Impact Page Builder can help you achieve the exact style of sales page you’re looking for, regardless of how the rest of your blog is designed.
Make references to your eBook in blog posts
Be careful not overdo this, or you risk sounding like a desperate used car salesman. But it doesn’t hurt to make the odd reference to your eBook in your blog posts now and then.
A lot of people purposely ignore advertising on websites, so use your content as a sales channel when you have the opportunity.
Advertise your eBook in creative places around your blog
Advertisements that are subtly blended with your content get far higher click-through rates than those in sidebars and headers. To promote your eBook more effectively, find unique and unusual locations to place advertisements.
The In Post Ads plugin allows you to place textual ads inside your blog articles, after a predetermined number of paragraphs or wherever your choose. You can see this plugin in action right here:
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Finally, takes notes from successful eBook authors
If you want to learn from one of the masters, head over to ProBlogger. Darren Rowse sells a sh*tload of eBooks from his website (which runs on WordPress, by the way), and there’s plenty of insight to be gained from observing his methods.
Over to you folks . . .
We’d love to hear some eBook success stories from WordPress users. Tell us about your experiences selling digital products from your WordPress blog.