Writing an ebook is one of the most powerful things you can do to sell your business, promote what you do, bring people to your website, and ultimately make money. Although it can seem daunting, it really isn’t. Here are my top tips to help you do it easily.
Write about what you know. If you are selling widgets, write a book on how there widgets will benefit people. Set it out in an outline, and give each area it's own chapter.
Don’t be a perfectionist. Aim for good enough, not perfect. Half the reason most people don’t write abook, or even an ebook, or in fact put their best ideas into practice is that they think it has to be perfect to succeed, when really it only has to be ‘good enough’.
Give people what they want. Ask your clients, put up a note on your website, on forums, or in social networking sites saying, “I’m writing an ebook about “x” . I think I’ve got in all covered, but just wondered if there was anything I’d missed that you’d particularly want to know about. If there is, please let me know.” You can also do a survey or interview your clients to find out how people feel about widgets, and how it has changed their lives. Once you have their feedback, add this to your outline, with several points under each chapter to write about.
Write in chunks. Don’t think about it as writing a book, or you’re likely to get the jitters and put yourself off even starting – unless you have the Book Midwife to hand, that is!! Simply view the ebook as so many small projects or articles or chunks, and just finish them one at a time.
Set goals. Decide how many pages or words you want need to write a day in order to finish it, say, in a week, or a month, and then make that your goal. Make sure the goal is not unrealistic, but do make sure it is a little challenging – no point in saying you’ll write 100 word a day else you’ll be there until doomsday Note that unless you are already a professional writer and have been through the pain barrier already, you will have to learn to write even when you are tired or don’t feel like it. ‘Writer’s block’ is just when someone doesn’t ‘feel’ like writing – if you want to get it out there, you’ll write!
Once it is finished, leave it. Even the best writers in the world don’t publish something as soon as they have written it, and needn’t should you. Give yourself some space from what you have written, perhaps a week or so. Then go back and correct it, adding links and references where necessary and making sure you have the style consistent throughout.
Get it checked. I would recommend you get a professional proofreader or editor to check it for you, or at least get a friend or colleague who is literate to read it through – often we expect to read what we have written, rather than actually what we have written, called being ‘word blind’, and that happens to the most experienced writers, like myself. So it’s especially important to get some support if you are new to the game.
Call to arms. If you are using your ebook as a sales tool,. make sure you have a "call to arms' at the end of each chapter - an action point that you can then use to get your readers to come back to you, whether for more information, get support, or buy the product.
Choose a good title. It can be tempting to choose a funny or quirky title for your business ebook, but as a business and PR document it’s best if the title “does what it says on the packet” ie if it is a ‘Guide to How to Produce Better Widgets’, call it that, and save the quirky title for when you write your bestseller!
Make it viral. If it is of benefit to more people than your immediate clients, then offer it as an affiliate product for other people to repackage. This will create a virtuous circle by increasing your sales and profile, as well as make money for the people repackaging your product, who are also ultimately promoting you for no cost to yourself. For a good example of this see ‘WTF Can Social Media do for Your Business’ – it’s free, no sign ups and we encourage people to pass it around and SHARE it, not only because it’s really useful and interesting stuff, but also because we get a lot of enquiries off of it, many of whom convert to clients.
© Claire Burdett.
Claire Burdett is a qualified and experienced business coach, a home business expert and a serial entrepreneur. She runs www.businessmidwife.co.uk and www.thefunkyagency.com and is the founder of www.funkyangel.co.uk, which is the site for people combining home and business and where this article first appeared.
She is also divorced and a solo mum.