If you’ve found yourself on this post, chances are you’re a blogger and you’re looking to start monetizing your blog and FINALLY get paid for all your hard work…does that sound right? If so, you’re in the right place. I wrote and published my first ebook, Free Travel Formula, last year as a first step to start making money with my blog. Let’s just say, I learned a LOT including the fact that it IS possible to make money with ebooks.
It’s not just about writing and publishing an ebook. You could spend months researching your ebook topic, writing, editing, designing, and perfecting, and no one could be interested in it. Or you could have a gold mine of a topic and not know how to market it, so no one knows how to find you. Don’t worry, I’ve been through the process – I got you!
Here are my 10 tips for writing your first ebook:
Set hard deadlines
If you never set a deadline for your ebook, you’ll never write it. If you’re anything like me, you’ll keep telling yourself you’ll start writing it after you’re done with this week’s blog post. Then, you’ll get done with the blog post, go for a walk, make some dinner, watch TV, and never get around to your ebook.
When I first started writing Free Travel Formula, I told myself I wanted to write and publish it in ONE MONTH. I set aside 1-2 hours every day to just write. When it was all written, I set aside 1-2 hours every day to edit. I kept that up until it was done.
Once you make your ebook a priority, you’ll have it written and published in no time. I recommend setting deadlines by working backward and asking yourself these questions:
- When do you want to have the ebook published and available to buy?
- How long do you need to design your ebook?
- How long do you need to edit your ebook?
- Accounting for the time to design and edit, when do you need to have the entire ebook written by?
- To meet that deadline, how many chapters do you need to write per day?
- How much time do you have to allocate to writing each day?
–> Read more: How to Write Consistently + What Happened When I Did <–
Keep your audience in the loop
One thing that helped get sales right when I published my ebook was the fact that I kept my Instagram audience in the loop. I got on stories and told them when I was writing. They were with me every step of the way and they celebrated with me when I finally got to the point of publishing the ebook. They even shared it to their followers to get the word out!
Here are a few things you can talk about on stories to keep your audience interested in your ebook journey:
- Let them know when you’re working on it. Check in with them every day when you start writing.
- Give them a sneak peak of your first chapter.
- Let them help decide on the design – poll them to see which of two designs they like better.
- Doing research for your ebook? Turn some of that research into Instagram content and tell them they’ll get the full story in your ebook coming soon.
Invest in a guide by someone who’s done it before
Aside from setting deadlines for yourself, this is my number 1 tip to keep you on track. I bought a course called Ebook Bestseller Bootcamp to make sure I was doing everything right when creating my ebook. It was a GAME CHANGER. Ana, the creator, walks you through every step of the way from conceptualizing your ebook to writing to designing to publishing. She even teaches you how to publish your ebook on Amazon when you’re done writing it!
This course comes with:
- Modules on how to write, format, and design your ebook
- Modules on how to publish, launch, and sell your ebook
- How to create a sales page for it
- The logistics for selling on Amazon
- How to earn passive income and make money with ebooks
- How to work with affiliates that will sell your ebook for you
- Expert interviews and more!
I loved this course so much while writing my ebook that I became an affiliate for it, myself. If you’re interested, you can use this link along with the code “EBB20OFF” at checkout for $20 off!
Keep a running list of questions you get asked
The questions your audience asks you most often make the BEST ebook topics! Using these questions as ebook topics ensures that your audience will actually be interested in the ebook you spend so much time writing. The only way to make money with ebooks is if people choose to buy it! It is possible to have a successful ebook based on a topic that no one has asked you about, but that’s a lot more risky.
I like to keep a note in my phone with all of the questions I get asked on Instagram and on my blog whether they’re about Montana, places we’ve traveled, blogging, travel credit cards, or anything else. One of these questions might just be my next ebook topic!
Outsource if you need to
There’s no shame in being so busy that you need some help to get your ebook done when you want. Everyone has things going on in their blog/business and in their personal lives. If this sounds like you, why not outsource some of the research, editing, design, and creation of sales pages? Then, all you have to focus on is writing the ebook and have someone else worry about all the other components that may or may not interest you, anyway.
If you’re interested in outsourcing any/all of these parts of ebook writing, shoot me a message! I’m in the beginning stages of offering services like this, so I’d be happy to chat about what you’re looking for.
Sell your ebook in multiple places (i.e., website, Amazon, etc.)
I’d highly recommend selling your ebook on your website or blog to start for a couple reasons:
- When you advertise for it, you’ll be getting pageviews on your own website, not sending users to 3rd parties like Amazon
- This also means you have FULL control over your sales page.
The next question is always “how do I do that?” I recommend using SendOwl. You’ll see Ana recommend SendOwl within the Ebook Bestseller Bootcamp as well and that’s because it’s so easy to use. You can set it up for $9 per month. You’ll download your ebook to the SendOwl platform, choose a price, and it’ll give you a link to include on your sales page. The link will take the buyer to their cart and allow them to purchase the ebook. You can then hook in your Paypal or Stripe account to actually get paid.
Once you start selling your ebook on your website, you can then move to start selling on Amazon or other third party platforms. Specifically with Amazon, you’ll have to reformat your ebook to meet their standards. But don’t worry – the EBB course teaches you how to do EVERYTHING! Increasing the number of places people can buy your ebook will increase the potential to make money with ebooks.
As tempting as it might be, don’t use Canva
Canva is an amazing tool for creating graphics, pins, and pretty much anything visual. However, it’s not a word processor. I know you might be reading this saying “yeah yeah, I’m still using Canva because I can make it pretty,” because that’s what I did when I got this advice! I made my ebook in Canva and I regret it – I won’t do it again.
In Microsoft Word, if you delete or add words, the words and paragraphs automatically adjust on the page. However, with Canva, they don’t. Sure, you can type text in a textbox and put it wherever you want. But if you end up adding a paragraph, you might not have enough room on the page. You’ll end up having to adjust the text for that page and every page after that. It’s a nightmare! Word also lets you automate things like headers, footers, and page numbers.
The EBB course I keep talking about in this post will show you exactly how to make your ebook in MSFT Word just as pretty as you can in Canva.
Consider a pre-sale or a wait list
Hot take: you can make money with ebooks before even writing an ebook.
This may depend on the size of your audience and how much they trust your recommendations and/or products, but creating a pre-sale or wait list can help gauge interest in your ebook topic before you put the work into it. You can create a salespage that outlines what your ebook will include and who it’s for. Then have people sign up and potentially even pay a discounted rate for the ebook while you’re writing it. You can share your progress every step of the way with them and it’ll make them even more excited to get their hands on it.
Use the first chapter as a freebie/sales funnel
This is what I did. I use my first chapter as a freebie in exchange for a perspective buyer’s email address. I give them a quick win in chapter 1 and then let them know what they’ll get if they purchase the entire ebook.
This is useful for two reasons:
- If they don’t know me very well, they can get a taste of my writing style and the information I share for free before they buy.
- My ebook topic is learning how to travel for free. I want EVERYONE to know about this even if they don’t have the money to spend on an ebook. So, I feel good about at least sharing the concept (covered in chapter 1) for free.
Keep it short and sweet
No one wants to sit down and read a 100-200+ page ebook. It’s daunting. I know it can sometimes feel like you need to pack as much information as possible into an ebook because someone is paying us for it. We want them to feel like it was worth the money. However, by adding too much, it can confuse the reader and/or discourage them from reading the whole thing.
People don’t mind if the ebook is only 20-50 pages as long as it gets them the result they were promised when they bought it.
Ready to make money with ebooks?
I hope this was helpful and inspired you to start writing and making money with ebooks! Let me know if you have any additional quesitons in the comments below.