Drive more relevant traffic.
Get more email subscribers.
If you were to ask an affiliate marketer to list their top goals, these two objectives would come pretty high up on the list.
Using ebooks as part of your content marketing strategy is an effective way to achieve both.
Ebooks are an excellent tool for attracting the right people to your website, and convincing them to opt-in to your email list.
In this guide, we’ll break down the process of creating and promoting an ebook step by step.
Let’s get started.
- What is an Ebook
- Using Ebooks for Affiliate Marketing
- How to Write an Ebook
- Ebook Marketing Strategies: How to Promote your Ebooks
What is an Ebook
In simple terms, an Ebook is an electronic book that can be consumed on a computer, smartphone, tablet, or other electronic devices.
Ebooks are designed to appear like a physical book with a front cover and multiple pages. They are often saved as PDF documents so they can be easily consumed on a range of devices.
While a physical printed book needs to be sent through the post or picked up in store, an ebook can be instantly downloaded.
They can easily be accessed whenever the reader wants to read the content.
Using Ebooks for Affiliate Marketing
For affiliate marketers, ebooks are a powerful content marketing asset.
You can attract new audiences to your website with relevant and enticing long-form content.
Because an ebook is much longer than your average blog post, it’s an opportunity to go into more depth on a specific topic that is targeted to the needs of your audience.
Ebooks provide several benefits, including:
Ebooks are usually gated content. That means a website visitor needs to give you their email address in exchange for the free ebook.
Writing a well-researched ebook on a particular topic helps to establish a reputation as a go-to source of information in your niche.
By providing in-depth expert advice to your audience, you showcase your knowledge and build trust. When people trust you, they’re more likely to purchase your affiliate products.
Ebooks are a great way to educate your audience and help them to understand the problems they face and the goals they want to achieve.
Ebooks also have an extended shelf life.
While blog posts generally see a short term traffic boost, an ebook behind an opt-in form can generate email subscribers and traffic for months and even years after it’s been published.
Using Ebook as a Lead Magnet
Ebooks are a great way to grow your email list.
Lead magnets are usually a content asset that people can access for free in exchange for their email address.
You can use your ebook as a lead magnet.
By putting your ebook behind an opt-in email form, you can open up a direct communication line with people interested in your niche.
As long as your ebook is highly relevant to the needs and pain points of your target audience, they will take up your offer and become a subscriber.
Once they’re signed up to your email list, you have an opportunity to nurture the subscriber and take advantage of multiple sales opportunities.
There is one big hurdle that needs to be overcome when creating an ebook.
Lots of businesses and affiliates are aware of how effective an ebook can be, so there are thousands of free ebooks around the web.
To be successful, your ebook needs to be better and more compelling than what’s already out there.
That’s what we’re going to cover in the next section.
How to Write an Ebook
1. Choose a Topic Your Audience Cares About
The topic you cover in your ebook should be closely related to the topics you cover in the rest of your content marketing.
Your ebook is an opportunity to go into more depth about a topic that you know your audience will find interesting.
You can use your website analytics to see which of your current blog posts perform best, and which topics your audience finds most appealing.
To find a compelling topic for your ebook, ask yourself the following questions:
- What goals do your target audience want to achieve?
- What common problems are they looking to solve?
- What information do they need before they are ready to purchase a product?
This is a crucial step in the creation of your ebook.
You can use the free tool Ubersuggest to take a look at your competitor’s “Top Pages” and identify which topics are popular with your target audience.
Do your research and find a topic that you know your audience will find compelling before you start creating an outline for your ebook.
2. Create an Outline for Each Chapter
Once you have a great topic, the next step is to outline each chapter of your ebook.
You can start with the introduction and work your way through to the conclusion.
It’s a good idea to think of each chapter of your ebook as an individual blog post.
Just as you would writing a blog post, create an outline for each chapter with subheadings detailing what you want to include.
This will help you to structure each chapter before you start writing.
Each chapter should logically follow on from the previous one.
What should you include in each chapter?
Think of your ebook as a short crash course on the topic you are covering.
What does your audience need to know about the topic to achieve a goal or overcome a problem?
Your ebook doesn’t need to be 100s or even 10s of pages in length.
It needs to be as long as necessary to educate your audience about your chosen topic effectively.
If you can communicate everything you need to in 6 or 7 pages with no fluffy writing or filler, that’s as long as your ebook needs to be.
3. Write Each Chapter of Your Ebook
Now the writing begins.
To speed up the writing process, you can skip writing the introduction and get started with the first chapter.
The introduction is one of the most critical parts of your ebook, and you’ll want to spend some time getting it right.
Approach each chapter as if you are writing a blog post.
Break down the chapter into sections or bullet points of what you are going to cover.
This will help you to structure the chapter and make sure you include all the vital information.
Just like writing a blog post, make sure you optimize your ebook for people reading on the web.
- Bulleted lists
- Bold and italics to emphasize important sentences
- Short paragraphs
- Use of images to break up the text
It’s also important to maintain a consistent structure for every chapter of your ebook.
This will help your readers to easily work their way through the ebook and show a clear transition between each chapter.
4. Write the Introduction and Conclusion
For some of the people that download your ebook, the introduction and conclusion will be the only sections they read.
Your introduction needs to give the reader a quick overview of what to expect and provide them with a reason to keep reading.
You can pose a question that will be answered or highlight a benefit that people will gain from the rest of the ebook.
This is why leaving your introduction until last can make it easier to write.
You already know what information people will learn in the following chapters, so you can tailor your introduction to highlight the value people will gain from reading the ebook in full.
For your conclusion, you want to answer the question “what should I do now?”
After people have finished reading your ebook, what is the next step you want them to take?
This could be the final step in the process you have covered in the ebook, or a CTA to purchase a product that will help people achieve their desired outcome using the information they have learned.
5. The Editing Process
Avoid editing your text as you write the chapters of your ebook.
You should first focus on writing and getting your ideas down on paper.
If you start editing as you write, you’ll get frustrated and waste time on the finer details that can be changed later.
Complete every chapter and edit your complete ebook later.
Don’t be too worried if your ebook doesn’t read well or look great when you are editing.
That’s what first drafts are for.
You might find that entire sections need to be rewritten.
When you’re editing your ebook, it helps to follow a specific editing process.
Start with the significant edits, and work your way down to the finer details.
Here’s what you should look for when editing:
Start the editing process by checking the overarching structure of your ebook.
Does the order of the chapters flow well from one to the next?
Do the headlines and subheading follow logically?
When somebody scans your ebook, they should be able to understand the main points by reading the headlines and subheadings alone.
Cut out any unnecessary fluff
Read through each section and remove anything that doesn’t support the message you want to communicate.
If it doesn’t add any value, cut it out.
This will help to keep your readers engaged and strengthen your content.
Flow and syntax
Just like editing the structure, you want to edit the paragraphs and sentences of each section to make sure they flow well and encourage the reader to keep progressing.
Spelling and Grammar
You should have picked up on obvious errors during the previous editing stages, but now you should focus solely on proofreading.
Look out for any punctuation errors, sentence fragments, and typos you may have missed.
You can use the free tool Grammarly to help you identify errors and mistakes.
The software will give your text a score out of 100, and provide suggestions to improve readability.
No matter what editing software you use, you should always manually double-check for anything that has been missed.
When you’re editing your ebook, create a new copy for each editing stage.
If you realize you’ve deleted something you want to include, you can always go back to the previous draft.
6. Design Your Pages and Ebook Cover
With your ebook written, the next step is to format your content to provide a great reading experience.
Create a table of contents to help your readers find what they’re looking for…
...And an “About the Author” page that tells your audience more about you and your website.
For the text itself, leave plenty of white space to increase the readability of your content and make it easy to scan.
You should also choose a suitable font and font size to make it easy to read.
Add a header and footer so that each page contains a page number, the name of your ebook, and a link to your website.
You’ll also want to source relevant images and graphics to break up your text and make your chapters look visually appealing.
Here’s a list of websites where you can download royalty-free images:
Make sure your images are displayed correctly and saved in the right format.
When it comes to design, you want to create an appealing cover that encourages people to opt-in and download your ebook.
People will judge your ebook by the cover image, so consider hiring a freelance graphic designer to create your cover.
A low-budget unprofessional cover will instantly put people off from downloading your ebook.
If you don’t think your design skills will do your ebook justice, definitely consider some professional assistance.
7. Create a Landing Page
Your ebook is now ready to start driving traffic and growing your email list.
To promote your ebook on your website, you’ll need a dedicated landing page.
A landing page is a standalone web page with a single goal of convincing your visitors to convert and give you their email address in exchange for your free ebook.
Your landing page should be distraction-free and laser-focused on converting your visitors.
Let’s use an example to break down a successful landing page so you can see the elements you should include:
Your landing page headline plays a vital role.
It needs to attract the attention of your visitors and sell the benefits of your ebook.
In the example above, the headline does an excellent job of grabbing the attention of the reader and giving a reason for people to keep reading - to find out the secret.
Your headline should also match what the visitor is expecting when they click on your link in a blog post, popup, Facebook Ad, or wherever else you promote your ebook.
The subheading goes into more detail, explaining what the ebook is about and the benefits it offers.
In the example above, the subheading is all about building trust and establishing credibility.
This is another tactic that you can use if you have already set up the conversion before you send people to your landing page.
However, if you are promoting your ebook organically on your website, it’s a good idea to use the subheading to support the headline and convince people to keep reading.
The purpose of your subheading is to get people to read your ebook description.
An Ebook Description
The ebook description is usually a short paragraph or a bulleted list.
The purpose of the description is to sell the benefits of your ebook and show people what’s included in an easy to scan summary.
Rather than simply explaining the features of your ebook, use your description to explain why your ebook offers a solution and how it will help people overcome a problem or achieve a goal.
An Ebook Cover Image
If you’ve invested in a high-quality ebook cover, you’ll want to include it on your landing page.
People are drawn towards images, and an attractive ebook cover image can be the extra incentive that nudges your visitors towards conversion.
Make sure your image contains the title of your ebook, and a real person if possible.
Numerous studies have shown that images of real people are much more appealing than stock images.
An Opt-in form
The opt-in form is a vital part of your landing page.
It’s where your visitors enter their information before clicking on your call-to-action (CTA).
The design of your form can make or break the success of your landing page and the number of people that download your ebook.
You want to make it as easy as possible for people to enter their details.
That means keeping the number of form fields to an absolute minimum.
As you can see in the example above, the only details requested are the first name and email address.
That’s all the information you need to start a relationship with your subscribers.
According to a study of 40,000 landing pages by HubSpot, reducing the number of form fields from 4 to 3 boost conversion rates by nearly 50%.
A Call-to-Action (CTA)
The CTA is the most important element of your landing page.
It needs to stand out from the rest of your page and tell people what to do next.
In the example above, the “Send My Free Ebook Now” CTA button does an excellent job of compelling visitors to convert.
However, the CTA button in the example landing page is relatively small.
It’s best to make your CTA button large enough to attract attention, and in a contrasting colour that makes it stand out.
For the copy of your CTA, use an actionable phrase that tells people exactly what will happen and what they will receive by converting.
Ebook Marketing Strategies: How to Promote your Ebooks
As with all content marketing efforts, writing a great ebook doesn’t guarantee success.
You need to promote your ebook to get it in front of the right people.
When you promote an affiliate product, you come up with a marketing strategy to drive traffic to your merchant’s sales page.
For your ebook, you need to come up with a marketing strategy to drive traffic to your landing page.
If you’ve chosen a great topic, created an appealing cover image, and built a conversion-focused landing page, all you need to do is to drive people to your opt-in form.
Here are 6 ways you can promote your ebook and drive traffic to your landing page.
1. Promote Your Ebook on Your Website
The first place to start promoting your ebook is on your website.
You want to convert your existing website visitors into email subscribers using your ebook.
One of the most effective ways to do that is to create an exit-intent popup.
These popups can be used to promote lots of different types of content and offers, including new blog posts, affiliate products, and ebooks.
When a user finishes reading your content and clicks to leave your site, a popup is displayed promoting your ebook.
You can also use timed, and scroll activated popups to promote your ebook to your website visitors.
Alongside popups, you can promote your ebook on your website using banner placements and sidebar callouts.
If you have a relevant blog post that ranks well in the search result and drives a lot of organic traffic, you can also place a CTA and short message to promote your ebook within your existing content.
2. Social Media
Social media platforms are an excellent place to promote your ebook for free.
You can create teaser messages to build up the anticipation of ebook launch, create a buzz amongst your existing followers, and reach new audiences.
These can be quick chapter summaries, actionable advice, and interesting statistics and quotes from your ebook.
If you send out straight-up “Download My New Ebook” posts all day, you’re going to annoy your followers.
By sending out teasers, you can offer value every time you post.
Some promotional tactics work better on specific platforms than they do on others.
Here’s how you can leverage each platform:
Facebook has a vast user base, but you need to be strategic to get your ebook offer in front of your target audience.
For starters, you can use the “Pin to Top” feature to place a post promoting your ebook at the top of your page. You can also change your cover image to your ebook cover for some extra exposure.
When it comes to promotional posts, use social teasers to build up anticipation and promote your ebook launch.
If you have created any supporting content, share it in any relevant Facebook groups.
Avoid being overly promotional!
Group admins will kick you from the group if you resort to spam tactics.
You can use Followerwonk to identify influencers in your niche that regularly share third-party content.
You can also search for relevant hashtags to identify twitter influencers.
Once you have a list of niche influencers, reach out to them directly in a Twitter Direct Message or via email to see if they are interested in reading your ebook and sharing it with their followers.
As with Facebook, you can change your cover image to your ebook cover and pin a tweet promoting your ebook to the top of your page.
Send out regular teaser tweets sharing advice and tips from your ebook to build interest before you launch your ebook.
Create a new group board for your ebook promotional teasers.
Pinterest is a visual social media platform, so you’ll need to create custom images and infographics to promote your ebook.
If you don’t have an existing following on the platform, identify relevant boards and contribute posts.
Pingroupie is an excellent tool for finding popular boards in your niche.
Once you’ve identified relevant boards, reach out directly to the board admin and ask if you can contribute.
If you can get a promotional post on a popular board, you can drive thousands of visitors to your opt-in page.
Instagram is an immersive platform for promoting your ebook, but it does come with limitations.
You can’t include links directly in your Instagram posts if you have less than 10,000 followers.
To get around this, post images and videos promoting your ebook and encourage people to click on the link in your Instagram bio to direct traffic to your opt-in page.
You use Klear to identify influencers in your niche and send a direct message asking them to take a look at your ebook and share it with their followers.
Searching Instagram for relevant hashtags can also help you to identify relevant influencers in your niche.
Reddit is a huge aggregator/social media website.
There are over 1 million subreddits (groups) on the platform.
It’s a great place to promote your ebook to people that are interested in your niche.
You can post a link to relevant subreddits with a short description selling the benefits people can receive by reading your ebook.
However, if you’re new to the platform, your Reddit account will have a low karma score.
When you post something on Reddit, other Reddit users can give your post a positive or negative vote. These votes are used to determine a karma score for your post and profile.
Posts with lots of positive votes receive a high karma score and are ranked higher in the Reddit thread.
New accounts with a low karma score are generally not trusted by other Reddit users.
Before you start promoting your ebook on Reddit, join relevant subreddits and contribute to the community.
Share tips and advice to increase your karma score.
Once you have established yourself in the subreddit, announce the launch of your ebook.
3. Facebook Ads
We’ve already mentioned how you can use Facebook to promote your ebook organically.
However, Facebook Ads is a great way to harness the precise targeting capabilities of the platform to get your ebook in front of the people that will be most interested.
You can pay to place an advertisement for your ebook in the sidebar, newsfeed, or messenger of your target audience.
Here’s an example of a Facebook Ad promoting an ebook:
You can decide how many people will see your ad, how much you are prepared to spend, and the types of Facebook users your ad will be exposed to.
If you have an attractive professional-looking ebook cover, you can use that image in your ad to attract the attention of people scrolling through their newsfeed.
You should avoid white and blue colour images as these tend to blend into the Facebook colour scheme and see less engagement.
The image of your ad needs to grab people’s attention, but it’s your ad copy that convinces people to take action.
The headline should arouse curiosity and make people want to learn more about your offer.
If your ebook covers a specific pain point or goal, you can use your ad copy to ask a question you know your audience wants to know the answer to.
4. Google Ads
Facebook Ads isn’t the only advertising platform you can use to promote your ebook.
Google Ads enables you to place an ad for your ebook in the paid placements of the search engine results page (SERP).
While Facebook Ads show up when a user is scrolling through Facebook, Google Ads lets you promote your ebook to people that are actively searching for information related to your ebook topic.
You can choose which keywords you want your ad to be displayed for, and determine the maximum budget you are willing to spend.
Google uses your maximum budget and your Quality Score to determine where your ad is displayed in the paid placements of the SERP.
Your Quality Score is determined by the relevance of your ad copy and your landing page. Google also uses your average clickthrough rate to assign your quality score.
The higher your Quality Score, the less you will pay for each click generated.
5. Guest Posting
Guest posting is an effective way to build backlinks to your website and increase your chances of ranking high in search results.
It’s also a great way to increase the exposure of your ebook and get more opt-ins to your email list.
Identify other websites and blogs in your niche with an existing audience that is similar to the people interested in your ebook topic.
Reach out to the website owner and ask if you can contribute a guest post.
Write about a topic similar to the one covered in your ebook, and include a link to your landing page in the conclusion of your article or in the author bio.
This is a great way to leverage an existing audience that might be interested in your free downloadable ebook.
An ebook is a powerful content marketing asset for your affiliate business.
It requires a much more significant time investment than a standard blog post, but it can provide new email subscribers and traffic for a long time after it's published.
Focus on packing in as much value as possible to establish authority in your niche and build trust with your audience.
Once you have created your ebook, you can also repurpose the content to create a blog series, video content, or social media posts.
Ebooks are an effective way to kick start a new affiliate website and generate a bunch of new subscribers that will be interested in your affiliate products.