This is a guest contribution from Jawad Khan.
Did you know that eBook sales in the US, the biggest market for digital products, is expected to reach $7.6 billion by the end of 2016?
In the U.S alone, eBook sales have grown almost 3000% over the last 10 years. A study by eMarketer suggests that eBook sales will outgrow the sale of mobile games in the US by the end of 2015.
The rise in eBook sales, and even free eBook downloads, is a direct result of the increase in smartphone, tablet and e-reader users.
According to Pew Research, more than 50% of American adults own either a tablet, smartphone or an e-reader device, with the majority using tablets for reading eBooks.
As a blogger, you should be excited reading this – really excited!
Because this not only offers you a huge money making opportunity, that is exponentially growing, but also open up several ways you can use eBooks to build a long term and viable blogging business.
However, to take advantage, you need to take action.
Why? Because research indicates that almost 81% Americans believe they should write a book, but only 1% actually do it.
That’s why it’s important that you take action.
Here are a few ways, with practical examples and relevant tools, you can use eBooks to boost sales, build your audience, and grow your business.
Use eBooks as Lead Magnets to Grow Your List
You’re a blogger and you know how important email subscribers are. There’s almost no long term and viable online business that can be built without an engaged and thriving email list.
But if you’re trying to build an email list by offering “Free Blog Updates” to your visitors, you won’t find much success (unless you’re Seth Godin of course).
To convince your readers and convert them into subscribers, you need to offer them something valuable that pulls them to your list.
In other words, you need a lead magnet.
And what type of lead magnet converts the best?
You guessed it right, eBooks!
People just love reading eBooks, and it somehow feels more valuable than other forms of lead magnets.
But don’t just take my word for it. Have a look at some of the most successful blogs, and see what their primary lead magnet is.
And what does Bryan offer as his lead magnet? An eBook!
Ramsay grew BlogTyrant to 150,000+ subscriber. His primary offer is also a free eBook:
And what does Glenn from ViperChill use to attract email subscribers? You guessed it!
Here’s the bottom line.
Your readers and blog visitors are MUCH more likely to subscribe to your email list if you offer them a relevant and high quality eBook.
Create the Perfect eBook for Your Audience and Make Guaranteed Money
One of the best things about blogging is that, over time, you can build a loyal community of readers around your blog.
These readers not only provide you inspiration and ideas for new content, but most of them actually start looking up to you as an authority. They are already convinced about the usefulness of your content and take your words seriously.
By identifying their biggest needs, you can create highly targeted eBooks that not only solve their problems but also fill your pockets.
Blogger and bestselling author Jeff Goins is a great example.
He started blogging just for the love of writing, and amassed an email list of more than 10,000 subscribers.
But he was making zero money from his list because he wasn’t selling them anything.
Until he decided to sell eBooks directly to his audience.
Jeff started by running a survey on his subscribers, and was surprised to know that the vast majority of them was willing to pay if Jeff offered them an eBook.
Fast forward two year, and Jeff has a thriving 6-figure eBook income that comes directly from his subscribers.
You can follow the same model even if you have 500-1000 email subscribers. Identify their need, and give them what they want – guaranteed sales.
There are a number of ways you can find content ideas for your eBook. You can run surveys on your blog, look at your most popular blog content, follow discussions on Quora and LinkedIn groups, and study competitor blogs.
You could also search for your main industry keywords on Ahrefs Content Explorer, and find out the posts that have attracted the highest social media shares and backlinks.
This will give you a good idea of the popular topics in your niche.
Once you have an idea, setting up your eBook for sale is also quite simple.
You don’t need technical expertise. There are tools and resources on the web that’ll do everything for you.
If you need to design your book cover, you can invite design proposals from freelancing portals like 99Designs. Or you can do the job of a graphic designer yourself, and create eye-catching book cover designs, using Canva.
When it comes to selling, you can simply use third party digital selling apps like Selz, which make selling eBooks a breeze.
Selz integrates directly with your email list and allows you to accept payments using all the mainstream payment gateways. You can place your eBook in the sidebar of your blog or create a separate product widget with a Buy Now button.
In short, if you already have an email list you should seriously consider selling eBooks directly to your subscribers. It also gives you an opportunity to charge higher rates for your product, since your subscribers are loyal fans who’re willing to spend money in exchange for the value you’re offering.
Don’t Have a Huge List? Sell eBooks to the World
You want to write an eBook, but you can’t sell it to your blog readers and email subscribers because you don’t have a list.
Why not sell it on the world’s biggest ecommerce portal, Amazon. Your eBook will be instantly exposed to millions of potential buyers.
Of course, the competition on Amazon is significantly higher as compared to selling directly to your blog audience but, with the right strategy and research, finding success isn’t impossible.
Need inspiration? Just look at Chandler Bolt.
This 21 year old high school dropout has become an Amazon self-publishing success story and has been featured on Huffington Post, Business Insider and several other leading websites.
Chandler’s accidental stardom started when he published an eBook on Amazon. Within a few weeks, his eBook had gathered dozens of sales. He’s never looked back.
In fact, this success inspired him to start his business venture Self-Publishing School that is on track to making 7 figures by the end of this year.
All because of one eBook on Amazon.
For bloggers, this is an even greater opportunity.
If you already have a blog and a thriving list, you can use your subscribers to build authority on Amazon by making sales, getting reviews and generating word of mouth.
The possibilities are endless.
Use eBooks to Build Authority, Grow Your Network and Find New Clients
Beyond lead generation and direct sales, publishing an eBook can be a catalyst for your long term business prospects.
The reason is simple, when you publish a book, people start seeing you as an authority on that subject. You start getting mentioned and quoted in your industry, you start getting authority backlinks and your brand value grows. You get opportunities to connect with the right people in your industry and expand your network.
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs got their first break when they published a book (Tim Ferris, Tony Robinson, and many others)
As a blogger, brand recognition and authority are priceless assets to have.
Just look at Seth Godin’s blog.
He hardly writes 100-300 word blog posts. They are short notes with absolutely no regard for SEO, formatting, or any of the conventional blogging advice you see.
But every post on his blog gets thousands of shares and millions of views.
Why? Because he’s an authority in his niche, and people know him by name.
While you might not be able to go straight to the level of Seth Godin, publishing an eBook would still do a lot of good for your reputation, your blog and your business.
In fact, it can change everything for your blog.
Publishing eBooks can have several long lasting effects on your blogging career and your business. With such a rapidly growing market, an ever increasing demand and so many user friendly eBook designing and selling tools, publishing an eBook is a potentially life changing opportunity that is waiting for you to take action.
As I said at the start, almost 80% people who believe they should write an eBook, never do it.
Make sure you’re not one of them.