Part 1 of a 2 part series
The realm of cheaper and cheaper software, hardware and computing memory has given hundreds of millions of people the potential to write and self-publish books, produce videos, music and spoken word audio. If you have anything at all to say, there is a good chance that you can manage to get it down in a tangible enough layout to sell, and if it is good content, there is a market for it. But what are successful ways to steer customers with open wallets to it with the billions of competing digital products out there? This two-part series will present you 10 methods to get the word out and the revenue in.
I ‘ll use the digital eBook as the illustration in this piece, but the same processes can be applied to videos, music and any other item you can deliver on the internet.
Why digital products?
Low-cost yet professional desktop publishing allows for relatively easy creation of saleable, written works of value by bloggers and subject matter experts. Authors are taking advantage of low-cost, limited run publishing of hard copies, and that’s great. Keeping the product digital keeps the book in the cyber-universe that has zero cost of fulfillment once the credit card clears.
The goal for every eBook author is to get noticed, read, and earn a profit on the fruits of her labor in producing the book.
Sounds simple? It is, but it isn’t easy. Internet marketing an eBook involves a series of complementary strategies to get eyeballs popping and cash flowing. You can buy standard advertising in print publications and classifieds, but let’s limit this discussion to the online world.
Here are 5 best practices that will help any author, small business person or entrepreneur attract readers and revenue:
1) Provide a Destination
Every unique product you make can have a landing page if not several landing pages. This is the eBook specific site (myebooktitle.com) that uses either a written or video sales letter format to talk about all the reasons people should get your eBook. Landing pages are a conversation unto themselves, but should have as many external testimonials ranting about the book and its content as possible. Every landing page winds up in a call to action to purchase the book online, for a limited time discount rate.
Note that landing pages don’t have to be on your own domain. You can design a fan page on an internet site like Squidoo that is cost-free to set up and hitches a ride on the SEO and traffic that the main Squidoo site already has.
Wherever your landing page is, make sure it is SEO optimized around keywords and even your local area. This gives it the best possibility for high natural search engine position.
2) The Social Pimp
This one should be undeniable. Market your eBook landing page in your Tweets, on your Facebook page, in LinkedIn groups, your Youtube channel, and on other social media outlets where your book can be seen, forwarded, re-tweeted and more. Don’t depend on this as your main strategy, but if you have terrific content and a memorable message, you may go viral and then the sky’s the limit.
3) Online News Releases
Write a press release or a series of them about your book, its release and availability, and submit to paid news release sites like http://www.prnewswire.com/ and/or low-cost/no-cost outlets like http://PR.com. Make it persuasive and link to your landing page for purchase.
4) The Power of the List
Don’t have an email list? Boo ! Your individual or business site should have an email sign-up list where people volunteer to hear from you. But why would they do that? I’m sure you’ve found sign up forms that state, “Register for our email list!” Kill me now ! Unless the site carries gravitas and heavy name awareness, no one will sign up for your list without a lead magnet. A lead magnet is the freebie, the giveaway that intrigues the reader enough to give up his email address in order to get it.
If you just wrote an eBook, your magnet is 1 or 2 free chapters of the eBook. Compile email addresses while enthusing people with the free chapter text, tantalizing them for even more. You, naturally, now send them customized email messages from your email marketing partner (Constant Contact, I-Contact, MailChimp, etc.) that are timed auto-responses from the day they first accessed the chapters. Each subsequent email gives them an opportunity to click through to your landing page and buy.
5) The Email Footer
This is the easiest means I know of to get folks to a product landing page and it costs you positively zippo. Yet I am surprised that it is the one that is often ignored. Every email you send should have a standard footer that represents you. It frequently has a name, headline or something appealing about you, and some way to connect with you. It should also have your site linked or whatever other page you might want to direct people to, like a LinkedIn profile page. You can use a text anchor link, like Get Your LinkedIn eBook here, or begin the link beginning with http so it reads http:|| www.yourlink.com and will show up in text-based email browsers too and a live link in most email browsers. Emails get forwarded, copied, and otherwise shared. You never know who is reading and clicking.