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How To Create and Write Your Business's First E-Book

Chris Christoff
Chris Christoff

E-books give businesses a chance to improve their customer relationships

  • E-books are an excellent way to improve lead generation and boost brand credibility and loyalty.
  • It is important to research your target audience before deciding what to write about.
  • Once you have a topic in mind, create an outline. This will speed up and improve the writing stage.
  • E-books need to be skimmable. Break up the text with numerous paragraphs and bullet points

If you are looking to reach your marketing objectives and improve your relationships with customers, consider creating an e-book.  An e-book, or electronic book, is an online piece of content that goes in-depth about a specific topic and is exclusively digital. When crafted with your audience in mind, it's a surefire way to garner a following and show readers your brand is worth investing in.

The benefits of creating an e-book for your business

It improves lead generation

Any lead magnet, whether it's an e-book, checklist, template, or other resource, is going to help your brand improve its lead generation. It's easier to grow your email list and grab users' attention when you offer them valuable information for free. It shows you want to teach your audience new things so they can succeed in their endeavors. Since lead generation is among businesses' top three content marketing goals, e-books are a crucial part of a successful inbound marketing strategy.

An e-book boosts brand credibility

It's especially challenging for new businesses and websites to prove themselves when they don't have a large following yet. Growing your brand and attracting the right audience takes time. However, when you provide readers with knowledge and encourage their learning, it boosts your brand's credibility, positions you as an industry expert and provides you with a solid reputation. Since U.S. customers are willing to pay 17% more to do business with a company that has a positive public reputation, this is crucial.

It builds brand loyalty

If you're going to profit off of your e-book, you need to garner loyal readers. It's easier to turn them into paying customers once you have their attention, but you need to make sure you're providing valuable information first. Quality content can drive traffic to your website by 2,000%, and that alone encourages users to become loyal to your brand.

An e-book generates sales

Even if you aren't selling your e-book, providing it for free moves users down the sales funnel so they become more familiar with your brand and its content. It's essential to align your content with your audience's buying journey so they feel ready to purchase. A healthy email list mixed with valuable lead magnets is a recipe for generating sales. 

With such a wide range of benefits, business owners should be eager to start creating their own e-book. Here is how to do it. 

Start by researching your target market

How well do you know the audience you're writing to? If the answer is not so well, it's time to research your target market so you can create content suited to their needs. It's important to gather ample information on your audience so every piece of your e-book is relevant to their interests. If you write about a topic that isn't, it'll be challenging for your e-book to gain enough attention, and you won't reach your objectives.

When researching your target audience, it's crucial to create buyer personas that give you the necessary information about your readers. These are customer profiles that will help you create an e-book that collects email addresses and builds a loyal following. Include details like their demographics, purchasing behaviors, income, education, pain points and more. Every piece of information helps to create an e-book that caters to customers.

Social media is an invaluable tool to find out more about your target audience. Search relevant, industry-related hashtags and create a list of phrases and questions users have. If they overlap, you know those topics are popular and need extra attention. 

Pick a relevant topic

There are likely several things your audience wants to learn more about, but your e-book needs to focus on just one topic. Why? Because they're short-form pieces of content, and the more you focus on one subject, the more in-depth information you're able to provide.

It isn't difficult to pick a topic relevant to your audience once you've done your research. Half the struggle is figuring out your market's pain points and interests so you can create content tailored to their needs. Once you have that, you're set to choose the right topic for your e-book.

Ask yourself the following:

  • What do I want readers to learn from this?
  • How can I help them accomplish this goal?

When you keep your goals in mind, it's easier to come up with ideas to write about.

Research popular keywords used by your audience to see what terms they're searching for. If you notice that specific phrases pop up more than once, that's a reliable indicator that it's a topic worth exploring in detail. 

Aside from conducting keyword research, feel free to reach out to your audience and ask what they'd like to learn more about. If they're already on your email list, they're more likely to respond because they're familiar with your brand and its content. If not, you can set up a survey or form on your website asking users what they would like to see next.

Create an outline

Before you dive in headfirst, it's wise to create a framework for your e-book that details each chapter and how you'll provide information under each subtopic. Without an outline, you're writing without preparation, which can end up wasting valuable time later. 

Planning saves you time, money and resources, because you know what you need to focus on before you begin. It also gives you a clear look at the e-book as a whole so you refrain from repetition and providing irrelevant information.

Brainstorming ideas is essential for your outlining process. Jot down the main points you want to cover. From there, you can add subtopics to each point until you have enough to form into chapters. It doesn’t matter how messy the process is as long as you get it down on paper.

Once you create each chapter, make a note of what it will entail. For example, if you're creating an e-book about how to find remote work as a freelance writer, you might note in one of your book's early chapters to cover a list of all the job boards. In another chapter, you might note to include a list that covers all the signs of a quality job post. This tells you what you're going to write about for that chapter so it's easier to piece together once you start.

Write your e-book

Once you've got an outline that makes sense and provides structure, now comes the fun part: writing. 

There are four components you need to focus on writing:

  • Title
  • Chapter titles
  • Body copy
  • Conclusion

Separate main points into heads and subheads within chapters so it's easily skimmable. People don't want to read walls of text that are difficult to scan; make it easy for your readers by removing this obstacle. Break down main points into several paragraphs, and use bullet points to list information if needed.

Keep your branding in mind while writing. The tone, voice and language should match your brand effortlessly so readers know it comes from you. It's best to write with a conversational tone so it's easy to understand. Avoid clumsy, wordy sentences, and use editing software, like Grammarly, to refine your e-book and create the best version possible.

Design your e-book

If you aren't a designer or if you're unfamiliar with how to make your e-book visually appealing, hire someone to do it for you. You can have high-quality content that offers valuable insights, but if the look is ill-designed or doesn't match your branding, few people will download it. Every element of your e-book needs to scream quality and effort.

If you want to take the plunge and design it yourself, more power to you. Keep these tips in mind when creating the design:

  • Create a visually appealing cover. The right cover adds value to your e-ook and tells readers it's worth turning the page. An ill-designed title page is enough to send readers to the exit button.
  • Add images. Content that includes images receive more views, breaks up walls of text and gives readers something interesting to look at.
  • Use legible fonts. The wrong font will have your readers exiting out of the PDF so quickly it's like they never downloaded it in the first place. Avoid illegible fonts that are too small or difficult to read with the naked eye.
  • Choose a simple color scheme. If readers are too distracted by your e-book's color palette to pay attention to what it says, it's best to switch to something else. The main focus should be on the content itself and how useful it is to your audience rather than the technical aspects of its design.

After the design aspect is complete, convert your e-book into a readable format, such as a PDF. This ensures that no one will edit or tamper with it, and it provides a smooth reading experience for your audience. All devices can read PDF files and will appear the same to everyone regardless of what device they use to view it.

E-books are a helpful source of information for your audience and a valuable method to build a loyal following and generate leads for your business. It's important to acknowledge the time, effort and resources it takes to create an e-book, but when crafted with your audience in mind, it's well worth it. 

Image Credit: Yuganov Konstantin/Shutterstock
Chris Christoff
Chris Christoff Member
Co-Founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plugin for Google Analytics.