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Content is a great way to generate leads online. To do that successfully, you have to offer something really useful. It must be easily digestible, tangible and it has to be compelling enough for people to want to trade their personal information for it. An eBook is a great way to do this. You have to craft your eBook in a way that targets the right people. After all, you don’t want people leaving their information if they aren’t interested in your product or service. The following outline will help you create an eBook that generates leads.

Determine Your Goals for Your Lead-Generating eBook

If you want people online to give you their information, you have to give them something in return. One of the main reasons people take to the Internet in the first place is to find information. The Internet has become the central conduit for quick knowledge, and many people don’t even think of looking any other place first. As a business, if you can provide prospects with high-quality information that they can use immediately, they will gladly provide you a name, email and probably a lot more than that. An eBook is a great way to do that because it’s something tangible that visitors can take with them. There are two main themes for success with this. Your eBook has to be good, and it has to be relevant.

Learn How To Create an eBook That Attracts the Customers You Want

Your goals for what kind of prospects you need are very important. Perhaps your book will help solve a common problem that your target market experiences. In this regard, your title can help position your company as an authority on the topic. For instance, a heating and cooling company might write a guide on maintenance items to check on an annual basis for a central air unit. A computer-repair shop may put together an eBook on common files that can be deleted when cleaning up a PC. If you require prospects for one type of product or service that you offer, make your content revolve around that. If you want a certain demographic, produce content that will appeal to that demographic.

It is important that you craft your eBook in a way that attracts the ideal potential buyers because if you don’t, your other tools and functions for marketing to them will not be effective. You will have also wasted a lot of time making content that does not appeal to your target market.

What Does the Market for Your Content Look Like?

It doesn’t make much sense to sell your product for $9.99 when your competitor down the street is selling the same thing for half the price and throwing in a freebie, as well. Of course, it isn’t always possible to undercut your competitors, but you must be aware of what they are doing so that you can do it better or offer a more compelling value proposition.

Are Your Competitors Offering Content?

Check to see if your competition has free or low-priced content on the market that prospects and consumers are taking advantage of. What does it look like? Is it helpful? What problems does it help solve, and are people pleased with it? How well are they reaching their target market with content?

If they aren’t offering something free like an eBook, what are they doing instead? Do they have tools that make their customers’ lives easier? Perhaps they have web-based tools or special offers that their customers and prospects respond well to. Whatever it is, your eBook needs to be able to trump that. Customers must see value in the content that you have to offer in order to give up their information in order so they can read it. If they don’t find it valuable, they will not download it and you will not have anyone to market to.

Is There Demand for Your Content?

You should also determine if there is enough interest among your target market in order to generate the content you are thinking of. By using tools like Google’s Keyword tool and by simply searching for information online, you can get a picture of how popular the topic you have selected to write about is. You may also discover that it isn’t that popular, but the people who do find it convert very well. This is very similar to gauging demand for a product or service. If there is little demand for such a topic, you probably shouldn’t waste time writing about it.

How to Create an eBook Layout

If prospects have enough interest in the topic you wrote about, you should have your content laid out in a way that is easily scannable and easily searchable. Having your content in PDF form helps; however, for those who want to skim through text, you should have some elements in place to help facilitate that.

Table of Contents

Every eBook should have a table of contents. Not everyone will want to read your content from front to back. You should have a short map at the beginning highlighting all of the important sections so that they can skip through and find the things they need. If you make things hard for people to find, they will be frustrated with your book and with you.

Descriptive Headers

Just like on a web page, people often scan through reference materials (like this blog post) to find info on the page that is most relevant to them. Headers are great for making that happen quickly. Without headers, readers are forced to skim through all text until they come to a point that seems like it would be good to read. Again, this makes readers frustrated.

Get to the Point

Make your sections short but powerful. Get to the meat of what you are trying to say, and cut out all the fluff. For the most part, readers of your eBook didn’t download it for a leisurely read on a Saturday afternoon. They got it because they were promised that it would solve some issue they are having or that it would educate them in some way. If it doesn’t do that quickly, they may not read past the first page.

Helpful Resources

I’m sure you know a lot about whatever it is that you do. I’m sure the people reading your book also think the same. Even though that may be true, you should provide outside resources that you trust so that readers can get a differing viewpoint. Naturally, you don’t want to suggest your competition; however, some other authoritative third party is enough. Incorporating this into any concepts or points you make in your writing as a citation is also acceptable. The idea is to bolster any arguments, theories or statements with other authoritative sources.

How to Create an eBook Design

How your pages look is almost as important as the content contained in them. Design goes a long way toward making your pages easy to read and your content easy to digest. It also works to make your book look professional and not like it was thrown together in a couple of hours. In order for your readers to take you seriously, your book has to be well-designed.

Images

Make good use of images throughout your text. One of the best ways to use images is to break up text on a page. When people see large blocks of text on a web page or in a book designed to educate them, they experience a small degree of anxiety. While it may be small, seeing enough of these pages could cause them to stop reading. Place images at the beginning of pages where text begins and if you have large section, place them in different paragraphs throughout the text.

Using images as a supplement to further explain or enhance a concept is also good. If you have a graph or a visual that can help provide more clarity to the reader, they will better understand what you are trying to tell them.

Graphic Design

Graphic design elements are the pieces that make your ebook look more professional, overall. Things like page numbers, colors on borders of pages, lines that delineate sections or headings and other elements all work together to give a professional feel and make the content easier to digest. Be careful not to overdo your design elements — a little can go a long way.

The ability for your eBook to generate leads will be directly related to the strength of your previous eBook or other content. Bringing in prospects as a result of your eBook will depend on how well it is written and how useful the content is. If people think your site is professional, or they have seen content that you have written in the past and they liked it, you are more likely to get someone to download your eBook this time around and give an email or other info in return.

Have you ever offered content to your prospects? Did they find it beneficial? Join the conversation by commenting below.

About Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher has written 384 post in this blog.


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