There are several ways to promote your new blog or business; offering free ebooks happens to be one of them. You’ve probable read several posts and articles on how to promote a blog or business with a free eBook for readers. The general advice is to create a PDF version of your eBook for free download and request for readers to subscribe to download a copy. This has worked over and over for several bloggers and is a good way to build your mailing list and probably start building loyalty with your subscribers. It’s absolutely brilliant. Almost every professional blogger does it. Why shouldn’t you?
The Limitation for Your New Business
Just last week I read about six fresh blog posts about building your mailing list by offering free ebooks in exchange for readers email address. It’s obvious this has become popular among bloggers and internet maeketers. Consequently, you may agree with me that when an idea becomes too popular and overused, you have to do more than conventional, to get better results.
While the idea of encouraging readers to subscribe to your new blog to get a free copy of your eBook may be a great way to promote your new business blog, it may not be the best strategy.
- There are already a large doze of blogs out there and several more joining every day. With more and more bloggers using this method, it’s easy for readers to get used to it and ignore your free offer (unless you have something unique and extra valuable).
- While this may work for bloggers who presell their expertise through several blog posts, being a new blogger, you will require extra effort to convince your readers to subscribe.
- No matter how useful you think your book will be to the reader, some (a lot of people) will still be reluctant to drop their email address with you. So you are practically missing out on promoting your blog.
- Unless you have something absolutely unique to offer, there is likely several other more experienced bloggers offering the same, even better stuffs for free.
What should work better?
I think of blogging as a long term venture and I consider future results more valuable than immediate results. If you need exposure for your new blog or business, I suggest you create that awesome eBook and give it 100% free. By 100% I mean no opt-in required. Create your eBook, create a book cover for it (it doesn’t have to be super-pro), write a compelling review of it and drop a link for anyone to download.
This concept goes against the idea of building a mailing list for your business blog. And I know a lot of bloggers will disagree with me but here is the catch.
- Your blog is still new and you need to claim your market share. Offering a 100% free eBook opens up opportunity for any interested person to grab a copy. A lot of people surf the web in a hurry and filling out their name and email, then checking up to confirm their subscription, may come as a day job for them. By allowing them to just hit a button and download, you save them the time and still have a greater opportunity to presell to them when they are more relaxed.
- You will get more people grabbing their copies, which is equal to more eyes on your work.
- By introducing what your blog offers on the material and a link back to your blog and online networks, if your free book offers value to readers, a good number of them are likely to come back to check out what’s new and even connect with you.
How to make it work
For this method to work for you, you need to be strategic. People wouldn’t show up from nowhere and start downloading your free eBook when you’re done. And just writing and creating the eBook wouldn’t make it happen either. Here are things you should consider. Remember that the idea here is to promote your blog and business, so you should not expect immediate results. But if you do it right, you will reap the reward several times over.
Make it valuable
You want to sell your blog or expertise to your potential audience. You want to make your blog or business happen. Creating a low quality eBook wouldn’t do that for you. Research and write something of value. It will work a long time for you benefit.
Make it short and straight to the point
I didn’t follow this rule while creating my first eBook for my blog. I created 87page eBook for free download on my main blog, which is not short but resourceful. I think it depends on the topic of the eBook you are offering. It took me a lot of work to create the eBook which I even wanted to sell (a lot of people thought I should have). Having said that I think it’s better to make it short and loaded with value.
Create multiple rooms for come-backs
The concept of this method is to spread the word about your blog and have people come back for more. To achieve this goal, include a clickable link back to your blog, facebook fan page and/or twitter username on the take away. You can also include a link to your sign up form or RSS feed at the end of the copy. I included a link to my blog on the footer of every page on the 87page eBook I offer. The idea is to give potential readers several ways to reach you (your blog or business). It will help to not overdo it and not confuse readers.
Promote your free ebook.
Like I mentioned earlier, people will not just flow into your blog and start downloading your awesome freebie. You have to go out and promote your free book. Distribute it to free download sites. Go where your target audience gather and get some exposure. Share the link on forums. The good thing is that (if your material is valuable), there will come a time when you don’t need to do much promotion. People will be coming from different sources of recommendation to download your free book.
Encourage readers to share it freely with their friends
This is the best part. I felt dumbfounded when one of my friends told me of his schoolmate who shared a material he got on my blog with him. It was a coincidence and I almost screamed “has it gotten that far”. People are often willing to share their discoveries on the internet and even brag about it. Give them the go ahead and let them help you spread the word.
This method (offering a 100% free ebook) worked for me during the early days of my blogging career. In fact there was a time the percentage of direct visitors almost equaled search engine visitors on my blog. I didn’t have any product to offer. However the blog keeps growing in a little over a year without any other form of promotion on my part. If you have a product or service to offer (business blogging), this method should work better for you. When you have gained some credibility with your 100% free eBook and have grown your audience, you can decide to create a freebie that requires opt-in.
Have you offered 100% free take away on your blog? I’d love to hear about it.