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How to Write an Effective Sales Page to Sell Your eBook

I want to focus on writing an effective sales page in this 8th post of my series on how to publish and sell an eBook successfully.

If you haven’t read the previous posts, I suggest you read them before proceeding with this article.  If you already have an eBook however and are ready to build your sales copy, you may skip the previous posts and jump right into this article.

Here are the previous posts:

Post 1:  How to Research and Create an eBook Successfully

Post 2:  How You Can Profit from an eBook & Why You Should Write One

Post 3:  How to Research a Profitable eBook Topic

Post 4:  A 4,000 Word Guide on How to Create an eBook Product

Post 5:  Effectively Pricing and Selling Your eBook

Post 6:  Marketing and Promoting Your eBook

Post 7:  Establishing an Effective Affiliate Program

An effective sales page, whether you are selling an eBook or anything else, has certain critical elements which I will discuss in this article.  The skill of compiling an effective sales page is important because minor tweaks can lead to an increase in conversion rates, which can impact your bottom line significantly.

Consider this example.  Let’s say your sales page gets 100 unique visitors a day.  If you are currently converting at 1%, you are getting 30 sales each month. Increasing your conversion just by another 1% will result in double the sales. On a $19.99 eBook, this increase can put an additional $600 profit in your pocket each month.

Depending on who you tune into for advice, you will likely find some variation in the guidance but for the most part, the scientific elements are consistent throughout all effective and successful sales pages.

Yes, you read right. Marketing and selling has been studied for decades by experts after experts. The same things that worked then still work today. It is truly an evergreen process that once dissected, reveals the exact science behind successful sales copy that you can replicate and succeed with as well.

With that said, there are marketers who come from a different and relatively “unconventional” schools of thought who apply variations of several sales components / tactics, many of which work.

I have personally adopted some of these methods on some of my sales pages, so don’t be surprised to see different approaches when you examine my sales pages, especially approaches that do not follow conventional wisdom. Understand that many are experiments, and while some are deliberately done that way, others follow the conventional approach to an effective sales page.

So let’s dive into the outline and some of the elements of traditionally successful sales pages. You can always tweak and optimize as you gain more experience selling online.

What is the Main Problem Your eBook Solves?

An effective sales page needs to come out and address the problem your product aims to address, preferably right up front. Pain points or pressure points seem to grab the reader’s attention as they can often relate really well.  There is nothing like it if you present the problem in a way that connects with your readers on an emotional level.

One of my most effective sales pages related to a rotator cuff healing guide because I present the problem in a way that connects with my readers emotionally. They “feel the pain” as soon as they see the problem presented.  Have a read at this example:

“Are you tired of not being able to do the most basic things at home because your rotator cuff hurts with every hand and shoulder movement?”

Sounds painful and frustrating doesn’t it? Also makes the reader feel helpless, no?  This particular sales page of mine converts at nearly 30% – that is unheard off.

Hint on the Solution to the Problem Your eBook Provides?

Right after presenting the main issue on hand, come out right away and indicate that you know and will provide the reader the solution to the problem.  It is not time as yet to provide the solution, but you want to set the scene and provide the reader with an appetizer.  Consider this example:

“What if you knew exactly how to fix that problem within 60 days without consulting physicians and spending tons of money on medication?”

Better yet, spruce it up further as most sufferers are concerned (frankly scared) about rotator cuff surgery and its implications.

“What if you knew exactly how to fix that problem within 60 days naturally on your own without any surgery, physicians involvement and spending tons of money on medication?”

Either one of these provides the reader something to look forward to. Something that is very specific to and addresses their problem.

Introduce Your eBook or Product

After setting up the stage nicely by providing the problem and a potential solution to it, an effective sales page presents your product (for example an eBook) and explains why it will solve your reader’s problem. This is your first chance to embed an image of your product and create that first impression.

It is important that your product image looks good.  If your product is an eBook, consider a three dimensional and high resolution image as opposed to a flat, one dimensional image where the text on the book cover is so small you can barely read it.  I discuss the importance of eBook cover design in an earlier post of this series, as well as a few options around how you can reach out to professional eBook cover designers cost efficiently.

An Effective Sales Page Builds Your Product Credibility

Immediately after introducing the product, it is typically a good idea to build your product’s credibility immediately.  Nothing builds credibility faster and better than testimonials from real people who have tried and tested your product.  Before launching your eBook for sale, reach out to some potential customers and give them a free copy of your eBook or product. Ask them to provide a testimonial that you can include on your sales page in return.

You can reach people interested in your product by visiting forums and blogs that are focused on your product’s topic. You can also leverage classified ad websites such as Craigslist. When all else fails, reach out to friends and family, and ask them if they know anyone who might be interested in trying your product out in exchange for a testimonial.

Social proof works and there is no denying that.  An effective sales page provides your potential customers with social proof by displaying product testimonials along with the pictures of customers who provided those testimonials (all with their permission of course). Needless to say that you should only display positive product testimonials.

When displaying testimonials, include a picture, the person’s name (full name preferably) and location.  In addition, guide your testimonial givers into providing a testimonial that doesn’t merely emphasize your product’s features, but specifically mentions the benefits and how the user benefited from the product. Specific examples also resonate better with readers.

An important word of caution when using testimonials:  Because internet marketers abused the liberty to display testimonials, many marketers fabricated false testimonials and put them on their website.  For example, marketers would claim dramatic results from using a product that may not be representative of “normal” results or outcome.

Yet the testimonial would imply that such results are common.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has noticed this illegitimate practice and in recent years released guidelines that govern the practice of obtaining and displaying product testimonials.

Before you obtain and display testimonials for your product, I highly recommend you visit the FTC website and consult with your attorney regarding legitimate practices. I am reluctant to list the guidelines here because the law is quite robust and changes from time to time. The best course of action is to read the guidelines directly from the FTC website.

Finally, whenever obtaining the testimonial and permission to display the testimonial from your customer, always retain the written communication as proof. You never know if and when you may need it.

A Note on Credibility by Association: Another thing you can do to really spruce up your product’s credibility is by showing its association with bigger, more recognized brand names. For example, if you are selling shoes and your shoe was worn by a famous celebrity, show a picture of the celebrity on your sales page and highlight the shoe (circle in a color that stands out).

If you are selling an eBook and your eBook also sells on eBook stores online such as Amazon, include an image showing so.  Have a look at this example which is straight out of one of my effective sales pages:

Credibility by Association

The image not only gives my eBook instant credibility through association with a big, reputable name, but also shows my potential customers the higher price that it sells at outside my website.  In this specific example, my eBook sells for $29.99 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, but sells only for $19.99 on my website.

This gives my customer more incentive to purchase from me at a “discounted” price. Remember, when you sell directly, you keep most of the profits. When you sell through Amazon, you only keep 30%. I know it’s ruthless.

An Effective Sales Page Highlight Your Product’s Benefits

After displaying solid social proof, an effective sales page emphasizes the benefits of your product from a first-hand perspective.   You will have set the stage for 100% of your reader’s attention at this point.

The most important thing to keep in mind when preparing this section of your sales page is the fundamental difference between a product feature and its benefits. This is where most marketers get it wrong and later wonder why they don’t convert sales as well.

Features can easily be read on a product’s label, but it is the benefits that the customer is interested in. In other words, what can the product do for them? How can it change their life?  Think about your own purchasing behavior. Aren’t you always asking in the back of your mind what a product can do for you when deciding whether to open your wallet and spend on it?

Here is a quick example:

“This car has a 600 horse power engine”

“You can go from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds”

The first sentence highlights one feature of the product, in this case a car.  The next one takes that feature and answers the question “so what can it do for me?”  The fact that the car has that much horsepower means the consumer can rapidly accelerate, which is the benefit.

Here is another example:

“New embedded thermodynamic technology”

“Save up to 60% of your heating bills”

Notice the difference? The first sentence lists a particular product feature. The next one tells the customer what purchasing the product can do for them. The benefit is a 60% cost saving.

Many marketers decide to opt out of presenting the features and get straight into the product’s benefits. However, if you are going to present both, the best way to illustrate these in a sales page effectively is either in a side by side table that lists out the features on the left and then the feature’s benefits on the right.

A clean bullet point format tends to do best in conveying product benefits, and when doing so, make sure the state the biggest and most important benefit.  Again, this goes back to the first impression discussion earlier in this post.  While listing out the benefits, keep your ideal customer in mind and focus only on benefits that would interest them.

A product may have several benefits, but only highlight a handful of high impact and relevant benefits.  The beauty of listing out benefits is that you don’t need to dress them up. How much more “impactful” can you get by telling someone that they will save 60% on their monthly energy bill?

Present Your Offer

At this point your readers are primed and typically “presold” on the product.  You just need to finish the process by telling them what they are going to get when they make a purchase.

Many marketers would include the product features in this section.  The longer the list, the more perceived value there is to a product.  Therefore it only makes sense to introduce your price after listing out everything that your customer will get when they purchase from you.

And if you already thinking one step ahead, yes, present a higher price which represents the true value of your offer, and then provide a discounted price to make it seem that the customer is getting a bargain.  The key here is to keep things realistic, yet impactful.  You can read more about my approach to pricing strategy here.

Optional Step:  Free Giveaways

Everyone likes to get something for free every now and then. Even a corporate executive making $3M a year appreciates a free lunch (FYI: that is how you get on their calendar).  Similarly, if a potential customer is on the borderline of purchasing your product, you can give them the extra push by providing freebies along with the main product.

This is an optional step because many offers are good as they are and do not need more reinforcement. However in more competitive markets, or for offers that are good but not great, providing freebies can significantly increase your conversion rates and overall sales.

Some common examples are buy one get one free, get free shipping and handling, get something extra for free, etc. Just think of the infomercials you see on TV. It is no coincidence that they all follow this process. When you buy a Tupperware, you can 2 smaller ones for free right? It’s no different online.

To make the offer really solid, some marketers offer an endless list of bonuses, and then tell the customer the total value of the freebies, which sometimes exceed the product value itself. Funny how things work indeed, but they do work.

If you are selling an eBook, consider taking smaller sections from within the eBook and compiling them in a small report or handout that you can give out for free. For example, if your eBook is about building kitchen cabinets, you can pull out the chapter on the common mistakes people make and repurpose it to provide a list of the top 10 most common mistakes to avoid when building kitchen cabinets. There is a lot of room for creativity here, but the main point is to create value.

Finally, when listing out your freebies and bonuses, present them just as you would present your product. Provide a high quality image of the free product, explain how it adds value for the customer, and indicate what the free product is worth if sold separately on its own.

An Effective Sales Page Provides Comfort Through a Money Back Guarantee

Although a potential buyer at this stage likely has their mind made up, an effective sales page provides a money back guarantee that ads further reinforcement to your offer and provides that one last comfort or safety blanket in the event a potential buyer is thinking “what if this doesn’t work out?”

By providing a no questions asked money back guarantee, you are not only showing full confidence in your product but also at the same time relaxing your customer’s concerns. In the years that I have been selling eBooks online, and for the amount and number of eBooks I sell, I can confidently say that I’ve probably seen a total of 20 returns come through.  It’s truly amazing how this works. Also don’t forget that people are generally lazy, and many who would  have exercised the guarantee often don’t “just because”.

There are two types of guarantees that you can offer. One is a straight up 30, 60, 90, 120 day or more guarantee that promises to return the customer’s money. If you are selling an eBook and you have 0 cost of production, you might want to add that they can keep the product for free despite the refund.

The other type of guarantee is called a “lose-win” guarantee, which means that if the customer looses, or doesn’t feel satisfied by the product, they actually win because in addition to getting their money back, they will receive something else in return as well.  You may be familiar with 150% or double or 200% money back guarantee.  This is a powerful guarantee because the customer knows that they can make money on the transaction if they are not satisfied with their purchase.

I have tried and tested both types of guarantees, and cannot really say that I have numbers supporting that one is better than the other. The key is to have a guarantee that provides a level of comfort that your customer is seeking.  A 150% or 200% money back guarantee shows you have more confidence in your product and may create a higher perceived value.  I am sure this impacts the customer psychology as they go through using your product.

Spell Out the Next Steps and Seal the Deal

Up till now we have gone through a very specific and scientific method of pitching your product. In the end, an effective sales page must have a call to action as you still have to tell your reader to purchase your product.  Contrary to what you and I may think, readers of our offer need hand holding as they are often not very intuitive.  You need to tell them what to do.

Make sure you conclude your sales page by providing a clear and concise “call to action”, such as clicking to purchase button. Make sure the button is large, attractive and whenever possible shows images of branded credit cards and safety seals. This goes back to our discussion of perception earlier in this series.  Have a look at the example below. Notice how it disseminates professionalism and give you the comfort to purchase.

Effective Sales Page

A Note on Scarcity: You may have come across sales pages that employ scarcity tactics.  I refrain from this personally because although it works, I feel that I am misleading my readers. Moreover, there are more recent laws and guidelines that discourage falsely created scarcity.

For example, many sales pages will tell you there are only X copies remaining and therefore purchase today. Others will tell you that the product used to sell for a higher price and that it is selling for the current lower price for only X more hours or days.

Others will tell you that the discount expires at midnight.  All nifty and proven tactics, but misleading and quite frankly nothing but lies.  But because scarcity truly works, you may opt to incorporate this on your sales page if you truly have a scarce situation on hand.

Testing, Tweaking and Optimization

I’d like to conclude this article by mentioning that optimizing your sales page is an ongoing process, but one that should be focused on only once you have the traffic levels coming that you had planned for.

Without traffic coming in to view your sales page, even your best effort will fail as you will have no one to sell to. To learn about traffic generation, read my articles on search engine optimization and internet marketing.

Once you have the desired traffic levels, you can shift your focus on improving your sales letter conversion rates. Of course this only applies if you have your own website or blog because eBook stores online like Amazon don’t allow you the space for a proper sales page. All you get is a small product description box if you are selling an eBook.

Improving conversion is an art of trial and error.  Successful internet marketers are always testing, tweaking and monitoring various components of their sales page.  These components involve, but are not limited to, buttons, color schemes, fonts, headlines, sub headlines, benefits conveyed, product images used, order of testimonials, reshuffling content paragraphs and different types of guarantees. Frankly, nothing is off limits. But the key is to remember to monitor results from the changes made so you know what works and what does not.

So there you have it. This article should be all you need to create an effective and successful sales page online for your products and /or services.  I’d be happy to continue this discussion and address your questions in the comments section below. In my next article, I will wrap up the entire series on how to publish an eBook and profit from it.

Readers: Are there components of an effective sales page that I have missed in this article? What strategies have worked best for you in converting your readers to customers?  Do you have any questions or concerns after reading this information? Have a look at a sample effective sales page here.

Starting an Effective eBook Affiliate Program to Boost Your Sales

In this post I want to discuss affiliate marketing and how establishing an eBook affiliate program can boost your sales instantly without incurring additional cost to your business.

But before doing so, the following are the previous posts of this series. I highly recommend you read these, unless you already have an eBook that you are selling online.

Post 1:  How to Research and Create an eBook Successfully

Post 2:  How You Can Profit from an eBook & Why You Should Write One

Post 3:  How to Research a Profitable eBook Topic

Post 4:  A 4,000 Word Guide on How to Create an eBook Product

Post 5:  Effectively Pricing and Selling Your eBook

Post 6:  Marketing and Promoting Your eBook

Establishing an eBook affiliate program is one of my favorite ways to leverage an existing asset (your eBook) to generate more sales revenues.  The beauty of this process is that it is simple to understand, easy to implement and absolutely free thanks to the existing affiliate directories and affiliate marketing platforms that are built specifically for this purpose.

An affiliate program is where you have others promoting your product in exchange for a commission on every sale. Unlike advertising expense which is a sunk cost regardless of how many products you sell (or if you don’t sell any), you don’t pay anything if no sales are generated. When you set up an eBook affiliate program, you are instantly giving your eBook a chance to get more exposure because you now have several others promoting your eBook in addition to your own efforts. It’s like building your own army of sales associates for free.

The more commission you offer, the more you will find affiliates flocking to promote your eBook. This approach is especially effective because your affiliates do not need to have their own product, but can still make money by promoting and selling yours. The more money they make, the more you make, therefore they have every incentive to do well promoting your product.

If you are selling your eBooks on eBook stores online such as Amazon, they have an affiliate program (called Amazon Associates) where others can sign up and sell any product listed on Amazon.  If you are selling your eBook on your own website or blog through ClickBank, a platform I discussed in my post on how to create an eBook, they too have an in-built affiliate program with an army of affiliates waiting to promote the next big product / eBook.

How Does an eBook Affiliate Program Work?

As a vendor (the person selling the product), you sign up with an affiliate program (let’s just assume ClickBank in this case) and list your product (in this case an eBook) for sale.  ClickBank will then generate a unique affiliate link that you can provide to your affiliates (those who will help you sell your product).

You affiliates will then promote your product by marketing the affiliate link on their social media networks, websites and other means.  Each month, the affiliate program platform (ClickBank) will send you a report showing all the sales generated by your affiliates as well as the related accounting (the dollars and cents).

The good thing about setting up an affiliate program this way is that you don’t have to worry about tracking, reconciling, accounting or any tax matters.  The affiliate platform, in this case ClickBank, does all that for you.  All you do is sit back and collect checks from ClickBank, who deducts all the affiliate commissions from your sales and sends you the remaining payment.  ClickBank also ensures that your affiliates are paid timely and accurately. Isn’t that neat?

You do not have to go through an existing affiliate platform like ClickBank. You can certainly establish your own eBook affiliate program. However, there is a lot of work involved in not only setting up the program, but also in the ongoing maintenance, not to mention the administration burden as you will have to do all the tasks that ClicBank does as mentioned above.

Steps to Take After Establishing an Affiliate Program

The first thing you need to do after signing up with an affiliate program platform is determine how much commission you want to award your affiliates. Generally the higher the better, but then again a 75% commission on a $10 product equates  to only $7.50.  As you can imagine, both the percentage and gross dollars will be evaluated by your potential affiliates when they decide to promote your eBook.

 

Research the Internet to see what your competitors are offering. If none of your competitors have affiliate programs, a $7.50 payout per sale may work for an affiliate marketer in your industry who otherwise may not have a choice.

Another angle is to consider whether there are inherent monetization opportunities within your eBook such as affiliate links. If so, you may want to give away as much of your sales proceeds in commissions if you anticipate generating your own affiliate commission income on the back-end when your customers / readers click on your affiliate links embedded in the eBooks and make a purchase.

There is no right or wrong answer. Getting pricing exactly right is almost always a matter or trial and error. Regardless, making the offer as enticing as possible behooves your business objectives.  Your affiliates will have their own network over which they have an influence, likely one that you do not have access to.

Many today have their own FaceBook and / or Twitter following. Many of those are really large networks. Many have their own websites, blogs and massive email newsletter lists to which they can market.

Don’t worry giving away 75% of a sale and keeping only 25%. That is 25% you wouldn’t have had otherwise if it wasn’t for the affiliate who marketed and sold it for you.  The sooner you come to terms with this the more success you will have over the long term.

Once you have determined the amount of commission you want to give, spend as much time as possible explaining how the program works to your potential affiliates.  One way to do this is by providing a link just for your affiliates on your eBook sales page.  By clicking this link, potential affiliates can learn more about your offer and various other details you’d like to share.

Here is an example of how this link looks like on one of my eBook sales pages. Go ahead and click on the image to head over to the actual page where you can see the information I have included.

eBook Affiliates Page

Here’s another one of my eBook affiliate program pages.

Help Your Affiliates – Provide Useful Resources

On this affiliate page, you want to emphasize the value of your product and how your affiliates can easily sell it because of what it offers.  You want to provide your affiliates with as much guidance and help as possible to succeed. The more they succeed, the more you will.

Create some banner ads or marketing language that they can take from this page and use in their marketing efforts.  The easier you make it for them to promote your eBook, and the more help and resources you provide them, chances are the more enthusiastic they will be in promoting your eBook.

To take things even further, you can offer special incentives and prizes to your top X affiliates. I have done this on two of my higher price point products and this promotion works like a charm, particularly if you are offering a prize of high value such as in Apple iPad.

And although I have not done this personally for my affiliates, several vendors whose products and services I successfully promote as an affiliate have sent me all sorts of thank you cards and presents especially over the holidays.  I received several wine and fruit baskets just this past Christmas.

Although this article specifically referred to an eBook affiliate program, the broader idea applies to any product or service.  For example, in the financial industry, stock brokers get a commission when they sell a stock or mutual fund because they are affiliated with those particular securities. Similarly, affiliate programs online work in the same way. Affiliates get a commission each time they sell a product or service they are affiliated with.

The lesson here is to take care of your affiliates and they will take care of you. Look at this process as an opportunity to build relationships with people in your industry who you can call upon in the future when you release your next product or service.

So there you have it, another post in our series on publishing and selling an eBook successfully.  I hope you found this information valuable and actionable. In my next post of this series, I will discuss how to write an effective sales page to sell your eBook.

Readers: What are your thoughts on establishing an eBook affiliate program?  Are there other tips and strategies I failed to discuss that you’d like to bring up?  Do you have any questions or concerns pertaining to this topic?

Effective Strategies to Promote and Market an eBook

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:  I was fortunate to be interviewed by A-List Blogger Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income. He featured my interview on his blog last Friday. You can read and listen to it here.

Please help me share my story by Liking it, Tweeting it, Google Plus-sing it or Sharing it by using one of the buttons on the right hand side of your screen.

– – – –

This is the sixth post in my series on how to research and publish an eBook successfully.  I recommend you read the first five before proceeding with learning how to market an eBook.

Post 1: How to Research and Create an eBook Successfully

Post 2: How You Can Profit from an eBook & Why You Should Write One

Post 3: How to Research a Profitable eBook Topic

Post 4: A 4,000 Word Guide on How to Create an eBook Product

 

Post 5: Pricing Your eBook to Sell Effectively

Creating an eBook is the easier part of the process. Marketing and promoting it is where most  self-publishers struggle to gain traction.

In this post I will discuss several marketing methods through which you can promote your eBook.  Some of these marketing methods are paid methods, while others are completely free.

In my experience, the free methods are effective enough in that you should see some good results even if those are all you do. Therefore don’t feel that you need to spend money to make money.  You can leverage the concept of credibility by association by making your eBook available on popular platforms such as Amazon Kindle, thereby leading to more sales. Not to mention that such platforms have their own universe of potential customers waiting hungry for the next eBook release.

That said, investing in promoting your eBook certainly works as well.  Some examples of paid methods to market an eBook include pay per click advertising on networks such as Google Adwords, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads.  You can also pay other websites and blogs to post a banner or a link of your eBook on their site for a fee.

How to Market an eBook Organically

You may have read internet marketers teach how to “create a buzz” before launching an eBook. While some pent up momentum and anticipation will certainly help you market your eBook effectively, not everyone has the means to “create a buzz” because not everyone has big wig friends or thousands who are reading their websites and subscribed to their newsletters.  Many don’t even own web properties.

This strategy is not only limited to promoting an eBook, but also for product and service (training sessions) launches in general.  And in order to successfully execute this strategy, you need a large enough network to tap into, whether it is connections with several A-list bloggers, or an email list large enough to do anything with.

Here is how the whole buzz stuff works…

If you have a website, blog or newsletter with a decent following, you can start talking about your eBook before you even start writing it.  Once you eventually start on it, talk about its progress periodically.  Many marketers create special “landing pages” to collect email addresses of those who express interest in your eBook.  By doing this, you can specifically communicate with this group instead of annoying your entire readership.

Reach out to your connections and have them start talking about your eBook as well on their respective platforms. This multiplies the hype several folds and your soon to be released eBook will become more recognized in cyberspace.

Better yet, plan on establishing an affiliate program for your eBook, which gives others more incentive to talk about and promote it to their audience. Why? Because they will be benefiting from the initiative as well.  Establishing an affiliate program is pretty much a turnkey process with Clickbank, who is my vendor of choice to host, sell and distribute my eBooks. They handle the entire process seamlessly from cradle to grave (including all the accounting). All you need to do is open an account and submit your eBook.

Leverage Audio and Video to Market an eBook

You can also create a buzz by utilizing free audio and video avenues such as YouTube, TubeMogul and iTunes.  These are search engines in their own respect, and avenues where you can also establish a followership. Again, this is more conducive for someone already on these platforms.  But if you have the capacity to tap into these avenues just to promote your eBook, I say go for it.

Another good thing about these platforms is that viewers and listeners can subscribe to your “channel”.  Say you release a video that your viewers like, they will subscribe to your channel to receive more videos in the future.  Many marketers create several videos and audio clips to “create a buzz” and then strategically submit them, spacing them out over time so that small dozes of marketing are fed to their audience over time, each doze (episode) building upon the previous one.

Note: TubeMogul has been acquired by another service, but the service itself remains in-tact. This service helps you syndicate, or mass distribute video content to multiple video sites outside of just YouTube.

Create or Modify Your Email Signature

This one will take you 2 minutes and you never know who reads your email and where it may end up. It’s yet another free and effortless avenue to advertise so why not? Modify your email signature to incorporate a short ad snippet promoting your eBook.

If your eBook has not release yet, cater the ad accordingly. If you are collecting emails, or Facebook fans or Twitter followers so you can announce your eBook to them once released, make sure you include that in your email signature. If your eBook is live and available for sale, cater the ad to drive the reader directly to the eBook sales page.

Leverage Social Media Platforms

If you have a Facebook and / or Twitter account, start discussing your eBook on those platforms and get your network ready for the upcoming release.

On Facebook, you can join groups and post on the walls and start discussions where you can incorporate the upcoming launch of your eBook. Many internet marketers use these platforms to research what topic they should write an eBook on.

Link Building to Your Commercial Ebook Listings

If you have a website or blog, it goes without saying that you will be promoting your eBook by engaging in internet marketing and back link building initiatives to ensure your website ranks high for relevant key terms. However, what if you don’t have your own web property?

That’s quite alright.  Major platforms such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Google Books all assign a static (one that does not change) URL address to your eBook listing.  Why is this important?  Because any static URL link can be promoted or marketed from a link building perspective.

If you want to market an eBook that is selling on these platforms, you might want to consider link building initiatives to promote your eBook listings to ensure they have the maximum chance of ranking high on search results for relevant terms.

Optimize Your eBook Listing

When you list your eBook for sale on major platforms like Amazon, you are required to specify a title and description of your eBook. Needless to say, conduct your keyword research beforehand so that you know what keywords to include in these sections.

Again, this will ensure maximum chance of your eBook listing show up higher on search results. Remember that Amazon too has an internal search engine that you can use to find products you are looking for.

The same goes for your eBook images.  Before submitting your eBook’s image, re title your image to include a relevant keyword. For example, your image could be titled “bamboo_plants.jpg” if your eBook is about bamboo plants. Don’t forget about image traffic through Google Images, yet another search engine that “reads” images.

Commenting on Blogs and Forums

Another no-brainer. Participate in relevant blogs and forums to spread the word about your eBook. However, be careful with this initiative. Never do you want to directly tell someone about your eBook. Rather, participate in conversations in a meaningful and respectful way. Add a ton of value without asking for anything in return.

How do you find these avenues? Fire up a search engine and type in “your keyword + blog” or “your keyword + forum” and a healthy list should pop up to your disposal.

Where on these avenues do you market an eBook? On a blog, make your title or name a clickable link, leading to your eBook listing.  On a forum, establish a signature line that appears on the bottom of your post each time you post something. Make sure it includes a link to your eBook’s landing page.

Also consider sites such as Yahoo Answers, where you can establish “expertise” in your subject area, thereby soft selling your underlying eBook product.

Press Release Marketing

Press releases are an underrated medium to promote eBooks. They can be used in two ways, first to build back links to your eBook listing pages, and second to attract media attention.  You shouldn’t focus on the latter because it takes some divine intervention for it to happen, but know that it does happen.

All jokes apart, last year I was engaged by a psychologist who is based out of the Maryland / D.C area to work on her brand establishment (marketing) online.  My team and I worked on several initiatives for her, including some keyword focused press releases that we syndicated to some heavy hitting sites online (these come at a cost, but there are plenty of press release sites that are free).

Months later her story was picked up by NBC (the television network) and she was featured in several stories and later interviews.  Her book on Amazon started selling like hot cakes and she became a best seller in just a few months later.  Quite an amazing story. Glad to report that she and I are now very good friends. Since then she has sent several high profile leads to me for similar assistance.

Getting back on track, use press releases mainly for link building, but also understand that there may be residual benefits that no one can predict or see coming.  Press releases must also be optimized as much as possible for the relevant keywords in your industry.

Paid Methods to Market an eBook

As mentioned, the free methods to promote an eBook are very effective if executed correctly. But if you want to further expand your “spider web” online, there are several paid ways to market an eBook that you can consider as well.

The advantage of paid methods is that you can instantly tap into broader and larger markets (customer groups) online.  Some avenues also allow you to be very precise in your targeting (think Facebook ads and how granular you can get in demographic specific targeting).

The disadvantage of course is that this initiative costs money, and if you don’t know what you are doing you can easily lose your shirt and some more with paid marketing initiatives.  Done correctly, paid advertising can work wonders, especially when you’re playing in a niche that is not too competitive yet you charge a healthy enough amount for your eBook to capitalize on the arbitrage opportunity.

The best approach of course is a combination of both free and paid marketing initiatives.  This ensures maximum exposure for your eBook and therefore more sales.  The organic initiatives also help ensure that your eBook continues to get exposure even after you stop pouring in money into paid advertising initiatives.

Paid Banner Advertisement

One way to engage in paid advertising is by contacting website and blog owners whose audience may be interested in your eBook.  If so, have the website owner put a text link or a banner ad that promotes your eBook on their site.  If needed, you can get some decent images done for $5 or less on services like Fiverr.

This type of advertising typically requires that you pay either a fixed monthly fee, or as per the number of impressions, usually in increments of 1,000 impressions.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Another type of advertising you can use to market an eBook is pay per click or PPC advertising wherein you pay for each click that leads to your target destination (page / eBook listing in this case).  Yahoo Overtures and Google Adwords used to be the biggest names in this arena, but now we have Facebook ads and LinkedIn ads as well.

With PPC advertising, it is important that you understand what keywords people are searching for and what the keyword competition is.  While this topic can be a whole blog in itself, all I will say about keyword selection is to make sure it is as specific to your eBook as possible.  Avoid broader terms, focus on narrower, more specific terms.

Another key component of PPC marketing is the ad you create, or the message you display to the reader. Getting this right is very important. You can read more about creating an effective advertisement here.

Important:  It is critical to ensure your landing page is effective in converting visitors to customers. You don’t want to end up paying all that money driving traffic to your eBook listing and the listing not convert. Make sure you closely monitor and track your results (ROI).  Many platforms have split testing functionalities built in, so make sure you take advantage of those.

Helpful eBook Promotion Resources

This is a list of websites that can help you as you promote and market your eBook online. Each specializes in something different, but they all share the common love for eBooks. I know these will help you.

Launch and Pricing Strategies

In addition to the marketing mediums, there are strategic initiatives you can undertake to effectively market an eBook.  For example, if a major occasion or holiday is near your launch date, it may make sense to delay the launch to coincide with the holiday and offer some freebies along with the eBook in the spirit of the special occasion.  People are generally in good spirits (think Christmas) and as a result more inclined to make a purchase.

You can also adjust the pricing of your eBook for numerous reasons to encourage more sales. One such reason is the scarcity factor. When you tell your audience that your eBook will only be available at the one-time discounted rate for 30 days, I bet you will get a quick rush of sales coming in.  You have to stick to your word however to make this as well as all future similar promotions effective. People don’t like Bluff Masters.

Concluding Thoughts

I know this is quite a bit of information to digest, and I hope you found it helpful and practical enough to start taking action today.  Try any one or all of these as you market your eBook and see how it goes. Sometimes it’s just a matter of consistency in trying a variety of things to discover what truly works for you.

If you want my single best advice to market an eBook, I will say to spend as much time as you can conducting keyword research.  Effectively researching keywords will set the tone for the rest of your eBook promotion campaign, which is basically just a matter of execution (in other words you just have to follow through and do it).

Your keyword choices will help you in everything you do, from pay per click, to social media marketing, to eBook listings on large platforms like Barnes & Noble, to YouTube marketing, and the list goes on. It’s worth reading that sentence again.

You can check out a list of resources that I utilize in promoting and marketing my eBook here.  And if you are contemplating which keyword tool to get, I personally use Market Samurai in most of my internet marketing activities, not only before I write each blog posts, but also when I market an eBook.  It’s simply the best keyword tool out there in my opinion.

Readers: What do you think of the promotion methods in this article? Do you have additional suggestions how we can effectively market an eBook?  Do you have any questions after reading this article?

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