Two Great Reasons to Write an Ebook – and Three Crucial Tips for Getting it Done

Mar 27, 2012 by

This entry was written by , one of the OxonDigital members. The author's views below are entirely their own and may not reflect the views of OxonDigital.
Two Great Reasons to Write an Ebook – and Three Crucial Tips for Getting it Done

If the longest thing you’ve ever written is a 1,500 word blog post, then it’s time you thought about creating an ebook.

Why? Because it could make you rich, famous, or both.

Even if your potential clients aren’t likely to have Kindles or iPads, you can create an ebook in .pdf format that they can easily view on their computer. (You don’t have to call it an ebook — it could be a “digital workbook” or a “white paper” or a “special report” if you prefer.)

It’s time to get writing. Here’s a bit more on why:

Reason #1: Build Your List (= Fame)

Ebooks have a higher perceived value than blog posts. Sure, you could write a 4,000 word blog post — it’s probably not going to do as much for your business as a 4,000 word ebook. (For one thing, the ebook is going to be easier for readers to take in.)

Your ebook makes a very nice opt-in bonus for your list. It encourages people to sign up, and it gives them a great taste of what you can do. If they just read one post, they might vanish for good; if they read your ebook, they may well be impressed enough to hire you. And even if they don’t get in touch right away, you’ll be able to send them more great content by email, building up a strong relationship over time.

Reason #2: Make Money (= Riches)

Ebooks can be sold — from your own site, or through third-party sites like Amazon. Even if your core business model focuses on services or on physical products, a digital product like an ebook can provide a very handy extra revenue stream.

It costs you virtually nothing to create each copy of an ebook. No shipping and handling, no inventory … just profit! If you sell the ebooks through your own site, using a shopping cart solution such as e-junkie, you’ll also get the email addresses of buyers. People who’ve bought from you once are likely to buy again.

So, whether you’re looking for more prominence within your industry, or simply more revenue every month, an ebook is a great step on the path. Here’s how to get it written:

Tip #1: Make it Specific

You might well have a ton of knowledge about your industry … but don’t try to make your ebook a guide to absolutely everything. Everything You Need to Know about Design is going to be tough to write (and overwhelming for your readers).

Choose one specific topic, like How to Design a Great Logo. That way, you’ll have room to write a follow-up ebook if the first one does well…

Tip #2: Keep it Short

Unlike print books, ebooks can be pretty much any length you want. For a free ebook, 5,000 words might well be enough. For a paid-for ebook, you’re probably looking at around 15,000 to 30,000 words (but if you’re writing something specialised, you can make it even shorter).

A short, focused, ebook is easy to write and easy to read. Your clients’ time is valuable; they’ll thank you for giving them what they need to know as quickly and succinctly as possible.

Tip #3: Make it a Priority

There’s always going to be something more urgent than “write ebook” on your list. But if your ebook’s ever going to be finished, it needs to be a priority. That could mean setting aside Tuesday mornings for it, or spending 30 minutes writing at the start of each day.

Set yourself a deadline. To make sure you stick to it, tell your clients (or blog readers, or Twitter followers) about the new ebook that you’ve got coming. That way, you’ll not only have plenty of motivation to finish it, you’ll also have built up some excitement before the launch.


Have you written an ebook, either as a freebie or a paid product? If not, what’s stopping you from getting started?

 (Image from Flickr by jorge.correa)

Ali Luke and Joe Williams run day-long courses on blogging, SEO and social media in London, covering Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. If you’d like to discover more about marketing your business online efficiently and effectively, come along to learn in an interactive, small group environment (eight people max) in a venue right next to Hyde Park. You can find all the course details here. Follow Ali on Google Plus.


  1. Ali, your Copyblogger post and now this one are like friendly nudges to get going on an eBook. Can’t wait for your Dummies book to come out.

    Do you have past posts on the next step…production options (Kindle vs EJunkie, etc.)?

  2. Thanks, Elizabeth! I don’t have anything out there on production, really (I’m being a bit careful not to end up competing with my book, if you see what I mean…) but if you do go with Kindle, I can recommend and the associated book.


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