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Freelance Writers: How to Write an eBook That Gets You Writing Clients
By Freelance Writer and Author, William Ballard
I was speaking to a fellow writer friend of mine the other day who joked, “E-books are the new white papers.” He was, indeed, kidding, of course. He knows all too well there are significant differences between e-books and white papers, and even e-books and free reports.
That being said, there’s no ignoring e-books. In fact, there has been a trend within the blogosphere as of late that is surrounded by the power of eBooks and this trend has been growing and growing, and doesn't seem to have a stop in sight. They are especially powerful in terms of lead-generation, where they are working particularly well.
So how do you write an eBook anyways?
The first step is to come up with a topic that readers are really interested in. People read e-books offered by companies because they want a quick education on something specific. They want to learn how to solve a problem, complete a task, make the right buying decision, deal with a difficult situation, improve sales performance, reduce costs, and so many more solutions that are just too numerous to really put down into one simple blog post.
So, your topic needs to reflect that expectation.
Usually when I’m working with a new client on an e-book, the first question I ask is, “What’s the most pressing problem your prospects have that your product or service can solve – or at least make better?” That typically leads to some attention driven (focus and concentration) brainstorming and then, finally, a topic.
Your best topic – if you’re fortunate enough to come up with several – is one that involves a problem, need, goal or want that is a high priority for your prospects. You want the e-book to have content a prospecting reader will eagerly fill out a landing page form to get his hands on.
For example, a complaint I usually hear from clients who try to write their own marketing copy is that the process is slow and painful. As one client put it, “It’s like a visit to the dentist. It’s agony and it seems to take forever.” So because I have trained my ears to hear these complaints, I immediately go into creative mode when I hears these concerns and problems and start going to work on a problem solving eBook.
In fact, because of this complaint mentioned above, I’m planning on writing an e-book on how to write copy super fast and how to actually enjoy the process.
Once you’ve chosen a topic (a powerful solution to a major problem) the next step, of course, is writing the e-book. If you’re accustomed to crafting white papers and special reports, here are some differences you need to know.
To enhance conversion rates – in other words, to get prospects to become strong leads and call or email you with an interest in your product or service – I recommend adding a “pitch page”. This is a separate page, usually the last page in the e-book, that describes your company. It goes without saying that this page should have contact information readily available.
However, a lot of companies get lazy with this and simply insert a small blurb – similar to what you’d see at the end of a press release. What a waste! You can do so much more with this page. I suggest creating a unbelievable offer and including that as part of an inviting call-to-action. Also, include a client testimonial or two. The idea, of course, is to get the prospect motivated to take a clear and positive next step, which would be to call you and take you up on your unbelievable offer.
Recently, for client, I tweaked the pitch page on two e-books they were using for lead-generation, and increased their conversions by 54%. Clearly, this page is important!
So those are some basics on writing a lead-generation e-book for your company or client. If you have tips to share, please share them in the comments below. (I may be writing an e-book on the topic!)
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About the Author
William Ballard is the author of, "8 Tips to Freelance Writing Success (Article Writing Series)" and "3 Steps to Blogging Success: Discovering Your Passion, Finding Your Audience, and Developing an Income Stream (Article Series)".
He has been writing professionally for over 10+ years and has much experience within the industry, both in publishing and in freelance writing. He has successfully self-published over 10 books and eBooks. Visit his Amazon Author Page to see list of his most recent projects.