Here’s a simple step-by-step business model for selling ebooks (and other information products).
(Disclaimer: This is a basic model for a single ebook. These strategies would need to be augmented for multiple ebooks, membership sites, or other products and services that are sold alongside the ebook)
- Plan. Decide on a topic, an angle, and what the market is looking for.
- Gather initial information. Pull together research, links, ideas, into one place.
- Write. Either write the ebook yourself or search for a writer on Guru.com or bypass those steps and hire me to write your ebook for you.
- Buy hosting and a domain name related to your ebook (or bypass this step if you are going to sell it through an existing site).
- Build the site (or pages, if you’re using an existing site). You’ll need a sales page (where the “buy now” button will be) and a thank you page (where they can actually download the product). Make sure your thank you page is set for “noindex, nofollow” so that it is not indexed by search engines. Add content to these pages and instead of a “buy now” button, include a “coming soon” note.
- Write and submit articles to distribution sites. I like isnare or articlesbase but there are many others which might be better suited to your needs. Start by creating at least one article a week (and probably an article every single day). Don’t worry at this point about whether or not the traffic is going to get to a web page that doesn’t have anything to buy. It will take a few days to a few weeks for your articles to be approved and disseminated online. Continue this article marketing regularly (weekly or, better yet, daily) for at least 3 months past the time the ebook is published.
- Once you have the completed ebook, add the ebook to your site and test.
- Go to Clickbank.com and sign up. There is a fee but you get access to a handy administrative system and a pretty robust and active affiliate community. Clickbank will help to transact payment from your ebook’s buyers and they’ll send you checks for payment and make sure that your affiliates get paid, too.
- Distribute a press release announcing that your ebook is on sale. Consider using a paid distribution service like PRWeb.
- Talk about your ebook on sites like Twitter and on sites where your intended audience is participating. (For example, a B2B ebook might be mentioned on LinkedIn).
There it is. Simple, straightforward, and a sound, workable plan that is proven. But don’t expect riches right away and don’t stop promoting your ebook. Frequently, ebook sellers get discouraged because they don’t see the millions of dollars of revenue that other ebooks sellers pretend to have made on their ebooks. Ebook sales take time and consistency and a motivated audience in order for the seller to see any revenue. Failing in any of these three areas will dampen your prospects of revenue.
Stick with it and make sure that you are paying attention to your audience, adding value to their lives, and solving their needs.