How to sell an ebook on the web

Selling ebooks can be lucrative, and it’s an easy business to start. Unfortunately, although people know that they need an ebook if they are going to sell one, the other parts of the equation aren’t as clear. What ELSE do they need? What should they do first? How do they make it all fit together? The ebook is just part of the equation… brand new entrepreneurs want to know how to take the ebook and post it for sale online.

I’m going to show you a really easy method in this blog. This is for absolute beginners — seasoned pros will already know this and may have a different system that they prefer. You should be aware that this isn’t the ONLY way to do it; it’s just a good basic way.

Step 1: Get your ebook written. (You can do this or you can hire someone else to do it; whatever).

Step 2: Go to GoDaddy.com and get some hosting and a domain name. (Those are two different things: Hosting is a container that will eventually hold your ebook and the code. The domain name is the way that people will find you on the web). You’re probably looking at less than $100 for everything. Buy it and get your domain name to point to your hosting account. The good folks at GoDaddy can help you with this.

Step 3: Upload your finished ebook into your host.

Step 4: Go to Clickbank.com and sign up. (There’s a small fee – about $50 or so). Clickbank is a company that accepts money from people on your behalf and makes sure that only the people who pay can get your ebook. They also have some affiliate programs in place so that other people can sell your ebook (if you want) and earn some money.

Step 5: Create at least two web pages and put them in your host. You can create more webpages if you want but creating just two is the simplest. You can get free website templates just by Googling “Free Website Templates” and then changing them yourself or having someone else change them for you. Here are the two pages you’ll need:

  • One of the pages is your index page or “homepage”. This is a public page (viewable by everyone) and the main page that people will see when they type in your domain name. It will have the ebook offer right on that page. The filename for this page is usually “index”. I’m going to call it your Sales page.
  • The second page is your Secret Thank You page. It’s a page that people can’t get to until they’ve paid for your ebook. You can name the page anything you like… but DON’T give out this page’s address! On your Secret Thank You page, put a link to your ebook. The link will look like this: [Your domain name]/[The filename of your ebook]. So if I had an ebook called “How-To-Start-A-Business.pdf” then the link on my Thank You page would be: http://aaronhoos.com/How-To-Start-A-Business.pdf.

Step 6: Go back to Clickbank and go to your account page and enter the URL of your Secret Thank You page. This way, Clickbank will know where to send people when they pay.

Step 7: While in Clickbank, get a “buy now” button and add it to your Sales page. (It’s a snippet of code you copy and paste into the code of your Sales page).

Step 8: Upload those two web pages to your host. Test everything. You should be able to type your domain name into your browser and get to your Sales page. And, you should be able to type in the other page into your browser to get to your Secret Thank You page. (That’s why you don’t want to give out the address of this page to people… because anyone can type it in if they know it and they’ll get to that page without paying). Test the ebook link to make sure you can download the ebook.

Here’s what *should* happen: People will click to your Sales page and see your compelling sales letter and then click the “buy now” button. When they click the “buy now” button, a window from Clickbank will open and Clickbank will accept your customer’s payment on your behalf and then send them on to your Secret Thank You page.

Step 9: Start marketing your ebook. Okay, so this step seems pretty vague. I think it’s covered well on this blog and elsewhere. Basically, get a lot of people going to your homepage and then tweak the sales letter on your Sales page so that more and more readers decide to buy.

Step 10: Once you’ve started making sales, Clickbank will collect your money and forward it to you. (They have different payment forwarding options, depending on where you live).

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