-Mark Your Progress
-Ask a Question
This week we’re keeping all the balls in the air while also creating our first quick & dirty ebook. In the past week you should have seen about 7 new subscribers (or more) if you did all the things on the list! That number is going to keep jumping up each week in response to the weekly course assignments. (Ultimately, we want everyone at the 70-100 new subscribers per week range).
What if you didn’t see any new subscribers? Keep working the program and do not stop! It takes time and effort to get the boulder to even budge, never mind roll it up the hill. Look at things like your engagement and number of comments – are people talking to you? If you’re struggling with getting any kind of response see the section below about driving engagement.
This week’s focus: The Ebook
We’re not talking about a BOOK. We want to create a very quick, easy to put together freebie. This is to entice people to subscribe to your mailing list – without causing you to spend an excessive amount of time on it. We want to get something up right now, not a month from now. So how do we make an ebook?
-repurpose your most popular blog post
-mine Pinterest for ideas
The main question with any ebook is this: where is the pain point?
Is it information that is not available?
A great place to look is in your own analytics. If you’ve been blogging for a while, you might notice that one or two of your posts do well with search traffic. This is usually a good clue that you’re one of the better answers to a question. If there’s a post that is already doing well, you repurpose that content. It’s yours! Just because you wrote about it once, doesn’t mean you can’t write about it again. Take the concepts from your post and outline how you can expand on that information. Maybe it’s just a matter of adding more resources or fleshing out each section more fully.
Is it saving people time?
For example, I found this on Pinterest.
It links to a blog post where she tells her readers “How I design a website in just two weeks” what she doesn’t do is hide this information behind her sign up. She puts it all out there. Instead of tempting her readers with that information, she instead gives it away free and puts just her CHECKLIST as the opt-in. So she’s writing a blog post about her process, then giving her readers a bonus checklist if they sign up for her newsletter. Super effective.
In short, it doesn’t have to be a book at all – if the solution people need is really just a list, checklist, worksheet or other tool, make that.
The sales pitch
Once you have your ebook concept (or other giveaway), then you’ll want to write a post about your topic. You don’t want to be repetitive here. Don’t try to write a shorter version of the item you’re giving away – in fact you don’t want to duplicate that content. Instead, focus on the problem you’re solving and how it feels to have that problem or how it would feel to have it solved. Then list three ways your ebook/item will help.
Example: you’re giving away a tool that lets people travel around the world. The feeling: joy at getting to travel. Give them a glimpse of that life so they can imagine themselves in it. Then describe how your product gets them there.
Example: you’re teaching someone how to improve their business. The feeling: accomplishment. Throw some numbers out there or describe a pivotal moment so they can imagine it in their own situation. Then list out what the product does.
This is an area where everyone freaks out. First, don’t worry! You’re just making an ebook. It has to have a cover (hello, Canva) and you can use the very simple Google Slides for the rest.
To make the cover:
-In Canva, choose presentation.
-Choose a template you like.
-Replace the image with a stock image that makes more sense.
-Save image (your cover) + you can use this in your blog post.
To make the pdf:
-You can choose to do it in Google Slides or Powerpoint or MS Word.
-Google Slides has free templates.
-You can purchase templates for powerpoint or Word at Creative Market or Graphic River. (Costs $8-$29).
-To create your pdf, simple copy slides you like, edit them, add images. Build the pdf page by page. At the end you should have 10 or so slides at the top and the whole list of unedited ones beneath that. Just delete the ones you’re not using.
-Save as a pdf.
To promote it on your blog:
-Create your post (the sales pitch) where you talk about the problem you’re solving. In that post put use the cover image you created in Canva (depending on your blog you may need to resize this down).
-Embed the sign-up form for your mailing list at the bottom of the post.
To send out the ebook/item:
-Go into your Media section in WordPress and click Add New. Upload your pdf.
-Once the upload is complete, click edit to see the details and get the URL. Copy that URL!
-Go into your mailing list provider and create a thank you email with the download.
For Mailchimp: In MailChimp you can create an automation sequence to send a thank you email with the download link. Or if you’re trying to avoid upgrading, you can go to List / Sign Up Forms / General Forms and edit the Confirmation Page and Final Welcome email to include your download.
For Convertkit: Click add sequence. Create an email there that thanks them for signing up and gives them your PDF link (so they can download). Then go to automation and create a rule that adds new users to that sequence when they sign up through your form.
Write at least two blog posts (including your sales pitch), get your ebook set-up, and keep social media going. Start looking at Pinterest as that’s coming up next.
This week about getting that list builder completed. When I switch to offering something free on my blog for signing up, the subscribes instantly go up to 10x the normal rate. Anything! I don’t think it makes much of a different so just focus on getting that ebook done, don’t make too much of a project out of it. You will have additional opportunities to work on ebooks and to craft longer form content. For now, we just want to get something up so we’re not losing subscribers.
For the task section, I’ll keep it brief and link out to more information. That way you can cruise through the stuff you know and do a deeper dive on those things you don’t know. After you finish these, be sure to use the checklist below to mark your progress.
1 Add your last week’s NEW subscribers (not total) to the spreadsheet
Each week we’re going to record our progress. This will not only give you a way to track your week-to-week changes, it’ll also give you an idea of how the rest of the class is doing.
The spreadsheet is here.
2 Decide on Your Ebook Topic!
Honestly, I love using Pinterest for this. I’d just create a pin board around a topic (useful things for travelers, perhaps) and I’d start searching for different kinds of guides and pinning those things (and following the related pins). You’ll start to see a trend. Some topics are covered to death. Others have hardly anything. Finding a topic is more about learning to switch your mindset into the kinds of things that people are likely to look for: for example, a guide to house-sitting might not be as popular as a guide to free travel. If your topic is too specific, it might require your potential subscribers to already have the answer in order to even find you. We want broad.
3 Create your cover image in Canva
Rely on the templates! You don’t want to reinvent the wheel on this. A cute little circle or a box or some kind of design element is going to make it look more pulled together than just text. Be sure to include your blog url somewhere on the image.
4 Create your ebook or product
If you want to do it quickly, Google Slides is the way to go. If you want more control, I like powerpoint.
5 Upload the pdf (or checklist, etc) to your Media Folder on WordPress
Super simple: just go into Media, then Add New. Upload your file (any file) and when it’s done, click edit to get the URL.
6 Create a thank you email
I always like to take a smaller version of my book cover and stick that in the email, say a quick “Thanks for signing up and here’s your download!” then give them the link (and link the cover image to the download as well, why not). In Convert Kit, this is a sequence plus automation. In Mailchimp, it’s an automation – or if you’re trying to avoid upgrading, you can do it in the list forms (just not as flexible, no images etc).
7 Write a post with your freebie sales pitch
Be sure to also include your cover image AND the opt-in form for your mailing list at the bottom of the post. You’ve turned off RSS email subscriptions right? Well people still sign up via Feedly and other services that might strip out that form, so also link your short URL (remember creating that in week 1)?
8 If you’re using Pinterest, go ahead and pin that post
I would start a board, pin about 10 other things as well around the same topic, then pin your post. If you’re thinking about starting to use Pinterest, it’s not a bad idea! Using the Tailwind app to schedule posts is a good way to build consistency.
9 Blog post #2
If you’re not sure what to write, check out this quick guide (with a few dozen post ideas too).
10 Get at least 5 comments on each post
How do you get more comments? By asking. If you’re struggling to get comments, I’d ask for feedback. I would post on FB and say, “I just wrote this ebook guide, what do you think?”
You can do that on Instagram as well – especially with your book cover. “Hey guys, just wrote this guide, link in my profile”. Or on Twitter… look for Twitter chats going on today and join in (but make the link on your Twitter profile that blog post). Look for FB groups that allow post shout-outs. Comment on the blog posts of popular bloggers (add blogs to Feedly, then sort by more recent, so you’re always commenting on really recent posts – if you’re not in the top 10 comments, don’t bother). Use the blog post URL instead of your main page.
The key is to keep pushing and looking for ways to engage. When people comment they are stepping into your circle. You want to deepen your relationship with your readers. A comment is a simple thing but it’s a risk, it’s taking a chance. When people do that, they become more engaged. They feel connected to your blog. I always remember the blogs where I’ve left a comment. Comments matter.
11 Post on social media 1x per day to keep things moving
Keep all the balls in the air! We want to continue to engage on our networks, even when we’re knee-deep in ebook planning.
Mark Your Progress
|1||Add your last week's NEW subscribers (not total) to the spreadsheet|
|2||Decide on Your Ebook Topic!|
|3||Create your cover image in Canva|
|4||Create your ebook or product|
|5||Upload the pdf (or checklist, etc) to your Media Folder on WordPress|
|6||Create a thank you email|
|7||Write a post with your freebie sales pitch|
|8||If you’re using Pinterest, go ahead and pin that post|
|9||Blog post #2|
|10||Get at least 5 comments on each post|
|11||Post on social media 1x per day to keep things moving|