Business ebook writing: 20 tips for successful ebook

8 min read
Apr 29, 2024 1:42:10 PM
You've taken up blogging, and it's already going quite well. It's already being visited by several people and there may also be interaction on your content on social media. However, it would be a shame if this visitor leaves your site and does not (further) connect with your company. The question therefore remains: how do you turn as many visitors as possible into quality leads through your blog? Offering an ebook as downloadable content might be the solution.


Writing an ebook: why invest that time?

First: leads
An ebook that requires people to leave some data before they can download it will get you new leads. Provided you write an ebook on a subject your potential customer wants to read, you make sales happy with those leads. A win-win situation.

Second: leads who want to learn more about your organization
Because you enrich the blog visitor with valuable knowledge - questions on the answers he or she was looking for. This brings them closer to sales.

Third: lead nurturing
The ebook could be that final push that convinces a lead who has been eyeing your company for a while to contact sales. The process of presenting your content to your leads according to a well thought out plan is also called lead nurturing. Keep in mind that how quickly a lead is ready to be transferred to sales depends on the complexity and duration of the buying process .

And finally: thought leadership
With an ebook, you work to position your company as an expert, perhaps even as a thought leader in the field.

We'll start at the beginning.

In this article, you'll receive 20 tips to help you write a successful ebook : an ebook that will generate qualified leads.

Here's how to create the ebook that will bring you quality leads

Tips 1, 2 and 3: Identify a topic that converts

Tip 1. Determine which product or service you want to focus on
If necessary, let sales help determine which product and market could use some extra marketing power.Make a list of these possible topics. That way, the leads you generate with this ebook are really going to contribute to the goals sales wants to achieve.

Tip 2. Validate your topics by learning from others
Explore (online and offline) what has already been written on this topic; this will help you determine the content for your own ebook. No need to reinvent the wheel.

Tip 3. (Re)use previously published content
Previously published blog articles (or other forms of content) can provide inspiration for this ebook, or even serve as a blueprint. For example, look at articles that have performed well or that already rank high in Google; these are likely topics of interest to your target audience. You can structure this through a content audit.

Tip 4, 5 and 6: Be specific and relevant to your target audience

Next, it's time to choose topics for your ebook. The goal is to eventually be left with a shortlist of specific and relevant topics. What makes a topic specific, and what makes a topic relevant?

Tip 4. Limit the number of topics that one ebook covers
If your company manufactures high precision metal using additive manufacturing, then you'll be fine writing an ebook explaining what additive manufacturing is and the opportunities it can provide for customers in different industries. A chapter on exactly how this works would also fit nicely into this ebook.

But if you then want to compare etching, lasering and electroplating, you run the risk of blowing the reader away with too much information. Limit yourself to one main topic: Tips 5 and 6 can help you with this.

Tip 5. Make your buyer persona's main question leading your story
Start with your potential customer in mind: your buyer persona. Choose one question your buyer persona might have (looking at their pain points) and make sure this question is at least answered by the end of the ebook. For example: what can digital textile printing offer my company over conventional printing? Or: what are the differences between digital and conventional printing in the textile industry?

Tip 6. In addition to the buyer persona, also keep an eye on the buyer journey
In addition to critical questions such as: does my future customer want to know this? Why then? What pain points and challenges am I addressing with this ebook? it is important to consider the timing of your ebook in your potential customer's buying journey. That buying journey is also called the buyer journey. For example: someone who downloads an ebook because they want to learn more about microscopes (awareness stage), is not immediately ready to compare a microscope on price (decision stage). Keep this in mind when writing your ebook.

If you can't yet answer these questions, you might be interested in delving into the basics of inbound marketing. This way you will avoid writing an ebook that nobody will download because it is not specific and/or relevant.

Tips 7, 8 and 9: Get structured - so your ebook really gets done

Tip 7. Work according to a plan.
Don't start writing haphazardly. Work according to a plan. The steps you go through when writing an ebook are basically the same as that of a blog and can help you keep an overview.

Tip 8. Offer yourself structure while writing.
To do this, use a method that works for you. For example, you could first determine the chapters of the ebook. These chapters are the skeleton of your ebook. Later, chapters may disappear, be divided into several chapters or be merged. Not a big deal at all.

Tip 9. Assign yourself a deadline by which the ebook "must" be finished
You won't always be bursting with inspiration - let alone feel like writing - with the pitfall of having Chapter 1 still unfinished months later. To make the ebook successful, perseverance is essential.

Set a deadline by which you want the ebook finished. Then agree on a set time during the week (or a day, depending on your schedule) when you will work on the ebook. Decide in advance what part you want to work on (and when you will be satisfied).


Tip 10 to 14: Start writing - and avoid having your story have neither head nor tail

The time for researching and gathering information is over. You have collected a pile of inspiring content that is going to help you write the perfect ebook. Have the prerequisites been outlined and the structure determined? Then pick up the pen, lock yourself in a room where you will not be distracted by anything or anyone (without internet and phone if necessary!) and start writing.

Tip 10. Choose a working title for your ebook
Don't try to come up with a final title for your ebook right away. It is too early for that. Do give the ebook a working title. This will help you keep your eye on what the core of your ebook should be about.

Tip 11. Don't start at the beginning of your ebook
A common mistake is to want to start at the beginning of the ebook: the introduction. However, the introduction is the hardest part of your ebook: based on it, your potential customer will decide whether to read further or not. Tip: don't write the introduction until last. Pick a chapter you feel comfortable with - or where you already have most of the information - and start. The rest will follow naturally.

Tip 12. Push yourself until you are at least halfway through the ebook.
From then on, it will go faster than you think. If necessary, read the first paragraph of this article (Why should you write an ebook?) again for motivation.

Tip 13. While writing your first draft, don't pay attention to details
For the perfectionists among us: this is not yet the right time to start editing! Not satisfied with the content? Don't focus on the details. At another time, the right words will surely come to mind again. The process will undoubtedly slow down if you want every chapter to be perfect on paper from the first draft.

Tip 14. Write the introduction and conclusion of your ebook
Is everything outlined on paper? Congratulations, the hard part is over! Now write the introduction and conclusion of the ebook. Make sure the introduction is communicated not from functionality, but from value.

Tip 15-20: Change & improve - so that leads want to learn more about your organization after reading it

The ebook is almost finished. Almost.

Finally, it's time to unleash the inner perfectionist on the ebook. The changing, improving and polishing can begin.

Tip 15. Let the ebook lie for a while first
Think of your favorite perfume: after a while you no longer smell it yourself. Chances are that the same effect will occur with your ebook after a while: you no longer read the text carefully and can't see what could be improved. Therefore, don't start editing your ebook right away; leave it for a while. That way, after a few days you can look at it again with fresh eyes and are able to make improvements.

Tip 16. Have others proofread
Show the ebook to several people during the process. They can give you enlightening insights.

Tip 17. Work from big to small
Always start big (for example: the order of chapters) and eventually work in more and more detail (spelling errors and sentence structure). That way you avoid losing yourself already with the first paragraph.

Tip 18. Save older versions in a separate document
Edit the content in a copied document. It would be annoying if you delete pieces and regret it later. 'Killing your darlings' also becomes a lot easier when you know you can always go back to your previous version.

Tip 19. Start thinking about formatting your ebook now
Never judge a book by it's cover. But... The eye wants something too. A good design shows that this is an ebook in which time and effort has been invested. Make sure the design fits your corporate identity and is transferable to future ebooks.

Tip 20. Write the final title of your ebook
Finally, scrap the working title and crown your ebook with a final title. With a good title, you attract attention (recognition) as well as address a pain point. Bottleneck: this can be almost as difficult as finding a suitable subject. Here again: brainstorm, write down all the titles that come to mind, scrap them, make a shortlist, have them proofread, cut the knot. If you really can't decide, choose a safe, functional title rather than one that leaves everything to the imagination.

I can't say it often enough: always put your customer - the buyer persona - first.

You are not writing the ebook to impress the competition (well, a little bit...).

As long as the customer is the focus, the success of your ebook - and thus more good leads who want to get to know your organization - is within reach. You do that with a good buyer persona. The buyer persona is the foundation of any good content strategy. So get started yourself with the buyer persona tool.


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