The problem with free ebooks is that everybody has one. Even when you create high-quality content that you could easily sell, it can be hard to entice readers to download it if they already have ten other recently downloaded ebooks just waiting to be read. So, while it’s important to write an ebook that people want to read, you can also go one step further and make your ebook even more valuable with supplemental content and special features.
I’ve written several ebooks, including The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Blog, Podcast, and Videos with Pinterest and The Ultimate Guide to Blog and Podcast Sponsorship for NMX and numerous other ebooks for my own websites and for clients. Let’s take a look at what I’ve learned about making free ebooks more valuable.
Video is Hot
Not everyone has the time (or makes the time) to read a 100-page ebook, even if the information is extremely valuable. Some people instead prefer video (or audio), and since fewer people are creating video resources, you can really stand out from the crowd by creating them. A good example is this video series about podcast sponsorship we created in conjunction with our ebook about sponsorship.
If you aren’t comfortable being on camera, consider creating a video using this scribing technique or even a simple voice over. You can also make use of video others have put online by finding videos related to your topic and compiling them into one playlist. You have less content control this way, but it’s an option that allows you to present video without actually creating video yourself.
Check It Off Your List
People like to be able to take action after reading an ebook or guide, so giving your readers a way to easily do that is a great added resource to your ebook. This can be in the form of a checklist or workbook. You’ll want to make them easily printable, leaving space for your readers to write if they’d like to do so.
The point is to give your readers guidance with really actionable steps that they can check off their lists so they’re implementing what you talked about in your ebook. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of a printable. Another example is this five-part Pinterest series that outlines specific steps to take over the course of five days.
Follow Up with GOOD Paid Products
The point of any free product for your readers is to follow it up with something that benefits you, like a paid product. However, if you’re going to follow up the gift with a hard sell, make sure your paid product makes sense. I don’t want to download your ebook about email marketing and then have you try to sell me an ebook about editing podcasts. Those two things aren’t really related. Instead, if you get me to download your ebook about email marketing, follow it up with a paid e-course that goes into further detail about the topic. That’s something that I’ll be more willing to buy if I enjoyed your free ebook.