In 2019 (after blogging for a whole year and releasing 2 eBooks), I decided to write and sell my 3rd eBook on my own blog.
My first eBook wasn’t a raging success. In fact, it made close to zero sales because I made plenty of eBook mistakes.
My second eBook actually did quite well but I didn’t market it as I should have. So, it did alright.
However, the third eBook made over $3K in its launch (in just 1 week) and I marketed it to a very tiny email list.
For me, it was a huge success. And to be honest? I felt like a Movie Star.
It’s an excellent way to make money online and build passive income so I thought I’d share some insight on a few important things I learned from writing and selling my eBook and cover all the mistakes I made with my first eBook.
This will set you on the right path when you’re writing your own eBook and help you avoid a lot of the most overlooked eBook mistakes.
Before I begin, snag my free eBook Creation guide!
This post includes affiliate links to products I truly (from the bottom of my heart) recommend, meaning at no extra cost to you, I may earn a small percentage which I will use to feed my sweet, adorable pooches.
Why did I decide to write an eBook?
1. I wanted to build authority in my niche
It’s very difficult to get people to trust you if you don’t have enough content on your blog around a certain topic. And I wanted to take it one step further because I knew what I was writing about and I wanted to build credibility.
Writing an eBook on a specific topic that helps people move from point A to point B showcases your expertise on the topic. If you read a diet book and get results, you’ll know for sure that the person who wrote it is some form of a Nutritionist and really knows what they’re talking about.
This is a good way to rise up quickly in your niche and be seen as an Expert.
2. I wanted to create a minimum viable product
Let’s face it.
It’s minimum risk.
Other than the time I had to spend cranking out an 80K word eBook, there were no other resources necessary. You don’t need to keep a physical inventory or deal with shipping, unlike physical books where manufacturing and delivering each one is a huge headache.
Okay, so maybe this is a slight exaggeration
If it didn’t sell, I knew I could move on to something else quickly. There’s hardly anything to lose in writing an eBook – except time.
3. I wanted to build a source of passive income
At any cost, I didn’t want to go down the ad revenue route.
My blog is way too precious for me to slap ads on it. Affiliate marketing just wasn’t doing it for me either. I found very few high-quality products that I genuinely wanted to promote so the next step was obviously to create a digital product.
You can create a $10 eBook and add a sales funnel to it so you make sales on autopilot. You only need 10 sales a day to make $100 every day. That’s $3K a month.
It’s definitely easier said than done. But I explain my whole sales funnel process here.
Additionally, eBooks are a great source of passive income. I wake up to sales every single day and it’s one of the best feelings in the world – right after kissing my pups or eating chocolate cookies.
My eBooks now make me a full-time income each month. And I don’t need to do much except updating it every now and then.
Now, that you know the perks of writing an eBook, let me share all the lessons I learned writing one.
If you are planning on writing an eBook, then snag my eBook Creation Guide right here.
7 Mistakes I Made writing and selling my eBook
1. Focusing on what my audience needed and not wanted
One of the biggest eBook mistakes you can make is assuming that your audience is interested in the same thing you are. Just because you love knitting socks for dogs, doesn’t mean your readers like that too.
I was(and am) extremely creative. And I assumed that my readers would be too. So I wrote the eBook first and then tried to market the product to them.
- Should be something that your reader actually wants to buy
- Solve a problem that your reader is willing to spend money on
Which means, your eBook should be based on a profitable idea.
My audience comprises of women between the ages of 18-55 who want to create blogs that actually make money.
So, it wasn’t really hard to figure out what they wanted when I wrote my second eBook for Stray Curls. But nonetheless, I did my research. Here are a couple of techniques you can use to validate your eBook idea:
- Look into a few of your Facebook groups to see what are the most common questions people are asking in your niche.
- Run a Facebook Poll thread in the same Facebook Group if you want more inputs
- Hop onto Amazon and look at the Bestsellers. This should give you an idea of what is currently doing well among the public.
- Send an email to your readers asking them what are their current problems or frustrations
- Look at your competitors and see what is general trend of products that they are creating
After validating my idea, I got the confidence to start writing my eBook.
You should not worry about whether you’ll make sales or not. Instead, you should ask yourself, “How many sales am I going to make?” Validating my idea helped take away all the tension on my launch day.
2. Not having the confidence to ask for the saleBelieve in yourself, because if you don't... nobody else has a reason to either. Click To Tweet
It’s completely natural to become overwhelmed and jittery before you write your first eBook. You may feel like you’re not an expert to talk about the topic but let me show you an alternate way of thinking.
When I first started illustrating, I was pretty rubbish at it. I would look at my work and compare it to bigger artists and feel so ashamed. Until people on Facebook Groups started asking me to draw for them.
That’s when I realized that even if you are at step 1, you are still a whole step ahead of someone who’s at step 0. And you can create a resource to help them go from step 0 to step 1.
So, don’t become a victim to one of the biggest ebook mistakes by assuming that you need to have a Master’s Degree to teach someone how to do something.
You don’t need to overcomplicate it. Keep it simple.
And as you keep teaching and learning, your knowledge will grow. Which will help you to become an even better teacher with much more knowledge to share.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare your current work to your work from 6 months ago.
This is the best way to grow.
By drawing every single day for my blog and my clients and watching tons of Online Classes (you can check out some neat classes here), I was able to improve my art skills tremendously. If you’re interested, you can also read all the lessons I learned as an Illustrator.
Focus on your strengths – your specialty. And build the confidence to not only write an eBook but to market it.
I was very scared of selling when I first started building my Online Business. I used to be terrified to send an email asking for the sale, thinking my readers would find me too pushy. But here’s the thing, grasshopper:
The world is full of noise. You need to make your message loud and clear in order to penetrate through all that noise.
Life and Business work in somewhat the same way.
Unless you see a particular message 6-7 times, it’s not really going to make an impression in your head. You may feel that you’re iterating the same message over and over again, but you’re just making it stronger.
So, have a little faith in yourself. Go ahead, write your eBook, and market the hell out of it. Because if you don’t market it, how do you expect it to sell?
If you’re finding it difficult to write your launch emails, I’ve gone ahead and shared mine in my eBook – 7 Emails.
3. Not honing in on my USP in the very beginning
When everyone is chasing a unicorn, ride a narwhal.
When you create a digital product, you need to differentiate yourself from everyone writing about the same topic.
Knowing your key differentiator is going to help you market it more efficiently!
When I wrote my first eBook, I was scared to talk about something new. I wanted to play safe. But this is a huge problem. If you create a product just like everyone else’s, why should people want to buy yo
So, look at similar products on the market and ask yourself if you can create one that’s better or approach it from a completely different angle.
When I wrote my Traffic eBook, I looked at all the traffic eBooks and eCourses and I realized that they were focusing on just gaining pageviews or increasing blog traffic. I didn’t find a single one that actually discussed getting the right kind of traffic or gaining traffic that converted into sales and clients.
I knew that focusing on this would be my key differentiator.
So, this became the main benefit of my eBook which I stressed on in my Sales Page and all my other marketing assets – like my launch emails and my social media posts and so on.
Another way my content stands out is with my use of illustrations and humor. So, I used these two points of differentiation to help me stand out from the sea of bloggers out there doing the same thing.
4. Not creating an Outline beforehand
If you stare at a blank screen and expect to write your eBook from start to finish, you’re raving mad because it will slow you down immensely.
I know this because I’ve done exactly that when I wrote my first eBook. And it was such a disaster. It took me months to write one tiny eBook.
So, before you write your eBook, you’re obviously going to go down a rabbit hole of research. Use this time to create an outline of your eBook.
Ask yourself, “What does my reader need to know in order to master this topic completely?”
And just write down all your points. Don’t worry about editing at this point. Each point will become your chapter. You’re basically drafting the skeleton of your eBook.
Now if I was writing an eBook titled The Perfect Wedding (aimed at Women who wanted an eBook that helped them plan their wedding).
- Setting your Wedding Date
- Creating a Save the Date Card
- Estimating your Budget
- Picking Out your Wedding Dress
- Choosing a Wedding Cake
Gonna take a quick break to eat some Wedding Cake
These points would also become the Chapters of my eBook. Do you get my drift?
Doing this one thing made me super productive and helped me write my eBooks much, much faster!
You’ll find it super easy to flesh out your eBook now.
Once you’re done writing your outline, you can clean it up by:
- Arranging your chapters in a logical order so your Customer can breeze through it systematically
- Deleting redundant chapters to make your eBook more concise
- Clubbing chapters that are way too similar to make your eBook more comprehensive.
After you’re done writing your eBook, run it through Grammarly to catch all the spelling, grammatical errors you may have made. I didn’t do this with my first eBook, and I ended up looking like a village idiot.
Avoid all these eBook mistakes and get started on the right foot by grabbing my free eBook creation guide now!
5. Focusing on the Features instead of the benefits
If you watch enough Shark Tank you’ll learn a very important lesson. Nobody is interested in your product. They want to know how your product can help them.
Let me show you an example. Which sounds better to you?
Becoming a Fully Fledged Vegan – The Ultimate eCourse
- Learn to choose which foods to eat and how to make them
- Includes a whole list of nutrients and vitamins you need right now!
- How to switch from animal-based products to vegan products completely
Becoming a Fully Fledged Vegan – The Ultimate eCourse
- Save time by following this done-for-you meal plan
- Avoid nutritional deficiencies by learning which vitamins you need to add to your diet
- Save the animals – Alternatives to every animal-based product you currently have!
The first pitch emphasizes the features of the product. That’s why it kinda sucks. The second one is better written. It focuses on the benefits instead of the features.
The first draft focuses on the features. Whereas the second invokes a strong emotion because of words like:
- Save time
- Avoid nutritional deficiencies
- Save the animals
These words hook the reader and create a desire in the reader to purchase the product! They paint a picture. The last one invokes a picture of cute puppies, ducks, and cows all living together in harmony.
This point alone can push a person to become Vegan.
6. Not marketing the eBook before writing it
Remember how I talked about product validation earlier?
This is one of the best ways to validate your eBook. Talk about your eBook even before you start creating it. Write blog posts to raise awareness and send teasers about your process in every email leading up to the launch.
By showing my readers a sneak peek of the cover in one week, and asking them to help me decide on the title the next, I piqued their curiosity and kept them engaged till the launch.
You cannot just spring up the topic of your eBook the moment you’ve created it. It’s a horrible way to introduce your product to your readers because they haven’t been primed to buy it.
7. Not creating urgency or offering some kind of bonus to people who buy during the launch
When I launched my second eBook, I launched it at 30% off and made it very clear that the price would go up at the end of the week. This creates a huge sense of urgency. And my sales skyrocketed on the last day.
Your launch emails can make or break your launch. You need to use the right words and really raise awareness of the problem you are trying to solve before asking for the buy. I’ve included the exact emails I used in my launch in this eBook here.
A lot of people need that push to buy and by giving your email subscribers a chance to buy it for less for a limited time, they feel special. Here are things to not do when introducing a timer:
- Don’t talk down to your readers to make a sale. It’s gross and highly unprofessional. Please don’t do this, for the love of licorice.
- Don’t extend the sale for one more day when you see more sales on the last day. I cannot tell you how cheesy it is. I’ve seen loads of Bloggers do this. They send an email after the countdown timer has gone to zero saying that they’re extending the sale because the last link was not working or because they had some issues with sales. 99% of the time, it’s a lie. It’s just greed. And yes, it shows.
I can smell it a mile away
Once you finish launching, make sure that you set up a nice email sales funnel so that you can keep making consistent sales. This will ensure that you make sales even while you sleep.
I explain the whole sales funnel process here and it even comes with a free workbook!
Bonus Tip: Create a mini eBook and downsell it to the readers who didn’t buy the eBook
Not everyone on your list is going to be ready to buy the product.
You’ve worked really hard to get this potential buyer on your list. One of the biggest eBook mistakes I’ve seen Bloggers make is not following up with their readers or trying to sell them something smaller.
Give them a taste of your paid product by packaging one of the chapters from your eBook into a smaller product and sell it to them as a one-time-offer for a cheaper price.
By allowing your readers to see what your paid products are like, they will feel more comfortable purchasing your bigger offer – your signature product!
Once they purchase your eBook, you can add these buyers to sequences where they are pitched similar products.
This is how you get your Reader to become a repeat customer!
If you liked this post, you may also enjoy:
- How to create Sales Funnels in your Blog to bring in $100 a day
- How to create an Email Sequence with ConvertKit that brings you $600 every month
- 7 Easy Ways to Make Money Blogging
- How to Come Up with a Blog Content Plan for the next Quarter
- How to Write a Kickass Business Plan for your Business
Don’t forget to grab my eBook Creation Guide to help you write your very own eBook!
eBook Mistakes: Summing it up
Just avoiding these eBook mistakes will give you a head start.
At the end of the day, you just have to write an eBook once. You don’t need to send it for printing or keep an inventory. You can sell it an infinite number of times. This is the biggest advantage of writing an eBook.
Apart from this, writing an eBook can be a lot of fun. But watching it bring you sales every day without actively promoting it is what you should be aiming for.
Creating an eBook is the fastest way to boost your income quickly and make good money blogging. Plus, it makes you look like an expert!
Have you made any of these eBook mistakes before? Let me know in the comments below and I will respond to every single comment.