If you were to suggest to most webmasters or online marketers that they could make money and boost their site’s traffic by giving away something for free, they’d probably laugh. If it’s done correctly, though, it is possible to make serious gains in both regards. This can work no matter what your industry or niche – whether you sell golf shoes or help people compare savings accounts. One way to achieve this seemingly lofty goal is to write your own eBook, and then distribute it free of charge in as many places as possible. Here’s exactly how to do it, and why it works.
Step One: Find Your Niche (And Write What You Know)
Before you can give anything away, you need to get something down on paper (virtual paper, anyway). The first thing to do is decide on the topic you’d like to cover. This will usually be the same topic as your website, or the site that you want to drive visitors to. Next, you need to create an eBook. It sounds daunting, but they can be as short as ten pages. If you’ve ever written articles for your website, you could organise them in eBook form and that would do the trick. The most important thing to do is ensure that your eBook addresses a problem or answers a question. Nobody wants to read ten pages of spam. Once you’re happy with the content of your book, move to the next step.
Step two: include a call to action at the end of your book
At this point, your readers will have read your book and, provided you’ve written it correctly, they’ll probably want some more information. This is where the money is. You’ve got a couple of choices here: you can lead readers to your website to address a concern or question you’ve raised in the book; or you can link them to an affiliate product via your personal affiliate link. The former will increase traffic whereas the latter will increase income. Which one you choose is up to you, but do remember that above all you want to avoid looking spammy, so if you choose to link to an affiliate, you have to make the link look as natural as possible within the eBook content. When you’re happy with the links you’ve inserted, you’ll need to create a PDF eBook (that allows hyperlinks). There are various pieces of software that can help you create an eBook in PDF form, although a word processor and PDF printing software (usually free) will do the job.
Step three: distribute your eBook and track its progress
When it comes to distributing your eBook, you once again have a few options. Because your eBook is free, you can practically distribute it in any way you want: through forums, blog posts, social bookmarking sites, Facebook, Twitter – and even as a torrent download. All of these avenues should result in a good number of people downloading the book, provided it has a good premise (read: hook) and a snappy title. Even if people skim through the title to get to the end, they should still hopefully click on your links and you can reap the benefits. One more word on being ‘spammy’: when you are promoting something heavily and it includes affiliate links, it’s very easy to be blacklisted by certain forums and so on, so be slow and deliberate in the distribution channels you choose in an effort to stay in the clear with your eBook. You could also look at more traditional channels such as the Amazon Kindle store, however you’ll need to convert your book and the links will be much less prominent and active than in a PDF. Still, the option is there if you want to take it.
So there you have it: publishing a free eBook in three easy steps and boosting your traffic or bank balance in the process. Of course, this method is only an outline, and will require some work on your part depending on your site, niche, and so on. But with a little bit of work and some snappy writing, you can easily create something that people will really want to read – and that will bring you a host of new visitors or a little extra money.