It for You That Isn't In Your Site
Your website is basically one type of marketing tool. An e-book is a different kind of marketing tool... with different potentials:
- It can be advertised where your website can't... in e-book directories - and, if it's free, in many freebie directories. (By the way, plenty of e-books are listed as "software" with a "1.0" after the title!). And this is a way to attract traffic to your site (or perhaps just customers for your business) who you wouldn't otherwise reach.
- If it's free, it's viral - others might pass it on. Plenty of webmarketers are disposed to recommend or give away quality e-books - perhaps as bonuses for purchases or e-zine sign-ups, perhaps bundled with other e-books (their own, for instance).
- Even if it's for sale (we'll talk about that in a minute), it might be viral... if you give away or sell resell rights to it.
- You can make it rebrandable (more on that in a bit too) - so that downloaders of it will be more interested in (will get more benefit from) passing it on to others.
- Even if your website doesn't generate enough traffic to attract advertisers, you might be able to sell (or trade) ad space in your e-book.
And you don't even have to write anything... it's already written!
A Look at the For-Free vs. For-Sale Issue...
Most website content is for free... so most e-books "lifted" from websites will probably be free. After all, if they can get it for free in one place, why not the other?
Hmm... Actually, I see no reason why some interested webmarketer might not try selling an e-book that reproduces his free website. Marketers of all sorts try different prices all the time - often including "free". And if you can gain access to entirely different market segments for your site and your e-book, one might reasonably be happy to pay for what the other expects for free.
I can think of one circumstance where it might make excellent sense to sell rather than give away what's free on your site... Translations. A complete translation of your site content into another language certainly sets you up to approach another market entirely. If it's one that doesn't have access to much useful material on your subject (most of it's in English?), those folks might be delighted to pay so that they don't have to wade through a language they're not proficient with.
And maybe everything on your site isn't free. If you sell access to a "private site" archive of some sort, selling a compilation of selections from that might make sense. Especially if your private site members could be persuaded to resell it for you! - via an affiliate program or resell rights.
Of course, you can make an e-book free and for sale... if you password-lock the for-sale portion/s. (And if you aren't a very well-known author, this is an excellent way to get your book out there - via free, viral downloads - and make some money selling the passworded part. That's kind of like having a free website that includes a membership "private site" as well...)
Also, some authors choose to sell e-books to the people who download directly from them... And let those people resell or give them away.
Oh, and of course if you do sell an e-book in some fashion... You really ought to consider setting up an affiliate program for it! If you don't want to go all out... ClickBank offers an easy means of doing this (for a single-tier program) and for inexpensively taking credit/debit card orders.
You/Should You Reproduce?
In any case, your whole website might not be needed for an e-book. (In fact, you'd probably do well to purposely leave something out... so the people who have never visited your site have a reason to go there also.)
Perhaps you'd be able to just focus on one type of content. (You can always allude to the rest in the book - providing links, of course!)
Even just one long article might be something people would love to read as an e-book. ...No one says a great book can't be short! (Another possibility is to submit just some of that article to online article directories and e-zines... Letting readers know that the rest of it is available in e-book form.)
Or you might indeed want to gather together all of, or a subset of, your own articles into book form. (You'd need permission to put someone else's work into an e-book of your own. That's a possibility too, though - since it would mean good exposure for the other author.)
Nor should we neglect graphical content... ArtToday.com could probably make a bundle selling "e-books" of web graphics by topic. (An e-book doesn't have to be downloadable - it could be on a CD.)
Choose content that's both of popular/timely interest and that hangs together well. That which hangs together well is almost a book already!
And you should definitely consider reproducing content that pre-sells (recommends and adds value to) one or more affiliate programs. ...Take full advantage of the viral aspect of e-books, and get your affiliate links in there! An e-book can be a wonderful way to promote affiliate programs (in the background, most likely).
Great Reason to Do This...
Turning your website into an e-book is a wonderful opportunity to review your site! ...All kinds of useful revisions and fruitful ideas can come out of that.
Gordon Pioneering - Copyright 10-2001
You are very welcome to reprint this article in
its entirety, including hyperlinks, if you'll also put this resource box at the end:
Sherry Gordon is the learn-it-and-pass-it-on creator of "The Affiliate Marketing Primer", at http://www.AffiliatePrimer.com/
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Many thanks for your interest!
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