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10 Must Haves for Your Best-Selling Ebook
By: Kori Puckett
Content People Want
Now before you say "Duh", this is where many people mess it up. Before they can even get out the gate they're destined to fail because they create a product that nobody wants. Sort of defeats the purpose.
You don't want to just make money with your product (otherwise, you won't be making money for long), you want to fulfill a want/desire of your customers or satisfy an obsession (aka hobby ;) of theirs. You want to genuinely help them, satisfy their "craving" so to speak.
Having content that people want is the number 1 must-have for having a potential best-seller on your hands. (You'll see why I say potential in a minute).
An Online Audience Willing to Buy
Even if you have content that people want, those people have to be online and easily accessible. You're going to be selling a digital book, after all.
People may want the latest Harry Potter book offline, but that doesn't necessarily mean they'd be willing to buy an ebook about the subject online. Some things just don't do well online.
That's why it's important to test to see if you have an online audience and if that audience is willing to buy what you have to offer. One of the easiest ways to do that is to find ezines and forums that reach your target market and survey their subscribers/members. You could have several product ideas in the survey and ask their opinion on each.
Go to www.google.com and type in "(target market/niche topic + ezines"). For example, if I wanted to see if there were any ezines for tennis enthusiasts, I'd type in "tennis ezines".
Whoever said not to judge a book by its cover must have said it before the Internet was invented. A picture really is worth a thousand words here.
Just like you wouldn't be tempted to buy from a clunky-looking website, so you wouldn't be willing to buy a product with a cheap graphic. (Or would you)?
Either have a professional looking graphic, or don't have a graphic at all. Your sales will only hurt with a poor-looking ebook cover.
Either way, don't kill yourself or waste your time trying to create a graphic if you aren't the best artist in the world or don't know a lick about web graphic design. Either use a cover template, buy some ecover software, or hire a professional online graphic designer.
Targeted, Unique Bonuses
Why, you ask?
Let's say you sell a product very similar to others in the market. With one difference. You don't have a bunch of ebooks that have been around for eons (and that have nothing to do with the main product) as bonuses. You have bonuses that you've created (or product by others you've packaged together) yourself.
And if people want your bonuses, then they're going to have to buy through you. You're the only person they can get them from!
Unique bonuses can be others' products packaged together in a unique way...
...or, even better, something that you develop yourself.
For example, let's say you have a product a product on ezine publishing. You could take someone else's ebook on interviews with ezine publishers and someone else's ezine publishing software that you have resell/redistribution rights to and make a package that you call the Ultimate Ezine Publishing Package, or something like that.
And the same principle applies here as it does with the creation of your main product--you don't have to create the content from scratch.
Or you could do it from scratch and create your own ebook on interviews with ezine publishers or develop your own software (or have it developed for you).
A Home On the Web
That includes giving your ebook it's own domain name and a website with reliable web host. It makes your ebook that much more special.
You can get domain names really cheap nowadays. They used to cost you $70/$80 dollars annually, but now you can get them for under $10. Just do a search on Google for "cheap domain registration" or "cheap domain names".
Whichever domain name registration service you use, make sure you have control over your domain name. This allows you to move it to whatever web host you want to, in case you have trouble with any of them.
And with your web hosting service, make sure they provide 24/7 customer support. And that you have at least 99% uptime, web based control panel to make changes to your website in addition to the ftp capabilities, access to a secure server license (even if you have to pay extra for it), and email accounts.
Another "Duh" point. No traffic=no people looking at your salespage=no customers or leads. I'll suggest some of the usual things you might have heard (or will hear soon enough, if you haven't), because the usual does work.
Forget ffa link pages and free classified sites and even safelists. Those things have never worked for me. You'd have to spend weeks, even months, on those before you even see any results. And by results, I mean, one or two hits to your site. You can download my free report Setting the Record Straight On Free Advertising for seven dos and don'ts of free promotion online.
Writing articles has worked for me. That's my number one traffic/lead generation method (mainly because it's free...and I like writing). The best thing about having your own ebook is that you won't have to write the article from scratch. You could choose an excerpt, or parts of the ebook, from your ebook as the article, then link to the product offer in your resource box.
Paid advertising has worked for me, also, to some extent. But I don't like spending money just to get traffic. If I'm going to spend money, I'd much rather use it to get leads--for e-courses or free reports. I'll talk about leads a little later on.
But traffic as a necessity is such a "duh" point that I'm going to move on to the next tip ;)
Effective Marketing Strategy
This is the key to getting traffic. This is why I called your best-selling ebook a potential best-selling ebook earlier. This is what takes your potential best-selling ebook with best-selling content and actually makes it a best-seller.
Even if it has the best content for your market in the world, it's not going to sell itself...unless you have an effective marketing strategy in place.
This isn't just setting up a joint venture or two, or writing an article and distributing it to a handful of ezine publishers. That will give you some quick traffic but not enough to really profit from.
The real key to an effective marketing strategy is persistence. It is persistently doing joint ventures and persistently distributing articles that promote your new ebook. And persistently doing any other traffic-generating techniques you can think of. And in order to be persistent, you have to stick to a list or schedule of things to do.
For example, at the end or beginning of each day, write down the marketing strategy you'll use to promote your ebook for the day. It could be setting up a pay-per-click account with Google or Overture. It could be sending an article to 100 (or even just 5) publishers. It could be sending a joint venture offer to 5-10 people. It could be writing a free, viral report or ebook to promote your paid ebook, etc.
Make a schedule and stick to it.
Best-selling Sales Page and Sales Letter
No bells and whistles, no flashy website templates. Just a simple 2 or 3 page website that appeals to the emotion of your target audience, not their logic.
But even the appeal to emotion has to be logical. Meaning, that if you're trying to sell your weight loss ebook, then don't tell them they can lose 90 pounds in 30 days or something outrageous. Even if, miraculously, that were possible, it still has to sound reasonable and truthful. Avoid hype at all costs and try to stay away from ad copywriting that's been repeated ad nauseum.
For example, you wouldn't want to write a salesletter with "Make Thousands of Dollars While You Watch TV" as the headline. You're too smart a cookie for that. ;)
Those kinds of headlines don't really work anymore. (Not most of the time, anyway). People tune that out nowadays. They want specifics. You need to make yourself and your product stand apart from the crowd of hype.
Be sure to include all of the necessary elements in a salesletter--aka the emotionally-riveting benefits, believable guarantee, great headline, etc.
One thing you can do is study and copy a proven best-selling salesletter. In the Best-Sellers Online manual, Jimmy Brown provides a tutorial outlying the construction of his salesletter for Profit Pulling Newsletters.
An alternative is to hire a professional copywriter or get some kind of instant salesletter software emplate.
Top Notch Payment Processor
You've gotta have a way to take orders. And you have to have a reliable way of taking orders. Otherwise, the whole purpose is defeated. ;)
You can go with a merchant account or the more popular third party payment processor, like Clickbank.
Important things to look for in a payment processor: real time stats, easy access to account, prompt payment, 24-7 customer service, good reputation, and the ability to support an affiliate program (if you plan on having one).
And you might want a backup payment processor in case your primary one suffers downtime (or hackers or any other catastrophe). That way, when it happens, you can quickly change the order link on your page and not have to suffer through too many losts sales until your primary payment processor gets up and running again.
A Way to Follow-Up With Those Who Don't Purchase Right Away
Okay, so you've been testing your salesletter and know that you have a 2% conversion rate, which is pretty good. But you need a way to contact the 98% that don't buy. You rack your brain thinking of how to do this.
You can offer free samples from your best-seller to entice people to make the purchase.
You could offer a free, multi-part (usually 7) report by email that's related to your ebook and frequently mention your ebook. Or you could compile that report into an ebook and get people to request it by email. Or you could offer a demo rial/lite version of your ebook and get people to request that by email.
You could also offer a subscription to your ezine where you'll mention your new ebook frequently.
For all of that (especially free reports and e-courses), you'll probably want to use an autoresponder.
In either case, get those email addresses, including the email addresses of those who do buy. They've already bought from you. And provided that you did your job and gave them best-seller content, they'll be the first people you should contact when you're ready to launch something else similar to what they've already paid for.
About the Author
Kori Puckett is the web mistress of Webpay Success and the creator of Best-Sellers Wanted, a comprehensive package for future best-selling ebook authors. Get step-by-step instructions for creating and profiting from your own best-selling ebook by visiting http://www.webpay-success.com/bs.