4 Steps to Turn Your Older Content Into an eBook That Increases Your Site’s Revenue
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Writing an eBook may seem like a daunting task for publishers and website owners. Every month, thousands of people ask Google “how to write an eBook” or “how to sell an eBook,” reflecting the growing interest consumers have with eBooks (some researchers have even measured over 20% annual increases in eBook sales since 2020). Sure, writing an eBook can be lucrative — but how do you actually do it?
As digital agency Team Thunderfoot explained, “Writing an ebook gives you a great opportunity to reach potential customers and impress them with your industry knowledge, while helping them answer a question or solve a problem.” If you take the time to create an eBook, you’ll be creating a unique method of connecting with your audience that can lead to enormous income potential. Best of all — you can use your older and existing content to do it!
I’ve written several eBooks (and even signed a contract for a traditional book deal), and I was able to use my books to help build my 6-figure content creation business. One of the main reasons I was able to create these books? I simply used content I had already written.
In this article, you’ll learn a step-by-step guide to use your older content to create your own eBook for your site that will help to greatly increase your revenue.
Step 1: Write the Book Using Your Most Popular Posts
Years ago, I was an avid reader of leadership expert Michael Hyatt. He was a prolific blogger, author, and coach. When his New York Times best-selling book Platform: How to Get Noticed in a Noisy World (2012) came out, I bought it immediately.
When I started reading it, I was surprised to find that all the content was familiar to me — as if I’d seen it before. Sure enough, I looked at his content and realized the book was an expanded, in-depth version of his older blog posts!
This is an excellent strategy to use when creating your first eBook. You don’t have to write tens of thousands of brand new words from scratch; you can use your popular and most-read blog posts to include in your book. These are proven pieces of content you know that readers are already interested in, and can be a great outline for a table of contents or chapters in your book. Odds are, the majority of your traffic probably hasn’t seen all those posts, and the new audiences probably haven’t, either.
Compile your older, popular content into an eBook (shoot for between 5,000 and 10,000 words for a great first eBook). Don’t just copy and paste, be sure to expand and go more in-depth on that content, but you can use your older content to create a simple book outline and chapter layout.
Once you compile your draft, you’re ready for the next step.
Step 2: Hire a Designer To Format the Book for Kindle and E-Readers
Many people who read your eBook will simply download it from your site and read it as a PDF, but since we’re creating a true “eBook,” you’ll want your eBook to fit cleanly and nicely on the world’s most popular E-reader devices like Kindles and tablets.
I found a plethora of designers on places like Fiverr.com to help format my eBook so that it’d fit perfectly on different E-reader devices. I even hired some designers and artists to create some nice-looking eBook covers, creating graphics, logos, and color schemes to really make the book pop.
I did all this for under $100 dollars. Simply send them your content and have them format it for E-readers. Be sure to take time designing a truly stellar cover, as it’s one of the biggest factors potential buyers consider when buying your book.
Once you have the formatted files and the eBook looks clean and polished, you’re ready to upload it and start selling copies.
Step 3: Upload the Book Onto Amazon’s Kindle Direct Program (KDP)
Amazon has an incredible, free tool called their Kindle Direct Program (KDP) that allows people to upload eBooks and sell them on-demand to buyers. You can sell both electronic versions and even printed versions of your book — no book contract or official publisher required.
Once you upload your book onto Amazon, you can simply send the Amazon link to your audience, and whenever someone purchases the book, Amazon can print out the book on-demand and ship it directly to the consumer! You can also purchase a large amount of books yourself for a heavily discounted rate and ship the books from your home or business yourself, earning more direct profits than using a third-party system.
Note: this will require an Amazon account, and some restrictions apply based on what country you’re in. Simply go to Amazon’s KDP site, upload your formatted file, and start selling your book.
Step 4: Use Your Book to Increase Your Site Revenue
There are countless ways to earn more revenue from your book. Sure, you’ll earn revenue from book sales, but eBooks are natural fits for countless other revenue streams.
First, you can include affiliate links, content links, and promotions within your book, boosting your passive income over time from readers who purchase products through your links. Every time someone reads your book, they’ll see products you’re selling and other calls to action you may want to include.
You can also use your book as a giveaway for building your email list, as well as supplementing your existing products/services by also including a free copy of your book. Books are a simple, natural upsell for larger products and offers.
Finally, it’s an excellent lead magnet for you, providing a list of hot leads who’ve made a recent investment in your website and who are more likely to be open to upsells and browsing through other products/services you may offer. You can contact these readers about joining coaching programs, becoming members for your site, or simply reading more pieces of content you’ve created.
How Much Revenue Can You Earn From an eBook?
According to recent reports of author earnings, it’s not uncommon for professional writers to only earn a few thousand dollars in direct book sale revenue. If you’re only selling a simple eBook with no larger marketing strategy or income streams, you might not earn that much revenue. This can feel very discouraging for content creators trying to earn revenue through their site.
But these metrics don’t take other income streams into account, which is where the bulk of your revenue can come from. Let’s say you sell 100 copies of your book at $2.99. Amazon’s program takes a 30% cut from every sale, so that means you earn $2.09 each sale. At that rate, 100 sales means $209 dollars. Not bad.
But say from those 100 new customers, five of them buy your $49 online course — another potential $245 dollars. At that price, just a 5% upsell conversion rate earns you more than your book sale revenue!
Let’s keep going. Let’s say two of those students opt to purchase your coaching program, priced at $1000 dollars. That’s another $2000 dollars…money that stemmed directly from your eBook!
Of course, all this is easier said than done, and it’s predicated on using your eBook as a lead magnet. That’s why you need to be clear on this: you’ll earn the most revenue from eBooks when you have other related products to sell. Earning revenue solely from book sales is difficult, but you can see significant gains in revenue when you attach your other income streams there.
Some Hidden Benefits of Writing an eBook
In addition to the revenue you can earn from book sales, there are myriad hidden benefits to having an eBook on your site.
First, it builds enormous authority. As a content creator, being able to call yourself an “author” is a massive boost for your influence and legitimacy; not everyone can boast they have a book.
You can also use services like Amazon’s KDP tool to print out books and show them to potential audiences in-person, through your videos, webinars, or even at conferences/seminars. Having a physical copy of a book simply builds authority among audiences and readers.
Writing an eBook can also be extremely fast. When I signed my first book deal, going through a publisher and working with bookstores around the globe, it was a full 20 months from when I signed my contract to when my book actually launched. Almost two years! With an eBook, you could write it, format it, publish it, and sell it in a matter of weeks. You also keep a far larger cut of the profits.
Writing an eBook isn’t easy, but it’s easier than it’s ever been. It’s a quick, easy way to boost authority for your blog, create a new income stream for your site, and develop a powerful lead magnet that can open up truly enormous income potential when paired with your other products and services.
Anthony Moore is a writer, speaker, and coach. He's helped hundreds of entrepreneurs create successful businesses, and has gained over 7 million views for his work on entrepreneurship, personal growth, and productivity.
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