In this article, I’m going to show you how you can create your own eBook from a blog post, or from scratch. For bloggers, I’ve found that it’s pretty easy to take your blog content and repurpose it for a lead magnet.
What is an ebook?
An ebook is a digital, downloadable book that you can put on your computer or even print out if you want. They are usually made up of PDFs but there are other types of eBooks as well.
The benefit of having an eBook is that its reusable content. You don’t have to create something new every time someone wants it. Instead, you can just update the content and then send everyone who has already downloaded or purchased an update link to them (this is called an affiliate link).
You’ll want to locate a program that you can use to create your ebook. This might be free software or paid software. You can grab an ebook template from many of the options below.
Microsoft Word: This is the best place to start when you’re looking for free software. Microsoft Word is used by just about everybody and it should be compatible with most other types of programs, including Adobe PDFs which are necessary for ebooks.
Oftentimes, I will simply create a new document in Word, copy and paste my blog, clean up the layout, add a cover from Canva, and print to PDF (with the links).
Office 365: if you already have an Office 365 account, you can create ebooks using Word, OneNote, or PowerPoint. The benefit of having the full office suite is that your files can be stored online automatically rather than on your computer hard drive.
Canva: I love Canva. I use it every day throughout my daily blog activities. It’s great for making lead magnets such as ebooks, checklists, and infographics. For ebooks, it’s best to create a 5-10 page document with the cover, table of contents, and then sections for each blog post.
Creative Market: You can find designers that create ebook templates. I recommend checking out the one below because it’s specifically for ebooks.
Sellfy: Sellfy is another option that you can pay to have your lead magnet created via an agency or freelancer. You can find sellers here to create ebook templates, checklists, videos, logos, infographics, and more. Sellfy is best for someone that wants to create digital products to sell.
Check out this article on making money with Low Content Books.
If you aren’t using an ebook template like Canva Pro, It is best to use Adobe Acrobat Pro to create the files. Most other programs will work but Adobe has specific tools for formatting ebooks which you can’t get in Microsoft Word or Apple Pages. It also allows you to link directly to your affiliate links so that you don’t have to worry about redirection.
How to Create an ebook
Writing an ebook isn’t too hard if you already have a blog and you’re trying to create a lead magnet. If you can, use an ebook template, like the ones at Canva so you’ll be able to easily fill in the blanks.
If you are using a blog post, and have the Beacon.by plugin, your blog will be inserted into a template that allows you to fill in the author profile, intro, call to action, etc.
If you are creating a new ebook in a word processor from scratch, here’s how to do it:
1. Write the book in full and save each chapter as a separate document in your word processing program.
2. Create a table of contents with links to each individual blog post.
3. Use Adobe Acrobat Pro to link the blog posts to the correct location.
4. Add links to your affiliate links and other marketing pages (like a sales page).
Adding the details: Once you’ve written and formatted your book, you’ll want to add all of the relevant information that is available.
Adding Relevant Information:
There are several places where you will need to add this information before distributing it.
Copyright: The copyright symbol will need to be added to your ebook. It’s done by going into the Properties of each file and clicking on the Details tab.
Disclaimer: Similar to a copyright, it is best practice (and required by the FTC) that you provide a disclaimer regarding your book and any disclaimers regarding affiliate links. Amazon no longer allows affiliate links in its ebooks. Instead, you would need to create a page on your website with the product, and include that link rather than the special link from Amazon.
Cover design: Your cover needs to look professional. Most people will judge an ebook by its cover, so it’s important that you spend some money on getting a professional-looking design. You can hire someone on Creative Market or Fiverr to do this for you. Or, you can use Canva which has ebook covers available for free.
Once you’ve created your ebook, you will need to convert it into different formats. For lead magnets, a PDF works best. When you create an ebook in Word, Pages, or Canva, you can easily print it to PDF.
Beacon.by, the WordPress plugin, also allows you to print to PDF either by download (with a paid subscription), or link.
You can create EPUB files using Adobe Acrobat, but they won’t look like ebooks on the kindle unless you upload them via Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) dashboard. Once submitted, make sure that your book file is titled with the .azw extension.
You can also use Calibre to convert your ebooks into MOBI files for free, but it does require some additional settings. You will want to make sure that you select UTF-8 as one of the encoding types when saving your file.
How To Offer Your eBook
Offering your ebook in a funnel is the best way to use it as a lead magnet. It will allow you to build an email list while providing them with content that they can’t get anywhere else.
The best way to offer your ebook on a blog is with a pop-up, slide-in, hello bar, or inline form.
Depending on your website, you may have built-in integration for your lead magnet offers.
For example, my brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands build WordPress websites with lead magnet offer tools already integrated. They partner that with your favorite email autoresponder, or theirs (Keap), to deliver the lead magnet.
If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, you might not have all of these features available to you by default. But there are many companies that can help with this.
LeadPages offers lead magnet pop-ups on your blog or website.
Optinmonster: Offers pop-ups and slide-ins that you can place on your website.
Many of the email marketing software offers lead magnets.
Klaviyo allows you to add up to three lead magnets directly in your welcome email template.
Your email provider for your list will determine the type of form that you can create within it. For example, Mailchimp allows a thank-you page after someone subscribes through a link in an autoresponder. Or it can be integrated with Klaviyo or Optinmonster if you prefer those platforms instead.
Pricing Your Ebook:
Pricing is at the discretion of the author, but there are some considerations when deciding between offering your ebook as a free download or at a price point.
When offering it on your blog as a pop-up form, the user has the option of entering their email address before they download it. If they do not give you their email address, they will not receive any follow-up information from you in the future.
Free Ebooks: A lot of authors make their ebooks available for free by either publishing them to sites like Medium or SlideShare. They may choose this route because these platforms provide traffic to their content and brand awareness of who they are or what they have to offer. These ebooks receive a lot of downloads because the only requirement is an email address.
The ebook Sales Funnel:
Your sales funnel can be as simple as a pop-up form on your blog with a link to the sales page on Amazon, or as complex as a multi-phase email automation campaign that drives them from content into the sales process.
A good rule of thumb is that it’s not about how much you have to offer for free, but how engaging and helpful those pieces of content are. If they’re compelling enough, then those free items will build trust for whatever products or services you want to sell later on down the line.
An example of this might be offering an ebook about which social media sites you should join. Then continuing to engage with them via emails by providing more advanced training about Facebook ads and other digital marketing strategies.
The goal of your sales funnel is to move the reader from your blog or newsletter to making a purchase.