The Easy eBook: Electronic Storytelling Goes Beyond Novels

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The illustrious “eBook” is something that the Kindle world is more than familiar with. Who wouldn’t love a whole collection of their favorite novels in the small space of an iPad? But, these marvelous works of electronic storytelling does not stop with novels.

Professionals have been gobbling up trade publications and business tricks in the form of eBooks for years now. So, how can you, a “lowly” startup, take part in all the fun? Well, it’s probably easier than you think. Let’s break it down.

Leverage Your Existing Content

The first mistake you’re probably making is assuming that you have to start from scratch and come up with an entire book’s worth of new content to fill your shiny new publication. In actuality, you’ve probably been building a library of tips, tricks and anecdotes for a long time.

Take your blog for example, aren’t those blog posts just mini chapters on a specific topic? If you run a graphic design company, then you’ve probably been posting blogs about visual hierarchy, marketing and conversion. Perhaps, even general trends in the space. Right there, you’ve got the makings for a solid Digital Design 101 eBook.

It’s more than just your blog, though. If you have a website, you have tons of information already floating around out there. This information can include case studies, “about us” pages and philosophies. Comb through the content and see what you have. Not only can you pull information directly from your site and expand on it, but you can use the information as inspiration for a larger, all-original book.

Listen to What Your Customers Want

Alongside your wealth of existing content, you probably have piles of comments, along with feedback and criticism from your friends, family and customers. Rather than going to market with a shot-in-the-dark eBook, you can take into account what people have already told you they want.

Which blog posts are performing best? Which Facebook posts get the most likes? What customer service complaints do you get? Taking a cue from your customers will ensure that the eBook is successful, but more importantly, it will ensure that you aren’t wasting your time on developing content to begin with.

Create and Edit Your Info

Now that you’ve determined what people want to hear and you’ve compiled the already-finished content you want to feature, it’s time to actually create your masterpiece. While a bulk of the work could already be done from existing blog posts, you’ll probably need to piece together a plan and structure. How should the content be grouped? How long should it be?

Beyond this, you’ll want to set up some general commentary to allow the book to flow as one unit, rather than a disjointed pastiche of your previous blogs. Write intros, conclusions, transitions, etc. It won’t take much time, but trust us; it will add some personality, depth and reliability to your book making it a much more viable product.

Provide Sneak Peeks

Now that you’ve got your ideal content, you’ve built it out and you know it’ll be received well. How do you make it worth your while? Sure, you might want to offer your eBook for download for a reasonable price (probably a few dollars, depending on the size), but try to take things a step further.

Most people are more likely to buy something if they can get a sneak peek and feel comfortable about their full purchase. Offer up a chapter or two for free and let users take things for a spin. Then, offer a download for the whole eBook. A solid marketing tactic is also about offering discounts, promotions and giveaways for signing up for an email list or following your social channels.

The takeaway here is to make the process as easy as possible. Your core business is (probably) not writing books. So, does it make sense for you to take valuable time away from your business to write a book in its entirety? Probably not. Leverage your content and use the product as a tool for your business.

Another takeaway is to remember that selling the eBook shouldn’t be your only goal. Maybe even give it away (depending on how much work you put in). Remember, the goal is to build brand trust and gain advocates. If you’re an authority on something, your fans will follow.

Savannah Marie is a writer and consultant for Clarity Way. She writes for various publications about creative content marketing, social media and public relations.

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BizBrag is Looking Better than Ever!

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We’re so excited to release the newest update to http://www.bizbrag.com! Our new look is sleek and sophisticated, and our new changes to the Braggit Creation process make it easier than ever to see exactly what your Braggit will look like while you’re creating it. Be sure to check out our new updates and tell us what you think!

Making Social Media Effective for YOUR Business

social-media

Blogging and Social Media Marketing can be powerful tools, but should every business be using them?

Many small businesses employ a technique which I refer to as ‘Social for the sake of social’;’ this term references people and businesses which use social media because they feel as though they should be, but without any real strategic direction.

This can be a drain on time and resources and may actually water down your brand and weaken your brand message. But how do we decide?

This is a question which can only really be answered by yourself, but below are a few ideas and suggestions which may help you make up your mind.

Your main competitors are doing it. Read more of this post

Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr – Are Image-Based Sites the Future of Business Social Media?

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Trying to keep up with social media changes certainly isn’t easy. One day you’re trying to learn about this up-and-coming thing called Bebo, and in the blink of an eye it’s lost and forgotten in the internet graveyard, along with Geocities and MySpace. Of course, being ahead of the pack when it comes to social media can be a real benefit – you get to stake out a presence, become a big player, and benefit hugely from expansion as an already visible and influential participant.

The Appeal of Image-Based Sites

It isn’t easy to accurately predict what the next big thing is going to be. The meteoric rise of Pinterest and the popularity of other image-based sites amongst affluent consumers and coveted demographics is giving indications that image sites may well be one of the best ways for businesses to interact online. There are a couple of factors that are leading to their growing influence:

  • instagramSpeed: Increases in broadband penetration and speed of smartphones makes it easier than ever to view images online.
  • Ease: Even incredibly basic cellphones now come with cameras, many of which can take impressive photographs.
  • Familiarity: We’re now used to using images to chronicle our lives, tell stories, and share experiences with friends.

Business Implications

tumblrThese sites let you show your clothing, accessories, or any other product range more easily than when working with a platform that’s not designed for images. Image-based sites have another interesting implications for business. People are more likely to remember something they’ve seen then something they’ve read, due to differences in how the two forms of information are viewed and processed. In addition, once you’ve viewed something in person or in a picture, your brain will pay more attention to further instances of that item in your life – in other words, you’re more likely to notice a brand when you can see it.

Image-based sites let you show who you are, what you do and what your brand stands for in a more subtle way. Who you follow and what images you share say a lot about you, but that message is funneled through the viewer’s interpretation of the image. So, they may well be the future, but careful steps forward are likely to be necessary.

Adrienne Erin is a blogger and aspiring writer. Eventually she’d like to write a book, but for now she freelances for a variety of businesses that sell everything from apps to science lab cabinets. When she’s not blogging about tech and social media, you might find her practicing her French, whipping up some recipes she found on Pinterest, or obsessing over vintage postcards and stamps.

Top 4 Apps for Marketing

marketing-apps

The saying “There’s an app for that!” has never been more true.

Today we can order clothes and food, connect with our friends, and even do business through a secure app on our mobile phone, tablet computer, or even your desktop computer. With these kinds of apps becoming more advanced all the time, your business marketing efforts aren’t complete without a helping hand from the App Store.

Here we look at the top 5 apps for marketing you can’t live without:

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How To Turn One-Time Buyers into Loyal Customers

customer-loyaltyAn ever increasing number of people are using the Internet to buy their goods and some have claimed that this was one of the reasons for the recent demise of Comet – a large electrical retail outlet that once had over 150 stores. With competition increasing on the internet it is important to make the most of every customer who decides to make a purchase from you by persuading them into repeat purchases from you. Here are some tips on how you can go about doing this:

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How to Produce Smart Content for Small Businesses

smart-contentYour small business website deserves more content than just a few pages of generic blurbs. If you want to inspire and excite your customers, you need to provide content that is unique and offers relevant information that engages your readers. By featuring smart content on your site, you’ll attract fresh attention to your company. Here are a few strategies that you can employ that will not only engage your audience, but boost your SEO as well! Let us know what you think of these strategies in the comments, and feel free to add some of your own, as well! Read more of this post

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