Over the past 12 months, I’ve launched 3 different eBooks. Since I’m in a learning process with regards to creating products, I’ve tried 3 different techniques. It’s not a surprise that I’ve gotten 3 different results. But the most surprising is that I didn’t expect such results.
Today, I’m sharing the results from my 3 different eBook launches. I can tell that you have never heard of my 3rd eBook on TFB yet and this is probably the most surprising! You want to know more? You gotta read this article till the end ;-).
If you have been reading The Financial Blogger for at least a year, you certainly know about my biggest success of 2011: Dividend Investing. To date, I’m at 19,349 downloads and made roughly $2,000 through different affiliate programs. The book itself is pretty complete for any beginner investor who wants to know how to invest in dividend stocks.
At first we offered it free for 4 months or so. It went completely viral and I received a lot of support from other bloggers along with some media mentions. After the first month, we were already over 6,000 downloads. Then, in October, we decided to offer the eBook to those who subscribe to our newsletter. This has helped up tremendously and we are now getting 15 to 20 subscriptions per day (see how I’ve built my newsletter for more details). The best part is that less than 10% of my subscribers quit the newsletter after receiving 5 emails from me (over a period of 3 months). After almost a year (the book was launched in June 2011), I’m still getting about 20-30 downloads per day (some people get links that they don’t have to subscribe to the newsletter since the eBook download link was posted everywhere back then and have yet to change all of them…).
The fact that I made a few bucks with this book is fun. But the real goal was to establish my credibility in the dividend investing niche. Now that this has been a success, it has created a very important reader base that enjoys my content. The next step with this community is to be able to “up sell” them with our next eBook and other products. The key will be to provide a very valuable product so they don’t feel that I’m trying to pull a quick buck out of their pockets ;-).
My second eBook experience was with my Rat Race eBook. This one is far from being a success and I’ve already explained what went wrong (read the details here). In the light of my experience and after few months of promoting this eBook, I’m now able to nail exactly the problem of this book: the range is too wide.
When you go for a wide range, you go for a mass public. The problem with the mass public is that you automatically compete with the big guns that are already successful with it. Therefore, my Rat Race eBook was going head-to-head with The Wealthy Barber or Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I’m definitely not a Best Selling author so I can’t go against such incredible huge institutions! That was the problem with Rat Race.
Everybody thought: “hmmm… that’s another “personal finance and get rich” book”. The book and its presentation sound like that… and this is the problem! I had a concept of writing 4 eBooks including 4 different steps but I should have written only 1 big fat book with the 4 steps included! It would have been more narrow in scope and better defined.
But even now, if I had to do it all over again, I would never write about this topic. The personal finance and “improve your finance” topic is too general and as a small blogger, I can’t compete in this huge industry. Instead of writing a general book on how I have succeeded, I should have written a specific book on how I’ve built an online empire that generates a sustainable cash flow in two years.
This is the third example that is the best of all in my opinion. Why? Because this is the one that generated the biggest surprise!
If I tell you that we produced an eBook without a fancy cover page, without an official launch and on a site that gets roughly 500 visitors/month, would you believe that we are able to sell it? I’m actually selling about 3 eBooks per month over the past 4 months on this site! I do that without any promotion, without any newsletter or a link back strategy.
This all started as a very small project where we thought it would be interesting to put together a lot of content that has been written about a specific topic and build an eBook around it. There was a lot of content that had already been written but nothing was formatted and shaped into a book format. We spent a few hours to put everything together and wrote the missing pieces.
Then, we formatted the eBook in a “school textbook style”. This means that it’s easy to read but not as fancy as some eBooks. We included a few pictures to make it more fun but 3 hours later, everything was wrapped up and online. The price is $9.95 and available through e-junkie.
We didn’t advertise the eBook as we just thought it was worthwhile to put 10 hours or so into it and see how it goes. We actually thought we’d see if we were going to sell 2 -3 eBook before going back into it and make it even better. We are 4 months later and the product has been pretty good. We not only sell 3 eBooks/month but also get great comments from the buyers! What is very exciting is to play around the numbers. Right now, we are making roughly $30/month with a site that gets 500 visitors. Imagine if we can get this site to get 5,000 visitors? This would probably generate revenues of $300/month. Even at $200/month, this would be awesome since this is pure passive income. Once the book is done, there is nothing else to work on!
What’s the secret behind this small eBook? It’s darn targeted to a very specific and narrow audience. This book covers 1 very specific need and is made for 1 situation only. While we probably can’t sell 500 books per month ever (even with a substantial traffic), this tell us that we are way better off creating very specific books and aim at very small audiences. It takes less time to build and your sales are way easier (read PASSIVE!). This is another way to reach the blogging’s Holy Grail.
Oh… I’m sure you want to know what eBook I’m talking about, right? Hehehe! It’s Passing Your CFA Exam in 12 Weeks.
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