I have written a number of eBooks, sold them, gave them away for free online and also did sales for other people who have them as an affiliate and so I have a lot of experience to share about this.
I want to show you 5 different ways to sell an eBook online:
Here is a preview:
Every method requires their own preparation, but one thing you always have to have is the actual eBook ready so that’s what I want to cover first before I explain the options.
My experience has shown me that…
There’s 2 things that determine how well ebook sales will do:
1) The topic of the eBook itself.
If it is a controversial or popular topic, it can attract a wider audience. Also I have seen that very plain books can sell well if the topic is very well explained. The ebooks that have made me the most sales have never had many pictures or decorations, but they did have good information which led to sales.
2) The marketing of the eBook…
Which technically can make even the most boring eBook topic end up selling very well, although it’s better to have good marketing mixed in with a popular topic. Now the marketing of your product means where and how you sell it.
You can use one or all five of the bottom options, but if you find one of those things works best for you, I advise you only stick to it and only further work through that option.
I also want to quickly talk about PLR books which I know a lot of people love to buy and sell. I typically do not like the idea of doing this because most PLR books that re-sell in my experience have out of date information and can also be found for free.
If you plan on going ahead with this, you have to make sure the eBook you purchased isn’t redistributed somewhere for free and that it has good, up to date content that will help people.
1) Selling it from your website via SEO.
There’s 4 parts necessary to making this work:
Part 1: You need to have your eBook. We will call this your product.
Part 2: You need to have a checkout cart on your site so people can buy it.
Part 3: You need to have a website.
Part 4: You need to do SEO work on the website so it gets traffic so you can sell it.
In this option, the first 3 parts are much easier to do than the last. The last will require a lot more work and time on the website than on the actual eBook (product).
While you may think that it’s not worth it to spend all the time on your website writing when you already put in so much work on an eBook, my experience has shown me that it is.
Imagine having a website that gets 100 visits a day that sells your personal product for $5. That website makes 5 sales a day ($25) which can earn you $750 a month. This can happen if you do SEO.
You can also have 5, 10 and even more times the potential with your website if you keep working with it which means you can earn 4, 5 figure incomes monthly if you work on it.
If you know how to do SEO, you can reach these results in several months. Then by plugging in the idea of having a eBook targeting that popular topic, with a checkout cart, you would just have to link people to buy it and you can have consistent income coming in for a long time.
Example: If you have a make money blog that you do good SEO work on, you can hit 100’s of visitors daily and sell them an product you wrote on making money on the internet. You have a popular topic and good marketing mixed together here that can lead to amazing profits.
2) Using online ads to find customers.
You will need the same exact things as you had in the first option, but the only difference will be the last thing. Instead of doing SEO, you will do PPC instead and just like in the first option, the last part is also the most important because it is the marketing, but it is different than SEO.
You’re going to have to spend money to get ads high enough that people will find it and click on it. In order to do this, you will need to have:
A popular subject chosen. The more popular it is, the more visitors you will get, BUT it will also mean you will spend more, but I have found that this is the only way to make this work. Choosing boring or unpopular topics usually results in very few successful ads happening, so you need to aim for the most popular subjects. If you don’t have an eBook focused on that type of thing, stick to the first option instead.
Example: The way I would go about this option is I would have a very small website set up with a few pages aimed at selling my product. Let’s say the topic of that product had something to do with self help.
I would then visit a popular search engine where I can place ads online (Bing Ads is good) and set up ads as well as keywords to find the self help crowd. Follow the guidance of this tutorial if you plan on doing this because it’s very important that you’re careful about how you structure ads and how much you pay for this!
Once people land on the site, it’s VERY important that you immediately connect with them by relating to how your site and product will help them.
3) Use Amazon!
Although I have never sold anything I’ve written on Amazon, there are many people doing this through their digital goods area (Kindle, ect…).
Amazon gives you access to millions of people who just might be looking for something you have written about. The only good guide I have ever reviewed that talks about this subject is K Money Machine.
Update: K Money Machine is not in business anymore, but you can still get great training on promoting your own eBooks via the other methods to training in this program, that is by far my top most recommended on this site.
4) eBay works too!
I don’t think you’ll be able to advertise these types of products as well on eBay as you would on Amazon because generally the types of products you find on eBay aren’t really the same, but I do research on this and I have seen many people create digital products and put them up there and make sales.
What is important to succeeding with this plan is making the title of your product something related to a popular topic so you appear for it. How to make money online is for example a popular search term people type on eBay (and everywhere else).
5) Why not make your own affiliate program and get others to advertise it?
In most cases, when it comes to eBooks, this may not be the most ideal option because the general cost is too small to justify to have others advertise it and earn a commission, but perhaps you do have a product that costs, $20 or more and you can easily afford to pay someone 50% to market it for you.
Programs like Clickbank are the best places to do this from, as they offer easy set up programs to insert your eBook into it’s marketplace and have affiliates promote it!
If that is the case, then perhaps being a vendor and having 1 or more affiliates advertise it for you is the ideal option. Here is how you can do this.
Bonus: More great ways to sell your digital goods!
There are 3 more options I want to share that mainly relate to the 1st method above. In other words, you will need to have some kind of website with traffic coming in to make all of these ideas work. If you do, then it’s all a matter of where you send the traffic and/or what you do with it which is where these ideas will work and selling will become easy.
First option: Why not give away your product for free?
The reason you would want to do this is to collect an email list and from that list create a future list of leads that will continue buying from you.
You can also use this strategy to build up for a later sale. What I mean is, you give away something for free in the beginning, but the intention is that you grow a list of people, communicate with them to have them become loyal subscribers, then write a secondary product and advertise THAT to them. So this is a much more long term investment because you’re not directly selling to someone, you’re doing it far later after you’ve built a relationship with the subscriber.
Second option: You do the same thing as the first option, but in the free thing you give away, you add links which advertise things. This would also make me a lot of money. And it would also keep the person on my list in case I’d ever want to advertise them more things.
Now it’s important that you don’t force people to buy from your free eBook because they may feel cheated. What I did was, I just gave away free information on ways to deal with a problem and also provided them one optional product I recommend if they were interested, so even if they didn’t buy, they still had a few other options that would legitimately help them, thus I would keep the trust of my subscribers and I could sell it to them later if I wanted.
My final thoughts:
I strongly recommend that anyone who wants to sell eBooks and any products online really focus on creating a strong, traffic driven niche website they like before they even think of writing anything. It will make business and sales a lot easier in the future. In fact, here is one of the best tips for succeeding at selling eBooks like crazy:
And if you don’t own an eBook, don’t worry, you can promote people who own them earn commissions through affiliate marketing.
If you have any personal methods you’d like to share, let me know!
Update: More tips!
I have recently written a new article on this same subject and offered more, updated advice you can use to make this work. Here is the article. I hope you guys enjoy it 🙂
4 thoughts on “How to Sell an eBook 5 Different Ways Online.”
You asked at the end of your post about other ways to sell ebooks: A facebook fan page. You can join groups associated with your topic and if you want to try paid advertising you can target it by people’s interests.
And here’s another idea, you can have business cards made that show your site and your books and give them out at meet-up groups that might align with your niche. If you regularly hang out with people in your niche it might even be worth getting some printed copies of your book done on Create Space.
Love those ideas Deb! Thanks for sharing them 🙂
Great bit about selling ebooks. I am in the market to begin spending my time on this activity. Your section discussing trust was appealing. I am often under pressure to “make it happen” but you are absolutely right….trust is key. I never buy when I feel that a business or a product is a “one off” cheaply made piece of trash. I will definitely take your advice!
The problem is that it’s hard to tell nowadays if the eBook is indeed bad or good. I’ve read ones with bad covers you’d think were low quality but ended up teaching me a lot and I’ve also read ones which had great covers, but horrendous, low quality info.
Just aim to have the best quality eBook made with a great cover and market it well, that should turn out the best results Marc.