It's an old practice for writers to collect their best works into one binder. The first recorded anthology, The Garland, dates as far back as the first century in Ancient Greece. It was a collection of epigrams by 46 Greek poets collected and prepared by Meleager of Gadara, a poet himself.
Today, publishing collected poems, stories or essays is a well-established practice. But another form of publication, the ebook, has become especially popular in the last decade. For busy readers who don't want to scroll through your entire blog or website, a smartly presented ebook can save time by offering valuable information in an easily digestible format.
If you want an easy way to grow your brand, here's why you should turn your best blog posts into a marketing ebook.
To celebrate your greatest hits
Every writer matures over time. It happens naturally because the job requires critical thinking, adaptability and insight. As you publish more posts over time, your expertise and archive grow into something really substantial. Unfortunately, most people are not going to go through your back catalogue to find all the good stuff. Get more mileage out of your most popular and valuable posts by bundling them into a convenient and impressive collection.
The first step to creating this ebook is selecting the appropriate blog posts. Make a list of posts with the most traffic, comments, or social shares. Take time to review them, make edits if needed, and add new material that boosts their value. Think about how to present your information visually: infographics, bullet-point summaries, helpful imagery, charts and graphs.
It really helps to choose a theme that connects all the articles into one comprehensive work. For example, if your blog is about parenting, you can choose only articles relating to pregnancy and thus create an underlying theme for the whole ebook.
To expand your audience reach
Using a different medium to tell your stories can help you expand your audience and attract new blog followers. ebooks are widely used today—there are many reading apps available for computers, phones and tablets. You can also find software, templates and tutorials on how to create ebooks in a variety of formats. Readers can download your ebook as a PDF, for example, and print it out or read it offline. With more opportunities to spend time with your content, new readers can get introduced to your work without feeling overwhelmed or pressed for time. It's a great way to grow your audience.
To build more credibility
Trying to establish and grow a blog is not an easy task. The world doesn't lack blog posts—it just needs to know where to find the right ones. Blog posts filled with experiences they can relate to and advice they can trust. That's why building credibility is important.
One way to sell your ebook is by self-publishing it on Amazon. The world's largest ebook marketplace can be a valuable source of new leads for your blog. Another bonus: it's much easier to be Kindle bestseller than a printed one, so you can earn authority faster that way.
Although anyone can self-publish a book these days, there's still no excuse for poor quality. In fact, much of your credibility will rely on the quality of your content. Consider asking an editor to make sure everything is consistent and in order, and ask a proofreader to review the final draft to catch any grammar or spelling errors.
To open another revenue stream
If you're using marketing ebooks for lead gen, you'll most likely be offering your ebook for free in exchange for contact information. But, that might not always be the case. There might be times you want to sell your ebook instead.
However, if you decide to go down this road, consider updating the material included in the ebook. People who are willing to give you money will expect something new and never before seen on your blog. You can lengthen those posts by fleshing them out with new information, quotes and insights. If you do this well, you can establish yourself as an expert in the field you write about, participate in panels, and even open up new co-branding partnerships. All of these opportunities can lead to new revenue streams.
To build thought leadership
If your brand is young, this is the perfect time to start learning about your niche, developing your own unique insights, and building thought leadership. ebooks can help you attract a community of fans who will evangelize you to other readers just like them.
For example, Amanda Hocking was a self-published author of young adult paranormal novels, and over time, her books became very popular. She invested her savings in publishing more books and soon became so famous that St. Martin's Press approached her with a real book deal. Now she is a well-respected author and a self-made millionaire.
Getting started with ebook publishing might seem like an intimidating or arduous task, but it really doesn't have to be. You can get a quick start by publishing a marketing ebook based on content you already know performs well. Best of all, you don't have to hire a designer or become an InDesign expert to deliver beautiful content. Use online tools and templates to give yourself a leg up—you'll be surprised what you can accomplish in just a few minutes.