Suzy: Week 17 Goals – Writing eBooks

Suzy's Goals for her travel blog, Week 17 - Monetize her travel blog
11 December 2009 Post Author:
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If you’re wondering what this Case Study is all about, please read the introductory post from Week One.

You can browse through all the older installments here.

Last week we talked about how Suzy is starting to create her own Direct Advertising Agreements.

This week we’re discussing how she can write an eBook (or even more than one) as a potential revenue source for her Travel Blog.

I chat with travel writers and travel bloggers daily, and many of them – like Suzy – are honestly surprised when I suggest that they write an eBook. They’re surprised because they underestimate their own depth of knowledge, and what that knowledge offers to others.

So what can I write about?

Each step in the Flow Chart links to explanations, free tools, and resourcesRegardless of your travel blog’s niche, compilations of tips and advice are always popular, especially when you can save the reader a lot of time and energy in not having to do the research to turn up all that advice. The more specialized or advanced the tips and advice, the more an eBook compilation is worth.

If there is something you know how to *do*, write an eBook to teach it to others by breaking down the process into easy-to-follow steps.

Some examples:

  • Do you blog about traveling with pets? Write an eBook that combines tips on choosing the right pet carrier with advice on how to make traveling with a pet stress-free and/or how to be a good guest when you do travel with a pet;
  • Blog about France and all things french? Write an eBook explaining common french foods to help ease travelers’ stress over ordering in a restaurant, or how to get the most out of those quickie bus tours of Paris;
  • Focus on traveling for seniors? Write a compilation of local restaurants and attractions that offer senior discounts or senior days, and consider asking local merchants if they’ll offer an exclusive coupon for your readers;
  • Backpacking travel your niche? – possible eBook topics include the ultimate backpackers packing list (break it down by hosteling backpackers/flashpackers and those that are outdoors enthusiasts), great weekend backpack trips by state or region, a review guide of top backpacks and other gear, or tips on how to choose the best gear for you;

Make a list of what you know by topic, then break that down into an outline of what knowledge you have to offer. You may be surprised to find that you know more than you think you do!

Tip: Worried that all the tips you have to offer are already freely available elsewhere online? Keep the price low, so that readers will buy for the convenience of not having to gather all the info themselves. Or consider using that eBook as a giveaway, perhaps to subscribe to your mailing list.

A few tips to remember:

Read some other eBooks first – to get an idea of structure, layout, and design. Make note of the ones you like and what you like about them. It’s perfectly acceptable to use other eBooks for ideas, as long as you’re not plagiarizing the content.

Ask for feedback – if it’s your first eBook, ask a few friends to give you honest feedback on the content and value of what you’re offering.

Use images – they can illustrate or clarify a point, and break up the content so it doesn’t feel like reading a text book;

Pricing is critical – keep it reasonable, but in line with the value of what you’re offering. You may need to do some research to see what similar eBooks (either by topic or the type/value of the information) are selling for. ClickBank is free to join and offers a wealth of statistical data on thousands of eBooks.

Example: Andy Hayes’ eBook “Just What Works: Write Right Online” (that I reviewed earlier this week) is full of good, useful information, but still affordably priced at $27. So affordable that I didn’t wince over purchasing it. Had it been priced higher, I might have hesitated to buy it – or, given that it’s really geared for beginning bloggers, I might have been disappointed. But at the price level I paid, I was pleased.

Stay tuned! Next week we’ll discuss how Suzy is tracking and analyzing her website’s performance and statistics.

~Trisha

Have you written an eBook? Share your advice!

8 Responses to “Suzy: Week 17 Goals – Writing eBooks”

  1. Carter says:

    Been reading the back posts about the Suzy Case studies. Thanks for the great information. Don’t know when I’d be able to write an eBook (school — writing enough papers), but I’d like to write one.

    • Hi Carter – thanks!

      Sometimes it’s hard to get started because it can seem overwhelming. Try just jotting down a few topic ideas, and then add some notes in an outline format as they pop into your brain. Don’t try to flesh it out until you really feel ready and inspired to write. By then you should have the “guts” of it and it should flow more easily. Good luck!

  2. Dave and Deb
    Twitter:
    says:

    OK, once again you have inspired me. I am going to brainstorm over this next year of travel and come up with an ebook idea. I never really thought about an ebook before. But once again, whenever I visit the Travel Writers Exchange I feel that anything is possible.
    .-= Dave and Deb´s last blog post: Top 5 Memorable Massages in the World =-.

  3. I write travel books both e- and print. If you set it up right, you can get both books out of the same manuscript, wiht just doing a back cover extra. I publish my books with GuideGecko.com, and it allows you to do both. One ebook is only 11 pages (including cover) with lots of photos, and the other is 68 pages, including TOC and end pages. It’s both e- and print. I would recommend checking out GuideGecko.com for travel guides. It’s free to post them.

    Guess I sound like an advertisement for GuideGecko but I am really pleased with them.

    Oh, Trisha, great column!

  4. I’m really loving this series, Trisha. I just wrote my first ebooklet, “Don’t Get Caught With Dirty Drawers. ” It is 10 pages of tips for people traveling to Calabria (southern Italy.) I think short reports and tips booklets are less intimidating and much easier for (overwhelmed) travel bloggers to finish.
    .-= Cherrye at My Bella Vita´s last blog post: Travel Tip Tuesday: First Five Things To Do When Planning a Trip to Italy =-.

    • Hi Cherrye – thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you’re enjoying the case study :)

      I totally agree with you – starting out with shorter ebooklets is a great way to test the waters and find what works. And I LOVE the title of your booklet – very creative!

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