As we discussed in the previous article, creating a mailing list giveaway is a great way to encourage readers to sign-up to your newsletter. One popular option for creating such an incentive is to produce an eBook. This might seem like a big task, but that isn’t the case at all.
Where to Find the Content
There are many different ways to produce an eBook and creating it needn’t be a massive undertaking. One popular approach is to compile posts previously published on your blog into a single document. As well as allowing you to quickly create the eBook, this approach often provides an easier way for your readers to ingest your content as you can structure it in a more organized format.
How to Choose the Posts
Compiling a selection of posts from your site that have been written on a particular topic is a good way to create a useful resource on a single theme for your readers. While the information is already available on your site, it might not be easy to find and read in a sequential manner. Structuring the document in a chronological order can make it easier for readers to follow as opposed to having them search out the individual articles on your site, which may also be interspersed with posts on other topics.
Collating all your posts on a particular topic, and creating for example, the Ultimate Guide to MailChimp can be a simple and effective way to create an email sign-up incentive for your mailing list or newsletter.
How to Produce the eBook
Once you’ve identified the content that will be used to form your eBook, it’s simply a case of transferring the content into a single document in an application like Word and creating an introduction page. Additional information that can be included could be a front cover using your logo, a contents page, and a concluding summary. In the event of your document being shared or distributed elsewhere, it is important to brand the document and include links back to your website throughout so readers can find their way to the source of the document.
Creating the eBook in Word
The first step is to create the front cover. In Word, click on the ‘Insert’ menu, then ‘Cover Page’ and then choose one of the options. Then it’s just a case of entering your details and copying your logo from your website if you have one.
The next step is to create the contents page. Word also makes this easy for you by creating an auto-updating, clickable table of content for your document. To insert the table of contents, click on ‘References’ from the menu, then ‘Table of Contents’, and then select one of the ‘Automatic Tables’ options.
Word will now use the headings in your document as the entries for the table of contents. To turn a title into a heading, highlight the text and then select the appropriate heading. By default Word will use anything formatted using Heading 1 for a new chapter in the table of contents, and Heading 2 formatted text will be used as sub-chapters.
If you only want to use Heading 1 formatted text for the chapters, and not use sub-chapters, then click on the table of contents in your Word document and press Alt + F9. Then replace the text inside the brackets with: TOC o “1-1” h z u
As you add more pages and chapters to your document, you can update the table of contents to include the new pages by clicking on it and pressing the F9 key.
The quickest way to transfer the content from your website to Word is to copy and paste the text. Simply highlight the start of the page, from the title through to the end of the page, then copy and paste it into Word. Make sure you avoide copying the sidebar or other elements on the page.
This approach doesn’t always copy the images, however you can go back to the webpage, right-click on the images, select ‘Copy’ and paste them into the Word document at the appropriate places.
After each webpage has been copied, insert a page break to keep them separate. To do this, click on ‘Insert’, and then ‘Page Break’.
Once the document has been compiled, it can either be saved as is, or preferably converted to an uneditable format such as a PDF document. If you are using Word, this can be easily done by choosing the ‘Save As Adobe PDF’ option from the File menu.
Delivering the eBook
By using the autoresponder feature of MailChimp, the whole process of the eBook delivery can be automated. This means as soon as a reader signs up and confirms their email address, the eBook is automatically delivered to their inbox with no involvement on your part.
Image Credits: sonline