Whether you’re running an eCommerce business, creating content for YouTube, or an entrepreneur or someone with entrepreneurial ambitions, the same basic fundamental tenet applies – you need to cultivate an audience (customer base) and keep them engaged.
Social media is a great way to keep engaged with your audience or customer base. And it is possible (even expected) to be able to monetize a decent to strong social media presence.
Some users, once they have gained a significant enough following, sell advertising space or deliver paid content and endorsements. Unfortunately, these monetization strategies come with the downside of potentially damaging the brand as the creator runs the risk of coming across as disingenuous.
Some content creators opt, instead, to make some of their content only accessible through a paywall. This allows them to continue making content whose quality and integrity are not diminished by intrusive ads or product endorsements. However, opting for this strategy does have the downside of potentially diminishing the perceived value of the content that is free.
In this short article, we will take a closer look at another option of how to monetize your social media presence. And this option does not come with the downside of potentially weakening the brand or the perceived value of the content. In fact, it will have the direct opposite effect. And it will allow you to further engage with your audience and make money doing so.
The Advantages of Publishing an Ebook
Today’s technological advancements allow pretty much anybody to publish an eBook on virtually any subject. However, it still requires a considerable amount of seriousness, work, determination, and a strong belief or confidence in oneself to pull it off.
By publishing and editing an eBook, to a certain extent, you are declaring yourself an authority on a given topic or story – if not an authority at least someone with valuable input on the matter. Declaring this level of authority on a subject or story can open up many more opportunities for you, your business, or your brand going forward.
Additionally, you are providing a valuable product, one which by its mere consumption by the consumer will most likely serve to engage them further with who you are and what you are doing. Not to mention that there is a financial benefit to it, too.
Ebooks are a good source of passive income. Passive income is described as any income that does not derive from an employer or a contractor and provides a semi-regular to regular revenue stream with little to no labor.
What To Aim For
How did you get your sizeable social media following? Why do people follow your social media profiles? Regardless of the specificities that go into the answers to those two questions, one underlying truth will remain constant – people want to connect, and with you, they have found they are able to.
Your eBook should make the same promise and satisfy the same need that helped you to develop a large following. Your eBook will give your followers a deeper, more intimate opportunity to connect.
The reader should come away from reading your eBook with the following convictions:
- They have a greater understanding and appreciation for the person and the work behind the platform (brand) they’ve been following.
- You are an authority on a specific subject or specific experience that they find has value.
- Their perspective has changed or been enlargened
Be The Expert
You are the expert in your own experience. Whatever you have gone through – whether you had success dealing with an incompetent boss or you made a career change at 30 – you are in the best position to speak of your motives. You know best the obstacles you had to face and the factors that went into the pivotal decisions you were made to take along the journey.
Writing, even non-fiction writing, always has in it something very personal of the author. You are the expert in your own experiences, your own thoughts, and ambitions.
Themes and Ideas That Work
There’s an old adage that says, “write what you know.” For debut fiction writers, that can be good advice. For experienced fiction writers, writing about what you know, to an extent, defeats the point of writing fiction – to experiment and imagine, explore what you don’t know. For non-fiction writers (memoirs included), writing about what you know is pretty much an imperative.
- Rags to Riches – “rich” is a relative term. Even if you don’t own a fleet of private jets, you’ve still managed to build something or accomplish something. You’ve enjoyed success. But that wasn’t always the case. There’s your story.
- The Comeback (overcoming adversity) – Being faced with an obstacle, being afraid you won’t be able to overcome it – these challenges are all part and parcel of the human condition. everyone can identify with this theme, and it is always compelling.
- Behind the Scenes (the making of) – How did you get to where you are? And how is the sausage made? If people are engaged with your content, they will want to take a privileged peek behind the curtain.
Where to Publish
The most popular self-publishing platform is owned and operated by Amazon called KDP. while it is easy to use with no start-up money needed, there are a number of disadvantages to using KDP. One such disadvantage is that if you publish with KDP, you will not be allowed to give your book away (with the exception of limited giveaways that come with various caveats).
Here are a few alternatives to KDP:
The Advantage of Giveaways
The reason you might want to consider publishing with someone other than the market leader KDP might be that they do not allow you to freely distribute your eBook in the form of promotional copies or giveaways.
If your intention is to create a passive income stream then you may be asking yourself why you would ever consider giving away the book you’ve created to sell. The reason giveaways are a good idea is quite simple. Books do not thrive in the environment of exclusivity. Books thrive in the exact opposite kind of environment. People buy books when there is a buzz about them. By reading the book they are entering into a collective conversation about what has been determined to be culturally significant at the time.
The bottom line is that the more people read your book the more people will want to read it. The more people hear about your book the more people are inclined to want to read it.
On special occasions consider offering a limited number of copies of your book for no cost but ask for a review in exchange. Naturally, you will be relying on the good faith of those who agree. But you will end up getting enough positive reviews that help to generate more interest (thus more sales) that you will more than make up for the few free copies you gave away.
Whether you are interested in strengthening your brand, engaging with your social media followers, or looking to create a supplemental passive income stream, there are many good reasons to consider publishing an eBook. With today’s technology – the many self-publishing platforms available (many at no cost) and freelance ghostwriters or ghostwriting agencies on the market, it has never been easier to publish an eBook.