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The F-I-R-M Strategy for Writing a Killer Book Outline


The F-I-R-M Strategy for Writing a Killer Book Outline

“Ugh, this book writing thing has me stressed out in all kinds of ways!”

This is the cry of many entrepreneurs who understand the value of an eBook but just don’t have the time to put it together in the right way. Let’s be real though…great eBooks are created from well-crafted book outlines.

Think of a book outline like the blueprint for the book writing process. Blueprints form a crucial component of the construction process; construction can’t begin until the blueprint is approved. Neglecting to create a book outline for the eBook means that you’ll eventually have to work overtime to get mismatched thoughts to flow cohesively.

You’re probably one of those entrepreneurs who wants to cut corners to get your eBook out as quickly as possible so that you can start earning money. Patience young Jedi! The CEM Writing Services’ tested and proven F-I-R-M strategy can help you create a killer book outline in 2 hours or less..

This article explains each step in the F-I-R-M process. Follow each step closely and you’ll have a well-written outline that can help you write a stunning eBook in no time.

F- Find your key points. (20 minutes)

Spend 10 minutes brainstorming the most important points for your eBook. At this stage, it isn’t about writing anything in order. Just get a fresh sheet of paper and jot down the most relevant thoughts you have about your eBook topic using a mind map. Some key questions that you must answer include:

  1. What unique perspective can I share about this topic?

  2. What experience do I have in the field?

  3. What questions do customers have about this topic? Do I have the answers for these questions?

Below is an example of a mind map about health.

Image Source: Mind Map Art

The trend in the business eBook writing space seems to be rewriting existing content. Repurposing existing content is great but I find that it oftentimes defeats the purpose for writing an eBook. Why should a potential customer read something that they can easily find elsewhere?

An eBook should be used to push the limits of your creativity. It’s about putting your brand in the spotlight and showcasing what your brand has to offer. Don’t waste the opportunity by using repurposing as a quick fix.

I- Itemize the main points. (10 minutes)

You’ve used the mind map to identify your most relevant thoughts about the topic. It’s time to sift through that muddled mess to choose the most relevant points and arrange them in a logical sequence.

Let’s use the mind map given as an example in the previous step. You own a fitness company and want to write a 50 page eBook about simple exercises for a busy entrepreneur. Therefore, you would be focusing on the exercise and health branches of the mind map.

Your approach could be to identify 10 key exercises that you’ve used to help your busy clients achieve amazing results. Each exercise would be the heading of a chapter of the eBook. At this stage, all you’re doing is listing these 10 exercises in the order in which you want them to be discussed.

R- Reveal your plan. (45 minutes)

This is where you really get your hands dirty. There must be a strategic approach to each chapter. Your plan from the moment someone begins reading the book is to capture their undivided attention. What content do you have to achieve this objective?

Here’re the critical considerations you must have at this stage:

  1. What are you going to use at the beginning of the book to grab the reader’s attention? Is there a life-changing testimonial from a client that you can share? Can you share your personal story? Is there any humor that you can include?

  2. What key points will be discussed in each chapter? List these points in bullet from under each heading.

  3. How are you going to structure each chapter to make the book your own? It’s great to make the book as practical as possible so that the reader can get the most out of it. Different strategies can be used to add the practical element. For instance, you could have a Plan for Action at the end of each chapter that forces the reader to apply the concepts learnt.

  4. What anecdotes or real-life examples can you use to make the content come alive?

  5. Are there images or graphics that you’ll want to include to further enhance the content? (This isn’t mandatory.)

Detailing the book outline in this way also helps pinpoint the ideal length of the book. Having a target book length in mind becomes crucial if you plan to hire a content writer.

M- Merge the outline with your end goal. (45 minutes)

Your eBook has a purpose. It must be written in such a way that there are action cues that lead the reader towards your desired objective. Think carefully about how you’re going to weave those action cues subtly into the content. The trick it to avoid sounding like a sales person while still linking the content back to your brand.

Two Hours of Bliss

There you have it. That’s how you can use 2 hours to create a book outline that really helps you create an eBook that achieves results. You may not have two hours to apply the F-I-R-M strategy to create a killer book outline. Don’t sweat it! I’m your content writing superhero who’s here to help save the day. Fill out the contact form below so that we can schedule a free consultation to discuss your eBook needs.

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3 Powerful Uses of an EBook that You Can't Ignore


3 Powerful Uses of an EBook that You Can't Ignore

EBooks are powerful marketing tools for businesses. They are multi-functional and can enhance your existing content marketing strategy. How you use them will ultimately determine how effective they are in your overall content marketing campaign. Here are 3 powerful ways to use eBooks to enhance your online presence.

Supplemental Material

Let’s say that you have an online course on YouTube or on an online course creation website such as Udemy or Teachable. An eBook allows you to summarize the course’s content. Allowing your students to access the eBook as a free download may even help them better retain what they’ve learnt.

Another application of this concept is to create an electronic workbook. The workbook would contain practical activities that the students must complete either during or at the end of each lesson. This helps make the lessons more practical and meaningful to the students.

Finally, both applications can be combined. Workbook activities can be included in a full-length eBook. Students can use this eBook merger to revise the content you taught and also practically apply the principles.

Lead-generating magnet

One of the most common uses of an eBook is as a lead-generating magnet. It has been used so much that it’s almost at the point of being overused. Most websites you visit have pop-ups that ask fro your email address in exchange for a short eBook or guide, another type of download, or a discount.

Overuse of this concept means that you should use it wisely on your own website. People have become desensitized to it and are less inclined to give their contact information so readily. Nevertheless, you still need those emails for your internet marketing campaigns.

A possible solution is to put the eBook offer at the end of a related blog article. People who read to the end of the article would be prompted to learn more about the topic by downloading the eBook.

You could also create a short video that highlights the main points discussed in the book. A link to download the book can be in the video’s caption. Upon clicking this link, the user would be prompted to enter an email address in order to access the content.

These are only 2 of the many possible solutions. Can you come up with others? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Online Sales

Some people turn to online sales as the only way to get the most out of an eBook. There are hundreds of thousands of self-published authors on Amazon, the largest eBook selling platform. A New York Times article published in 2016 revealed that, “over the last five years, close to 40 independent authors have sold more than a million copies of their e-books on Amazon”. That’s far less than the hundreds of thousands of authors who publish on the platform daily.

The article chronicles the story of Meredith Wild, a self-published author who sold over a million copies of her books using her own marketing savvy. Her success reveals the harsh truth that few self-published authors embrace; your book means nothing without strong marketing.

Therefore, think carefully about your marketing strategy before attempting selling your eBook. Some questions you should consider include:

  1. Do you have a large group of followers? You can begin your marketing efforts with them.

  2. What marketing techniques can you use to gain interest before the book’s release?

  3. Can you get interviews on any popular podcasts or blogs?

  4. How can you strategically use paid advertising?

Putting It All Together

An eBook can be used for 3 main purposes: as supplemental material, as a lead generating magnet, or to earn a profit. Some people use a combination of these function to get the most value from their eBooks. However, don’t ignore the fact that you must clearly define the purpose of your eBook before you begin writing it.

Do you need to hire a content writer for your eBook? Fill out the contact form below and I’ll send you a free copy of my short eBook creation guide.

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You can also hire me on UpWork by clicking the button below.


How-to Increase Sales Using Content Marketing


How-to Increase Sales Using Content Marketing

Content marketing has created a shift in the way businesses reach customers. Critically looking at how the words content and marketing go together, however,  provides a fresh perspective on what content marketing really is.

It's impossible to do any marketing without content, but it's possible to have content that serves no marketing purpose. Marketing is dependent on content. Content is independent of marketing.

Merging the 2 words to categorize a new way to reach customers has increased the amount of meaningless online content. This has inevitably led to overstimulated customers and often lackluster results for digital marketing initiatives.

Countless articles and eBooks have been created to guide hopeful entrepreneurs and marketers through the endless maze of the content marketing world. Despite the great access to information, effective implementation of the strategies by the average entrepreneur is mediocre at best.

Even the best ads typically don't receive above average results. It's, therefore, no surprise that Clever Clicks reports that "the average click-through rate of a paid ad is 2%, yet ads in the first position earn an average click-through rate of almost 8%."

What's the point of it all? Why pay so much money if the results aren't going to be worth the investment? The answers to these questions depend on how effectively the campaign is structured. This article explains how you can create content that contributes to your marketing efforts instead of using wasteful space on your digital platforms.

Know Your Audience

One thing that may be affecting your digital marketing is that your audience may be too broadly defined. What works for Tom won't necessarily work for Jerry. This branding tends to look something like the cartoon shown below.


Targeted content marketing requires multiple approaches to reach the desired audience. Campaigns must be created for each subset of individuals within a brand's broader target audience. For instance, if you own a content writing company targeting people in America, you must divide this broad group into smaller sub groups. Some possible subgroups are:

- small business owners between 25 and 35 years based in New York, New York

- small business owners between 25 and 40 years old interested in eBooks based in New York, New York

-business owners between 25 and 50 years old interested in business development based in Silicon Valley, California

Several iterations are possible and it's important to create a strategy that suits each group of people. That's when you'll get the best response. 

Remember the WIIFM Rule

Consumers are only interested in what they can get from investing in your product or service. This is the What's In It For Me (WIIFM) rule.

Each targeted campaign should focus on the unique characteristics of each sub-group and provide a direct answer to the WIIFM question for that subgroup. These questions can guide you towards answering the WIIFM question.

1. What specific problem are you trying to solve for this groups of people?

2. What proven results are you able to deliver?

3. What testimonials can you share to establish proof-of-concept?

Have a Role for Each Content Piece

All of your content doesn't have to bombard viewers and readers with a constant appeal to, "Buy! Buy! Buy!" Some content can be used to establish your brand as an authority in its niche, provide useful information to potential customers, and increase brand awareness. 

However, you must be clear about the role each piece serves so that it can achieve the desired purpose. The likelihood of the desired result being produced is greatly diminished when there is no clear goal. In the grand scheme of things, it's more important to create content that adds value and portrays your brand in the right light than to churn out a copious volume of meaningless content.

Pay Attention to the Quality

Quality always trumps quantity. It's nonsensical to create or use sub-par videos, infographics, articles, podcasts, and images. Too many entrepreneurs are afraid, or unwilling to take the risk, to invest in quality content creators.

The investment pays for itself within a few weeks to 3 months if the content is used strategically. It is the content marketer's role to use the content in the right way to achieve maximum results. You need a content marketer on your team to create and use quality content in the right ways for your brand.


It's time to move away from the mindless use of content. Your content should always be serving a marketing purpose. These 4 tips are pivotal to getting the highest possible  return on investment for your content marketing initiatives. Contact an experienced content marketer to learn more.