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

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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

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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.



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The Power of EBooks in a Strong Content Marketing Strategy

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The Power of EBooks in a Strong Content Marketing Strategy

The ability to get ebooks online has changed the book selling industry. Gone are the days when authors had to send book proposals to publishing houses hoping that they'll get lucrative deals. Ebook selling platforms such as Amazon, the iBooks store, and Lulu allow anyone to make money online using self-published ebooks.  This has opened an enormous window of opportunity for enhancing your content marketing strategy. Three reasons for the power of ebooks in content marketing are outlined in this article.

 EBooks Establish You as an Expert

You have knowledge to share. An ebook provides the perfect platform for you to share this knowledge. Customers want to be confident that you know what you're doing. They also want to learn from you. Sharing your unique perspectives on topics in your niche helps you to do that. A well-written ebook provides a way to express these ideas in a longer and more engaging way than articles.

Ebooks are Lead Generation Magnets

Ebooks that are sold on online platforms aren't the only types of ebooks available. PDF books are also quite common. Many companies use pdf books as a ways to distribute free content. These ebooks tend to be much shorter than self-published ebooks, but they have the right information to lure readers in. They are good ways to share useful information while promoting your brand.

Ebooks Can be Competitively Priced

Print books cost much more than ebooks. Amazon recommends, however, that both a print and ebook version of your content be available so that readers can have a choice.  Readers who want to save money and have the convenience of all of their books in one place will purchase the ebook version. The best ebook prices for beginning authors range tend to be either $0.99 or $2.99.

EBooks Increase Your Following

Ebooks work best when you have an established following to promote them to.   These followers will be more willing to buy and share your content. More buys and shares will ultimately result in more people purchasing the ebook and following your brand.

 

Ebooks are an important addition to your content marketing strategy. An expert content creator can write ebooks that position you as an expert and make you more visible online. CEM Writing Services offers ebook writing plans. You can contact Christine by clickling here to discuss a customized plan that will meet your needs.

 

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5 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Social Media Presence

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5 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Social Media Presence

Social media is a must-have for any content marketing strategy. It's the tool you use to connect with and engage your audience in meaningful ways. Several social media experts have written books and articles that make building a strong social media presence seem simple. The reality, however, is that it's far from simple especially if you're not offering a service a product that's in high demand. This article has been written based on my own experiences and some useful tips I've garnered from articles I've read. Trust me, it's not an easy road, but you can gain numerous rewards if you play your cards right.  The point is not to neglect social media as an essential component of your digital content marketing.

Boost Your Posts

You have to spend a little to gain a little. Facebook offers a feature for business pages that allows you to boost a post so that you can reach a wider audience. Boosting a post will help you get more page likes and could potentially lead to new customers. You need more people to like your page and visit your website. Depending on the few Facebook friends you invited to like your page is a recipe for disaster. They're only there because they like you and probably have no real interest in your business. People who like your page after viewing a boosted post have a genuine interest in your business and could eventually become paying customers. 

Boosted posts that last for a week are often the best. The idea is that the longer the boost, the more people you'll be able to reach and the more interactions you'll be able to acquire. I understand that budget constraints can result in you limiting that boosted post to 2 days. However, I don't suggest boosting a post for less than 2 days; you won't get a good return on your investment. 

The type of post you boost is also an important consideration. Videos have the highest click through rate on all social media platforms. In fact, Animoto states that "4 times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it." However,  you can't just post any old video and call it a day. Your video has to be meaningful, relate to your brand, and elicit a positive response from viewers. If you choose to use an article, include a vibrant featured image and attention-grabbing title. The image is the first thing Facebook users will see. If it doesn't grab them, they won't react to your post. Finally, the content of the post has to resonate with the audience and be relevant to your brand. 

Use a Variety of Content

Some of the best social media pages utilize a variety of content. They mix articles with videos and stunning images, thus making the pages more interesting to the viewer. This mixture also ensures that there is something to suit any user's preference. Someone should be able to scroll through your page and find at least one post of interest. 

Use Live Videos

Since Facebook launched the 'Go Live" videos in 2016 it seems like there has been a live video revolution. More social media sites are beginning to add live videos as one of their features. That says a lot about the power of live videos. They allow businesses to interact with you in real-time. It adds excitement to the experience and enables them to get immediate responses to their questions and comments.

Live videos work best when they are previously publicized. Let your followers know when you plan to host a live video chat. Send frequent reminders and ensure that you research the time that most of your followers are using Facebook. It makes no sense to host a live video without an audience. 

The beauty of Facebook live videos is that the video is stored on your page after it has ended. The same isn't true for Instagram and Twitter live videos. Storing the video allows people to view it even after it has ended. If you were able to have an interesting discussion, it is highly likely that the people who watch the video after it has ended will share it. More viewers increases the likelihood of more followers for your page. More followers ultimately results in more customers.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are Twitter's secret weapon. I have been amazed by how other Twitter users are able to find my Twitter profile because of the hashtags I use. Before posting on Twitter, ensure that you research the most popular hashtags related to that post. Use them strategically so that you don't exceed the 140 character limit. The best posts incorporate either images, videos or gifs. So, don't leave those out!

Use SnapChat as a Teaser

The popularity of SnapChat baffles me. I haven't been able to comprehend why posting videos that fade is so fascinating. Nevertheless, SnapChat has its place in the digital marketing landscape. These short videos are excellent promotional tools for building hype around an upcoming event or new product. You can use it to post short teaser videos to build interest. The key is to keep your audience hooked so that they won't want to miss out on whatever you have coming up.

 

Having a strong social media presence is essential for digital marketing. If you boost key posts on your Facebook business page, use a variety of content, use hashtags on Twitter, and use SnapChat as a teaser you'll be able to win more followers and hopefully get more sales. Getting a large social media following can take several months or several years. You just have to stick to it and keep using a mixture of strategies to get the right result. 

 

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Christine is a content marketer who is passionate about building the online presence of startups and small and medium-sized enterprises. You can view more of her work by clicking here. Interested in hiring her services? Complete the contact form found here.

 

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5 Killer Ways to Find Your Inner Voice

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5 Killer Ways to Find Your Inner Voice

Writing is a beautiful melody. Words flow from your mind unto the page like silk flowing through the palms of your hands. Giving them the right tempo, the right beat, helps you build a community of followers who want to hear want you have to say.  Content marketers love expressing these melodies. However, there are times when our inner voice is barely audible and we struggle to put the words together. Don't despair. All hope isn't lost because with these 5 tips you can make a quick comeback and start providing your audience with the content they've grown to love. 

Close You Eyes and Listen

Sometimes we allow life to entangle us. The worries, the stress, the demands...everything just becomes too much. Thinking about it all will dampen your spirit, drain your energy, and quieten that melodious voice. The moment you realize that your thoughts are consuming you, take a minute to just close your eyes and listen. Listen to the birds chirping, the wind gently wafting through the leaves, the dogs barking, and the stillness of the space your in. Listen to the beauty of life in the midst of the chaos. The more you choose to listen and just choose to tune everything out, the more inspired you'll feel.

Just Write

Fear is our greatest weakness. Sometimes we hold back and tone down what we really want to say. We're more concerned with what the critics will say than truly letting our voices be heard. Don't hold back. Express your genuine ideas and perspectives. Let no one and nothing hold you back. Audiences appreciate authenticity and can smell a fake from a mile away. Be true to who you are.

Think About What You Love

There is always that one thing that we truly enjoy doing. We enjoy doing it so much that we don't even realize the passage of time. It's like we're trapped in our own comforting bubbles. Picture that activity you enjoy. Allow yourself to embrace the peaceful feeling it brings. Write about it. When you write about what you truly love, the words will automatically flow.  

Experts Speak the Loudest

Immersing yourself in what you love can be an exhilarating experience. Part of the immersion process, however, requires continuous learning, growth and improvement.  Develop a genuine thirst for knowledge and establish yourself as an expert in your niche. Your experiences and knowledge will provide you with more than enough content for expressing your insights. 

Think Like an Artist

I have profound respect for people in the creative space. They are able to produce works of art, songs, and music that the rest of the world is able to enjoy. Tapping into that creative energy is their talent. Think about all of the possible ways that you can tap into your creative energy. Where or from whom do you get your inspiration? What environment do you need to create in order to produce your best work? Think about it and make it happen.

 

Don't silence your inner voice. Let it shine through by closing your mind to the noise of life, freely expressing your thoughts, writing about what you love, becoming an expert in your niche, and thinking like an artist. The number of doors of opportunity that will open as a result will surprise you. 

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