Tag Archive | "Ebook"

Transform Your Business Website Using Our Free ‘Design 101’ Ebook

Is your current website design working for your business as well as it could be? You might know that it’s not, but don’t know where to start when it comes to a redesign. We understand that. Choosing a WordPress theme for your website can be a little overwhelming and leave you with lots of further
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Boost Your Search Engine Visibility with Our Free ‘Smart SEO Steps’ Ebook

As you develop your traffic and conversion strategies this year, knowing how to appeal to your human audience while optimizing for search is vital. Luckily, Rainmaker Digital CFO Sean Jackson wrote an excellent free guide that you can download right now — and you don’t even have to enter your email address. There’s no silver
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How To Gauge Demand For Your Ebook, Mastermind Tips, Options For Non-English Speaking Entrepreneurs, And Horizontal Vs Vertical Business Strategies

Everything Entrepreneurship #10 features a host of great questions from our listeners, including our first ever audio question sampling the smooth aussie-accented sounds of Andrew Hellmich. Andrew asked about how to determine demand for an ebook project before putting in all the work creating the ebook. [ Download MP3 | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ]…

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Writers: Discover How to Step Up Your Game with Our Free Ebook

word-free-writers-ebook

We love writers around here. Have you noticed?

Professional writers. Aspiring writers. Struggling writers. Successful writers. Writers of all kinds!

To show our appreciation, we put together a free ebook for writers called WORD. Because in our experience, writers are also readers, so an ebook seemed like the perfect delivery system for our information.

We gathered our best articles-written-for-writers from people like Sonia Simone, Brian Clark, Stefanie Flaxman, Beth Hayden, and this other writer you may know. ”</p

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How To Gauge Demand For Your Ebook, Mastermind Tips, Options For Non-English Speaking Entrepreneurs, And Horizontal Vs Vertical Business Strategies

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Everything Entrepreneurship #10 features a host of great questions from our listeners, including our first ever audio question sampling the smooth aussie-accented sounds of Andrew Hellmich. Andrew asked about how to determine demand for an ebook project before putting in all the work creating the ebook.

You will also find out how Walter … Read the rest of this entry »

The post How To Gauge Demand For Your Ebook, Mastermind Tips, Options For Non-English Speaking Entrepreneurs, And Horizontal Vs Vertical Business Strategies appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

Comedian Mark Malkoff talks to kids about Facebook and Twitter. The results were hilarious!

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New Content Marketing Ebook: No Charge, No Opt-In

image of scribe ebook cover

If you’re interested in marketing your business online (and who isn’t at this point), you can’t escape hearing about content marketing. It’s everywhere you look, or listen.

  • You hear that people don’t want advertising when making purchasing decisions, they want valuable information.
  • You hear that it’s content that spreads via social networks, generating powerful word-of-mouth exposure for savvy content marketers.
  • You hear that it’s content that people desire and seek out, and it’s great content that Google wants to rank well in the search results so those people can find your business
  • You hear that content is the best way to achieve what advertising is supposed to achieve, but doesn’t do so well online — to get people to know, like, and trust your brand.

You hear all of that, and yet, perhaps you’re thinking …

So what?

What does content marketing actually mean for my business?

Ebook: The Business Case for Agile Content Marketing

Here’s the answer, in this free 22-page ebook I wrote to explain the integrated process of content + social + search that leads to content marketing success.

There’s no charge, and not even an email address required for the first week. Go grab it.

Download The Business Case for Agile Content Marketing here.

P.S. And please share the download page with friends and colleagues. Thanks!

About the Author: Brian Clark is founder of Copyblogger and CEO of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Brian on Twitter and Google+.

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11 Essential Elements of a Well-Designed Marketing Ebook

tabletintermediate

How many ebooks does your marketing team have in its content arsenal? With the rise of tablet and e-reader popularity, ebooks are only growing in popularity. According to a newly released report by Pew Internet, in mid-December 2011, 17% of American adults had reported they read an ebook in the previous year; by February, 2012, the share increased to 21%. While we’ve always considered ebooks to be one of the best lead-gen content assets at a marketer’s disposal, the fact that on-the-go content is only carving out more of a place in today’s increasingly mobile world makes them an even smarter choice as a marketing offer.

As a piece of long-form content, a lot of work must go into the creation of a well-crafted ebook. So today, let’s focus on design. How do you design an ebook that is reader-friendly, engaging, and at the same time supports your marketing goals? Let’s discuss the 11 essential elements that make up an effective marketing ebook design. 

Importance of a Brand Style Guide

hubspot ebooksFirst, a note about the role design should play in your content strategy. If ebook creation is (or you plan it to be) a big part of your content strategy, it’s wise to first spend some time establishing a consistent brand style guide to which all your marketing content — not just your ebooks, but also your presentations and other marketing collateral — adheres. This will give your publications a more professional, branded look which translates to a sense of credibility. Of course, the content itself is a huge contributing factor to the credibility and value of a publication, but even if you have quality content down pat, that doesn’t mean people still won’t judge an ebook by its cover ;)

If you take a look at the ebooks HubSpot has launched in the past 6 months, for example, you’ll notice that they all have very consistent branding and design elements throughout. When you sit down with your marketing team and designer to decide on your brand style guide, establish rules for such design elements as fonts/sizes, color schemes, charts/graphs, borders for screenshots and images, headers, etc. Creating easy-to-follow guides and templates for your various marketing assets like ebooks, presentations, etc. will make it easy for you and your team to implement a consistent branding style throughout your marketing collateral. HubSpot, for example, has an ebook template created in InDesign to ensure our ebooks have a consistent look no matter who created them.

Now let’s dive into the 11 essential design elements you should consider in your next ebook design.

11 Essential Elements of Effective Ebook Design

1) An Interesting, Descriptive Title

Okay, so your title choice may not exactly be a design element, but choosing a title for any piece of content is definitely an art, and it shouldn’t be overlooked. The title is often the first thing someone judges before deciding whether to click on or read your ebook, especially when the content gets shared in social media. Choose a title that is both interesting and descriptive — that is, it should be indicative of what the reader will learn from reading the ebook.

Unlike blog posts, ebooks are high-commitment pieces of content because of their length, so you need to make sure you’re demonstrating the value up front in a compelling way. For instance, one HubSpot ebook is titled 15 Business Blogging Mistakes & Easy Fixes with the subtitle, “How to Fix the Most Common Blogging Bloopers.” The main title is both descriptive and demonstrates value in itself, but the subtitle also makes it sound like an even more interesting read.

2) A Visual Cover

biz blogging mistakes ebookSo if we know that people will most definitely be judging your ebooks by their cover, you’ll want to make sure you create ones that are both visually appealing and coincide with your brand style guide. Consider how the visual revolution is playing out with sites like Pinterest cropping up and other social networks like Facebook and Google+ putting more of an emphasis on visual content, and the importance of enticing covers becomes even more evident. Make the title easy to read, include branding elements you decided on in your brand style guide, and feature an image. You’ll notice that HubSpot’s ebook covers, for example, follow the same layout and structure while each featuring a different relevant an interesting image.

3) Skill/Topic/Persona Tags

skill levelsDepending on your business and industry, you likely have a different buyer personas, whether you segment your target audience by demographics, skill level, topic interest, or something else. So if part of your strategy is to create content that is personalized for or targeted to these different audience segments, one helpful way to organize and differentiate between your content assets is through a tagging system. Incorporate your schema in your ebook design so your readers know which particular ebooks will be of interest to them, and which ebooks won’t. You can do this in a number of ways — through iconography, color schemes, or tags.

HubSpot’s ebooks, for instance, are categorized by skill level — introductory, intermediate, or advanced — depending on the skill level of our readers. To identify which is which, we use a combination of color scheme and a category key to denote which ebooks are targeted for which skill level. If an ebook is intermediate level like our example here, the cover and color scheme throughout the book uses blue as the dominant color, and a page in the beginning of the book explains which type of audience would benefit from each skill level. Introductory content uses a charcoal color scheme, and advanced content uses an orange color scheme. We’ve also extended this tagging system to our blog. You’ll notice this particular blog post, for example, has also been tagged as ‘intermediate.’

4) An Author Page

author pageAnother design element you might want to include in your ebooks is an author page, particularly if you have multiple members of your team creating ebooks. For example, if the author of the ebook is an expert on that topic, an author page that highlights the author’s bio and relevancy to the topic is a great way to add credibility to the content. On your author page, include a brief bio of the author, a headshot, and if you choose to, a way for readers to get in touch with the author if they have questions, such as an email address, Twitter username, or phone number.

As an added internal benefit, you might find that members of your team are more willing to spend time creating ebook content if they know their efforts will be recognized publicly through an author page.

5) A Table of Contents

A staple for any book, both print or digital, be sure to include a table of contents in every ebook you publish. This not only gives readers a sense of how the ebook is organized, but it chapter pagealso makes it easy for them to reference individual chapters if they decide only certain ones are relevant to them or if they want to refer back to specific sections later. To make this even more user-friendly for your readers, some programs like InDesign make it possible for you to hyperlink chapters/sections, creating a sort of interactive table of contents and allowing readers to jump to a certain section of the ebook when they click on the corresponding link in the table of contents.

6) Chapter Title Pages

Clearly distinguish one chapter to the next with chapter title pages. This gives readers a clear indication of their progress through the book and helps set the stage for the section they are about to read. It can also serve as a landing page for that interactive table of contents you may have set up in number 5. In our business blogging mistakes ebooks example, for instance, we organized the chapters by the 15 mistakes we highlight, and our chapter pages highlight which mistake the reader is going to learn about next. 

7) Social Sharing Buttons

share this ebookWe’ve talked before about the importance of including social sharing buttons on your marketing content. Sure, the landing page behind which you gate your ebook is a great place for these buttons, but why not also stamp them onto the pages of your ebooks as well? It makes sense, right? A potential reader might not feel comfortable sharing your ebook before they’ve read it and know they like the content, but while they’re reading it? That’s a different story.

Add these buttons to each page of your ebook — either in the header or the footer — so readers can easily share the book with their social networks no matter how far through it they’ve read. Just be sure you’re sharing links to the ebook’s landing page — not thank-you page — if it’s gated content. HubSpot’s ebooks, for example, include social sharing buttons for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter on each page. For help in creating these social media buttons for your ebooks, check out this handy guide.

8) Visual Elements

visual ebook pageThere’s nothing more overwhelming to a reader than big chunks of copy followed by large blocks of text. Whoa there — character overload! Going overboard with text density in an ebook can be a very big deterrent to a reader, especially when they’re reading on a screen.

Break up your “big chunks of copy” and “large blocks of text” with visual elements to emphasize or explain certain points more visually. We’re talking anything from headers, bolded text, and bullet points to screenshots, images, charts, and graphs. Furthermore, leverage content visualizations when appropriate to help you explain concepts that are difficult to explain through text and lend themselves to more visual explanations, as we did in this blog post, which is actually an ebook excerpt! Just be sure to keep your visuals in line with your brand style guide, translating images, graphs, and charts to conform to your guidelines in terms of style and color scheme.

9) Product/Service Call-Outs

product call outWhile ebooks can be catered to achieve certain goals, the way most marketers use ebooks is to generate new leads at the top of the funnel. To achieve this goal, your ebook content should be majorly educational — not product focused — in nature. But does that mean you can’t or shouldn’t sneak in a few mentions of your product or service into them when appropriate? Absolutely not! In fact, when people are just starting to learn about your business in the awareness stage of the sales cycle, they probably know very little about the products and services you offer.

Use educational ebooks as an opportunity to connect your thought leadership with product awareness. One way to do this in your ebook content is with subtle product mentions and call-outs when you mention a problem or need in your ebook that your products or services address. How much of these should you include? The key here is balance. Make sure the educational value of the ebook makes up for your product awareness plugs. For example, in HubSpot’s educational ebook How to Attract Customers With Twitter, we add to the section of the ebook that discusses scheduling tweets and monitoring responses by calling to attention to the social media publishing tool available in HubSpot’s software, our paid offering. This lets readers with little or no knowledge of HubSpot’s software connect HubSpot’s thought leadership and expertise with its paid software.

10) Printer/Mobile-Friendliness

While your ebook is a digital publication, you’ll likely be offering it as a downloadable file such as a PDF, and despite what you might think, many of the people who download will actually prefer to print it out and read it on paper rather than on a screen. For this reason, it’s important to make sure your ebooks are printer-friendly. For example, avoid designs that leverage double-page, horizontal layouts that don’t translate well to print. The best way to know if your design is printer-friendly? Print it yourself!

Furthermore, you’ll also want to make sure your ebook file is mobile-friendly. Does your ebook PDF view well on a smartphone and various e-readers/tablets? Test it out!

If you’re considering making your ebook available for sale through ebook marketplaces like the Kindle Store, things get a little bit more complicated. You’ll need to conform to the specific ebook format of that particular store, and you’ll likely need to make chanfinal ctages to the style, design, and file of your ebook. In general, you’ll need to modify your ebook to embody a very simple design with few visuals and limited formatting. Publishing services like Lulu.com can make this process more easily manageable.

11) A Final Call-to-Action

The last critical element that should be a part of your ebook design is — you guessed it — a final call-to-action! After a reader has completed the ebook, what action do you want them to take next? Tell them!

Perhaps you’d like to encourage them to move from the awareness stage of the sales cycle onto the evaluation stage of the sales cycle. In this case, feature a call-to-action for a middle-of-the-funnel stage offer on the last page of your ebook, introducing it to the reader in a way that is relevant and logical. In our 15 Business Blogging Mistakes ebook, for instance, we encourage readers to start a free 30-day trial of HubSpot’s software, relating it to the content of the ebook by emphasizing that readers will be able to try out HubSpot’s business blogging tools to help them fix the blogging mistakes they learned they are guilty of making.

Do your ebooks have a consistent design that reflects your business’ branding? What other design elements would you add?

Image Credit: Jonah Larsson

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Wordtracker launches video ebook: How to make amazing videos and sell more online

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New e-book by Wordtracker and Gareth Davies shows online marketers how to produce and promote their own web videos

Wordtracker has joined forces with Gareth Davies, an acclaimed SEO and ecommerce expert, to create “Videotastic – How to make amazing web videos and sell more online” – a must-have e-book guide to planning, producing and marketing web video.

With prospects 72% more likely to buy when seeing a relevant product video, and online video reaching more than 84% of the US Internet audience in January 2012 (Source: comScore), online video is an established and growing trend.

The book takes an easy-to-follow approach. Readers can learn about the video production process, how to use cameras and lights, discover new ways to market and host the finished product.

Here’s what Andy Beal, CEO of Trackur had to say about Videotastic!

“I’ve met few people that understand every aspect of video production like Gareth. Read carefully what he has to say, and your next video may well go viral!”

Gareth has helped hundreds of small businesses and created videos that have exponentially boosted their conversion rates and profitability.

“I hope readers can use this as a tool to learn and improve in video production as well as gain the confidence to successfully market themselves and/or their products online” Gareth Davies, author of Videotastic!

Videotastic! has been created for people of all levels of ability and involvement in web marketing – from those who know nothing about online video to professionals looking to reinforce their expertise.

For more information on this web video e-book, and a $ 20 launch discount off its normal price of $ 49, visit Wordtracker’s Videotastic! page: www.wordtracker.com/ebooks/web-video

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How to Optimize Your Google+ Business Page [Free Ebook!]

How to Use Google Plus for Biz cover resized 600Have you created a Google+ Page for your business yet? With more than 40 million users, Google+ has emerged as a key player in the social media space, and this week, Google+ opened its doors to companies by introducing business pages. To give your company a head-start on Google+, download our newest guide, hot off the press — How to Use Google+ for Businessand be sure to add HubSpot’s Google+ Page to your Circles! (The following article is an excerpt from the ebook.)

Google+ is similar to other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn when it comes to marketing, but it does have its own strengths and weaknesses. To get the most from your Google+ Business Page in terms or traffic and leads for your business, follow these best practices:

1. Share Lots of Photos

Photos are very important on Google+. A quick look at a Google+ feed will tell you that lots of individual images are shared by users. This is slightly different from Facebook, where users might upload an entire album of images at one time. Think about your business and marketing visually. Which images, charts, or slides can you share on Google+ to ignite conversations and increase the viral spread of your content? Google+ is built for sharing images, so take advantage of it.

hubspot google pictures resized 600

2. Add Recommended Links

Under the ‘About’ tab of your Google+ Page, you have the option to add recommended links in the right side bar. Don’t let this space go to waste. Instead, add links to important blog articles and lead generation offers to drive more traffic and leads for your business.

hubspot google recommended links resized 600

3. Promote Your Google+ Page on Your Blog and Website

To get real business value from Google+, you have to have a community of people there to consume and engage with your content. In order to get people to add your Google+ Page to their Circles, you need to promote the page in places where you are already attracting visitors, such as your homepage, blog side bar, or other social media accounts. Cross-promotion is key to building a strong Google+ community.

google twitter promotion

4. Encourage People to Share Your Posts

Sharing on Google+ is a catalyst for increasing the virality of your content. When you post a message, photo, or link on Google+, be sure to ask your subscribers to share your content with the people in their Circles. This is similar to asking people to “please retweet” on Twitter.

5. Analyze Traffic and Leads From Google+

So is this Google+ thing actually working for your business? To determine this, you’ll need to look at the traffic and leads that have been driven from Google+. You can do this by looking at referral traffic from plus.Google.com to your website, or if you are a HubSpot customer, HubSpot will segment all traffic, leads, and customers from Google+ for you as part of our marketing analytics.

social media leads in hubspot resized 600
Want more tips on how to get started using Google+ to achieve your business goals? Add HubSpot’s Google+ Page to your Circles so you can join our live discussion and Q&A via Google+ Hangout this Friday, November 11 at 1 PM ET.

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How to Master Facebook for Business in 2011 [Free Ebook]

facebook ebook

With over 750 million users, Facebook is now recognized as the most popular social network, and more and more businesses are harnessing its awesome power to achieve their marketing goals. Are you?

By now, you should be convinced that Facebook can be useful for more reasons than just keeping in touch with family and friends. With a user base of its magnitude, you can’t deny that members of your target audience are using Facebook to connect with others, obtain information, and make purchasing decisions. So, yes, you should agree that a Facebook presence can have a lot of business potential. But how do you get started?

Jumping into any new experience can be daunting. But it can also be exciting! Just consider all of the business benefits a well-maintained Facebook presence can afford your business. It can help you:

  • Get found by potential customers.
  • Connect and engage with current customers.
  • Create a community around your brand.
  • Promote and expand the reach of your content.
  • Generate leads!

With that awesome list of business benefits, what’s not to like? But like we just said, jumping into any new experiences is tough, which is why we’re breaking it down for you in our new, step-by-step guide for getting underway with Facebook for business, specifically written for those getting going in 2011. And after reading our free ebook, “How to Use Facebook for Business: An Introductory Guide” for 2011, you’ll have a firm grasp on how to leverage the most popular social network for marketing.

In particular, our ebook will teach you how to:

  • Sign up for Facebook and set up a personal Profile, a business Page, and Groups.
  • Optimize your Facebook presence for maximum results.
  • Promote your business Page and attract fans.
  • Engage with your network.
  • Generate leads.
  • Take advantage of Facebook’s advertising platform
  • Measure and analyze your Facebook presence.

So what are you waiting for? Get on Facebook today, and start reaping the business benefits! Download the free guide here to get started.

Free eBook: How to Use Facebook for Business: An Introductory Guide

Free eBook: How to Use Facebook for Business: An Introductory Guide

Let’s face it: your prospects are on Facebook whether you like it or not.

Download the free eBook and learn to use Facebook in 2011 to achieve your business goals!

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