How to Filter Out Worthless Ebook Ideas—Part 1

We’ve all been there.

You come up with an idea for a great ebook topic. One that you’re convinced is going to cut through all the noise.

You invest weeks planning, researching, drafting, polishing, designing, and reviewing. Finally, you’re ready to publish! You share the landing page on LinkedIn and your company blog. You promote it with PPC ads. You send it to everyone on your email list.

But as launch day comes and goes, your eager anticipation is replaced by disappointment. Sure, some people downloaded your ebook. But not nearly as many as you had hoped.

No stream of brand new leads into the sales pipeline.

No spike in prospect engagement with the sales team.

No avalanche of shares, likes, or comments.

Just—meh.

What went wrong? Why is it so hard to create content that has a real impact on revenue? And how do we get better at uncovering the topics prospects really care about—the kind that offer concrete solutions to their most challenging business problems?

Coming up with a relevant ebook topic isn’t an exact science. But there are steps you can take today to help maximize the probability that your next ebook will move the needle.

In this series, we’ll explore some quick ways to test your ebook ideas and make sure you’re spending your precious time, money, and mental energy on the right topics.

The Why Test

Ask yourself, “Why are we even creating this ebook?” Is it to:

  • Drive a specific number of fresh leads?
  • Help the sales team boost prospect engagement?
  • Generate shares by a hand-selected group of industry thought leaders?

(It can be all of these and more, of course).

Or is it because:

  • It would be nice to have an ebook available on your resources page?
  • Increasing your amount of marketing content was this quarter’s goal?
  • Everyone else in your space is creating ebooks, and you don’t want to be left behind?

In other words, is writing an ebook simply about checking it off your to-do list? If so, you’re 99% likely to be wasting your time. Creating quality long-form content requires a real investment of energy, focus, and money. Even if you’re creating an ebook in-house, your writer(s) and designer(s) will be pulled away from other projects.

Be honest with yourself about the actual value you’re committed to creating for your prospects and customers. There’s already enough content floating around the Internet. Adding more just to add more is usually a waste of time.

In the next post, we’ll dive into the ICP test—are you choosing a topic based on a clear understanding of your ideal customers’ needs?

 

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