This blog explains how to create a social media content series and turn it into an eBook. An eBook is a permanent asset that has the potential to establish your authority in a particular area and create a passive income.
Creating the content
First things first – the thinking stage!
Brainstorm a few ideas for the kind of content that will be most useful to your ideal audience. You may already have lots of useful content in past posts or blog posts that could be developed/repurposed into a content series. As an editor and proofreader, my ideal clients are authors. I know (as an author myself) that all authors want to make their writing as good as it can be. They want their stories to be interesting, or engaging, or informative, or entertaining, or inspiring. Or all of these things. They want help to make their writing better. Therefore, I created an A-Z list of storytelling techniques to help authors make their writing better. Choosing an A-Z list meant I automatically had the framework for 26 pieces of content.
The idea is to choose a structure that will give you the opportunity to create several linked pieces of social media (and/or blog) content over a set period of time.
Planning the content
I found it helpful to plan the overview of the full series in advance, then write chunks of the content at a time. Writing a full content series in one go felt far too overwhelming, whereas breaking it down and writing a bit at a time made it really manageable. I did this using a simple Word document.
The primary purposes of the content series posts were to inform and educate, but I also wanted to create interest and encourage engagement too. Therefore, I crafted the posts as per the conventions of the particular platforms I was focusing on – LinkedIn and Instagram. I also included specific questions with each post to elicit responses. The questions weren’t going to appear in the eBook, but they were necessary to gather feedback about the viability of the eBook. After all, if nobody is interested in the content series, nobody will be interested in the eBook!
Consider how you want to present each part of your content series too. Aim for consistency throughout with fonts, headings, emojis and graphics, for example. This will also make it easier when it comes to creating your eBook, because your styles will already be uniform.
Drafting the eBook
As mentioned above, I removed all the questions that I included in the social media posts, and tweaked the core content based on questions and comments I had received in the posts. This meant the content for the eBook became even more focused and relevant for my ideal audience of authors. Again, I did this bit by bit, fleshing out the content a few sections at a time.
Now for the most important point – replicating your social media posts in an eBook is not enough, if you want your eBook to sell. You have to give extra value. Yes, some people may pay for the convenience of having the whole content series in one handy, accessible place, but the majority will need something more if you’re going to turn them into buyers. You’ve already demonstrated your knowledge and authority in your free content, but you have to do more than that to tempt people to buy.
I gave my potential readers more value by adding an extra 24 storytelling techniques to the 26 I had already freely shared, creating a bumper eBook of 50 techniques. I simply added the extra 24 pieces of content to my original Word document, and included even more classic, contemporary and original examples (including relevant excerpts from existing blog posts) of how the techniques could be used in context, throughout the whole eBook. This means that the buyers of the eBook are getting an upgraded version of the content I have already shared, alongside all the additional content. Upgraded + additional content = excellent value for money!
Expanding the eBook
Once I had completely populated my Word document with all 50 techniques, it was shaping up nicely into a nonfiction manuscript. When you are ready to turn your content into an eBook, you will be surprised how much content you have once your series and extra value information is combined!
To ensure your draft manuscript looks as professional as possible, consider adding some/all of the following front and back matter to the eBook:
- Bibliography (texts used for research)
- References (online resources used for research)
- About the author and/or other titles page (listing current and upcoming books you may have contributed to, published, or are planning to publish)
- Thank you page including social media links and a request to leave an Amazon/Google/social media review.
These extra pages help elevate the eBook into a higher quality product. As well as showcasing your skills as an author, your front and back matter also provides opportunities for signposting your readers to other relevant information they may be interested in, including anything you want to promote about yourself – your products and/or services, for example.
Publishing the eBook
In order to publish your eBook on Amazon, it must be in a MOBI or EPUB format. However, you could (also) convert it from a Word document into a downloadable PDF, or use a Canva book template to create a PDF, then sell it directly through your website or social media platforms. Selling it directly would ensure you receive a higher percentage of the purchase cost than selling it through Amazon, but being ‘exclusive’ on Amazon KDP means you will also earn money for every page read when the book is borrowed by Kindle Unlimited subscribers.
Benefits of creating a content series then turning it into an eBook
To summarise, the benefits include:
- Planning your content in advance
- Forcing you to chunk your content
- Becoming known for your content series
- Positioning you as an authority on a specific topic
- Helping you become consistent with posting social media content
- Publishing quickly (my eBook was written and published within 6 weeks)
- Enabling you to gauge interest in the content prior to creating your eBook
- Being able to analyse which posts get the most interest/engagement, which you can then expand on in the eBook
- Being able to answer any questions that people have during the content series, which you can then expand on in the eBook, knowing you are catering to readers’ specific needs.
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