I’ve mentioned several times how a friend of mine made $400,000 selling an incredibly simple e-book. A lot of people asked me how, so I wanted to share the exact steps he took, since I was once curious.
Although I didn’t decide to sell an ebook, my friend inspired me to write a free ebook that has been downloaded over 40,000 times.
The book that inspired my friend’s e-book was called “Crush It” and it led him to share how he created his own blog and the basic tools he used to market it.
Flow states in an exotic location
My friend didn’t have time to write an e-book. He was just like me and he always wrote short blog posts. The idea of creating an ebook was always there, but he never did it.
While on vacation in an exotic location (I think it was Bali, but I don’t remember and it doesn’t matter), there was a power outage. My friend had no power and he had nowhere to be. This seemingly tragic event for a blogger gave her time and an excuse to sit down and write his e-book.
Over the course of a few days, he started writing his e-book thanks to the power outage and didn’t stop. The exotic location, combined with the flux states produced, put pressure on the resistance to start.
After writing the book, he proofread it, got a cover online for a few bucks, and posted it on his WordPress blog.
I didn’t think for a second that his e-book was any good. I was one of the first readers of his eBook. Although it didn’t change my life or anything, there was one subtle thing – it was helpful and gave a newbie all the steps.
Let’s Go This is what he did to win $400,000 from that book.
set a decent price
The price of this e-book was $19.95 which was high compared to many other e-books that bloggers were selling for a few bucks as a top magnet.
Twenty dollars for an e-book is about the same amount you’d pay for a decent book written by a famous author like Tim Ferriss.
By setting a decent price, he managed to hit $400,000 much faster than most bloggers in his niche.
believed in himself
Part of the reason he made $400,000 from a simple e-book is that my friend believed in himself. Following the success of his book, he charged up to $1,500 an hour for training.
That was his belief again that set him apart from the typical blogger, like me.
He wrote his eBook with no ego or telling everyone he was better than them. The book was humble, insightful, and helpful.
What he believed about his talent was that he could teach people, not that he was special or better than them.
People who can teach something useful online have a chance to win $400,000 like him.
acted like an expert
There were no “I believe” or words of doubt in his e-book.
He proved to be the expert and used evidence from his own blog to support his point of view. At the time, he wasn’t a well-known blogger, but that didn’t stop him from feeling like an expert.
We are all experts in something, even if we are not the Bill Gates of computing. You don’t have to be the household name to be an expert and write an ebook that earns $400,000.
speak from experience
It wasn’t just the steps he took for amateur readers like me. She inspired you by talking about his experience. It was his thoughts and feelings that connected him with what would be the process of creating a blog.
Ebooks that speak highly of the experience and share some stories to help prepare the reader for what’s to come.
i kept it short
You may be thinking that your ebook was long and took years to write. That didn’t happen.
The book took a few days to write and a few hours to read. It was not a marathon read, and its length made it engaging. The price of your eBook and the value it brings has nothing to do with its size, only its usefulness.
sent it to your mailing list
The first step he took was to send the ebook to his email list. Some people bought it and then the people who liked it organically shared it with their friends.
There was no sophisticated agency-driven social media promotion or marketing campaign for her book. His marketing strategy was as simple as his e-book and it was all that was needed. The usefulness of the ebook was its marketing angle, not the size of its email list or its marketing prowess.
made it inspiring
The e-book was about the dry topic of blogging, and he made it inspiring. No matter what topic you’re writing about, adding a touch of inspiration propels people to action, and it’s this action that makes an eBook valuable.
As I told people to create a blog, it was quite common, but the fact that it actually made you act was extraordinary. He is the reason I became a blogger. Inspiration may seem stupid or superficial, but we all need a little movement to act.
All steps revealed
All steps included including screenshots. He didn’t leave anything out of the eBook from him or hide the additional information in an upsell.
You can’t fool people by telling only half the story. If you want to make six figures with an ebook, it is better to be well prepared to follow all the steps and support them in detail.
My friend’s ebook was literally a guide to setting up a blog and getting started. Without the guide, you’d be stuck googling and following the opinions of people who never did this or lived because they were commenters and not executors.
People will tell you what you can’t do; they rarely say what you can do.
Made it a feature on your blog’s home page
One of the most visible places in my friend’s eBook was on the home page of his blog.
When you went to his WordPress blog, in the right sidebar, at the top, there was a link to his ebook.
If you liked his blog, you can’t miss his eBook. People who found your ebook on the home page, like me, generated the bulk of the $400,000 in profit.
I promoted it on podcasts
As a blogger, he was often invited to do interviews on podcasts. The podcast interview roundup is practically free, so my friend came up with a brilliant strategy: he would do the podcast interview and spend his time as long as he could link to his ebook in the podcast show notes.
That little request led people who had never read his blog to find his ebook and buy it to learn what he needed to teach.
There are countless ways to receive money online that waste your time and make you overthink the process.
My friend’s direct idea was to choose a payment method that would probably be accessed by the largest number of people in the world.
Instead of presenting the complexity of having a shopping cart in a commercial establishment, he decided to accept PayPal.
That decision was another reason why he managed to win $400,000. It made it easy for people to pay with a method they were used to and gave them the protection that PayPal offers.
This way of accepting money is not the cheapest, but it allowed to reach more people, which was much more important.
wrote evergreen content
The eBook my friend wrote was timeless.
You could have read it a few years ago or today, and it’s still relevant, with the exception of some outdated software plugins.
When you write an eBook, if it becomes evergreen (meaning it’s hard to tell when it’s written and it’s always relevant), you can continue to make money from it for years to come.
It’s very likely that you’ll still be making money years later, because of the way it’s written.
created a path to more
Despite the $400,000 the eBook made, what it did (which made it even more money) was give it to my client friends for their coaching business.
People who read his e-book contacted him and started conversations. Some of these conversations led to training sessions of more than $1,000 an hour.
It’s impossible to track how many hours of training came from the ebook, despite having to top $400,000.
Having an ebook provides a conversation starter that can boost your business and deliver it to customers. Or you can just make money from the e-book and voila, that’s cool too!
I understood that it took time
Your e-book was not an overnight success. She took time. The $400,000 took a few years to accumulate, and they allowed it to grow even higher by investing some of the money in their own development.
He paid world leaders for training and participated in events like A-Fest. These investments led him to expand his network and find ways to form partnerships with like-minded people, which made the $400K grow even higher.
Didn’t monetize all channels
One of the reasons the e-book won so much was because its target audience had so many other free channels through which they could access their work.
The temptation is to monetize everything, and that will only severely limit your reach.
What works well is to have some channels through which you make money so that you can give people time and allow them to have something for free. It is through their free resources that people find you and all the e-books you have written.
If all you do is charge people, they may never come into contact with your work.
People read my friend’s free blog posts and a percentage of them decide to go further with learning and spend $19.95 on the ebook.
donated part of the profits
Winning $400,000 is good. What my friend taught me through his ebook, which I still use today, is to donate part of the recipe.
Some of the money he raised was used for charity projects and to give back to people who supported him. Keeping all that money to yourself can make you forget about the gift you received.
When you get what you want, help others get what they want.
This is how you get an empowering meaning by making so much money with a short and incredibly simple ebook.
I never took it down
A well-written evergreen eBook doesn’t need to be scrapped. My friend resisted the urge to keep writing a new e-book and put the original down for many years.
There were other projects, but his e-book was always alive and buzzing in the background.
Resisting the urge to put down his e-book was one of the reasons he won $400,000. The eBook had time to boil like a good stew and gain momentum and flavor.
This is what I hoped you’d learn
- be useful
- patience is the key
- inspiring people
- Help others in the process.
- Everyone begins to be inspired by someone else.
This is how someone can make $400,000 with an incredibly simple ebook.
Image credit: freepik.com