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Lead Magnet Creation | eBooks and Reports

In an earlier article, “Lead Magnet Offers”, I discussed the general nature of lead magnet offers. In this one, I want to give you an idea of what the process of lead magnet creation looks like in the form of free eBooks and reports.

Free eBooks and reports real common lead magnets. Many marketers believe they have lost some of their lustre in the last year or so. It’s true that many people have come to value audio and video products far more than text. I also think that free ebooks are much more likely to remain downloaded but never read than audio and video products. However, I’ve found that many bloggers have pretty devout “readers” among their followers, and they actually prefer to get their information in text form. As the age demographic of your blog visitors increases, you are also more likely to find good success with ebooks and reports as opposed to audio and video products.

Free eBooks

Creating an ebook is really simple.

You just write the information you promised, in a clear and concise manner.

So, if your offer is for an ebook that gives the “5 Best Natural Remedies for Joint Pain,” here’s what the process may look like.

First, do your research.

Check ezine articles, other blog posts, buy a book or two or three from Amazon or even your bookstore (if your town still has one). Don’t forget encyclopedias and natural remedy reference books (remember the library?).

List your 5 remedies.

Write a paragraph for each. Then illustrate each with a story, either your own or one you read about. If you’re taking material directly from sources, cite the sources and give credit.

Grab some screen shots of good websites to visit for more natural remedies, or more expertise on joint pain. Paste those screen shots into your text where appropriate.

Give a link to your own product sales page, assuming you have one (and you should). At the top of each page, your ebook should have a header that reminds readers to “click here for more tips for overcoming joint pain”, or whatever is pertinent to your product. When people click on it, they’ll get a sales page or sales video asking them to buy your product, or your affiliate product, or join your MLM which has great products for joint pain, and so forth.

As for length, anything 10 to 40 pages is fine. With double spacing, a lot of screen captures and images pasted in, this is pretty far easier to accomplish than it may sound).

Create your eBook on a word or text document. Get any free PDF converter (just Google it, easy to find). Primopdf.com is a good one, and it’s free. Convert your text to PDF, grab the PDF link and email it out to your new subscribers.

Your free ebook is done!

Free Report/s

I’ve included free reports in this article because they are pretty much the same as free ebooks, except they are shorter in length. So I won’t say anything special about the free reports except this.

Free reports give you more flexibility than free ebooks from this perspective. Say you have a blog in the horse racing niche. Now, you may want to offer people free information on “how to buy a top notch race horse” for your lead magnet. So, you write an ebook about “How To Buy A Top Notch Race Horse”. Sounds good.

Now, all you have to do is write a shorter version, same title, and call it a report instead of an ebook. Right? Yes and No.

Yes, if you just want a shorter version of the same information that the ebook has.

No, if you’d like to introduce your readers to other topics you cover in your sales funnel and blog. For instance, your lead magnet could be: “Get My Free Horse Racing Special Reports”. You could now list several reports by topic. How To Buy A Race Horse, How To Train A Race Horse, How To Breed A Race Horse, How To Groom A Race Horse, The Race Horse Whisperer, and on and on.

So, rather than offer one 40-page ebook on one topic, you could offer five 7-page reports covering a whole range of topics that would interest your readers, and guess what: one single report might get you the opt-in because of the title, whereas with an ebook, you’ve only got one shot to dazzle, because you only have one title.

A series of reports can also brand you as a more well rounded authority and expert in your field.

Now, as far as researching, outlining, writing and converting your reports, just read the instructions above for ebooks, and you’ve got it. The process is exactly the same.

One BIG CAUTION, here.

Many people get their ebook and reports content from PLR’s (private label rights). That’s fine, BUT, please, please, please… do not copy and paste even though you have the rights to do so. Make the material your own by twisting and turning, spinning and squeezing it into your own personal mold. Otherwise, you’ve got a bunch of duplicate content to offer your readers and believe me, they’ve heard it from someone else before.

Not only that, but I’ve hardly ever seen PLR content that is good. I mean, really good. So use PLR’s, but only for organizing, outlining and filling in some basic facts that everyone in the world has access to. It saves you some time researching, but it is NOT suitable content out of the box.

So, now you have a pretty good idea of how to create ebooks and reports as lead magnets. In upcoming articles, I’ll show you how to produce audio, video, and other products that you can use as lead magnets.

I’d love to have you share this article, and I’m anxious to hear your comments below. What lead magnet creation tricks, tools and techniques have you used, or would you like to learn more about?
Image credit: adamr / 123RF Stock Photo

David Merrill 101
I'm an Internet Marketer and Online Marketing Coach. My students learn no-nonsense, power strategies and techniques to build solid blogging and internet businesses. David Merrill+

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20 Responses to Lead Magnet Creation | eBooks and Reports

  1. Chery Schmidt March 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    HI David! I do agree that audio and video’s may be more powerful, but yet you say text is downloadable and one can keep it forever on their computer. I do know that I have many reports downloaded onto my computer and have not gotten to them yet, but just the other day I was looking for something and I came across one that caught my eye! It was just a simple sample of affirmations but reading this really inspired me at the moment.. “All channels are free. All doors are open” For some reason this got me going that day.. Thanks for the great tips you really know what you are doing.. Chery 🙂
    Chery Schmidt´s last blog post ..Setting Up Your Business The Right Way The First Time

    • David Merrill 101 March 25, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

      You make a great point in favor of creating ebooks and reports rather than audio and video, Chery.

      Once an ebook or report is downloaded onto someone’s desktop, it is there “forever” or until it is removed. So, it has a long “shelf life” to be sure.

      However, some marketers claim that the fact that it’s always available makes it more easily forgotten, as opposed to a video or audio which tends to be consumed almost immediately.

      What’s most instructive in this discussion is that you, as a marketer, must not only have an opinion as to which format is most suitable to your visitors, you must TEST one against the other until you KNOW which works best for your given niche, and for your particular readers.

      Thanks for your interesting observations, Chery.

  2. Leslie Denning March 29, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    Hi David. Thanks for this overview on quickly creating content to give away. I’ve got a ton of PLR on my computer from various sources, and you are right – it’s written pretty badly, even if the information is correct. I think a lot of it is written by English as a second language folks. But it’s a great place to start. Also, even though a lot of people are using video, many people find it much faster to skim through something than watch a video – particularly older people who were actually taught to read in school. I prefer PDF to video any day of the week. If I watch a video, I end up taking notes to print out so I can remember what the heck I just saw. LOL.

    All the best,
    Leslie Denning´s last blog post ..Warning! Don’t Try This At Home!

    • David Merrill 101 April 2, 2013 at 12:12 am #

      I agree with you, Leslie, that scanning PDF documents is a faster way to extract information that you’re looking for.

      I guess many people who “were actually taught to read in school” would agree, too.

      Unfortunately, there’s an increasing number of younger folks who didn’t get the good reading skills that were once a standard of education. More and more, people are turning to audio-visual presentations for their information and education.

      In my own niche of internet marketing, I have a decidedly younger demographic, and PDFs and ebooks are definitely not their favorite way to learn. Consequently, I do a lot of video presentations and webinars. More on those things in future posts about lead magnet creation.

  3. Rachel Lavern March 30, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Hi David,

    I appreciate the tips you offer above.

    Ebooks are a great way for us to turn our knowledge into a profit centers.
    It seems that most of the experts still believe this. I think that it is the fastest and most profitable way to make money online for my market (older women).
    Rachel Lavern´s last blog post ..Give What You Need, Give What You Want

    • David Merrill 101 April 2, 2013 at 12:15 am #

      Nothing wrong with eBooks, for sure, Rachel.

      I think that many people in the industry have written them off as just far less valuable than audio-visuals. I believe that the rumors of their demise have been greatly exaggerated.

  4. David,

    Thanks so much for this great article. Your advice about using PLR reports is so excellent.

    It is so easy to interject your own personality and experiences into a PLR report to “make it your own”.

    People want to read about real stories from real people. They do NOT want to read generic PLR reports. Those reports fool No One.

    Also, like you said, sometimes the reports can be an excellent way to just start organizing your thoughts and information. But never just give them aways ‘as is’. It’s an insult to your subscriber and does NOT build brand loyalty!

    ~ Jupiter Jim
    Jupiter Jim@Thesis Tutorial, Thesis Theme, WordPress Tutorial´s last blog post ..Why I Don’t Use WordPress JetPack

    • David Merrill 101 April 5, 2013 at 12:47 am #

      You make a great point, Jim, that it really is easy to personalize a PLR item.

      People think it’s easier to cut and paste, and I guess in terms of time and effort it is, but it also undermines the entire reason you write the article to begin with. It’s not just to get it done, but to BRAND yourself in order to develop a relationship with your readers. What a missed opportunity for those who choose to shortcut the method and simply put out a product that has no personality and therefore only puts up walls between write and reader, rather than cementing a relationship.

  5. Lynn Jones April 4, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    Hi David, You make it sound so easy. I think we all have plenty of great information in our heads. It’s just taking the time to put it down on “paper”. I wonder if fiverr has someone who could do that for you. But you would still have to give them the information. Too bad they couldn’t read your mind and save you the time. lol But I do agree that fresh info is better than PLR.
    Loved your step by step instructions!
    Lynn Jones´s last blog post ..Trends of Holistic Health in America

    • David Merrill 101 April 5, 2013 at 12:53 am #

      I’m sure there are plenty of Fiverr gigs available to handle rewrites and spins, Lynn, but I’m not sure at what cost. I know $5 is the price for a gig, but if you have a deep project, or lengthy article, you’d undoubtedly be facing multiple “gigs”.

      People commonly outsource writing to VA’s (virtual assistants), but I’m an old fashion guy that still does everything himself. Maybe only because I don’t know which way to turn to engage a VA. I’m probably not smart to be doing everything on my own. It probably cripples my business developing efforts to some degree. I guess I’m just a control freak to some degree, and unsophisticated in terms of business expansion strategies as well.

      But I’m always open to new ideas and suggestions!

      PS: for writers out here, there’s a lot of potential writing articles for bloggers and other online entrepreneurs.

  6. Steve Borgman June 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    Hi, Dave! Thanks for the great information here. I recently read on one respectable blog (was it Copyblogger or Hubspot Inbound Marketing) about the importance of having a specific landing page, versus just having an optin at the side of our main page. I’m going to put what you’ve said together with this article to get my eBooks drawing in more leads.

    • David Merrill 101 June 10, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

      Here’s a quick tip, Steve.

      Develop a high-end product for your sales funnel. Let’s say it’s a $2,000 coaching program or course.

      Now, write a sales page with 5 to 10 bullet points to highlight the benefits of your coaching program.

      Finally, rework your ebooks into either ebooks or “reports” with the same titles as your bullet points.

      People interested in those bullet point benefits will grab your free ebooks or reports. This will not only get them on your list, but will immediately qualify them as highly targeted prospects for your high end coaching program, which is really the end-line conversion you’re after most of all.

  7. Lynn Jones June 6, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    Hey David, Great, helpful post. For me, I like to read my text on paper or book. I have been known to copy a short ebook so I can have it with me to read if I am sitting somewhere waiting. I have heard that video marketing is many times more effective than most other marketing methods. That’s great if you feel comfortable in front of a camera. 🙂
    Thanks for the informative post!
    Lynn Jones´s last blog post ..Can Grounding or Earthing Impact Your Health?

    • David Merrill 101 June 10, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

      You can actually combine text with video very effectively, Lynn.

      Write long powerpoint slides or even lengthy notepad documents. Record a screen capture of yourself reading the presentation. Verbatim. Ad lib, expand spontaneously and all that if you want. But it’s not required.

      No need to appear direct to camera, simply capture you slides or notepads.

      Your end product is a “video” of you reading (off-camera) your prepared text.

  8. Willena Flewelling June 9, 2013 at 1:02 am #

    I will admit, ALL of this is above my head right now — making videos, ebooks in any form, or audios. A person has to start somewhere, and I know my “somewhere” will be ebooks. I am delighted to have come across this post, David, because I did not know it was free and so easy to convert a Word document to a PDF. Thank you!

    Willena Flewelling´s last blog post ..The Importance of Organized Planning

    • David Merrill 101 June 11, 2013 at 12:44 am #

      Not only eBooks, Willena. Reports, too.

      If you find the task of writing an eBook to be rather daunting and time consuming, think of writing a report instead. Later, write another report as a sequel to your first. Then a 3rd and a 4th. Eventually, you can combine them all as “chapters” in your eBook.

  9. Dawn Golden December 14, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    This article is just perfect for me and my current project- designing my own free report for my website. I am making it way too complicated! That is sometimes what I do best. Your advice here in the article is just what I need to help me… get ‘er done!!
    Dawn Golden´s last blog post ..Penny For Your Thoughts

    • David Merrill 101 December 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

      I think we all tend to complicate things, Dawn.

      This is partly because we don’t think we know everything we should, but also partly as a procrastination technique.

      The trick in internet marketing is to just jump into a project without hesitation. Don’t make it perfect. You can always do a 2nd, then a 3rd.

      Hope to see you get it done real soon…

  10. Yorinda Wanner May 28, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    Hi Dave,
    this awesome information and great tips!

    What I like about creating an eBook in a Word Document is that you can create a table of contents, which then allows people to click on the item they want to read and go straight to it.
    Microsoft Word 7 and Open Office has the option to save the document as a PDF, and it is good to have the option you mentioned to do this.
    I appreciate the guidelines you suggest, i.e. 10 to 40 pages with double spacing and the header.
    The footer option also is great for linking the eBook to our website.

    Much appreciated!
    Yorinda Wanner´s last blog post ..Appreciation for Matt Mullenweg and WordPress


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