You will, at the very least, want a dedicated post or page on your existing blog which will serve as the main sales page for your ebook.
But I recommend…
In fact, you might also want a dedicated site for your ebook. Hopefully you were able to register the domain name which matches the title of your ebook. This is just a good marketing move in general, but if you have the domain, you could easily set up an entirely separate website for your ebook (even if your "site" is just one page for now).
Why would you want a separate site for your ebook?
- If your ebook is somewhat unrelated to your existing site. If that's the case, a dedicated site might be a good idea. It helps to keep things more clear cut.
- To give you the option of building a new site around your ebook. Is the topic of your ebook a new one for you? Are you branching out and contemplating turning it into an entirely new venture? If so, starting out with a brand new site leaves you the possibility of exploring other related projects or streams of income in the future.
- To make things more clean and straightforward for the search engines. Personally, I like the idea of someone searching for "Tell Your Time" and being taken to TellYourTime.com. I don't know if it would drastically improve how people find me, but if "Tell Your Time" becomes a keyword searched for regularly, "TellYourTime.com" is much more likely to appear first in search results.
In my case, my plan was to set up my sales page at TellYourTime.com. I had (and still have) an idea for a unique sales page experience. Alas, I simply ran out of time to set up the new site, so my sales page currently resides at AmyLynnAndrews.com. TellYourTime.com is just pointed to the current sales page, so if you type in "TellYourTime.com" you'll still get there, just not directly. It's not ideal for me, but it suffices.
How to set up a separate site for your ebook.
If you do go the route of a unique site for your ebook, setting up a new site is easy peasy. If you're already on Bluehost, you can host as many domains as you'd like with them for free. (Sweet deal!) Call them and they'll walk you through the steps.
Once you're set up, simply install WordPress for your new domain (WordPress is a great way to have a static site as well as a blog). You can use the same steps in my Step by Step Guide to set up your ebook site. The only difference would be that you'd want to set your ebook site up with your sales page as your home page. To set up your home page as a static page (as opposed to dynamic, ever-changing blog posts):
- Create a new Page — this is your sales page which will serve as your home page.
- Go to Settings in your Dashboard.
- Click "Reading" on the left.
- Under "Front page displays", simply select "A static page (select below)" and then choose your sales page from the dropdown menu next to "Front page".
(If you don't already use Bluehost, you can sign up with them easy enough. They do require you to sign up for a year's worth of hosting upfront even though it works out to only $6.95 per month. If you don't want to commit to a full year, try HostGator which allows you to pay month to month. See How to set up hosting and WordPress for more.)
My tips for writing a sales page
Whether your ebook sales page is housed on a site all its own, or it's a post or a page on your existing blog, there are a few things to remember. (Note that this is, by no means, an exhaustive list. Indeed, writing an effective sales page has become an art, and for those who do it well, a nice way to earn a hefty income!).
- Start with something that immediately draws people in. Initially I had a boring "Tell Your Time is about…." paragraph at the top of my sales page. Now I've changed it and in bold it reads, "What if you could change your life in less than 30 pages…(and for the price of a few fancy coffees)?" My goal is to pique interest and to get people to keep reading.
- Be bold but don't lie. I thought about saying "Change your life in 30 pages!" but nixed that idea. First, I certainly can't guarantee my little ebook will change anyone's life (though the feedback has been very encouraging!). Second, a "What if…" statement makes people stop and think (and consider reading further) more than a late night infomercial-esque "Lose 40 pounds by morning" type claim in my opinion. Third, I was trying to tie in Crystal's tweet in which she does make that very claim for me (i.e. it's much more effective coming from someone else than it would if I said it myself).
- Include your "Add to Cart" button several times throughout the page. Give people the opportunity to buy at several points, especially when there's a natural "break" in your copy. Don't miss the opportunity for a call to action. (I talked about how to get your "Add to Cart" button in How to Write an Ebook: Distribution.)
- Give an idea of what they'll get. An ebook is tricky in that (a) it's a bit of a novelty for many people and (b) you can't "page through it" like you would a book you buy in the bookstore. So, providing your Table of Contents or a synopsis of what they'll receive if they buy your ebook is a good idea. (Sidenote: If you do use your Table of Contents here, make sure the topics in your Table of Contents sound interesting! For example, "Envelopes of Time" is more intriguing than "A helpful time management principle" don't you think?)
- Add testimonials. If others have offered feedback or have said nice things about your ebook, ask them if you can include them on your sales page. A link back to their site is good too, so be sure to ask them if there's a particular page they'd like you to link to.
- Look at other sales pages for inspiration. If you're a bit stumped and aren't sure how to craft your own sales page, a good way to get some ideas is by looking at the sales pages of others.
All the best as you create your own sales page. And don't forget to check out all the posts in this series, How to Write an Ebook: The Guide. And if you're not sure writing an ebook is right for you, here's why writing an ebook is a good idea. For anyone.
Another resource: I just found a very clever way to create a sales page. In How to Legally Steal Copy That Converts Like Crazy, you'll learn how to survey your readers and turn their words into the copy for your sales page. Handy.
Anyone else have any tips to add? Chime in in the comments below!
Read the next post in this series: How to Write an Ebook: Preparing for Affiliates.
Other posts in this series
- How to Write an Ebook
- How to Write an Ebook: Why It's a Good Idea
- How to Write an Ebook: Choose a Sellable Topic
- How to Write an Ebook: Preparing to Write
- How to Write an Ebook: Writing Tips from a Non-Writer
- How to Write an Ebook: Editing and Naming
- How to Write an Ebook: Formatting
- How to Write an Ebook: Setting Up Accounts
- How to Write an Ebook: Pricing
- How to Write an Ebook: Distribution
- How to Write an Ebook: Creating a Sales Page (or Site)
- How to Write an Ebook: Preparing for Affiliates
- How to Write an Ebook: Taking care of your affiliates
- How to Write an Ebook: Paying your affiliates
- How to Make Your Ebook Available on Kindle & Nook