Methods to build a list and presell an ebook on the same site?

18 replies
Hi everyone,

Me and my friend are going to write an ebook about the strategies used to become successful investing in the stock market. Now, we know how to do keyword research and pick a domain name, but we do not know how we should set up our site. I know wordpress is easy to use, but we do not want to set up an authority blog.
We are interested in email marketing as well, so we were considering letting people download a free chapter of the ebook in exchange for their email address. So, we are wondering how we should set up our website - more specifically what the homepage should be.

Should the homepage be a squeeze page (or something like a squeeze page) offering the free chapter in order the build our list, and once the visitors are added to the list, promote the ebook and provide links to the ebook sales page (which would be located in some subfolder in the site structure)?

Or should the homepage be a long sales letter pre-selling the ebook and try to convert customers right from the homepage? (The method used by MANY ebooks and software found on clickbank)

The perfect website (in our minds) would be one that built a list, but also pre-sold the ebook. How should we set up the site structure so we can do both? (Preferable with both a squeeze page/squeeze "text box" and a sales letter. I am sure Wordpress (probably with some custom templates/plugins like Thesis) can accomplish this. We are just not sure how. Thanks!

EDIT: We were also considering using Wordpress for our site and posting a few keyword-based articles (probably around 10 articles which we wrote) on it to generate traffic and help with google rankings. However, how should we implement both the squeeze page/box to build our list and the sales letter for the ebook? Is there a custom theme that can accomplish this? Or would doing one or the other work better?
#build #copywriting #ebook #list #methods #presell #site #squeeze page #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author iRunThis
    You're over complicating this. Focus on building your list, you can then pre-sell through an email.

    OR

    You can create a completely different page to sell the ebook and just send them the link to it in an email.

    I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "pre-sell the book", do you mean a sales page? or do you mean building hype and anticipation about the product before you launch it?

    You can always just create a sales page on the website and make them opt-in in order to receive the product that they purchased.

    -JaVaun T
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  • Profile picture of the author Fatality
    I would make your homepage as the sales letter. Then have a script so that when they exit out of your website, it takes them to a different page that says "WAIT! You can download ONE WHOLE CHAPTER of this amazing guide for free. Just enter your email below and we will send you your exclusive link."

    That's what I would do.
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  • Profile picture of the author hotwebwords
    Can I ask...why don't you want to build an authority site?
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  • Profile picture of the author Brendan Carl
    @iRunThis
    By "pre-sell", I mean the sales page with the sales letter on it. Sorry for the incorrect lingo.

    So, your saying that my site should focus on building my list, then have a sales page for the ebook somewhere on the site, and link to it in emails. If I did that, I could make the homepage of my site talk about the ebook, and say something like "if you want to read a chapter of it free, enter your email here and I'll send it to you" or something. And, then link to the sales page (which won't be the homepage, but you could get to it from the homepage?) in future emails.

    @Fatality:
    That is also a good idea. I could do that or I could have a wordpress plugin that pops up whenever someone visits the site that says "if you want a chapter free, enter here" or whatever.

    @hotwebwords:
    Well, to be honest, I do not know if I have the time and resources to make constant, meaningful posts. Sure, I can make 10 or so keyword-based blog posts when I set up the site to drive traffic, but I do not think I could make meaningful, constant posts. Would an authority site be much more effective for selling one ebook? The site would not have any ads on it, as that could potentially distract from the ultimate goal of me selling my ebook.
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    • Profile picture of the author iRunThis
      Originally Posted by bcarl6 View Post

      @iRunThis
      By "pre-sell", I mean the sales page with the sales letter on it. Sorry for the incorrect lingo.

      So, your saying that my site should focus on building my list, then have a sales page for the ebook somewhere on the site, and link to it in emails. If I did that, I could make the homepage of my site talk about the ebook, and say something like "if you want to read a chapter of it free, enter your email here and I'll send it to you" or something. And, then link to the sales page (which won't be the homepage, but you could get to it from the homepage?) in future emails.
      That's something similar to what I was trying to say (minus the part about giving away a free chapter) but that's an excellent idea! I would actually recommend that you do it that way more than the way that I told you. You don't really need help, you just need reassurance.
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  • Profile picture of the author marcuslim
    An easy way is to offer the first chapter for free. When they sign up, immediately redirect them to a page that offers the complete ebook for a low price. If they don't take you up on the offer immediately, you can always go and offer it to them again via your email series.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brendan Carl
    @marcuslim
    Your idea is somewhat related to iRunThis's. So, the homepage could be talking about the ebook, then say "if you want to read a chapter for free, enter your email address" at the bottom of the page. This would kind of be a short sales letter. Then, when they did, I would redirect them to the actual sales page for the ebook (which would be located in a subfolder in the site structure). But, two questions:

    1.) Can visitors only get to the ebook sales page by entering in their email addresses on the homepage (which would basically be a long squeeze page)? Or should I say something like "if you want to buy the book click here" or "if you want to read more about this click here" and link to the sales page for the ebook.

    2.) And, would this low price be the actual price of the ebook, and only tell the visitors that it is "low"? This could make it seem exclusive, which is good.

    EDIT: I just checked out your site (and subscribed to your list), and I now know exactly what you are talking about. Your site is basically a 3 step sequence. Your homepage is offering the free content, and you tell people they can download it by entering in their email address, which will add them to your list. Then, you are brought to the sales page offering the paid content. If they click "No Thanks" in the bottom, they are brought to the download page.
    This seems great, but would it work for me selling an ebook? Instead of calling my free chapter that I am offering a "free chapter", I could call it a "mini-guide" or "mini-course" or something, then offer the full ebook on the next page.
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    • Profile picture of the author marcuslim
      @bcarl6
      Thanks for signing up to my list lol, and yeah this is a very simple squeeze funnel, where you have a squeeze page followed by a low cost offer. The idea behind the low cost offer is that it 'completes' the free gift. In my case, once subscribers get the free squeeze template, I offer them lots more at a low cost. Not the best example, but you can see the idea.

      If your free chapter is step one of a multi-part process, then you can position the low cost offer as the 'next steps' in the process.

      If your free chapter offers one investing strategy, you can position the low cost offer as 'check out my 9 other investing strategies' or something like that.

      Whichever way you do it, you want to do it so that the free offer becomes 'useful but incomplete' without the low cost offer to 'complement it'.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brendan Carl
    @marcuslim
    Thank you so much for the great advice. I like the 'check out my 9 other...' idea. Makes it seem like the free chapter is step 1 out of 10, and they need the other 9.

    @iRunThis - Thanks a lot man.
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  • Profile picture of the author hotwebwords
    An authority site can make all the difference. I know from experience, my own and working with clients, that ebooks are better sold when you have given prospects every reason to trust you. Every post is an opportunity for them to see firsthand that you are a worthy and reliable source of information.

    Even if you only post once a week, make it a valuable post and that will make a massive difference in subscribers and sales. When prospects trust you, it becomes a short hop to the sale.

    If you cannot do the blogging yourself, you can outsource it. Just remember that quality content matters, so you can't hire a writer whose only concern is moving from one cheap article to another.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brendan Carl
      Originally Posted by hotwebwords View Post

      An authority site can make all the difference. I know from experience, my own and working with clients, that ebooks are better sold when you have given prospects every reason to trust you. Every post is an opportunity for them to see firsthand that you are a worthy and reliable source of information.

      Even if you only post once a week, make it a valuable post and that will make a massive difference in subscribers and sales. When prospects trust you, it becomes a short hop to the sale.

      If you cannot do the blogging yourself, you can outsource it. Just remember that quality content matters, so you can't hire a writer whose only concern is moving from one cheap article to another.
      Ok thank you for your informed response. If I were to create an authority site, I would probably make myself do it. But, would a blog with 10 to 15 posts on it count? (I would make the posts keyword-based to drive traffic). Or do I have to continually update the site with new posts?
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  • Profile picture of the author hotwebwords
    In your niche, you don't need to have lots of updates. I think you could get away with one very informative update per month that talks about specific news amongst tactics and such.

    This is not what Google wants per se...they want fresh content often. But nonetheless such high quality content would organically boost the value of your site.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brendan Carl
      Originally Posted by hotwebwords View Post

      In your niche, you don't need to have lots of updates. I think you could get away with one very informative update per month that talks about specific news amongst tactics and such.

      This is not what Google wants per se...they want fresh content often. But nonetheless such high quality content would organically boost the value of your site.
      Ok thank you. That is good that I would not have to make daily or near-daily updates. I could probably post about the hottest stocks of the month or something.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark72
    You should have a blog and a separate squeeze page. The squeeze page should be optimized for collecting email addresses and nothing else.

    The blog should be geared towards helping to build a relationship with your subscribers and demonstrate authority over your area of expertise along with useful content delivered by email.

    Only when your subscribers like and trust you will they buy your book.
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  • Profile picture of the author marcuslim
    The other reason why you want a blog (besides building relationship and demonstrating authority) is if you want to do SEO to bring traffic. Google does not like squeeze pages, so if all you have is a squeeze page, it's going to be hard to rank. Google wants relevant content, that's why a blog is necessary to show Google that you have good content. Then you can have a sidebar with your opt-in form on it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brendan Carl
      Originally Posted by Mark72 View Post

      You should have a blog and a separate squeeze page. The squeeze page should be optimized for collecting email addresses and nothing else.

      The blog should be geared towards helping to build a relationship with your subscribers and demonstrate authority over your area of expertise along with useful content delivered by email.

      Only when your subscribers like and trust you will they buy your book.
      Ok, that makes sense. Should both of these be on the same site? Or should they be separate domains? If they are on the same site, would you suggest a squeeze page as the homepage with a navigation bar below the header with a link to the blog, as well as links to a product page with my ebook sale page and a contact us link, etc.?

      Originally Posted by marcuslim View Post

      The other reason why you want a blog (besides building relationship and demonstrating authority) is if you want to do SEO to bring traffic. Google does not like squeeze pages, so if all you have is a squeeze page, it's going to be hard to rank. Google wants relevant content, that's why a blog is necessary to show Google that you have good content. Then you can have a sidebar with your opt-in form on it.
      Yea I thought that was the case. Would a site like Official Double Your Dating | David DeAngelo's Double Your Dating be a good model to choose? That way I could build my list on the homepage as well as have a blog to post keyword-rich articles to boost traffic and trust.
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  • Profile picture of the author marcuslim
    Yes, Eben Pagan's Double Your Dating site is a good one to model. He obviously knows what he's doing. I think when he first started, all he had was a simple squeeze page, then over time it evolved into what it is today in order to make Google happy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brendan Carl
      Originally Posted by marcuslim View Post

      Yes, Eben Pagan's Double Your Dating site is a good one to model. He obviously knows what he's doing. I think when he first started, all he had was a simple squeeze page, then over time it evolved into what it is today in order to make Google happy.
      Ok I will highly consider using this model.

      However, I read this article: Why I Use Multiple Landing Pages [Reader Question] | DavidRisley.com
      It is by a very experienced marketer, and he states that conversions on simple squeeze page sites are MUCH better than conversions on a blog. Do you think this is the truth?
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