Over the past few years, I have written a few ebooks the majority complete failures and as I’m currently writing another I thought would be good to do lessons learned to see can I avoid some of my previous mistakes. This has been my new approach of reflecting instead of nose-diving into a project with tunnel vision. Now I try to focus on what is the outcome I’m trying to achieve more the actual output.
Learning About eBooks
My first ebook was a cringe-worthy sales book about “work from home” email marketing based on my first online course which cost 1000e. I think the title was “Effortless Cashflow System” but it really just was a white label from the original course creator. The funnel was to sell the pdf for a minimal fee of $17 and then if they exit for $7, then 41 after a week of follo-ups all to turn them into buyers so you can upsell them. The goal was to build email lists and spam people. At the time I was sending some people 8 emails a day.
That entire experience was interesting and I did make money from it but it wasn’t something you could be very proud of. At the time I was also working for a gambling company also an industry people frowned upon at digital conferences.
Learned some amazing techniques at the time because making money from home and gambling are so competitive you are at the cusp of online advertizing. This is where I learned all about sales funnels, upsells, downsell, cross-sells, follow-up sequences, retargeting and segmenting. Funny enough all are now common practice in eCommerce businesses.
A lot of the guru’s in these online marketing/make money from home who make the big money make it from selling their courses and “coaching” to people by selling the dream lifestyle. These people are easily impressionable and ambitious. They get lost in content spending all their time learning – but learning is a clever marketing gimmick since most people pay top dollar for courses with so much information they get overwhelmed and never get anywhere. They are stuck focusing on outputs instead of outcomes. I know because I was one of them.
At the time it was a big decision to decide to move away from this especially when I was making money. I was lost for 18 months doing various other online things and not making any money from them. I think now it was the right decision as I move forward to work on projects I’m proud of.
This was actually a pretty good ebook with a clear goal to help people set up an autoresponder on their own servers and make sure their domains weren’t blacklisted. I sold between 50-100 of these ebooks for $27 but had no upsell. Which could have been a service to do it for people or something else related. The audience was people who were sending spammy emails the same as I was at the time. When I decided I wanted to leave the niche completely I felt servicing the people trying to spam people was not something I wanted to enable.
PM Training was my first real attempt at blogging after reading Pat Flynn Smart Passive Income Blog. At the time I was studying for the PMP exam similar to Pat was for his first affiliate website on an architecture certification. So I thought I would copy Pat and create a niche website and sell an ebook with all my insights from completing the certification. This actually was a two-way motivator as I would learn for the exam while writing up the blog and ensuring I complete the exam.
The idea behind the blog was to push an ebook I could sell as a cheat sheet or shortcut to passing the certification. I tried to do everything above board so contacted PMI and they wanted a licencing fee or $700 per year. I did expect to make that myself per year from the ebook so couldn’t rationalize paying it so it never even launched after.
I was pretty disgusted as I was helping people pass their exam which they charge a nice certification fee for and has to be renewed. They also upsell a membership fee to access their material and join local chapters.
100 Agile Tools & Techniques
This was a lead magnet as part of my 100 agile tools and techniques epic post. Was a bit of a disaster and I got about 75% of my planned efforts, got no real small wins and moved onto the next thing. This was when I was at my peak of jumping from thing to thing when I moved to Australia.
Agile Handbook for Project Managers, Portfolio Managers, General Managers, Executives & Founders
My latest ebook which is actual repurposing a lot of the content from PM-Training so took only a day or so to put together. The goal of this ebook is:
- Add to LinkedIn Profile as Publication to be seen as Authority in the Niche
- Use it as an email magnet on PM-Training.net to build a list to upsell my future books on Agile
- A traffic source for my latest agency attempt continual.delivery