I’ve had a popular course on Udemy for some time, and recently was exploring ways to leverage it further. I did some research and decided turning it into a short ebook would be a fast and worthwhile project to test out. Here are my experiences:
Two primary frameworks for creating and marketing the ebook:
Note: Scott’s a pretty cool dude with good content – I’d recommend following his blog.
Creating the ebook
My starting materials were very different than the post above, but it still helped give me ideas and get me started.
- With very specific instructions, I got a VA to go through my Udemy course and take notes on every concrete strategy. The result was a spreadsheet with columns: strategy name, 1 sentence description, 1 relevant link, and 1 relevant tool/app.
- Same process, but with blog posts on a similar subject.
- For a couple hours each morning, 3 days in a row, I organize and flesh these notes out into a short but sweet ebook.
- Used a fiverr gig to get a cover for 5 bucks.
- Add an upsell into the Udemy course, and an opt-in bribe. Either way I will be able to stay in touch with them (Udemy announcements or email list).
Total cost: about $60
Marketing the book
- Used this link to do free Amazon keyword research – created title, subtitle, and book description with this info
- Started using a trick where you can put keywords as fellow authors on the book…but decided I didn’t want to risk getting banned
- Hustled to get some initial reviews. There are a million ways to do this, however some reviews don’t get approved. How did Amazon know that was my sister?! 😮
- Booked book categories based on lack of competition (but still relevant). My experience is that a simple switch of category can DRAMATICALLY affect rankings and organic downloads.
- Even with no initial traction, got up to 5 sales one day with a 99 cent pre-promotion price point
- Scheduled free 5 day promotion to give away to audience and to increase rankings by getting lots of downloads (currently two days left of this)
- Promotion strategies used so far to market free book – announcement to my students and fellow instructors, posting to relevant fb groups (free ebook promotion groups plus those related to the topic), personal social media, adding link to email signature/autoreply in gmail, and finally picking categories I could get top rankings for to ensure organic downloads.
- Will increase price to $2.99 when promotion ends (lowest price point with higher revenue split)
- I tested out hiring odesk peeps to leave reviews for 5 bucks (just to see if it would work). Don’t go this route. Obviously this is somewhat “black hat”, and iIf you are looking to get some extra reviews in ethically ambiguous ways, just reach out to people posting free books in the free ebook fb groups, and offer to do a review exchange. Or better yet have a VA take care of this.
Note: today is August 17, and these reports have a 1 day delay, so the graph shows zero downloads for today. There will likely be another 400 or so downloads that show up tomorrow. I will update the post with final results once the promotion ends.
- 5 reviews
- Didn’t track upsells into course well – oops!
- 12 subscribers
- Average of 2 sales per day pre-promotion
- 1419 downloads and counting first 3 days of promotion
- Hovering between #1 and #2 in 3 different book categories (even though you actually pick 2, a 3rd category keeps showing?)
- Ranked 449th overall in the free store – not back for a book made with 60 bucks and minimal work!
Ultimately, it will be interesting to see how rankings change once the free promotion ends, and how many sales/day I get. Even if I get 1-2 sales per day consistently, that’s 60-120 bucks per month, not including leads and upsells or the value of credibility. The financial results aren’t mind-blowing, but was still a fun and useful experiment. I think there is also potential for it to do quite a bit better than that as well. The optimistic goal is 5+ sales per day, as that’s 300+/month passive. Now if I every want to self-publish a full-length book and really make money with it, I will know how to market on Amazon. Plus I get to technically call myself an “author” now for fun 😉
Biggest Lesson Learned
Above all else, the category and keyword research matters most. I actually ran a test right before I launched this book 100% outsourcing a book purely based on gaps in the Amazon marketplace. Some people make 6 figures per year with this approach. I picked a topic with high search volume, low-competition, then outsourced a short book on the topic for 55 bucks for book plus cover. Then I set up the free promotion and waited to see what happened. Since I picked the targets well, it is still one of the results for “HIV”, with minimal effort beyond the initial positioning. Note: I know the topic is odd, but again it was only based on the fact that there’s lots of traffic for this term, and the ranking books are terrible. So if you want to go out and write an awesome book on HIV and AIDs and went through the marketing process above, you would make bank.
Want to check out my book that I ran through this entire marketing process?
My book can be found here for free through Monday. If you enjoyed this post, it would be awesome if you could download and review my book (more reviews = better rankings). Tons of the random people who are downloading it have also contacted me to tell me how much they liked it. You can review it here and help me keep it at #1!
If you want to see the Udemy course I based it on, you can check that out here.
P.S. As one final comment to anyone who is looking to get into the infoproduct game – what you put out doesn’t have to be amazing to truly help people. That Udemy course above was filmed on iphones in my parents basement when I was fresh out of college, with some edits thrown in by a friend of mine. Yet the course has been taken by thousands of people, made tons of money (by my standards anyways), and I regularly get messages from people telling me how much it positively impacted their life.
That’s the power of putting yourself out there and marketing the shit out of it 😉
If you are looking to create or market your own online course, just contact me and I will work with you to create a successful, profitable Udemy course , generating you continuous authority and profit.
P.P.S. If you are looking to find good niches to outsource kindle books for, a good tool to do this is KDSpy – it tells you which niches to pick, you outsource the book, spend an hour or two marketing it, then get 50-150/month passive income per book that you do this for. Some people do this with hundreds of books and make thousands per month.