Online learning is booming like never before, so you can use the hype to attract a larger audience. Ebooks have been a popular format for a couple of years now. However, recently e-courses seem to become a more sought-after alternative. What’s the best format for your content?
Ebooks as a Marketing Magnet
First of all, an ebook can be a great way to draw attention to your service/company/blog. Anyone can make a website and offer their services these days, which has created a lot of scepticism among readers and customers. Why should they choose you over your competitors?
An ebook allows you to position yourself as an expert in your field. By showing people you have real insight in your market, you can convince them to use your services or sign up to your podcast. Your credibility will increase significantly.
If you want to give your email list a boost, it’s a great idea to offer a free ebook. When given the right incentive, people will gladly subscribe to receive your enticing content. On the other hand, if you have been blogging for a while without making any profit, selling an ebook will finally allow you to earn some money in return for all your hard work.
Moreover, you invest time (and money) into an ebook once, after which it starts to live its own life. Even if you don’t sell huge amounts in a short period of time, there is no harm in letting it sit and provide you with a steady source of income.
- Validate your expertise.
- More email list subscriptions.
- One-time investment.
- Low threshold.
- Small profits.
- Difficult to know what topic your audience is interested in.
E-Courses to Interact With Your Audience
Writing an e-course also helps to convince people of your expertise, but it has other advantages as well.
First of all, you don’t have to complete all the content in advance. As long as you create a general outline of what you will offer, you can start signing people up. You can simply work on every segment as the course begins.
Another advantage is that since you are dealing with a live audience, you get instant feedback. That will help you create the exact content your audience is looking for, which is very important. So many ebooks are written about topics that people aren’t really interested in. Therefore, a lot of research has to be done before you can be sure that your ebook tackles a “pain” the reader is feeling. With a course, the feedback lands straight in your lap and you just have to take it into account as you go.
If you decide to offer an e-course with extra material, such as podcasts, videos, and tutorials, people will be happy to pay for your content. Since e-courses have a higher perceived value than ebooks, it will be much easier to make money with your content. Of course, it also requires a bit more work.
Other than that, there is one more drawback about creating an e-course: if you’re not familiar with teaching or coaching, it might not be the right format for you. An e-course requires a lot of communication with your audience: each of them will want specific information related to their situation. If you’re not sure about being a coach, the ebook format will probably suit you better.
- Validate your expertise.
- Interact directly with your audience.
- Larger profits.
- Requires more work.
- Previous coaching/teaching experience highly recommended.
Or Why Not Both?
There is no reason why you should decide once and for all which format you will use. After all, you can easily work on one format, and then restructure your existing content. For example, if you have created a course, you will know what your audience is really struggling with, which will enable you to write the ebook they are looking for. On the other hand, once you have written an ebook, you can offer an e-course with more in-depth and personalized material (based on the feedback from your readers).
In other words, you can’t really go wrong. Both formats allow you to increase your audience and engage with them in a meaningful way. Pick the one that feels right for you at this time and test the water.
Taking It a Step Further: Webinars
Just a final note: as research suggests, web-based seminars (or ‘webinars’) are the most effective when it comes to content marketing for your business. Therefore, it can be a good idea to dive into the medium and launch one yourself.
- Live interaction with your audience.
- Webinars save time & money.
- Best conversion rates, as research suggests.
- Might be outside of your comfort zone (you're on video).
- You should be an expert on the subject matter as you'll get live questions.