Copyright © 2005 Louis Allport
Know about "Viral eBooks"?
It's not a new concept I'll admit, but it works like absolute gangbusters. In fact, over the past three years it has personally been responsible for bringing me hundreds of thousands of visitors to just one of my websites. AND - 100% for free.
Getting traffic with Viral eBooks is a "free traffic tactic", which means you're not paying for advertising. But, because you're not paying for this exposure, you need to instead create content that people WANT to pass on.
This takes effort, but if you do it right, it can pay you back hugely. Let's go through it:
Okay - for starters you can create Viral eBooks in two formats:
EXE (executable) format - which means it only works on PC's. This type of eBook looks like a website packaged together.
These types of eBooks look great, and all someone has to do to view it is download and double-click it. But, as mentioned it does only work on PC's, and generally the software to create these types of eBooks isn't free, although it is very affordable. (I personally use the software from eBookCompiler.com which as I write this retails for around $30.)
Alternatively - you can create and distribute Viral eBooks in the hugely popular PDF format. The advantage of PDF is that everyone can read them successfully whether they're viewing your eBook on PC, Mac or "other".
To read PDF successfully, the person who downloaded the eBook needs to have the free Adobe Reader installed on their computer. Most people do, and if they don’t it's a quick download from Adobe.com, so this isn't an issue.
Although PDF’s can be more widely read that EXE style eBooks, they’re not quite as flexible. With EXE's for example you can actually embed video and audio into the eBook. This isn't possible with PDF. With PDF you would need to instead include a link to where the reader can view or download the audio/video online.
So with this in mind, you need to decide what's most important to you and make your choice accordingly for eBook format. I personally don't recommended you create your eBook in both formats, since that just complicates the distribution process in my experience. Stick with one or the other.
For creating Viral PDF's - there's a wide array of software that allows you to create PDF's. Some of this software is free, some mind-bogglingly expensive. To view many available options, simply search Download.com or Tucows.com.
For creating Viral PDF's, I personally use software that I had specially created. And the advantage of my software is that it allows you to easily create fully *brandable* PDF's. This means that people can customize your PDF with their own affiliate or website details.
The benefit of this feature is that it makes it much more likely the PDF will spread far and wide for you as it gives the reader a strong incentive to pass the PDF on as they can now directly profit from it's distribution.
You can get this PDF branding software for free at BrandPDF.com
So those are your two options for eBook formats. Now - how do you make it truly viral?
Well, first of all, decide what kind of visitors you want to your website, and create an eBook on a subject that would interest those people.
Your eBook has to be truly useful, interesting, and credible. Don't create a poor quality eBook since no one will read it, which means of course that no one will visit your site.
You can even include multi-media links within your eBook to related audio and video if you like, making your product even more interesting and unique. These download links lead back to your site of course, which naturally gets you more visitors.
If you're not familiar with a subject matter that would allow you to reach your target audience, you could perhaps have an eBook ghostwritten. There's plenty of Ghostwriters who would bid on a project you list for free at eLance.com.
(Ghostwriters are professional writers who create unique content for you on a subject of your choice, and give you all the rights to it, so you can use it as you choose. Many ghostwriters offer their services very affordably.)
Alternatively - an information-rich interview with an expert in the field could be a good solution. The person you interview gets free advertising that way too of course, so they may well be happy to spend the time.
Such an interview can be done either by email or by phone. The audio of a phone interview would be edited (to remove any mistakes) and then transcribed. Both the audio and transcript can then be offered in the eBook.
In my personal experience, longer interviews (more than just a few simple questions) don't work well by email since it can take the person being interviewed quite a lot of typing, and I find the momentum of the process quickly fades this way with every question asked, which can lead to significant delays.
For this reason, and to keep things quick and easy for the person being interviewed, I have generally gone with phone interviews in the past - one hour of interview generally creates from around 7,000 to 10,000 words of content.
Then after finalizing the recording and tidying the transcript, pass the product by the interviewee before publication to confirm their approval.
And let me stress again - your eBook must be high quality and credible. The higher the quality the further it will spread.
If it's free to give away, maybe aim for an eBook that could sell for $20 comfortably - IF - it was being sold.
Use this as a rough guide to the kind of value you want to aim for with your eBook. The more value you offer in a subject your target market is interested in, the more people will pay attention to it. It's as simple as that.
So finally - how do you make the eBook as viral as possible?
One important point already mentioned more than once is to make the eBook very high quality.
The next important point also touched on is that it is very good to give people strong incentives to pass the eBook on, rather than simply hoping they do. To do this, give them benefits for passing it on. Particularly - by making it brandable so that the person passing it on can add their affiliate links, or even their "home page" address to it. For example:
"This eBook is brought to you by JoeBloggs.com"
If it's a free to sell eBook (which means: if you have a copy of the eBook, you have the automatic right to sell it yourself. In a sense these are resale rights that automatically roll from one eBook owner to the next) - have a ready-made and professional website and sales page linked to from within the eBook, so that it's easy for people to start selling it.
And if the offer, sales copy, website and product are all high quality, the eBook should sell well for everyone who resells it, which means it quickly spreads far and wide for you.
If you give everyone who gets a copy of the eBook a way to profit it will just keep on spreading for years to come. This has been my experience. Search for my name in Google to see this first hand.
And pay attention to the rights you give the eBook - loose rights for an eBook will help it spread far and wide quickly. Specify the rights within the first page or two of the eBook so there's no confusion. And don't just say "Master Rights". Explain the rights in an easy to understand way.
And let me also say that the more eBooks you create, the larger the "Viral Net" you'll have out there working for you to bring you visitors every single day.
I've personally been creating viral eBooks for around three years as I write this, and have over thirty eBooks out there on thousands upon thousands of web sites. AND - on tens of thousands (even hundreds of thousands) of personal computers around the world. And all these eBooks are working automatically every day to bring traffic back to my site.
Starting your own Viral eBook library can do the same for you.
Louis Allport is an online product developer and marketer. He recently revealed a system that can help you create best-selling products practically on demand: Create Best-Sellng Products