OK – let’s start this awesome project by talking about coming up with an e-book idea.
Today I’m gonna share with you some quick and easy ways to do market research, so you can be sure that the guide you’re going to create will be something your audience actually wants.
Obviously, there are no guarantees in business, so there’s still the possibility that you’ll create something very few people will wanna buy. But you can take comfort in knowing that if you get a few things right, you will get some sales.
The first thing you gotta keep in mind is WHO you’re selling to, and the second is the PROBLEM they want to solve. If you can figure out what those two things are, and create something that speaks to them, then you’ll make sales.
But first… What Makes a Great E-book?
Since we’re going to be talking about e-books for the next 7 weeks (maybe even longer), let’s first dissect the makings of a great one. I’m sure there are many things that make a great e-book, but I believe these are the four main factors.
A Great E-book…
- Solves a real problem – because if it doesn’t, your refund rate will go through the roof
- Builds even more trust with your audience – because it’s an expansion of the value you’ve already been sharing with them on your blog
- Takes a stand on your topic – because no one will care if you try to be everything for everyone
- Over-delivers on your promises -because this is the difference between an e-book that you keep to yourself and one you talk about
We’ll talk more about HOW we’re going to incorporate these things into our e-books when we get to creating “e-book worthy” content. For now, let’s jump into some quick and easy market research strategies.
7 Ways to Do Market Research
1. Ask Your Readers
I know. I know. It’s obvious, but it’s also the easiest and most straight-forward way to gain valuable insights from your audience. You can ask them what they’d like to learn more about in your area of expertise.
You’re likely to get some really good responses; but you don’t stop there. In the comments sections, you can ask them to get more specific, so you can get an idea of what type of content they really want.
2. Create a Survey
If you have an idea of the topic you want to write about, then surveying your audience might be a better way to learn what interests them about your idea.
In order to get the most out of your surveys, make sure it’s easy to take. Try to ask close-ended question that your audience will have little to no trouble answering. Multiple choice and YES or NO questions would work best.
Here are a few examples;
- When you visit my blog you wanna learn more about ________ (follow by a list of topics)
- Do you think you would benefit from a product on _______ ? (yes or no)
You can however ask open-ended questions if you feel your audience would answer them. This sill give you a much better idea of what they want and the language they use to describe what they need.
Ask questions like:
- What frustrates you the most about ___________ ?
- Fill in the blank. “If only I knew how to ______, I would ________ .
There might be a brilliant e-book idea buried in your comments section.
People will often ask questions about blog posts you’ve written or make suggestions on topics they’d like to learn more about. (at least this is what I’ve found to be true on my site).
Although only a small percentage of your audience actually leave comments, and it could be that what one person is interested in might not be true for the rest, you can still use this information on surveys.
The point here is.. Don’t overlook comments, you might find gold.
4. Dissect Popular Posts
Popular posts are popular for a reason, your job is to find out what that reason is.
There may be a hidden product idea underneath the topic you covered in that particular post. It’s important not to jump to conclusions though.
Just because a post got a lot of retweets doesn’t mean people will PAY to get more of it. Simply add this to your idea list and try writing another post around the topic.
If it resonates with people a second time, you might have a good e-book topic on your hands.
5. What are your competitors doing/selling?
There’s no rule that says you can’t spy on your competition – (this is, of course, friendly competition, cuz mostly everyone in the blogosphere is super nice to one another)
If you know of another blogger who writes to your audience, then check out THEIR most popular posts as well. There’s a good chance your audience will resonate with an article about the same topic.
Also, look at their product line. Of course, you won’t know for sure if the product is selling well unless they share sales results, but they’ll at least give you an idea of the ebooks you can create.
It’s likely that your competitors did some research before releasing the product, anyway..
6. Is There a Complimentary Product You Can Create?
Maybe your competitors left something out. Maybe you can find a topic that was NOT covered by a popular product and Fill That Void.
This is often used when doing affiliate marketing, and trying to sell software. Software creators often create plugins or scripts without putting much emphasis on exactly HOW to use it effectively.
This is where affiliate marketers come in. They see a NEED that needs to be met and they fulfill it with tutorial videos and step-by-step action plans.
They often give this away for free in order to get more sales, but I know of a few bloggers who charge monthly for this type of information.
7. What Questions Are You Getting Via Email or Social Media?
Don’t just focus on your blog, think about the people who email you or contact your on Twitter and Facebook.
They have questions. No matter how simple the answer is, there might be a much deeper problem that they’re not asking about.
Think about how you can address all aspects of the questions they ask; there might be an e-book idea in there, too.