|I've always thought that one of the most exciting aspects of the
internet comes in the form of tiny digital packages we so fondly
Knowledge and experience is transformed into digital form and
packaged for distribution, all in a matter of seconds. And
internet denizens hungry for more information devour them as
quickly as they appear.
My computer is always full to the brim with all kinds,
downloaded from so many places, I can't even begin to tell you
where. Day after day, a layer of e-dust covers this monstrous
Despite the dizzying parade of giveaways that greet your eyes
each day, there is no denying the simple fact that giving away
something for free drives traffic your way. In many cases, we're
all happy for any traffic we can get.
It is no wonder that virtually in every website -- in our case,
internet marketing -- that you visit, you'll be sure to find a
large ebook library offering up the latest and hottest releases.
DON'T JUST FOLLOW THE PARADE If you already have a mailing-list
or website, you're likely eager to do the same. And there's the
rub: everybody else is thinking along the same lines. "Hey, I'll
do that, too!"
Wait a minute! Take a pause and think things through...
When it comes to giving away ebooks, there are a few but
essential problems you should consider:
- practically everyone is giving them away - there is a
staggering amount of ebooks already out there - they vary
greatly in quality (a needle in a haystack!)
On that note, I am going to share with you a few pointers that
have helped me decide whether an ebook is worth giving away or
There's nothing like a big name to stamp instant credibility
onto any ebook before you've even read it. But not everyone is
familiar with the big names in their respective niches.
Try to get an idea of who the author is, either by visiting
their homepage through the links in the ebook or by performing a
simple search online. You may get dazzled and excited at how
established and renowned the author is, or wonder why you can't
find a single trace. All the same, read the ebook! You'll get a
much better feel of the author, not just as a knowledgeable
expert but also as a real person.
Is the author distant? impersonal? formal? Or is he/she relaxed?
For me the answer to these questions bear a lot of weight when
deciding whether or not to recommend, promote and -- perhaps in
the long run -- sign up as an affiliate, if such a program is
available. I would want to interact, communicate and do business
with someone who is not only professional but also friendly,
open, and approachable. Wouldn't you?
Does the author have something unique to share? How well does
he/she communicate ideas?
In this case, many ebooks are repetitions or slight variations
of the same subject. A good rule of thumb is to choose the ebook
whose author covers the subject best.
Scope & Depth of Content
You may think that because you're not yet very familiar with the
subject of the ebook that you cannot possibly assess the quality
of the content. Believe me, you can!
Whether it's instinct or intuition, you can tell whether there's
something to the material or not, merely by reading between the
lines. You will see the difference between a mere rephrasing of
an idea with nothing new to add, from a truly unique perspective
and improvement of old time-proven methods or techniques.
How wide and how deep does it go? Is it merely a general
overview? Does it get down to step-by-step gritty details?
Your decision will depend on what you want to achieve with the
giveaway. You may want it to complement an article on your
website, for example, so you would want it more detailed. Or
perhaps you want to use it only as an introduction to your
This is a technique commonly employed by many pros. It is highly
recommended by Terry Dean in his article "Give First & Prove
Your Worth." Give away a high-quality ebook that provides a
general but sufficient overview of a topic, and still provides
plenty of valuable information. Your main product, in turn,
reveals the full, in-depth, and detailed step-by-step
Consider your intended recipient. Check whether or not the
subject itself is familiar or of any interest to them. If not,
is it explained in such a way that they can easily comprehend
it? Also, is it closely related to the information they ask for?
This simple check ensures that you do not alienate (or annoy)
any of your readers.
Even if you have not written the ebook yourself, it would be a
considerate gesture on your part to go over it and make sure
that they have the best experience with your giveaway. It
conveys the fact that you are genuinely looking after their
benefit and not merely pushing an ebook for your own ends.
On the technical side of things, it is worth checking the format
in which it is compiled. EXE is accessible only to PC users, not
to MAC. PDF, on the other hand, is accessible to both.
Layout & Organization
Just as in your website design and content, you want to give
your audience the best experience possible with your giveaway.
Consider questions like these:
Is the ebook organized sensibly? Can you find your way through
its contents? Are you faced with a sea of text? Is it divided in
neat sections? Is the font type & size comfortable for reading?
Are the colors distracting? neutral? unintrusive?
You may not mind these things yourself, but it doesn't hurt to
make sure that, like your website, what you give away is equally
attractive and professional-looking as well as informative.
In introducing the ebook to them, mention your impressions of
the material and its presentation so that they know what to
expect. When your intended recipient opens the ebook, he/she
does won't frown and wonder what it is that you have given away.
Better safe than sorry...
Depending on your niche, freshness can be a major deciding
factor on your choice. On the one hand, certain subjects don't
get outdated: old time-proven concepts, inspirational writings,
etc. And on the other, applications of concepts and ideas
online, for example, are affected by changing trends and
developments in technologies. Collections of resources or links,
for example, would warrant a thorough check online.
Your Own Assessment
This is one of the most important points to consider because you
are responsible for what you give away to your visitors, in one
way or another. Never use your audience merely for your own
ends. Don't shove anything just to get them to sign up, so you
can sell to them.
If you want to be truly successful, you must build a good
reputation for yourself online. You achieve this out of a
genuine intention to be of help to your target audience.
Give them something that you know will benefit them. Be someone
who is ethical, trustworthy, and dependable. It will go a long
way to benefit both parties. They will know that everytime they
visit your website for information, they can always be confident
of the value you provide. Having read the ebook, ask yourself:
How do you personally feel about it? Has it taught you something
new? Has it revealed something you've overlooked? Would you
happily recommend it to others? Would you stand behind it 100%?
IN CONCLUSION All things considered, always remember that your
target audience comes first. By offering them only giveaways of
high value and quality information, you can successfully build a
relationship that will not only benefit them, but you and your
business for many years to come.
About the author:
When not buried in ebooks, MARGAUX ALHANEN is compiling notes
and gathering tools for internet marketing beginners at
http://www.imnotebook.com. She is also the author of a new
eNotebook entitled, "Starting Ahead: How to Develop a Winning
Attitude in Business" Get your free copy today!
You Can Earn A Fortune Creating And Marketing Your Own Ebooks
There is no argument that information products will continue to
be a hot seller on the internet. People surf around looking for
information on every topic imaginable. If you have, or can
research and gather information on a hot topic, you can...