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Home > Tiffany Dow Interview

Interview with Tiffany Dow, Author of "How to Build an eBook Empire" 

Tiffany Dow is the author of “Building an eBook Empire.” Before getting into marketing and creating her own products, Tiffany used to be a ghostwriter to many well-known internet marketing gurus.

Over the years writing for these gurus, Tiffany has learned inside tips and strategies to writing a profitable eBook online.

As a marketer, writing the eBook isn’t really the only thing we need to be concerned with.

We need to know how to research profitable markets, how to promote the product, and how we’re going to get the eBook into the client’s hands in the most automated way possible.

 

Tiffany’s book includes all this information and other inside tips and secrets she’s discovered over her many years as a guru ghostwriter.

Today, she’s sharing a few of those inside tips with us.

An Interview with Tiffany Dow:

Mila Sidman:  Tiffany, as a ghostwriter in your previous life, writing must come naturally to you, but what advice can you give someone who is just starting out and feels they don’t know how to write or have the expertise to create an information product? 

Tiffany Dow:  I think most people have what it takes to create an information product if they don’t try to approach it as if they’re a professional writer. With online eBooks, you’re writing for an audience that’s used to reading emails, so you want to keep it casual and conversational.

Think “Dummies Guide” when you’re writing content.  One of the biggest reasons I was hired to write by so many marketing gurus was because of my conversational style. Anyone can piece together information and facts, but getting it across in a way that’s easy to understand and enjoyable to read is what most people struggle with.

You can do this by pretending you’re writing an email to a friend. You don’t want to use slang or smiley faces all over the place, but do use contractions like “you’ll learn this and that” instead of “you will learn…” it just makes it easier to read. You kind of have to throw out what you were taught in school – all of the rules.

Mila Sidman:  I agree, writing online is a completely different craft than what you learned in school.  If you have great information to share it’s all about simply putting it across in a way that people will feel comfortable reading.

I want to talk a little bit about niche markets.  I don’t necessarily believe people should hop from one niche to the next.  I think a better approach is finding a niche you can go wide with and creating several products you can cross promote throughout that niche.

In your book you talk about finding a niche market, can you give us a little more information on that? Do you recommend people try a lot of different niches or stick to one or two?

Tiffany Dow:  What I try to teach is that you need to find a niche that has plenty of backend product potential. What I mean by that is, let’s take wedding planning for instance. It’s a wide niche that allows you to develop multiple products.

You could sell one giant A-Z eBook on wedding planning. But let’s say you do that and build a list of soon-to-be-brides who buy it. If you’ve already taught them everything, then you have no backend products to be able to market to them.

Instead, you want to pick one wide niche and brainstorm several product ideas that you can sell to the same person on your list over time, such as:

Wedding invitations, theme weddings, picking an engagement ring, writing your vows, picking your wedding gown or floral arrangements, planning the perfect honeymoon, and so on. Anything that complements the main niche idea.

In my eBook I talk about some people who choose really narrow niches like “bird flu survival.” It may peak in profits, but then when the buzz dies down, the shelf life of that product expires and you suddenly have to find a new product to put out on the market.

Mila Sidman:  Definitely.  It’s important to think about backend products before creating your first eBook.  In marketing everything should have a structure and long-term plan so before you even create that eBook, it’s good to know what future products you can create and recommend to your customers before you dive in and start on that first eBook.

But what about someone who doesn’t have a website yet or is just getting started, how do they know which is the right niche for them?

Tiffany Dow:  As far as what niche to go into, you’ve probably heard the common advice to follow your passion. This is sort of true, but not necessarily always the right advice. What if whatever you’re passionate about has a very limited following?

At the same time, you’ll be spending a lot of time immersed in the subject matter, so you want it to be something you can stomach. There’s kind of a delicate balance in niche picking.

Either way, you’ll need to do a few things to see if there’s a market that will offer you a sustainable income, and that includes:

 

         Conducting keyword research to see how many people are searching for that topic each month. 10,000 or more searches is a good sign that you have a buying customer base.

 

         Also, go onto Amazon.com and see if there are print books available in that subject matter.  Don’t be afraid of competition.

 

         Go to ClickBank and PayDotCom and see what kind of digital products are available. There may not be any if you’ve happened to find an untapped niche, but if you see a few, then it might be a good sign.  When I first wrote my Squidoo eBook, there were no other products about it, but there were dozens of MySpace products. Now, since everyone else saw my Squidoo success, there are dozens of competitors. If I had looked at it and said, “no one’s buying Squidoo,” I would have missed out on a lot of profits!

 

Mila Sidman:  I love Amazon.com for research, it’s a great place to get product ideas.  Now, when choosing a niche, is it best to find a sub niche within a bigger niche or write a book on the more general niche instead?

 

Tiffany Dow:  On broad versus niche markets, think of it this way: If you were looking for information on travelling to Spain, would you buy a book on global travel or travelling to Spain? If you wanted to potty train your child, would you buy a book on potty training your toddler or how to raise a child? 

 

Niche products actually sell more because people aren’t paying for the part of the information they don’t want or care about. Everything they spend is going toward information they need.

 

Mila Sidman:  Absolutely.  It’s also a good way to get into a popular niche, because instead of competing for the general audience, you’re aiming for a smaller, more targeted audience.

As we’ve said research is important before writing your product.  Part of that research is doing your keyword research before you start writing.  Can you give us a few tips on market and keyword research?  Why is it so important?

Tiffany Dow:  It’s an indicator for demand. Seeing how many searches are being done tells you how often and how many people are searching for this kind of solution you’re about to provide.

There are a couple of things I use to see if there’s demand aside from Amazon and ClickBank:

         Keyword tools like GoodKeywords, Overture, and WordTracker. These tell you how many times words and phrases are being searched each month, but they also do something else – they help you develop backend product ideas!

If I’m looking up wedding planning, I might realize that I left off destination weddings from my list of product ideas. See, you have to think of this as Building an Empire of products, not ONE book.

         Forums – You want to go online and in Google see if there are forums where people are discussing your niche idea. Not only can you eavesdrop on the problems they’re seeking solutions for, but tracking these forums means you have a future marketing avenue if you become a trusted member and use your signature file to link to your eBook minisite.

Mila Sidman:  Great tips.  Forums are a wonderful place for research as well.  As you say, if you’re going to participate it’s important that you become a trusted member, but definitely a great place to get ideas.

Now, everyone seems to ask this question at one point or another – How much should we charge for our information products?  Is there a set formula for how much we should be charging?

Tiffany Dow:  This is a tricky one. In reality, if you go to a bookstore, you’re not looking at paying $97 for a 50-page book. It’ll be more like $14.95.  But online, the product is interactive, it’s available for immediate download, and people are willing to spend more.

As an eBook marketer, your survival is going to depend a lot on your affiliates. You want people selling for you to lessen your own workload. That means you have to sell it high enough so that they are compensated for their hard work of driving traffic to your site.

If you’re teaching a how-to solution, like even how to plan a wedding, don’t think of it as a book – think of it as an online course. Those sell for much more, and rightly so. You can even CALL it a course if you want to!

You have more access to the author, too, with a digital product like an eBook. If my customers have a question about something I wrote, they email me and interact with me. I even mentor them in a free group. You can’t get that with a print book.

The most popular price points are $47, $67, and $97. But then I’ve also seen short reports go for $7 and some longer guides, like Traffic Secrets, sell for just under $1,000.00.  John Reese made over $1 million in 18 hours with Traffic Secrets.

Don’t be intimidated by price points. You’ll want to test your pricing, too. Sometimes you’ll discover it sells MORE at a HIGHER price point because of perceived value. If I promote something for $1, you won’t think it’s as valuable as something I promote for $20.

Mila Sidman:  Yes, online people are willing to pay for the convenience of getting the information they want quickly.  I think it’s great that you offer help to your customers after they purchase your product because it shows you believe in it and are willing to help them follow through and take action.

What about the technical side of selling an eBook difficult?  If someone doesn’t have very much technical expertise, are they going to find the eBook creation process difficult?

Tiffany Dow:  Well I don’t have a technical bone in my body. What I did for my eBook where I teach this is, I took a print author who knew nothing about online marketing and I wrote tutorials for her, which is what the eBook is.

She followed the steps and if there was ever anything that wasn’t clear, she’d email me, ask, and I knew to include extra clarification in the eBook.

Basically, you’ll be setting up a 1-page minisite. You need your domain and hosting to do that. If you’re not good at graphic design, then you’ll need to outsource that part. I have cheap resources inside the eBook that I use.

Then you have to get set up through ClickBank or PayDotCom, wherever you plan to market the product. That’s very simple, but I walk you through it anyway. The rest is just online promotion!

Mila Sidman:  I liked how you detailed all the steps and also shared the resources you used.  With a little help, you really can put a product together fairly quickly.

And finally, once the product has been created, it’s got to be promoted… can you give us some quick tips on how to promote an information product?

Tiffany Dow:  You’re going to promote everything online the same way. I personally prefer FREE ways of promoting, but I also use some paid methods. 

You’re going to use things like:

  • Marketing in Forums in your signature file
  • Article marketing, where you write and submit articles to online directories
  • Pay per click advertising
  • Socialization and web 2.0 sites like Squidoo…
  • Joint venture partnerships where you’re leveraging other people’s lists
  • …and Affiliate programs, because they’re going to be a staple in your profits.

Mila Sidman:  Thank you Tiffany, you’ve shared some excellent tips with us and that should give people a good starting point to get out there and start creating their products.

To learn more about Tiffany’s popular eBook – “Building an eBook EmpireClick Here.

I also wanted to add that Tiffany’s book includes a free bonus which is a guide to help you with the writing part of your product.  And she also provides free mentoring on her private online community for customers of her eBook.  Visit Building an eBook Empire to learn more.

 

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