Having a professional WordPress website created
Written by Finn Ruijter, 09 October 2019

Need a lead magnet? Write an e-book in 1 day

Cold selling is out; you want to “warm up” your target audience slowly before making an offer. But how do you get visitors to your Web site into that funnel or sales funnel? As specialists in websites that convert, we almost always work with a lead magnet, such as an e-book.

Now we can already see you shuddering, because an e-book is not something you just shake out of your sleeve. All the while you’d prefer to start collecting leads yesterday. With this article, we want to simultaneously open your eyes and encourage you, because it is possible to write your lead magnet in one day.

Why an e-book is ideal as a lead magnet

Leads are just one step away from a desired action: requesting a quote, sending in a cover letter, requesting a consultation, and so on. Leads are people who have voluntarily given you their contact information -often their mailing address. That allows you to make them, say in cucumber time, an attractive offer.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. How do we start building such a list? In the age of spam, how do you get people to share their email address with you? The answer is as simple as it is complicated: by adding value. By showing that you have your potential customer’s best interests at heart. We think an e-book is perfect for this purpose because:

  • An e-book is considered a valuable gift
  • You thereby solidify your status as a specialist
  • Leads spend a lot of time with you when reading (know-like-trust)

How long does an e-book take to write?

Traditional books easily have 50,000 words, which amounts to about 150 pages. If you start from scratch, you normally spend months writing a book like this. But you don’t have that much time. After all, you’re busy enough with your daily marketing and communications work. That’s why we’re going to radically hack that traditional writing process. Because in this blog post you will learn how to write an e-book in one day that will bring in non-stop leads.

But note: extraordinary results require extraordinary approaches. An e-book is not a checklist you can finish in an hour. Therefore, we take the definition of a day as broadly as possible – 24 hours. In addition, we’ll show you all kinds of hacks that will help you make the most of that limited time, and ultimately have an e-book ready that is irresistible.

Here’s how to write an e-book in 1 day

Look at step 8 first; perhaps that’s something you don’t want to do yourself but would rather outsource. In that case, you can make that the first step from the list below. While you wait for the book cover design, you then get to work on the content.

1. Decide how many words you will write

Your e-book really doesn’t have to be 50,000 words or more. It is a fact that few readers of nonfiction books get past the first chapter. Why? Because they get overwhelmed by so many pages and don’t feel like putting hours of their precious time into a book. They prefer a book that is to-the-point.

We recommend creating an e-book of 4,000-10,000 words for your lead magnet. On the virtual A4 paper of a PDF, that’s about 10-25 pages, striking the right balance between depth and brevity. Not only is this easier to accomplish for yourself, but it also prevents your readers from becoming overwhelmed and thus encourages them to read the book in its entirety. Choose a minimum word count, because we’re going to hit that number within 24 hours.

2. Collect the content you already have

We will now take stock of what source material you already have. As you read in our blog post on lead magnets, it is advisable to create an e-book on a topic you have written about before. So on what topic do you already have a cluster of blog posts? And what is the subtopic of each blog post? If you haven’t written anything yet, you can even extract information from emails or quotes you’ve previously sent to customers.

3. Define your target audience

For whom will you write the e-book? You will know your target audience well, but is your e-book really suitable for that entire audience, or are you addressing a portion of it? It may help to create a persona that you write the e-book for. That way, the tone and style hit your intended reader.

4. Create a table of contents

You know what you are going to write about and you have already found some source material. Time to put these puzzle pieces together. Organize the subtopics in a logical order and see if the list is complete. Chances are there are still some gaps that you will need to create new content for, but don’t worry; you are perfectly on track. What you want at the end of this step is a table of contents that you can use as a framework for your e-book.

5. Rewrite existing content

Now that the structure of your lead magnet is clear, you can create the content. The easiest way, of course, is to use existing content from blog posts, for example, unedited, but think carefully about whether you want to do this. If you do choose to do that, what do you do with those blog posts? Do you take it offline or just leave it there at the risk of visitors reading the same thing twice? Rewriting is faster than writing and can quickly revamp that existing content.

6. Write the missing content

No doubt you still need new content. Find the necessary source material for that; online or at the library. That way you won’t be distracted during the writing process because you have to look for certain quotes, definitions, figures or other facts. Speaking of distractions, make sure you can’t be disturbed by anything or anyone for a day. Writing an e-book in a day requires tremendous concentration. How many words do you achieve per hour, writing? The average writing pace is between 500 and 1,000 words, depending heavily on the writer’s topic and knowledge. One way to fit more words into an hour is to use the dictation feature of your word processor. In Google Docs, for example, you’ll find it under Tools -> Voice-Controlled Typing.

7. Check and edit your e-book

If you have all the content in one document, then you need to check it carefully. Do all sentences flow nicely and does your message come across well? Polish away language and spelling errors, check that the “story line” is correct, write an introduction and possibly an afterword, and add page numbers to the table of contents. This is a task you could possibly outsource to a (freelance) content specialist or editor.

8. Design the cover

An e-book also comes with a book cover. In fact, he can’t actually live without it. It is this eye-catcher that initially entices your visitors. You can outsource such a cover to a graphic designer (plus points if you have one in-house ), but you can also create your own just fine in Canva. There you will find numerous templates for book covers, which you can customize to approximate your house style. In Canva, you will also find templates for the inside of your e-book.

Why your e-book doesn’t have to be perfect

In marketing land, the term just ship it is popular. Those who use that expression mean to say that a product does not have to be perfect in order to ship or sell it. We can also apply that term to your lead magnet, that e-book you wrote in one day.

We understand that you want to be careful in your communication to the outside world; your e-book must impress in form and content. But for good reason, you are now reading a blog post about writing a book in one day. The core message ship it is that you should not use your perfectionism as an excuse for procrastination.

If your e-book is finished in your opinion, don’t wait but offer it immediately as a lead magnet. At the same time, you can submit it to a select number of existing leads asking them to comment on it. You can then incorporate that constructive criticism into the e-book bit by bit, without missing out on leads during that editing period.

Want to know more about lead generation? Then download our free lead generation white paper.