How to write an eBook and make money on the side (A ultimate guide for beginners)

How to write an eBook and make money on the side (A ultimate guide for beginners)

Whether you are a 9-to-5 worker looking for a legit and proven way to make extra money or a blogger who wants to monetize its content, learning how to write an eBook that will make you money over time worth it.

In fact, selling an eBook either on your own blog or on Amazon Kindle Publishing can make you a passive income. And it’s this gold mine called “passive income” that everyone’s digging to find. Right?

However, the process of writing and selling an eBook seems to be daunting for many of us. Is the game not worth the candle?

I think so…

So, if you want to write an eBook and make money while working full-time you’ve come in the right place.

In this post, I will walk you step-by-step from the writing process to your first sales.

Blah – blah – blah!!

Here are the points I will cover:

– I will show you how to find and validate a profitable eBook idea first.

– Then I will push you into writing your eBook.

– Finally, I will show you where and how to sell your eBook.

But before we dive in, let’s start with a solid foundation. Your WHY & the “TODAY WHY“?

Table of Contents

Why do you want to write an eBook to make money & why you need to do it today?

Let’s start with your WHY!!!

What is your ” WHY” to writing an eBook?

You know many people plan to write an eBook and make money with it, but only a few people can go beyond, and reach their goal.

Do you know why? The answer is so obvious and it will surprise you. That’s because they don’t know their “WHY”.

All the actions we take every day are always motivated by something.

Trust it or not, those who achieve their goals have always had a deep motivation in their hearts.

They know why they leave their bed every day – They know why they do this and that, and why not that.

Knowing why writing your eBook can help you in the process. This can help you overcome small obstacles and make your dream come true.

Whether you want to be a future bestseller on Amazon or you are looking for a Nobel Prize in Literature or whatever, you need to start building a solid foundation – know your “WHY”.

Have you identified your WHY? Is it worth it?

If yes let’s move on with the “TODAY WHY“!!!

Why do you need to write an eBook today? – the “TODAY WHY”

There are many reasons that should motivate you to write an eBook today.

Are you already thinking about money? Yes, money!

Writing an eBook can make you passive income.

But before you make money with your eBook, you need to sell it. Right?

So, to make this dream of making passive income with your eBook a reality, it must have a market.

No sales, no passive income!

So let’s see how the market trend is in the eBook segment.

The market trend in the eBooks segment

In the publishing industry, audio publishing has a hot trend, but eBook publishing is not to be neglected.

Indeed, the statistics forecast an annual growth rate (CAGR 2019-2023) of 2.7% by 2023 according to Statistica.

How to write an ebook and make money: market  trend for income by 2023
Source: Statistica

Does this mean anything to you? 

If there can be revenue growth, it is because there is growth in eBooks readers, therefore sales growth. Or maybe while the number of readers will remain the same, eBooks’ publishers will increase eBooks price. 

The truth is that competition is tough. And when the competition is tough, what do we do?  

There are only two options to get the market:

  • Either we reduce product prices, or
  • We innovate to get the market

Just to say you can be quiet. It won’t be the case.

Let’s leave the debate and face the truth. The image below shows us the user penetration rate in the eBooks segment.

eBook readers market penetration  graph
Source: Statistica

Sound great!!! Right?

So let’s move on!!

How to write an eBook and make money?

A book is more than just words and sentences in it. I just want to say you need to gather a few elements before you start the writing process. One of the most important of these elements is an eBook idea.

So you need to…

Find a profitable eBook idea

If you really want to write an eBook and make money on the side, you need to find a profitable eBook idea first.

This is the main obstacle that prevents some people from getting started into the eBook business is finding a subject to write about.

We often hear these words:

“I intend to write an eBook to make money, but I am in short of an idea”.
“I don’t know what to write about!”

Are you in short of ideas to get started?

Here’s the way to go:

1. Find a gap in the market and then write your eBook to meet it

Writing an eBook that sells itself is writing an eBook that meets a need, that solves a problem.

People will always spend money on a product or service that solves their problems. With a little strategy, you can find a gap in the market and meet it by writing your eBook.

If you are a blogger, for example, you probably already have a topic on which you are blogging on.

Thanks to web analytics tools like Google Analytics, you can know how your visitors interact with your content:

  • Pages they visit the most,
  • The searches they performed and landed on your site,
  • The number of mins they spend on your pages, etc.

These data can help you detect their needs, the area in which they are struggling and need help.

Even if you are not a blogger, thanks to the Internet, you can research and find topics in which people are more interested in. Most importantly, you can detect the topics they are struggling with.

For this, you can use forum sites, Q&A sites like Quora or Yahoo Answer.

Another best way to find out what your audience is searching for is to use keywords research tools such as JAAXY or SEMruch…

Jaaxy is my best Keyword research tool when it comes to finding an untapped niche or a keyword to write about. Because the data it provides is useful and accurate.

You can read my full review of JAAXY here.

2. Evaluate your skills, passion, and hobbies

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

You can simply base yourself on your passions or interests, your hobbies or even your professional experiences and find out an eBook idea.

To help you, answer these following questions:

1. What do you like doing in your spare time or what do you spend most of your free time doing?

2. In what field or in what kind of service or activity do people seek your help?

3. In your professional domain, what skills have you acquired? Can it be useful and beneficial to someone else?

Try to answer these questions, I am sure you will come up with an eBook idea to write for.

Once you have an idea in mind, write it down on your notebook and don’t neglect any of them. You can then analyze each of these ideas and choose the one you think is most useful to your audience.

Related post: How to find a profitable niche for your online business

Does your eBook meet a need? Validate its profitability

Once you have found your eBook idea, you can then do some researches to find out if it meets a need or not.

Consider these tips to validate your eBook idea:

1. Join forums related to the niche of your eBook topic

Registering on forums related to your book niche can help you not only find an eBook idea but it can also help you validate its profitability.

Having already your subject or idea in mind, you can consult treads related to your niche and see how people react. If you can find for example 5 to 10 treads in a forum with a lot of comments in your niche, this is already a good sign.

2. Create a survey and distribute it to your audience

To do this, you can use these free tools Google Forms or QuestionPro to gather people’s opinions on your future project.

Let’s say you are a blogger and you already have a mailing list, you can create an email survey and send it directly to your subscribers.

However, getting feedback through email surveys takes time because response rates are often low.

The best way to receive real-time feedback is to run the survey directly on your blog using an intercept survey tool.

3. Use Search Engines to find information on the web

The Internet is accessible to everyone, and it is free.

Why not use it to gather some data that will help you to validate your eBook idea?

Just google the subject of your eBook on the Internet. By doing so, you will know if your future eBook has market potential or not.

You are probably wondering: how to know if there is any interest in my subject by doing a simple search on the Internet?

Alright…

The purpose of this research is to collect some data: the number of “comments” on the subject through the pages you visited, the number of “sharing”, the number of “likes”, etc are signs that there are people who have some interests in the subject.

See the image below – 175 comments in less than a month.

ebook writing comment posted

Although, you must be careful because there are comments and sharing that are intentionally made. And don’t forget to consider when comments are made, when the article is published, etc.

4. Visit Amazon and find out best-selling books or eBooks in your niche.

If you want to publish your eBook on Amazon Kindle Publishing, why not have a look at the eBooks/books already published in your niche.

That will help you figure out what eBooks/books are the best-selling. What is important is that at amazon you can browse the eBooks by category, find what you are looking for easily.

Now that you have found that the niche of your eBook meets a need and has market potential, let’s find out…

How to write your eBook?

We are there now!

1. Give your eBook a catchy title

Before you start writing your eBook, you must find a title for it. Right?

Quick advice for choosing your ebook title:

1. Make it short and clear – it may tell people what your eBook about.

2. Make it catchy, and memorable.

3. Subtitle it, then highlight its benefits and make it more clear to customers.

Show your customers how your eBook can help them, how it can resolve their problems.

4. Be inspired by your competitors.

Amazon is there and you can see how best-sellers are titling and subtitling their ebooks/books.

2. Start writing your ebook

After giving your eBook/book a good title, the next step is to start writing it.

There is no magic formula for writing. All you have to do is write, write and write.

But to achieve your goal, you will have to be organized and follow certain guidelines to have an eBook/book that will please your customers.

3. Create some catchy headlines & sub-headlines

To facilitate the writing process of your eBook, the best thing to do is to start thinking about the headlines and sub-headlines you should have in it.

4. Set up a table of contents

Organize your headlines and sub-headlines in the form of a table of contents. This will allow you to remain accurate in the writing process, to know at what stage you are, what is being done – what you still have to do, etc.

5. Use good tools to write your eBook and make money

When we talk about writing eBooks and making money on the side, some people think you need special software to get started.

But no, you can simply use your Microsoft Word software for that. You just need to save it in pdf format.

Or instead, use Canva, a free and powerful tool to create and design your eBook.

Google Docs is also an excellent tool that can be useful too.

However, if you are a blogger and you want to convert some of your posts into a pdf file, a tool like Bicon.by can be useful to you.

Attention!!!

Does it make sense to convert a post to an eBook and sell it? I don’t think so.
If you want to do so, try to add value in your eBook content.

6. Add some relevant images into your eBook

Having images in your eBook is very important. It is also another way to communicate with your reader.

Indeed, images if they are well used:

  • Helps the reader to better understand what you are talking about
  • Make your content reader-friendly

7. Hire a proofreader to edit your ebook for you

Have you finished writing your eBook?

Now it’s time to edit it and make it perfect for your customers. You can do it yourself or hire a proofreader to do it for you.

Remember that your eBook is a business. It will not only convey your business’ reputation but also your own image.

That’s why, if you’re poor in grammar like me, finding a proofreader that will help you correct mistakes will contribute to its success. Freelance portal sites such as Upwork, Fivver, and Problogger can help you find out a proofreader easily.

Alternatively, you can use grammar and spelling checkers such as Grammarly or ProWritingAid to correct mistakes and have a few members of your family or friends to read it.

Design a cover for your eBook – make it very sexy to seduce your customers

If you want to write an eBook and make money you will need to have a marketing approach in the process of setting up your eBook business.

“Clothes don’t make the man” and “You can’t judge a book by its cover”. May be!!

But let me tell you that online, the clothes make the man. Believe it or not, if the cover, as well as the title of your eBook, is not catchy even if the content is full of valuable content, you will not earn even a cent with it.

How to design your eBook cover from scratch

You can create your eBook cover yourself, as you can go to 99Design or Fivver to hire a graphic designer to do it for you.

To do it yourself, you can use for instance Canva.

Canva is an online graphic design tool with drag-and-drop features that can allow you to create all kinds of design for free.

Just create a free account here.

Once in your account, you will see “create a design. Use the direction arrows to find the type of design you want to create.

How to write an eBook and make money

Here we need to create an eBook cover, so we choose “book cover”, choose the template that matches your eBook idea or subject.

eBook design with canva: how to write and eBook and make money

Now, let your creative imagination guide you. For example, you can add/remove text, stickers, icons, and images as you want.

How to write an ebook and make money: ebook design with Canva

Here is an example of a 3D eBook cover I created from scratch. 👇👇

My eBook cover sample

Where and how to sell your eBook and make money

When it comes to selling your eBook, you have two choices to do so:

  • Sell it on your own website or blog
  • Sell it on self-publishing platforms such as Amazon Kindle Publishing Platform, Create Space, Lulu,…

Selling your eBook on your own website

If you have your own blog, why not sell your eBook using it as a sales platform?

That gives you countless advantages:

  • The freedom on the format of your eBook,
  • The freedom to set your own price,
  • You profit from your work up to95%,
  • The possibility to create customers who will be loyal to you in the long term by collecting their emails,
  • The ability to set up an affiliate program and get people who will help you promote your business, etc.

How to sell your eBook in your own blog?

Selling your ebook through your blog is straightforward.

Your eBook is ready. Create an account with Selz. Once your account is created, upload your eBook cover we have just created, set a price and then give a description of your ebook.

What is important with Selz is that you have the possibility to receive your sales via your Paypal account or on your Bank account (perfect for countries that do not support Paypal). Right?

Selling your eBook on self-publishing platform – Amazon KDP

As I said earlier, another way to make money with your eBook is to publish it on self-publishing platforms. And Amazon Kindle Publishing is a great place to do it.

To get started, you just need to sign up on Amazon Kindle Publishing and follow their guide to get your eBook published.

The advantages of selling your eBook on Amazon KDP

  • You already have a potential customer base already waiting for you,
  • Amazon is a trusted brand,
  • Possibility to publish your eBook for free – risk-free.

The downsides of selling on Amazon KDP

  • Amazon withholds up to 30% commission and 30% tax if you live outside the US,
  • The competition is tough, so you have to sell your eBook at a low price,
  • Impossibility to build a mailing list with your product.

Promote your eBook and make money

You have published your eBook in your blog – or maybe on Amazon KDP.

It’s time to promote it and make your business known to the world. It’s the only way to make a profit from your hard work.

Here are some ways to follow and get started:

1. Send email to your list

If you have your own blog, chance you are to have an audience, a mailing list.

I have already mentioned it in the ebook idea validation process section: “Before the launch, you will need to have a marketing approach with your audience”. If this has not been done, then it is time to do so.

“Better late than never”. Right?
Then send them an email to let them know about your new product.

2. Do content marketing

Content marketing is a long-term strategy. It takes time but once your site is ranked on Google it will give you good result.

Write contents or blog posts related to your eBook and send your readers to your product sale page.

For that, you need a blog or a website. Don’t have a blog?

Create one here for free.

3. Promote your eBook using social media platforms

Everyone uses social media: Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. And some of your customers are there.

On Facebook, for example, everyone has at least one account. Why not find a way to reach them?

You can create an Ad campaign with Facebook Ads and reach thousands of people in a short period of time.

To do this, simply create a landing page and a sales page with Leadspage and integrate them with your campaign.

4. Get your collaborators to help you reach more people

Contact other bloggers within your niche and ask them to help you promote your business by rewarding them with a commission on each sale they will make.

Over to you…

Writing an eBook to make money seem daunting. But I think learning, how to write an eBook and make money on the side is a game that worth the candle.

Now it is time to put into practice what you have learned throughout this guide.

And here are the steps to follow to get started today:

  • Find a profitable ebook idea
  • Validate your eBook idea by doing market research
  • Write and edit your eBook, and design its cover

Do you have a question, feel free and drop it down on comment.

If you love this post, spread the love by sharing it with your friend. Every ACTION you take is a SEED you SOW!

How to write an eBook and Make money on the side pinterest pin image
Pin it!

Be ACTION taker, SOW YOUR SEED TODAY!

To your success!!

Sebastian

I am Sebastian, Journalist and online side hustler passioned about Online Entrepreneurship. My goal is to help 9-5 workers start their online side hustle on the right path.

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. This is a great Post, I really was searching for some tips, and I got here, this is a really step by step plan.
    I like the Canvas ideas you mentioned for the book cover. I am starting a blog that is getting some traction and now that you mentioned publishing on our own blogs I am having a question. Although you promote it on your blog would you still sell it through Amazon? I mean, the “financial operation”. Or it is better to set some kind of internal shop?

    Thank you and great site!
    Jason

    1. Hi Jason,
      Thank you for stopping by!
      I see in your comment 2 questions:
      The first is whether you can publish your eBook on Amazon while you promote it on your blog.
      If so, the answer is yes and no because it depends on the Amazon self-publishing program you will choose.
      – Yes in case you have chosen amazon KDP program (going WIDE)
      – No in the case where you choose the KDP select program (it means you give an exclusive right to Amazon to sell or distribute your eBook ). Just to say that because you have the ebook in your site for sale you can’t But KDP going wide, yes.

      Now, to reply to your second question about whether to put an internal sales system or publish on Amazon KDP, I think it all depends on your budget and the vision you have with your business. If for example, your blog has a well-established audience and you have a lot of followers, I think selling your eBook on your own blog would seem to be the best option. Because that gives you the possibility to make a higher profit, boost your reputability and your brand while developing a more direct relationship with your customers.

      However, if you have started or you may not have enough money to set up a payment and promotion system for your eBook on your own website, publishing it on KDP seems to be a better option. Since you don’t have to spend even a cent for that. And more you can sign up for their affiliate program and send your visitors to your eBook on Amazon. This allows you to get an extra 5-10% commission on the 70% or 35% royalty depending on your country of residence. To my knowledge, this is not against their rules.
      All the best!

  2. Very interesting. I am a writer and I have published 8 books on Amazon. Competition is tough and it’s hard to get noticed. I know many authors who say the same. Publishing an e-book doesn’t always translate into an immediate cash flow, it can take years.
    Although you make good points and I have done most of them, it remains hard to get noticed among the 1000s of books that are published on a nearly daily basis. One needs to be very consistent and not give up.

    1. Hello Christine,
      Thank you for your comment and your experience as a self-publisher on Amazon KDP you shared with us.
      Publishing your eBook on KDP has its upsides and downsides as I mentioned in this post. And the main downside is the tough competition. But I wish you a successful career in your self-publishing venture. Success is on the way. Don’t give up as you said?
      Stay blessed!!

  3. This is great information! I just started my blog but never thought to add “writing an e-book” to my list of things to do to formulate a passive income. Definitely adding it now and will be re-visiting your site once I get my blogging routine down. Love that you are a Christian and wish you the best!

    1. Hello Heidi,
      thank you for stopping by!!
      I am happy to hear from you and to meet you.
      All the best in our blogging journey and stay blessed!!

  4. Wow, I was blown away by this post. So many useful information. I am about to create my first e-book and I am gather as much info as I can. Your post really cleared a few things for me. Thank you for the wonderful infographics.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Strahinja.
      I am happy you found it helpful.
      All the best!

  5. Hello Sebastian! What a great article! I have always wanted to be an author but success has always eluded me. I’ve been considering an ebook with Amazon, but I’m still trying to figure out how to make blogs more interesting. You’ve expounded on some really cool ideas. I think everyone who is considering a career in writing, or even just a one-time release, should come here and read your recommendations. Thanks a million!

    1. Hello Cathy,
      Thank you for your comment and for stopping by!!
      Stay blessed!

  6. I have written a few ebooks which are now published on Amazon. I really enjoyed reading this post (which by the way you turn in ebook), it was motivating to read. I haven’t written a book for about five years. Maybe I should get going on it again. Nowadays books don’t have to be very long, as it’s all about consumption while saving time. Great post.

    1. Hi Eric,
      Thank you for stopping by!!
      Thank you for sharing your experience. Reconsider your talent and start writing again.
      All the best!

  7. Excellent! Thanks for putting this post together, brother. I have tons of material that can be turned into an Ebook(s). It’s in the form of blog posts which I’ll use as a foundation for the book. I have more or less everything else that I need, the title, a vision for the cover, etc. But I was missing a few key points on what to do after it’s done. Thanks for writing this guide, man! I appreciate it. It’ll help me a lot! The page is bookmarked for future reference. 🙂

    1. Hi Ivan,
      I’m glad to hear that from you.
      Blogging seems to be the basis to start with, but it opens up a lot more opportunity for us like turning our blog content into an eBook that can be sold.
      Full success to you in your project.

  8. I really enjoyed reading your post. I’ve often thought about writing an ebook, but never got round to it. My blog is in the cat niche, and as cats are my passion, I’m sure I can find a few ideas! I also use Canva for designing as it’s so easy to use. I’ve not yet made any ebook covers, but the templates look very good. I’ve not heard of selz, but it looks like a good platform for selling. Is it similar to shopify? A quick glance at pricing shows it’s a lot cheaper. Thank you for such an informative article, and I’ve learnt a few tips from it today!

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Thank you for your comment!
      I am happy and so proud you enjoyed reading it! And Yes Selz is a good platform for selling online.

      To answer your question, Selz is a platform that offers an e-commerce solution just like Shopify. It can even be useful for coaching, consulting,… And you can use it to sell all kinds of digital or physical products. And I mentioned Selz as a solution in the sale of eBook since in terms of price they are cheaper compared to Shopify even though they have the same features. The only difference is that Shopify offers “point of sale” (POS) options for offline businesses(a feature that we do not need for our case).
      Thank you for stopping by!
      Stay blessed!

  9. I must say this is extremely useful post! Thank you so much for sharing with this information, after my first six months I’m excited to at some point in the near future hopefully start writing my first eBook. After reading this and I have a page of notes and a guiding checklist to help me on my way.

    It was great to consider some of the different points to focus on when coming up with ideas and also so when considering using Amazon KDP. I’m sure both of these will really help me.

    Keep writing great content! 🙂
    James

    1. Hi James,
      You are most welcome!
      I am so glad you found it helpful.
      Wishing you all the best!

Leave a Reply

Close Menu