How To Create an Ebook for (A Guide for Busy Mompreneurs)

How to create an ebook

Work at home moms and mompreneurs- you’re busy, I know (believe me, I relate to the hustle and bustle of your life).

But you have great product ideas for your business and one of those is that ebook you’ve been wanting to write forever.

Don’t worry- I have you covered.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how I’ve been able to crank out a few ebooks over the past years and I do hope this will help you.

If you prefer video, then watch this one before reading further…

Why ebooks?

Ebooks are:

  • easy to create
  • easy to sell
  • a long-term lucrative project

You honestly only have to write a book once and watch it take care of itself in future sales without doing very much at all. Because ebooks are digital you don’t have to worry about shipping and printing costs, and downloads are instant.

How To Create an Ebook

Gather an outline for your topic.

When creating an ebook I usually start with the problem I want to solve for my reader. A good idea is to make sure you’re not all over the board with ideas.  Your ebook should have a specific purpose to solve a particular problem or meet an overall goal.

Remember, it’s better to be too narrow than too vague.  You can always save additional subtopics for another ebook.

No worries if you can’t talk about it all (and you really shouldn’t). Find the main topics you want to write about and let this be your main focus for your book.

Schedule out your writing.

Divide your outline into manageable chunks and plop these chunks right onto your calendar.  

For example, if you have eight chapters in your book idea and you figure you can find time to write twice a week, maybe you can complete 1-2 chapters per week. At this rate you’ll be finished between 4-8 weeks from now.

This is how I was able to finally complete my ebook (which I later published as a hard copy on Amazon.) It took some real time management and staying on track with daily tasks to get it done.

I also needed accountability, so be sure to grab a friend to help motivate you through this process.

Don’t procrastinate.

The main message I want you to leave with after reading this blog post is to get on it right away.  Start writing your book. Just start.

Let your fingers do the talking and start typing your thoughts on the topic. Before long you’ll have one paragraph, then two, and you would have completed an entire chapter and pretty soon- your entire book!

No one says a chapter has to be exactly 10 pages.  You get to determine how long your chapters are. Make your sections the length you feel quantifies what you are trying to get across.

Don’t let the idea of having “seven more chapters to go” looming ahead of you keep you from writing the one chapter in front of you.

You can do it!

Remember your audience.

Remember who you are writing for and stick with it. If you have a passion for your readers, they’ll feel it in your writing, so write from your heart.

Your readers want to feel spoken to, loved, considered. Let them know you’re on their team and that your book will help them solve their problems.

Proofread, edit, and add graphics.

Use your favorite editor to write your ebook.  (I switch between Word, Pages, and Google Docs).

First you’ll want to add a cover page with title and a beautiful cover image (which you can have a virtual assistant do for you or head over to Fiverr). You may also want to add a title page with copyright info.

Add page numbers and your name and URL  in the footer section for each page.  

For eye-catching images for your book find royalty free stock photos at places like istockphoto.com or even free places like Pexels.com.

Publish.

I use Adobe Acrobat Professional for this one, but here’s a quick and easy way to create your PDF document in Microsoft Word.

Simply go to: File->Save as Adobe PDF.

Voila!

You can also do this in Google Docs or in Pages. With your PDF you now have a simple way to distribute your ebook without having to worry about whether your readers have Pages or Word installed on their computer.

Adobe PDF Reader is pretty universal and is free to download.

Distribute.

If your ebook is a free download, upload it to your hosting and provide the link for your subscribers. I recommend using cloud hosting like Amazon S3 Storage.

If it’s a paid product, services like Ejunkie or Gumroad make it more convenient to distribute digital products.

You can also simply use Paypal as your shopping cart preference or you can go fancier and install Woo Commerce if you are using WordPress.

Password protected membership sites are also a great way to ensure encryption on ebooks.

Lastly, if you want to reach a wider audience, you’ll need to employ some social media methods to get the word out!  Try your Facebook connections, Pinterest and Twitter.

That’s all for now!  

So are you ready to begin writing your ebook? Remember, the first step is simply to get started.

Discover your passion to share, create an outline, and go for it. You can do this!

Has this tutorial been helpful to you?  I sure hope so!  I hope you’re encouraged to move forward in publishing your ebooks!  Leave me comments- I’d love to hear from you.

MIH057:Self Care Tips for Moms in Business

Press the play button to listen to the podcast below.

Mompreneurs wear quite a few hats (and shoes)!

You know the old adage “if the shoot fits, wear it”? Well…this would be the epitome of the mompreneur life: being able to fit comfy sneakers, cozy slippers, or working heels.

We wear them all.

The question, then, is how do we take care of ourselves while tending to our busy, hectic and chaotic lives?

How do I balance three coaching calls, two design clients, a leaky faucet, a sink full of dirty dishes, and a day of homeschooling my daughters?

The true question is: how do I balance these things while maintaining self-care?

Welcome, Allison Jackson of Allison Jackson Fitness- this week’s podcast guest.

Allison is the founder of Allison Jackson Fitness. She is passionate about all things health and fitness, but she really loves sharing her knowledge and expertise to help corporate moms get lean eating foods they love so they can be at their best.

She knows exactly how hard it is to work full-time, take care of the kids and household…plus try to fit in working out, eating right and taking care of herself, too!

Allison has spent the last seven years training and competing in figure competitions — even winning her pro card — so she has a crystal clear picture of what it takes to get to your ideal weight and stay there. Now she’s ready to share what she’s learned and experienced.

What we talked about on the podcast

Get moving!

As mompreneurs and bloggers we might often find that sitting behind the desk at the computer can keep us more sedentary.

Allison recommends looking for ways to get movement throughout the day. Shoot for 10-12,000 steps.

Just focus on taking a few extra steps. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, for example.

Ways to set goals for our health

Self care for moms doesn’t have to be rocket science. It’s often just a matter of creating small and easy goals. I talk a lot about creating easy blogging goals, but we should do the same when it comes to caring for our bodies.

Break down huge goals into bite-sized manageable tasks.

  • 6 months
  • 3 months
  • 1 month

Another way to set goals is to track what you eat (five days out of the week).

Simply focus on eating and working out. Setting tiny goals makes a big difference at the end of the day.

Suggestions for healthy snacks on-the-go

Allison suggests focusing on protein. Did you know that women don’t get enough protein in our diets?

So, guess what? Protein bars are great and quickly accessible. Slip them in your purse on your way out the door before running errands or keep a few at your desk while you’re working throughout the day.

Also, don’t forget small snacks like almonds. They keep well and travel well. Almonds also provide both protein and healthy fats.

Allison’s Programs

Allison offers an 8-week group coaching program. She helps with tracking goals and teaching how to eat foods you love and still lose weight.

Find out more about her programs at Allison Jackson Fitness.

You can also reach Allison at Facebook – Instagram – Hacked Snacks .Ambassador

Did you enjoy the podcast? Let me know your thoughts>

5 Strategies I Used To Increase Blog Traffic in Two Months

Have you been trying to increase your blog traffic lately? I’ve found a few strategies recently that have been working wonders for my blog and I want to share them with you!

I must admit, though…I did a little of everything these past two months because I’m testing out all kinds of things here. Much of what I do to increase blog traffic this year is beta testing for my future marketing plans. I want to know exactly what works and what doesn’t.

One thing that is helpful is that I figured out what blogging mistakes I made in 2017-18 and I want to remedy that this year.

This is why I’ve tried my hands at a number of different social media platforms and marketing strategies recently. Let me share with you what has been working for me.

5 ways to increase blog traffic

Facebook and Instagram

I have to admit- I was skeptical at first when it came to using all of these different social media platforms. In fact, I’ve always found that less is often better.

I don’t wish to spread my energy everywhere…BUT…When it comes to my social I’ve found that Facebook and Instagram regular posts have helped send me some direct traffic.

It’s not an exorbitant amount, but 59% of my traffic is directly from social.

I’ve been posting to my Facebook business page a few times per week (as opposed to barely at all).

I also have been making an effort to consistently post content to my Instagram account more regularly. I’m still not that great with engagement but I am posting and engaging a few times per week.

Pinterest

Another way I’ve been able to increase blog traffic is through my latest social media interest: Pinterest. Pinterest is, by far, my MOST referred traffic over the past two months.

I recently picked up a paid account with Tailwind and have watched my traffic increase as a direct result.

At this point it’s still too early to know exactly which key components of my new Pinterest strategy are working, but here’s what I’ve done recently:

I’m still learning Pinterest and am taking Melyssa Griffin’s course to keep me in the loop.

Mailing List

Last month (in January) I began a strong push toward my blogging goals. One of my new goals for the year consisted of keeping in touch with my mailing list on a regular basis.

So, I put this into action. I contacted my list more often this past month or two and as a result, 33% of my site visitors has been referral traffic, all from just sharing my newsletter and blog posts.

If you’re looking to grow traffic quickly, ask for referrals. Ask your readers to share your content and spread the word for you.

If you have great content on your blog, there should be no reason why your readers wouldn’t share.

Blog Posts

In order to really increase blog traffic I have been doing the obvious: blogging – and a lot. I’ve tried to remain consistent with at least two to three blog posts per week, which has been really helpful.

I think crafting my blog posts has been my biggest challenge- making sure that each post has what it needs to write an incredible post and the biggest impact on my readers.

It takes a lot out of me to sit down and write something incredible, rather than just throwing something up on my blog for the sake of consistency, but I would rather be intentional.

Writing content my readers actually want to read makes a big difference in how I approach blogging these days.

My traffic has grown exponentially and I’ve been able to increase blog traffic simply due to posting content my readers want and regularly. This is such a basic strategy, and so overlooked. With or without social media, if you have amazing content and a responsive list that loves you, they’ll keep coming back for more (and invite others!)

Podcasts

And last but not least, my podcasts have been crucial in bringing site visitors who turn into followers. Through my podcasts I’m able to reach an audience who would never have heard of my blog through a google search or a social media network.

Podcasts give me an opportunity to connect to my listeners in a more personal way. I get to share my story and offer blogging advice, plus introduce you to other mompreneurs who offer their expertise to us.

By sharing my podcasts in Itunes and Stitcher and other podcast directories I’m offered additional opportunities for exposure, which leads to…

drum roll…

…more traffic!

So, yes. Podcasting works. I’m not claiming that it is a completely sweat-free process (there is definitely some hustle involved), but at the end of the day it works.

The connections and relationships I make as a result are so worth running one that I always have to encourage blogging mompreneurs to at least consider starting one.

And that’s it for now! These are five strategies I have used to increase my blog traffic in two months.

What are some strategies you are using? Do you have any questions about what I’ve been doing and how it works for me? I’d love to hear from you.

How to write a blog post in 12 steps

Have you been wondering how to write a blog post that is stunning and attention-grabbing? How do you write a blog post that gives a lot of value to your readers?

Write a blog post in 12 steps

I’ve been blogging since 2005 and found that blogging has become easier with a formula that works nearly the same just about every time.

I don’t have to second-guess what I’m doing. I know exactly what process to use and I go for it!

I want to share with you some of my tried-and-true methods I’ve found over the years that have helped me to write a stunning blog post for my readers.

If you like videos instead, I made one just for you!

How to write a blog post (in 12 steps)

1. Do a brain dump

The very first thing I do is a brain dump. I like to use my Hillsong planner. This one, in fact…

how to find your niche

This is where all my organized posts go after I’ve dumped my ideas into a notebook. Any notebook. (Of course, I have a special Typo notebook I really like, but anything will work, really.)

Use your Google Docs, use Evernote, use whatever you need to.

The idea is to get all your blog post ideas down, divide them out by the month and week, then begin to tackle these ideas one by one.

You can write up one or several posts each week and load them into your WordPress dashboard to be scheduled out.

Before you do all of this, though, it’s a good idea to find related keywords and create an outline.

2. Use SEO in keywords

I like to use Google Keyword Planner to find which keywords people are looking for the most.

When I find a great batch of these, I make a list of them and use them liberally in future blog posts.

For example, for this post in particular I wanted to include one of these keyword phrases:

  • write a blog
  • write a blog post
  • blog post

Why? Because after heading over to Keyword Planner and typing in “blog post”…

I find that there are between 1,000 and 10,000 searches for the phrase “writing a blog post”, and 10,000-100,000 searches for the phrase “blog post”.

Combined with a low competition, these key phrases are great picks for my future post ideas.

I keep a running list of keywords like these so that whenever I run out of post ideas I can always refer back to these.

Interwoven throughout your post, your keywords can really help to boost your blog SEO.

3. Consider your readers’ problems

Although I like to use Keyword Planner to grab keywords to boost my SEO, most of my ideas come from my audience.

If my reader has a problem I want to solve it- through my blog and podcast, my blogging courses, or my books.

Always consider your readers’ problems before you begin writing your blog post to make sure your writing helps them solve something.

4. Create an outline

Before I begin writing the body or “meat” of my post, I need to create an outline.

This helps me to shift my attention towards the specifics of what I want to cover in the post and so that I’m not distracted in my writing.

I find that if I have an outline, I write faster and with more clarity. An outline gives me a clear focus on what I should be discussing in my blog post.

5. Type it up in your favorite editor

My favorite editor happens to be Google docs, but sometimes I write my posts directly within WordPress itself.

Figure out what system works best for you. An editor you really like can make all the difference for you.

Google docs is pretty easy for me. I type it up, then copy and paste it over to WordPress.

Typically, formatting stays the same, which is great.

6. Craft an attention-grabbing headline

It’s only after I’ve written my post that I usually come up with my headline. I do this for a number of reasons: mainly that it’s so much easier to know what to name a post after I’ve written it.

I like to use an online thesaurus to find strong adjectives like “bombastic”, “incredible”, “stunning”, “electrifying”. And, of course, I use these to make my title stand out.

You’ll want to write up a headline that attracts attention to your post content. It should make your reader want to read all the way through the post.

7. Format your post

Formatting is pretty simple.

First you’ll start with catchy your title.

Then, make sure the body of your post has the a proper amount of words. About 800-1,000 words or longer should be perfect.

Be sure to include headers (header 1, header 2) and so forth. For example, this particular paragraph section is called “Format your post”. (Do you see that above?)

It’s actually a Header 2 tag (H2), which allows Google to see it as an important piece of information to my blog underneath my Header 1 tag (the one at the very top that says “How to write a blog post (in 12 steps)”.

Be sure to include meta tags

your focus keyphrase (the one you picked from Keyword Planner at the very beginning)…

and your meta description (which includes your keywords).

8. Create beautiful graphics

We always want our blog posts to look marvelous! How do I do that?

I use graphics.

My favorite graphics creator is currently Canva. I have used PicMonkey and even Adobe Photoshop, but I find that Canva has been so worth it for me.

I like Canva so much that I pay for the pro account monthly. It is easy to use, and super quick for me to whip out those graphics (a must if you’re blogging more than once a week).

These beautiful graphics don’t need to be hard to create. Use templates as a starting point and create one template that meets the needs of all your blog posts. All you need to do is tweak the wording and graphics each time.

These featured images are going to look marvelous on your blog and make your post more attractive. It will also be great for inviting pinners to share your work on Pinterest!

9. Use Grammarly and spell check

Spell check is my best friend…and next to that: Grammarly.

I have made my share of spelling errors in my blog posts, and it can be really embarrassing (especially if something is misspelled in a graphic, which is hard to go back and correct, by the way.)

Better to run the spell check before your readers do!

10. Link up to other posts

You’ll want to be sure to include loads of inbound and outbound links (here’s a tutorial on understanding how outbound links work).

Google loves a blog that is getting link juice from other blogs, but also that shares relevant content.

Be sure to always link to other blog posts within your blog as well as to outside sources that have relevance to your post topic.

11. Offer content upgrades

Lately I’ve been offering more content upgrades with my posts- something I haven’t always done.

I really like doing this because it gives me an opportunity to go above and beyond and offer more than the typical to my readers.

Sometimes I offer a video (like in this post). Other times I offer a podcast.

And sometimes I offer a free printable or worksheet (like with my goals post.) You can still pick up that free planner here if you like 🙂

Figure out what you enjoy offering to your readers and upgrade your blog post. It gives your readers an incentive to read more and allows them to get to know you better.

You also have the opportunity to capture more information on your readers as they offer their email to have you keep in touch with them. In exchange for their email you can offer incentives and upgrades.

12. Hit publish and share!

This is the best part of your post- publishing and sharing! Once you’ve completed the post it’s time to hit “publish”.

The best part for me is always sharing with others.

I like to spread the news on all my social media outlets- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram.

Even if you don’t use all these platforms regularly, share our posts there anyway.

Then celebrate!

Writing a post is hard work and you deserve a celebratory pat on the back, so reward yourself. For every post completed.

Why Start a Blog?

Have you been toying with the idea of blogging? Are you itching to get your thoughts out there for the world to read and enjoy, but you’re just a little bit afraid of the commitment to start a blog?

I totally get it: it takes guts to start a blog and to see it through for years down the road. Quite honestly, bloggers come and go by the dozens because of one reason alone: blogging is hard!

But if you are just a little bit fired up about your product or service, your topic, and your audience, there is absolutely no reason you can’t succeed at blogging.

5 Reasons to Start a Blog

If you’ve been needing someone to just tip you over on the other side and give you a few reasons to motivate you to start a blog, I’m here for you!

Get paid for writing about what you love

When I explain to my friends what I do, they’re like “huh? So…you get paid to write?”

Exactly.

Not only do bloggers find ways to monetize our writing but we quickly learn to tap into other sources of monetization. Writing a blog post may quickly turn into creating other products like ebooks. (I created mine on Amazon CreateSpace and KDP Select).

My blog posts have also turned into podcasts, where I earn affiliate commission or advertising promo spots.

Additionally, blog posts can turn into ideas for videos, which can turn into a robust vlog channel making you some nice residual income with Google Adsense. (Here’s one of mine).

If you get really good at writing for your own blog, you can even offer to begin looking for opportunities to write paid guest posts and start earning money to share your content on other sites.

Be your own boss

Why start a blog? Because you get to ultimately create what you want out of your writing career.

What I love about blogging is that it gives me the opportunity to create something out of nothing. I am creating a community and a tribe because I’m writing about what I love.

I get to make my own choices about what content to put out (based on user-feedback, of course), set my own hours, attract the clients of my choice, and drive the direction of my business.

I absolutely love all these aspects of blogging!

Create your own schedule your way.

As I mentioned before, I like to be my own boss which, of course, includes creating my own schedule.

I have a fairly complex schedule as a busy homeschool mama and brand strategist, but I love blogging and the freedom it provides me to make side hustle money (or a full-time income).

It’s up to me whether I want to dial it down or up- adding on more blogging or less. I truly get to create my own schedule and blog around my family responsibilities.

Meet awesome people in your niche.

Oh my goodness, have I ever met some pretty fabulous and amazing people through blogging!

If you are looking for an easy way to grow your network and meet awesome people in your niche, blogging is the way to go!

The small virtual communities I’ve found are mainly through:

  • following other blogs and commenting
  • following YouTube channels I admire
  • listening to incredible podcasts and following the hosts on social media
  • and of course, social media- Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook

One of my main sources for meeting pretty awesome people is through interviews and podcasting. As I’ve learned the skill of interviewing guests in my niche I’ve also been able to connect with some fabulous mompreneurs along the way and expand my outreach.

Make a difference for other people.

More than anything, I’ve found that blogging has helped me to help others. The thing that excites me the most about blogging is knowing that I’m helping others and making a difference for them.

My homeschool blog is about helping homeschool moms of faith with their specific needs: choosing curriculum, encouragement and support, advice, free resources, and conversations with thought leaders in the home education sector.

This blog at Mompreneurs in Heels is about helping moms entrepreneurs develop their online business from start to continuation: from business idea to blog to content and product development.

I also want to use this as a platform to highlight mompreneurs who are doing it and working their business.

When you find out your business and blogging purpose, it is exciting because you realize that you truly are making a difference for others.

That’s the best part.

Keep learning new things.

Blogging helps me to keep on learning. As I talk to other bloggers, interview guests for my podcast, or just do research for a blog post, I learn something new each time.

Lifelong learning is a goal for me. I wake up each day wondering what new thing I’ll learn. Because I blog daily I research daily…and I just keep learning new things I didn’t know before!

If lifelong learning is big on your list, making blogging a part of your lifestyle can help you to accomplish that.

If you’ve been wondering, “Why start a blog?”, now you know five terrific reasons to get moving on your first blog post!

Do you need help setting up your blog? You can reach out to me and I’ll walk you through the steps. I also help with branding and design services and I’ll be glad to hear what your needs are and help you.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast? What are some of your takeaways?

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