My husband and I have always heard that one ingredient to financial success is to get paid while you sleep. What a dream, right? Believe it or not, there are many ways to turn this into a reality. One way: write an eBook.

Several months ago my husband approached me to discuss an existing workout program he wanted to start and the lack of available books with information on how to start it. He quickly identified a sizeable market that would be willing to purchase a “how-to” book for the workout program. After researching, he developed a table of contents for the book and started writing. Within three months, the book was written and being sold through a website we made. Within three weeks the book had paid for itself and we were making money.

So you’re probably wondering, “How do I do it?  How much will it cost? And how much will I make?” The first step is to identify a niche market in a group that is lacking “how-to guides” or books. The best place to start is with hobbies or activities that you’re already involved in.  The more specific, the better. Avoid broad subjects such as “how to train a dog.”

Once you’ve identified your topic, determine your market size. Talk to people in your groups, online forums and use Google’s keyword search tool. This search tool allows you to view average monthly search volume on Google, as well as how much advertising competition the keyword has. Try to pick something that has high search volume and low advertising competition.

Okay, so you’ve picked your topic. What’s next?

  • Create a table of contents and write the book in Microsoft Word. You can find free eBook templates for Word online.
  • A book cover image will greatly increase your sales. Use a site like elance.com. You can post a job, and graphic designers will bid on your job. You will pay about $50 to have a cover image made. Request a cover image and a 3D book image.
  • Once you insert the book cover into your word file, review the book, then convert the word file to a pdf format.
  • Next you’ll want to host the book (the pdf file) on a site such as ejunkie.com. Monthly cost for a hosting service is $5 – $15 depending on the file size. Ejunkie can be used to send out a link of the book that is able to be downloaded once someone buys it. This is necessary since the file will probably be too large to send through e-mail. You can send free download links to people, and also have your ejunkie account linked up with your PayPal or Google checkout account (more information on this later) to automatically send a download link once you’ve been paid for the book.
  • Create a website to sell your ebook. Use elance.com or guru.com to find someone to build a website for you. You should expect to pay $120 – $300 for a website. You’ll get to choose a web designer after reviewing their price and portfolio. You will also need to purchase a web domain ($10) and pay for site hosting ($5/month) from a site such as godaddy.com or hostgator.com. The web designer can assist you with this process. The web designer will also link your site to your ejunkie account so people can click on the buy it now button and pay right into your PayPal or Google checkout account.
  • Once the website is live, you should create an advertising account with Google AdWords. Google will show your website to perspective buyers when they perform Google searches involving the content of your book. You can pay as much or as little as you want for advertising, but if you picked a topic with very low advertising competition you can expect to pay as little as $0.10 for each person that comes to your website. Because the people coming to your website are very likely to purchase your book, you can expect a high sales rate. You can have your web designer use a code from Google Analytics to allow you to track how many people view your website.
  • Test everything out to make sure you receive money from payment and that the book automatically gets delivered to the buyer.

When it’s all said and done, you should expect to pay between $175 – $375 to get your E-book online for sale. You will have $10 – $20 in reoccurring costs each month for web hosting and book hosting. If you’ve picked your book topic wisely, you can expect to make $200 – $700 on average each month selling your book. So take some initiative, write an ebook and make money while you’re asleep!

This has been a guest post by Natasha from Coyle-Rutland, MA
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