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Writing information products (eBooks) is one of the most popular ways of starting or developing an online business.

Why? Because the subject range is unlimited as is the angle or perspective you can bring to a subject.  Plus, it can cost nothing except your time to create it. Everyone that has a computer has a word processor (even if it's WordPad) and PDF creators can be found for free (PDF is still the best way to distribute eBooks).

That said, it is not always trouble-free.  How do you get started and how do you manage if you have never written an eBook before?

Step 1 - Why Are You Writing an eBook?

First, make a list of the reasons you are writing your ebook. Do you want to promote your business? Do you want to bring quality traffic to your website? Do you want to enhance your reputation?  All very good reasons but don't make it too obvious.  Don't come across as selfish - give something to get something back.

Then write down your goals in terms of publishing. Maybe your going to sell it as a product on your website, or offer it as a free gift or bonus eBook for your main product to increase its value?

Bottom line is, the more you know upfront, the easier the actual writing will be.

Step 2 - Know Your Subject

Next, and most important - write about something you know.  This allows you to keep the book flowing, present credibility and shows your readers you have some insight on the subject - and hence maybe something to offer they may not have heard before.

Step 3 - Where to Begin?

Next, the hardest part of writing is - starting. When you look at the whole project, it seems like an impossible task. You have to break it down into manageable tasks.

It's no different to anything else in life.  Whenever you're faced with a seemingly insurmountable task, there is only one way to approach it.  Step-by-Step.  Break it down into manageable mini-tasks and see the completion of each one as an achievement to celebrate spur you on. Reward yourself, even if it's only with a break, a coffee or 10 minutes on the games console.

Step 4 - Get Organized

The next thing you have to do is to get organized. First, organize your thoughts. There are some steps you should take before you begin. Go through the following list of issues.  When complete, you should be prepared and ready to begin writing your ebook.

Step 5 - Figure out your eBook's working title.

Why?  Because it gives you a focal point.  Spend time on it, as it is something you should keep coming back to for inspiration.  Always make sure you don't deviate from it.  Otherwise you'll end up with an eBook where the contents do match the title.  Jot down a few different titles, and eventually, you'll find that one that will grow on you.  Think honestly about it.  Would YOU read it?

Step 6 - Write an Overview

Next, write out a brief overview. Your overview is a short paragraph, maybe two stating exactly what problem you are addressing and how your book will solve that problem.

Once you've got your overview fine-tuned, you've built your foundation. From that point, your eBook will develop, sentence-by-sentence then page-by-page and finally chapter-by-chapter until before you know; it will be finished.

Your overview will keep you focused while you write your ebook. Remember: all chapters must support your overview. If there is a chapter that doesn't fit - delete it.  For example, your overview could be something like: We've all experienced a weight problem at times in our lives, but I have discovered fourteen proven methods to help you get the figure you yearn for.  

But if this is what you say, you must give fourteen proven methods.  If you don't, you lose credibility with your readers and they will be searching for ways to get a refund.  At best, you will never sell them a follow-up product.  This is where the real money is on the Internet.  Repeat business not a one-off sale.

Step 7 - Review and Regroup

Once you have your overview, before you start to write, make sure there is a good reason to write your eBook. Ask yourself some questions:

* Does it give useful information and is that information relevant today?

* Will your eBook benefit your readers?

* Is your ebook interesting - will it keep you reader turning every page to see what comes next?

You also need to grab their attention early on and the best way to do this is to make them feel that you can answer their problems.  After all, why did they buy the book?  Make them feel they made the right decision and that you know what you are talking about.

Step 8 - Start Laying Out Your eBook

Next, write out chapter headings.  You may or may not end up using chapters but it another part of the processing of breaking the job down into manageable steps to tackle one at a time.  Breaking the job into smaller tasks (in this case chapters) will make it easier.  It's also the way to expand on your overview and see if your chapters address everything.  Check - is there something missing that you said you were going to cover?

Remember - step-by-step manageable pieces.  

Writing an eBook is like any other form of writing - be it a letter, a user guide, a report etc - you must know who your target audience is and write to them.  This will dictate things such as style, tone, diction, and even length of your eBook.

When it's complete, you could also use parts of each chapter to create an e-course as a way of promoting it.

Taking all the above into consideration, you could have your eBook finished in no time at all and ready to promote via your website.  You could be well on the way to an Internet best-seller.

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