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Free Gifts to Build Your List: Reports and EBooks

Two More Free Gifts to Offer

In the last post we discussed the importance of creating quality, value-adding free gifts that will entice visitors to subscribe to your list. The next few posts will offer suggestions for types of gifts that you can consider. Today, we are going to discuss two popular and fairly easy choices: Reports and EBooks.


reports and ebooks
Image by Simpson33

Writing and giving away an eBook is a great way to get your name out there and to start establishing your authority. It also becomes your loss-leader by which you attract subscribers, entice them to subscribe to your list, and then promote other books, future books, and related products.

For example, Let’s say your niche is “Health and Dieting.” You have a great book ready to be sold called, “Stick to Your diet.” Use that as your free gift; then, promote additional books, which could be part of a series such as, “Stick to Your Exercise Program” – or –  related books such as, “Exercise: The Magic Bullet of Weight Loss.”

Even if the subscriber never buys your additional book offerings, they are on your list for future offerings; and, you have the opportunity in follow-up emails, to include affiliate links to other people’s products, which can provide a nice revenue stream.

Another good strategy is to include a note with your Free eBook that encourages subscribers to “share the eBook with friends” (as long as they share the book intact – no changes.) This can create a powerful viral marketing campaign.


These can be any length. Be sure that the length is appropriate for the topic and purpose of the report.

A short three- or four-page report can be effective if you are providing a quick, easy, clear and valuable explanation of a hot topic; or, if you are providing a simplified, accurate version of “how to do” something.  You can also go much deeper with a full-fledged 30-page report.

Regardless of the length, the topic must be relevant to the niche you have chosen as your area of expertise (where you want to become an established authority.)

Let’s go back to your “Health and Dieting” niche and your book, “Stick to Your Diet.” Rather than giving the book itself away, offer a free short report on the dangers of yo-yo dieting, which introduces them to the importance of sticking to a diet – the perfect lead-in to your book.

You can create a broad report about your niche as a whole, or a very specific report.

For example, if you have a diet eBook on the topic of losing weight by eliminating meat from your diet, you could write a broad report such as, “Five Reasons to Become a Vegetarian.”  Or, you could be very specific with a report such as, “How a Vegetarian Diet Helps Fight Type 2 Diabetes.”

How about offering a “sneak peek” of your book? This can be a wonderful enticement. Send an extract from the book itself to introduce them to the content and leave them wanting more . . . Of course, in the sneak peek you would link to the full book – maybe with a special discount for “new subscribers.”

As a side note: The Aweber software can automatically move your free sneak peek subscribers over to a buyers’ list when they decide to buy the whole book. This is important because the messages they receive will change – instead of receiving messages that try to convert them into a buyer, they will receive messages that provide help with their basic problem, tips on how to get the most out of their purchase, and ways to benefit from their subscription.

But . . . I don’t Like to Write!

What if you really do not like to write, or simply are not a good writer – then, what? No problem! Help is available.

If you are a decent writer, but don’t like to write, a good choice is . . . Use PLR for reports and ebooks

Find a good source for PLR (Private Label Rights) in your area of expertise. Be sure to check the license with each purchase. Generally speaking you are free to take the work, modify it, put your name on it and even sell it.

Word of Caution:  NEVER, NEVER cut and paste exactly as is. You must take the time to verify accuracy, add some information and references. In other words, make the reports and eBooks your own

You can often find good content to use as your starting point for reports and eBooks at $1.00/page or less.

If you simply can’t write (in other words, you are bad at it), you may want to . . .

  • Hire a Quality Ghostwriter. They do the writing for you – from short reports to a full e-book. They may charge by the page, so be sure to budget accurately. Remember, you are hiring them to write your first free gift, which will create your first impression with subscribers. DO NOT SKIMP on your ghostwriter.  Choose a good one, not the cheapest one.

If you have joined us for the first time, the series starts with: Building Your List – Finding Gold vs. Doing Good. horny college coeds ride.

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