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Fill up your e-book with instructions of all kinds. Imagine you're writing an e-book about knitting. This subject begs for how-to copy! "How to Do a Basic Stitch." "How to Knit a Scarf."
How-to sections can be written in numbered steps, but they don't have to be. It depends on topic. Suppose you wanted to write a basic career guide. One major section of interest might be, How to Get Along Better With Your Boss. You can easily break this up into bits, like so:
- Put yourself in your boss's shoes
- Develop a positive outlook
- Start thinking of department's needs instead of just your own
- Consider your own work habits from an outsider's viewpoint
- Open lines of communication
- Take a problem-solving approach
You won't believe how quick and easy it is to fill in details for each of these major points. If you keep it up, you might eventually need your own instructions: "How to Stop Writing How-To Lists!"
Format 4: Problem-Solution. The problem-solution format is a lot like Q & A. It's another perspective-switching technique that will sharpen your knowledge of reader's needs and wants while establishing you as person with answers. Let's pretend you're writing an e-book for a life coach. She plans to include e-book as part of her coaching kit to help clients achieve more in their lives. What are some problems a life coach's client might face? Stress. Boredom. Loneliness.
Tackle these issues from reader's point of view, as so:
Things that Keep Me from Moving Forward With My Life
- I have too much to do, and not enough hours to do it all.
- My job is dull and uninspiring.
- I don't have many friends to keep my energy levels up.
Each heading will require a response on your part; a paragraph or two where you can expound on ways to solve issues at hand and help reader realize that she's not locked into any situation. Problem-solution formats are inspiring to write to because they replace negative, self-defeating thoughts with positive, energizing ones. You may find yourself catching fever even as you write them for your clients! And that will inspire you to accomplish even more in your own life.
Format 5: Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing viewpoints is a fun way to play devil's advocate in your writing. Take recent article I wrote on Copywriting: "11 Reasons Not to Hire a Freelance Copywriter (and Why They're All Poor Excuses!)." Throughout this piece, I set up points that buyer might feel are valid reasons not to hire a writer- and then I "shot each one down" with solid evidence to contrary. Some subheadings I used:
Excuse 1. "Why pay someone else when I can do writing myself?" Excuse 2. "I know my product/business better than anyone else."
Excuse 3. "I find it difficult to work with someone in a remote location."
This may seem like a sneaky format, in that you seem to be writing from one point of view when actually you favor opposite; but it's a quick and effective way to hook reader's interest and hold it. People love to argue; why not create an imaginary debate scenario that they can relate to! If your e-book is meant to persuade and convince people to try new things, "opposing viewpoints" format is a classic way to develop a good argument and entice reader to follow your lead.
Still intimidated about writing your own e-book? You shouldn't be! Whether you're a wet-behind-the-ears writer or an old, seasoned pro, writing e-books is an easy, fun and lucrative way to develop your credibility on web as well as broaden your knowledge on a wide variety of topics. Use these tried and true formats to fill page after page with interesting information written in a friendly, conversational tone. Master art of great e-book writing! It will win you new readers and keep old ones coming back for more.
Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.
Dina Giolitto is a New-Jersey based Copywriting Consultant with nine years' industry experience. Her current focus is web content and web marketing for a multitude of products and services although the bulk of her experience lies in retail for big-name companies like Toys"R"Us. Visit http://www.wordfeeder.com for rates and samples.