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Episode 107: How To Create eBooks To Diversify Your Income With Kelly McNelis

Blog Title: The Family Freezer & eBooks Pro

Social Media:

The Family Freezer on Facebook

The Family Freezer on Instagram

About: Kelly is the self-professed crockpot addict and mom of five behind The Family Over the past six years, Kelly has self-published more than 20 eBooks that have together generated almost one million dollars in sales. When Kelly’s husband, Andy, realized Kelly’s blogging was becoming a major source of income for their family, he left his full-time job to work with her full-time. That was five years ago and the rest is history. Kelly and Andy have grown their blog to focus on passive income strategies, like eBooks, that allow them to make as much money as possible while spending more time with their family and less time working. In 2019, Kelly and Andy created a second business to help other bloggers do the same called eBooks Pro.

Notes from Episode #107: Creating eBooks

  • Fun fact: Kelly has 5 kids. Their ages are 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2.
  • Food blogging journey’s evolved. So when Kelly started in 2011, she’d just had her second child. She was working full time at the time. She told her husband she didn’t want to go back to her job after her maternity leave; she had this vision to start her own job. Her husband said you know you need a blog and right away she responded, no way! So she decided to give it a shot. In the long run, her husband was right. Her original ideas were more along the lines of coaching but this is what people wanted. She was sharing recipes and giving tips to healthy living. Recipes were simple, often crock pot recipes. She would freeze the ingredients on the weekend, pull it out during the week and cook it. 
  • Kelly read The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss and she really leaned into this idea of thinking through how I work but reflecting that life is so much more than work. She evaluated, what’s working, what’s generating money and how do I make more money and do less of things I don’t need to do. Kelly didn’t want to work 24/7, it stressed her out. 
  • Kelly started writing ebooks. At first she didn’t know what she was doing. So she started with 10 recipes that you could follow to assemble your ingredients, freeze them and then pull them out when you’re ready to prepare it in the crock pot. 
    • She used a Word document, provided nutrition information and a grocery list. She exported it as a PDF and had a hideous cover. She used photoshop and put something simple together. 
  • Kelly didn’t want to wait until she was an expert so she excitedly put this ebook together. This is advice she thinks we should all follow – don’t wait on these dreams until you’re an expert!
  • Kelly finished her book, put the paypal button on her website and waited. Nothing happened. 
    • She sold 12 copies the entire first year and it was to family members. She wasn’t an overnight success. 
  • Kelly created another ebook and this one was super successful.
    •  What made the difference wasn’t the ebook, it was how she was selling it. She learned to market it and had a launch period. 
  • The best topic is the one that your audience wants you to write. 
    • You want to be creative and innovative but your audience wants the simple topic. 
    • It’s a process of gathering information about what your audience wants from you and how you can write it. 
    • Survey your followers. Ask what they want, what do you love the most and they will give you all the feedback. Give them options! They aren’t going to do the work for you though, you have to show them topics. 
  • Go to your Google analytics and see what your top posts are. 
    • Narrow down the topics. Find the commonalities. 
    • Poll your audience with what you see to know where to start. 
    • Stick to a max 5 ideas. But if you have narrowed it down to 2 great ideas, then poll your audience, that’s even better.  
    • Research your competition. Start by looking at what exists on Amazon. Find out where there’s room for you to sell and not have a lot of competition.
    • Compare prices, what is unique about your recipes vs what’s out there. 
  • Length of an ebook – it only needs to be as long as it takes to sufficiently make your recipes. Don’t make it one page longer. 
    • Kelly has a 7 recipe book that’s 30 pages long. 
    • She has another that is a 100 page book with instructions on a topic. 
    • Both books are $9.99
  • People are looking for simplicity, and ways to save time. 
  • Ebooks are like a book: they have a cover, title page, copyright page, dedication if you want, about the author, table of content, conclusion and chapters. 
    • Export your recipes from Word into a PDF file. 
    • Include photos! 
    • Kelly has all her photos in the beginning of the ebook with numbered photos to show the process. This way if they print their books, they don’t use up ink as they print the actual recipe. Be mindful of your user and how they would use this ebook. 
  • Pricing
    • Don’t undervalue your work
    • You can create bundles
    • Create collections of recipes. 
    • Release it to your email list
  • Learn to value your work so it’s worth your time and energy and that you are proud of. 
  • Launching/Marketing your ebook
    • Book recommendation: Launch by Jeff Walker
    • Kelly has grown and adapted the launching of the products through what they learned. 
    • Build a repertoire and build anticipation with your audience. 
    • This is a good time to do another survey – ask your audience about their #1 issue is in regards to THIS topic (that you’re about to launch)?
    • Take this feedback, answer these questions and address them right in your marketing campaign. 
    • Pick an amount of days for your launch. You want there to be an urgency to purchase your product along with days to have a sale price, bonuses available, or it could be this product is on sale only once a year.
    • Send emails with this information to your audience, sometimes twice a day during this campaign.
    • Be sure that something lasts the whole week – that doesn’t change through the campaign. Whether it’s the coupon or the base price. 
    • If you are doing something “extra” do it on day 1 or 2. Reward your audience for responding to your offer and stick to those days exclusively, not let them be bummed they didn’t wait until later in the week. 
    • Create your own “ad” on your site. Ad a banner and let your audience know they can buy from you any time once the launch period is over. 
  • Content –
    • Kelly sent a launch of the “best of the best” of her online blog content to our audience. She sent it to 1000 of her paying customers. It was a flop. 
    • You need some reason to entice people to buy. You don’t necessarily have to have all new content but you need some new recipes, something you offer exclusively to them in this ebook. 
    • The way that a recipe is compiled could make it what is unique about the ebook.
  • Selling- sell your product on your site
    • Woo commerce button
    • Shopify
    • Your Ebook is available immediately after checkout so it’s instantaneous for the customer.
  • Ebook pro 
    • This is a spinoff that Kelly wished had existed in 2011 when she wrote her first ebook. 
    • Kelly and her husband created two courses. They are self paced courses.
    • This is them sharing everything they’ve learned with anyone who wants to learn. 
    • When someone signs up, they get weekly emails and help. Kelly is careful to respond to her audience who participates. 
  • Kelly listened to a podcast recently. At the end of the podcast the people being interviewed were asked, how are you dealing with your business in light of Covid19? And they responded that they decided to think about the question instead, If I launched my business for the first time today, what is needed and what can I address? This is Kelly’s inspiration for her business. She immediately resonated with this question and has been inspired to review her business model.
  • Kelly’s personal inspiration: We have this one precious life, so what do we want to do today? Let’s live our best lives today. Choose to love my life where I am right now.

Helpful references from the episode:

The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Launch by Jeff Walker

eBooks Pro