Are ebooks dead? This is the question I keep asking myself as I put together ideas for gated content. No one wants to download an ebook anymore, they don’t read them and they sit in Dropbox or in a computer folder labeled “ebooks to read” gathering dust. The era of the ebook has passed and it’s one of the ways you can kill your email list and drive people away.

That’s a scary fact, so let me back up.

Whether you’re brand new to blogging or a blogging expert, you’ve heard the phrase once, maybe a dozen times: the money is in the list!

No, this isn’t some mythical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (although sometimes it seems it would be easier to hunt for that gold and get rich quick like they do in the movies). Nope, serious bloggers, writers, authors, and businesses make money because of the size of their email list. While it’s not the ONLY way to make money, it’s one of the most effective online strategies, but you have to do it right.

Still using ebooks to build your email list? Here's why it's a mistake and what you should do instead:

Lately, I’ve seen webinars, e-courses, and challenges pop up on how to get your first 1,000 subscribers. These trainings have some excellent tactics, advice, and step-by-step guides, however, they all leave something out.

Getting people on your email list is the easy part, the hard part is actually nurturing them and creating excellent content that keeps them coming back for more.

Back when I decided to become a full-time online business, I signed up for every single email list and took every challenge I came across for two reasons.

CTT - ebooks are dead

#1 – I was doing my research

I wanted to see what others were writing about and how they treated their readers after they got on their email list.

80% of the time after 30 days I had some massive regret. I felt let down, their capturing tactics were much better than their nurturing tactics.

These people knew how to get others on their email list, they just didn’t know how to keep them.

I found myself mass unsubscribing because I was bored, wasn’t learning anything, and was tired of being sold to.

#2 – I was looking for my next guru

We all need online mentors to look up to. There are people out there who are killing it and making some serious income.

In fact, there’s a lot of hate going on for people who make more than 6 figures in their online empires. Honestly, I think it’s inspirational and it’s a great goal to aim for.

While achieving 6 figures per year and even per month takes a ton of hard work and time, the people that do achieve this aren’t doing it alone.

Think about the fact that even local brick and mortar businesses easily make 6 and most of the time 7 figures. Why should we scorn the online businesses who do the same thing and actually pay their employees more than minimum wage?

But I digress – everyone needs a guru who they can learn from, and that’s exactly what I was looking for.

Did I find some? Well yes, but here’s the thing, the online world changes quickly, and some gurus I looked up to 3 years ago just aren’t changing with the times.

Online marketing strategies and tactics have changed, and it’s a priority to stay up to date and understand what your audience needs right now.

Which leads me back to my original question – are ebooks dead? Yes, but content upgrades aren’t.

Back in the day, ebooks were a great way to get people on your email list.

  • It’s anywhere from 15-200 pages of detailed, actionable content to position you as the authority and expert in your subject.
  • It’s beautifully crafted and way too long for anyone to read in one sitting. It’s likely worth anything from $25-$100 because of the type of content.

Honestly, ebooks are wonderful and beautiful, but giving away a free ebook is not the way to grow your email list. It’s an old, outdated tactic, just like a salesman coming to knock on your door.

Instead of spending hours writing an amazing ebook that no one is ever going to read, except you, focus on content upgrades in order to grow your email list.

What’s a content upgrade?

Well, at the end of this post you’ll find an email opt-in called: 6 Content Upgrades to Help you Grow your Email List

It’s a two-page checklist with ideas to get you started, but in order to get it, you have to leave your email address. Here’s what happens:

  • You have to leave your email address BUT you can opt out at any time
  • When you join my email list, you get tagged so I know you’re interested in content upgrades and growing your email list
  • You’ll only need to spend 5 minutes reading over the checklist before you start implementing your ideas

I’m all about taking action so if action is what you want, this is the place to be. Delete your ebook and get started with content upgrades.

What tactics are you using to grow your email list?

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