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Ebook marketers dream of their lowly little project ‘going viral’ and getting passed around to hundreds, thousands, and millions of people – who all flood to their website and make them rich beyond their wildest dreams.

This is a powerful fantasy driving many marketers, but they often have no idea how to actually make their e-book go viral – or how to motivate the readers to connect back to the author.

The seeds of the problem are present in the little fantasy I described a few sentences back – no thought has been given to what motivates people to pass along an e-book and what motivates them to visit the author’s website afterward? Why do they pass an e-book along…

The short answer is: SELF-INTEREST!

WIIFM: What’s In It For Me?

What makes a report go viral is building in a compelling reason for the user to pass it along.  This can be as simple as wanting to appear trendy by being the first to pass around some cool new thing, or the hope of making money with little effort by re-branding the affiliate links in an e-book someone else wrote and passing it on to earn an affiliate commission or two from future readers.

To go viral, an e-book needs to provide an overwhelming “perceived benefit” to the reader to share it with someone else. The action required to make an e-book go viral must happen long before any benefit is experienced by the reader. You have to get them to ‘see the potential’ of sharing the e-book before they feel it.

Inside the text of your e-book, you must sell the benefit of passing along the e-book as well as deliver content this is valuable to the reader in its own right.

Do not expect your readers to know how to share your e-book (or even to think of the idea on their own.) Tell the reader exactly how to pass on the e-book and why they should pass it on to others. Break it down step by step so they don’t have to guess what to do next.

You can motivate people to pass along an e-book by:

- Providing amazing content they want to share
- Paying them to share it (either money or some item of value)
- Allowing them to rebrand it and embed their own affiliate links using software like
Viral PDF

- Etc.

How Do You Turn Readers Into Visitors and Customers?

Now that your readers have a strong reason to pass along your e-book and a clear idea of how to do it, you need to make sure that it produces results for your business. There’s no sense in creating a wildly popular viral e-book if it does not bring in new prospects or generate revenue.

The way you make this work out in your favor is to embed an offer inside the report for your own product/service/website and give the reader something valuable (related to the topic) which has to be downloaded from your site.

An example:

Put together a report on the critical elements of a successful sales letter. Within the report mention the importance of having a professionally designed sales page template so that readers don’t reject your message before they even read it because it looks unprofessional.

Then, offer to give them a free professionally designed sales page template to use on all their sales pages as a free gift for joining your copywriting mailing list.

A similar tactic is to offer Part I of a report as your viral report and then send them to your site to get Part II. Mike Filsaime famously ‘leaked’ a chapter of his ‘Butterfly Marketing Manuscript’ which provided a copy of the full table of contents and a snippet of the content before and after the ‘leaked’ chapter. The content of that free chapter was so amazing, people wanted to get a copy of the full report – and they went in droves to the Butterfly Marketing Manuscript website to buy a full copy (editorial note: this is an excellent resource for understanding viral marketing online.)

Dr. Mani from the Warrior Forum promoted a free e-book on using free e-books in your marketing. The author offers some great advice (and models it too) in the subject and I highly recommend it (I printed out a copy and have been scribbling notes all over it as I plan out future viral marketing reports and e-books.)

http://www.GiveawayYourFreeEbook.com

Questions, comments, or success stories? Leave a comment below and let us know what you are thinking.

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