Blogs, infographics and now eBooks. While these may seem like internet trends, I think they’re all are here to stay. Why? Because in this digital age, information must be presented in a quick and digestible format.
Blogs are written in a relaxed tone with colloquial language and often include visual elements that draw in the reader. Similarly, infographics present statistics, survey findings, comparisons, graphs, etc. in a simple visual format that can easily be shared. eBooks combine the depth and breadth of information that one would expect in a book with graphics and images in a simple, yet interactive format.
But keeping the balance between information overload and visually appealing content can be tough. From a recent Marketing Writing Bootcamp, here are some common pitfalls to be aware of when developing your eBook. Avoid:
- Marketing speak – While your intention for an eBook may be to sell a product, service or idea, your audience’s motivation for reading your eBook usually involves some type of benefit to them. Therefore, your eBook should be viewed as informative and helpful, not as a sales tool. Readers may be looking for how-to tips, best practices or even the basics on a topic he/she may not be familiar with.
- Flowery or complex language – Often times, a number of people may contribute to your eBook. Or, you may even use an internal expert to help develop content. No matter the source of content, it’s important to write in a simple and easy format. Your eBook should add clarity to a topic and while including industry terms is fine, it’s important not overwhelm or confuse the reader.
- Going off topic – Refrain from adding too many CTAs and other details that aren’t crucial. You may have a lot to share, but avoid muddying your message with too much information. If you find additional messages or topics to cover, consider developing an eBook series. This allows you to focus on a specific topic for each eBook and keeps your reader coming back for more. Check out this eBook series from Travel Weekly and note the simplicity and consistency across the three eBooks. Most importantly, keep the reader engaged and interacting with your content so he/she will be more inclined to share your information with others.
- Using too many words –Use graphs, charts and photos to reinforce complex concepts and explain statistical information. When including case studies and examples, use images and arrows to highlight where you want to draw the reader’s attention. Keep paragraphs short and use bullets and tables when applicable.
- Complex Designs – Keep the design simple with an easily readable font, headings and subheads to move the reader along. Also, don’t be afraid to use white space, block quotes, or simple colors. A clean design or template allows the reader to focus on the images and content and is especially critical when developing a series—which allows certain design elements to be used across the series for continuity. Check out the Catavolt eBook we helped design.
If you’re looking to get started, check out HubSpot’s free eBook template for optimal layout designs, tips and tricks for effective copy and optimization, and eBook promotional and measurement tips. For examples of engaging eBooks, take a look at HubSpot, Marketo and SlideShare.
For more great examples of eBooks and infographics, check out and follow Arketi’s Pinterest page.