Using a Free Report to Build Your Readership

Whether or not you are blogging to make extra income or to spread a message you’re passionate about, you need readers. One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is “How do I get more people to read my blog?” My best answer is: Give them a reason to stop by. And by give, I mean give. As in offering a free gift.

This post will give you the steps involved to create and unveil a free report to offer your readers. You can use this gift in exchange for a reader’s email address using a list management system such as Aweber, if desired. Then you can continue to build the blogger-reader relationship via email newsletters.

If you are a marketing blogger, you can later offer products for sale to your newsletter list, but be considerate and use the (at least) 7 to 1 information to sales pitch ratio. That is, unless you want all your readers to click the unsubscribe link.

  1. Identify your niche audience.
  2. Research to discover some of their problems.
  3. Either through information you may already have (since this is your niche) or through further research, write a short report (maybe up to 10 or so pages) that answers one or more of their problems.
  4. Present this report in an attractive manner using a program such as Microsoft Publisher (converted into a .pdf using PDF Complete) or iWork’s Pages (for Mac, which is what I use).
  5. Create an attractive eBook cover for your report. (Note: There are many tutorials available to show you how to do this for free or cheap. If you’d like a more in-depth video training of eBook cover creation, you may wish to learn more about one of the products I’m an affiliate for: Make Your Own eBook Covers.)
  6. Either set up a lead capture page, such as the one I created for The Blogger’s Checklist, or simply create a custom sidebar widget to handle this task.
  7. Promote your free report on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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4 comments ↓

#1 Angie on 01.05.10 at 11:46 pm

I don’t quite understand what’s supposed to go in the report.
Angie

#2 Linda Fulkerson on 01.06.10 at 6:32 am

@Angie,

Thanks for your comment, as I didn’t address that very well and others may be wondering the same thing. Therefore, I’ve created a new post that will hopefully explain this better.

Here’s the link:

http://onbloggingwell.com/creating-free-reports-part-2/

#3 Creating Free Reports to Grow Your Email List | On Blogging Well on 01.06.10 at 6:34 am

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#4 Debra Butterfield on 01.06.10 at 8:40 am

Linda, great stuff as always! I’ll be creating that free report for sure for use on my webzine as well.

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