When does a post become an article, becomes an ebook, becomes a course?
We’re probably all used to writing short little posts on our Facebook walls and every now and again, writing something a bit longer that tends to gain some interest.
At what point should a social media post be better shown as an article – either on a blog or an article marketing site? If that article gets too big, would it be better off as an ebook and at what point is it worth saying “I could sell this as a tutorial”, knowing it would be a good seller?
At the social post level, you have to consider how the comment will be read. Most people are just on social media for quick bursts of entertainment, so a couple of hundred words would be more than enough. Especially if they’re reading it on a phone or small tablet.
Beyond a certain point, Facebook will automatically cut a post off with a ‘Read More’ message and if the message beyond the ‘read more’ is too long, it will actually open it in a new tab. Something to consider if you’re off on a long rant or start to have a lot to say.
This is the ideal point to actually put the article on your blog if you have one. By all means put the first couple of paragraphs as a social media post – enough to get to the ‘read more’ point, then link to your blog article.
Post To Blog
This encourages more people to be aware of the existence of your blog (a good thing) and while they are there, they might see other articles they like and stay longer (another good thing) and see some of the ads that are on your pages too (another good thing).
What if you don’t have a blog?
Time to make your own fan page on Facebook and put your full article there. Still show the teaser on your wall – More people will see it there, but link to your fan page and encourage visitors to like the page.
The advantages here are – Facebook will love you for NOT sending people off their site. You can run FB ads to your snippet or your full article for even more readers and more awareness of YOU and make the big F even happier as you’re giving them money AND keeping people on their site.
People are also less hesitant to follow the link because they are not leaving FB.
However, if part of your article is to get people to follow an affiliate link or go to an optin form, you are going to get interested people who are more likely to take your action as they have made some small commitments already (followed the teaser link AND read the full article).
Article to Ebook
Don’t want to run a fan page? Put your article up on an article marketing site like EzineArticles. It must, of course, conform to their standards – over 400 words, not include blatant marketing links and a few other conditions, but the sort of article that gets interest would need to be along those lines anyway.
Once you start exceeding a page (around 500 words at 12 point Calibri font), then you’re getting into big article territory and it could be time to convert your article into a PDF (via MS Word, Open Office or a PDF Print driver), after adding some graphics, images or separating that long paragraph into bullet points.
You’re now into optin giveaway territory.
Giveaways may be up to 10 to 12 pages although much of that could be using a cover, a larger font (for easier reading) so it doesn’t mean 5000 words. An article or ebook of 2500-3000 words is a comfortable amount to read in a single sitting for most people. This doesn’t include your intro, ads, offers or resources list. Just the actionable content.
Giveaways that exceed this sort of length rarely get read or actioned as people will just grab them because they’re free then let the file gather digital dust on the hard drive. If you have some good info that needs action from them, charge them for it. But these days unless you are a well-known name, you need to add more value to make it more saleable. Fortunately, this isn’t too difficult.
What Else Can Be Done?
You can pull the high points from the actions and you have a checklist. Go to a site like MindMeister and jot down your trains of thought in the various directions – you’ve now got a mind-map. A few chapter headings onto a PowerPoint presentation then turned into a video with either a voice-over reading the words from your ebook or just the words on successive pages and you have the complete package ready for eager buyers.
You still use the opening paragraph or two on social sites to tease people into looking at your sales page but the better thought for you is that you’ve tricked yourself into creating a product – all from the starting point of a short post on Facebook.
One other starting point is PLR or Private Label Rights – but make sure any PLR articles you use are just starting points. Never use PLR ‘as-is’.
Even better is to use several pieces of PLR and draw inspiration and paragraphs or chapters from each of them, re-writing as required to make them fit together.
Another place to draw inspiration is other people’s writing. As with PLR you cannot use the article as it stands unless you credit the original author (name in full and the link where you got the article from).
An article though can give you an idea (ideas are not copyrighted) that you can expand on in a different direction. It might be on the same topic as the original but it won’t be the same article.
Getting from a short post to a full ebook to a paid course are not difficult steps and once you get into the rhythm of writing it will start to flow and you will almost always end up with a longer piece than you intended.
All you need to do is start.
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