It’s inevitable that when you’ve been blogging for a while, eventually your subscriber numbers are going to hit a slump.
One solution that many probloggers tout as the answer is to write an ebook. It’s an effective way to encourage new signups and boost your traffic. But unfortunately, this means their thousands of loyal followers have also adopted the approach.
Which means the blogosphere is absolutely saturated with ebook content.
Readers are starting to tune out these pitches as so much white noise. And what were once considered cutting-edge techniques are quickly becoming conventional due to over-marketing.
In the early days of ebooks, they were incredibly effective because only a few people created them. They were new. They were a bonus. They were interesting. And fortune favored those willing to take risks on fledgling tactics.
That’s still true today – but not where ebooks are concerned. Now that ebooks have become mainstream, what’s next? What content can you create to make your readership interested enough to opt in?
The underrated solution: publish your own digital flipbook.
Digital flipbooks are interactive ebooks. If you’ve ever turned pages of your favorite magazine on a device like a Kindle or a Nook, you’ve used a digital flipbook. They have great images and compelling visuals along with interesting content, and your reader can turn pages in a way that feels like reading a real book.
Think about it this way: If you were in a doctor’s office and had the option between reading a newsletter on fashion or flipping through a magazine on fashion, which would you pick?
Readers like the feeling of interacting with their reading material, and digital flipbooks offer limitless new ways to play with content, especially in regard to visuals. You can use the exact same content you would have put into an ebook, but a digital flipbook makes it seem fresh, new and compelling on sight.
It’s the next hot item – and if you get ahead of the game, you can be one of the frontrunners.
Digital flipbooks are still in their infancy. While the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported a 125% increase in digital magazine readership from 2010 to 2011 for consumer magazines, AdAge reported in March 2012 that the jump still only accounts for 1% of total paid and verified circulation.
Translation? Digital flipbooks are still a relatively novel concept, especially in the blogosphere. Readers have shown that they enjoy the medium, but thus far digital flipbooks haven’t yet reached their full potential as a means for bloggers to interest their audiences.
The Benefits of Digital Flipbooks
Digital flipbooks have a pretty significant list of pros:
- They allow live hyperlinks (email addresses, ads, etc.) and images
- They provide page-flipping animation, giving a more realistic look
- They’re highly customizable, allowing for lots of personal branding
- They offer multilingual distribution
- They can be search-engine optimized and offer analytics
- They can be embedded right into your site or blog
Touch-screen devices are quickly becoming the norm, and with them the demand for an interactive experience. Digital flipbooks are perfect for these devices in a way that ebooks often are not, especially if you haven’t optimized your ebook for reading on multiple devices.
Crazy bonus touch? They’re also a great way to wow business clients with your portfolio.
How To Make a Digital Flipbook
There are many digital flipbook vendors out there, but you can start with one of these:
- Design your PDF(s)
- Upload the final PDF file to the site
- Customize the digital project on the site with live links, ads, meta tags, branding, etc.
- Activate the final pub in your desired format (iPhone or iPad app, Flash, or HTML5)
Most vendors provide a free trial period or a single-conversion demo, so pick the best option for you and dive right in.
How to Use a Digital Flipbook
Say you’re looking to boost email subscriptions – something all bloggers spend a disproportionate amount of time toiling to achieve. Here’s a basic format that could be useful in leveraging digital flipbooks to their fullest potential:
- Dangle the carrot. You can choose to digitize only a portion of your book and offer the full version for purchase or in exchange for an email subscription.
- Allow open access. Since you’re free to produce a digital flipbook at any frequency you desire (weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, special projects or reports only, etc.), you may be inclined to embed the full book right in a post to lure new readers and get them hungry for that next edition.
- Make it exclusive. Continue to provide great value on the blog, but offer killer in-depth research or bigwig interviews found nowhere else but in that flipbook. People hate the thought of missing out on something good, so they’ll sign up.
- Make it urgent. Offer it for a limited time in exchange for that email address, and pull it down after the deadline. People who are indecisive will forget your offer a day from now even if they found it appealing; making it urgent forces them to opt in sooner rather than later.
A Quick Warning
Now is the perfect time to jump on digital flipbooks before they explode into the next “big thing”. But don’t think that just because you’re one of the first to jump ship to a new format that your new digital flipbook will sell itself.
With over 181 million blogs out there, most of your readers are probably bloggers themselves, so they might be wary of exchanging their email address for yet another PDF.
The same rules of creating a good-quality ebook apply to creating a good-quality digital flipbook so you’ll still employ the same amount of effort. But you’re more likely to see a payoff on that effort when you’re offering something new, unique, and shiny – as opposed to the same old boring ebooks everyone and their mother knocks around on their website.
Be the first to give it to them.
Have you explored digital flipbooks for your blog before? If you’ve produced one, what was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.