Blog Goals for 2015: eBooks Rule!

by Jacob Abshire on January 3, 2015

You guessed it—more goals.

Yesterday I set three goals based on what I discovered in 2014 about Wednesday Wallpapers: harness the reach of wallpapers, recoup the cost of wallpapers, and revisit the focus of wallpapers. (You can find the exact goals in Blog Goals for 2015: Wallpapers Rock!) The day before that, I set three post goals: write more frequently, write more briefly, and write more personally. (See them at Blog Goals for 2015: Numbers Don’t Lie.)

The Jetpack Annual Report provided me with some useful information. After comparing it with other stats in WordPress and Google Analytics, I learned that my ebooks were a key component in my blog’s growth.

The most popular post of 2014 was the announcement of my first free ebook on Christian accountability. The book, entitled My Brother’s Keeper, exceeded my expectations by far. It marked “the busiest day of the year” according to Jetpack.

The ebook was a curation of posts published during the weeks prior to its publication. Since the meat of the content had already been chewed via the blog, I didn’t expect much from the collection of posts (with some minor enhancements and additions) in a download . But I was wrong, very wrong.

With the help of my not-yet-released WordPress plug-in, Mad Mimi Digest, I added more than 800 new people to my subscription list and heard of several hundred who received the book from friends and pastors. How exciting is that!

The book was also my first release on Lucid Books (more about my relationship with them later). They were able to format the ebook for Nook, iBooks, and Kindle. (Reports on these fronts yet to come.) Additionally, they marketed the PDF version on NoiseTrade.

What made it so popular? I’m not sure. Maybe people like ebooks? Think about it. We can take ebooks with us on our phone, we can print them out, share them with friends, and enjoy the highlighting and note taking perks that come with them. Not to mention ebooks are free of blog distractions.

Once I thought something was up with ebooks, I put it to a test. I published another ebook weeks later. It was a study guide for Christmas called God Breaks His Silence. My hunch was validated. This one also exceed expectations and trailed the first ebook. The Jetpack report indicated that the top five posts for the year included the two ebooks. (The other three posts were wallpapers—no surprise there!) The evidence is inconclusive. But one thing is clear: folks like ebooks.

Goal #7: Publish more ebooks. By this, I don’t mean full-length books made electronic, but short, blog-like ebooks filled with neat graphics and fancy layouts. They have quick turnaround and great return. I’ll shoot for 4 ebooks this year—that’s one every quarter.

Goal #8: Explore new ebooks. So far, I’ve published a traditional ebook (if I can call it that), as well as a small group study guide. I’d like to explore other kinds of ebooks. Goal: Add a workbook to my ebook scope—we’ll see how that pans out.

This concludes my blog goals based on Jetpack reports. On Monday, I’ll continue with my goals for 2015, but from a different angle. Lord willing, I’ll give you some tools to create your own goals. Subscribe so you don’t miss out.

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