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Convert Old Blog Posts Into A Beautiful eBook to Help Grow Your Mailing List

Your mailing list is a key weapon in the ongoing promotion of your WordPress blog. In order to maximise the sign ups to your list you should offer an incentive to readers - something to reward them for parting with their precious email address. Beacon offers a quick way to repurpose old blog posts into a well designed eBook that will help boost the conversion rate of your subscription box. Did we mention that it takes less than 2 minutes from start to finish?

Your mailing list is a key weapon in the ongoing promotion of your WordPress blog. In order to maximise the sign ups to your list you should offer an incentive to readers – something to reward them for parting with their precious email address.

Beacon offers a quick way to repurpose old blog posts into a well designed eBook that will help boost the conversion rate of your subscription box. Did we mention that it takes less than 2 minutes from start to finish?

beacon-finished

Getting Started

You’ll need 2 things to get started:

  1. The free plugin available from the WordPress directory
  2. A free Beacon account

Choosing Articles

The Beacon area within the WordPress admin panel displays a list of all your published articles. You can search for a specific post or you can filter by category. You might want to collect articles about a particular subject or your could create a ‘best of’ eBook with your most popular articles as a getting started guide for new readers.

Once you’ve picked which articles to include go ahead and click ‘create eBook’.

beacon-create

Designing Your Book

This is the part where most bloggers get stuck – hiring a designer can be expensive and creating a book from scratch is a pretty big undertaking. Thankfully Beacon makes things a bit easier.

With a range of one-click visual options you can completely redesign each page without having to spend hours dragging and dropping elements onto a canvas. There are a wide range of template options that have been created by professionals with design best practice in mind. Since you can change page layout, colour scheme and typography, Beacon offers a good level of control without overwhelming you in the excessive functionality of a graphics package.

Marketing eBooks should be more visually engaging than a traditional eBook and while Beacon’s defaults are good to go right out of the box, you can fine-tune the design of each individual page if you want to put your own stamp on things.

beacon-design

Adding Additional Content

You might want to supplement your old blog posts with some fresh content to bulk up your eBook and also to offer an added bonus for loyal readers. If that’s the case then Beacon offers the ability to insert as many additional pages into your book as required.

beacon-add

The Gallery Page feature allows you to add snippets of short content to a single page. These snippets could be photos but also short pieces of text such as list features or quotes from people who support the content in your book. The gallery page format gives you a bit more flexibility in terms of layout than a standard article page will so you have the opportunity to get creative.

Another interesting option for additional content in Beacon is the Call To Action pages. These are designed to be pared back pages that include focused links that are optimised for click throughs. The idea here is that you should use the content in your eBook as a trigger to guide readers towards the next logical step that they should take. So for example, you could lead people towards a particular page on your website or nudge them to buy a product or service.

Interactivity

Since Beacon eBooks are available in HTML5 format (more on that later) you can include video, audio clips and any kind of embeddable content.

beacon-cover

The opportunity here is to create an interactive, engaging and professional piece of content without having to hire a designer or a developer. By producing this content more regularly your readers will begin to associate your blog with high quality output which will of course have a positive impact on your repeat visitor numbers.

Publishing Your Book

Now that you have your content organised into book format and a professional design to go with it, it’s time to share your creation with the world. Beacon offers you the ability to publish in two different formats – HTML5 and PDF.

HTML5 has all the benefits that you would come to expect with the modern day format – mobile optimised design, multimedia friendly content and built-in analytics. Because a HTML5 book can be viewed in the browser without the need for a download you can share your book on more channels – Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to name a few.

If you prefer good ol’ PDF then Beacon has you covered too. Download your book and give it to readers so they can store it offline or attach it to emails.

beacon-publish

The Carrot

Of course you can share your book without asking for anything in return but since it’s packed full of quality content it would be a waste not to use it as a lead magnet for your mailing list.

beacon-promote

If you go back to the Beacon panel in WordPress you’ll be able to create a subscription widget in seconds. Including a cover image of the book, a custom title, summary and call to action button.

The widget will inherit the visual style of whatever WordPress theme that you are using so it will compliment the aesthetics of your site immediately.

Conclusion

With a quick method for recycling legacy content, the Beacon plugin for WordPress is an easy way to breathe new life into old content with minimum time and effort. You get to provide a valuable resource to your readers and grow your mailing list at the same time – everyone’s a winner!

Alyona Galea
Alyona Galea
Alyona is a WordPress enthusiast, focused on sharing interesting things she comes across during her work with this great CMS. She loves exploring new destinations and maintains a travel blog at www.alyonatravels.com

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7 Responses

  1. This service a) is pretty beta and b) costs at least $20 to create a PDF.

    I couldn’t get the plugin to connect to my new Beacon account. WordPress and Beacon are trying to talk to each other, which, even if it worked, seems inherently unsafe. Plus, the second login link goes to outer space.

    Good idea, but I can’t recommend this service. At least right now, and certainly not for $20+/mo.

    1. Hey, thanks for the feedback and sorry to hear that you couldn’t get WordPress and Beacon – we’re looking into that now and will follow up via email.

      In terms of pricing, we realise that $20 is a bit expensive so we’re planning to offer a $10 version in the next week or 2.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  2. I love this idea, and the plugin is installed, However, the ‘create ebook’ button is missing and I can’t find it anywhere. Nothing seems to work as in the tutorial.

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