If you don't give small reports much thought, you should. Small reports are the shorter versions of ebooks, not exceeding thirty pages or so. I've written several of them myself, and it's not difficult to do. I hammer out the rough drafts in half a day, then spent the next few days polishing them and converting them into a finalized information product. I even have a method that can make good but simple reports quickly, though you can really go to town on one with images and fancy headers if you choose. The basics of creating them are simple: - Pick a topic you know and is related to your niche.
- Write a rough draft. - Edit it until it shines. - Insure you've included a link that points at your site. - Collect or make the images you need, if any. - Convert it all into a finalized PDF report.
Once you have your report, you can start using it to get results. The first and most obvious way is to sell it, which I do as well, but that doesn't even scratch the surface of making your report be your workhorse. Small reports have all sorts of applications, and here are a few you may not have considered. - Build you list with it. Reports make good giveaways for signups, because they don't take as much time to make as full-blown ebooks. That means you can give someone enough good information to help overcome their "I don't want to be spammed" reflex, and sign up for your list without you investing massive amounts of trouble in your freebie.
- You can use them as bonuses for a more expensive product. If you do, your report should be related to your product's niche in some way, or written about something that's a value-add to it. You might even be able to get one to be someone else's product bonus, and put your link in front of their customers in exchange for helping them sell their stuff. - Make it viral.
To do this, you could sell it with resale or master resale rights, or issue it away with giveaway rights and the capacity to rebrand it with an affiliate link. In these instances, someone else can use your content to their monetary benefit. Your small report will spread across the Internet as people sell it to make money, use it to build their lists, or rebrand it with their affiliate links to earn commissions. - Build your credibility with it. This is the larger-scale version of what you do with article marketing, and frankly unavoidable in any case. If you make a report and publish it by making it viral, selling it, or using it as a bonus, it will reflect on your credibility for better or worse.
That means when you make your report, make it about something you know, and be sure you've done a significant amount of editing and double-checking before you go public with it. Small reports may not seem like much to you at a glance, but you can get bigger traffic, bigger opt-ins, bigger credibility, or a bigger bottom line with something you could write and then finalize in a few days. All in all, you can get big results from a small report.
Ryan Ambrose is the author of The Ebook Walkthrough, a step-by-step guide about how to make well-formatted reports and ebooks.