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Publishing a Guide

How to publish and sell a guide

How to write your guide

Guides are about how to do something. The internet is filled with people searching for new knowledge, especially written in a way that connects with them. You don't have to be an expert to write a guide. You just need to have a perspective that other readers can relate to.

Chances are you probably already have some interesting perspectives from your own experience. Maybe you know a little bit about cryptocurrencies, how to train for a marathon, or how to start a podcast. Your perspective on how to do something can connect with a reader and change the way they learn.

How to look for ideas

Here's a few places to look if you're trying to find an idea:

  • What do you get asked about?
    • You're already a source of knowledge. There are probably more readers interested.
  • What have you done that was difficult?
    • Someone is probably facing the same difficulty. Your guidance could help them.
  • Are you good at something?
    • What methods, tips, tricks do you use? Others might find this fascinating.
  • Do you have a different approach to something?
    • Your approach may be particularly insightful to others who struggle with more conventional approaches.

How to publish your guide

There are two main ways to publish your guide.

Incremental publishing

In this strategy, you derisk your efforts by publishing incrementally.

  1. Write an article for the first piece
    • Write the first piece of your guide. Focus on hooking readers with something particularly actionable or insightful.
  2. Add a survey question in your article
    • Ask readers what they would like to read next or if there's something they particularly enjoyed.
  3. Share your article on social platforms
    • Share your first article on social platforms or wherever you have an audience.
  4. Use the feedback to improve the next piece
    • Use the feedback from surveys and article performance data to create the next piece.

With this process, you can iterate through your outline while incrementally building an audience. Instead of getting feedback after writing everything, you now get feedback as you write. Additionally, this gives you the ability to build an audience that's more invested in your work as they followed you through your process.

Holistic publishing

In this strategy, you publish the entire work to offer more to the reader at once.

  1. Create an intro article
    • Write an article that details why your guide is valuable. Offer a taste of what's inside.
  2. Create the rest of your articles
    • Write the rest of your articles and include paywalls.
    • Offer some part of content free to let readers see what your content is like.
  3. Share your work
    • Share your work with your audience.

How to sell your guide

Here's a few different ways to sell your content:

  1. Sell as a holistic piece
    • Complete your guide and sell as a completed work.
  2. Sell new pieces incrementally
    • Continue the incremental publishing method, but sell select pieces as paid.
  3. Add paid content to popular old pieces
    • If some of your articles did particulary well, you can add to them and include a paywall where you want paid access to begin.

Running a promotion

You can also run promotions to drive sales. Here's a few ideas:

  1. Early supporters
    • Offer early supporters a discount.
  2. Limited amount
    • Offer a discount but with a limited supply. Run campaigns announcing the number remaining for your audience as it declines.
  3. Limited time
    • Offer a discount but with a limited time. Run campaigns as time decreases.

Get started on Lumenful

Lumenful offers the following publishing capabilites for guides:

  • create a branded space specifically for your work
  • analytics on how readers interacted with each piece
  • advanced access controls to help you get paid for your work
  • super simple login, sign up, and checkout for your readers

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