A little over a year ago, I made a decision to require an attempt at selling digital products: I put together a set of my columns and articles, created PDF and Kindle versions, and did a touch marketing. (OK, I did no marketing apart from mentioning it in my bio.)
To my surprise it’s sold tens of thousands products of copies and, as icing on the revenue cake, helped me land a book that affects Penguin Random House.
But that does not make me an expert on creating and selling digital products–in fact, far away from it.
But I do know someone who is.
The following may be a guest post from Ryan Robinson, an entrepreneur, and marketer who teaches people the way to create meaningful self-employed careers. (A version of this post was originally published on the blog at Selz, the easy-to-use online solution for creative entrepreneurs to sell what they create .)
By now, you’ve probably seen what percentage of entrepreneurs are creating extremely profitable businesses for themselves through a foundation of high-margin digital products.
Digital products like e-books, online courses, audio products, downloadable templates, software, etc., are increasingly attractive due to their low creation costs (your primary investment being some time and expertise) and inherently scalable nature.
However, with an overflow of 300 million new websites being created annually, there is a staggering amount of competition to grab people’s attention in only about every topic area you’ll consider. And as time goes by, it’ll only get more crowded.
Making money online is not any longer a game of putting up some banner ads, implementing affiliate links, and taking sponsored content from your favorite brands and products. Sure, those are all viable monetization strategies, but that’s not where the important money goes to be flowing within the future.
You need to be considering how you’ll sell digital products together with your business. If you’ve got a valuable skill set, consider ways you’ll package your services as do-it-yourself online courses. If you’re an experienced designer, perhaps your more junior counterparts would be willing to get templates from you. If you’re an expert in any field, I can guarantee there are people that can pay for an accelerated learning experience through digital guides and instructional videos.
To me, selling digital products is far and away from the foremost attractive online business. They’re infinitely scalable once you create the products, you’ve got almost zero associated costs for every unit you sell, and if you are doing an excellent job of promoting your products you will be ready to rank high in organic search results and convey in new customers at a really low cost.
I regularly discuss the importance of validating your business ideas, primarily because it’s something I’ve failed so miserably at within the past. believe it this way: there is no point in devoting all of your energy for days, weeks, or months to putting together a product that no-one actually wants.
There are thousands of self-published books on Amazon that have only sold a couple of copies, usually to the author’s friends and family, because they’re on an obscure topic that no sizable audience is curious about learning about.
Always research your market before you start to make any digital content. I start with Google Trends and look for topics of interest around which I could viably produce digital content. Once you enter a selected keyword phrase, Google Trends will show you the recognition of that phrase over an outlined period of your time.
The next tool I’m going to, one which really helps me validate the potential success of a digital product, is that the Google Keyword Planner, a part of Google AdWords. this enables you to research the monthly search volume and projected competition on specific keyword phrases.
If you’ll find a mixture of high demand and comparatively low competition, this signals an excellent opportunity to make and sell products associated with that keyword phrase–if you’ve got the proper strategy and may provide more value than the opposite alternatives out there.
Don’t be afraid to invite feedback as long as you’re careful to form sure it comes from unbiased sources. The opinions of your friends and family don’t often reflect one hundred pc honesty.
Search online for relevant forums and social media groups, and inspect these 6 best websites for unbiased feedback to urge truly objective, real opinions.
2. Set Up a roll
People love anticipation. fixing a roll is additionally one of the simplest ways to validate your digital product idea, as you’ll very quickly see what percentage of people express interest by driving targeted traffic to your signup page.
It doesn’t matter how good your product is that if nobody knows about it. Your email list is one of your most precious assets, thus it’s in your best interest to create up your list with potential customers.
I recommend beginning by creating an easy landing page on your website before you build anything associated with your upcoming digital product idea. this may offer you how to check the waters with this product concept, start getting indexed by search engines, and prime your existing audience. Here’s an example of a really simple landing page I want to test the validity of a web course on starting a business while working full-time.
If someone is interested enough in your online course concept, downloadable product, or service, to offer you their email address, you recognize that there’s an honesty that they will have an interest enough to shop for your digital goods once they’re life.
3.Start Building Your Audience With Free Content
Once you’ve got a landing page on your site able to collect email addresses, you would like to start by giving reasons for people to travel thereto page and check-in.
Start with creating some high-quality blog content for your site and building a targeted list of the potential audience are already primed for. I exploit BuzzSumo for identifying these distribution opportunities.
Guest posting has been far and away from the simplest driver of the latest traffic and roll signups to my digital content. Since you determined your niche within the initiative of this process while validating your idea, now it is time to hunt out other, more successful, blogs that cover an equivalent niche.
Analyze these blogs and pitch ideas to them for posts you’ll write. confirm that your pitches are on topics almost like what they already cover, but not just like pieces they’ve published before.
You’ll have to form quite a few pitches before being accepted if you’re just starting out together with your online brand, but you’ll eventually manage to land a couple of guest posts, and you’ll then use these as leverage to realize more. inspect this extensive guide to landing high-value guest posts by Ramit Sethi.
Most blogs will allow you to possess a brief bio attached to your post, and a few relevant contextual (non-spammy) links within your post.
Of course, you’ll want people on your list to stay top of mind, so make certain to stay up with occasional new content on your own blog–shoot for a minimum of one solid post a month.
One way you’ll help speed up the uptake of names to your list is to make a little digital product that you simply can use as a “free giveaway” in exchange for an email address, offer a pre-launch discount, or maybe access to a free webinar or coaching session.
4.Create Your Digital Product
Once you’ve built an email list or have an outsized social community (shoot for a minimum of a few hundred to thousand people), you need to have a trickle of normal traffic to your website, which may warrant spending longer building your digital products and getting early feedback from your community.
The idea now’s that you simply start shifting your emphasis away from guest posting and gradually withdraw towards improving the quality and frequency of posts on your website. You now have enough readers to justify writing more frequent posts, so concentrate on ranking for your target keyword phrases, bring visitors over to your waiting lists, and even pre-sell your online course. inspect this amazing case study from Bryan Harris on how he remodeled $220,000 on his course launch.
Whether you’re feeling ready or not, it’s time to start out outbuilding. To many, this is often the toughest part of the entire process–actually creating the digital product–simply because it’s a really new experience initially. The important point to remember, though, is that when the material is formed it’s often reused over and once more.
. Nathan Barry has shared his experiences with building digital products, and he found that the bulk of audiences want you to point out them if you’re an expert on a topic. If you’ll teach people a skill they value, they’re happy to shop for it.
finally, look ahead with your creative process and consider exactly how you’ll be selling those digital products from your website. Which tools will you be using to line up landing pages? which may you use for collecting payments? Will you collect customer data? Where will you store order details? make sure to undertake out Selz, which is supposed specifically for this type of scalability.
5.Incorporate Feedback and Tweak Your Product
If you would like to succeed together with your digital products, you would like them to evolve together with your audience. hear your audience’s feedback. it’s far easier to upgrade a digital product than a physical product, and your customers will appreciate receiving updated versions. If they see you continue adding value to what they need to be purchased, they’re much more likely to shop for your next product.
If you’re performing some sort of online coaching or courses, I like to recommend running a beta group through your course first and make it better while you are still within the creation phase of your course.
A pre-launch group also will offer you the chance to possess your students to implement your strategies. this could offer you some great testimonials to showcase on your landing page once you launch to the planet.
When Teachable co-founder Conrad Wadowski found out about his Profitable Course Idea class, his aim was to line up a course that allowed people to steer themselves through the method of developing their own online course. they will also upgrade to non-public coaching at a better price.
To make the course a hit, he needed real people to check it out for him and see if it indeed provided the worth they were trying to find. That feedback would continue to enhance the course and provides him meaningful testimonials to use in his sales copy and as marketing points.
6.Install the proper Monetization Tools on Your Website
Once you get to the purpose where you’ll monetize your website, you are going to require your site to run as smoothly as possible. this suggests that you simply will get to add some tools.
If you use a WordPress site, some essential plug-ins make your life tons easier. Here are a couple of my favorites:
1.OptimizePress is my favorite WordPress template. It’s great for creating the best-quality landing pages, implementing new functionalities, and publishing blog content.
2.Zippy Courses may be a basic WordPress theme that’ll power any online course and is a member site for your users. You’ll physically host your course content during this gated community.
3.Selz for WordPress is an awesome embeddable widget that permits you to sell digital products and process transactions directly on your own site.
4.SumoMe, among other things, captures email addresses and helps you welcome these people into your community.
5.KingSumo Headlines helps you optimize your headlines and provides you a far better chance of learning what sorts of headlines and content resonate most together with your audience.
6.AddThis provides clear social share buttons on each post to encourage people to share your pages and posts on their social media channels.
7.Target and Involve Strategic Launch Partners
You should make your digital product launch an enormous event. It’ll get your audience excited, get you motivated, and therefore the hype will bring you both higher conversion rates and more new customers, I guarantee it.
The more you’ll do to involve other influencers, brands, and bloggers in your space, the higher. Imagine your outreach if you’ll partner with someone who features a substantially larger audience than yours, and they are curious about an equivalent topic.
If you’ll manage to partner with somebody else in your industry who can promote your product launches (typically for an affiliate commission fee per sale), it is a win-win situation for both of you.
8.Launch to Your Audience and Expand From There
Launching your digital product is merely the start, everywhere again. this is often a fresh start line, which needs a completely new specialization in your activities. From here, you’ll scale everything upwards.
You’ll want to line up a sequence of emails to create anticipation together with your existing audience. this is often one of the first reasons you invest the time in building an email list within the first place. specialize in scheduling a minimum of three to 6 emails that function in three strategic phases:
- Showing your audience the matter
- Agitating the matter
- Delivering them the answer (your digital product)
Once you’ve launched the digital product to your personal community, it is time to maneuver outward and pick copy together with your guest blogging (about topics associated with your new product), onboard more affiliates with similar audiences, and continue blogging and creating more great content on your website with the goal of bringing in additional organic traffic.
Now would even be the time to dabble with paid advertising on Facebook and Twitter, and even selling directly from your Facebook page, if you’ve got a large social community, which can help increase your conversion rates.
Once your digital products are released into the wild, you’ll start to ascertain which channels are driving in additional new customers for you. you’ll find that guest posting more often than publishing on your own site may be better utilization of your time. Perhaps running Facebook ad campaigns seems to be highly profitable.
Continue testing, learning, and multiplying your success until you’re able to start building your next digital product, supported by the requirements your new audience has.
Then, it is time to start out the method everywhere again.
Thanks for watching my blog.