Learning how to create and sell digital products on your blog is an invaluable tool on your journey to make money blogging.
We’re talking about eBooks and online courses, and scaling your blogging income to six figures and beyond.
You’ll always remember your first…
Ok, not that first. Get your mind out of the gutter, Internet.
Four months before this moment, Lauren and I had quit our jobs, sold our possessions (clothes, furniture, cars – RIP Moby!), and decided to become full-time bloggers.
We had a couple of friends coming up to visit the next weekend, so we decided to try to get our first product, a yoga eBook, done before we went on vacation to the beautiful state of Oregon.
This led to a LOT of stress and tension. We had actually gotten into a big fight while creating the product over disagreements about minor details.
Upon further reflection, it turns out we were both simply scared nobody would want our product.
That nobody actually bought online products like this.
That we would fail and have to go back to our regular jobs forever.
But we sucked it up and pushed through.
We added our first digital product to our website…
We then went with my friends to Portland, Oregon for the weekend and stayed at a pretty cool Airbnb in town. To say I checked my phone a lot during this trip would be the biggest understatement of the year.
I was waiting for that “Stripe Payment of $37” to come through on my phone (Stripe is our third-party payment processor – love those guys and can’t recommend them enough!).
Sadly, not a single sale came through that weekend.
4-5 days had passed before we headed home, it seemed as though no one wanted our product, and we were right to have reservations before going.
That was until I logged into my Stripe account… You see, I had forgotten to turn on email notifications for payments. I assumed it was automatically set up.
According to our Stripe account, we had actually gotten a few $37 payments!
Guys, I don’t want to be too overdramatic here, but…
Seeing those first $37 payments made me feel like someone had punched me square in the chest and knocked the wind out of me.
In really, really good way…
It felt life-changing and heavy all at the same time.
I ran to Lauren, told her the news, and we jumped around screaming like idiots in the living room.
Yeah, we had put tons of work into our blogs and had sold a few affiliate products at this point (at VERY low margins)…
But selling your own product?? That’s something else entirely.
It felt real, and it formed an unexpected connection and appreciation to our blog and the work that we put into it every day.
It was something special altogether and something I will never forget.
And, had nothing to do with the money either. It had everything to do with what the sale represented…
- The late nights
- The fighting
- The insane decision to quit our jobs before we were making any money
- They all suddenly seemed worth it.
We had done what seemed like was impossible to us at the time, and it set us down the path of being successful full-time bloggers.
And now it’s your turn.
Here is an overview of the steps that we will cover:
- SHIFT YOUR MINDSET
- BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
- IDEA FORMING AND PLANNING
- PRODUCT OUTLINE
- ROUGH DRAFT
- FINALIZE PRODUCT
- PUBLISH PRODUCT
- LEARN HOW TO SELL
For all of you preferred video learners out there, here is a video on The Ultimate Guide to Creating and Selling Digital Products from our Youtube Channel below.
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Okay guys, here it is! The ultimate guide to creating and selling digital products on your blog!
Get your mind right.
It may seem weird, but this step may be the most important.
Selling something is all about valuing yourself and the gift you have to share with the world.
Yeah, there are a lot of two-bit peddlers selling half-baked products out there. And yes, a few of them make some money.
But these people don’t get it.
They don’t understand how their knowledge can actually change the world.
Here are a few mindset shifts we have learned that helped us succeed.
Everyone has doubts.
After the first day or two of working on our yoga eBook, Lauren and I both felt the following fears, anxieties, and doubts:
- We’re not good enough.
- It’s going to fail like our first product.
- Nobody wants this information or will pay for it (it’s free on the Internet like everything else!).
We were literally moments away from not making our product because of a bunch of fears and doubt.
Lauren and I never will forget that moment because of how strong the emotions were. The tension was palpable.
The courage to push forward seemed to stem from the idea: “What’s the worst that can happen?”
We had already quit our jobs and essentially pledged our commitment to this blog, so let’s take it all the way.
I am damn glad we kept moving forward.
Here is the second truth…
People WANT solutions to their problems.
Could you invent an injection that I could take once a year that would give me the ability to get drunk with friends every evening without all the negatives that come with alcohol consumption??
Great, because if you did, I’d gladly pay $5,000 of dollars for it.
Those times with my friends are THAT important to me, but they also come with a lot of negatives I don’t like.
People WANT solutions to their problems.
For some people, the whole selling process can feel weird and icky, depending on how strong of a moral conscience you have.
I think being wary of selling is actually a sign that you are a good person with a good heart, so it’s okay.
But this is the thing you must understand:
People are desperate for solutions to their problems. And just as important, people only respect the things they pay for.
Unless they actually buy in, free information isn’t treated the same way as paid information. People take the information much more seriously when they have forked over the cash for it.
It’s like a 16-year-old whose parents give him a Mercedes.
The kid didn’t pay for it, so they don’t respect it. It’s not too long before Johnny ends up in a ditch and walking around like a self-important jerk because of it.
People are okay with paying for things and information. In fact, most people like shopping.
And the crazy thing is that people will thank you for it!
When you create a solution to someone’s problem, sell it, and treat them right, these are the things they will say about you:
eBooks and Courses are fudging incredible.
Let me give you a brief rundown of why digital products are the shiznit for bloggers…
- No shipping involved. Physical products need to be shipped, and that means you will have to be the one handling that.
- Profits are all yours, minus a few transaction fees. Very few businesses can say that, due to average overhead costs when running most businesses (employees, workspace, etc.).
- It can be automated and passive. Most of the income we make is now set on autopilot. We don’t have to do much, and sales just continue to roll in.
- People love the immediate gratification. The downside is that people love to have products they can hold, but the upside is that they can get started using your product or solution IMMEDIATELY. People love that kind of instant gratification.
- You can make one in less than a month. Most of our popular products take Lauren and me about ten days to create. Since there is usually just one of you, a month is more than enough time to create your product.
- It puts you in the driver seat. Being an affiliate is awesome, especially if you don’t feel like you can make any improvements to the current product. That being said, affiliates can have their income taken away at any time because they don’t own the product. It’s something to keep in mind.
Enough said? Ok, let’s move onto the next section…
Build the relationship first (aka how to sell ice to Eskimos).
Let’s pretend like your best friend ran up to you right now and asked you for $100 – no questions asked.
They said it was very important and needed it right now!
You’d give it to them, right??
That’s because you trust them.
Sales are about trust. An easy analogy to relate to is sex.
Let’s say you’re walking up to your porch and about to enter your home when some guy off the street walks up and asks you to sleep with him…
You’d probably think:
- This guy is a creep…
- Where’s my pepper spray?
And my hope is that you wouldn’t proceed.
Now let’s pretend the same guy isn’t some weirdo on the street but is someone you’ve just recently met at your local grocery store. You’ve been on a few dates, have tons of fun with him, and all your friends gush about how much they love him.
You’re on your porch again, and he asks if he can come in…
Moral turpitude aside, you’d probably say yes, correct?
Same guy, same question – what’s different?
The difference is the trust he has built with you, and building trust is all about proper sequencing.
If I try to kiss you before I’ve even spoken to you, things are going to be weird.
But after a date and some sparkling conversation?
Just like dating, your relationship with your reader must grow and progress before they buy your product.
Ask too soon, and your reader may slap you in the face with a nasty comment.
Ask at the right time, and they will gladly “go home” with you and love every second of it (if you treat them right).
Generate ideas and PLAN.
The next phase involves forming your idea and planning out your timeline to finish the product.
- Gather intel. Examine your competitors, your current audience, your most popular content, and whatever other data you have at your disposable. Look at is working for others in your niche, analyze your own most popular content to see what YOUR audience is most interested in, etc.
- Form your hypothesis. Analyze the data that you have found from point #1 and put it together to decide what it is that your audience truly wants and needs the most.
- Start planning. Set a time and date to finish along with weekly checkpoints along the way.
Start with an outline.
A detailed outline of a digital product is more involved than most of you would imagine. Here’s what a good outline will have:
This should be short and sweet and make sure it is descriptive!
The headline for your product is the most important thing you will write.
This is very similar to the headlines of your articles and the subject of your emails. Make sure that you are outline either the problem or the solution in your headline.
This is where I outline what is actually in the product. If it’s eBooks or an eCourse, you should list the main topics you plan to cover.
Write a rough draft.
How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.
Once you know what your product is going to be, what you want it to look like, and what problem you want to solve with it – it’s a daily attack.
Some days, you may get a few hours done, and some days, a few minutes. But every day, you need to wake up with that draft on your mind.
YOU DO NOT want this process to extend over multiple months.
It will loom over your head at every turn and become a constant stressor on your system.
Trust us, we have created almost ten different products now, and product creation can be VERY stressful. Don’t drag it out!
Attack that draft until it gets done. You’ll be over the moon when it is!
Finalize the Product.
Here are the next steps for getting everything set…
Don’t forget to PROOFREAD your documents one last time. Do it first yourself, and then make sure to have someone else proofread it as well.
The more familiar you are with the content, the more likely you will be to read faster and miss grammatical errors. Make sure to have someone else read it over carefully.
Finalize your products.
Those are the platforms that we personally use!
Publish Your Product.
Here is an overview of what the next few steps will look like. Note: We go into much more detail about these steps and the rest of the steps in this guide in our Six-Figure Blogger Course.
Build your sales page, checkout form, and Thank You page
Make sure to include great images of your product on your sales page!
Test everything to make sure that it works!
Just make a fake purchase and walk through everything a few times, just as your customer would. The reason for this is that you will almost ALWAYS have overlooked something.
There are so many different integrations and links in your sales funnels from purchasing to automated delivery of the product that it can be very easy to make small mistakes along the way.
It also helps to get a friend or partner to go over the sales page again to look for errors.
Once everything has been tested… CONGRATS! You have a live product!
But this does not mean you are done, my friend!!!
No, no, no. It has only begun! 🙂
Learn How to Sell.
Guys… I’ll be honest…
Creating the product is the EASY part of this process. Learning how to market and sell your product is a whole different ballgame.
Our first product failed miserably because we tried to dive in headfirst without any guidance whatsoever. Here’s the thing…
The product wasn’t the problem. It was that we had ZERO ideas about how to sell it.
You can’t just link a product on your website and wait for the sales to roll in. It doesn’t work that way. You have to create sales centered content, sales funnels, and more.
THIS is what our Six-Figure Blogger Course is about. We also cover the above steps in far more detail, including our recommended tools and resources for creating the products, selling them, and how to handle customer service beyond the sale.
You can also check out our guide on how to make money blogging if you want some additional tips on how to monetize your blog.
If you enjoyed this article on how to create and sell digital products or have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below!