Creating digital products that sell is a lot easier than you think. If you are able to write a blog post, you are qualified to create your own product, simply because writing an e-book is just like writing a series of articles.
There are only two difficult aspects, but I will walk you through these in this blog post:
- What tools to use for creating a product without technical knowledge.
- How to pick a platform to sell your product so that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Creating Digital Products That Sell While You Sleep
You already know that creating information based products is the best way to make money on the internet – simply because you can keep your costs low. There are no procurement and shipping charges, and you can charge as much or as little as you want to. Thousands of professionals earn their living by selling digital products on their blogs or different digital marketplaces.
But please don’t fall for the “make money while you sleep” slogan. It’s true that once set up, your blog will make sales without the need to be there personally, however, you will always have to put in the time for marketing, handling customer queries, etc. There is no easy buck on the internet, otherwise, everyone would already be taking advantage of it.
The Best Selling Digital Products
Now that you decided that you want to get into the digital product business, you may be asking, “But what types of digital products should I create?”
E-books are one of the most popular digital products. They are relatively simple to produce since they just require some written text and a few images. E-books are simple to distribute via large marketplaces like Amazon or in your own online stores. Customers can easily read them on e-readers, tablets, computers, and even their mobile phones.
E-learning is an industry with growing momentum. We are even seeing traditional educational institutions exploring this avenue to make their content available to learners. Their price ranges from a few bucks to several thousand dollars.
- Professional services
Services are, of course, not products. However, you can sell them in the same way you sell digital products. Some examples would be:
- Graphic design
- Web design
First, you will need to get out of your perfectionist syndrome when you start working on your first product. I agree that on today’s internet your product needs to be good if you want to compete with others… however, you won’t be able to create the best product ever in your niche to start with.
The goal is to launch your product in an acceptable state, then you will improve it later on.
Creating Your Own E-books
If you are an expert in a subject, writing an e-book can take you a few days to a week.
You can be fancy and create your book in InDesign or PowerPoint. These are nice, however, they have huge disadvantages: The resulting file will be large and adding to a PowerPoint slide can be a nightmare because of the re-pagination.
Therefore I recommend that you use a simple and free e-book template for Libre Office or Open Office. These programs provide an easy way to save your book in PDF form.
I recommend Canva (it’s free) for creating your cover image and marketing images.
Make sure your images are compressed. This will make the resulting file smaller.
If you want to create a screenshot, paste it into LibreOffice. You can crop and save the image right in the program just by right-clicking on it. After you enter the file name you want to save the image under, you will get a dialogue box where you can set the height and width of the image:
I usually set my images to 700 pixels in width and then I compress them using TinyPng. This way I almost always get an image file that is under 100 kB.
Platforms For Selling Your E-books
Once your e-book is ready, there are several ways you can sell it.
JvZoo – No upfront fees. JVZoo will charge a commission fee of 5% of the gross selling price on each product or service sold by a seller. They host your e-book for you, but you need to set up the sales page on your own blog. You can set up individual products or recurring memberships with trials.
It has a built-in affiliate program. After you listed your product, you can instantly start recruiting affiliates.
E-Junkie – 30-day free trial. After that, you can start with the $5/month plan, which gives you 200 MB and the ability to sell 10 products – unlimited sales and unlimited downloads. They issue a unique, expiring download link for every purchase, therefore the chance of theft is smaller.
You can start selling in 3 easy steps:
Step 1: Link your payment processor (PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, Authorize.Net, 2Checkout and more)
Step 2: Add your product (Tangible, Digital, Tickets, Codes, Email Newsletters and more)
Step 3: Copy-Paste the button codes or links in your website, blog or social networks.
They offer an E-junkie plugin for WordPress that automatically generates a storefront section on your WordPress site, using the same product listing details and images as an E-junkie Shop.
If you don’t have your own website or don’t wish to add E-junkie button codes to your existing site, you can list your products in your own E-junkie Shop page with a URL that lists just your own products. Adding product listings to your E-junkie Shop also provides an easy way for existing affiliates of other E-junkie merchants to find and join your affiliate program.
You can select the Sales Tax / VAT option if you want us to calculate Sales Tax or VAT on sales of that product.
WooCommerce – This is a solution to sell products, including digital ones on your blog. It takes some time to set up, however you can add an infinite number of products and in order to receive payments you just need to plug in your PayPal account.
Amazon: Everyone has heard about selling digital products on Amazon… To sell your e-book on this platform you will need a special format for Kindle (.mobi). Reflowable e-books allow the reader to resize text and are available on all Kindle devices and free Kindle reading applications.
The advantage of selling on Amazon is the large existing audience, however, the price points are usually much lower compared to PDF e-books you can sell on other platforms.
Creating A Sales Page In WordPress
I have mentioned that some of the e-book selling solutions require your own sales page.
Despite the fact that you may need sales and landing pages for various purposes, unfortunately, WordPress is not set up for creating such pages. In order to create these, you will need an external plugin.
Thrive Architect is a drag-and-drop page builder solution. There are pre-made sales pages you can pick from, such as this one – you just need to change the text:
You can look at all the available sales and landing pages.
Creating An Online Course
There are several paid platforms where you can create and sell your online course.
Podia costs $39/month. If you want the Pro version with an affiliate program feature, you would pay $79/month.
Teachable’s basic plan costs $39/month, plus 5% in transaction fees, with monthly payouts. Their Pro version costs $99/month, no transaction fees and instant payouts.
Thinkific costs $49/month. It also has a free version, but unfortunately, that doesn’t have an affiliate program.
These platforms make it easy to create your course, however, they are not cheap.
Selling Digital Products On Your WordPress Blog
This route requires more tech knowledge, but it can be way cheaper.
You can use the Thrive Apprentice plugin and you will have an interface like this:
You will also need a shopping cart if you want to charge money for your courses.
You can use SendOwl for this purpose, which is very simple to set up, however they charge $15/month if you want to use their platform to create your own affiliate program.
If you don’t mind the technical challenge, you can use WooCommerce to sell an unlimited number of free or paid courses. Would you like to see a demonstration? You can check the live store on FunnelXpert, sign up for a free or a paid course and experience firsthand.
The advantage of WooCommerce is that you can use a wide selection of payment processors, including those used in foreign countries and you can also use its coupon feature if you want to run discounts.
This is how you can start making money by selling your digital products.
Please leave any questions in the comments. We will be updating this post based on your questions so that everything is covered.
Author: Peter Nyiri is an internet marketer, the owner of FunnelXpert. He is on a mission to help bloggers build an income generating machine so that they can live the lifestyle that they want.