If you’re like most people, there were at least a couple of times when you though “man, making a digital product of my own would be awesome!”
The great news is… each one of us has gained a collection different experiences through their education and training – and our own personal life experience and because of this – YOU are specially qualified to share what you have learned, in your unique way of doing it.
There are countless examples of people who are at the top of their game in business but they can’t cook anything more complex than an omelette, as well as there are top personal trainers who know nothing about setting up a website or writing an article.
The information product market continues to grow, as more and more people turn to the internet for information. And YES… there is a LOT of information available online for free – BUT people, now more than ever are time poor … and are more than happy to pay (you) for the information if it will save them digging around spending hours searching for an answer, when you can deliver it to them instead.
So now is a great time to launch your own digital products and start turning your experience and knowledge into cash.
To start selling ASAP, you first need a product, and today you’ll learn how to do it like the pros in 3 simple steps.
Step No. 1: Define Your Product
Also, if you want to find out what YOUR profitable product ideas can be, you can take the quiz I’ve put together, to help give you ideas. This has been built to take in your own personal work/life experience, and suggests some great niche topics ready to go.
You can click here to take the short quiz
(it opens in a new window)
and then come back and be ready to move on.
If you are ready and have your idea, let’s dive in to a short recap, before you start making a digital product you need to have these things in place.
Define Your Target
Before typing the first word in your info product, you need to make sure you know who are the people you’re trying to help. What are they like? What are their pains? What are they chasing in life? What do they do for a living?
Define the Problem
After you’ve figured out who will cheer when you’ll share your expertise with the world, you need to decide what problem you’ll tackle. This needs to be a very specific problem that your very specific group of potential buyers is looking to solve.
Define the Product’s Promise
With those two out of the way, it’s time to focus on your product’s promise. What will happen when your amazing product will solve the problem you identified? What’s going to change in your audience’s life? What is the expected result?
Define the Product’s Steps to Success
The last thing you’ll have to draft in this phase, before moving on to making a digital product is to define the key steps a buyer must take to achieve the product promise. How complicated is it? How many steps are there? How fast can they be completed?
Defining your product before jumping to type in your content or throwing hundreds of dollars at freelancers for eBook covers and animations will help you focus on what you’ll really need instead of what you think you might need. People are buying the solution and you must come up with the best way to give it to them.
Step No. 2: Define Your Distribution Model
There are a few more questions you should answer before designing your product, and you should pay attention, because this might help you double or triple the income from your info product.
There are many ways you can dress up your product for release:
- As an eBook for Kindle, Nook, iPad and others;
- As a print book sold through CreateSpace or Lulu;
- As an eBook sold through ClickBank;
- As a video series sold through ClickBank;
- As an audio series sold through ClickBank;
- As an audio book sold through ACX, Amazon, iTunes and others;
- As an online course sold through Udemy or SkillShare, etc.
You need to choose the best distribution model for your product and you’ll have to choose something that:
- fits the way you’ve structured your content,
- is right for the way people will use your product,
- c. is consistent with the way your audience usually consume info products.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is that there’s no reason to only choose one distribution model. Multiple formats will give you a wider distribution and far more income than you ever thought possible, all without having to invest in additional products until you have recovered your initial investment!
Now let’s focus on the marketplaces you could use to get the product to your buyers. Here are the most popular ways product creators are delivering their knowledge:
JVZoo’s name comes from a different name for affiliate marketing opportunities – joint ventures (JV). A joint venture is a business opportunity in which two or more people come with different assets – one can bring the product and the other an email list or a blog audience that the product could be sold to, leading to a win-win situation. The product creator sells his knowledge without investing in advertising, while the affiliate marketer is getting a sales commission.
JVZoo is currently the ‘go-to’ platform for selling digital products for B2B audiences. Anything internet marketing related, information products and software products work really well here.
If you have more ‘niche’ type products – which can be literally anything that isn’t to do with digital marketing, making money online, blogging, etc. then ClickBank is where you should list it, and for good reason. ClickBank has an unbelievable number of active affiliates who are always looking for new, quality products to promote. This is a major benefit, because your products can make money even if you’re not great at promoting yourself and your products.
If you’re going to sell your product on ClickBank, you need to know a few things:
- It costs $49.95 to list your first product. They call it an activation fee. This will be charged only when your product is approved to be sold through ClickBank.
- There is also a $2.50 pay period processing charge for every payment that ClickBank issues to you. You can optimise this cost by editing how often you want the payments to be made to you.
- On each sale, your affiliates make for you, ClickBank effectively keeps 7.5% plus $1, the rest is split between you and your affiliates, depending on the agreed commission.
- You’ll need excellent sales copy and very good graphics to attract the attention of the average affiliate. You could try doing it yourself to save money, but good sales copy is very tough to write unless you have a lot of experience and understand the intricacies of doing so.
- You must provide promotional materials for potential affiliates if you want the best chance at being chosen by affiliates for promotion.
As long as you keep those things in mind, ClickBank can be very profitable
Kindle (Kindle Direct Publishing)
The most popular programme for selling books is the Kindle Digital Publishing platform made available through Amazon, also called KDP. Don’t make the mistake of thinking these books are only available on Kindle devices! These days, most devices have a version of the Kindle app available, including the iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac, and more!
The KDP program gives authors 70% royalties for products between $2.99 and $9.99, with a few exceptions (such as sales in certain countries). For everything else, they offer 35% royalties.
If you’re selling a product for $2.99, you’ll get approximately $1.79 in royalties, minus any download fees or other fees. And of course, if you sell in other countries you’ll be paid in that country’s currency and subject to exchange rates.
If you want to start publishing your content on the Kindle, don’t forget to join Author Central. Once you join, you can add your author names (up to three on one Author Central account) and then add all their books so you can track their rank, sales, reviews, etc.
Barnes & Nobel
Barnes & Noble’s NookPress program makes it possible to publish on the Barnes & Noble website for purchase with the Nook tablets and Nook app on other devices. They pay similarly to Amazon, except their percentages are 40% and 65%.
For many years, non-U.S. authors weren’t granted access to the best markets for self-published books. For example, for years, the only way for non-U.S. authors to get on Barnes & Noble was to go through a secondary retailer.
Therefore, it’s good to know that there is always a way to have your product on the website you want, and sometimes that “way” is through a secondary retailer.
These retailers not only help you get onto websites you might not otherwise be able to get onto, but they can also benefit you in other ways like formatting your eBook, providing you with free ISBNs, etc. Right now, there are two major players in this market.
Smashwords was the only player in the market for a long time, and was the only way for international authors to get onto Barnes & Noble for ages, too. Smashwords makes it easy to get onto Apple, Sony, Kobo and some other big markets from one place.
They’ve also recently added the ability to get your books onto the new Oyster reading platform, which is like Netflix for books. For less than $10 per month, Oyster users are can read an unlimited number of books. Oyster pays authors 60% of the retail cost of their book.
In addition to selling books through partner sites, you may also make occasional sales on the Smashwords.com website.
Draft2Digital is a new player on the market, having only been around for a few months. They make it possible to submit to Amazon, Kobo, Apple and Barnes & Noble from one location.
Apple is a major player in the eBook industry, the iBooks app being used across the world on iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad and the iPod touch, as well as its line of Mac computers. Apple has sold countless millions of these devices, so the market is massive.
The one major drawback to submitting to Apple is the need to purchase your own ISBN numbers. You’ll need to buy in bulk for them to be cost effective, or you can use Smashwords and Draft2Digital to get your ISBN numbers and then get onto iBooks.
Your Own Platform
Of course, using the platforms listed above isn’t the only way to go about cashing in on your expertise. You can also use your own platform for distributing your product. You can do this by creating product websites and buying traffic to send to them, or by adding an online shop to your blog or website. This works great especially if you already have a following or a massive email list.
Sometimes your product would be so specific to the needs of a small community of people that there aren’t even any platforms that would really be a good fit. For example, think about the community of people who are interested in calligraphy. They’re buying worksheets, video tutorials, and printable practice sheets from the online stores bloggers and entrepreneurs have added to their websites.
In this case, you must cover your own operating costs (domain name, hosting, ecommerce platform, payment processing fees) but you don’t have to pay anyone a commission.
Step No. 3: Bringing Your Product to Life
Here it is – the moment you’ve been waiting for – putting pen to paper, or more exactly putting your fingers on the keyboard, to create a product. This is when you’re writing the .doc file you’ll transform into an eBook or worksheet, or when you draft a script for your online course or video/audio series. This is when you should do your best to guide people in solving a pesky problem that is affecting their lives or businesses. Do it with responsibility, without overwhelming them.
When your content is done, you’re ready to give it the format you think will help you sell most copies. Here are some of your options and how to take advantage of them in the most cost efficient way:
Creating an eBook
Ebooks are perhaps one of the easiest type of info product to create, regardless of your skill level or experience. Using simple software such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice you can create a simple PDF-formatted document that can be sold to your audience.
If you want a general idea of how easy it is to create a book for sale on Kindle, for example, look at this checklist:
- Write your book in Word or another word processor and save it in .doc format.
- Add a title page with the book’s title, author name and copyright notice at the front.
- Be sure each chapter has “Chapter One”, “Chapter Two”, etc. set as “Heading 1”.
- Create a flat book cover design at 1600×2400 pixels, or pay someone on Fiverr or UpWork to do it for you.
- Submit the .doc file and JPG cover to Kindle.
It’s really that simple! There’s no special formatting required in most cases, because their conversion program can convert your .doc file to the .mobi format used by Kindle.
Creating Videos and Animations
Creating videos used to be tricky, but with some software products released over the last few years, you can easily create higher quality video products that will sell. In fact, there are online services that make it incredibly easy to create videos just by uploading a few images or slides and some music!
Some of these services will even allow you to make a simple video for free so you can see how easy it is, thus allowing you to choose one that works best for you without having to pay to test out a ton of services you may not like.
You can get full access to this for $97, without monthly fees. It’s an easy to use video creation tool that lets you import images, slides, and even your entire script in and then space it out to create and export training videos.
With personal plans starting at $5 per month and Pro plans starting at just $39 per month, Stupeflix is a great option for making simple videos very quickly. They have several different themes available, and a sizeable library of music available, or you can upload your own music or audio.
Animoto makes video creation as simple as 1-2-3. Just upload pictures, choose music, add some text, and press a button and your video is created. They currently have 47 video themes available for pro users. Pricing for business plans starts at $39 per month or $249 per year.
GoAnimate will help you create cool animated videos on a variety of themes using built-in animated cartoons. The service has plans starting at $39 per month or $299 per year and going up to $79 per month or $599 per year.
Wideo is an affordable solution for creating videos. Instead of just uploading images, there are built-in colors, shapes, objects, text and music files you can add to a project, creating unique videos that no one else will have anything like. You can create a video for free, but it will be branded.
You can remove the branding from one video for $9 or all videos within a year for $150 per year for videos hosted online, and you can download a 1280×720 MP4 of one video for $29 or all videos within a year for $249 per year.
Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, and even Photoshop are also great solutions, but they tend to be more complex and harder to use when you’re inexperienced.
A very simple solution for creating video content can be using Google! Hangouts to record yourself – remember that people care about the solution, not about how fancy your equipment is.
Creating an Audio Book or Series
Recording an audio series or audiobook is simple. You can either record a video and then separate the audio from it, use online audio recording services like Vacaroo, or even a smartphone app. When you’ve recorded all the content you want to use, you can find an editor on UpWork or Fiverr to help you turn the recordings into the actual product.
If you want to offer the product as access to a membership website, the best way to do this is to find a web developer on a freelancing website like UpWork or SevenDays. Before contacting anyone, make sure you have the site structure and the website content ready.
- If you need to compile all of your documents into the many different popular formats for eBooks, including mobi and .epub, try toepub.com.
- If you need to create an eBook cover, there are a number of decent designers available on sites like Fiverr.com. For $5, you can get a book cover that is probably better than anything you could do on your own, unless of course you’re already a good designer. For $20-$50, you can get an excellent cover done by a highly-experienced designer. You can also buy a premade book cover at sites such as Yocla Designs and selfpubbookcovers.com.
Now that you’re all set to begin making a digital product, I’m sure you’ll create something your target group will want to buy! If you have any questions, don’t forget you can also leave a comment.