Being an online marketer means you have many opportunities to make money with your virtual presence. For some, that will mean strictly working as an affiliate to promote other peoples’ items.
But you may want to expand your profits into other areas, such as coaching or info product development. The reason many are drawn to digital product development is that the creation of a product is zero to low cost and it boosts your revenue tremendously from having one static form of online profits.
Brainstorm a Slant and Outline
The foundation for your info product will be the thoroughness of the information you plan to sell. You have the option of selling something that’s broad or something that’s narrow in nature. Consumers will pay for both of these.
For example, you might choose to create an entire course about survival or you might sell a course specifically on survival gardening for a homestead. You could even drill it down more and sell a course about survival using heirloom seeds.
The best thing to do is sit down and have a brainstorming session. Start with whatever’s already in your head and jot down ideas for courses, both broad and narrow. If you want to, draw a mind map that shows broad topics being broken down into smaller ones.
Sometimes, you can combine these topics into something with an original slant. For example, let’s say you wanted to create a product on stress relief. One area is nutrition; foods that promote stress relief.
Another area is sleep hygiene. You could combine those two ideas and create a Foods for Better Sleep and Stress Relief product. Being able to connect the common threads between topics helps you put something on the marketplace that may not be there already, or in big numbers.
Once a slant is chosen, outline your product. Don’t worry about length. Focus on making sure that you are covering everything you want to cover in that particular item. Don’t bloat it with irrelevant topics.
For example, if your eBook is about nutrition, don’t beef it up with a chapter about running on a treadmill just because you want it to be longer. That can actually detract from the consumer’s admiration of the book because they’ll notice and feel disappointed.
Choosing a Digital Format
When you have your topic and outline chosen, you’ll need to make a decision about what format (or formats) you want to deliver your digital creation in. Some people choose to do just one, while others choose multiple media formats.
For example, you can choose to have an eBook for sale. This is very easy and common and consumers are devouring text like never before. But you also might to have video available.
Video products don’t have to be you sitting there on camera, if that makes you nervous. It might mean you create a simple PowerPoint slide show and record the screen as you talk.
Some people create a membership model for their digital creation. With a membership, the consumer logs in and is able to access modules that might include a variety of text, video and even audio files.
You can start with whatever makes you most comfortable. Usually, going the text route is the best method for beginners, because most people are used to using Microsoft Word already.
Once you have your eBook written in Word format, all you do is click File and Export and turn it into a PDF version for your buyers to download. You can even add images inside the product for sale.
You can grab free images or paid stock photos. Or, snap some shots yourself if you’re in the niche yourself and want to include some original work. For example, someone who is teaching a specific diet might have lovely pictures of their meals and those can be shared in the eBook along with recipes.
Once your eBook is in PDF form, you’ll simply right-click on it and click Send To and choose Compressed Zip Folder. That’s the file you’ll upload to your server. When you upload it, grab the URL destination of the file and this is what you’ll need to enter whenever you list the product for sale on a platform, which we’ll discuss shortly.
If you’re doing videos, then you have the option of allowing your customers to download the video files (which are often large, but let them watch it on their computer rather than online streaming, which is helpful to some people) or, put it inside a members’ forum where they can watch it as they want to at their own pace.
For audio, the files are often easier to work with. You’ll record your message (even reading your eBook if you want to go that route), and buyers can download the file and listen on the go or while multi-tasking.
Tools and Resources to Help with Its Creation
What tools and resources will help you the most with digital product creation? Let’s start with text. You’ll want to create your product in Word and convert it to a PDF format. Some people like to include images, so you’ll need those.
For the images inside the course, you can go to a free site like MorgueFile.com (don’t worry, it’s not really a morgue site) or, you can download paid stock photos from a site like DepositPhotos.com or iStockPhoto.com
Make sure you always follow the rules for using other peoples’ images whenever you use them in your business, whether it’s in the product or on your blog or social media. Some images have strict rules, while others are openly free to use.
What about the eCover? You want a professional cover for your work. Don’t skimp and try the do it yourself route unless you’re very good at graphics (and some people think they’re good, but they’re not).
You can still use an image from a stock photo site for your cover. The best way to choose one is to go look at existing books in that niche and see what’s popular. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel and choose something totally different because the consumers in that niche are going to be attracted to what they know.
Make sure your fonts chosen are professional and easy to read. You can go to an eCover design professional and get a cover made for less than $50. Or, you can even get some decent ones created on Fiverr if you’re careful about who you choose.
Where will you house your product? If it’s an eBook, then a simple server upload will work fine. But what if it’s a video course or something where you want to provide multiple media formats?
For that, you’ll want something like a membership site. You could do it all on your blog and just password protect everything if you’re on a budget or just not very tech savvy. But there’s another option.
Choose a product like Amember, which will allow you to set up memberships for sale. You can connect it with many payment processors and sell different products all from one account.
There are also platforms like Udemy that can help you sell a digital product to consumers who want to learn from you. You can set it up as an instructor and pay them a 3% fee for housing the course.
Creating Your Copy and Listing the Product for Sale
Sales copy is where many new marketers get stuck. They don’t like the hype they see on most sales letters, so they try to avoid it. When they do this, they end up missing the point and their copy doesn’t convert.
Sales copy isn’t about spam or hype. It’s about tapping into the pain points and desires of your audience. That’s what you need to study. There are many templates and formulas for crafting copy that converts, and you can start with something along those lines and edit it to your personal tastes.
Generally, your sales copy will have headlines and subheadlines, storyline, proof and testimonials, bulletpoints that tell what they’ll be receiving in the product, and a call to action that lets them know what step to take next.
Analyze competitor copy online. Make sure you don’t swipe their copy. Just to see how others are approaching those in your niche. How could you set yourself apart? Which elements of their copy should you make sure make their way into yours?
For example, if you see sales copy that’s really effective because it’s a hybrid of text and video by the product creator, then perhaps you’ll want to take a similar approach. As long as you avoid copying their message, you’ll stay within ethical boundaries.
You can also tweak your sales copy as you go. Nothing’s set in stone, so if you come up with a headline you want to test, you can replace it or do a split test between the two forms of copy to see which one converts better.
Listing your product for sale can be done directly on a site like PayPal where you get a PayPal buy button to use. Or, you can increase your profits by using a different platform where affiliates are likely to sign up to promote it for you.
Top choices for this type of digital strategy would be one of three marketplaces. First, you can list it on ClickBank. ClickBank is a marketplace where you can sell your digital product and affiliates can see how well it converts and grab their links to send traffic to you.
JVZoo is another platform where you can list a digital product for sale. While many of the products on the bestseller’s list are in the make money online niche, you’ll find hundreds of other niche products listed on the site for affiliates to consider promoting.
JVZoo doesn’t take anything up front. Just a portion of the sale once it’s made. Another site like that would be Warrior Plus. Some people mistakenly believe you have to have a Warrior Forum WSO listing to have a product here, but that’s not true.
You can have any type of product listed there, and like JVZoo, you’ll be able to pay a small portion of the sale as each product is processed. These are great options for those operating on a shoestring budget with no upfront investment money.
Getting Customers to Your Offer
Most new marketers focus harder on how they’ll drive traffic to their offer than they do on recruiting affiliates. That’s a big mistake. If you’re new to online marketing, then it may take you awhile to build a list of hungry subscribers.
While you will want to work on sending traffic to your offer, start with affiliate recruitment first. Affiliates like to promote things that are newly released and are top quality. You want to find out who is promoting in your niche and approach them.
It’s preferable if you approach them ahead of the launch date so that they can prepare a mailing and possibly a bonus for your launch to help the offer convert. But even if you contact them once it’s live, there are a few things you can do to ensure they send their subscribers to your offer.
First, make sure it’s a niche they promote. Don’t contact someone in the make money online niche to promote an anti aging offer. Their audience won’t respond. When this happens, it makes your overall conversions look bad to other affiliates.
Second, when you contact them, be able to say why you feel it will be a good fit for their list. Send them a review copy so that they have the ability to judge the quality without having to request one.
You also want to send them a swipe email they can use to send out to their list. You want this to be as easy as possible on them. The best way to do this is to get on their list and see what their style is like so that you can emulate it when crafting a swipe for them to use.
Additionally, send them the link to your JV or affiliate page so they can get all of the details for dates and times, what’s included in the sale, and even what’s in the funnel if your offer has a front end and additional upsells involved.
To sweeten the deal, you might also offer to bump the commission level up for a few top affiliates. Instead of the typical 50% the average affiliate gets, offer 75% to get them to agree to promote.
As for sending your own traffic, you’ll be doing that through steady blogging and social networking if you want to take the free route. But you can also purchase traffic through solo ads or Facebook ads if you have some funds to invest in the promotion element of your launch.