Opinion: How to create and sell digital products (that actually make money) | ryan shannon

Disclosure: This story contains affiliate links to my eBook, from which I may earn a small commission.

First, I wanted to point out an important distinction between selling physical products online and selling electronic products: physical products require a financial investment while e-products require a much more valuable investment: your time.

You can’t just put together something priceless and call it an online course or an e-book.

You have to put real sweat equity into what you do.

Although creating a physical product also takes time and developing an e-product can take money, in general you are going to put a lot more effort into creating an online course. than a physical product, because after all, you are selling knowledge.

The good news is that electronic products require little to no upfront money to create.

Turn my thesis into a digital product

Take my ebook, Laptop Entrepreneur, for example. The ebook was originally my thesis needed to graduate from my business and management program in Italy. It was supposed to be 15-20 pages anyway, so I thought, why not put in a little more effort and time and create something that could (potentially) pay off forever?

Why not create a little ebook and sell it on Amazon and on my own website?

And so, killing two birds with one stone is exactly what I did.

But what did I have to sacrifice to create my book? My time of course. I was working 45 hours a week for my mandatory internship and instead of logging off and watching Netflix after long hours of work, I forced myself to write Something for my eBook.

I also spent several hours going through other blog posts, research reports, and acquiring data to incorporate into the book. That meant spending part of my Saturdays and Sundays hunched over my desk writing instead of hanging out with friends or being a couch potato.

Set realistic expectations

Will my efforts pay off? With a bit of luck.

But even if they don’t and I don’t make crazy profits (which I don’t expect to become a millionaire with the quick e-book anyway), at least I have something to show customers prospects who would like to use my marketing or writing services.

This is something to keep in mind before you start creating your digital product: there is no guarantee that it will be successful. It is possible that all your time and effort will not bring you any financial gain. But, there is also a chance that you will succeed too.

Research, Research, Research

The key to increasing the chances of success is research! For example, with my Laptop Entrepreneur book, I didn’t choose it blindly because I’m passionate about building a life online and traveling the world.

Instead, I realized that several articles were published on how the workforce is moving from a traditional workforce to a remote workforce. I read an article titled “Why Working From Home Should Be Standard Practice” on that talked about the benefits of allowing employees to work from home.

The article reports that one company, Ctrip, found that it “saved $1,900 per employee during the office space study… But for [their] surprisingly, employees working from home were far from having fun – they increased their productivity by 13.5% compared to those working in the office. It’s like getting an extra day’s work from each employee.

People working from home also reported shorter breaks and fewer sick days and took less time off. After reading this, and other sources, I knew the modern workforce was changing and there was potential demand for an ebook like this.

Also, I looked on Amazon Kindle and noticed there were other books, but none gave realistic, actionable strategies for making money online while traveling and living well. overseas market.

And so, my eBook was born! I did my own research and realized that there is a market for the content I created. In summary, before you start investing your time in your digital project, you must first find a market.

Passive Income 101

One thing you might notice about all of the above is that they are mostly passive income strategies. In case you’ve never heard of passive income, it basically means making money while you sleep. You have put in the effort to create a product, implemented appropriate marketing strategies, and have a platform to accept payments and deliver the product automatically.

After that, all you have to do is sit back and relax!

This is different from active income, on the other hand, where you trade your time for money. And, there are different degrees of “passivity”. For example, with this eBook, I can choose to just upload it to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), get some reviews, and call it good.

Or, I can write a monthly blog post on high authority websites and add a link to my eBook to it to keep gaining traffic. You can be as passive or laissez-faire as you wish.

Focus on creating value

As with other strategies, you want to make sure your product has value. Whether you’re teaching something from a unique perspective or creating a custom plan for clients or developing a great app, it has to be worth your buyer’s time and money. Otherwise, you will earn a bad reputation, end up with negative feedback and deal with customer complaints.

Do not go halfway in your efforts.

Try not to hold back and share as much valuable information as possible. And again: you need a website or a third-party selling platform to sell your products.

Back from hunting

After making a sale, you don’t want to leave your buyers hanging around! Make sure to collect feedback from your valuable customers and make changes to your course, website template, diet plan, etc. to improve it for others, if necessary.

Creating digital products is always a game of trial and error.

In addition to receiving – and acting on – feedback, you want to collect buyer feedback, just like physical products. Another strategy to implement is to use a satisfaction guarantee.

Chances are that if you’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into creating your digital product, you won’t get a lot of feedback (you should expect less than 1% if you’ve created the value).

But, there are always hard-to-please customers. Instead of fighting with them, realize that it’s not worth the stress (and it’s not worth risking your reviews and your reputation). Instead, just give them their money back and let them go – you have other customers who appreciate what you’ve created, anyway!

Hopefully difficult clients are the least of your worries when implementing this laptop entrepreneur lifestyle. Selling digital products can be a great way to supplement your income, or even be your primary source of income.

Examples of digital products you can create

  • electronic books
  • Online course
  • Printables (calendars, planners, coloring pages, etc.)
  • Data
  • guides
  • apps
  • Software
  • Premium Memberships
  • Premium newsletters
  • Models
  • and tons more! (A book that will help you create digital products is: “Selling the Intangible” by Meera Kothand)

Where to sell digital products

After choosing a digital product to sell, the next logical step would be to select a digital marketplace to sell your digital products. You’ve probably heard of Amazon, Etsy, and eBay, but there are plenty of other lesser-known marketplaces (like Gumroad, Flippa, and Redbubble) where your digital products can be sold.

To learn more about becoming a laptop entrepreneur, read my book here.

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