I’m not super tech savvy but have managed so far to find my way through the blogosphere without too many hiccups. The web is full of useful information about how to do things, you just need to look in the right spots! So, on that note, I thought it might be helpful to give you details of the sites, programmes and resources I used to develop my latest product. Following these simple tips will see you make a flying start and generating passive income in no time at all!
UPDATED November 2017
This post contains affiliate links
Website and Hosting
To sell a product, you need somewhere to sell it from. My website and blog is the basis of my business and I used the WordPress hosted by Site Ground to do that. It’s simple and easy to use, even for a technophobe like me! Lots of bloggers use Bluehost for their hosting packages, but I heard poor reviews of their customer service so my gut was to trust a blogger I follow very closely (Meera Kothand) when she recommended Site Ground. I have to say, their customer service has been second to none and the patient guys on the other end of the telephone were amazing with my stupidity! *blush*
In order to sell effectively, sending customers to a general website or blog can be a bit of a flop. The simple reason is people can become distracted by the other items around the page and site. (Because your website is so awesome, who wouldn’t be distracted!) Now if your website is an eCommerce platform anyway (or online shop to you and me!) that isn’t always a bad thing and you’d have to weigh up the pros and cons of distracting people from their initial aim; which was to buy a specific product. Wherever they have come from, whether it be a google search, a social media advert or directly to your webpage, they are there for that one product. As a blogger, I do want people to read my stuff, of course I do, but if they have come to buy a product, I want to direct traffic to that first, followed by reading an awesome and related blog post.
To do that is simple, developing a landing page that has no distractions and only two visible options; buy the product or go elsewhere. The content should be to the point and provide dedicated product information, images and testimonials. There should be a clear “buy now” button and process, in addition to an alternative, “visit my website” style option. This ensures that your visitor understands that this page really is about the product they came for. Then show them how awesome you are and other products that may be of interest, after they’ve checked out!
The process of developing a landing page for my new products was straight forward and took me less than an hour, including testing! It has images, testimonials, a quality description and two simple navigational options – buy or go to my website. Easy peasy.
I use the Send Owl platform to share my work as it’s super easy to use and the navigation could not be simpler. Everything you could possibly need to be an eCommerce entrepreneur is there:
- Upload your product in one easy step
- Set the pricing, currency, payment method and delivery options (email responses and such)
- Personalise the entire process so your buyer really gets to know you and your brand (trust!)
- Collect email information so you can contact later to ask for subscriptions or recommend other products and services
- Create your own affiliate programme to get marketing off to a flying start
- Issue free orders at the click of a button
- Add a product image for all digital products
- Set sales limits, download attempts and more
- Change the product with a simple click of a button, so if you make an update it’s easy to change. You can also send an email out to all existing customers who have purchased the product so they get the updated version too!
- Get paid instantly and get email notifications when someone buys your products (it’s very exciting!)
I used Lulu.com to create an official ePub version of my book, WTF – The Real Story. It’s completely free and I loved the process. Because of this platform it is now available on loads of platforms including:
Alternatively, you can sell direct with any one of these platforms. I liked using lulu.com as it was simple to use (after a little playing around to get the hang of it) and you can also publish it as a paperback if you like! The options are pretty broad for ePub products. It enables you to make the choices of where, when and how much to sell your products for, in addition to gathering payments for you too!
Having a PayPal account is essential for shopping online these days. I’ve had one for donkey’s years but, up until 12 months ago, there was much more going out of it than ever came in! Now, I receive payments from both Send Owl and Lulu as passive income. The platform is easy to use and the customer service is usually pretty swift if you have any issues. It’s a brilliant way of managing your business pennies and it’s free to set up and use for spending! They take a bit of commission from monies coming in, but hey, it’s money you wouldn’t have had in the first place right? Profit!
Not only is Canva an awesome tool for graphic design, period! It’s also a little bit addictive! I love having a good play around and creating new graphics to promote my content and products. That just makes marketing sense! I also used the platform to create my eBook from cover to cover. I signed up for Canva for business to make the process even smoother and have my branding to hand instantly, but the free version is very effective too. I used Canva to:
- Create the eBook itself including the content, cover and back page
- Design headers for Twitter, Facebook and Linked In pages
- Design beautiful, eye catching images for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Design the Facebook advert
- Create stunning Pinterest graphics to Pin my sales page
So, if the fear of self-publishing is still gripping you, shrug it off. The process is simple and cost effective. Putting yourself out there digitally is not as costly in time or cash anymore. It’s really fun too! And who knows, you could be the next J K Rowling or Mark Zuckerberg! Every entrepreneur has to start somewhere.
You have an awesome digital product idea, and now you have the tools of the trade; What’s really stopping you?
What are your favourite resources? Hit me up with your digital suggestions for my next product!