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I knew that creating and selling digital products was a lucrative way to make money online (even with a small blog) but I put it off a long time as I thought it would be hard to do.
However, creating and selling digital products online was so much easier than I ever thought it would be – even for a technophobe like me!
Whilst researching it, I found it difficult to find the information I needed online and so now having worked it out myself, I decided to write this article to show you how you can also create a digital product and sell it on your website with ease!
I’ve also gone one step further and created a Free E-Book called Digital Products Made Easy where we delve into the topic in a lot more depth (including some of my fave Canva hacks you need to know!) You can download it here.
No time to read it now? No worries, pin it for later…
Creating and selling digital products online
Choosing what product to create
When choosing a digital product to create, consider what problems your ideal customer may have and then think about how you can solve that problem for them.
In general, the most popular items to sell will be ones that save people time or money or improve someone’s quality of life.
So for example, if you are a parenting blogger, your ideal reader is probably busy Mums looking to save both time and money. The ideal digital product might be a printable planner for busy mums or a budgeting planner.
If you’re a healthy food blogger, your ideal reader is probably looking for ways they can enjoy tasty treats without consuming too many calories. Do you have a bunch of delicious but fairly healthy dessert recipes? You could make a recipe E-book to solve their sweet tooth dilemma.
My ideal audience are bloggers looking to learn how to make money from affiliate marketing. Therefore I created an Affiliate toolkit, packed with templates, checklists, planners and trackers to help them plan and track their strategies. Since then I have also developed the following digital products
- My course – ‘Affiliate Marketing Superstars’
- My ebook ‘SEO for affiliate marketing success’
- My 50 lead magnet templates
- My Ebook Canva template
- My sales page Elementor template bundle
- My ebook The Passive Income Guide to List Growth
- My ebook the Passive Income Guide to List Monetisation
Can you think what problems YOUR audience may have?
If you’re not sure, why not ask them? Reach out to your audience on social media and ask them what problems they have that they’d like a solution for!
Once you understand their problems and can find a solution, you are ready to start making your digital product.
Creating a digit product on Canva
Canva is my go-to website for developing products.
There are a few important things to know before you start developing your product.
Firstly you cannot use any of the pre-existing templates, even if you change them beyond recognition. The products must be developed from scratch by yourself.
So instead, click on ‘Create a design’ and select the type of product or use custom dimensions. Then ignore the templates section entirely. Instead, you will have to build your design using elements, text boxes and photos.
Don’t fancy making the template yourself? I get it. It can be tricky to make it look professional and can take quite a while to create a template. You cant use the templates Canva provides if you wish to sell your product.
Luckily, I’ve solved that issue for you and I sell templates to make this step much easier:
Option 1 – A 30-page beautiful E-book template fully editable in Canva
Option 2 – A 50-page planner/workbook template which also includes templates for quizzes, checklists, PDFs and a 30-day challenge. You can create virtually ANY digital product with this template.
Making the product shareable
Secondly, if you are planning on making templates which the person buying will be able to access and edit themselves, you are going to need Canva Pro – there’s no way around this as sharing templates is a pro feature.
The good news is that you can try Canva Pro for free for a month which gives you plenty of time to create your first digital product.
You can then decide if to continue your subscription but I’m guessing by then you’ll be hooked to the additional features like being able to access 2 million stock photos or setting up your own brand kit with preferred fonts and colours.
Want to know more about Canva? Read this Canva review to decide is Canva Pro worth it?
In order to share a template, click ‘share’ next to ‘download.’ From the drop-down box, click ‘share a link to edit.’ From there, another drop-down box appears. Select ‘Share a link to use as a template.’
Anyone who uses this link will be able to access a new copy of the template which they can edit. However, the original will remain unchanged.
Since the product, your customer will be downloading needs to be in PDF format, I then create a PDF within Canva with the links incorporated for downloads. Heres an example of what one looks like…
If you are creating a product which doesn’t need to be edited eg an E-book or printable, just select ‘Download’ and then ‘PDF print’ to get a high-quality copy you can share.
I then save all my ebooks and products to a folder inside Google Drive. Therefore if I ever want to give away a copy for example as part of a giveaway or a bonus, I can share the link to download it from my drive.
Choosing a platform to sell your product on
There are various platforms you can use to sell your product.
You could do it for free using free WordPress plugin Woocommerce.
This also allows you to set up a shop page on your blog.
However, there are a few disadvantages.
- I personally find the user face a lot more complicated with a lot of confusing options.
- There is not an affiliate programme option unless you download an additional premium plugin which is fairly expensive. A license for 1 site costs $129. If you’re choosing to spend money on a platform for an affiliate probramme then there are better options!
The next option is to use the email platform Convertkit. Its the platform I use for my emails and can’t recommend it enough. They now have an inbuilt facility to sell products and it won’t cost you any extra to sell products.
The downside is that you can’t have affiliates. So I think this is something which may be useful when you first publish a product but further down the line when you want affiliates to help you promote it, you will have to look elsewhere.
I chose E-Junkie but looking back, I wish I’d chosen Sendowl as I prefer the affiliate user face and I may look at switching at some point.
My main issue is the simplicity of the affiliate programme which makes it difficult for me to communicate with affiliates whilst remaining GDPR compliant. It’ll do for now, but as my affiliate programme grows, I can definitely see me switching to SendOwl.
The other advantage of Sendowl is it offers an opt-in box to add customers to your newsletter list.
But for the purpose of this article, we will be talking about using E-junkie and Woocommerce together. Looking at the Sendowl Dashboard, the process looks virtually identical.
Setting up E-Junkie
Setting up E-junkie is very simple and you can be selling your product within minutes of signing up.
For the purpose of this article, we are talking about digital products only so you do not have to worry about VAT and taxes in other countries if you are selling your products internationally.
Start with the ‘manage seller account’ which you’ll find in the top left of the dashboard. Click on edit profile where you can update your username, email, password and add your PayPal details. You can also choose to register for Stripe payments, where you will be directed to open a stripe account and sync it up with your E-junkie account.
Next, it’s time to add a product.
You can either upload your digital product as a file which will open directly once payment is accepted or you can choose to redirect them, perhaps to a page on your website with a video for paid access only.
You can quickly add a price and product image before clicking on ‘edit product listing’ where you can add some details and information about the product.
It should look a little like this…
Once you have submitted your product, you can access the links or HTML for the product listing, or directly to the cart which you can use in your newsletter, as links in your blog posts or on social media.
However, you may like to also set up a shop on your blog. This is where Woocommerce comes in handy…
Setting up a shop page with Woocommerce and linking it to E-Junkie.
Now yes I know I said Woocommerce is overly complicated and doesn’t offer an affordable affiliate programme BUT I still some of the features to create an online shop on my website.
Firstly you’ll need to upload and activate Woocomerce WP plugin on your site.
Create a simple page called Shop. You don’t need to do much with it yet.
You might want to adjust a few of the basic setting such as setting your chosen currency and business address but you only need to change most settings if you are selling directly from E-Commerce. Since we are selling via E-Junkie (or Sendowl,) we do not need to do this.
You will, however, need to go into Settings – Products – Shop page and link it to the ‘Shop’ page you’ve just created.
Now, go to ‘Add Product.’
From here, give your product a name and a description in the first box.
Scroll down to the product data section.
Here add your regular price and sale price with dates for the sale.
Also, change the product type to ‘External/Affiliate product’ and place your E-junkie product ‘cart’ text link in the box which says product URL.
This process would be exactly the same if you decided to use Sendowl.
Finally, on the right side, add a product category and a product image.
Once you press Publish, these products will automatically be added to your shop page.
You can now add this to your menu or start promoting it elsewhere.
You can see what the shop will look like by checking out mine here.
Promoting your product
Now you have a shop page as well as direct links to your product to share on social platforms.
You also have HTML codes to add ‘buy now’ boxes directly within your blog posts when you talk about your product.
You may want to consider offering a promotion when you first launch your product such as 50% off. You can do this by adding a coupon code where you can also determine a limit for the number of copies sold at a certain price and a date for when the sale ends and the coupon becomes invalid.
You will then want to start promoting your product. Here are a few places where you can promote it
- Within relevant blog posts
- Direct pins on Pinterest linking to your products
- Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
- On Instagram with swipe up options in your stories or adding the shop URL in your bio.
- In a newsletter
- In relevant Facebook groups which allow self-promotion.
- Use the product at a limited time discount for a tripwire after someone 1st signs up to your newsletter. Research shows, people are more likely to buy from people they have already bought from so if they purchase your product at a bargain price, they may go on to purchase your course or E-book.
- Consider bringing in some affiliates to help you sell the product to their own audiences.
Setting up an affiliate programme on E-Junkie
The affiliate programme is already set up on E-junkie, you just need to specify a commission rate and copy the affiliate sign-up link which you can use to help people sign up to your programme.
The cookie period for E-junkie is set to 6 months and you do not have the option to adjust any settings but with Sendowl you can set your own specified referral period. Yet another reason why I’m thinking of switching. When I do, I will update this article with a description of how to use Sendowl as an alternative so watch this space..!
Running an Affiliate programme that actually drives sales
How many times have you signed up to be an affiliate for a product then forgotten it even existed? We all have good intentions but life is busy, right?!
So in order to avoid being the affiliate programme which gets forgotten, you need yours to stand out from the pack. You may even get extra affiliates onboard if their friends rave about how great your programme is.
To run an awesome affiliate programme, you’ll need to stay in touch with your affiliates keeping them engaged. Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to take much time, you can automate a lot of it and set up email templates.
I would also recommend giving your affiliates the tools they need to be successful such as:
- A list and overview of all the products they can promote and draw attention to any unique selling points that they can use to position your products to their audience.
- Product mock up images for them to incorporate in their own articles and graphics.
- Pins and social media templates. All they need to do is use your pin, add a description (you can even do that for them) and add their affiliate link. It takes 2 minutes but they may earn more sales and you reach a wider audience you might not have reached otherwise.
- Email swipe copy. If your affiliate doesn’t have much time to run an email sales pitch for your product, make it easy for them by creating some emails they can pinch and use as their own!
If you want to start your own affiliate programme to sell your digital products then I would recommend checking out Zoe Linda’s free Affiliate programme starter guide.
I’ve also enrolled in her Affiliate programme toolkit and it has been so so useful.
I hope if you’ve been anxious about creating your first digital product, this article has alleviated a few of your concerns. If you have any questions, add them in the comments and I’ll do my best to help! Remember to sign up for my free Ebook ‘Digital Products Made Easy‘ to delve into this topic in even more detail!
In the meantime, maybe you could do a fellow blogger a favour and pin this to your Pinterest boards?!