Creating eProducts - A guide & workbook
What are eProducts
eProducts are any digital projects sold online. This can be downloadable content like a PDF or an information product like an online course.
Regular books are still incredibly popular, but with the help of the internet, anyone can write and publish an eBook for free. eBooks are a fantastic way to share what you know in a unique format. I give away 2 ebooks when someone signs up for my email list.
These are very similar to eBooks, but workbooks are usually fillable PDFs or printable sheets that are meant to be answered and written on. Workbooks are created for planning and helping your audience get their ideas on paper (or on screen). Workbooks are one of my favorite resources for planning projects.
These have become crazy popular over the last few years. eCourses can range from free email courses (like Mariah Coz's) to a full-blown course with a community, videos, downloads and articles. I'm working on a few ecourses right now!
Videos are usually a part of another package, but you can use a video series as a stand-alone product.
Where to Sell
There is a ton of options when it comes to online marketplaces. I want to highlight 4 popular options for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Keep in mind you can use more than one of these. I have products on my Squarespace site and on Etsy. Reaching different markets can make a huge difference in your sales.
If you have a Squarespace site, you can use the e-commerce feature to build a shop right into your website. I have my own shop on this site. Having your shop on your own website offers a considerable advantage because you're won't be paying additional fees to sell your items.
Digital Product Delivery (DPD) is quickly becoming a popular marketplace for freelancers to sell their digital products. Customization, flat monthly fees, and security features are just a few of the options available to users. If you want to start off on the right foot, DPD is a fantastic option.
If you sell photography, fonts or other graphics, Creative Market has a fantastic customer base. You can quickly create an account and start selling with CM. The downside is, they take a percentage of your sales, which can be a pretty large chunk if you're selling a lot.
One of the most popular marketplaces, but not the best. There are very few options for branding and customization. If you don't have a website, Etsy is a great choice, however if you have a self-hosted site, you'd be better off with DPD or SS Commerce.
Think of an Idea
You don't have to be an expert to write an eBook or create an ecourse. There is always someone who knows less than you. If you've made earrings before, you're one step ahead of someone who WANTS to make earrings.
That makes you the expert.
When you want to make a product, make a list of things you know how to do. This can be as simple as baking a scone, to something much more involved like website development. If you know how to do it, you can teach someone else.
Make a list of your hobbies, skills and talents. Once you have that list, write a book or course idea next to each one. For example, one of my hobbies is running. I could write an eBook about running techniques.
When you have a list of ideas, begin by crossing off anything you're not interested in. Now pick one and move on to the next step: a brain dump.
You can print out the product planner below to use my outline:
Create your Product
Here's the part most people dread. Creating your product does not have to be hard. Make a plan, set a schedule and commit! Whether you're writing an ebook or creating a full ecourse, the process is generally the same. Here's a look at the steps I take when creating a new product:
- Brain dump/ mind map
Write down anything and everything that pops into your brain and began creating a mind map. Write everything you know on the topic and anything you need to research. Don't worry about how messy, random or silly it seems.
Using your mind map, create an outline for your product (you might find you have enough ideas for more than one product). Make each idea a chapter or section, and add bullet points for details.
Take 45 minutes - 90 minutes every day to write. Don't worry about images, formatting or other content, just get those ideas down. I use MS word or Evernote for this step.
When you have most of the writing finished, you can edit it. Fix your text, add additional content, proofread and add more details. Have another person proofread it as well. You can also add formatting at this point.
Create the cover or graphics for your product. Start advertising it and getting people excited on your upcoming work.
Read through the entire thing. Edit and re-edit until it's perfect.
- Finalize & Publish
Publish your content. You can use MS Word, Pages, InDesign, Canva, or Publisher to create a well-designed eBook or course. Save it in PDF format or publish it on Amazon or Lulu.
Marketing your Product
Now that you've finished your product, you need to get it out to the world! Decide if you'll be giving it away for free or if you'll be selling it.
If you'll be selling your product, you want to make sure you give away valuable content relating to the topic, this will help customers see you as an expert.
If you're giving something away for free, you can use that to generate followers or an audience.
I use Buffer to schedule my social media posts. This way I can create 10-20 posts at once and schedule them a few days apart. This makes it super easy to plan your content and keep on track.
I also use Canva to create images for each post. Images get shared and re-tweeted almost 5x as often as a text post. USE THIS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.
If you're giving away the product in exchange for email sign-ups, I have a full tutorial on how to do just that.
If you have your own blog, add your product to your sidebar or footer! Make sure your visitors know you sell a product. You can also look into advertising on other blogs, especially blogs that you follow within your niche. Ask around on Twitter, Facebook and Google + to see if any of your blogging friends would let you advertise in exchange for a promotion or small fee. (PS - you can offer affiliate options if you use DPD).