Creating my first paid product was one of the best decisions I have made online—it
was also one of the scariest ones.
Charging for a product was the first time I really made money from my website.
Since I launched that first product, I have sold more than 1500 reports—all created
using my 7 step product strategies.
Interestingly, I’ll share with you the same strategies I use to create my products in this post.
Please make sure to read the entire article to learn the simple tips that will help you create a product for your blog in less time.
Step 1: Brainstorm a specific problem you can solve
Every product starts with an idea—but not all ideas make for good products. One of the lessons I’ve learned from launching several products is that specificity is key when it comes to your product idea.
You need to start small—with an idea that is very specific. This will help you create a product that sells.
There’s a reason why all bigger written assignments start with a problem definition and clear subject boundaries. Without these, the assignment has no clear course and it will become a big mess in no time.
The same applies to your products:
Be specific with your product idea, or your product will quickly become a mess. If you do not start with a clear, specific problem that you want to solve, your product will start going in many unconnected directions.
And you don’t want that. Especially not if you are creating your very first online product. I learned this lesson the hard way—with a product that didn’t target a very specific problem.
The product sold just one or two copies before I abandoned it. I couldn’t even salvage the pieces as it was built on a rotten foundation.
You don’t want to make the same mistake as I did. Instead, do this:
Brainstorm specific problems that you can solve with a product. The more specific you can be, the better.
For example, “How to drive website traffic from Facebook” is a decent product idea. But there are many ways you can drive traffic from Facebook.
Do you want to teach:
- Paid Ads?
- Boosted posts?
There’s no way you can properly cover all of the subjects above unless you create a behemoth of a product. What seems like a fine idea quickly becomes a very uncoordinated and messy product-
Something like “How to build a Facebook page and use it to drive website traffic” is much better.
And you can even go further with “How bloggers can build a Facebook page and use it to drive website traffic.” Now you’re talking because it is more specific to your target market.
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Step 2: Create a how-to skeleton (step-by-step)
The easiest products to create are step-by-step how-to guides. They are simple to create and easy to consume. It is a win-win venture. Once you have a specific problem idea, it’s time to layout your product skeleton.
In a “how-to” create a product guide, the skeleton is your steps.
- Step 1: Create a Facebook Page
- Step 2: Setup your profile
- Step 3: … etc
Just create the steps for now. You don’t need to make the actual content just yet. This will give you a better overview, and if you haven’t been specific enough in your idea generation, you’ll discover it here.
The product skeleton acts as a roadmap for your product creation. You’ll use it to guide your actions in the following steps.
Step 3: Fill out the steps, and use plenty of graphics to show and tell
Luckily, you don’t have to start from a blank page as you already have your product idea and skeleton.
It’s time to create your product. The process is simple now that you have done step one and two. Simply add some meat to the product skeleton by filling out the steps.
For instance, if you are creating a report or ebook, write the parts. If you are filming, make a video for each of the steps. Whatever you are doing, create your product following the skeleton.
And remember to use plenty of graphics to show and tell.
It can help readers better understand your points and make the product more interesting—you want to make sure people are actually consuming your product and not falling asleep after three pages.
Step 4: Proofread, polish, and package
After the creation phase, it is time to make your product look good.
Step three was about creating and editing your product. It is where the rubber meets the road—where you create the core part of your product.
But a product isn’t just words on a page or a couple of videos you have recorded.
A good product is more than that. It is a full experience all the way from the first encounter to way after the product has been consumed.
If you want to make that experience great—and you should, this is where you can stand out from the crowd. You should spend some time going the extra mile with:
These things matter.
Make sure your product is as well written as it can be, or that your videos do not contain mistakes that could be edited away or re-recorded.
Next, polish the thing up. Create a proper layout for your report or book. Add a table of content, a welcome message and/or preface, etc.
Then package all of it nicely together.
What about adding some extra downloadable resources to your book? I recently experienced an example of this with “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
Even as an Audible audiobook, I was given an extra cheat sheet along with the audiobook—a very pleasant surprise.
These small things add up and can make a huge difference in the overall impression.
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Step 5: Create a simple download page to deliver your product
Product delivery doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Product delivery should be simple for your customers and for you.
I’ve tried setting up advanced membership sites with login, content locking, email dripping, etc., and it wasn’t worth my time—in the end, I just spent more time handling customer issues when they couldn’t log in or didn’t receive their welcome emails.
A membership site didn’t improve customer experience or help me in any way. Instead, I now create simple download pages for my products.
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Step 6: Create a product sales page
I’m not a master copywriter so I can’t, and won’t attempt to give you any concrete copywriting advice.
But I will say this: the fact that I suck at copywriting is good news for you. If I can sell things online, so can you.
Even though I haven’t mastered the copywriting craft, I have learned some tips that have helped me overcome many problems.
Get reviews (testimonials) for your product
Socal proof is key for any sales pages. People don’t care what you have to say about your product—they want to hear what other people think.
I was losing money on my first product until I started adding reviews to the sales page, after that the product started to sell.
Follow some sort of copywriting template or process
Writing a sales page is hard. But turning a completely blank page into a great sales page is next to impossible. Get yourself some help with a template, script or guidelines to follow.
That way you are much more likely to have a nice coherent page, and you won’t miss important parts.
Look at your competitors:
- What are they doing?
- How are they selling their products?
In the beginning, I learned a lot about sales pages by looking at products similar to mine.
Step 7: Setup payment
Charging money for your product requires some sort of payment processor. I use JVZoo (supports PayPal and Stripe), but there are lots of other alternatives out there.
Hence, chose the one that works best for you and set up the payment system to deliver your product. Make sure to install the buy now button on your sales page.
Accepting payments doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.
Congratulations, you are now a product vendor!
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Launching your first online product is both a scary and exhilarating experience. It has brought me a lot of great moments—but also some less good.
That is the game. If you have any ideas that you want to bring into the world, I can only recommend that you become a product vendor and that you do it now instead of later.
About the author
Mathias R., is a writer at thejourneyof.me, an online adventure of traffic, conversion and personal growth.
Moss Clement is a blogger and B2B freelance writer who blogs at www.mossmedia.biz. He is working with B2B marketers and individuals like you by providing high-quality blog content writing, ghostwriting, and other writing services that are tailored to the needs of your target audience.