Regular readers of my blog will know that over the past few years I have been experimenting a bit with creating and selling digital products. It’s been a steep learning curve, and I’ve made loads of stupid mistakes, but it’s been a fun experience, and I’m planning to share some of the things I’ve discovered in a series of blog posts over the coming months.
In this first one, I want to make the case for why you should consider creating your own digital product to sell. By digital product I simply mean something that you can sell over the internet and deliver electronically. So it could be an ebook, a set of tutorial videos, a mobile app, an album of music, or even some website you pay to gain access to.
Now the trouble with creating a digital product to sell is that on top of actually creating the thing, there’s going to be a lot of additional work involved in marketing, sales, advertising, customer support, and this can be enough to put people off even giving it a try. Certainly in the past I’ve thought that it probably wasn’t worth the effort bothering with. But let me give you seven reasons why you ought to consider doing this.
1. You can do it in your spare time
Are you risk averse like me? Don’t want to give up the day job for some half-baked product idea that will probably flop horribly? Well the great thing is, it’s perfectly possible to create a digital product in your spare time. Sure it may take a few months to complete, but you can work at your own pace and launch when you’re ready – there’s no deadlines to meet unless you set them yourself!
2. You can generate some “passive income”
If you do create a product and find a way of attracting a steady stream of visitors to your sales “landing” page, then you have the option to simply put the project on the back-burner, and let the sales roll in while you do nothing. Of course, it may not be a huge amount, but so long as you are covering any ongoing costs of web-hosting, even a small trickle of passive income can be a welcome boost to your finances.
3.The world is your audience
The world is a big place, and most estimates I’ve seen suggest there are almost three billion people online. With a digital product, anyone who can visit your site is a potential customer, regardless of where they live. So no matter how niche your product is, there are bound to be some people out there who would be interested, and willing to pay for it. The hard part is of course making contact with them, but that’s a subject for another day!
4. Shipping is Easy
Unlike selling physical products, delivering digital products is relatively cheap and straightforward. You don’t have to worry about international postage costs, or dealing with returns. Yes you will need to pay a bit for web-hosting or bandwidth costs, but the cost of delivery is generally much lower than for a physical product.
5. Profit Margins are High
Another great thing about creating a digital product is that your profit margin is really high. If you get 100 orders for a physical product, you need to make 100 of the things, but for a digital product, creating extra copies is essentially free. This gives you a lot of freedom to experiment with pricing. If you want to boost customer numbers by dropping it to a really low “no brainer” price, you can try that, and still know that you can make a profit on each sale.
6. Risk is low
Perhaps the best thing about creating a digital product to sell online is the risk is really quite low. You don’t need to invest a lot of money up front to get something online, and so even if your product performs abysmally, you’re not likely to financially ruin yourself. In fact, even if no one buys at all, at the very least you now have a digital product that you can offer for free, as a way of building an audience for your next product.
7. It’s a great learning experience
When I got started creating some digital products to sell I had zero experience in marketing, sales, creating email lists, advertising etc. And to be honest I still feel like I’m floundering a lot of the time. But there’s so much you’ll learn just by giving it a go, that it’s worth the investment of time even if your product never really takes off. I’ve interviewed several people recently about products they’ve created, and no one seems to regret giving it a go, even those who haven’t made much money from it.
Over to you…
So there you go, those are my reasons why it’s worth considering making a product to sell online. Let me know in the comments what’s holding you back from creating your own digital product to sell, or if you think I’ve missed anything
Next up, I want to talk about how you can come up with ideas for what to create. Stay tuned…