Selling Products Part 1: What it takes

Selling products

The next, and one of the most passive ways of making money from your blog is by creating and selling your own product. A product that you fully invest your heart into, and sell to your audience. Selling your own product has many advantages that other means of monetization just don’t bring you, and is going to be one of your largest sources of income if you choose to take advantage of them.

A product brings more to the table than simply money. In fact, it can even have a huge impact on the community within your blog. If you can figure out how to create enough hype and attention around your product, you can make your blog and product a hit. I know this from experience.

You may or may not have seen it yet (or you have purchased it already), but the product I sell here is a lookalike theme to the theme you see here. Besides being one of my only, but strongest sources of income from Blogussion, the sales page is one of the most visited pages on the entire blog.

Some of the benefits I have seen from just releasing this one product here are immense, and really gave me a good taste of what it was to make money. Not just that, but the actual power of your own product and how it can change everything about you and your blogging work ethic. The exact benefits I can say I’ve experienced would be:

  • A low, 5 figure income in the year 2010.
  • A lot of targeted traffic from other blogging niche’s.
  • It has strengthened my reputation in the Thesis community, which is the community I am most active in.
  • Helped increase the brand of Blogussion around the web, through other people’s blogs that use the theme, or use the theme’s affiliate program to make passive income.
  • Built another sub-community on Blogussion of people who have bought and used the theme.

These are some really important things, and I couldn’t be any happier with how things turned out by selling my own product. Hopefully you have seen these achievements and are deeply considering creating your own product to sell.

What You Need to Know First

Unfortunately, like many things, you can’t expect to automatically find success in doing this. Of course, success is whatever you want it to be, but financial and community success is not always guaranteed. Well, unless you do it right.

Creating your own product demands a great amount of dreaming, researching, planning, intense hard work, and testing. And these steps apply to any kind of product you choose to make. From your own premium theme, script, service, and even eBook – I highly advise you to do each and every step as efficiently as possible.

1. Dreaming

What were you thinking of when you started your blog? To earn a living? To create a reputation for yourself? You had a dream with your blog, and just like that and anything else, you need a dream for your product; a vision and goal.

What kind of things do you want your product to accomplish? Should you focus more on the financial benefits of it, or the community building benefits? You should have at least one basic idea of where you want your product to bring your blog after its launch. Because they can bring you quite far.

My own product literally changed every single thing I ever thought about making money blogging. For starters, I discovered it was possible. I let some of my hope of making money fade away prior to launching this product. I didn’t think it was going to happen when I wanted it to: now.

But once I launched this product, my dream came true. With each and every sale, it became more and more apparent that by simply releasing innovations like this for sale on my blog, I could make money. And ever since then, I have been working harder than ever to put more of my income on auto-pilot through other means of making money like selling affiliate products.

Release your own product for yourself, make just one sale, and I promise you will have a completely new outlook on what it means to make money blogging.

2. Researching

A product is a competitive field. If you are in the theme business, or even want to sell an eBook – you have a hell of a lot of competition to beat. What’s one of the best, proven ways of beating competition? Market research.

Research is something that many people are too lazy to do. They find it boring, or just not all that useful. They choose to dive straight into the development of their own product without even taking a peak at what their competitors are selling. And that is vital to the success of your product in both the financial and community building aspects.

If I were to launch a full-blown premium Thesis theme site, I would need to conduct some heavy research. I know off the top of my head that there are already other site’s doing this, and selling well. So, I need to use every resource available to find as many of them as possible, see the quality of their service, and take it to a whole other level with my own themes.

By completely avoiding this step, I run the risk of missing crucial inspiration, information, and even lose a competitive edge. If I don’t know what the current market standard is before I develop my product, I don’t know what to do better. I don’t know anything new to add to the able, and I don’t make all of the money I can.

3. Intense Hard Work

Are you a hard worker? I hope so, because if you want to have even the slightest chance of making any sales, you have to deliver the absolute best product possible. And if that means days, weeks, or even months of hard work – you better do it!

Just like your blog, it can take some time to get the word out about your product. So, if you do end up putting weeks of work into it and don’t see the instant success you were working for, it means your work isn’t over. Alongside developing the product itself, you have to market the hell out of it and have the best launch possible. But that’s something I will talk about tomorrow.

Because a product is something that is handed down through trading something (money, in most cases), you have absolutely no room to release anything only halfway done, filled with mistakes/errors and doesn’t deliver what you promised.

There is no rush to release a product, so spend the extra time making sure everything about is bulletproof. Sure, the occasional slip-up happens and you may miss something. But no one is perfect, and mistakes do happen. As long as you tried to iron out as many issues as you could find, you did an outstanding job.

Besides, when a customer finds something wrong about your product, they can report it to you to fix. You can fix it, send it out to customers and create the buzz all over again. But, this is another marketing strategy I will go over tomorrow in part 2.

4. Testing

Don’t be like Google and release things in a beta state (remember how long Gmail was in beta?). Even though that concept does making the issue of dealing with errors more straightforward (it’s only beta, so problems will arise), it also makes a horrible selling point.

Imagine if Apple released a new version of their iPhone to stores, but only as the half-working one. Sure, that will create pre-launch hype, but would anybody buy it? Nobody. Well, maybe Gizmodo would.

This concept applies directly to the authenticity of the product you sell. If you decide to create and sell a blog theme, but don’t bother to check the cross-browser capabilities, how do you know everything looks fine? After all, Firefox and Internet Explorer displays pages in very different ways.

Even eBooks are prone to massive error. If you write the entire book and release it only having done a first draft with little spell checking and multiple drafts, there are going to be errors. Spelling, grammar issues will plague you the most, as well as some potential content mistakes.

The more you test your product before you launch it, the better off you will be the long run. The more confident you will feel about what you have created, and the less unhappy customers you will have. Just because you took the time to go back and check your work.

Why let something like a mistake that could have been easily avoided and fixed ruin something that can benefit your blog big time?

Do you Understand the Value of a Product?

A product is probably the best way to make money from your blog. All it is is you giving away your passion, but only to the select few who pay for it. Since it’s your passion, you will put every ounce of your heart and your soul into it. What you create basically shows your community how serious you are about your blog and your passion. Why shouldn’t it sell?

Let’s Launch our Product
Unfortunately, I can’t help you much further when it comes to the actual creation process of your product. That is all on you, because I, or anybody else can’t dictate what you create. But, I can help you farther with some incredibly important information that ties into the actual launch of your product. So, stick around, and I’ll see you tomorrow on day 9 of From Planning to Earning!