Developing and selling your own product on your blog can be an extremely effective way to monetize your site. Not only does it provide additional revenue, but it strengthens your connection with your audience and establishes you as an authority in your niche.
Selling a product allows you to leverage your existing blog traffic, provides another stream of passive income, and gives readers a chance to support your work. However, creating a profitable product takes thought, planning, and consistent effort.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process step-by-step, from ideation to launch and beyond.
Why You Should Consider Selling Your Own Product
Before diving into the specifics, let’s discuss some of the key benefits of selling your own product on your blog:
Higher Earning Potential
Display advertising and affiliate marketing typically generate small amounts of income per visitor. Your own product, on the other hand, has the potential for much higher earnings per sale. Even if you only make a few sales a day, revenue can add up quickly.
Recurring, Passive Income
The initial product creation process takes effort up front. But once your product is launched, it can generate largely passive revenue over time with minimal maintenance. Downloadable info products like eBooks require virtually no overhead. This gives you time to focus on creating additional products.
More Control Over Your Business
Relying solely on display ads and affiliate income leaves you vulnerable to shifting policies and commissions. When you create your own product, you set pricing, you keep all the profit margins, and no one can take that away from you.
Strengthened Audience Relationships
Your readers have likely come to know and trust you through your blog content over time. By offering something valuable for sale, you provide them with an opportunity to support your work financially. This gesture deepens audience relationships beyond what editorial content alone can achieve.
For all of these reasons, creating your own product should be seriously considered. You’ve invested significant time into building your site’s traffic and authority. Leveraging that audience into a product launch allows you to reap greater financial rewards for all your hard work.
Choosing the Right Product Idea
The most critical step when it comes to product development is selecting the right idea. You need an idea that both serves your audience well and is profitable enough to justify the required effort. Here are some key factors to evaluate when choosing a product concept:
Identify Information Gaps
Examine your analytics and past content to determine what your readers struggle with the most. These pain points or knowledge gaps present excellent product opportunities. Any topic you’ve covered that continues to drive traffic over time is worth exploring further.
For example, if you write about weight loss and notice your guides on calorie counting or meal planning consistently perform well, an eBook expanding on those subjects could be helpful for your audience.
Leverage Existing Assets
Consider repurposing or expanding upon popular posts you’ve already created as the basis for a product. This minimizes the work required while allowing you to dive much deeper into a topic readers clearly want to know more about.
For instance, you could compile your top performing blog posts on social media marketing into an in-depth guide book. With some additional writing and framing, existing assets become the foundation for an engaging new product.
It’s often easier to come up with additional products once you have one established. Consider ideas that could become the start of an ongoing series.
For example, an eBook on the basics of graphic design could be followed by releases diving into logo design, typography, color theory, etc. over time.
Evaluate Profit Potential
When weighing ideas, analysis potential profitability by estimating total market demand as well as production costs:
- Market Size: Consider search volume and broader consumer demand for the topic. Aim for specific niches rather than attempting to appeal widely. Identify target customer demographics and gauge expected interest.
- Production Effort: Take into account the work needed to create the product, including writing, design, production, and launch. Can you handle this on your own or will you need to outsource help?
Ideally, you want to identify a concept aligned clearly with your blog’s niche that serves a passionate, underserved audience segment. These factors indicate profit potential to direct your efforts appropriately.
Defining the Product Format
Once your standard product idea is chosen, the next step is determining specifically what form your offering will take.
Common Blog Product Formats
Some of the most common types of products sold through blogs include:
- Ebooks: Digital info products and guides in PDF/text format. These are typically priced from $10-$50+ depending on size, scope and brand authority.
- Video Courses: Structured series of prerecorded video tutorials and lessons. Often sold as a package bundle priced from $99 to $200+.
- Membership Sites: Gated access to exclusive site content, community forums, courses, etc. Membership is priced monthly/yearly, typically $9-$49 per month.
- Online Courses: Structured virtual classes delivered through membership site or platforms like Teachable and Thinkific. Includes live video streamed lessons, assignments, Q&As. Priced from $99-$499.
- Software / WordPress Plugins: Custom digital tools that serve a specific utility for your target customer base. Prices vary widely based on competitive offerings.
- Physical / Merchandise: Shipped products tailored to your niche like apparel, gear, specialty foods, curated boxes, etc. Requires ecommerce operation and overhead to fulfill.
Each format has its own set of pros and cons to weigh. Info products like eBooks have the benefit of minimal overhead and maintenance once the initial content is created. However, formats like courses and memberships allow you to add more value on an ongoing basis.
Important Product Criteria
Here are key criteria to evaluate when selecting your product’s format:
- Production Demands – Consider time, costs and skills required to create it. Can you handle this yourself or will you need to hire help? Understand what’s involved before committing.
- Customer Value – Deliver something that provides life changing value for your audience, not just basic information repackaged. Go above and beyond surface level content.
- Passive Income – Choose something scalable over time with minimal overhead. Avoid formats that require significant active operational maintenance and costs.
- Pricing Range – Check competitors to set reasonable pricing. Info products allow flexibility from $10 to $100+ price points to test. Other formats may require specific baseline pricing.
- Ability to Expand – Start with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that addresses a core need, but provides room to build upon it with future releases.
Getting very clear on these elements will help direct you towards the best product type for your unique situation and goals.
Crafting an Effective Sales Page
Your product sales page is where prospective buyers will evaluate your offering and make a purchase decision. An effectively structured page reassures visitors, establishes value, alleviates concerns, and motivates action.
Here are key elements to drive conversion:
Lead With the Product Benefits
List the most important customer needs and struggles your product addresses at the top. Bullet point format works well here to quickly scan benefits.
For example, a course teaching Instagram marketing strategies could list improving reach and engagement, gaining real followers, learning optimization best practices, etc.
Summarize What’s Included
Provide an overview of everything encompassed in the product. For an eBook or course, this means chapters/modules covered. For a membership site, highlight exclusive tools and content readers gain access to.
Be as specific as possible here to demonstrate the comprehensive value readers will get by purchasing.
Social Proof Elements
Include credible third-party endorsements and reviews reinforcing your product’s quality:
- Trust symbols (BBB, TrustGuard)
- Star ratings summarizing positive reviews
- Verbatim positive review quotes
- Testimonials from past purchasers
- Case studies demonstrating results achieved
These elements reduce visitor skepticism towards making a purchase.
Risk Reversal Guarantee
Offer a strong money-back satisfaction guarantee to alleviate any purchasing doubts. A 60 to 100% refund window reassures visitors that the product quality will meet expectations.
For example: “100% Money Back Guarantee – 100% refund if you aren’t fully satisfied within the first 60 days.” This motivates sales by minimizing buyer risk.
Click To Purchase Button
Prominently display an action-oriented purchase button linking to your order form page. Verbiage like “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” clearly directs visitors to complete the transaction.
Strategically placed just below your guarantee, this button capitalizes on reassured visitors ready to buy.
Guidelines for Setting Pricing
Pricing your product appropriately is crucial balancing act. Price too low and you leave potential earnings on the table unnecessarily. Price too high and sales volume suffers.
Here is a process for finding the optimal cost to maximize both profit margins and unit volumes:
Check Competitor Product Pricing
Research what similar offerings in your niche sell for as an initial pricing baseline. Notice common price ranges for your particular format like info products, online courses, etc.
If everything comparable is priced between $100-$200 for example, deviating too far above or below could impact perceived value.
Calculate Expenses to Cover
Tally up an estimate of your total expenses invested into creating this product:
- Development costs – Hours required x your hourly rate. Estimate minimum wage if doing yourself.
- Production expenses – Editing, design, technical setup, contributor costs if applicable
- Operational costs – Payment processing fees per transaction, fulfillment fees if physical product.
- Marketing costs – Paid and time investments into launching product.
Establish a base price floor that covers these production investments, freeing up remaining revenue as profit potential.
Consider Maximum Customer Affordability
The ultimate sales price ceiling is set by your target customer affordability constraints based on their demographics.
Test affordability limits by surveying your audience or examining average pricing levels in your niche. This helps steer your range towards optimal mainstream acceptance and adoption.
Price Anchoring Strategies
Research suggests pricing psychology is influenced by preceding “anchors” that buyers mentally benchmark against.
Some effective strategies include:
- High-Low Pricing – List at higher price, then strikethrough discounted current price
- Package Bundling – Combine items priced collectively lower than purchased separately
- Upsells – Start with low entry level option, upsell expanded versions
- Limited Time Discounts – Drive urgency with flash sales or countdown deals
Leading with higher conceptual pricing, decreases perceived expensiveness of target price.
Launching Your Product Successfully
A strategic launch sequence is required to maximize initial sales momentum when releasing your product. This launch process typically includes:
Pre-Launch Content Build Up
One to two months ahead of launch, begin mentioning the upcoming release in blog content and all communications. Slowly reveal details over time while directing visitors to a landing page to sign up to a notification list.
Send a series of emails to this group previewing product details to warm them up as hot prospects. The goal is to generate anticipation and buzz around the upcoming drop.
Open Sales Cart For Limited Window
When launch date arrives, open up sales for a limited 5-10 day window with special discounted pricing for early buyers.
Notify your pre-launch list first to capitalize on their prior interest with incentivized pricing before rolling out wider public announcements. This windows creates purchase urgency.
Promote Launch Widely
During that exclusive early buyer window, ensure you maximize reach by actively promoting the launch:
- Send broadcast announcements to general email subscriber list
- Post launch articles on your blog, social media accounts
- Consider small Facebook/Instagram ad campaigns to respective target audiences
- Notify partners, influencers, affiliates to help spread the word
- Look for opportunities to guest post content teasers on other sites
This amplified exposure compounds sales rapidly in congested time period to leverage exclusivity momentum.
Evaluating Post-Launch Opportunities
The launch window represents only the beginning revenue potential for an effective product. Post-launch activities further monetize the initial investment of time and resources.
Option #1: Evergreen Sales
Once an info product like an eBook is created, continue offering it for ongoing, passive sales indefinitely. Send periodic promotions through your general newsletter lists to generate repeat buyer interest.
While launch spikes garner excitement, evergreen residual income over months and years adds up substantially.
Option #2: Back-End Offers
Sell new offerings exclusively to current customers based on their initial purchase:
- Upgraded Versions – Release expanded editions with added value
- Continuity Products – Additional installments building upon initial topic
- Bundled Packages – Combine current item with new products
Position these back-end provides higher perceived status and exclusivity. Past buyers convert at much higher rates on subsequent products making this extremely lucrative.
Option #3: Create Membership Continuity
Flip any single product purchase into ongoing continuity program enrollment. This provides recurring monthly or annual subscription revenue from a single sale.
Possible options include:
- Paid membership site access
- Premium upgrade membership levels
- All inclusive content libraries
- Coaching/advisory services
- Combination of the above
Structure seamlessly during initial checkout to minimize steps accepting continuity offer.
Recap and Final Takeaways
As illustrated throughout this guide, successfully developing and marketing your own product on a blog at scale takes strategic planning and effort. While rewarding, creating an info product, course or membership site requires an organized, metrics-driven approach over vague ideas and guesswork.
In closing, these are the key recommended best practices to recap as you venture into your own product endeavors:
Solve High-Potential Problems
Ensure your concept directly addresses urgent and pervasive struggles your niche audience segment experiences. Validate demand indicators through analytics and survey feedback.
Deliver Transformational Value
Rather than repurposing basic content, design your product for deep, meaningful life change and transformation related to your niche. This perceived uniqueness and significance primes buyers for premium pricing.
Focus on Recurring Revenue
Favor product formats like memberships that allow for continuity revenue streams over one-time purchases. Residual income leads over time with higher customer lifetime value.
Try different variations of messaging, pricing, formats, promotions across multiple campaigns. Use minimal viable product launches to calibrate your conversion optimization strategy.
Selling your own product is challenging but doable for any blogger willing to deliver uncommon solutions that greatly impact people’s lives. By meticulously developing transformative offerings tuned to market response, product revenue growth fuels the dream of blogging full time as a business.