Selling Digital Products and Services (How to Make Money Blogging Day 4)

For the last day of my How to Make Money Blogging series, we tackle one of the coolest ways you can monetize your blog: by releasing your own digital product or service!

This is an exciting part of blogging (in fact, one of my favorite parts) because it just really affirms something I’ve always known to be true about starting a blog – that you’re helping real people with real problems.

So let’s jump on board and get cracking on that first digital product or service you can offer your readers.

Read the rest of the How to Make Money Blogging series
If you've always wanted to know how to sell digital products or services on your blog, then read on. You can see how to make money blogging with this creative project. Plus, digital products are a great way to earn passive income by blogging!
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Why sell digital products or services on your blog?

Well, you do want to monetize your blog, don’t you? I mean, those blogging bills got to pay for themselves!

And besides the money, I also want you to remember that you’re working hard on your blog. You’ve been churning out value-filled post after post, creating helpful graphic after graphic, promoting tirelessly on and on and on –

Admit it. You deserve to start making money on your blog.

But why would I specifically encourage selling your own products or service instead of simply relying on, say, affiliate marketing (which doesn’t require you to have your own product)?

The answer is also simple. Because releasing your own product or service out into the world is showing your readers just how well you can really solve their problem.

So instead of recommending somebody else’s eBook or guide or service, you’re telling people that, hey, you’re the best blogger on the market.

Related:How to Make a Side Hustle from Blogging

Can all blogging niches sell digital products and services?

If you’re creative about it, then heck yes!

I’m sure you’ll be able to think of something to sell on your blog. Besides, if you really put in the work, and you know what your readers love about your blog and what problems they come back to over and over, then you’ll certainly find your answer there.

I’ll use my first product launch as an example.

Behind the Scenes of The Goal-Getter Playbook

When I first started my blog, I honestly didn’t really know who I was starting it for. For a while, I’d write different posts on different subjects, and it took a little while before I could niche down a bit. Once I did, I decided I’d start building my email list.

I experimented with different opt-in incentives to offer to readers, based on the things I loved to write about and help others with. But then one – just one! – of my opt-in incentives seemed to really be raking in subscribers: a workbook I released on how to find your next big focus especially if you have too many goals or ideas.

Honestly, I didn’t expect that swarms of people would sign up. Soon, I’d doubled my subscribers in only a month. I was ecstatic!

But instead of simply popping open a bottle of champagne, I took that trend as a sign that people have a real struggle with finding their next big goal. So I did some research and some interviews and discovered something new: my readers were having problems with goal-setting and follow-through!

Thus birthed my idea to launch a goal-setting workbook and weekly planner all rolled into one: The Goal-Getter Playbook. And to thank you for reading this, I’d love to give you a 70% discount if you purchase using this special link (keep it between you and me, okay?) 😉

Related:How I Doubled My Email Subscribers in Just One Month

So how do you figure out what kind of digital product or service to launch?

I’ve got a couple of no-fail steps that help me figure out what I should be launching next.

Doing interviews

Some blogs are going to tell you to “stalk your readers” on places like reddit or Quora or something, but I say, talk to them directly!

Go send out an email to your most loyal subscribers. If you have friends who are your honest-to-goodness readers, then go talk to them about their biggest struggles related to your blogging niche. Post on social media. Ask a friend to connect you with someone they know can benefit from your blog. Maybe even do a survey or hop on a live chat.

Just be creative and actually talk to people! Get down and dirty with what they’re really struggling with so you know exactly how to help them.

Consider asking these questions:

  • What’s your biggest struggle related to x (your blogging niche)?
  • What do you think is holding you back most when it comes to x?
  • What have you tried in the past to solve x?
  • Are you happy with the way you’re dealing with x? Why or why not?

Related: 15 Productive Things to Do in 10 Minutes or Less

Pay attention to your more popular posts or opt-in freebies

When you hit the jackpot and get those blog posts that just rake in the traffic – then great! Don’t just open a bottle of champagne to celebrate. Because that’s important information at your fingertips! And what are your more popular posts trying to tell you?

Your popular blogging posts tell you what your readers are searching for.

Whether it’s help in learning to crochet or the best books to read about parenting, pay attention to these popular posts. Or it might not even be a post. It could be an opt-in freebie. (We tackle having multiple opt-in freebies on your blog in the previous post of this series!)

Once you review your stats, it’s time to do a few things.

Things to do after identifying your popular posts or freebies

  1. Think of a paid digital product offer or service that can take that post or freebie to the next level
  2. Pre-sell that digital product or service before actually making it (test the market – I did this before even launching The Goal-Getter Playbook and made money even before I had a product!)
  3. Interview people who pre-order to see how you can make that digital product 100% what they’re looking for
Peek at related bloggers’ offers

No, this doesn’t mean copying their work. This means looking at their current offer to see how you can make something even better.

Do a little market research. See what people are saying about that other blogger’s product or service. Are there reviews online you can read? Points of feedback you can use to make your offer the better product?

You don’t have to buy other bloggers’ related products.

Just do your research and be creative!

Related: Ready or Not, Just Do the Thing

How do you start promoting your digital product or service?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Here’s a rundown of different ways you can promote your digital product or service:

Post on social media

You might have people in your direct network who could use your product or service! Go do a post on your profile linking to how they can check out the offer, or message some of your friends directly.

This doesn’t have to be complex, and you can keep posting about your progress and behind-the-scenes updates.

Pitch to your email list subscribers

Remember, your email subscribers are a gold mine! You’ve been feeding them valuable information and tips for months, and a lot of them are certainly rabid fans of yours.

And what do rabid fans do? Support you by buying your offer, of course!

If you want to be fancy about it, set up an entire sales funnel that leads your subscribers through a series of emails to communicate the value of your offer. I’ll be putting up a blog post on sales systems you can put up on your blog real soon, so subscribe to my blog so you’re the first to know when it’s out.

Put up a Pinterest pin

In case you weren’t aware, Pinterest is a huge gold mine for reaching people without paying for ads! In case you’re interested, here’s the super handy and actionable course I took to better understand and leverage Pinterest for my blog.

And if you purchase the course using my affiliate link, you’ll be helping me keep doing what I’m doing on this blog. (I promise there’s no additional cost either.) Thank you so much!

Here’s an example of a pin I put up to promote The Goal-Getter Playbook:

Here's the first digital product I put out on my blog!
Want your own copy? Click here to buy now!
Put up an affiliate network for your product

Affiliate marketing is such a win-win for both the product owner and the affiliates. If you didn’t catch it, check out the post in this series on how to use an effective affiliate marketing strategy for your blog.

But other being affiliated to different products, you can gather affiliates for your own. Sometimes doing this is as easy as asking fellow bloggers in the same general niche. You can even post in related Facebook groups. (That’s what I did to get my first affiliates for The Goal-Getter Playbook!).

The terms for your affiliates depend on you, but here’s a pro-tip: it’ll help if you give your affiliates all the collateral they need to promote your digital product. Be it photos of your products, free samples, sample social media copy – the works!

Do whatever it takes to set your affiliates up for success. After all, their success is ultimately your success too.

Related: Here’s One Reason You’re Not Productive

Gather reviews and testimonials

One great thing about shopping on the internet is being able to look up reviews or testimonials about how well a product or a service works. Same goes for your own digital releases!

If you can reach influencers – whether they’re influential bloggers or Instagram influencers – then you can offer your digital product or service to them for free in exchange for a review or testimonial.

You don’t need to pay for honest reviews.

Just find bloggers and influencers you actually want to work with. Do you like their style? Their writing? Their transparency?

Think of your own brand and see which influencers are aligned with what you stand for.

Offer your services to your LinkedIn network

Here’s a not-so secret secret about LinkedIn: you can download the email addresses of your entire network.

Now before you go on abusing this particular feature, here’s a word of caution: you want to only do this to do a few cold emails.

Do NOT subscribe your LinkedIn network to your blog newsletter – that’s a big no-no!

I’ve seen this happen to me a couple of times, and it’s really annoying. So don’t be that person that subscribes their LinkedIn contacts to their email list!

Instead, you can do a mass cold email offering some service you can do for them. If you’re a freelancer, this is a great opportunity since you’re already connected on LinkedIn, and who knows? Maybe one of those connections actually needs your help. You just had to make the offer!

So don’t be shy and focus on crafting a really good cold email. Don’t be too bummed if not too many people reply. (You don’t normally get too many from cold emails anyway!) But the right people will want to avail of your services, so it’s important that you take advantage of this LinkedIn feature.

Did you catch the rest of the series?

What are the tools and software you can use to make a digital product?

My oh my, are there a-plenty!

So once you’ve figured out what your digital product or service is going to be – be it an eBook or workbook, a course, a workshop, a consulting call, etc – you’re going to need the right tools to get you started.

And because I know you value your time and can’t do all the research yourself, I’ve compiled this very valuable toolkit for you: my Ultimate Guide to Profitable Blogging.

Inside the checklist are all kinds of goodies – software, tools, services – that anyone, even new bloggers, can use to start running a profitable blog (even from scratch!). You’ll find comprehensive options for both free and paid things you need for your blog that all the best research and reviews can recommend.

The best part? You can get the checklist fo’ free. Just send me your email below so I know where to send it to!

Mica is the face behind everything you see at her blog, Mind of Mica. She champions the goal-getters, the dream-chasers, and the unapologetic hustlers who are out to make a difference – even if it’s in their own lives.