About a year ago, I pre-sold and later launched my very first digital product, The Goal-Getter Playbook. The Playbook is a planner I specially designed to help creatives and big-dreamers to find their focus and achieve One Big Goal each year.
And in this post, I’ll walk you through all the tools I personally used so that you can be on your way to launch a digital product of your own to make money blogging.
Before you can launch a digital product, you’re going to need a few essential foundations: a website and a website host.
My website runs on WordPress.org, and the reason I love WordPress is for how easy it is to use. Plus, you can install all kinds of plugins that, as you’ll see later, make things like launching a digital product on your blog much easier.
Notable mention: Squarespace
When I set the goal to launch The Goal-Getter Playbook, I knew my website had to be fast enough so I wouldn’t lose out on potential sales.
I’d looked around the market and noticed that, though there were plenty of WordPress hosting providers out there, nearly all of them charged you a relatively okay price for one year – then bumped up the price by about 70% for all succeeding years.
That’s why I ended up choosing a new company as my WordPress’s host provider – FastComet. Not only does it charge me ONE price every year (I’m not a fan of “deals” if they’re only a deal for a year), but the quality of service I get is fantastic.
Since I moved from GoDaddy to this better provider, my blog has been running faster than ever. (My page used to take nearly 20 seconds to load, which is crazy.)
Plus, the customer service from FastComet is absolutely top-notch. Every time I have a problem, inquiry, or support request, I always get a response – and sometimes a resolution – within the hour.
After nailing the basics and making sure I had a fast blog that let me publish a lot of content with ease, I moved my focus to lead generation. After all, where else was I going to get people who might potentially be my customers?
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I use Convertkit as my email marketing provider. As a content creator, having an email list is a must.
Before going on a paid Convertkit plan, I was on MailChimp only because it was free for up to 2,000 subscribers.
But I admit I had a lot of difficulty growing my email list using multiple opt-in forms, which was impossible to do on MailChimp.
(Side note: I later found this online course that helped me figure out to “hack” MailChimp and do exactly that. Check it out in case you’re not ready to pay for an email provider just yet.)
With Convertkit, I can create multiple opt-in forms, tag subscribers while keeping them in one list (and not pay double), create automated sequences, send targeted emails to specific subscribers, and a lot more.
I can’t gush enough over Convertkit, so you can just read up about all the benefits you get here.
Torn between MailChimp vs Convertkit? Check out my play-by-play comparison and why I decided to switch to Convertkit even as a brand new blogger.
Note: Before launching my first product, I worked and waited to grow my email list to over 1,000 subscribers. This took about a month after I launched my blog. I recommend building your email list to about 500 people minimum before launching your first product.
Photoshop came into the picture for my Pinterest strategy, which is the reason I got to grow my email list to over 1,000 in just a month.
I also used Photoshop to be create better images around my blog to make it look more professional and create a better brand.
Notable mention: Canva
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I currently use Teachable to host my free Passion to Profit online course, yet another way to capture emails for my email list.
You can create a Teachable account and use the free plan to create online courses to grow your own email list. This is a really great way to get leads and show off your expertise while you’re at it!
Bonus tip: if you can make your online course topic related to the digital product you want to launch, that’d be even better.
Learn more about Thrive Leads by clicking the banner above.
Eventually, I moved away from Convertkit’s default form builder and now use Thrive Leads throughout most of my site.
Thrive Leads is available both for one-time purchase (with multiple license pack options) or already included in a Thrive Membership (that gets you every conversion-focused Thrive Themes plugin, complete with major updates in a monthly or yearly subscription).
What I like about Thrive Leads is the ability to only create different kinds of forms in a variety of formats. The pre-made themes are also beautiful and professional to begin with, so you don’t need a single line of code.
You can also make certain forms visible according to specific pages, such as blog categories or tags. So say, any post I make under the Productivity category of my blog, I can assign a specific Thrive Leads form to appear in posts under that category – on autopilot, no fail each time.
Sales and Marketing
Now that you’re growing your email list with potential customers, your digital product is ripe for launch.
I won’t talk about how to figure out what kind of digital product to launch (you can read all about my digital product roadmap here), but I will instead mention what tools I used for the sales and marketing parts of my launch.
Learn more about Thrive Architect by clicking the banner above.
Building landing pages (and blog posts and an entire website) becomes ridiculously easy with Thrive Architect – it’s seriously my favorite plugin ever. No need to code or use Photoshop every time.
If you want to see a Thrive Architect sales page in action on my blog, you can look at The Goal-Getter Playbook’s sales page I made here.
And yes, everything on there was made via a front-end drag-and-drop editor. It took all but an hour to choose a nice theme, customize it, and add relevant copy.
I use Thrive Architect for all my landing pages, not just sales pages, so this plugin really goes a long way.
If you’re looking for a place to sell your actual product, I recommend Gumroad. You can easily host your digital products – eBooks, printables, presets – on the site, then use it as a checkout and payment gateway too.
Gumroad takes care of the hosting, checkout, delivery, and payouts. You get paid every other week as long as you make a sale, and you can get paid directly to your Paypal account.
Notable mention: SendOwl
Leave a comment!
What kind of digital product do you want to launch?