Bloggers are sometimes quick to monetize. They know they want their blog to make money, they know that they want it to be a business.
I did. I knew right away that I wanted to make money from my blog. So, of course, I hopped on google and searched for how to make money blogging. I got a massive amount of “advice” from blog articles. I signed up for webinars, I started investing in courses to learn more.
Soon, I realized I needed a product. So I designed one. I stuck it up there and then… crickets.
I still had no audience. I had no one to promote my product to. So why would I have any sales? I had all of zero dollars to invest in advertising, I didn’t even really know if this was something people wanted.
The thing is, I had it all backward.
I quickly learned that you need to build your audience first, and your product second.
Not only does this allow you to survey them and create something that will solve their problems, but it will sell like hotcakes because they are already asking for it! You actually HAVE people sitting there waiting to buy your product.
Identifying the right product for your audience
When I first heard the term “product” I thought “physical product” like, something I had to physically make. Not only did I waste a ton of time, money, and frustration at the sewing machine, but I also set my blog back quite a bit.
Then I learned about digital products. The beauty of these is that you create it once and you can sell a million of them and never have to do anything else (other than handling customer service issues and possibly updating the product down the road).
But you need to identify the right product for your audience. Identify their wants and needs. What are they struggling with? What would solve their problem? How bad do they want that problem solved?
Honestly, people really overthink this process. All you have to do is ask them.
Getting your readers involved through a survey
Set up a survey and send it to your email list (see why having an email list is important?). Ask them those questions and see what they say. I think you would be surprised how many people are willing to fill out surveys like this.
Especially if you have been nurturing a relationship with your list. They will want to help, they will be excited about being heard.
Then, once you have had your audience essentially brainstorm for you, put it all together. Come up with a few solid ideas for digital products. You can even send out another survey or have a poll in your facebook group that lets them vote on which product they want most.
Designing your printables
Now, when I say “printable” I’m not talking about a checklist or inspirational quote in pretty text. I’m talking a digital product that can be printed as a workbook or planner, for example.
Before you even start designing, get it out there. Set up a landing page as a “wait list” and collect emails (these people are literally waiting to buy your product!). You can also promote teasers of your product on social media as a way to send people to the wait list.
Now, start designing. Just start!
For me, I like to brainstorm and outline first (it makes designing a lot less overwhelming). Sometimes I’ll even draw it out on a piece of paper before laying it out in Canva.
And yes, you can absolutely make a killer product in Canva. You don’t need a fancy program like inDesign or Illustrator. You do not need to sell a kidney in order to afford programs that help you make a profitable product. Check out our post on mastering the basics of Canva to rock your blog – it’s much easier than you think!
Trust me, I’ve made an 80+ page printable workbook in Canva which generated the author of that workbook over $100k in 3 months! Note: Canva only lets you do 30 pages per design. That workbook had 3 parts that I saved as PDFs and then combined in Preview.
PS: Still struggling to create that perfect printable? Use our FREE Worksheet Templates made specifically for you so all you have to do is plug in your amazing content and add your brand’s colors. That’s IT!
Launch to your readers
You have it designed, you’ve made your sales page, you’ve crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s. It’s time to launch.
Plan a series of emails prior to launching (pre-launch content). This is meant to agitate the problem that your printable solves without actually mentioning anything about your product. It’s warming your audience up. They are thinking, “Oh yeah, I struggle with that!!”
Then plan your launch series. This is where you will want to announce your product, talk about the benefits, send out answers to questions (asked or not) and send the last minute reminder. You can even experiment with offering an early bird discount for those that buy in the first 24 hours.
Set up webinars
Plan your webinar for the very beginning of launch week. Choose a topic for your webinar that relates to the problem that your product solves. Set up a Facebook ad to get sign-ups. Use the webinar as the first step of a sales funnel. At the end, offer your upsell (the product that just happened to launch! OMG-perfect-timing!!) and a bonus if they buy now. Answer any questions related to the problem or product.
Learn more about how to create a webinar that converts here.
Don’t forget that you can increase monetization of your printables by adding affiliates (but not Amazon, sorry). If your ebook is talking about a course you took that you happen to be an affiliate for, mention it and link it! People read ebooks on their mobile devices all the time and can absolutely still click.
Another option would be to set up a resource page for your product which you can send them to that would have your affiliate links to related products/services. (I believe you can do Amazon affiliate links this way).
Update old content
This often gets overlooked but it can totally drive sales! Afterall, you are still getting traffic to your older blog posts. If you have anything at all related to your product, add a content box that announces it! Make it stand out and say something like:
UPDATE [DATE]: If you are looking for more info on this topic, my new product XYZ just launched!! I’m so excited for you to check it out, just click here! [add link to sales page]
If it’s a course or something that is only available for a set number of days, make sure to remove the boxes after you’re done!
Used right, printables can actually grow your blog
Not only can printables be an incredible way to grow your email list, but more advanced printable products can be used to skyrocket your income.
The key is to know which ones to give away for free and which ones to sell. Be picky and remember that giving something away for free does NOT mean you won’t make money from that subscriber.
Paid digital products need to solve your reader’s problem. It needs to be created and launched to the right people in the right way.
So what is your next step? What can you do right now?
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