A Guest Post by Paul Cunningham from Blogging Teacher.
Recently Darren blogged about how you can use small victories to build momentum in your blogging. This same technique can also be used for product creation for your online business.
Creating a product for sale is a goal for many bloggers, but some bloggers struggle to see a path from where they are now to where they want to be with their product. One of the biggest obstacles can be the reality that creating a product to sell involves a lot of hard work.
Instead of looking at your product idea as one giant project that you need to complete, build momentum by breaking it down into smaller steps that you can achieve with less effort. Here is an example of a process you can use to progress from running a blog to launching a paid membership site as a product.
Create a Free Report or Email Course
Take a look at your Google Analytics and see how many visitors in the last 30 days were new visitors to your blog. In other words, people who have never been to your blog before. Even if these visitors stick around for several minutes and read a few of your latest posts you still have an archive of older posts that they probably won’t see. And chances are they’ll never come back to your blog again.
By mining your archives for older, related blog posts you can bundle that content together and repurpose it into killer content to use to convert new visitors into subscribers.
For example, take a handful of related posts from one category and turn them into a free guide that visitors can sign up to your mailing list to receive.
This method can increase the conversion rate for new visitors into subscribers because they see the free guide as an incentive to sign up to your mailing list immediately.
Another popular variation of this is to create a short email course instead of a downloadable guide. When the visitor signs up to your list they are put into an auto responder series that delivers them the information in a sequence.
This is a great way to re-use a blog post series from your archives, and test out a product idea by measuring the response to your free offering.
An added advantage of this method is that it gets the subscriber used to opening your emails, which can improve your conversion rates later on if you choose to send marketing emails to them.
- Thirteen Steps to Write and Publish a Free Ebook In Thirteen Hours
- 6 Reasons Why You Need to Consider Email as a Communication Strategy on Your Blog
- How to Use Free Content to Build a Mailing List
Create an Ebook to Sell
If you’ve been blogging for a while you’ve probably got most of an ebook already written in your archived blog posts. Even if you only blog once or twice each week that can easily add up to 50000-80000 words which is a massive amount of content that can be quickly edited down and put in sequence for an ebook.
You then only need to write an introduction, some interlinking material and do formatting and design for the ebook and you’ve got a product ready to sell to your audience.
- 3 Steps to Help You Choose a Topic for an E-Book
- The Insiders View of How I Launched My New Ebook
- $72,000 in E-Books in a Week ñ 8 Lessons I Learned
Create a Membership Site
The holy grail of products these days seems to be membership sites. These are usually training or mentoring programs run over several weeks or months and provide strong, recurring revenue for the owner.
The effort involved in launching a membership is much greater than other products, but don’t worry, if you use the techniques already mentioned in this post you can be on the way to your own membership site as well.
First you can test your ideas in the market by putting out free guides and short email courses to see what kind of response they get. Once you have established a viable product you can create the first iteration of it as an ebook. This is a low cost entry point for selling products and if successful will further confirm the viability of your membership site while also providing a stream of revenue that you can reinvest into the development costs for the site.
You can then take your existing content from your blog, guides, email courses and ebooks and complement it with richer content such as video tutorials and audio podcasts for the membership site.
By the time you are ready to launch your membership site your content has been well tested and revised based on feedback, and you’ve got an established mailing list of potential customers and JV partners to market the site to.
Long Term Strategy
The techniques listed above are not a formula for overnight success, but they can be used to achieve your goal of creating products and building an income from your blogs.
Depending on where you are with your blog traffic and audience you may be able to skip over the free guides and email courses and jump straight to the paid product opportunities.
But if you’ve got a new blog or your monetization efforts for an established blog have not yet been started you can begin with the free content and build on that over a period of time to eventually reach the more lucrative stages of selling products and memberships.