If you’re just starting out building an online platform, then trying to sell something and make a little money via your blog seems daunting. I know. It took me 4+ years to get brave enough to do it…. and even then it was like leaping off of a cliff into the unknown. Is anyone reading my blog? Is anyone going to buy it? Who is even going to trust me enough to give me their money?
But the more I do it, the less scary it is …. and I want to encourage you to try too.
Just like you want to practice starting, creating gets easier the more you do it. There are all kinds of quotes from writers who say things like they just get to work and the muse finds them. Sitting around *waiting* for inspiration is more or less an exercise in futility.
Instead, practice creating. Set yourself a blogging schedule and post rain-or-shine, no matter what, vacations or sick in bed. I find I have far more ideas the more regularly I create than when I take breaks.
In the same vein, you can set a challenge for yourself to create an ebook to sell (or giveaway). Maybe take your #1 blog post and expand it into a 10-page download. Maybe take a story you’ve been meaning to write out and finally make it available to your readers in a pdf. You’ve got a 5-tips for something or other blog post – make that 50 tips and you’ve got an ebook to sell.
Just practice creating, whatever your art.
Leverage your time
I don’t think I will ever sell handmade goods … because my time is worth more than I can charge for that. But when you sell a digital product (like an ebook or a Project Life printable or a design template), you can create it once and sell it over and over and over.
I find this *especially* effective since I live in a high-cost-of-living city. I need to make far more money to live here than if I lived in … Oklahoma, or Alabama or similar. The only REAL way that I can make enough money selling something I created is if I sell digital products that don’t require as many man-hours as physical products.
I can’t tell you how much fun it is (still) to wake up and find that I’ve made a sale and literally made money while I slept.
P.S. I use e-junkie for my digital product shopping cart
Establish yourself as an authority
If you want to get a book published, you need to be seen as an authority. If you want to launch your speaking career, you need to be seen as an authority. If you want to be the go-do web designer for baby photographers, you need to be seen as an authority. Selling (or giving away) an ebook on your chosen subject can help you establish that authority.
Your ebook becomes the go-to resource for your topic. Your ecourse becomes the most-shared tip for beginners in your industry. You are seen as a leader and an authority which can only help you.
Reach new readers
Even if you’re not giving it away for free, producing a digital product can help you reach new readers. Every time someone reviews my ebook or posts about a project they got from it, I’m reaching readers of their site. Every time a friend tweets a link to my latest ebook release, I’m reaching new readers who may have never heard of Lemon and Raspberry.
Especially as you become an authority on your topic, your name and your brand and your digital products get shared and recommended even more. Creating GREAT content is one of the best ways to grow your readership and creating a must-download digital product can be a big part of that.
Obviously. Making money may not be a big priority for your blog, but it sure can’t hurt. I have no idea how much money Kam has made selling her three-sixty-five ebook, but at such a low price point she’s getting the volume of sales that helps her reach new readers and establish herself as an authority on the subject. AND she’s making some money while doing it.
I started selling ebooks because I knew I wanted to spend a lot of time on my blog, and I wanted to make sure it was worth my time. I figured I have stuff to say that people want to hear, and they might even spend money on it. Now I have a small collection of ebooks, email subscriptions and ecourses that my readers can purchase if they want even more from me than what they get for free on the blog.
And I’m making money from it.
The internet is MAGIC.
There’s an ENTIRE module in my upcoming BUILD ecourse on monetization, including exclusive BONUS interviews with Elise of EliseJoy.com, Mollie of Wild Olive, and Kristin of rukristin papercrafts
Be sure to sign up for the BUILD blogging email list for first news of the ecourse going on sale in July!