When I was struggling to create my first proper digital product (I’d done a few odds and ends before but nothing I felt I could release – does that sound familiar?) I had a lot of problems:
1) Should I do my own graphics or outsource? If I outsourced where should I go. I’d seen some horror stories about using sites like eLance.
2) Who should I go to for advise on the content of my eBook? Was it good enough.
At the time I think it was about 7 pages and I was findind it hard to make longer.
I didnt want to pad it out with fluff like you see in so many eBooks.
3) How do I write the sales page and emails
4) How do I get testimonials?
5) How do I sell it. Do I use Paypal?
6) How do I setup a mini site?
I had many websites already since 1999, one had 1000s of pages, but a site selling and ebook is different and you need to get it right.
7)How do I get affiliates or JV partners to sell it?
With no traffic how could I get any sales at all.
This was in August 2007. I’d been selling physical products online since 1999, but couldn’t break into the information business.
The answer turned out to be simple. I joined two forums – John Thornhill’s Planet Forum and Lee McIntyres Standing Start Profits. Inside I was able to get answers and advice.
Here’s the answers to the above problems:
1) The graphics I outsourced on eLance but scrapped in a few days after everyone hated them and I went with someone from a forum who was recommended by other members.
2) This one was easy, I just sent the eBook to some forum members and they suggested adding step by step instructions with screen shots. In a couple of weeks it to well over 20 pages, and the final version was 44 pages.
3) The sales page was really the hardest part but again loads of help was available, and I hired copywriting expert Randy Smith to write the emails. I figured his copy would sell so many more copies that it would easily pay his fee (and he became my first affiliate too which was a bonus).
4) Testimonials weren’t hard either – the people I’d sent the eBook to wrote them for me.
5) I was lucky to get the advice of John Thornhill on how to sell it and went with Clickbank. He became the biggest affiliated selling many hundreds of copies (he still gets sales today nearly 2 and a half years after it was released)
6) Setting up the mini site was again done with advice of colleagues. It takes time to get it right. Make sure have a good affiliate page with banners and emails or you won’t get top quality affiliates to promote it.
7) Some affiliates appeared almost by themselves, although I did have to do some emailing and PMing to get the bigger ones.
Don’t be intimidated by the thought of approaching a big name. If you have a good product and give them a good commission some should agree.
I’m putting no links in this post because I want it to be information only with nothing to lead people away half way through – if you want to know more about which forums I’m in or have any other questions or tips please comment below.
This disclaimer is the bit people usually do not tell you so that their headlines look better!
1) Not all the $3149.71 was from sales of my eBook, I had commissions on a few eBooks sold to people on the list I built, they are however directly connected.
[This is only my commission so the actual sales would be over $6000 since I gave 50% commission and clickbank take fees as well. Please note most people would quote the total sales so it looks better.]
2) The 1143 subscribers included my affiliate list of 79, and a total of 294 have since unsubscribed.
3) The 3 months is the time it took me to setup everything and get the first sales. Some of the sales and subscribers came later, but it was all on auto-pilot and I did very little more work on the product, so the results came from those 3 months.