How To Create Your First Paid Product In Just 2 Months
A paid product is a great way to make more money with your blog and start creating more passive income streams.
But you can’t just create a paid product, put it on your blog, and expect it to do well.
Take it from me… the first paid product I created completely flopped.
I made 0 sales!
And I ended up offering the course for free and eventually getting rid of it altogether.
Was it because of the product? The idea? The price? My launch strategy?
Or what it because my audience wasn’t ready for a paid product?
Honestly, it was probably a combination of all those things.
So today, I want to help you make your first paid product a success!
And it doesn’t have to take a year to do. Not even half a year.
One of my paid products I created in just 2 weeks.
But the launch strategy and marketing took much longer.
So if you’re ready to create a paid product you’re proud of, keep on reading.
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting TheContentBug.com so I can continue to provide you with free content each week! You guys are amazing!
IS MY AUDIENCE READY FOR A PAID PRODUCT?
This is the most important aspect of all of this.
If your audience isn’t ready for a paid product, you risk the chance of losing your audience by trying to monetize them too quickly.
And you waste a huge chunk of time creating a paid product when you could have been working on things you audience actually wants from you!
So how do you determine if your audience is ready for a paid product?
This is where step 1 comes into play…
STEP 1: SURVEY YOUR AUDIENCE
The worst thing you can do when creating a paid product is come up with an idea without really knowing if it’s something your audience would be interested in.
To make the product successful, you need to create something that your audience actually wants.
No. Scratch that.
So how can you survey your audience? And what do you ask them?
Well, there are a couple of ways you can go about it.
I asked them questions like:
- Do you want to grow your blog or biz? Yes or No.
- Are you struggling with more? Growing your… Website traffic or Social media following.
- What matters more to you? Making more money or Growing your following.
- Do you have a plan on how you are going to grow? Yes or No.
- What do you feel is holding you back from success? Myself (fear/limiting beliefs) or Lack of knowledge.
From these questions, I was able to better understand my audience and what they are lacking to reach what they are looking to achieve!
Obviously, you want to ask questions that are relevant to your brand and your audience!
Ask questions that allow you to get to know them a little bit more. And then dive into their struggles and what you could actually help them with.
And don’t forget to ask them if they would actually buy a paid product from you! Ask them what they would be willing to pay for. And maybe even how much!
$50 or less? $20 or less? Maybe over $100?!
This will help you to understand if your audience would actually buy something for you. PLUS it’s going to be a big help with the next step.
But if you don’t want to use Instagram stories, you could also use another survey platform like Survey Monkey and send it to your email list.
For more of an incentive, you can offer a gift card to Starbucks, Target, or another commonplace to one of the people that complete the survey. Make it a little giveaway and they will be more likely to answer your questions.
STEP 2: DECIDE WHAT PAID PRODUCT WOULD BE MOST EFFECTIVE
To make an effective paid product, you need to provide an answer to your audience’s problems.
Take the survey I did for example.
In less than 24 hours, I found out that 90% of my audience was looking to grow their blog but only 22% had a plan on how to do it!
So I created, The Blog Biz Bundle.
A product that includes video tutorials to give them the strategies they need AND an ebook/workbook that helps them to create an action plan to actually grow their blog in 90 days or less.
The Bundle included several things. It’s not just an online course because I didn’t feel like that would be most effective!
Instead, it includes 5 video lectures, a 190+ page ebook, a short productivity guide with worksheets, 3 media kits, and other goodies.
So in step 2, you need to determine what paid product would be most effective to solve your audience’s needs.
Paid Product Options You Could Create
Let’s go over a quick list of products you could create for your audience.
- Online course
- Physical book
- Lightroom presets for Instagram
- Templates for resumes, freebies, or anything really
- Membership platform
- A small guide of some kind (AKA printables)
- In person workshops (not a passive income stream but still an option!)
- Online workshops (you can prerecord these and then sell them to make it a passive option)
- Apparel or ‘Merch’
- Mastermind group (not a passive income stream)
- An app
And the list goes on and on. But you get the picture!
If you need more ideas, simply head to Google for inspiration. Or look at what other successful bloggers and influencers are doing.
I give some examples in the video above as well!
Depending on your idea, it might not make sense to create a physical product if you don’t have to. If you’re debating between an ebook or a physical book, for your first product, it might be easy to simply create an ebook.
And then in the future, you can make it a real one!
PRO TIP: Don’t create a product your audience can’t afford. If they say that they would only pay $20 or less for a product from you, then creating an online course isn’t the best option because realistically you’ll have to sell it for $70 or more! Instead, create an ebook that can be priced at $20 or less.
STEP 3: FIGURE OUT THE LOGISTICS OF SELLING THAT PRODUCT
Depending on what paid product option you decided to run with, this could be a breeze or a nightmare!
When I decided to create my first online course, I did a lot of research to figure out how and where I was going to host it.
Originally I wanted to create a course platform on my website. But after some digging, I realized that was going to be a real pain in my butt.
So I went with Teachable!
When I decided to create my productivity guide and planner, I really wanted it to be sold on Amazon. But logistically, that was a nightmare. And because of the fees, I would have had to charge much more for the book.
And I didn’t think it was worth it!
So I went with Blurb.
Now when I finally figure out how to sell The Blog Hustler as a real book on Amazon, I might make the switch with my planner!
But anyway. Back to what we were talking about.
Before you get too deep into your new product, you need to figure out the logistics.
How are you going to sell it? Will you need to pay for a new plugin or platform to do so?
How will the buyer get the product? What emails will they receive? Are you going to offer an affiliate program?
These are things you need to consider before you start running!
Otherwise, you’re going to hit a big roadblock that could postpone the launch of your product.
STEP 4: OUTLINE WHAT’S INCLUDED & WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
Now it’s time for the fun stuff.
Outlining what’s going to be included in your paid product.
And what needs to get done before launch!
Now realistically, since this is your first time, you might not know what needs to get done.
But try your best to create a list.
Write down all the steps that go into creating the actual product. If it’s a course, map out the sections and videos included.
If it’s a book, come up with the general layout and what you’re going to talk about in each chapter.
But remember, creating a paid product is much more than simply creating it!
You need to also consider the survey at the beginning, finding a platform to sell on, how you’re going to test the product and the whole daunting launch.
So let’s talk about that next.
STEP 5: DESIGN A LAUNCH PLAN
Your product could be freakin amazing!
But if you don’t have a good launch strategy in place, you could be screwed.
So what do you have to do for launch?
Well, you need to start promoting early.
Gear your audience up to be ready to buy the day it comes out.
That means creating relevant blog posts. Sending several emails the weeks leading up to launch.
Brainstorming bonuses for the launch period. Are you going to offer a pre-launch price?
And what about the graphics you’re going to include on your blog?
There really is a lot to consider.
And the launch itself could be just as much work as creating the paid product.
So don’t skip this step early on in the game!
STEP 6: CREATE A MASTER CALENDAR FOR THE NEXT 8 WEEKS
If you really want to launch a paid product within the next 2 months, you need to create an aggressive action plan!
With your list of things that you need to complete, break it down into 2-week chunks.
You’ll only have four 2 week chunks to work through. Maybe 5 depending on how the months fall.
Once you’ve surveyed your audience, you need to start working on the paid product as soon as possible.
And incorporate launch work into each 2-week section.
DON’T push it off until the very end!
But during that time I was still working away on my launch strategy – creating emails, writing blog posts, and designing graphics that included my ebook.
So don’t try to complete your product first and then do everything else.
Plan ahead and work ahead to save yourself from having to push off your launch because you don’t have your launch content ready.
PRO TIP: You really need to start promoting your launch at least 3 weeks before the official launch date. That means sending emails, publishing blog posts, and hyping your audience up on social media. So make sure you’re ready with that launch content at least 3 weeks before launch.
STEP 7: PRICE THE PRODUCT
This may seem like an easy step.
But it’s actually one of the harder ones.
When I first launched The Blog Biz Bundle, I was selling it at $35. A few weeks later, I realized that this was a huge HUGE mistake!
I thought that creating something cheaper would be better for my audience. And make it so they were more inclined to buy it.
But I completely devalued my work and my strategies.
And worse, I was messing up the price point of other course creators who were trying to sell their courses for more than $400!
So I changed the price to $97.
And guess what?
People are paying that price to get access to the content included! That’s a pretty amazing feeling.
So how can you come up with the price of your paid product?
First, take a look at what other people are charging for similar products. But be careful.
Some bloggers that have been blogging for YEARS and have a great reputation can probably charge more than you simply because of their experience!
So be realistic and take a look at what similar bloggers are charging.
If you can’t find anything similar, then go back to your audience! Ask them what they would be willing to pay for that product.
But don’t forget that you need to consider tax!
You may think it’s a great idea to sell a product for $20 because that’s $20 in your pocket. But that’s not the case.
You need to always save money for tax. So take that into consideration when pricing the product.
STEP 8: TEST THE PRODUCT ON A FEW AUDIENCE MEMBERS
If you want your product to be a success, you need to figure out how your audience members feel about it.
This is where product testing comes into play.
Take it from me, this was a HUGE proponent in the success of The Blog Biz Bundle.
Before I had even completed all of the content that was included in The Bundle, I sent an email to my list asking if anyone wanted to gain FREE access to parts of my product in exchange for their honest opinion.
Much to my surprise, I had 10+ people reach out to me saying they wanted to be a part of my product testing group!
I gave them information on everything that would be included, the price point I was going to sell it at, access to some of the content included, and a deadline that I needed their feedback by.
Within 2 weeks, I had constructive feedback from my audience. With things to change, things they like, reorganization suggestions, and testimonials that I could use for my sales page.
And at the end of it all, I offered all of my product testers a discounted price to get access to the rest of the information included.
So before I even launched the product, I had 7 people already pay for it!
Take about a confidence booster for the real launch day.
STEP 9: COLLECT TESTIMONIALS & DESIGN THE SALES PAGE
If you do a product testing group, you can get real testimonials from real people who have used the product before it’s even launched!
Now, why do you need testimonials?
Well, there are a lot of bloggers and influencers trying to sell things.
And unlike well-known brands, it’s harder to convince people to buy from you because you don’t have much of a reputation.
Would you rather buy a soda from Coke or a new soda seller that just started making sodas less than 6 months ago?
Obviously, you would choose Coke!
With testimonials, you provide your audience with social proof that your product is worth it.
It’s not just you talking about how awesome you think your product is.
It’s outsiders! And that’s pretty powerful.
Now you can design your sales page before or after you collect testimonials.
You just want to make sure that they are included on your sales page.
And honestly, there are so many other things you need to include on this one page.
But I think I’m going to create a separate blog post about that.
There’s just too much to tell you in this little section!
STEP 10: LAUNCH!
It’s finally time for launch!
But at this point, you should be ready.
Like I said before, the launch is so incredibly important to the success of your product.
You need to plan it out ahead of time.
Have you’re audience already warmed up and ready to purchase.
So when the day comes, you make money immediately!
Some tips for a successful launch?
Offer bonuses. People love free things.
Have a launch sale. People love when they can save money.
Make it time sensitive. People are more likely to act if you put the pressure on them.
Believe in yourself. You’ve worked hard to get to this point.
THAT’S A WRAP
Honestly, if you’re in the process of creating your first paid product, it’s easy to think that it’s going to take months to make.
And depending on the product, it might!
But there is a difference in actually needing more time and just waiting until everything is perfect.
When I launched The Blog Hustler, I knew that it wasn’t perfect.
I wrote, designed, and edited the whole book by myself. And I knew that there might be typos inside.
But I also knew how amazing the book was. And the strategies that were included.
I’m darn proud of that ebook. Mistakes and all!
Now when I turn it into a real book, I’m hoping to get an editor to find those mistakes.
Moral of the story: done is better than perfect.
So go out there and create the best paid product you can!
Cathrin (Cath) creates content that encourages bloggers & online entrepreneurs to be themselves, chase their passion, and create their success online. 1 year after started her blog (TheContentBug.com), Cath left her full-time position working in the digital marketing industry to pursue her dreams of being her own boss. In weekly blog posts, sporadic YouTube videos, and constant talking on Instagram stories, Cath hopes to spread her story and be an inspiration to others who desperately want to change their lives.