Creating your own products or services is an amazing way to generate an income with blogging. Personally, it took me a few years before I created my own products because I was scared. I was like, “who am I to think I can make a product to sell?”
BUT the surprising thing is once I started selling items that I created I discovered my loyal readers loved them!
And these items added value to their life. And they kept coming back for more and bringing their friends as well.
It feels so great to know that you are creating something that makes people’s lives easier or better!
There are so many great product ideas out there that I have seen on various blog-based businesses. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Digital products refers to selling some type of e-product. I personally sell digital products on my site and they do very well. Plus, my readers love them because they save them so much time and hassle.
Your ebook can be about anything you want it to be. It may be a guide on how to solve a specific problem, an autobiography on how you overcame something, a fiction book, etc. The choices are endless!
Canva is the most cost-effective way to design an ebook, but I find it a bit frustrating to use for this type of design.
In Design is amazing and I’ve created some really nice ebook designs with it, but you will have to pay for an Adobe membership to use it. That probably is not worth it if you are only writing one ebook.
However, I just noticed that they have a monthly membership plan for $32. I believe you could pay for one month, design your ebook, and cancel after.
You can use courses to teach your readers how to solve their problems. You can even make multiple courses for different levels of exploration and for different mini topics.
For example, let’s say you start a blog on how to become more centered through yoga. You could create mini courses for mastering different poses. You could also create a beginner, intermediate, and advanced course that is a more in depth culmination of taking your yoga techniques to the next level.
The great thing about courses is that they do require a lot of upfront work, but the profit margins can be huge!
Just think about it, maybe it takes you a month to create a course. You decide to sell that course for $400. If you can get even 10 people to purchase your course you will make $4,000. Now repeat that every month. Market your course and increase the number of people purchasing your course.
And watch the money roll on in.
For hosting your ecourse I suggest a platform called Teachable. It does take a bit of work to get used to, but as far as course platforms go, it’s definitely the best.
You can make a section on your blog for members only. You can then charge a recurring fee for users to access this special content each month.
I have seen this work well for health and fitness bloggers (with monthly meal plans and workouts) and with self-help blogs (with daily affirmations, meditations, lesson plans, etc.).
The thing with subscription services is that you need to make sure you continuously are able to put out new content that will incentivize your customers to feel satisfied and to continue to subscribe.
Image shops are a great way for travel, lifestyle, and fashion bloggers to make money. Basically how it works is that you can create a shop on your blog where people can purchase a copy of some of your best images to use as wall art in their house.
This is super easy because you can even offer these images as a digital download. This means that the buyer is responsible for printing the image themselves.
An app is useful for helping your readers further their journey. For example, I know several health and fitness bloggers that have apps with daily exercise routines.
The downside with creating an app is that unless you know what you are doing, it can be pricey to have someone create an app specifically for your business.
Templates are a way for you to create a formula in which your readers only need to input their specific info or print it out for continuous usage. Some template ideas are; shopping list templates, packing list templates, daily planner templates, and media kit templates.
Canva is my go-to tool for creating templates.
Physical products would be something like a t-shirt, hat, planner, etc. Basically, anything that you will mail to someone who purchases the item.
Depending on your blog topic, physical products can be perfect.
For example, if you run a blog-based business about making soap, you could sell your own organic herbal soaps on your blog. If you run a blog-based business about organization you could sell a yearly planner that you design. Get it?
One of my favorite platforms for creating physical products is Printful. It is a fulfillment site in which you can create your own physical products such as t-shirts, hats, etc.
Printful costs a bit more than other product creation sites, which means your profit margins might not be as high. The reason for this is because once you create your product and sales page, you don’t have to put in much work. With every order that is created Printful will design the product and send it to the consumer.
In other words, there is no minimum sales amount and you don’t have to order a whole bunch of products, have it shipped to your house, and then fulfill the orders yourself every time an order comes in.
Creating a service is nice, but keep in mind that you should try to create as much of a passive income setup as possible so that you don’t become overwhelmed with the amount of work you are doing.
For example, I’ve had a lot of bloggers come to me saying, “I plan on offering my services as a coach and promoting it on my blog.”
That’s a great idea! Coaching is really popular nowadays. However, being a coach, whether it’s a career coach, lifestyle coach etc. requires a lot of active work on your part.
Instead, I stress to my mentees that maybe they can create an e-course, or membership site that offers the same transformative experience for their customer. This tends to be more cost-effective for the customer and frees up a lot of time for the coach.
On this site, I offer my Blog Treasure Map program. This program is a mix of group coaching and transformative lessons which my mentees can work through at their own pace.
I opted for this type of structure because I wanted to be able to provide personalized help to all of you who are working towards growing your blog-based business, but I also wanted you to be able to work through certain things on your own timeline.
I’m constantly tweaking this setup to ensure my customers get the most out of their experience and ensure that I feel comfortable with the amount of work as well.
Anyway, if you are interested in providing a service, here are some popular ones:
You can work one on one with your customers to provide a personalized transformation in their lives. You could be a career coach, a health coach, a fitness coach, a style coach etc. The options are endless!
Design can be anything from creating custom T-shirts based on your customers needs to designing websites.
A lot of newbie bloggers use their skills to help other bloggers. In other words, you can use your blog as a portfolio of how good you are with social media and blog post writing. You can then pitch to businesses that are trying to scale and want to hire an assistant to take on tasks such as social media manager, article writer etc.
Retreats and Seminars
Many travel bloggers offer retreats for their readers. This sounds great, but just consider that a lot of work goes into this. You are responsible for the well-being and happiness of all your retreat guests.
You can also hold seminars that are transformative to your reader’s success. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next Tony Robbins!
Designing a Sales Page
Once you create an amazing product you need to design a high converting sales page and set up a way to take payments.
I created this graphic for you so you can see the elements I suggest having in your sales page.
One of the easiest ways to set up receiving payments is with WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is a free plugin extension offered on WordPress.
It also works seamlessly with Elementor Pro (the page builder I swear by for designing your WordPress site).
Note: If you opt to purchase one of my Spruced Up Blog template for Elementor Pro I do offer extension packages which include a ready-made sales page and WooCommerce product pages.
The Importance of Customer Service
Obviously you want to provide the best service possible to your customers. But, how can you do that?
One thing I love to do is to have an automatic email sent about a week after a customer purchases my product.
In this email I thank them for purchasing my product and tell them not to hesitate to contact me if they have any questions. I also ask how they are enjoying the products so far.
If they answer with praise for the product you can then send them a personalized email asking if you can use their review on your Sales Page.
This automatic email does three things:
- Shows your customers that you care and helps convert them into repeat customers
- Offers you insight into areas in which you could improve your product
- Gives you the opportunity to easily get positive reviews which you can use to further promote your product.
How to Promote Your Product or Service
There are four main ways to promote your product or service, and I have mentioned them all before, but let me go into a bit more detail now.
Promote Your Product on Nitty Gritty Posts
If you have read my guide on creating content, you may remember that your blog will have surface posts, mid-level posts, and nitty-gritty posts.
The nitty-gritty posts are the posts that provide the most in-depth information about your blog topic. They are the posts that your readers will read right before they are ready to solve their problem/ complete their journey.
This is also the perfect place to promote your products. See, your products should provide a solution to your readership. So, people reading your nitty-gritty posts are ready to solve their problems by buying your product.
Promote Your Product Through Social Media Ads
Have you ever noticed that sometimes on Facebook and Instagram you will see ads in your feed that seem to solve the exact problem you have recently been having?
Social media platforms track your online activity and cater the ads you see based on the things you have recently been looking at.
So, you can also create targeted ads that will appeal to your readers current issues.
Promote Your Product Through Your Sales Funnel
In case you missed it, I write in detail about creating a sales funnel in the email section of this site. A sales funnel is a great way of taking your readers on their journey to solving their problem. The goal with any sales funnel is to convert your readers into loyal fans who buy your products.
Promote Your Product on Third Party Sites
A fourth way to get your product seen and sold is through third party sites. One example of this is Etsy.
Etsy is a platform in which sellers can sell artistic items they have designed.
You can set it up that you sell your product through your blog as well as through a platform like Etsy. The nice thing about this is you can market to your blog readers as well as garner sales through what people search for on the third-party platform.
Note: If you need help with marketing your product or service, my sister Shannon runs an amazing company called Driftwood Designs. She is a branding and marketing expert and I highly recommend her services.
So, what do you think? Do you have some ideas now about products you could create for your blog-based business? I know, I went through A TON of different options. It’s for sure a bit overwhelming.
I suggest taking some time to look through your list of product ideas and narrow it down to a few you are feeling good about.
Then sleep on it and run your ideas by someone you can trust. Also, remember, just because you choose one income idea it doesn’t mean you can’t pivot and create other products at a later date.
You’re your own boss now! You do you!