Create Your Own Products
Creating your own products to sell is much easier and much more affordable than you might think. Whether you’re interested in writing books or ebooks, creating music or videos, developing software or inventing something totally different, there are multiple websites and resources that can get help you launch one or more products to sell through your blog and start making money today.
If you’re a writer or writer-to-be and are interested in getting a book published via a publishing house, I recommend that you get yourself a copy of either 2011 Writer’s Market or 2011 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition.
Both books are guides providing writers the information they need to get published and get paid for their work. They both come with publisher listings and submission requirements, agent listings and more. The Deluxe Edition includes some additional perks, including access to WritersMarket.com online database of more than 6,000 listings updated daily.
Remember, while experience and expertise in the area about which you are writing will definitely help you get published and sell your book, don’t think that you have to be the very best or most well-known in your field to be credible and valued expert.
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Once you’re published, you may generate traditional revenue and royalties through bookstore and online bookstore sales, but should also set your publication up on Amazon.com (if not already) and join Amazon Associates, Amazon’s own affiliate product program, so you can make additional commission promoting your own book through your blog and other efforts.
Learn more about marketing Affiliate Products >>>
If you are interested in launching products more quickly, you might consider self-publishing. There are several services online that can both help you create all kinds of print-on-demand and downloadable products, including books and downloadable ebooks, CDs and downloable MP3s and DVDs and downloadable videos, and help you list them on Amazon.com and other selling networks.
CreateSpace offers free online publishing tools that can help you complete and sell your work, as well as distribute it on Amazon.com, on your own website, and through other retailers without setup fees or inventory.
Lulu offers similar online publishing tools to help you create many different print-on-demand and downloadable products and sell them through several different distribution channels, including Amazon.com and social networks.
E-Junkie provides a shopping cart and buy now buttons to let you sell downloadable and tangible goods on your website and more. For those selling downloads, E-Junkie automates and manages the digital delivery of all files and codes.
Clickbank is a marketplace where you can offer downloadable products for sale and for resale through affiliates. It also offers order processing, fraud prevention, and customer support for all digital products.
NOTE: While your products may be available for sale through Amazon.com, the Clickbank marketplace, your own customized E-Junkie store or on your blog thanks to E-Junkie’s integrated buttons and links, you can also use PayPal merchant services, buttons and links via your blog to accept credit card payments from customers and/or can offer your products offsite on E-Bay or in your own customized webstore through E-Bay ProStores.
Design 3D Covers for Your Products
MyeCoverMaker offers you an extremely easy point-and-click online tool so you can create stunning 3D covers and product shots for your books, ebooks, CDs, DVDs and more without a designer or expensive software like Photoshop.
eCover Creator 3D
eCover Creator 3D is a similar service offering you an extremely easy one-click online tool to create stunning 3D covers and product shots for your books, ebooks, CDs, DVDs and more without a designer or expensive graphic design software.
This can be especially useful when you have a self-published physical or downloadable product, but don’t have a nice product shot to present it as the book, CD, DVD etc. that it really is.
Develop or Invent a New Product
If you have an idea for an invention, software or other physical or digital goods not covered by the self-publishers above, you may need to find some partners to help get your products off the ground. Whether you need a programmer, designer, engineer or other expert to help develop your product, check out Elance which is an online network that helps individuals and small businesses hire and manage freelance and contract professionals.
If you will need manufacturing and/or supply services to offer your product, check out Alibaba, the world’s leading B2B ecommerce marketplace connecting small to medium-sized companies with suppliers and manufacturers around the world.
Set Up Your Own Affiliate Program
As mentioned briefly in the Get Published section above, one of the best ways to increase your reach and generate more revenue from your products is to find others who are willing to help you sell them. This can be easily done through both an established program or your own program where people can join and make commissions selling your items to their contacts and networks.
If your product is listed on Amazon.com, the work is already done for you. Amazon Associates, Amazon’s own affiliate product program, is easy to join and allows your affiliates to immediately get starting selling your products to their contacts and networks. Depending on your publisher’s terms, you may choose to make a digital copy available for sale to generate additional revenue. If interested, read the next paragraph.
If your product isn’t listed Amazon.com, whether it be downloadable publication or file or a physical good not offered through Amazon, you can not only list your product(s), but also quickly set up your own affiliate program for FREE using E-Junkie or Clickbank. All you need is the account you signed up for to list and sell your product in the beginning and you are ready to go. Simply go to your admin panel and change the settings to allow affiliate sales and to adjust the commission rates for paying your affiliates. Then, notify your potential affiliates know about it and offer it on your blog so new visitors who are interested can join.
You don’t have to be a salesperson to enlist salespeople to help you do a better job selling your products!
Offer Your Services
While this section mainly focuses on creating and selling your own products, don’t forget that you can always offer services (i.e. consulting, design etc.). While the payment transaction will likely need to be done with PayPal where you can sign up for a basic or merchant account or even with a snail-mailed check, this is a great way to gain more experience and expertise as you build your brand, while simultaneously making some income.
You can offer your services with a push strategy, reaching directly out to your contacts via a mass communication or individually based on specific needs you may know they have or problems they have encountered, or will more of a pull strategy, creating a page highlighting your services on your blog and letting your overall brand and blog content do the advertising and bring potential customers your way. I would recommend a mixed strategy if you want to really build awareness for your offerings. Just don’t forget the 80/20 rule which dictates 80% free, value-added content and 20% self-serving promotion.