Hey, all! I recently recorded a video of myself trying to explain how to sell your writing and designs as a product on the web. I’m much better at writing than speaking, so let me sum it up for you. You’re welcome to listen to the video if you’d like to get an overview of why and how this is accomplished. Meanwhile, here’s the straight-up info:
You’re a writer or designer. You want a side hustle that doesn’t involve working directly for clients. This could eventually become your main hustle. There’s a whole planet of designers and writers who do this as their MAIN hustle, and yes, they pull in some great bank doing it.
Sell your writing or designs as a PRODUCT, not a service.
When you offer your skill as a service, you’re selling your TIME. That means people pay you to work for/with them. This can get hairy, as you know if you freelance. Social media has changed the game. It’s hard to get your clients to stay focused on sending drafts back and forth.
When you offer your writing or design skill as a PRODUCT, you’re just packaging up a DRAFT. You’re handing people a file. It’s like writing a first draft, or working up a first design draft, and then saying “Here. This is yours now. Take it and change it however you like.”
Think of your end user. Who will find value in what you write or design?
Your end user is someone who has an internet and/or physical business. Their goal is to sell information products, and physical products and services. This is what they sell, which they need written content and design for:
Ebooks, courses, memberships, coaching packages, classes, tutorials, podcast subscriptions, books, planners, journals, trackers, video courses, more.
What would your customers need written to create these things?
Topic-specific articles. Helpful tips. Step-by-step how-to. They also need recipes, product reviews, journal prompts, interview questions, Email autoresponders, social media challenges, quizzes, more.
What will your customers need design templates of?
E-covers, book covers, ebook formatting, journal page templates, much more.
They also need marketing materials to help sell those products.
So that means they also want to buy the following from you…
Writers, they’ll need articles and tips to post on their blogs and in their email and print newsletters. Email autoresponder content. Opt-in gifts, such as mini e-guides and useful, short reports. Social media posts. Tip sheets. Wiki how-to content. Video scripts for short videos. Tons and tons of tips, tips and more tips to copy and paste everywhere.
Designers, they’ll want templates for… e-book and book covers. Blog banners. Social media banners. Online fliers. Cover designs for planners, journals, calendars, trackers, coloring pages. Print marketing materials in template format. Postcard templates, brochure templates, signage, business card templates, thank-you cards and invitations… so many things. The very same things you’d be asked to design for clients, you would make templates for and offer as a product on your website.
Your customers want the files, so that they can edit them any way they like. Give them file types and file sizes as part of your package deliverable.
Create a hands-off shopping experience.
Your goal that will make this worth it for you is that the product purchase should be hands-off. Customers want to sign up, remit payment, and download their digital product, meaning a file or a series of files, without your assistance. You’ll need online platforms and tools to make this seamless. What platforms can you use?
Etsy.com (e-commerce platform, also get your own blog)
Shopify.com (A blog and ecommerce platform all in one)
Amember.com (this is membership software. Your customers must become members to buy and access their content from you. It’s the next step if you already know how to blog, market and sell things online)
Wix.com (I find their platform clunky, but to each his own)
Let people know about your written and designed creations that you’ll sell.
This is what you need to get started selling content online.
Begin blogging. Tell the world about what you do. You already post on social so this is not a huge jump. Just get a domain name, get hosting, set up a WordPress blog, and then set up basic pages. This includes About, Products, Tips or Articles, Testimonials, Contact (or come up with your own main pages). Your “posts” are the news that you share. That’s where you share your updates. Same as Facebook.
Start thinking in niches. You want to focus on what types of products to create. What types of articles and tips will you write? What designs will you make? To have the most fun writing or designing prewritten content and digital templates, choose a niche that you love.
Here are the main niches that people need content for:
- Business – small business, online business, business coaches, marketing, coaching
- Cooking – food bloggers love customizable content. Healthy eating, quick and easy meals, ethnic, holiday and seasonal recipes, cooking tips and how-to
- Health and self care – preventive health, healthy lifestyle tips, home remedies, holistic cures, stress relief
- Life coaching, self help, self development, mental health, relationships, positive psych. Brainstorm content around mindsets: abundance, growth, positivity, gratitude, mindfulness
- Weight loss, trending diet plans, and low carb – people want dieting how-tos, recipes, tips, motivation, meal makeovers, fitness tips, meal plans, exercise routines, equipment, accessories
Remember what your customers want BEFORE you package up your digital products.
Get used to packaging your content in a way that the end user will find useful. The goal of how you package and present your creations should be as follows:
Your customers want several design and/or written content elements in a single theme.
Let’s Use Weight Loss Content as an Example of What You Can Package Up and Sell:
If you’re a writer creating weight loss content, that means a package of Summer Grilling Favorite Recipes will appeal to them. So you’re creating a document with, say 5 articles and 10 recipes.
If you’re designing Summer Grilling content for purchase, then you might include:
- 30 summer grilling related food images
- 3 ecover sets to make online cookbooks
- a ready-to-go cookbook template
- 10 social posters
- 3 infographics on summer grilling healthy tips
Who will buy content like this from you?
For this example of Healthy Summer Grilling Favorites, someone like a healthy lifestyle blogger, health coach, food blogger, or anyone who runs their own list of customers who are likely to purchase Summer Grilling cookbooks, meal plans, tips and recipes.
When you put the writing AND graphic elements together for customers to purchase with ONE single payment and then be able to download ALL the written AND graphic files, you add even more value.