I’m speaking next week at the Blogville Conference in Charlottesville on the subject of Blog Monetization and thought I would share some thoughts on product creation.
Creating your own product is one of the best ways to monetize your blog. A lot of bloggers resort to affiliate linking or pay-per-click advertising to generate income but soon discover that, without significant traffic, those methods result in very little income.
Creating your own product today is easier than ever. You can create audio products, video products, and even books that people can purchase directly from your website.
Podcasting is very popular and a terrific method for recording your voice and making it available to an audience that can subscribe to your podcast through PayPal.
Creating an ebook is another very simple method of converting your blog into a product that people can purchase via electronic download. For example, you can take three blog posts, combine them into one document, and save that as a PDF with some simple editing and upload this to your website for someone to purchase.
Including a simple PayPal button allows them to buy your e-book for a nominal fee – whether it’s $7, $17, or $27, depending on the content.
Video is also very simple to execute. Most computers today come with a webcam or you can purchase a handheld digital video recorder for less than $200 that produces outstanding quality. Think about your niche and what they want to know and what you can share with them. Sit down in front of your video camera and talk to your audience. Or share some slides from a powerpoint presentation. Upload that video to YouTube and make it unlisted so that people can’t find it unless you specifically direct them to the URL.
Again, use PayPal as a method for people to purchase the video or a series of videos and provide them with a link to the video upon receipt of payment.
If you are having trouble coming up with ideas for products to create, you have several options. The first and most obvious option is to ask your audience what they want. If you already have a blog or a twitter account or a Facebook page, this is a great channel to survey your customers.
A second approach is to go on to Amazon.com, research some of the leading magazines within your niche and review the table of contents for inspiration on articles or other content that you can create and package into a product.
Third, look at your competition – what are they selling? What’s been successful? Don’t copy these ideas, exactly, but use them as inspiration for your own product.
It’s been suggested that some of the best products are multimedia in nature. That is, you combine audio, text, and video into one package to provide a robust product offering for your customers to purchase. Obviously, the more content you pack into your product, the more you can charge, but do recognize that this will take longer to compile.
What are thoughts about product creation for blog monetization – have you considered creating your own product? What makes sense for you and what’s holding you back? I’d love to hear your thoughts.