When bloggers + business owners say they launched a digital product to a massive number of sales it can be easy to assume they had the magic beans or the secret sauce to get everything right on their first try.
We see the perfectly presented product, the rave reviews, the stats and sales numbers, and we feel like… I totally want to launch a product, but a launch like that is SO out of my league.
What we don’t see is that they launched a few smaller products, tried a bunch of things that kind of worked and a ton of things that didn’t work at all before launching the thing that finally took off.
I know because I did that. I created and created and created and launched and launched and launched before figuring out the best way to do all this stuff and create products my people will actually buy.
So today I wanted to share my digital product evolution and how I went from one little blog template shop to three books and nine online courses to give you a realistic look at what you could do too.
2012 | Blog Templates
I started out selling premade blog templates in an Etsy shop. I mentioned in my last post that I sold over 500 of them and made over $20k from 2011 – 2015. This was a fairly good source of passive income, but it also included answering a TON of messages from people looking for extra things that were not included with the templates. Color changes, tech support, installation. I honestly just got tired of answering questions and ended up closing the shop when my courses started to outperform the templates.
2013 | eBook #1 and eBook #2
My first ebook was a collection of coding tutorials I created because those were the most popular posts on my blog at the time. I designed the book using iBooks Author and I used Woo Commerce to build a shop within my WordPress site. But because I didn’t have an email list (surprise, surprise), the book didn’t sell that well.
However, it was a great crash course is creating an ebook and an online shop, and because it had been fairly easy to make I jumped straight into writing ebook #2, which is still online (and updated last year!), Double Your Blog Traffic.
2014 | Badass Babes Blog Club + E-Course >> Dare to Grow + Badass Blog Planner
In 2014 I FINALLY decided to start my email list, which was great timing because I also created and launched my first course. The Badass Babes Blog Club + E-Course was the first iteration of Dare to Grow with a ridiculously long name.
When I launched the course I only had about 2000 people on my email list. I did a lot of work to grow my list throughout 2014, but it’s a good example of still being able to launch a product and earn income with a small list.
At the very end of 2014, I launched The Badass Blog Planner. This was my first and only jump into designing a product for print (though I’d totally do it again). Selling on Amazon created a consistent income stream that continues to bring in sales even though I rarely promote this product anymore.
2015 | Create. Profit. Party! Ebook + course, Guide to Photoshop, Social Media Badass
2015 was the year of “that worked pretty well, let’s try it again.” Because my second ebook had done so well – and my readers and students were becoming interested in creating their own products – I wrote another ebook focused on creating and launching products and eventually turned that content into a course. I also added two more courses to my shop: a video course on how to use Photoshop and a replay of a live workshop on social media.
Out of this list, the CPP ebook is the only one I’m still actively promoting. The Create. Profit. Party! course was retired as I focused more on growing an online presence than launching + selling. And the Social Media Badass Workshop went into retirement because the content was a broad overview and I knew students would benefit more from the platform-focused content in Dare to Grow + Pinterest Powerhouse.
2016 | Pinterest Powerhouse, Dare to Email, The Productive Solopreneur
2016 was the year I slowed my roll on creating products as inspiration struck and instead worked to reorganize, fill in the gaps, and create a progression of courses. Students could enter through my free course, Dare to Blog, and then work their way through the courses as their online presence grew and their skills advanced. This was obviously a good move because all three courses are still online and still rockin’!
2017 – 2018 | Grow Your ‘Gram + Content Planning Kit
I vowed at the beginning of 2017 to not create any new courses. I mostly stuck to this with the exception of turning the content from two free challenges into mini courses, Grow Your ‘Gram (will return at the end of the year) and the Content Planning Kit.
These were fantastic little products because they came from content I had already created (which meant they were quick to put online) and helped students get a valuable win.
So, were all those products worth the work??
ABSOLUTELY. I now have a stockpile of assets I can promote and sell, and I can focus on whichever part of the puzzle I think my audience needs the most help with at the moment.
Yes, creating products takes time and there are a lot of tactics to try and mistakes to make before you’ll really feel like you know what you’re doing. But the more your audience + email list grow, the more your ideas + income will grow too!