Creating a Digital Product from Scratch: Our Case Study

Developing your OWN product of some sort should be the ultimate goal of every internet marketer.



Because you can make a lot more money.

You can diddle around with creating and monetizing websites with other people products, but eventually you realize you are leaving a lot of money on the table by just driving your website visitors to someone ELSE’s product.

Now, affiliate marketing is a great, relatively hands free, method for making money online. But you are ultimately losing out by NOT creating your own product instead of promoting someone else’s.

The problem here is that affiliate marketing is not really scalable. Your own product IS scalable. And one of the keys to making a lot of money is to produce something that is scalable.

It’s All About Scalability

Think about this for a second. You create a product, let’s say a digital ebook. You promote it on your website, converting some of the visitors into buyers. Then other websites or affiliates pick up your product and promote it too, selling your product for you. Now, it’s not just YOU from a single source website promoting your ebook, but a crowd of different sources.

Anyone who’s really made any significant wealth has operated, on some level, on the idea of scale. Think a franchise business — that entire revenue model is built on the idea of scale. Think producing and selling physical products. You don’t make money one one product, but on thousands sold. Again, sale. Think writing and selling a physical book. You write the book and the publisher produces many copies of that book, pushing it to distribution locations (bookstores, etc.). You don’t make a lot of money on each book sold, but when thousands or millions buy it, you do.

So you see why it’s vital to produce your own product. Because it’s the easiest way to package your efforts into something sell-able and make money by scaling it. How much money really only depends on how many people you sell it to.

I fully realize it’s not always practical to come up with your own product. But if you do, the rewards are there. For many years, I myself have never bothered to come up with my own product. I was perfectly happy sitting on the side lines and helping other people make money by sending visitors to buy someone else’s product or sending visitors to someone else’s website. And I made decent money with this, arguably pretty good money (I was pulling in near 18,000 USD a month at my peak via adsense and affiliate marketing).

But I’m not satisfied with this model any longer. Search is favoring brands and has been for the past few years. And dicking around with making a little bit from this website and a little bit with that website is just, frankly, fucking tiring. At the end of the day, you only have so much energy t0 put into each website. It’s a better strategy to focus on an an end product and let the readers/customers sell it for you, rather than having to dick around with SEO, link outreaching, and building up websites to just make a tiny bit on some of the visitors.

Personally, I’ve making some serious efforts to change from the affiliate and ad-revenue model to a sell your own product-based model.

My Own Create Your Own Product Case Study

The past couple years my brother and I have been creating a solid authority site in a niche we are considerably expert in (this is not the sort of niche you can fake being an expert in. You either are, through years of experience in the subject or you are not). And now, we are almost about to release our first digital product in the niche.

Over the past year an a half we’ve worked our ass off to develop some serious authority in the niche — not just GOOGLE authority in the search but as known experts in the field of sorts. Basically, we’ve tried to brand ourselves as authorities — and we have pretty much succeeded.

Now comes the payoff off — how to make money from our readers while providing a lot of value back. We plan to do this a couple ways:

1. Digital products:

We are in the process of creating digital content to sell. This will take the form of:

  • for sale ebooks
  • a membership site

2. E-commerce Store

Now with the e-commerce store the idea is to directly source inventory from factories (we live in a place that where many of the products are actually produced) taking advantage of the much cheaper prices we can get, since we live where the factories producing the stuff are.

In time, once we see what products sell best, we get into the manufacturing aspect and produce our own physical product and sell it on our website store. This is likely a while away though.

The eCommerce store is another separate case study we will be doing in a couple months.

Our Digital Product: Overview

Currently, we are just finishing the final touches on our first ebook product.

We’ll share this case study with you here on this site and track how we distribute it, market it (on our website and via PPC advertising on facebook and google), and the number of sales.

It should be interesting to see how this goes. Unlike other marketers who do NOT have any sort of authority online in a niche who come up with a product then try to sell it, we are authorities about the topic with existing authority (both in google search and reputation wise in the niche). We can therefore leverage our existing authority to promote the product.

We plan to promote the product:

  • On our Facebook page which has nearly 100k likes
  • Via Facebook Paid Promotion
  • Via Google Adwords
  • Via our website, which gets 1500 search visitors and between 200-3000 facebook visitors a day
  • Via word of mouth on other websites from an affiliate program

So, this should be interesting to see just how well this product does. I will say this niche is not exactly the best as a direct money making niche unless you come up with the perfect product your can market. The challenge will be to see what that product is (ebook, membership site, physical product, etc).

Stay tuned for more updates about this.

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