Fast Track Guide: Creating Your Hot-Selling Products
Ecommerce is booming all over the globe, with consumers more willing than ever before to shop online. This has led to unprecedented opportunities for complete beginners to set up a successful business online.
There are many eCommerce options, which allow those with no coding skills at all to leverage their site builder and shopping cart technology to create a professional-looking, full-service eStore, filled with in-demand products. Examples of popular eCommerce aggregators include Shopify, Bigcommerce, and Gumroad.
In this guide, we will be discussing how to create a hot-selling product and then selling it on the popular creative vendor site Gumroad. At Gumroad, you can sell digital or physical products, but they specialize in products created by artistic business owners longing to share their work with a wider audience.
Digital products will be much faster to create because you have full control over the process from beginning to end. Good examples of digital product in high demand are:
- Ecourses with audio/video
- Digital courses online for home study
- Music downloads, such as MP3 files
- Videos, such as instructional videos
Create the product, list it, set your price, and start selling. It is that simple. You can sell at almost any price point. Gumroad has a free and a paid level of service. Both types of accounts are charged a standard fee based on sales. The free account is charged 8.5% + 30 cents per sale. The paid account is charged $10 per month plus 3.5% + 30 cents per sale. Other fees may apply depending on the options you choose.
If you want to run a competitive and profitable business, you will need to know the “going” price of the products you offer. Try to match this price or even go a little lower. Keep in mind that it’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver. However, you do need to make a profit on the items.
How can you do that? Niche and product research is key. Let’s get started creating your first hot-selling product by finding out what your prospective customers want.
NICHE AND PRODUCT RESEARCH
Your niche is the topic or area you wish to work in. You might be passionate about a niche like a golf, quilting, or dogs. You might love Indian cooking, making your soap, or starting an organic vegetable garden.
Choosing Your Niche
Everyone is an expert at something. You probably have at least one thing you enjoy doing and are passionate about. This enthusiasm makes you forget that you are working. Choose a niche/topic in which you are knowledgeable and experienced. This will help you build your authority status quickly.
Do you remember what it was like when you started a new hobby, activity, or even a new stage of life? As a beginner, you probably had a lot of questions. Maybe you were lucky enough to have someone answer all our questions, no matter how dumb they seemed. Or maybe you had to tough it out, facing all sorts of challenges and obstacles until you finally succeeded. Perhaps you learned the slow, hard, and perhaps expensive way.
You might have even become so frustrated that you thought about giving up. That is until you found a product or solution that helped you get over the ‘pain point’ that was holding you back from achieving all your goals.
No one wants to do things the slow and hard way. They want a quick and easy way. They don’t want to pay a fortune for it, but they are willing to pay a premium price for something that works.
As you choose your niche, keep these things in mind. Think back to a time when were new, needed info, or were looking for a solution on a specific topic. Use your own experience with the topic make a list of pain points and problems/solutions that resonates with your audience.
Researching Pain Points
Your next step will be to choose which pressing pain point you want to tackle in your first product. To start, you can think about what it was like for you as a beginner. Grab paper and pen and start brainstorming all the things you had trouble with and wished you had a solution for. Keep writing until you run out of steam.
Then think about the kinds of things you bought to overcome the problem. What did you buy, around how much did you pay for it, and did it work? What did it do well? What could it have done better?
Visit Groups and Discussion Boards
Check out the groups and discussion boards in your niche to see what people are complaining about regularly. What troubles and frustrations do they have? What are their frequently asked questions (FAQs)? What do they chat about on social media? Above all, what do they recommend to each other?
Research at ClickBank and JVzoo.com
These 2 sites are the most popular for niche-related digital products. If you can find at least a couple of products related to your niche, then it is a paying niche you should be able to make money from. Analyze the products on offer to help plan what you are going to create.
Research at Amazon
There are several research steps, which can help you lay the foundation for a profitable niche business.
- Check out Amazon bestsellers in your niche, including the titles and price points.
- Run a search in your niche. Look at all the products, categories, and advertisers who show up on the first page. Example of using dog training.
- Look at Kindle books. Since digital products are so easy to create, see what ebooks they have on offer in the Kindle format. Type in your niche, such as dog training, and then look for books.
- Read reviews. Look at a couple of the 5-star ones. What do they praise?
- Look at the reviews with low ratings. What do people complain about? What feature is missing? Make note of these needs.
- Check to see if there are any magazines related to your topic. Magazines usually mean a paying niche of both consumers and advertisers willing to pay money to put an ad in the magazines.
Research on Google, Yahoo!, and Bing
These are the 3 top search engines in the world. See who your top competition is in the following way. Check:
- Who is listed in the Top 10 organic (free listings) at each of these sites
- Who is advertising at each of the ad networks at these sites
- What do they sell? At what price point?
Now that you have done your research, you probably have a good idea of the kinds of things people want and need related to your niche. So now it is time to start planning and creating your first product.
There is an old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Not everyone is going to love your product, but if your goal is to be genuinely helpful and not rip off anyone, chances are that if your product does what it says it will, you will have a lot of happy customers.
Plan Your Content
When planning your product, think of how you can help others. Also, remember the main questions every prospective customer will have on their minds:
- What’s in it for me? How will this help me?
- Why should I buy from you? What expertise or inside secrets can you offer that no one else in your niche can?
Once you have a good idea of the pain points, use the one that your expertise and research suggest would resonate best with your target audience.
Outline what you want to cover. What are the 5 to 10 main points a person would need to know to solve their pain point or gain a new skill?
Plan your format. Short, sharp one-solution digital products are very popular. You might not be able to charge a lot but you can sell a lot, if the price is right and the topic is in high demand. An ebook is a good choice. Video is booming in popularity
Product Creation Ideas
There are many ways to create content for your first digital product. Depending on the content formats and types you include in the product, as well as your skills, and current resources, you may discover that you can incorporate several of these content creation suggestions within one product.
- Write it yourself. If you are a good writer, it should be relatively easy for you to create a five- to ten-thousand-word ebook or course for your prospective customers.
- Create an audiobook. If you don’t type very fast or don’t think you’re a good writer, try creating an audiobook, podcast, or webinar. It is still a kind of writing.
Consider interviewing someone who is in your niche or get them to interview you. If you can speak intelligently on a topic, you can create an interesting digital product with high value. You can even get a transcription and edit out the ums and ahs. You can sell it as a product or give it as a bonus.
- Try Private Label Rights (PLR). PLR is pre-written content you can buy a license to use. It is cheaper than hiring a freelancer or ghostwriter. Search for (Your Niche or Topic) PLR on Google to see what is available. The PLR packs will come in various formats. Some will be article packs about the topic. Others might include an ebook, articles, emails, a cover, and so on.
Using unedited and modified PLR is a bad practice, for a couple of reasons. The first is that some of the content may not have been written by a native English speaker and might need to be polished or corrected. The second is that about 98% of people will not bother to edit the PLR. This can lead to duplicate content penalties online if you post content on a website. Amazon expressly forbids you to create a Kindle ebook, from unmodified PLR. Everyone wants original content.
PLR’s best practice is to edit it in terms of spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Then add your examples, case studies, personal style, tone, and stories. In this way, you will stand out from the crowd and it will only take a few days for you to write a book.
- Hire a freelancer. There are many freelancers available at Fiverr and Upwork who can create good content for you. Just note that you might have to pay more for the best writers, and there may be a queue of people, causing you to have to wait to get your first product done.
- Hire a ghostwriter. A ghostwriter is similar to a freelancer. They write a book for you, do the research if they need to, or interview you, and then write a book that you will put your name on. This will usually be the most expensive option but you will usually get a high-quality book as long as you work closely with the writer to make sure they are clear about what you want from them.
- Curate content. Content curation refers to pointing people in your niche to the kinds of content and products they want about your niche or a particular topic. A best Christmas presents for pet lovers’ buyer’s guide, for example, might include your opinions, but can also include reviews, content from the manufacturer, and other information that will save people time and money. Curation helps position you as an expert in your industry. Point people to valuable tools, with tips on how to use them, or comparison charts of the products available and their features and prices, and you should soon start to gain a reputation as someone worth paying attention to.
There are many ways to create a digital product and many product formats to choose from. However, if you are serious about making sales to your target audience, you must provide them with the solutions they need and in the formats that work best for them.
Format the Content
Depending on the format, you will need various types of software. Fortunately, there are a lot of free or cheap tools to help. If you want to create an ebook, for example, use your word processor and save it as a PDF. You can sell online. If you want to sell it on Kindle, convert it there and set up the title for sale at Amazon.
If you want to sell videos, you can upload them to YouTube and mark them as Unlisted, in an unlisted playlist. This means you can send links to people to get their content, but it can’t be searched for or seen by any uninvited guests. Similarly, if you are creating an audio file or podcast, upload it to SoundCloud (it charges a low monthly fee for unlimited uploads) and give your customers links to your unlisted content. For PowerPoint decks, use Slideshare.net.
Audio, video and PowerPoint files can be very large. Trying to host them at your site (if you have one) and play them back can be very difficult. Hosting them at one of the top sites, embedding them at your site, and giving people a link, will give views or listeners a superior experience.
But there are other ways to sell ebooks and videos besides sending your customers to your content via links. One of them is to create products and sell them through Gumroad.
ADDING A PRODUCT TO YOUR GUMROAD ACCOUNT
We are going to assume you have already taken the time to set up your free Gumroad account with your user name, password, and banking information so you can get paid for the products you sell. You can use your Gumroad page as your website, with all your products listed for sale. If you already have a site, you can start selling your Gumroad products right on your site.
Use the profile and Configuration Settings menu to fill in all this information. When you are finished, it is time to add your first product and put it on sale.
Add a Product
- Go to your Products tab and click Add a Product.
If you have just opened your account, you will see a message about this and a button to click. It should be on the top-right of your screen near your avatar/logo and name:
- Choose a type of product to sell:
- Click Digital.
You will now see these three product options:
Click Product, if your item is a single item and you are ready to sell it. Choose Subscription, if you are going to provide recurring digital content.
Choose Pre-order, if you want to start selling right away even, if your product isn’t ready yet. Be sure to have a release date organized to keep your customers happy. For example, if you are dropping your new ebook on a certain date, it will give them something to look forward to.
- Add the product name and price.
You will see a super-simple screen to add the name of the product and the price. You can then attach your file/s to the product record, which will be available for download to your customers.
- Attach the files.
You can attach the files from your computer, an existing file, or Dropbox.
An existing file would be something you already uploaded. You could create, for example, a help file, and include it with every product you sell. But since this is your first product, there will be no existing files. Let’s choose From Computer. Find your file and upload it. This can take some time depending on the size of the file.
Once you add the files, you will see them listed, with the name, type, and size of the file, such as Test, test.txt, 4KB.
The file type will determine what options you have in the interface. For example, it will recognize a PDF and create an ebook. It will recognize a video file and give customers the option to Rent the video or Buy it. Streaming is an option if the person has bought it.
The files you upload will be listed underneath the name of the product. Click the red X if you want to delete any files. Make sure files have uploaded completely before taking the next step.
- Click to customize.
- Add a cover.
Click to upload a cover, or link to one you have already uploaded, such as at your blog or another popular site, such as YouTube. The cover images render at about 400 wide by 600 pixels tall. Anything smaller might look distorted and fuzzy.
- Add a description.
Once you have added an image and title, add your description of the product to try to make it enticing for your customer. Tell them the benefits they will get when they buy it.
Make sure your description is keyword-rich to help people find your item when they run a search. Good keywords will also help Gumroad Discover match your product to other similar products if you have chosen this marketing option in your Account Profile.
You can add or delete files as you wish, until your product is perfect and ready to sell.
- Save changes.
When you are finished adding the cover and description, go up to the top right and you will see various choices. Save your changes first.
- Preview your listing.
From left to right, note the Share and Tweet buttons. You can use these to promote each new product after you list it. Interested customers can share it as well. Next, you will see the cover and the price in a little yellow tag-shaped box. Beside it, you’ll see the title and the “I want this,” shopping button your customers will click to purchase.
Then you see the “By,” Avatar, and your name. You will see the description and the size of the file. Finally, you will see a Secured by Gumroad logo at the bottom of each listing, which will encourage customers to buy because they know it is a safe shopping site.
If you were selling an ebook in a PDF format, at the bottom of your listing, you would see a PDF stamping choice:
Stamping discourages people from giving it away or trying to sell it as their own. Note that it will take longer to get their download, and they can’t read a stamped PDF in the Gumroad library. They can, however, read it on other devices, so choose what makes the most sense for your business model.
- Check and publish your product.
Before you hit Publish, check to make sure everything looks the way you want. While you can go back and edit the product for a short time, once someone buys, you are discouraged from deleting a product that has been purchased. This is for your protection.
OTHER OPTIONS FOR PRODUCT LISTING
There are other options for your product in the interface. On the left-hand side of the screen in the Products tab, you will see these links. Click the Options tab. It offers you more information and product choices.
Customize Product URL
The first thing you’ll see is the default URL that the system assigns to your product. In a spreadsheet for product links, note the default URL and the product name. Edit the original link in your account to make it easier to identify and add it to your spreadsheet as well. Keep track of all the links related to each product.
Limit Product Sales
To the right, you will see a link that says Limit product sales. Click it for more options.
You can limit the number of sales. The default is infinity, seen in the top left of the box. Choose which countries you would like to sell in. Click the Toggle button and all the choices will de-select. Click the United States, for instance, and your product would only sell in the United States.
If you wanted to sell your ebook only in English-speaking countries, for example, your choice might look like this. For the greatest chance of sales, leave them all checked.
If you would like to create different variations of your product, click on the small plus sign on the right and you will see this box:
For example, you could offer various formats, such as PDF or Word or “packages” and charge a different fee for each package or variation based on the initial product.
Create an Offer
You can create an offer code to help keep track of your promotions and offer customers a special discount.
Add the field to the purchase form and set a code name. You can apply the offer to all products, or just a particular one. Set the price. Set the quantity. So for example, if you want to limit the offer to the first 100 customers, put 100 into the box.
Generate a License Key
A license key is ideal if you are selling software or ebooks because it will discourage sharing.
Generating a license key means the person can only access the item using the key. They can’t forward it to lots of other people because it will be one copy, one computer. Setting up a license key can be a bit tricky. The language used is cURL, but there are instructions you can follow.
Preview your latest changes. You should see the format option created for this product in a toggle menu, with the choices being PDF or Zip. You will also see the “I want this!” button and the size of the file.
Edit Purchase Flow Options
Click the Purchase Flow link on the left of the preview menu.
The purchase flow, which is also called a sales funnel, takes the customer from seeing your product to buying and then receiving it. In your Gumroad account, this process consists of Product Preview, Payment Form, and Receipt.
Each of these areas can be edited and modified. Let’s look at each one individually.
- Product Preview – On the Product Preview tab, you can change the wording of the default “I want this!” button. The other choices available are Buy now and Pay.
The next box can state what they will be getting, such as “1 PDF ebook about Earth Day.” The file attribute and size will be inserted by the system.
- The Payment Form – On the Payment form, there are several other choices to make. Keep it simple. “Always show” refers to the full name of the customer. If you are sending a physical product, you will need to collect their mailing address. You can gather other information if you need to.
The basic form would look like this:
Notice the little gift icon on the right of the email address field. The customer could click on it to give the item as a gift. You will see a box for the offer code, the credit card payment box, and the Pay button.
If you sell physical products or just want the customer’s full address, phone number, and email address, the form would look like this:
You can add or take away as many additional information fields as you like. Click the box next to them to make each field mandatory rather than optional or delete the wording to take them away again.
- The Payment Receipt – Gumroad will send out a standard receipt with access to the purchased product. In the case of an ebook, for example, you will see:
The default receipt is very basic. The title, price, download/open in-app option, and a painfully brief message are included. From a marketing point of view, it is highly advised that you edit the ‘Thank You” message on the receipt. Notice the receipt has the option to tweet or share your product.
On your product preview, simply overwrite the text under the receipt section. You could also write in a call to action such as, “Love this product? Tell others about it!”
Now you can see your special wording at the bottom of the receipt.
Edit the style of your product page by clicking on the “Style” link at the top-left of the product preview page.
You will initially see the default theme, with the yellow arrow price box and the teal colored buy button. But there are 4 other choices in the free account. Don’t be fooled by the “locked” section. You can change the theme at the top box but you can not make additional theme customizations unless you have upgraded your account.
The free theme templates include:
- Gumroad – Default
- New York
- Goblet of Fire
Gumroad – Default: Pale gray page-background, white product-background, teal buttons, sans serif font, yellow price-arrow, and black lettering
New York: White page background, white product background, black and white button, serif font, black price square, white lettering
Shiny: Dark gray page background, white product background, teal button, sans serif font, pale gray price arrow, black lettering
News: Pale gray page background, white product background, red button, sans serif font, red circle price area, white lettering
Goblet of Fire: Dark gray page background, red product background with teal lettering, teal button sans serif font, orange/yellow price arrow, black lettering
When in doubt, stick to the default. They’ve probably researched it to make sure it is the most user-friendly format. After all, if you don’t make sales, they don’t make money.
Save, Preview, and Publish
Once you have chosen the product style and edited the wording to suit your needs, save your changes. Preview the product to make sure everything saved properly, especially in the areas you edited. Publish when you are satisfied with the results.
If you publish and then change your mind, you can unpublish, on the product screen.
Gumroad puts you in full control of your store, and every product in it.
Creating a hot-selling product can take time. You need a high-quality product that your niche wants and needs as well as marketing content to get people excited enough to buy it. All online businesses should have a professional shopping cart or store where their customers can buy with confidence.
Fortunately, Gumroad makes it easy to sell and buy quality products. Customers will find it easy to use. Once you have created your product in your beautiful shop, you can sit back and watch your sales flow in. However, you may be so pleased with the experience and results that you can’t wait to release more products.