This is a guest post by Srinivas Rao of The Skool of Life and co-founder of BlogCastFM, one of my favorite podcasts that I fully support for your online education.
I am in Boston right now working with a client and with the beauty of technology and the wonders of WordPress I was able to schedule this post ahead of time – but that doesn’t mean this guest post is any less important. In fact, it could be one of the most important posts you read because when you think about – before you make a million dollars, before you make tens of thousands, or even just one-thousand dollars, you still have to make a hundred bucks first.
Once you can do that, the sky is the limit.
In this post, my good friend Srini illustrates some very actionable items to help those of you who have yet to earn your first 100 dollars online, earn it.
Please enjoy, and for the more experienced people out there, please share or add any tips you may have to help people earn their first $100 online.
Here is Srini…
Given that many of us are looking at our online efforts to supplement, increase or even replace our incomes, 100 dollars may not seem like a worthwhile goal. So Before I get into the “how-to” of making your first 100 dollars online I think it’s worth spending a bit of time talking about why you should focus on your first $100 before anything else. Most of us set goals of 1000 or 2000 dollars a month in income, and when it doesn’t happen at the pace we hope it will, we have a tendency to give up completely. As a result we never make a dime. The nice thing about $100 is that it’s a realistic achievable goal, and when you accomplish it, you’ll get the confidence boost you need to set some bigger goals. There a few other reasons it’s a worthwhile goal to start with:
- It’s something you could accomplish within in the first 2-3 months of blogging, possibly even in your first month.
- It doesn’t require tons of traffic. It doesn’t require tons of sales, and it won’t eat up a ton of your time.
- In fact if you have an offer that is 10 dollars and 10 people buy it you’ve succeeded in making your first $100.00 online.
So let’s talk about how to create something that you can sell for $10.00
Making a Mini Product
Several months back I interviewed Dave Navarro who focuses on helping people to launch products. He turned me on to the idea of something known as a mini product. Here are some of the key characteristics of a mini product:
- Value for your Audience: This is a no-brainer. The reason most people love the Smart Passive Income Blog is because the insane amount of value that Pat provides to his readers. There’s something that you can learn or gain from every single post that he writes on his blog. This is at the core of anything you want to sell online. Whatever you put together has to be of value for your audience or for a subset of your audience. Remember this is not about creating something every single person will buy. It’s about creating something that 10 people will buy.
- It Doesn’t Take Tons of Time to Produce: The nice thing about a mini product is that it can be put together the in span of an hour. Often, when people do their very first product launch they tend to put countless hours into something like a 60 page e-book. If it doesn’t sell it’s demoralizing because so much time and effort was put into it. When you only spend a short amount of time on a product like this is, if it doesn’t sell it’s not a big deal since it only took an hour. You can keep experimenting with different mini products until you find something that works.
- You Can Sell it Cheap: If you don’t spend countless hours putting it together than you can easily justify selling it for 10 dollars. For some reason people don’t seem to hesitate nearly as much when it comes to spending $10.00. If you’re concerned that no one will buy your product offer something of additional value. I offered 30 minutes of consulting time to the first 5 buyers who bought one of my mini products.
How to Come up with an Idea
- Ask your Audience: If you have a small audience that is responsive this is actually easier than when your audience is huge because you can get really specific. You can ask your audience to what they want from you and have them respond in the comments. You can even go back through your comments and see what content that you’ve written that really resonated with them to come up with different ideas.
- Identify Your Skills: One of the skills I knew I had developed over the last year was interviewing people. So after connecting with another blogger who decided to start a podcast where he interviewed people we decided to create a 1-hour teleclass called how to grow your blog with interviews. We added a worksheet to it and our first mini product was finished and ready for sale in about 2 hours. Chances are you have a skill that you are really good at that is of value to somebody. You can actually put together a short class, combine it with a workbook, and you have your first mini product.
- Ask on Twitter: If you pay close attention to your twitter stream and the interactions that you have with people you’ll start to notice patterns or trends. I noticed that my time management content was something that was getting shared quite a bit. So, I jokingly put out a tweet saying that if I ever wrote an e-book it would be called “ Time Management for Bloggers with Short Attention Spans.” About 10 people responded saying they would definitely buy that. So, I sat down an hour later, packaged my best time management content together, added a few more elements to my mini e-book and put it up for sale the next day. Every one of those people who said they would buy it did.
Setting the Product Up for Sale
Once you have finished putting together your product you’ll need to get it set up for taking orders. This is a fairly simple process, but is somewhat confusing the first time you go through it. So I’ve outlined the steps below with screenshots for each step.
1. Sign up for an account with E-Junkie
For your first product, E-junkie is probably the easiest payment processor you can use. The major disadvantage I’ve found with using E-Junkie when compare to clickbank is that you have to manually pay your affiliates. But given that we’re talking about a 10 dollar product I recommend that you don’t have any affiliates. When you sign up for your E-Junkie account you’ll have an opportunity to link it to your paypal account where all your money will go.
2. Give your Product a name and Price
Once you’ve registered you’ll be taken to a screen where you’ll have an option to “add product.” Click on that and you’ll be taken to the second screen below where you can give your product a name and price:
3. Upload the Product, and Get the Code for your Add to Cart Button
4. Publish Your Sales Page
Setting up a sales page your mini product is as simple as writing a blog post on what the product is about. It doesn’t have to be incredibly complicated like sales pages for some of the bigger product launches you see. Have a paragraph or two that talk about the product and bullet points that highlight the benefits. You can see a sample sales page for our first mini product here.
Making a mini product can be a fun and easy way to start monetizing your blog even if you are in the earliest stages of growth. You can put one together in the amount of time that it takes to write a couple of blog posts and it will get you started with your very first passive income stream.
Srinivas Rao is writes about personal development at The Skool of Life, and is the host-co founder of BlogcastFM, a podcast for bloggers. Sign up for his FREE Webinar on the 7 Pillars of Blog Traffic