Before you begin creating an outline, writing or recording videos, the first step to creating your digital product is writing the marketing copy you plan on using to promote your product. By writing your marketing copy first and then building a product around your marketing pitch, you will avoid the potential risk of failing to deliver on what your marketing copy promises. You will use the marketing copy you write on the product’s landing pages and in the emails you send to promote your product. Your marketing copy should explain what your product teaches, who should buy it, why they should buy it and what features and benefits come along with the product. Your marketing copy is effectively a big picture statement about the product that you are making and what promises the product is making to the customer. In a way, your marketing copy will serve as a mini-outline that will help determine what should be included in your product. You can view the copy that we use for MarketBeat Daily Premium, MarketBeat’s core digital product, at www.marketbeat.com/subscribe/subscribe.aspx
After your marketing copy has been written, the next step is to create a full outline for your digital product. Your outline should contain all of the major topics that you want to cover, along with all of the points that you want to cover under each topic. Your outline should be about 10% of the length of the end product that you plan on creating. If you want to create a 10,000-word PDF guide, your outline should be about 1,000 words of bullet points. While creating a detailed outline can be a lot of work, you’ll be able to completely avoid writer’s block when you are actually creating your product because you will know exactly what you are going to write about.
After your outline has been created, choose the type of digital product that’s most appropriate for your book, whether that be an e-book, a video course, a membership site, a newsletter, productized consulting or a SaaS offering. For topics that don’t change very often, e-books and video courses are a solid way to deliver content. For topics that change regularly or have new information come out about them, you can either do a paid newsletter or a membership website and charge a recurring monthly fee for access. For ideas that require hands-on work on your part or need to be tailored to each individual customer, consider doing productized consulting or a SaaS offering.
Only choose a product type that you are comfortable creating. If you’re not good on video, don’t great a video course. If you have no idea how to create software or hire developers, don’t create a SaaS product. Even if your content is great, poor presentation and execution will ruin your product’s chances of success. If you aren’t comfortable creating the type of digital product that’s best suited for your topic, choose the next most appropriate product type that you are comfortable doing. Personally, I would have a hard time recording myself on video jabbering on about a topic—that’s why I write books.
Once your outline is written, you have chosen what kind of product you are going to create and you know how you plan on publishing your content, whether that be through Gumroad, your own website or another solution, you can begin to actually create your content. Product creation is a lot of work and it may take several weeks for you to create a high-quality digital product. In order to actually get your product finished, commit to creating content every day until the product is complete. You must create a habit out of content creation and force yourself to work on your product daily until it’s complete. When I’m working on a new book, I commit to writing 1,000 words every single day and do my writing first thing in the morning so that if I get nothing else done in a day, I will have made some progress in my book. By making writing my first priority every day, I’m guaranteed to make forward progress and actually get my book written in a reasonable amount of time.
Once your product is fully written, recorded or otherwise put together, have a few friends or some of your super fans look it over and test it out. Have them check for grammatical issues, typos and anything else that would cause your product to come across as unprofessional. Make sure that all of the links in your product and any embedded videos work properly. Go through the ordering and check out process yourself to make sure that buying and consuming your product is a simple and straightforward process. Test out your product as much as you can to avoid having major hiccups when it comes time to formally launch your product.