The Beginners Guide to Selling Downloads
If you’re ready to start making serious money you need to consider selling digital downloads.
Downloads are ebooks, mp3 music, software, images, legal docs, how to videos, white papers or anything digital.
This guide will take you through the basics of selling digital downloads. For more information or to help make your plan a reality contact Digital Content Center at 865-686-5713.
Part 1 – How To Sell Digital Downloads
It’s best to start out by being totally organized. This will help with all of the steps below and assure that your transition from start to finish is smooth. Getting organized includes having your digital content in final format, deciding the price and knowing your primary sales tactic.
Most people sell their digital downloads directly from their primary web site. Other “launch points” include, Blogs, Social Media Pages and even Email Campaigns. Some people also choose to sell their digital files from Ebay or through affiliate programs such as ClickBank.
If you are an author and want to cast a very wide net you may want to consider formatting your ebook for Kindle, iBooks and the Sony eReader and other ebook reading devices. These platforms will help take your sales to a new level by allowing directly to those users.
Once your launch points are set up, it’s time to connect with a Digital Download Service Provider.
Although this topic has it’s own dedicated information area below it’s important to understand that this is part of how to sell digital downloads because a Digital Download Service Provider will be necessary to facilitate the sale and secure delivery of your digital download.
A Digital Download Service Provider enables the function of selling and delivering your product and will also handle all aspects of reporting and accounting.
Marketing Your Digital Download
Once you have the first three steps taken care of you’ll need to market your digital download.
This topic is covered in more detail below but know that without marketing your unlikely to sell any of your digital downloads.
Remember, if no one can find them how are they supposed to sell.
Part 2 – How to Choose a Download Service Provider
Unless you are a programming guru and able to write your own code to sell and delivery your downloads you’ll need to decide whether to use a software product or an online service.
Do It Yourself Software
Do It Yourself Software is a good choice if you can program or have a reliable friend that can program. Software programs run anywhere from $99.95 and up and have to be installed on a server. Installation, configuration and set up can range with regards to the time it takes, but usually a great deal of work will need to be complete in order to work properly with your digital downloads.
Online Digital Download Service Provider
If you are looking for an all in one solution, an online service provider is going to be your best choice.
If you choose this option make sure that the provider you choose has telephone support. You may not think you need it, but rest assured you will have questions or may need guidance. There’s nothing like picking up the phone and talking to a human.
In addition to phone support make sure the provider has the following basic components to sell downloads which include:
- Centralized Management
- A shopping cart system that supports downloads and tangibles
- Payment Processing with PayPal, Google Checkout or Credit Cards
- Automatic secure download delivery to your customers
- Direct 100% pay out to your bank account when a sale is made
Also take a look at the features list to see what else is offered. Additional features to think about include the ability to offer promotions, offer samples and if they have an affiliate program.
Part 3 – How to Market Your Digital Downloads
There are many ways of marketing your downloads. Below are some methods to think about. No matter what method you choose, be consistent if your efforts. When you find a path that works, turn up your efforts.
Search Engine Optimization
Getting on the first page of Google, Yahoo or MSN can be challenging unless you do keyword research, create a properly built web site, create a site map and submit it to each search engine. As indexing is not immediate, you’ll want to track your page rank and placement monthly.
Pay Per Click Campaigns
If immediate traffic is your goal, a pay per click campaign is the way to go. Know that getting started has a semi-intense learning curve if you are not used the concepts of keywords, ad creation, landing pages and analytics but the pay off will be fantastic if done correctly.
A press release is a great way to tell the world about your digital product. If you are selling from a web site it will also build back links to your site, which helps for organic placement in search engine results.
If your product serves a particular group of people look for popular web sites that you can partner with. For example, if you are selling an ebook on cooking, partner with a cooking web site to offer your product at a discount to members of the cooking web site. Also look for organizations that can benefit from your product and offer special pricing for those members.
Although social networking web sites are not a prime place to sell products, they sure can help spread the word. Make sure that your primary web site and any communication to potential customers invites them to join you on your social networking page.
When thinking of an affiliate program you’ll first think that all kinds of people can now sell your digital download and make a cut of the sale. The problem with most affiliate programs (online or self managed) is that targeting is not taken into account. Make sure that the web site that is selling your downloads is the right fit for your downloads. You don’t want a web site that sells light bulbs to sell a cooking ebook. Having the correct type of affiliates is the key to a great affiliate program. Don’t be afraid to be picky, it will pay off in the long run.
If your product is of a nature that you can be seen in trade publications you may want to consider doing some direct marketing. It’s a great way to target your audience and your ad whether it be on the web or in print will be seen by people that are already warmed to your product based on the niche you are advertising to.