Help Requested!

Spudrick68

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#1
I do not expect anything from this but hey ho, lets give it a go.

I would like to move with the times and attempt to sell digital products online. As a base line of skills I have quite a solid knowledge of public domain material from stuff like many of us enjoy on here. What I lack is the ability to identify what may sell and where to sell it. I am inclined to think of a Wordpress site rather than ETSY or suchlike, but what do I know?

If any kind soul knows of how to access reliable information, rather than "How to Make A Million" rips offs, I would be pathetically grateful.

If this request is not allowed please remove and accept my apologies.

Thank you in advance.
 

Swifty

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#3
What kind of digital products are you selling? .. what do you want to sell?
 

Krepostnoi

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#4
I do not expect anything from this but hey ho, lets give it a go.

I would like to move with the times and attempt to sell digital products online. As a base line of skills I have quite a solid knowledge of public domain material from stuff like many of us enjoy on here. What I lack is the ability to identify what may sell and where to sell it. I am inclined to think of a Wordpress site rather than ETSY or suchlike, but what do I know?

If any kind soul knows of how to access reliable information, rather than "How to Make A Million" rips offs, I would be pathetically grateful.

If this request is not allowed please remove and accept my apologies.

Thank you in advance.
My immediate thought turns to the difficulty of letting people know your product is available. The upside of Etsy is that it is a visible platform, whereas yet another wordpress site is simply one of millions out there in the lower ranges of Google searches. That said, there are presumably also difficulties in getting onto the first pages of Etsy search results, so, you know. Getting the word out seems to me to be the key problem: it doesn't matter how great your products are if no-one knows they exist.
 

Lord Lucan

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#6
Wordpress (free) has a wonderful plugin for e-commerce called WooCommerce (also free) which can handle just about every kind of online transaction imaginable. From tangible goods, to downloadable goods and files and recurring payment/membership type scenarios, it has you covered. You can integrate your own merchant accounts, Paypal, Stripe etc It can calculate v.a.t or g.s.t or sales tax and although it has a reasonable learning curve, it's really quite intuitive. It takes a little time to set it up initially, but once running, it's as smooth as silk.
I agree with the above comments regarding Etsy.
There are also other online platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce. Both excellent and easy to set up.
Getting word out is of prime importance and won't happen overnight. In my opinion, you are better to grow awareness organically, which takes time, but in the long run serves you better. It however, may not make you much money until word get out.
There is an old adage when it comes to websites and that is ''Content is king''. When it comes to selling ''Promotion is king'' without a doubt.
 

Spudrick68

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#8
Thank you all for your kind words. The reason for this is that I should soon be dropping to four days a week from five.

I did write a book which I put on Amazon for Kindle, more as a technical excersize than anything else. it sold a few copies, which did surprise me TBH!

I am thinking of trying to write a few more book over time and also have a go at trying to get accepted to sell stock photos. I understand that this is as much as understanding what sells and why people want to buy them (for magazine illustrations...) Also by November I will be upgrading my camera to a Fuji X100F, refurbished from Fuji. My current camera from them and has been fantastic. This is, for me, a big investment at £899 (around £1200 brand new). It is a fixed lens (as we like to travel a lot) and I understand that this is used by pro journalists.

My thoughts are to give these a go, without putting undue pressure on myself.

Thank you once again. :)
 

Lord Lucan

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#12
Best of luck. If you have a niche market with a saleable item that people want, you'll do alright.
 

Krepostnoi

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#13
I did write a book which I put on Amazon for Kindle, more as a technical excersize than anything else. it sold a few copies, which did surprise me TBH!

I am thinking of trying to write a few more book over time
Maybe drop @XEPER_ a line - he's done all right selling e-books via Amazon. Good luck with it all!
 

DrPaulLee

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#16
Aha, I heard my name mentioned!
Selling on Amazon is very easy - the website kdp.amazon.com allows you up to upload printed versions (eg pdf) and kindle versions of your books. You can set the countries in which you want to sell, specify you price - everything is there and it honestly is so simple. The other outlet is lulu.com - they allow you to sell the (IMHO) less popular epub format, and you can also sell on Amazon there, too (but I have heard that because of this, they take a bigger cut of your money).
As for publicity, I've used every trick in the book - facebook is a good outlet for spreading the news (you can create a page dedicated to your product and invite people to join), but you can also ask friends to spread the word, and contact relevant societies, offering them a review copy of your book. Contacting local newspapers is always a good tactic as they love local interest stories. A recent avenue I'm trying is twitter.

One little piece of advice - please don't expect the money to come in over night. Some times it can take months for word of mouth to spread and for a good revenue to build up, and then you'll get sales surges (eg my Titanic book gets more sales in April and Christmas than any other time of the year). Asking societies or magazines to review is a good tactic but, again, it can take many months for a write-up to appear (for instance, I'm still waiting for a review of my ghost Android App to appear in the FT - but they do have a two-month turn-around, so maybe in late Spring?)
 

DrPaulLee

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#17
There is another point, just briefly touched upon above, and that is when to publicise and release your material.
Say you wanted to release something on the 100th anniversary of an event. Will other people have the same idea? Will the market be swamped by similar products? Will your product be lost in the crowd? Look at Amazon etc. and see what's coming up - they often advertise products months in advance. Of course, this is no guarantee of anything, as books on Createspace and Lulu can be released immediately with no pre-publicity.
 

XEPER_

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#19
Also, on the Wordpress thing - I wouldn't. I have a Wordpress site and you can't monetize it at all, it sucks. Mine is the Wordpress.com, I think you need to use the Wordpress.org and basically set it all up yourself. I never really thought about any of that when I started doing my website, but I would now, if I could be arsed.
 

catseye

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#20
Re selling books.

Try to get local groups to let you give talks on your subject (the subject of your books). Local libraries are good for this, WH Smith is opening its doors to indie authors, local WI's love people to come and talk to them too. But you will sell more books through word of mouth than through advertising, at least to start with. Would recommend having printed copies (you can POD) to show off, and people like to buy a 'real' book if you do talks. If your subject is suitable, local schools often like authors to go in and talk to students about their books too.
 

XEPER_

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#22
Re: Wordress. I'm against its use for another reason. Everyone uses it and it makes sites look like clones of each other.
That's a fair point, although the other one people use (Blogger is it?) does the same. I am quite happy with how my own website looks but I try running Google's speed tests on it (which it must pass or they won't show it to as many people in searches) and it fails miserably. Unfortunately, Wordpress don't let you fix any of the faults unless you pay a fortune to upgrade to the Business plan!
I don't really care about the website to be honest, hardly anyone looks at it.
 

Krepostnoi

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#23
That's a fair point, although the other one people use (Blogger is it?) does the same. I am quite happy with how my own website looks but I try running Google's speed tests on it (which it must pass or they won't show it to as many people in searches) and it fails miserably. Unfortunately, Wordpress don't let you fix any of the faults unless you pay a fortune to upgrade to the Business plan!
I don't really care about the website to be honest, hardly anyone looks at it.
I always found my professional website to be much more use as a portfolio I could point potential customers at rather than as a generator of leads. I confess it does run wordpress, but under a custom domain name. That said, I haven't touched it in months...
 

XEPER_

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#24
I always found my professional website to be much more use as a portfolio I could point potential customers at rather than as a generator of leads. I confess it does run wordpress, but under a custom domain name. That said, I haven't touched it in months...
Yeah mine has my name attached and I enjoy using it to post audiobook reviews and the odd time I make a research trip, but my readers don't seem to bother with it. Which is cool, as long as they buy my books!
 
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