Make Money Online with Digital Products

Money

Ever feel like the universe is trying to tell you something?

I had that feeling this week.  On two separate occasions, I read about the vast benefits of sharing with other people.

Now, of course I share.  We’re all taught to do so.  But sometimes it becomes tempting to not share the really good stuff, the really informative stuff, for fear you’ll lose your spot in this digital world.

Well, my friends, I love you, and I’m glad you’re here with me.  I’m going to share two phenomenal resources that talk about how to make money online, both of which I found this week.

I’ve launched a digital product, and I’m so glad I did it, but there are so many things I’d do differently if I had to do it over again.

I also think that you can never learn too much about a subject.  Despite my “experience” I’ve gained so much from reading these two resources.

Important:  I chose not to use an affiliate link for one of the resources {the other does not have an open affiliate program} because I really wanted this to be a completely selfless act.  This is just me sharing what I’ve read and enjoyed.

5K SALES IN 365 DAYS

I found Mayi Carles just a few weeks ago via the iHN Social Media Pinterest board.

I was hooked. Great content {creative business, bloggy, organization type stuff}, an infectious smile, and all-around bouncy-bubbly-pizzazzy feel that made me even more excited to be in this space that I’m in.

I devoured her content.  I signed up for the newsletter.  I’m so glad I did.

I got the email where she introduced her 5K SALES IN 365 DAYS: A QUIRKY + PRACTICAL GUIDE TO CREATING BEST-SELLING DIGITAL PRODUCTS IN YOUR PAJAMAS eBook.

It only took me about five minutes to decide to take the plunge and purchase it.  I got the early-bird pricing, and let me tell you, this thing is worth it at any price.

Mayi calls it an anti-manual, and that’s one of the things that hooked me.  I don’t like following {all} the rules.  I think many, at least in this digital space, were meant to be broken.

I don’t like doing things the way everyone else does them, just because some really popular person said to do it that way.  I want what works for me, and my folks, whether bright pink is an “acceptable” color choice or not.

Because really, if you’re not happy, why do it?

This guide is full of practical, actionable information you can use to build your digital products, sales page, tribe, and bank account.  It’s not full of a bunch of fluff.  It’s written by a creative, so it really comes from an angle that other creatives can understand.

And, it gives the best advice on pricing I’ve ever read.

Go get it.  Now.

THE BOOTSTRAP VA

I was introduced to Lisa Morosky via this post on Blogging with Amy.  That’s right, it was just Tuesday.

“Get on the “Insider’s List” and get an eBook overview, plus special pricing”, Amy said.  Special pricing off of what price?  How much?

I decided to take the leap of faith and join.  I’m so glad I did.

Last night I purchased {and completely read} The Bootstrap VA: The Go-Getter’s Guide to Becoming a Virtual Assistant, Getting and Keeping Clients, and More!.

The eBook is unbelievably inexpensive for the information you get.  At over 150 pages and just $12.99, it’s a steal.

Right away, I learned something: VAing is not what you think it is.  It encompasses a vast array of services and fields.  It’s not just office work.

Why does this matter?  Because you might have something to offer!

Lisa gives very detailed information on a} whether starting a VA business is for you and b} how to start it, if it is.

One of my favorite parts? She gives you actual examples of each item.  She recommends you do “X,” and she shows you how she does “X” so you’re not left wondering exactly how it should be done.

Absolutely can’t recommend it enough.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCES

We live in an information society.  There’s tons of it out there.

It can be hard to wade through it all.

So tell me, what are your favorite resources for making money with digital products?

Blissdom Breakdown 4: I Found My Bliss

Blissdom Conference 2012

Be sure to check out the first, second, and third posts in the series, too!

I got more out of Blissdom than I could ever put into these breakdown posts.  I wanted to touch on a few key parts, though, and I hope you guys have enjoyed it!

By the way…

My newsletter subscribers got an extra shot of bliss with exclusive access to my notes for the session on growing  your Facebook fan page and a book giveaway.  You can subscribe to it here!

Blissdom was one of the first blogging conferences I found out about after I started blogging back in August, 2010.

It looked fun, educational, and just awesome, but it also looked unattainable.  There were so many costs associated with it, and I had no idea I’d be at this point with my blogging, looking to do more.

When Vince suggested I go, it was like that little push I needed to make it happen.  I have a hard time spending large amounts of money on myself {like most mothers} and I have a hard time doing things for myself {like most mothers}, and Vince is always encouraging me to do things for myself.

I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten until my sister-in-law asked me what I was doing for myself.  There we stood, in the kitchen, cooking dinner for the family {me stressing, as usual} and she looked at me and said, “So what are you doing for yourself?  You’re always working and doing stuff for Ava and Vince, but what are you doing for fun for you?”

It stopped me dead in my tracks.  Like, I literally stopped chopping whatever it was I was chopping and looked at her, and I couldn’t answer her.

I was associating fun and fulfillment with my taking care of my family.  I was putting everything I had into working and into their needs.

Yes, I do get a certain kind of fulfillment out of caring for my family, and it can be fun, but it’s not the same.

I felt depleted.  I felt slightly bitter.  I felt exhausted, mundane, and irritated.

Irritated that I had let myself get to this point.  Irritated that I was so selfish to want to do things for myself.  Irritated that I felt selfish when I knew it wasn’t selfish.

Bitter that I had neglected myself in an effort to give to my family, which is not at all the way it should be done.

Exhausted from the constant thought process of doing for my family.  They needed me, they couldn’t function without me, so I needed to always be anticipating their needs.

One of the many problems with this is that it doesn’t work like this.  I was taking from them.  I was giving them sloppy seconds.

As I tried to blog and create this business, I was doing nothing justice.

Blissdom helped me refocus, refuel, and repurpose my life.  I felt new and fresh and happy when I left Blissdom.

I found my bliss.

I knew my family could make it without me.  I knew I could make it without them.

I was able to be Tiffany for five days.  I was able to have conversations with other women who did the same thing I do, but in vastly different ways.

I was able to make connections that I never would have otherwise.

I was able to dance and have fun, relax, go to bed early,and not worry about anything else than myself and my brand for five days.

I came home with a deeper love for my family and a deeper understanding of what I wanted out of my blog.

I am by no means perfect, and I will make mistakes along the way, but I feel I am in a great place right now.

It’s all thanks to Blissdom.  If I can help it, I will never miss a year going forward.

That’s how special it was.

Blissdom Breakdown 3: Real Peeps

Blissdom Floor

Blissdom Conference 2012

You can also check out my first and second recap posts!

One of my Blissdom goals was to meet at least five new people while there.  Check baby!

There’s something really satisfying about meeting people that you’ve seen online.  They’re real!

Sometimes you feel like you’re old friends despite never having met.  And then, going forward, you have a basis for a great friendship even if you don’t see each other for at least a year…

The first day, during registration, I met Misty from The Family Math {no, it’s not a math blog}.  As in, I went to stand in line for registration and she introduced herself.  Just like that.

Turns out we were following each other already and had had a few interactions on Twitter.  I don’t think we could have planned that any better.

Going forward, she was my conference buddy; a friendly face to look for in the crowd.  A fun person to make plans to attend events with.

After the {awesome} Handmade Marketplace, I wasn’t quite sure what I’d do to kill time until the Newcomer’s Meetup.  Walked out of the room and there was Misty with a group of women, sitting on the floor.

I joined them.  Perhaps one of the best decisions I made at the conference.

Photo Credit

We sat.  We laughed.  We grew in numbers.  All newbs.  It was awesome.

I met:  Issa, Shelley, Lisa, and Esther.

Later that night, at the Kick-Off Reception, I got up the nerve to approach Sue, Wendy, and Meghan.

I wanted to meet bloggers I’ve been following for some time, and I’ve been reading these homeschoolers’ blogs for some time.

I was terrified, but glad I did.  They were all super sweet and gave me some great company during the event.

Photo Credit

The next morning I had breakfast with a bunch of homeschoolers.  Totally rocked!

I met Tiany, Amy, Susan, and others!

I met many more wonderful women, and I know I haven’t listed them all here.  I have yet to get through my huge stack of business cards.

I met women at sessions.  I met women at parties.  I met so many women.

It felt like community.

It was awesome.

Blissdom Breakdown 2: Branding YOU

Blissdom Conference 2012

You can read my first breakdown post here.

One of my goals for attending Blissdom was to gain knowledge on growing my brand, building a business.

I have a business management degree and have started a couple of businesses, but blogging as a business is its own animal, so I really wanted to soak up as much knowledge as possible at the conference.

On Saturday afternoon I attended what turned out to be my favorite Blissdom session:  Branding YOU:  The Merger Between Their Perception and Your Reality, by Tami Heim.

In addition to being an engaging public speaker, Tami presented information that was both interesting and useful, deep and meaningful and actionable.  She graciously gave us permission to share this information with others.

This post is a bit long, but I really encourage you to bookmark it and come back to it if you can’t read through it all now.  It’s great information.

What is a Brand?

 

Simply put, a brand is an emotional or intellectual connection between you and someone else.

Your brand is about your target audience.  It’s what you want them to feel when they see the visual representation of that brand.  It’s what you want to cause in someone.

The trick to getting this right is to properly convey this to others.  If you’re brand is cute baby stuff, your visual representations will not likely elicit thoughts of anger, disgust, or contempt.

And like it or not, we have about four seconds to get that point across to our readers.

How Do You Get It Right?

 

Tami came at branding from a personal and internal standpoint.  Once you know who you are, your brand can reflect that and everything will flow from that concrete knowledge.

It will enable you to only take on work that is truly in-line with your brand.  It will enable you to do the work you were meant to do, and nothing else.  It provides an awesome sense of focus and purpose.

So, how do you come about this great revelation?

Blissdom’s sessions this year were broken up into instruction, group work, and Q&A time.  Tami did an outstanding job of talking a little and then giving us time to work with others at our table.  She did this, back and forth, as we worked through three different sections of our worksheets:

The Journey from the Inside Out

For this section, we used a Core Values worksheet and a Strengths reference guide to come up with our five most important core values and our five greatest strengths.

Being You

In this section, we listed our priorities and goals and the impact our success in achieving these would have on others.  Here’s one of mine:

My goal: raise a strong, independent, fearless daughter / The impact:  a woman who knows she has the power to change the world

We then took a personal stand; we created an “I AM” statement:  who you are, what you do, and how it impacts others.  My statement is:

I am a passionate wife and mother who thrives on achievement and cultivating the best family possible.  I strive to empower others through my curiosity, vitality, and love of learning by sharing helpful and relevant information.

Through this, you can determine if you are sharing relevant information, working in conjunction with your “I AM” statement.

The Merger of Your Reality and Their Perception

Extraordinary behaviors follow extraordinary thinking.

If you are consistent in working within your “I AM” statement, the perception the world has of you will be aligned with the way you want your brand perceived.

Tami had us list five personal, professional, and digital {specific} behaviors that reinforce and reflect this.

The Art of Living Out You

 

This information is taken directly from our worksheet, and is written by Tami Heim.

Choose:  Every decision is yours alone to make.

Commit to be YOU:  You are one of a kind and it’s tragic if the world misses out on all that is wonderfully you.

Accept responsibility:  Own that you have the power to cause whatever your words and actions direct.

Empower yourself:  The past is the past, but the future is full of possibilities for you to embrace or create.

Review your brand framework:  Keep what you believe to be true ever before you.

Stay focused on the goal:  Recalculating your direction delays you from getting to your destination.

Make every action count:  If every action causes an equal or opposite reaction, know in advance what you desire to cause.

Repeat and repeat again:  Your heart is a muscle and with enough repetition it will know how to respond.

Take the high road:  Forgive, move on, and you will remain free to get where you desire to go.

Consult the trusted:  Truth from trusted friends accelerates the merger between your reality and the world’s perception of YOU.

So what is your brand framework? Do you have it figured out? Will you be working through this process?

Blissdom Breakdown 1: Be a Quitter

Blissdom Conference 2012

I know Blissdom happened almost two weeks ago, but I’ve been so busy since I got back, I haven’t had a chance to really sit down and digest what I learned.

There was so much information to digest, I can’t fit it into one post. So, I’m doing several.  This first post is about the opening keynote.

The keynote was delivered by Jon Acuff {of Quitter fame}, and was excellent. All the homeschoolers sitting at the breakfast table with me were constantly verbalizing their agreement with what he said.

Some of it stung, some of it made a light bulb go off over your head, some of it was just plain funny.  Here is what I took away from that keynote:

  • We are the first generation that needs to have a digital footprint talk with our kids.  What they put on the ‘net will stay there forever.
  • I need to figure out my dream. To do so, I need to rescue something from my past that I have a passion for; I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Ask myself: “What did I love?”, not “What do I want to do?”
  • Don’t spend my time aimlessly trying to make money with my blog. I might find myself spending time making enough money to buy back the soul I sold along the way.
  • Don’t compare my beginning to someone else’s middle.
  • Look for hinge moments, those moments that are pivotal in making my dream a reality. The moments that open up that special opportunity.
  • Make time for things that matter, the 3D people in my life.
  • Let my kid be my kid, not my content all the time.
  • Kids don’t live in the later.
  • Learn to disappoint the right people. Hint:  my family is not included in that list of people.
  • Ignore the voices. Both internal and external. Stop chasing after haters. Pay attention to those who love me.
  • Critics math {1 hater + 100 folks who love me = 1 hater} makes those who love you disappear. Don’t fall victim to it.
  • Don’t be afraid to jump shelves. If my heart is taking me in a different direction, follow it. Those that matter will still be there for me.
  • Something that is 90% perfect and shared with others changes the world more than being 100% stuck.

There was quite a bit more packed into that session, and I can’t wait to get access to Blissdom at Home to review it. Thankfully, Jon gave us all a copy of his book so that we could continue to learn about being a quitter and pursuing our passion.

See, that was the overreaching theme of Blissdom: pursuing your passion. Letting everything you do flow from that passion. Living your life in accordance with that passion.

It was absolutely phenomenal. If you ever get a chance to attend Blissdom, I would recommend you do so in a millisecond. It perfectly married technical know-how with lifting you up as a person.

I came away with a much clearer idea of what I wanted to do with my blog and where I’d like to take it in the future. I felt that I belonged. I belonged to a group of caring, creative, and visionary people.

I’m a dork and I almost teared up during the opening video. I couldn’t believe I was sitting at Blissdom, at a table with homeschool bloggers I’d been following since I started blogging, getting absolutely incredible info.

Here is the opening video, courtesy of the Blissdom folks. It is posted on their homepage, but I am sharing it with you here in hopes that it will inspire you.

BlissDom ’12 – Opening Video from Blissful Media Group on Vimeo.