If you’re writing great blog posts, but not doing anything with them after you hit “publish” you could be leaving THOUSANDS of dollars on the table.
Here’s the thing: You’re already putting hours of time into creating content for your blog that supports your business. And hopefully, you’re using it as the nexus of your social media strategy as well, and promoting it around the web.
But what is that content doing for you in the weeks and months after you’ve published it?
If you’re smart, you’re converting that content you’ve already spent time and energy creating into a product that can earn you money.
There are two ways you can accomplish this: Working backwards, or working forward.
I’ve created a free worksheet that walks you through both of these strategies and more, which you can download here.
Working Backwards to Create a Product
If you have a lot of content in your back catalogue, chances are some of it would make a good product.
When Ramit Sethi got more than 200 comments on a post about saving money, he decided to expand that into a product called “The Scrooge Strategy” that delivered daily money-saving tips to subscribers.
It’s easy to check Google Analytics to find your most popular posts (I include a link to a tutorial in the worksheet) but you might also consider different metrics, because the post that gets the most traffic may not be the most useful to your ideal reader or your business.
Either way, determining your most popular or most useful content and then morphing it into a new product is a great strategy, because it’s already proven itself that your readers want to see it.
Working Forward to Create a Product
The other option is to plan your content around a product you want to produce.
I often coach my VIP blogging clients to think about the products they want to develop next and to use their blogs to help them do so.
One new client I’ve been working with had a goal of developing an autoresponder product that would showcase the many different ways people could integrate her message into their lives. As a result, we’re developing a series of blog posts that will later be tweaked and become the autoresponder content — effectively killing two birds with one stone.
You can also flip this on its head; another new client I’m working with is writing a book, so for the next couple of months, I’m going to edit sections of her chapters into blog posts and tease the launch of her book. Again, we’re using the same content for two distinct business purposes.
Use the Minimum Viable Product strategy
I would guess that a lot more people DON’T create products from their blog posts because they think a product has to be big, long, or complicated.
When I took Copyblogger’s “Teaching Sells” course, they focused on what they call the Minimum Viable Product strategy: in short, create the smallest, simplest, most focused product you can sell.
My Blogstorm course was born of asking myself, “What’s the smallest portion of this thing I can teach?” and brainstorming and organizing blog post ideas was it. I had already covered much of the content on my blog, and I used that as my outline. Then I created audios, had them transcribed, and created simple worksheets for each lesson. Boom. Done. In less than two weeks.
You may find that you can expand a single epic blog post into an entire product, or it may be a series of posts strung together, but try looking for the smallest thing you can teach and creating a Minimum Viable Product from that topic.
In the future, you can also build on that Minimum Viable Product and create different tiers of information and pricing; the original product can still sell for a low cost, while the upper level — maybe with more videos, more worksheets, or more bonuses — sells for more.
I’ve seen entrepreneurs do this well with ebooks. They sell the ebook for one rate, then have a second tier price that includes videos and worksheets of the information, and finally a third tier that might include one-on-one coaching.
How to choose your next content-based product.
Consider what kind of product you want to create — and what kind makes sense to create. Different kinds of content will lend themselves to different formats, and you may find that your customers prefer certain formats as well. Some suggestions:
- An ebook is probably the easiest product to create from blog posts. You could take your 10, 20, or 30 most popular blog posts and combine them into, essentially, a book of essays with only the addition of an introduction and conclusion. You can easily outsource the layout and design, and voila! Instant product.
- An autoresponder is also an easy product to create, especially if you already have and use email software for your business. The authors of The Whole 30 created a simple autoresponder sequence that sends a tip for every day of their 30-day diet sequence. The genius here is that all the information to do the diet is free on the blog — but the paid autoresponder offers additional support.
- A webinar (free or paid) is another easy product to create from content you already have. Pull out your talking points, create a few simple slides, and you are good to go. Free webinars can be used to grow your list or pitch an upsell to another product. I’ve also seen some entrepreneurs do well with paid webinars. A low entry price for a lot of valuable content makes it easy for customers to say yes, and if you have a large enough audience, they can be quite profitable.
I have some additional product ideas in the free worksheet, which you can download here.
The point is that it can be extremely profitable and definitely worth your time and energy to double the value of your content by creating a product from it.
As I mentioned above, I took the basic concepts I had already explored in a series of blog posts and a free ebook and expanded them into my Blogstorm course. Over the year and a half or so the course has been available, it’s earned me around $5,000 — well worth the 10 hours or so I spent creating it.
So, I’d love to know: Did this post give you any ideas about a product you could create from your content? Share your ideas in the comments below.
And don’t forget: You can download a free worksheet with additional ideas and information about how to convert your Content to a Product.