Earning revenue using online downloads is probably the simplest business model around. But that doesn't mean it's easy! Selling digital goods has advantages, but it has disadvantages too. Because there is no physical product, you can sell the same item over and over and over... no shipping, no handling or delivery costs. However you'll find that online shoppers tend to be fickle. They want it free, and they want a demo and they want a trial copy, and because the physical and geographical barriers for selling online are nonexistent, competition is global. To succeed with online sales you need a product that is both desired and competitively priced, and remarkable enough to entice buyers and attract attention.
You can't fake it. If you create an undesirable product, it doesn't matter how many people you show it to - they won't want it and won't pay for it. You need to examine what it is you're good at, and what kind of valuable goods you can create. Or you can find someone else's products and acquire the proper licenses to resell them. If you go the second route, make sure you have reseller rights!
To create digital content, you will need authoring software. Sometimes the software you need is free, common, or comes built in to your operating system, but for other types of media you may need sophisticated, commercial, or possibly expensive custom authoring software. Yet you may be surprised that many kinds of digital goods can be authored using free open-source software or inexpensive alternatives.
Ask: Do people want what I'm creating? Are there people who are looking for it? Do I satisfy a need, or fulfil a desire?
Creating digital content may sometimes be faster than manufacturing physical goods, but don't start thinking you can whip up 10 good e-books in one night. It'll take time to create something valuable, so do take your time. You would rather sell lots of copies of five items that you're proud of and can take credit for, than fewer copies of many items that you're ashamed to have available. The quality of the product you create justifies a higher selling price. Since you can make copies of the item indefinitely, a higher selling price affords you greater long-term income.
Listing an item at Scubbly is simple. First, click the "Sell" tab. You'll be prompted to enter a store name, provide your PayPal address, and agree to some legal stipulations. Then click the huge "Add an Item" button, upload your file, and describe it.
The description of your item is where you need to do your best sales job. What you write (or don't write) in that box can make a huge difference in sales. Here are some tips, from professional marketing writers:
If the product is good, and you are describing the product faithfully, you can't lose.
Instead of "this font is very pretty", say "You'll love how pretty this font is"
Instead of "this book was great to read", say "Everyone who has read this says it's great".
Writing good online sales copy is NOT like writing Literature. Buyers don't read. Keep your sentences short. Keep your ideas succinct. If you use descriptive advectives, make sure they're assertive and punchy.
None of the above efforts will make a difference if no one ever finds your item listing page. In order to make sales, you need to drive traffic into it. A few people may stumble across it as they browse around Scubbly, but I'll bet on any given day, more people are searching for things on Google or Bing than they are on Scubbly. You need to find the people out there who want your product, and bring them to your item.
Here are some avenues you can explore to bring traffic to your sales page:
A popular option, which allows you to show ads to people who are searching for keywords you target. With PPC ads, you only pay for ads when someone clicks on them. Google, Facebook, and Yahoo all offer popular PPC advertising programs.
Less expensive, and effective in some markets. Banners are usually purchased on a CPM (Cost Per Million) model, where you are buying impressions of your ads, not clicks.
An extremely complex and fickle subject! But take heart - Scubbly has it covered. Scubbly was built from the start with SEO in mind, to ensure that your item will be well-indexed, and has a good shot at prominent placement in the search engine rankings. You can improve your product's rank by building links - try to get many other sites to link to your product. Make sure you append your affiliate ID!
Very helpful, and growing more so. Messages sent from friends through social networks are far more persuasive than ones encountered in online advertisements.
Radio, TV, newspapers, billboards, fliers, etc... these are effective too. Some businesses have turned successful offline campaigns into successful online sales.
Scubbly has it, so why not use it? If you offer a sweet commission on sales of your product, you'll get other people working to sell your products! Though you will earn less per sale after paying the affiliate commission, you'll benefit from higher sales volume via someone else's effort. Affilite marketers are usually very talented at attracting online buyers, earning their living selling other people's products. And since Scubbly handles all the payment processing and product fulfilment, you can't lose.
Want to learn more about online marketing? Start perusing the forums at WebmasterWorld to get tips and advice from the industry's best.