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Geek out: Best tools for selling eProducts from your blog (Part 1)

best-tools-for-selling-eproducts-blog-th

There’s a bit of a shift happening in Blogland right now that I am really excited about, and that is the move away from relying solely on advertising and affiliates to pay your bills (there are so many reasons why I don’t think this is a good way to run your blog), to diversifying and turning what you already do so well (create useful / beautiful / entertaining content) into your own digital products that you can sell yourself via the audience you’ve already created (aka on your blog).

In fact the trend seems to be that more and more blogs are actually making the majority of their income from eProducts, whether it’s eBooks, printables, eCourses, photos, blog themes, whatever. The options are as wide and varied as the blogs selling them.

And it’s a bandwagon I’ve hitched myself to for the last 12 months (SBB sells multiple eCourses), and have recently expanded again with the launch of a range of eBooks, planners and printables both here and over on DDGDaily.com (my main blog). And in the process have researched and road tested a whole bunch of the different tools and plugins out there you can use to sell your eProducts, and I wanted to share my faves with you here (come back next week and I’ll share my favourite tools and plugins for running an eCourse as well).

Now it used to be all about eJunkie, which is really feature-packed, but personally I find it over complicated, not user-friendly and just plain ugly as well (sorry eJunkie… no offence!), so I went searching for some better options and these are what I found!

selling eproducts

Best tools for selling eBooks, Printables and other digital goods from your blog

1 – Selz (selz.com)

Best for: Really simple and beautiful product listings, and even online stores. It also lets you sign in with Facebook  or your Google account, which is such a life saver (not another password you have to remember please!)

Worst bit: No Affiliate option (yet), limited tax options (but it is coming), you have to pay extra to automatically send invoices (so people have manually ask you for them, and you have to manually create and send them which is a total pain!)

Cost: 2.1% of each transaction + Paypal or credit card processing fee, payments are made weekly.

Now if you have recently purchased one of the SBB eBooks or Planners you will have already seen Selz in action. If not you can check out our current online store here, or see how the embeddable buttons work on this post here.

As you can see Selz looks really slick, and the back end is just as stylish, and user friendly.

It takes mere minutes to get everything up and running and there are lots of customisation options and extra add ons too which is nice. it also works as a Facebook store and is really easy to set up there too.

The main drawback for me with Selz is a lack of Affiliate platform, and for me this is really important.  However I do know they are constantly adding features in, so fingers crossed this one won’t be too far away

2 – Send Owl (sendowl.com

Best for: All the boring but important stuff, aka Affiliates, sorting out Taxes, and dealing with the new EU VAT issues.

Worst bit:  You need to edit the button code to make it look nice, and it doesn’t have an in-built store option.

Cost: From $9 per month (depending on features required and number of products), payments are immediate (so you get paid in dribs and drabs).

Send Owl is one I stumbled upon after a bit of a late night phone shopping spree (you know the ones, when you just can’t get to sleep so you go on Instagram….and then three days later mystery parcels start arriving at your house?), again it’s is very easy to set up the basics, and the best bit of it is that they have some really clever options around handling all the tax stuff. Aka you can set it to charge GST to Australian customers only, but for it to be included in the price, not added (why should Aussies have to pay more, right?), and as I mentioned above it does give you the option to block all EU sales if you like.

 If you have no idea what I am talking about with regards to the EU VAT thing click here, you will need to know it if you plan on selling digital goods online.

3 – Celery (trycelery.com

Best for: Pre-orders and fund raising, and it’s probably the slickest design wise too.

Worst bit: None of the extras, no online store, no affiliates, no VAT stuff (or none that I could easily find anyway!).

Cost:  2% of each transaction + Paypal or credit card processing fee

Celery again looks super slick, and I just LOVE that it gives you the option to do pre-sales, so you can actually be selling your eBook or other product BEFORE it’s even finished, and then once it is all done and ready to go, it automatically sends out the finished product to the relevant people too, and will then switch to normal selling mode.

Pretty clever, and pretty gorgeous too!

Extra credit : Etsy

Yes, that’s right, you can sell digital products from Etsy!  Which has it’s own benefits, like an existing audience of people keen to buy, plus there are tools to help you embed your Etsy store into your blog or site if you like.

They also have pretty inexpensive paid promotion options for your listings, so you can promote your wares as well.

Personally I think it’s good to have an Etsy store as well as your own, I mean, why not. If your product is relevant, then get it out to as many people as you can.

The main downside with Etsy is that again they don’t seem to have the option for your own personal affiliate offerings (although there are Etsy affiliate programs out there), and they have quite small file size maximums, so if what you are selling is a really big file you might be in trouble (I had to split mine up into smaller files which wasn’t ideal).

The verdict

I personally am still torn. If Selz had affiliates, and some more options with the tax stuff I would stay with them in heart beat, but until they do my vote probably goes to Send Owl. Yes it is a bit more fiddly to set up your buttons, and you will have to create your own actual store page somehow,  but once you’ve done one it’s not too bad, and I think the amount of hassle it will save you with the important stuff like taxes and affiliates etc.. is going to make it well worth it.

 Image via dollarphotoclub.com

Have you tried selling eProducts from your blog? What did you use? Any advice?

COMMENTs:

  1. Vanessa

    January 15th, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Good list – the only one I had heard of for digital products was Etsy. I’ve been looking into Gumroad.

  2. Kate McKibbin

    January 15th, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    I forgot about Gumroad, I know I have looked into them before, but can’t remember why I didn’t go with them. Might have to go re-check them out! x

  3. Vanessa

    January 22nd, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    I tweeted to Gumroad the other day and they do allow you to block countries (eg EU), if anyone’s interested to know that!

  4. Sam

    January 15th, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Hey Kate,

    In Selz you can block to any countries or areas including EU countries in the who you sell to section 🙂 and they have just brought out a VAT tax option too.

    Sam 🙂

  5. Kate McKibbin

    January 15th, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    yay… happy dance 🙂 x Have updated now!

  6. gina

    January 15th, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    This is a great post. 2015 is my year of launching! Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Anna

    January 15th, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Thank you so much. This post is EXACTLY what I need for 2015 (and beyond of course). So pleased I found you and your information. …gold!

  8. Crystal G

    January 15th, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    I’ve been using Gumraod and Amazon Create Space to sell my ebook. I’m looking at moving to Click Bank so I can set up an affiliate program once I re-edit my book.Both are good, Amazon is great for SEO purposes and people finding you and your product online.

  9. Jeanette

    January 15th, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    I am in prgress to start my own Etsy shop and in my blog. Really looking forward to it:)

  10. Riche

    January 15th, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    I like Sellfy.com to use for instant downloads of eboooks.

  11. Kate McKibbin

    January 16th, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Hi Riche, Do you mind sharing why you like them? I’d love to hear more about how they work x

  12. Louise Blakely

    January 16th, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Thanks for this awesome list. I was wondering with selz.com, how is this hosted? Do you host it on your own website or does Selz do the hosting for you? And is this the same as the others as well (except Etsy of course)?

  13. Kate McKibbin

    January 16th, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Hi Louise, with selz they do a bit of both, they have code you can easily add to your blog posts and pages to add buy now buttons etc.. on your blog. Or they also have a whole online store that they host, that you can just link to.

    The others seem to just provide the buttons for you to manually add to your blog. x

  14. Louise Blakely

    January 16th, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Thanks Kate!

  15. Amber

    January 18th, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Love this list! I hadn’t heard of all of these yet. My favorite is gumroad, because it let you set a minimum price and gives your user the possibility to pay extra if they love you and your products. So people who can afford to pay a little more can pay a little more and the people who can’t just pay the minimum price. It’s a win win.

  16. Trina

    January 19th, 2015 at 9:50 am

    I’ve installed Etsy360 plugin. It pulls your whole Etsy shop into your blog and if they click around your items i think its a page count and they only leave your blog and go to a etsy on the Buy now button.
    I like Etsy since the traffic is organic if you tag correctly and you can drive traffic back to your blog too – but also they are responsible for the ridiculous VAT EU bunch of @@@ we are struggling with in the EU. (I’m a fan) even if they/me/and everyone else is currently ignoring it.
    Also if you have something relatively low in value – I saw a blog with a Download for share button which I’m going to try.

  17. Matilda

    January 21st, 2015 at 10:08 am

    I have some ideas I want to turn into an awesome pdf freebie giveaway. I’m just wondering what program(s) you use to create a beautiful pdf? I want to make it look like a pretty infographic.

    Thank you!
    Matilda

  18. Briohny

    January 22nd, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    A great list & a blog series I’m really looking forward to. I hadn’t even thought of Etsy. I’m feeling somewhat overwhelmed about doing all the tech stuff.

  19. Melissa

    February 2nd, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Hey Kate, thanks for including Selz in this roundup and introducing us to your awesome community of women. Kristen and I in support here are big fans 🙂 As you mentioned, we don’t have an affiliate program but we do have pretty much everything else, including functionality that takes care of the recent EU VAT stuff. If anyone here has any Q’s about how Selz might work best for them I’d love to help – you can reach us at help@selz.com and Kristen and I will assist you. If you came from Secret Bloggers Business let us know, we’ll do a happy dance at our desks 🙂

  20. Kate McKibbin

    February 3rd, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    That’s awesome, thanks for saying Hi Melissa x

  21. Elle Ay Esse

    September 8th, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Great tips/advice & tools to use. I had never heard of some of these and plan to look into them all! Thank you for sharing them.

    One of y favorite sites to use for selling is Gumroad (https://gumroad.com/). The interface is clean and you can customize each product page. You also aren’t limited on how long you can make a description and everything is available at the purchasers fingertips, hassle free.

    – E

  22. ajie

    June 28th, 2019 at 2:12 am

    inspire ! nice blog

22

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