How to Sell Information Products Through Your Own Website
Developers and creators of information products, as a rule, are interested in selling content through their own websites; however, the development of websites is not an easy task even for experienced users. This is a how-to article for those, who are not familiar with the technologies of website building.
Besides the website that will become a showcase for information products, you need to provide the mechanism of e-commerce (preferably in automated mode) to distribute products and receive money to your account without additional actions. Obvious is the fact that before the start of sales you need to protect your education courses from copying and pirate distribution. Otherwise, all efforts to create materials will be wasted - they will leak in the public domain very fast. You can protect your content here. After protection, you will get a folder in zip-format (it can be placed on your website or on a free online file storage) and a serial number to activate access to protected files. All this should be send to a customer after confirming the purchase.
Creating a website with a showcase
There are two ways to start online sales of protected information products:
|Custom development of an individual website by a web studio.|
|Online site builder.|
This option is expensive because of its complexity: you have to figure out how everything will be, write a technical assignment, select an engine, coordinate layouts, control website coding and styles. Since the creation of a website starts from the ground up, this option is the most flexible and customizable. A web studio can make your site the way you want it to be, organize an online store, a showcase, a cart, implement any payment system by your choice, and, what is very important in the case of selling protected products, to "bolt-on" an ability to automatically generate serial numbers for sale materials. In fact, a web studio can do anything for your money.
You can find several dozen services in the internet that allow you to make a beautiful and functional website without having any skills in web design.
This way is accessible to most people, but it assumes restrictions by the set of functions and capabilities that are provided by one or another service.
Let's take Wix.com, a website builder. This service has many apps that greatly simplify working with it. For example, you can add the application "Wix Stores" to your website, which offers you to easily organize a showcase, a cart and use any type of payment (bank cards, e-wallets and so on). And this is one app of a dozen of applications in the Wix.com app store where you can find PayPal or Yandex.Money widgets and buttons.
It is quite simple to make a website with Wix.com. You can take one of many templates for certain types of business for your future site. All of them are adapted to both desktops and mobile phone screens. You just need to be patient and imagine how your website should look like.
You do not need to have at least some skills in HTML or PHP, since the whole process is based only on graphic elements.
How to create a website on Wix.com:
|Register an account.|
|Choose a template you like.|
|Organize a layout of main elements: pages, menu items, etc.|
|Make your website in the corporate style.|
|Add a company description, type of business and other information that can be useful for visitors.|
|Add a showcase with products you want to sell, using existing apps.|
|Add a shopping cart app.|
|Add payment systems (it's not so simple, see below for details).|
Everything will turn out. Your website will already be visible in the Internet after the last point, and everyone can visit it. Yes, it takes time, but still cheaper and easier than creating a website with the help of a web studio from the ground up.
Wix.com also provides an opportunity to purchase your own domain through a partner, use Google AdWords and Yandex.Direct, keep databases for further organization of mailings to customers (templates of letters there are also there) and much more. Almost ideal service in order to start selling protected products.
But the main downside of the website builder is that you cannot implement a system for automatically generating serial numbers, if you are going to sell protected information products, because you will not have access to your site code and its files stored on the service’s server. There is only a visual editor and the set of a limited number of applications.
To solve such problem you have two ways:
- Manual generation and sending of serial numbers. You will receive an email message with payment info for a product from the site created with the help of a website builder. After that, you will be able to generate a serial number for a sale product in your SFContent.com personal account and send it to a buyer by email with a download link.
- Using a shopping cart from third-party services with auto-sending function of serial numbers.
Auto-sending of serial numbers using third party-services
Such an excellent option for those who want to maximize the automation of the process of selling and sending information products to buyers.
Some services provide an opportunity to create a shopping cart for the catalog of your products under their domain, as well as organize the process of buying and paying.
Also you can design a shopping cart which looks like your website for user's convenience.
A user will be automatically redirected to the page with the order of products, where he/she can add it to a shopping cart. After the order, a serial number and a link to download a protected product will be sent to the user's email automatically without any problems. You just need to generate a batch of serial numbers in your SFContent.com account and put it into a third-party shopping cart.
Choose payment system
While choosing payment systems and aggregators, you should consider several nuances.
If you want to use, for example, PayPal to accept payments, you need to know that in order for your buyers to be able to transfer payments for your products, they also need to have a PayPal account and bind a bank card to it. There is a commission of 4% to 6% of a payment amount.
In case you need a universal tool for accepting payments, you can implement a payment aggregator, for example, CCBill, which provides access to the most popular payment systems, electronic money services, with an ability to withdraw funds directly from a bank card or from a mobile phone account. Perhaps this is the most convenient option for your users. The service takes a commission with each payment and a fee for withdrawing funds from a service to your bank card.
To finish with I would like to say that it is your choice how to arrange your e-commerce. When you are a fresher it is better to use ready solutions. You will get experience and understanding what you really need. And after becoming skilled professional you easily can order a customer site with all necessary automation.