Learn what types of online content you can sell and where you can sell it.
Hi there, The Digital Marketer here, ready to help you put the power of the Internet and technology to work for your business.
Many people sell things online even though not all of us have typical products to sell. There are sites and marketplaces where you can sell just about anything, including content. I’ll tell you about some of the best sites to use.
What Kinds of Content Can You Sell?
To clarify, when I'm talking about "content" here, I'm referring to multimedia content, which could include your text, photographs, illustrations, videos, and even music and spoken word. There are many ways you can leverage-- and sell-- quality content you produce even if you aren't a professional content developer or producer.
Here are just a few ideas:
How to Produce and Sell Books and Other Products
I'm a big fan of Lulu.com, a site that started out as a place for people to easily produce and sell comic books. Since the 90s, they've expanded into publishing regular books, offering several types of binding, including perfect bound, saddle stitch, spiral bound, and hardcover. If words are your forte, you can compile your content into book form. You can even upload and sell an eBook through Lulu.
Lulu.com also let's you publish CDs and DVDs so you can sell music, audiobooks, animation, video, and even software. If you have a lot of images, you could also produce and sell calendars via Lulu.
The nice thing about Lulu.com -- and any print-on-demand site - is that you don't have to produce or purchase inventory in advance. You can set up your Lulu.com store to display your multimedia products; then each item is produced when someone purchases it. Lulu.com also takes care of the transaction and fulfillment. You establish the profit margin you want as you set up your products for production.
Another place to produce books with your words and visual content is Blurb.com. Though Blurb is especially known for their beautifully produced photo books, another Blurb specialty is converting blog content into Blog Books. Blurb works with Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, and even WordPress to import and map your blog text, the embedded images, even the comments and links, turning them into designed page layouts.
When producing a book through Blurb, you can upload a PDF you've produced yourself or download their free software called Blurb Booksmart -- compatible with both Mac and PC -- to lay out and upload your books with ease. Like Lulu, you set your profit margin in advance and then sell through the Blurb online bookstore.
How to Sell Your Visuals
If visuals are your content of choice, you can upload and sell high resolution, high quality images on Fotolia.com and iStockPhoto.com. Both sites accept photographs, vector illustrations, and even video. iStockPhoto also carries Flash and audio files. Both sites work off a point system, selling images for X number of points. Each point translates to a dollar.
Not all stock image sites accept just any image, however. Though you can sign up as a contributor and upload files to Fotolia without a vetting process, iStockPhoto actually quizzes you and then asks you to submit three of your best samples to be approved. Both Fotolia and iStockPhoto will pay you more for each file you sell if you contribute to them exclusively.
Selling stock images and files are often more micro-transactions so you have to sell a lot of copies to make significant money, but if you have a vast archive of high quality files gathering dust, putting them online for sale could be a nice passive income generator.
How to Sell Downloads
If you want to keep your content in digital form or produce digital audio and video, there are many sites and tools you can use to monetize that content. A great marketplace for quality video and audio is iAmplify, a site that sells your e-content and even offers versions compatible with iPhones and other digital devices so your content becomes portable.
If you consider yourself an expert, iAmplify promotes itself as a place for others to get "expert advice, instruction and inspiration." iAmplify actually specializes in the fitness, self-help, and business training markets but not exclusively. Even Martha Stewart sells her downloadable files via Martha Stewart University on the iAmplify site.
Using iAmplify's MediaFactory feature, you can sell your uploaded audio and video clips on your site, iAmplify's site, or other sites in their affiliate network. You can create different product packages including individual downloads, bundles, and ongoing subscriptions. And like other self-publishing tools, you can determine the packaging and pricing for your product.
More Good Sites for Downloadable Content
If you're looking for simple transaction engines and marketplaces for your downloadable content, check out sites like E-Junkie and Payloadz. See what other people are selling there to spark some ideas of what you might be able to sell as well.
Bottom Line: There are tools out there to make it easy for you to build a marketplace for the content you produce. Many of us are sitting on archives of quality content in a variety of multimedia formats that we could be leveraging -- and selling -- online.
That's all we have time for today. Visit the show’s website at digitalmarketer.quickanddirtytips.com for links to all of the sites mentioned in the show. If you'd like to ask a question or request a topic for The Digital Marketer, email me at email@example.com .
The Digital Marketer's Quick and Dirty Tips for Building Your Business With Web Tools is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips network at quickanddirtytips.com.
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1. Lulu.com - http://www.lulu.com
2. Blurb - http://www.blurb.com
3. Blurb Blog Books - http://www.blurb.com/create/book/blogbook
4. Fotolia - http://www.fotolia.com
5. iStockPhoto - http://www.istockphoto.com
6. iAmplify - http://www.iamplify.com
7. E-Junkie - http://www.e-junkie.com
8. Payloadz - http://www.payloadz.com
Sell Key image courtesy of Shutterstock