How to create your first paid download+make money from it!

Hello and happy new year! I’ve taken a bit of a break from The Bloglancer over Christmas but now I’m back, ready to inspire you for blogging in 2018! One of my biggest revelations in 2017 was learning about ‘passive income’; something I’d thought as very American and pushy in the past! But in 2017, I decided to release my first ebook: a pitching toolkit for bloggers wanting to work with brands, and couldn’t believe how simple it was!

As someone who had previously had my own book published in print with a publisher, I loved being able to create my own project on my own terms- and, this time, get the vast majority of the revenue too! But what I loved most is the fact that once you’ve written the product, you can earn money from it each day, without having to do anything at all! I was pretty addicted to seeing a sale come in when I’d not even gotten out of my pyjamas yet (newsflash-I’m publishing this and still in my pyjamas!) Somehow that money (even if it was just a single sale) seemed far more exciting than the usual work I’m paid for.

But I don’t think I did anything revolutionary-I just decided to get out there and create a product! So today I wanted to share my tips on helping you do the same. A product that you’ll need to spend a bit of time creating, but you’ll be able to make money from days, weeks, months and even years after putting the work in!

What type of product should I create?

First of all, decide what type of product you want to create. I’ve created a traditional print book with a publisher and a downloadable product. I personally think the download was much easier to produce and make money from, but there’s nothing quite like holding your work in your own hands! It might seem ambitious-but self-publishing a printed book doesn’t have to cost huge amounts.

You might also decide to just create a downloadable printable or use an online printing service to create additional materials such as booklets and flyers (especially if you are using your product to promote yourself- I did this at first when starting off as a Nutritional Therapist).

Regardless of the product, it won’t sell unless it covers a useful topic. When I was a teacher, I used to make sure my students could answer two questions about their writing…

  • Is it relevant and timely?

  • Why does anyone care?

I think these are pretty good questions to plan content around too. A good passive income product needs to be relevant (published at the right time whether it’s seasonable recipes or a January to-do list printable) but also it needs to be something people care about. Something people are constantly asking you questions about or searching for. In my case, I was constantly asking about working with emailing brands; so rather than answer everybody individually, I created my ebook instead. What question are you constantly asked about?

How do I create it?

I used canva and free stock images to create my ebook!

Once you’ve decided on a topic, now it’s time to create it! I use Canva to make my ebooks. It’s really easy to use -they have an ebook template and all sorts of free images. Pexels and Ivory Mix are great sites to source attractive, free stock images.

You can make the product as short or as long as you want! I started my download after listening to an excellent webinar (which is sadly no longer available or I’d link to it!) about creating a $1 product and this could be done by simply compiling blog posts into a PDF or pricing a free download you’ve offered before (such as a printable or cheat sheet). This was such a good idea to get started as it can be done in a matter of hours, but my ebook grew and grew until a longer product so I decided to increase the price.

Once you’ve created it, I would personally recommend setting up an account on Payhip to sell your download. Payhip allows you to upload your documents, set a retail price and then it will automatically send you your earnings via paypal after each sale.

Payhip also deals with fees you are liable for when selling a download in European Countries (these vary depending on the country of the customer) so it really is seamless. In my case, I lose about 50p per download for this service-but that covers all the fees and PayPal fees.

Another thing about Payhip is you can also add affiliates to it and discount codes- which is very useful to have flash sales or to get others onboard to sell your product.

How can I make money from it?

Show me the money!

To get people to view your product, you’ll need to create content around it. I’d personally link to the product at every chance you get (noticed how I’ve linked to my ebook today? Always time for a bit of self-promo!) whether it’s social media or your blog (I use a plugin to have it appear at the bottom of each post but also interlink to it-just like I have in this post!). You might also want to create blog posts that naturally lead to it. For example, I created a blog post ‘8 tips for emailing PRs’ which gave free advice and then linked to my ebook for more info.

As well as linking to it, it’s also worth creating a separate page about the product and including some reader’s testimonials. You might consider offering a few of your readers the chance to read it for free or at a discounted price, in exchange for a short testimonial.

For the launch period, have a limited time period discounted price to attract buyers.

I hope this blog post is useful-I’d love to hear about the passive income products you want to create. I’m working on my second now as we speak (a toolkit to grow your blog and page views) so I’ll let you know as soon as it goes live!


  1. January 21, 2018 / 8:10 pm

    Can you or have you done a post on how to link a printable to your page? I am interested in the process too. I would rather get it right the first time than have to keep working at it and using up all my free time. if you know what i mean? lol.

    • dxoxo
      January 22, 2018 / 10:41 am

      if you use payhip, you can then link directly to the product page on payhip?

  2. January 1, 2019 / 6:48 am

    I’m interested in creating my own ebook but I can’t find the ebook template on Canva. Are you able to point me in the right direction please?

    • The Bloglancer
      January 1, 2019 / 3:03 pm

      MINE comes up as a recommended template but there’s also a section called blogging and ebooks-i think I used a book cover template?

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