Lessons I Learnt By Launching My First Paid Product


In this article, I want to talk about my first product as an indie maker, and what I learnt from it.

I want to talk about the process of creating the product, how I did it, what went well and what went not so great. I learnt a lot by launching my first product, and maybe you can learn something too.

Let us start by looking at the graph with all the sales. I managed to sell 253 copies, which made $4363. However, I want to mention that I gave away the book for free to close friends and in giveaways. If I had sold all 253 copies for $29.99, I would have made approximately $7500.

Screenshot 2020-09-25 at 19.03.56.png

Why this ebook

It all started with people asking me how to start blogging and how to grow their Twitter account. People were asking me daily the same questions, and at one point, I asked myself "why not create an ebook?". However, I did not want to create yet another book of "growing X followers in Y days". There are already a lot of them. I wanted to create something different and unique.

As a result, I thought of creating an ebook that helps people to build their social presence as a whole. That includes being active on social media platforms and blogging. Therefore, I started writing the ebook, and here we are.

What tools I used

The process of creating the ebook is super simple. The only two tools I used are:

  1. Google Docs
  2. The paid version of Canva

Google Doc does an excellent job for writing. I wrote the whole book in Google Docs, and it did the job almost perfectly. Why almost perfectly? I could not format the ebook properly, and I also had issues when I exported to the .epub format. Also, it was difficult adding the cover on the first page, and it still does not look correctly. Other than that, I recommend Google Docs, especially if it is your first product, and you do not want to invest money.

For the ebook cover and all the graphics, I used the paid version of Canva. The biggest drawback of Canva is that you cannot import your document to it. It is also almost impossible to copy and paste the information from Google Docs to Canva. I could not format the book in Canva. However, other than that, Canva is excellent. You can create anything with this tool, including videos, posters, book covers, and many more.

Therefore, for the first product, I used:

  1. Google Docs to create the content, style it, and format it.
  2. Canva for the book cover and all the other graphics.

What went well

In this section, I want to talk about what went well regarding the product. First of all, I want to mention how important was the feedback from selected readers. Before launching the ebook, I invited people to read it and suggest feedback. It went well, and it helped me improve the ebook.

Secondly, I want to mention the pre-order phase, which went well. People were able to buy the ebook at $19.99, which is significantly lower than $29.99. Having the pre-order phase, you create a feeling of urgency. What do I mean by that? People feel it is an offer "they do not want to miss".

Thirdly, I created a landing page for my product using Squarespace. I have mixed feelings about the landing page, but I thought to include it in this section, though. I created audiencebuilding.online to present the product better. As you may know, or not, Gumroad is limited in the things you can do with your product page. Also, it feels more professional if the product has a separate landing page. The landing page brought 38 sales from 1,002 views; that is a conversion percentage of 3.8%.

Lastly, social media helped a lot, as expected. You can see that Twitter is in the most important referrer because I did most of the promotion there. Also, people recommended or reviewed the ebook directly on Twitter. Thus, it makes sense to be in the first place.

Screenshot 2020-09-26 at 14.28.07.png

These are the things that went well for my first product. Overall, I consider the ebook a success. Also, it received great feedback from people that bought it. For instance, all the refunds add up to $124.95, which is a small part of all sales.

What did not go well

In this section, I only list the things that did not go well. The reason is that in the next section, you will see what would I do differently, and why. There is no point in explaining the same information twice.

Thus, here are the things that did not go well:

  • not creating a mailing list for the product specifically
  • the ebook covers more than one subject
  • not collecting testimonials from people

What would I do differently

First of all, I would create a mailing list for the product. I would create a buzz around the product and get people interested in it. I have seen most people starting a mailing list before launching a product. Still, somehow, I did not do it. By the way, I already have a mailing list, but not a specific one for the product.

Secondly, I would focus on one topic only. If I am releasing another informational product in the future, I will indeed focus on one subject only. For example, if I would do this ebook again, I would solely focus on growing on social media.

Thirdly, I would collect testimonials for the product. Even though there was a selected group of people reviewing my ebook, I did not include their testimonials anywhere. Therefore, people were reluctant to buy someone's first product. If there had been testimonials, people would have felt safer to purchase the product knowing other people recommend it.

In conclusion, these are the things I would differently if I would re-write the ebook again. They are essential, and I do not want to miss them again.

Future plans

The future plan regarding this book is to discontinue it. Why do I want to take it off the market? As I said previously, I feel the ebook is focusing on too many topics. I want to split each topic in a separate ebook and write more in-depth about each one. For example, one ebook for social media growth and a separate one for blogging and newsletters.

As a result, people can buy the ebook on the topic they are interested in, at a lower price. They do not have to pay the cost of $29.99 for the whole book, when they are only interested in blogging, for instance.

Therefore, I want to experiment with splitting the ebook, going more in-depth about the topics, and price it at a maximum of $9.99. By the way, if you want to grab the product before it is gone, you can do it for $10. It is the final sale, and you can access it here.

Conclusion

The purpose of this article is not to brag, because I do not have much to brag about. There are people with more successful products and stories. The purpose of this article is to present insights from creating the ebook to selling it. I hope you learnt a thing or two, and maybe even pushed you to take action.

If you enjoyed the article, consider sharing it so more people can benefit from it! Also, feel free to @ me on Twitter with your opinions.

Dinys Monvoisin's photo

Have you considered Callibre, it's a free software for bundling your eBook?

Emily Boston's photo

Inspiring! Thanks for sharing these details, Catalin Pit. Looking forward to learning more from you.