Recently on the blog, I outlined all the steps you need to create your first digital product. In a nutshell, you’ll need to brainstorm some product ideas, research what your customers want (so they’ll actually buy), create your product, and pre-sell it to see how it goes. Now, I want to talk a bit more about one of the most important steps: how to develop your digital product.
Truthfully? People overcomplicate their digital download products in programs like Canva or other apps. If you’re selling a digital product that your customer will edit — an exercise book, checklist, or a journal full of prompts — all you need is a Google Doc! Let’s talk about how you can develop your digital product using a simple template. (Skip to the bottom to grab your copy!)
What’s the first thing your customer will see when they open up your digital product? The title! It sounds silly, but don’t forget to include the name of your product in the actual product itself. You’ll remind your customer of what they bought and what they’re about to read or interact with.
Under the title, you can add a tagline as the subtitle if you’d like. It could be short and sweet like “Hey there! Thanks for purchasing my product!” Or, you could quickly remind the reader what the product is for, like “This template will help you develop your own product. Enjoy!”
Then, include a little backstory behind your product. Why does this product exist? How did you get the idea for it? Did you have a personal experience or an “a-ha!” moment that pushed you to bring it to life?
The first section of your digital product is finished! Well done. Let’s move on to the middle section, which will be the majority of your digital product. If this was a workbook, for example, the first section would be the title page, table of contents, and welcome letter. Now we’re getting to the meat of the book.
Start by adding a section title to break up the text and make it visually interesting. Since it’s a Google Doc, this won’t be the most visually stunning thing to look at, but lots of white space and black text on a white background make it easy to read. It’s also easy to edit if that’s part of the appeal of your digital product.
After the section title, list three to five activities, journal prompts, explanations, or whatever your digital product is about. This section is your chance to be creative and apply your subject matter expertise. I like to aim for up to five; having only one or two feels cheap and inadequate.
Finally, take the time at the end of that middle section to wrap up and review what you just discussed. You might highlight important takeaways or include extra tips to help your customer out.
The last section of your Google doc is a great place to introduce or reintroduce yourself to your customer and leave them with an action to take. Write out a short bio that explains who you are in case your customer found you through a friend or didn’t know that much about you before making a purchase. Don’t be afraid to add some personality and have fun with it!
One of the best tips I can share with you for this part? Talk in “you” sentences rather than “I” or “my” sentences. Customers are more likely to engage with that type of content when you talk to them, rather than talk about yourself.
This is totally optional, but I also like to include a photo of myself to build connection and understanding. A photo paired with a bio is a bit more memorable than just a bio on its own. Don’t wanna include a photo? Add some links to your website or social pages instead!
Depending on your profession, you might need to add a disclaimer at the very end, after your photo. This is where you remind your customer that you’re not acting in a professional capacity — providing official legal advice through a digital product, for example — and that it’s for educational and/or entertainment purposes only.
For many of you, you may not even need a disclaimer. If you sell crochet patterns or journal prompts, for example, you’re probably good to go without one. Don’t force yourself to include one if it feels weird, k?
I hope the blog above helped you realize that you really don’t need to spend hours in Canva or another graphic design platform making your digital product! A simple Google Doc can work for lots of digital download products that are meant to be edited by your customers. Save time on your future products by creating a template with these sections.
And if your digital product isn’t meant to be edited? You can still write out the basic version first using this guide. Then, spruce it up in a design program with your brand colors, cool layouts, fonts, you get the idea. I always recommend starting with a Google Doc because it’s much easier to edit and rewrite there than in a graphic design program. (More budget-friendly, too.)
If you wanna see the digital product template I just talked about from start to finish, make sure you click the link below and watch my walkthrough on YouTube!
To save even more time, I have a free Google Doc template ready to go just for you. Get yours here and start creating your digital product!