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I’ve been asked this question a million times, and it’s an important one. Do you actually need an active blog in order to successfully sell digital products online?
You’ve probably asked yourself this question before, maybe even had that internal debate when you’re thinking about keeping up with your blog content.
This is often one of the first questions that I get asked when someone is considering joining Rebel Boss University – my membership site for product creators and aspiring product creators. It contains a 90-day roadmap to create and launch your very first digital product or your second digital product or revamp one of your failed product launches.
Today I’m going to answer that question once and for all and share a little bit about my blogging history to help you decide if publishing blog content is right for you.
Looking back, it seems like there was a huge surge in blogging a few years ago. It used to be really big, and people used to produce blog content on the regular, every week, oftentimes multiple times a week, sometimes every single day.
But all of a sudden, somewhere along the way, people just stopped valuing blogs. No one seems to write blogs much anymore, or create such regular content.
It kind of feels like the world of bloggers just hit a really big stone wall and then just, I don't know, stopped.
I am certainly no exception. I used to consistently create new relevant blog content every single week without fail, and there was even a point where I was creating content every single day.
Why? It was just something I thought I “should be” doing.
I put “should be” in quotes because that phrase is a dangerous thing. Anytime you think you “should be” doing something, you have to ask yourself: do you really have to be doing it? Or do you just think you should be doing it?
The reason why this was so dangerous is because I wasn’t doing it because I liked doing it, I was doing it because I thought it was necessary. And eventually I hit a wall.
It was classic blogger burnout. I felt terrible, because I thought that as a blogger I should have been getting content out there to my people. But I really, truly didn’t want to do it anymore. And I never got over that hump – I never wanted to go back to blogging.
I never forced myself back into that routine and I never went back to blogging or regularly producing blog content. And since then, I never looked back.
My decision to stop blogging led me to have a mini identity crisis. I called myself a blogger for the longest time, but can you be a blogger without writing new blogs?
This is around the time that I developed a hate-hate relationship with the term “blogger.” I felt like it didn’t define who I was and what I was doing.
I’m sure many of you have experienced this before: whenever I ran into someone not in the online marketing space and told them I was a blogger, they’d skeptically ask me, “so what do you do for money?” I got frustrated with dealing with people’s misunderstanding of the term, and felt like no matter what I said, it didn’t encapsulate who I was and what my business had become.
I thought about my business and what I was doing – I was creating products, developing sales funnels and doing a crap ton of online marketing. And online marketing is not blogging. Even though blogging might be a component of online marketing, that’s not exclusively what it entails.
So I decided to ditch the title of blogging. I fully embraced the term online marketer and product coach because that's what I am.
You’re probably going to be able to guess my answer to the question: do you need to have a blog to sell digital products? It’s a big NO. You absolutely do not need to have a blog to sell a digital product.
Of course, if you have one and you enjoy it and it works for you, that’s amazing. Keep doing it.
But if blogging isn’t your thing? Don’t worry.
I've seen Etsy sellers do well without even having websites of their own. There are people on Creative Market who have mastered the algorithm and have done exceptionally well without a blog. There are Instagram influencers selling products directly through their Instagram direct messages without a blog to speak of.
You definitely don’t need to have a blog to sell your products, in fact, there are tons of ways to sell without a blog.
Let me add a caveat my earlier point. You definitely don’t need a blog to sell digital products online, however I highly recommend you have some kind of content to nurture your audience.
Nurturing your audience will make your life way easier, increase your conversion rates and help you get more sales.
Content doesn’t necessarily mean having a blog, however. Content can take a lot of different forms. Maybe you do Facebook live tutorials or trainings, or spend a lot of time on Instagram stories or IGTV. You might create email subscriber only content, a YouTube channel, or a podcast.
Why do you need to spend so much time creating content? Quality content attracts your audience, brings them to you, and then nurtures them. It hooks them and makes them want to stay and hear what you have to say. Then they’re more likely to buy from you in the future or sign up for your email list.
A quick aside – a lot of people also ask me if they need an email list to sell their digital products. My answer always is, I guess you don’t need one, but why the heck wouldn’t you want one?
In this day and age, where social media rules the world and changes their algorithms more than I eat ice cream (note: that is something that happens very frequently) you don’t want to have all your eggs in one basket, especially one social media basket.
Your email list is your own. It protects you. Think of it like a business insurance policy – it’s a great place to sell, because it’s not going to change its algorithm and block your customers from seeing your content.
Email is also a great way to nurture your subscribers. If you are nurturing your subscribers, they are going to listen to you when you sell to them. Especially if the product that you're selling is one that's going to solve a very real and painful problem in their lives.
The beautiful thing about creating content is that you can repurpose and recreate it to build multiple forms of content.
I always recommend that you choose one form of pillar content, or one big piece of content that you create somewhat regularly. This can take many different formats, whether it’s blogs, videos, podcasts, or something else.
For me, my pillar content is this podcast. I have a new podcast come out every single week when I'm in a particular season.
The best part of pillar content is that once you create it, you get to turn it into a million different pieces of content.
For me, this means I record my podcast episode and then that is transcribed into a blog post, which is already two pieces of content: podcast, blog. From there, an email about the episode is drafted to my email list, which is my third piece of content. I create social media graphics about the podcast with nuggets of wisdom, which is my fourth piece of content.
Suddenly I've taken one piece of content and I've repurposed it into a variety of different formats so that I'm able to reach as wide an audience as possible with the least amount of work.
Repurposing content saves you time and a whole lot of work. Why do more work than you need to, instead of just taking one thing and turning it into a million other things?
So what I hope you take away from this episode is this: you don’t need to publish a blog to sell a digital product, but you do need to have some kind of content strategy.
What that looks like depends on you. It doesn't need to be painful because even just one type of content again can be morphed into many other types. Create the kind of content that feels really good for you, which will save you a lot of time and headache in the long run.
Make what feels fun for you and what's right for your audience. You're still going to be able to have success with sales, because if you're making the kind of content that you prefer, your sales will only increase.
Audience members are able to tell when we're doing something we love because we love it and when you’re forcing yourself to do something. Your audience will be able to tell that it's not good. So, be that rebel that you are. Embrace breaking the rules and happy content creating.
Check out some of these previous episodes of the Rebel Boss Ladies Podcast!