Thereʼs more to digital content than just serving up great blog entries. You can take a collection of your best entries or a series of small creative or white papers and turn them into digital content you can sell online. You can place all the content behind a micropayment wall and offer the first few pages for free as a preview (much like Amazon book previews).
I briefly mentioned selling content in an earlier post where I talked about how great Scribd was, the online document hosting site that also allows you to sell your content for a very minimal fee. Aside from scribd, there are some other great ways to take advantage of digital content sales.
Why Digital Content Sales Matter
The sale of digital content is on the rise thanks to the Kindle, a wireless reading device that makes it much cheaper to buy books and far easier to store them. The spike in Kindle sales have lead more bookstores to shut down and many remaining ones to switch out book buyers to programmers that can help sellers keep apace with digital trends.
If youʼve been following my blogs with a keen eye and taking the advice, Iʼm sure by now youʼve got some great content in the pipelines. The next step is figuring out the easiest way to convert content into sales.
Top-Rated Micropayment Tools
Selling your content is slightly different than selling digital books. So you canʼt exactly go and set up shop on Amazon. You donʼt have a best sell or several hundred pages to sell. You have perhaps about 5-25 pages, and youʼre planning on selling it for a very small amount in hopes that itʼll (a) convert digital content into extra income and (b) sell in high volumes. These smaller sales are termed as micropayments and the following are some of the best ways to set up a micropayment for your next sell.
PayPal Micropayments – PayPal charges a 5% plus a $.05 transaction fee per transaction. The downside is merchants have to re-register with PayPal since the company prefers two separate accounts for both macro and micropayments. However, the separate account lets you take advantage of the competitive rate – whereas standard PayPal rates are at 2.9% with a $.30 transaction fee. The great thing about PayPal is that itʼs internationally recognized, respected and trusted. You can offer buyer confidence in knowing they’re paying with a secure channel.
Amazon Payments – Also equally trusted and respected, merchants can set up pricing and sales with Amazon. With “Amazon Simply Pay” you get an HTML code that you plug into your website and youʼre ready to go. There are four merchant options, but those relevant to your digital content include (1) Amazon Simple Pay Standard (for digital goods/services) and (2) Amazon Simple Pay for Subscriptions.
CashSender – Much like Amazon and PayPal in terms of services, CashSender offers a competitive rate beating PayPal with the same 2.9% fee but without the additional $. 30 charge.
They also offer a shopping cart feature to make it easier for buyers to select multiple items. I know shopping cart features usually cost upwards of thousands of dollars alone when itʼs a requested feature set up by a graphic designer. This is a much cheaper alternative that you or your graphic designer can implement.
AlertPay – A relatively unknown site when compared to giants Amazon and PayPal, AlertPay is actually pretty great in terms of the features it offers. AlertPay allows you to choose between three tiers of accounts, send and receive mass payments, set up a shopping cart, accept multiple currencies and manage multiple businesses. They also have tons of great guides, which makes it pretty clear that their target audience is the small business owner.
GoogleCheckout – Yet another alternative. Downside is you need a Google account.