This guest post by That Clean Life shares how to increase your income with five steps to start selling meal plans and recipe books online.
Selling digital products online is a great revenue stream for health professionals, but it can be hard to know how to get started. Not to worry, we’ve got you!
Today we are sharing the five steps to start selling meal plans and recipe books online. We’re going into all the details of what to sell, the tools to use and how to attract customers. This is sure to increase your income!
Step 1: Determine What You Would Like to Sell Online
Selling PDF ebooks is a super simple way to offer valuable resources to anyone who visits your website including current clients and potential clients. Some popular options are:
- Recipe Books: The more specific, the better! Examples include healthy, gluten-free desserts, high-fiber paleo, low FODMAP vegan, PCOS-friendly, etc.
- Meal Plans: Meal plans should offer to solve a problem that your ideal client is struggling with. Include a meal plan, grocery list, and recipes. 7-days to 21-days in length are most popular.
- Meal Planning Guides: A collection of recipes that fit a specific theme, a blank meal planning template and instructions that show customers how to create their own meal plans based on their preferences.
The resources you offer on your website should always appeal to the needs of your niche market.
For example, if your niche is working with busy women to clear acne-prone skin, you could sell a “21-Day Meal Plan Guide to Clear Your Skin”. This meal planning guide could include recipes appropriate for each phase of a woman’s cycle, a blank meal planning template that they can fill out, and instructions on how to create meal plans for each phase. Or maybe, you sell a recipe book called “15-Minute Dinners to Healthier, Clearer Skin.” Both offerings would appeal to your ideal client.
If your niche is working with recreational athletes who have trouble meeting their nutritional needs because of their nine to five jobs, you could sell a “21-Day Meal Prep Plan for Athletes Working 9 to 5”. It could include three weeks of meal plans with recipes that can be easily prepped on the weekend.
Step 2: Create Your Digital Products
Once you have determined the type(s) of resources you’d like to sell, the next step is to create them. To do this, you will need a tool that lets you create professional-looking PDF files full of color and content that will get your customers excited.
There are two main tools nutrition professionals are using to create their digital products:
With That Clean Life, it’s super quick and easy to generate meal plans, recipe books, and meal planning guides to sell online. You have access to a beautiful database of 1,300+ unique recipes with beautiful photography and an easy-to-follow format.
You can add your own recipes to That Clean Life too, so this is a good option if you want to create a cookbook with recipes you developed, but need some help formatting them to sell online.
Shopping lists are automatically generated for your meal plans. You can add additional pages with supplementary information and you can even create a prep guide to go along with the meal plan so it’s super simple to follow.
With That Clean Life, you don’t need any design experience or additional software. Once you’ve created the meal plan or curated the recipes, simply export it as a professionally formatted, custom-branded PDF file that will blow your customers away. Here’s an example:
Another tool that is popular with health professionals selling digital products is Canva. This is a free and easy-to-use tool that can help you design marketing materials or additional pages you’d like to merge with your PDF.
Step 3: Set-Up Your Online Store
Once you have created your ebook and you’re ready to start selling it online, you need to determine which platform to sell it on so you can collect payments. We did some research to find the most popular platforms that wellness professionals are using to sell digital products. Here’s what we found:
- Squarespace or Wix – Many health professionals have created their websites on DIY platforms like Squarespace or Wix. If you’re using one of these platforms, adding a “shop” page to your website is super simple. Both platforms have resources that will guide you through how to set it up so visitors can easily see that you sell digital products when they land on your site.
- Shopify – Shopify is another great option for selling ebooks online. You can create your own online store or integrate a Shopify store with your current website. Shopify is also fantastic for selling tangible products, so if you ever expand into non-digital products, this is a great option.
- Gumroad – If you want an easy way to sell ebooks online without a website, Gumroad will be a great fit for you! Not only does Gumroad make it incredibly simple to set-up an online store or sell a single PDF, but it makes your products public on the platform so anyone can purchase them.
Step 4: Decide What You Will Charge
There is no simple answer here. There is a wide range when it comes to the many different products offered. What we do know is that pricing needs to be a personal decision by you.
However, we did some research and found some price ranges for different digital products:
- Recipe Books: $30 to $80
- 7-Day Meal Plans: $40 to $60
- 21-Day Meal Plans: $80 to $150
- Meal Planning Guides: $60 to $150
Remember that these prices are based on general, self-serve e-books and not customized resources. You should charge more for the resources that you are customizing to your client’s unique needs, as these take longer to create.
Pro Tip: People will pay more for products that solve a specific problem they are struggling with, so try to avoid creating general products that appeal to everyone. The riches are in the niches, folks!
A word to the wise when pricing your digital products: Do not sell your resources for a ridiculously low price. This devalues your hard work and makes it look like your professional nutrition guidance is not worth much. It might also make it hard for you to charge a fair price for customized resources and programs in the future.
Step 5: Start Selling
Once your products are created, prices are set, and your online store is live there’s only one thing left to do: start promoting your products!
Disclaimer: Your digital products will not sell themselves. The work is not finished once your product is created and listed. You are going to have to work hard to make sales. Spend time every week promoting your online products to your social media followers, email subscribers, and blog readers.
Here are some of the ways you can promote your ebooks:
- Facebook Live, Instagram Live or Instagram Story: Speak to a topic related to your ebook or make one of the recipes from your recipe ebook. Let people know where to go to purchase the full product.
- Write blog posts: Share tips about the topic of your ebook. For example, if you’re selling a “21-Day Meal Prep Plan for Athletes Working 9 to 5” you could write a blog post called “Meal Prep Tips To Help You Stay Fit While Working 9 to 5”. Your blog posts should share valuable information and include a call to action to purchase your ebook.
- Social media: Show pictures of yourself cooking and meal prepping to promote the products in your store.
- Email: Send a series of emails to your list about the new product you just launched or mention it in your weekly newsletters.
Create a buzz around your products! Find a call to action that works. Continue to find fun and authentic ways to remind your community that you have an online store where you sell nutrition resources.
When you offer amazing products that solve a problem and promote them consistently, sales will be coming your way in no time!
Looking to learn more about how That Clean Life can help you create balanced meal plans and beautiful resources, without all the busywork? Click here to learn more!
Adrien Paczosa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas and the surrounding counties.
She is the founder of Fearless Practitioners, the division of her business that offers training to dietitians and wellness professionals and I Live Well Nutrition her Dietitian practice started in 2007. In 2015 Adrien launched Fearless Practitioners to help other Dietitians and Wellness Professionals build and grow their own private practices.