Last Updated on April 22, 2020 by James McAllister

By: James McAllister

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There are a lot of beautiful things about digital products, that physical products simply can’t compete with.

Instant distribution, for one. There’s no need to deal with picking and packing, shipping and returns. You can put it up for sale, and it’s available for consumption instantly.

Ease of creation is huge as well – there’s no need to deal with foreign factories, import laws, and ordering thousands of units at a time to meet factory minimums.

This is why digital products are so popular for bloggers, vloggers, and other content creators online. The risks are low, and upsides are very high.

However, perhaps one of the greatest benefits that digital products have is the fact that they can continuously updated over time. They never have to be truly complete, and always have room to be improved. Because of this, it’s possible to start out with something very small, and have it blossom into something truly amazing over time.

In this article, we’ll go over more about why you need to be updating your products, and how to do so in a way that continues stacking on value for your customers.

1. Update Outdated Information

First and perhaps most obviously, information becomes outdated over time.

This alone, is reason enough to understand why products aren’t ever complete, and is reason enough to go through your books, courses, and other info products periodically.

After all, if you’re selling a product that has information that is no longer even correct, you’re no longer providing value to your audience at all, you’re actually hurting them.

Worst of all, they may not realize the information is no longer correct, and base decisions off of what you’ve taught them. This may ultimately hurt them in the long run.

This is why I’m so fond of releasing courses over publishing books. When you publish a book, you’re stuck with whatever was written at the time of publishing, at least if it’s physical.

Over the past few years, I’ve been able to go back and instantly update my courses as information became outdated, and add the new, relevant information in as well.

With the world changing faster than ever before, information becomes irrelevant at increasingly faster rates – this is especially true if you’re working in an industry that is still rapidly evolving.

Keep your products up-to-date, and you show new buyers that you’re serious about ensuring that they get the best experience possible, while also showing people that may consume your product a second time in the future, that you still have the best resource on the topic.

2. Utilize Data To Make Improvements

This is a core concept behind the ‘lean startup’ strategy.

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You don’t necessarily need to have the world’s most complete resource at release – just something valuable enough to solve the buyer’s problem.

Over time, customers share with you exactly what they like about your products, and highlight the areas that need improvements.

As you collect data – be it in the form of reviews, testimonials, questions, or complaints, you can go back and use this to make changes.

You may find out areas your book or course didn’t cover well enough, and release an extra few videos to make up for it.

It’s fair to say that if one person speaks their mind about something, many others were also thinking the same thing.

Therefore, you know that by investing time in updating your products in these areas, it’s going to please a lot of people – there is no risk to it, only upside.

New customers get an even more complete experience with fewer areas to feel negative towards, and existing buyers are happy that they are receiving additional content for free.

3. Branch Out – Including Other Relevant Topics

Over time, you may discover that you’re ready to add entirely new sections to your products, branching out a bit further than the original product may have.

For example, I have a course based solely around building a mindset for success. 

This course was certainly fairly fledged-out when it was released, but a large number of lectures have been added since it was originally published.

An entire section was added on the topic of finding inner happiness and its importance, as well as a series of lectures on developing positive habits.

Although the course was certainly valuable before these sections were added, these related topics added a lot to it.

I’m certain that over time as I grow in these areas myself, I will continue adding completely new sections to my courses. While the courses you have for sale may be valuable right now, they become even more valuable when you commit to expanding them.

It often makes sense to go fairly broad with your course topic – it allows you to really pack it with content, and gives you room to work with in the future for additional material.

This is why I have a course on ‘blogging’ rather than separate courses on topics like ‘building blog traffic’ or ‘blog monetization’.

4. Add Relevant Bonuses That Don’t Fit Your Main Format

Bonuses are wonderful because they have a high perceived value, do wonders for conversions when it comes to your sales pages, and leave customers with a type of satisfaction that helps them feel like they really got their money’s worth.

These do not even have to be the same format, and do not even need to be something necessarily created by you.

For example, you could purchase the rights to a relevant PDF guide that ties into your course topic, or conduct an interview with other industry experts.

You could even repurpose some of the content you already used for your product – such as including an audio version of a book you published. In the case of a course, you could include a zipped file containing a transcript, as well as all the slides you used in your course videos for easy reference.

Bonuses could even be something that make you additional revenue from each buyer- such as a free coaching consultation (which would hopefully lead to more clients) or discounts to relevant software, in which you earn an affiliate commission.

Consider viewing your competitor’s offers and examining what bonuses they’re using in their products – even purchasing their products if necessary. Then, figure out how you can do things better – utilizing the data collected to release the right offers.

Remember, throwing in bonuses for the sake of throwing in bonuses won’t help you – the bonuses need to be relevant, and they need to add value.

Adding bonuses for your product, simply for the sake of adding bonuses won't help you. The bonuses need to be relevant, and they need to add value. Click to Tweet

5. Be Careful With Pricing, And Use All Of This As A Selling Point

I’m a firm believer that updates to your existing products should always be free to those who have already bought it, and additional content shouldn’t be locked behind some sort of paywall.

Instead, increase the price for new buyers if you must.

Even then, you’ll want to make sure that this isn’t going to hurt the level of sales you’re already receiving, and should be a change implemented only after careful consideration.

The fact of the matter is, most people don’t update their products regularly, if at all.

You are certainly justified in raising your prices, and even charging for new content you release – it’s just not the ideal strategy for most people.

By keeping prices steady and not charging for future content, you give yourself the ability to use this extremely valuable fact as a selling point for your products.

You can tell people that despite how amazing your products are now, they’re only going to continue getting better.

You’ll be able to highlight this fault in your competitor’s offerings, and show people through your actions that you’re only going to continue giving them am even higher return for their money over time.

My students trust that when they buy one of my courses, that they’re never going to need to buy another book, course, or other info product on the topic ever again. They know that when they make their purchase, they can come back to it years from now and it will still be up-to-date, with all of the newest information on the topic. When there’s something they need to know about, it will be there – even if it’s about a topic that didn’t exist at all when they purchased originally purchased my course.

Promise that you’ll commit to updating your product over time, and I assure you that you’ll sell more copies.

Conclusion

By failing to add on to your info products overtime, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build trust, provide additional value, and ultimately, make more sales.

I hope that this article has sparked some ideas in you. If there’s one thing to do now, it’s to go back through the product you’ve released and identify areas of improvement.

You’d be surprised how much you’ve grown since its initial release, and how your opinions, thoughts, and expertise has changed over the months or years.

I’d also love to hear what you’ve done to improve your products post-release inside your own company. We could all benefit from hearing what you have to say.

Thanks in advance! To your success,

– James McAllister

Summary:

Review the main points of this article in the SlideShare below. Feel free to embed this on your site, use it in your organization, and share it with others! All I ask is that you give credit! (Download links are available from SlideShare’s website, which you can access by clicking the LinkedIn icon)

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of JamesMcAllisterOnline.com. He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on JamesMcAllisterOnline.com, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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  1. Hi James,

    Your excellent article sparked memories of when I first got into information publishing, before online selling was as well established as it is now. Yes, I was selling physical books and also printing out and posting courses. Labour-intensive and not very profitable. You can imagine how delighted I was to learn about PDFs and such-like!

    Funnily enough I have just been through a phase of updating one of my ebooks, so I agree one hundred percent with the sentiment.

    Every so often I look back over old blog posts too. My initial attempts were dire.

    Some of the recent ones were OK in style, but the content was no longer relevant – and in cases downright misleading. So I’ve been having a prune of that too. Time-consuming, but well worth the effort.

    I remember your MindSet course; it was excellent value at the time and making updates available to existing customers is a very ethical policy.

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

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    1. Hi Joy!

      My gosh, I couldn’t imagine. Ever since I began selling physical products myself, I realized how good we have it here where most everything is digital. Manufacturing, shipping, dealing with returns etc. is all a huge headache, but a necessary one.

      I agree that it’s worth it to go back and update your blog posts. I try to make a habit of doing it at least a few times per year, unless I know for a fact that some topic I’ve previously blogged about is no longer relevant. This is very important to ensure we both are still offering the most valuable resource that we can through our websites.

      Thanks so much Joy!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…8 Online Course Selling Mistakes That Are Killing ConversionsMy Profile

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