|Almost everywhere you look on the Internet there is advice on what to sell off your website. One of the most common recommendations is “Information."
Yes, Information! Infoproducts: eBooks, eZines, Newsletters, etc, etc. “How to write a best selling eBook.” “Create your own Newsletter.” “Sell your own eBook off your website.” “People crave information.” Fantastic!
What no one ever explains is how you set up your Infoproduct as a download. As far as I am aware, you will probably struggle to find out how to do this anywhere on the web too.
The following information assumes you have a website up and running. If you are selling off your site you will need a “Merchant Account” which will take instantaneous payment, which of course, is necessary before your customer is allowed to download your product.
You will need to coordinate access from your website (the place where the customer decides and takes action to buy your download) to the download link you have created.
This is where your “Merchant Account” will help. For example; PayPal has excellent tools for setting up your pricing and shipping costs and creating “Buy Now” buttons, which buyers click on to take them to the Credit Card/PayPal account holders payment page.
You will be able to set up a link through PayPal’s “Merchant Tools” which brings the buyer to your download link once payment has been approved.
Creating a Download
One of the most efficient and cost effective ways to deliver your Infoproduct is by “Download.” The process is not complicated. All you are doing when you set up a download is directing the purchaser (after they have paid by electronic means) back to your web page with a download link on it.
They click this “Download Now” link and they are invited to save or open the download on their own computer. Your download product is stored in a predetermined file/folder on your own computer.
The best way to do this is to zip up the file to keep it from taking up as much room and then save the zipped file to your web server (your website on the internet).
You can use WinZip (you may already have it) to accomplish this. First you need to download (if you haven't already) a copy of the free (evaluation) version of WinZip. www.winzip.com There are other zip programs but WinZip is probably the most popular.
Before you install, the program will ask you if you want the program to start with WinZip Wizard or WinZip Classic. Choose Classic.
After the programme has been successfully installed, follow these steps:
1. Start WinZip
2. From the menu, choose "File" and then select "New Archive".
3. A window of your hard drive, showing all the contents of your computer, will appear, and you are asked to give the zip file a name. Before you give it a name make sure you pay attention to where (what folder) you are getting ready to save this file in. You'll need to locate it later. I would use “Desktop,” but it could be anywhere on your hard drive. Just remember where.
This is the zipped file you are getting ready to create will contain all the files you want people to be able to download. So it will be the file that is saved to your web server(uploaded to the internet via your site).
So; now navigate to the folder (the place on your hard drive, for example; desktop) where you want the zip file to be saved and name it whatever you want.
Lets say, for example purposes, you have written an eBook so we can call the file ebook. WinZip will attach .zip into the filename automatically, so it will be called ebook.zip Click OK.
4. Next, the window of your hard drive will appear again. At this point you want to locate the file or files you want to zip up and be placed inside the file you just named in step 3.
This is where you choose the file/s you want people to download. Let’s say you have saved your eBook on your “Desktop” (but it could be anywhere on your hard drive). Once you find it, select it and click "Add". If you have more than one file to select, hold down the control key and select all the files and then click Add.
5. You will now be taken back to WinZip’s home window and you should see the file/s you want to zip up in the window.
6. Select the file/s. If you have more than one, just hold down control and click all the files, or, go to “File” and click “Select All.”
7. Once the file/s are selected, go to "Actions" and on the drop down menu click "Make .EXE file".
8. A pop-up menu will come up thanking you and reminding you to register. Just ignore registration request and click OK (you don't have to register).
9. Another pop-up window will appear and ask; "Create a self-extracting zip file from" You will see the name of the zip file that you created in Step 3.
10. Right below that you will see a blank that says "Default 'Unzip To' Folder". This is the name of the folder that the files will automatically extract (unzip) to when people download the files from your site. If that folder does not exist on the person's PC, WinZip will create it for them. Don’t leave it blank, or it will automatically go in their TEMP folder.
It is suggested that you list something here. Try to give it a name similar to the filename so the person will recognize it when they look for the folder on their PC at some stage in the future.
In the example we use here of eBook you could call it “eBook ; followed by whatever you are writing about. ”So if your book is about growing roses, you could call it “eBook Complete Rose Grower.” Click OK.
11. Now the program will ask you if you want to test the file which has just been zipped up. Click "Yes" and WinZip will run through the unzipping process. This is the same process the user that has just downloaded your file/s will see.
12. Next the pop-up box will tell you where the file is unzipping from. This will be the same location you selected in step 3.
13. Select "Unzip" and the program will say; "1 file unzipped successfully" or if you had more than one file it will tell you how many were successfully unzipped.
On your hard drive, there should have been a folder created called "Complete Rose Grower" (or whatever name you chose in Step 10) and the files should be sitting there unzipped.
14. Now you're ready to take the zipped file and upload it to your server so people can download.
15. Go to Windows Explorer and locate the zip file that you created in step 3. So if you named it ebook, you should see a file called ebook.zip. This is the file that contains all of your files inside that people will download. If you want to test it again, just double click on the zip file and WinZip should extract the files to the folder you specified in step 10.
16. Now you need to upload this zip file to the internet. Assuming you have a website from which to sell your eBook, you need to find an FTP program (File Transfer Protocol) to do this.
There are many to choose from. Just do an Internet search for “FTP Program.” When installed the program will help you upload the file/s in effect, onto your site and therefore, the internet.
17. For the purposes of these examples let’s call your domain www.betterebooks.com (Please Note: This is not a real URL; at least it wasn’t at the time of writing!). After you've uploaded the file, you're ready to point people to the link so they can download the zip file.
18. As an example, you uploaded ebook.zip to a folder called “ebooks” and your domain name is "www.betterebooks.com" then the link you will use to point to the download will be something like;
“http://www.betterebooks.com/ebooks/ebook.zip” The WinZip program creates this link automatically.
When buyers click on this link it will immediately start the download process.
19. After they download it the unzipping program will unzip the file to the folder that you specified in step 11 on their hard drive.
So there you have it. Easy! Good Luck and great success.
About the author:
I am a family man with two grown children and one 5 year old grandson.
I run my own successful (small) recruitment business, which keeps me busy but allows the freedom to develop my interest in computers and the internet.
I have have a website:
from which I sell a self produced CD "Build Your Own Business Website" to help newbies and existing (offline) businesses to build a simple but effective website to get their business online.
I am currently working on some software which I hope to sell to a niche market.
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