How Writers Can Discover Their Product’s Optimal Price — and Make a Bundle

One of the great things about being a freelance writer today is how easy — and potentially lucrative — it is to create our own products.

No longer do a few gatekeepers hold writers’ dreams hostage.

If you want to write and publish an ebook or print book, a e-course, a Webinar or podcast, well, you can write that sucker up and get it out there.

The means of production and sales are now within all our hands.

Many of us are grabbing this opportunity and creating our own products. So far, I’ve written an ebook — with more to come this year — and created scads of online classes.

Once we’ve created a product comes the next challenge, though: figuring out what to charge for it.

There are many theories about digital product pricing. Among the popular ones:

  • Price super-low so that you get a bazillion sales.
  • Price high so that customers perceive the value.
  • Price in the mid-range so that it’s affordable, but still seems to offer “quality.”
  • Make A-B or “good-better-best” offers that give buyers options at different price points

You can take your pick. All I know is what I’ve discovered from what is still the best method of figuring out your ideal price:

Trial and error

That’s right — you’ve got to keep experimenting until you figure out your product’s best price.

Here’s my experience:

• My ebook is $36, which I’ve been told is too high. I didn’t know anything about pricing at the time and pulled that out of the air, really.

I probably should have made the ebook shorter or split it into two or three products. It sells fairly steadily, but maybe I would make more sales and end up netting more if the price were lower.

• When I first started selling my live Webinars, I charged $29. Then $36. Then $47.

I made the most money at $47. I actually made substantially more sales at that price than the lower ones, eventually earning ten times what I did with the initial price.

It seemed like below $47, people didn’t think the Webinar would have great information.

 

• By the time I launched Freelance Writers Den, I had learned enough to do some market research and ask my readers what they would pay for the range of services the Den offered.

My $25-a-month price was informed by the survey data I collected. I’d say it is working out great — we’re at more than 350 members less than a year after launching.

I know clubs that ask $5 a month, and ones at $47 a month. I feel my price is right because members keep emailing me, begging me not to raise it! That tells me it’s a great deal at this price and is fulfilling my mission of delivering huge value for Denizens.

• My Freelance Writers Blast Off Class started off at $225 and has since risen to $275. I teach this 6-week small-group coaching class with Renegade Writer Linda Formichelli.

We raised it because we discovered our price was too low compared to other courses on the market, so maybe the value wasn’t evident to writers. Most similar classes were around $375. We sold roughly the same number of slots at the higher price.

A price experiment

It’s important to keep experimenting with your pricing to find the sweet spot, where you are able to offer the best value to the most writers (and you also hopefully make the most).

For instance, I have a writer friend who recently did an experiment with the “audit” level of one of her coaching classes, where purchasers get the recordings and handouts and work independently.

Instead of charging her usual price of nearly $100, she decided to set the price at “pay what you want over $30,” just to see what would happen.

She brought in ten times as much money on this formula than at the old price. Not to mention being able to help many more writers. She was blown away.

So now, I’m going to try that experiment, too.

If you’re interested in getting a boatload of training in how to find great clients, market yourself to them, and get good-paying gigs, here’s your chance to get the learning while you save a lot of money.

Our 1-week-only offer:

Linda Formichelli and I are offering the Audit level of our Freelance Writers Blast Off Class for one week only at “pay what you want over $30.” It’s usually $97. Note: This offer is no longer valid. You can check out the courses we have available at Useful Writing Courses.

 

 

Useful Writing Courses

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11 comments on “How Writers Can Discover Their Product’s Optimal Price — and Make a Bundle
  1. You can only hold a survey when you are somewhat popular. But before that, it is rather wise to keep it low, and do a lot of marketing!
    Ron – SEO Copy-e-Writing Blog recently posted…15 Things You Should Know About The Online Marketing ConsumersMy Profile

  2. chris says:

    Thanks for offering this Carol and Linda!!!! I signed up over the weekend and I can’t wait to start. This will be my first course that I’ve taken from you.

  3. Pamela says:

    To write a price list, you will need to create a price list table or spreadsheet. Price lists can be written in a simple word processing program, Excel, or even as a webpage.
    Pamela recently posted…Spa ServiceMy Profile

  4. Janey says:

    Carol,
    I’m excited about your offer! I just signed up for the waiting list last night!
    One question. Is the audit executed on a schedule, or is it go at your own pace? I’m asking because I’m at the end of two big projects: finishing our homeschooling year (4 kids) and wrapping up a leadership fable ghostwrite. Both will be completed by the end of May. I’d prefer to be able to audit the information once at least one of those is off the table.
    Thanks!
    Janey recently posted…Controversial QuestionsMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Janey —

      Good question! The Audit sends you materials once a week…but you’re free to stockpile them and go through them whenever you’re ready to start. And if you join the Den, you can always get questions answered there later on. I just think it’s more fun when there are a group of people who are all on the same module who can support each other…but you’re free to work independently is one of the advantages of the Audit.

      Since we don’t know when we’ll offer the group-coaching form of the Blast-Off again, I don’t know when we will sell the Audit again either…so I’d nab it now. In future, it may not be on this price offer.

  5. Leah says:

    Great post and so helpful! I am constantly baffled at what the right price points are. You don’t want to go too little as you run the risk of not being credible. Yet too much turns people off. I appreciate the insight you provided here and will look into your class.

    • Carol Tice says:

      So far, my early report on my pricing experiment is…it’s going like hot cakes! I’ve made as much in about 4 hours as I usually make selling it in the week it’s ordinarily available. Expecting I will be pleased with this idea.

      I think a low or pay what you can price works well with a product like the Audit, because it doesn’t involve any hands-on mentoring time or live event participation — it’s all recordings and handouts that are done and ready to go — unless of course people sign up for support in the Den…in which case, they pay separately for that.

      In the higher-touch classes it’s hard to discount as it involves a lot more of your time, and there are fewer slots. In this case we can offer it to as many people who want it during this timeframe.

      I try to sell it with a brief timeframe so that participants going through it who join the Den can give each other support too, as they’re all at a similar point in the materials.

      Also, crazy-low sale prices should always have a brief timeframe in my view, since you don’t want to give up too much revenue. 😉

  6. Great post. So many people are vague when discussing pricing strategies, and you’ve provided several real-life examples for us to think about. Much appreciated.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Thanks Kim — I’m still waiting for the day I successfully make a good-better-best offer. I tried it last time I did the full Blast Off class but we thought it was more work than it was worth, and nobody bought the middle version, which that strategy is supposed to push everybody to!

      Which is why I say…it’s all about experimentation.

      Every audience is different. You have to find out what offers appeal most to your particular readers.