Learn How to Set up Digital Delivery/Download on Your Website, eBay, Clickbank FREE
Thank you very much for viewing this online guide on how to use instand download and digital delivery! This short eBook tutorial will give you everything you need to know to start a simple digital download process for your buyers, friends, clients, and more. You can offer digital download directly from your website (such as wordpress, drupal, and other blogging platforms), or you can utilize other methods such as email and third party providers. This guide will cover it all.
Here are the main subjects covered in this lengthy article. Use the jump-to links below to jump to a certain topic, or read the entire article to learn all of the options of creating digital delvery systems.
- How to Allow Digital Delivery
- Setting Up Digital Delivery with Paypal Buy Now Buttons
- Set Up Digital Delivery Free with Outlook Express
- Paying for Digital Delivery Services
- How to Allow Download with Clickbank
Being able to provide instant digital delivery makes it easier for both the buyer & the seller. And if you want to write an eBook, then you definitely want to know how to do this. In this guide, I will walk you through the steps of hosting your digital product (for free or on your website) and using that with eBay’s® Digital Delivery service or your own website so that you can provide an instant file download 24 hours a day for your customers. NOTE: before you begin: eBay recently no longer allows digital download on their site. However, I am including this information should they ever re-instate the digital download process (which is very possible).
Hosting Your Digital Files Online Free
In order to set up automatic digital download for your item, you must have your digital item (or e-Book) hosted online. You can do this by taking advantage of the free file hosting services on the web or by hosting your products on your own website. This first section will show you how you can set up digital delivery by hosting your file online with a free hosting service (without having your own website).
Hosting Your Digital Items for Free (without having a website)
There are several of these services online that will provide 24/7 hosting for your product free of charge. Below is a short list of several of these websites you can use.
Most all of these websites work the same, and if you want to find even more sites you can use a search engine (such as Google®) to find even more free file hosting services by simply typing in “free file hosting.” Again, these all work very similarly, and if you live in a different location other than the United States, you should be able to either use the websites above, or use your search engine to find a free file hosting service locally. Also, most of these services do not even ask you to register for a free account. You just simply go to the website, upload your file and that is it! (UPDATE) Mediafire.com is a newer service, & works better than some of the others mentioned in this guide.
Using these free services is simple! You just simply go to the website, upload your file and that is it! Most of these sites do not even require you to register for a free account, you simply go to the site, upload your file, get the link, and that is it!
Below we will explain how to upload your file step-by-step. First, go to the free file hosting site of your choice. For this example, we will use www.mediafire.com. Then click on the “upload files” button as on teh home page.
After you click the “open” button on the window, it will open your file and you will see it in the “browse” section (as pictured below). Then simply click on the “upload file” button or “start upload” to upload your file.
MediaFire.com will now upload your file & host it for free on their server. Uploading the file will only take a few seconds. After the file has uploaded, it will display a link where you can access your file. Scroll down on this page, and copy the “direct linking code.” This direct link will take you directly to your file. You will want to save this link because this is the link you will need to use when you set up your automatic digital delivery auction. Also, you may want to test the link (by copying it into your browser) to make sure it works correctly before using it.
Now your file will be hosted online 24/7 by Mediafire.com. You will now use the link that Mediafire.com gave you for your file to set up your Digital Delivery Auction or for use with Paypal’s® Digital Delivery. Your buyers will use this link to download the item instantly (explained later).
Hosting Your Digital Items on Your Own Website
If you plan on creating your own website (or already have one established), then you will probably want to host your own digital products instead of using the free hosting services. This is more reliable & convenient. To do this will need to “upload” or “import” your digital file to your website using your website design software, or use the built-in FTP program to FTP the file.
Note: This process may vary slightly depending on the type of software you are using to design your site (such as FrontPage®, Dreamweaver®, Website Tonight®, Kompozer etc.). For this example I will outline the steps for uploading a file to your site using FrontPage®. It should be very similar for any other popular web design software, including Kompozer (free from our site).
To upload your digital item/e-Book, open up your website design software. Then click the “File” button. Next you will click “Import” and then you can select “Add File.” This will then allow you to select the Digital File/eBook saved on your computer that you want to upload to your website. Select the File you want to add, and then select “ok” and then publish your site. Your file should now be uploaded on your website (with its very own URL) after you publish the changes. Now you will simply use the URL of the File you uploaded (it will look something like-yoursite.com/yourEbook.pdf) with eBay® or with Paypal® to allow instant download with your auction or on your website (described in detail later). This will enable you to use your own website to host your digital items, and give you the flexibility to change the URL at any time, delete the file, and change the file whenever you want. Now that you have the web address (URL) for your digital item, you can use that with either eBay’s® digital delivery, or use it with Paypal® & other payment processors on your own website to sell your digital products.
Using eBay’s Digital Delivery System to Sell eBooks and Software:
eBay did discontinue their digital delivery service in May 2008. However, I am including this section for educational reference, and there is always the possibility that they will re-open the digital delivery section. Now that you have your digital file/ e-Book hosted online (using either your own website or a free hosting service) as well as the URL link to download the product, you can now use that link to list your item as a “Digital Item” with eBay®.
To list your item as a “digital file” with eBay®, you must select the “list your file as a digital item” option while you are creating your listing. Also, you will want to make sure that you make the buyer use “Immediate Payment” in order to get the item instantly after paying.
(Note: if the “list as a digital item” option is not being displayed on the page while you are making your listing, then click go to the top right corner of the screen & click show/hide options. You will then be able to add the option of listing as a digital file.)
After you click the “list as a digital file” link, it will display a pop-up window asking you to confirm that you are either the author of the digital file you are listing, or you have resale rights (with proof if necessary) to list the item. You should never list an e-Book or digital file for sale unless you personally wrote the item, or if the original author gave you exclusive resale rights. Click yes to indicate that you own the rights.
After you accept the legal agreement, you will then be able to list the item as a digital file. You must fill out 2 sections on your “Create Your Listing” page. The first section is the “file type & specifications section.” In this section, you will want to describe (to the buyer) what format your file is in (PDF is recommended for e-Books), as well as any requirements or software the buyer must have in order to view the file you are selling. For example, you might say something like “This file is in adobe PDF format. You will need adobe or PDF software to view this item. If you do not have this software, you can get it at www.adobe.com.” or something similar to that.
The next section you need to fill out while making your listing on the “Create Your Listing” page, is the Digital Delivery information. This is the information that Paypal® & eBay® uses to display your link after the payment has been processed. This information allows the buyer to access the link immediately & download the product (but only after the payment is received first). Enter all of the information including the download link (from your own site or the like MediaFire.com provided.
After you have entered the information, finish making your listing (such as title, description, etc.) & list your item for sale. When an individual buys your digital file (or e-Book), he or she will be shown the link to download the item on the Paypal® payment page (but only AFTER they have paid). Very Simple!
That is the complete process of setting up Automatic Download via eBay’s® Digital Delivery system. To quickly recap, you simply host your digital file (or e- Book) online using a free hosting service or your own website. Then you insert the link to download your item (provided by the hosting service/or from your website) into eBay’s® Digital Delivery section while you make you your listing. This will enable your buyer to have instant access to the digital item as soon as he or she pays for the item. Also, the free hosting company will usually keep your file hosted until either you delete it or if you do not use it for a long period of time (usually 1 month).
If you have your own website, then you can also sell e-Books using Paypal® buy-it-now buttons and you can digitally deliver your items. To take advantage of Paypal® buy-it-now buttons, you will need to go to www.Paypal.com & click on the “Merchant Services” tab at the top of the web page. Then look for the link “Buy Now Buttons” and click on the link to open the new page. Note: You may need to upgrade to either a premier –or a business account to access some of these “Merchant” features (upgrading does not cost any money).
Once you have clicked on the “Buy Now Buttons” link, you will be taken to a page where you can make your own custom button by entering the specific information of your digital item as pictured below. You will want to name your item & possibly make up an item number (optional), as well as enter any other information that is necessary.
After you enter this information, click on the “Add More Options” button at the bottom of the page. You will then be given the option for Paypal® to redirect the buyer to another page after the payment has been completed (as pictured below).
All you need to do is enter the URL of your digital item (or create a thank you page with a link to the digital item file) into this section to allow the buyer to download instantly after paying. When you are done entering the information for your buy it now button, click “Create Button Now” & Paypal® will generate a unique Buy it Now button in HTML format that you can easily copy & paste into your web page so buyers can purchase & download your items instantly.
Conclusion on Setting up Paypal Digital Delivery:
1. You will be creating a buy it now button for your digital item. You will enter the necessary information & Paypal® will generate a button you can insert into your website. You will then place the buy it now button on your web page offering the item for sale.
2. When a buyer wants to purchase your item, they click the “buy it now” button that you have inserted into your website. They then continue to pay securely through Paypal®, and after payment has been processed they will automatically be redirected to your “thank you -or-download” page where they can have instant access to the item. This is a simple way to allow instant download on your own website, and you can create a different buy it now button for as many digital items as you would like.
Having an instant download feature will usually increase your sales, and free up your time. This is a great feature to use! Most experienced sellers will use Instant Digital Delivery (me included) and you will find that this not only makes you look more professional to the buyer, but it also makes things much easier for you.
Another option for delivering your digital items is via email. Of course, the whole purpose of learning how to use digital delivery is so you won’t have to manually email your digital items. However, there is a way you can use emailing without actually doing it manually. You can set up an auto-responder command with email software such as Outlook Express® (or any other email provider that allows you to provide specific auto-responder commands or rules such as Thunderbird).
The only downside to doing this is that it will not work unless your computer is turned on and you are connected to the internet 24 hours a day (or if you have a dedicated server & you can install & operate it with your email account). So unless your online email service allows an auto-respond command without using Outlook Express®, you would have to have your computer on & connected to the web 24/7 to ensure the emails are sent immediately. The process of using this method to deliver items is outlined below.
Since most computers come with a Microsoft Windows® program, Microsoft Outlook Express® will be used for this example. To set up a digital delivery by email, open Microsoft Outlook Express®. If you do not currently use Outlook Express®, it is usually compatible with most online email accounts & you can quickly set up Outlook Express® with your current email system by going to “Add Email Account” on the first page and following the steps to use it with your current email account.
Once your email account is setup with Outlook Express®, you can make “rules” that will automatically send replies to emails with certain subjects. Your automatic reply message can contain the email as an attachment, or you can simply send a thank you email with the URL link. To do this, start by opening Outlook Express® by turning on your computer and then by going to the Start MenuàAll Programs. Once Outlook Express® is open, go to the Tools menu, and then click “Message Rules” & “Mail”. Then click the “Mail Rules” tab on the box and then “New.”
Now you will select the conditions for your rules. Basically, you will be commanding your email account to perform a specific action when an email with a certain subject is sent to your account. The easiest way to do this is to select the “Where the subject contains specific words” box. Next, you will need to select the Actions. For this section, select “Reply with Message.” Next, you will click the links at the bottom & give specific commands for both the conditions & actions as pictured below.
When you click on the hyperlinks (such as “contains specific words” as pictured above) a box will open that will allow you to type in a command. Here, type in the specific words that an email subject will contain in order for Outlook to automatically send a response. For example, if you use Paypal® or eBay®, then you will be notified through Paypal® and/or eBay® via email every time you sell an item with the buyer’s email as the “reply to” email address. (Note: If you do not receive emails when you sell items through these sites then you can change that by logging into your account and clicking “preferences” or “profile”).
So for the “email subject” command, you can use the title of your e-Book/Digital item that you use with eBay® or the item number. For instance, let’s say every time you sell your item on eBay® you receive an email and the subject reads: eBay item sold: How to Design Websites eBook- then you can use that exact phrase for the subject command. That way Outlook Express® will only automatically reply to the email if you have sold the e-Book. Of course, you can use any title you want as long as it will be consistent so you can use it with your command.
After you set up the command for the subject, you can write the reply message that you want sent after you receive an email with that particular subject. For your reply message, you can write a “thank you” email message with the e-Book/digital item attached, or simply include the URL link (or both). Before you do this, you need to write the email first & save it to your computer. Then click on the second “Message” link as pictured above. You will then be able to select the email saved on your computer. Click “Open” when you find the email.
After you select the email and click “open” then you can name the rule (For instance “Website e-Book”) and press “Ok” when you are finished. This will complete the rule and every time you receive an email that you sold the digital item, Outlook Express® should automatically reply to the buyer’s email address with your digital item or link.
Recap of Email Delivery for Digital Items:
1. You will set-up Outlook Express® to work with your online email account (or use your online email account if it allows you to enter “rules” & autorespond messages).
2. You will enter the subject commands and use an automatic reply message when you receive an email with the subject you command. Since eBay and Paypal will send an email every time you make a sale (with the buyer’s email address as the “reply-to” address), Outlook Express® will automatically forward your pre-typed email message to the buyer instantly. You can set-up this process to work with as many digital items as you wish by creating different “rules” for each item. Again, the only downside is that you will have to have your computer on & connected to the internet 24/7 (unless your online email account will do the auto-respond/rules without using Outlook Express®). Also remember that you don’t necessarily have to use Outlook Express®. If you have any online email service that allows you to send an auto-responder replies in response to a certain command, then that will work just the same as Outlook Express®.
Also, remember that if you have your own website, your hosting package may come with a free email package that can send an auto-responder. You may want to consider using this because it will be hosted online 24/7 and you would not have to keep your computer on. So if you plan on creating a site just to promote 1 or 2 digital items, you can set up an email account with your hosting provider, pre-write a thank you message including the download link, and add that email account to your Paypal account. By using both the email autoresponder & Paypal’s buy it now button, you can have a more reliable download system.
For Example: A customer purchases a digital item on your website. They will automatically be redirected to your “thank you/download” page via Paypal’s button after they pay (as described earlier). Then, a Paypal payment notification email will be sent to your email account (that you used with your hosting company). Your hosting email account will reply to the email notification Paypal sent (which will automatically contain the buyer’s email address as the reply-to address) by auto-responding with your typed message & link to download the product. Thus, the customer will be redirected to a page where they can download the product after paying & in addition they will automatically receive an email with the download link included from your email account on your website (in case they had trouble downloading the item).
If you are a true “do-it-yourself” entrepreneur (like me) then you will definitely want to handle the digital delivery by yourself using one of the methods already described. However, if you ever get overwhelmed, you always have the option of using one of the many companies that provide digital delivery service on the web.
Since this guide is all about digital delivery, I thought it would be worthwhile to at least briefly mention a few companies that do charge money to handle your digital goods for you. This way if you decide to you don’t want to handle your own delivery, or your business expands & you need something to help you out, you can use one of the options below. Below is a list of the most popular companies that deal with digital delivery:
The companies mentioned above charge money to either sell your digital products for you, or to provide an emailing/download service for your digital products when a sale is made. Prices vary with each company from a small monthly charge to a small commission for each item sold, etc. Also, many of the services will work with both Paypal® & eBay®. If you decide that you do not want to deal with setting up your own digital delivery, you may want to consider one of these companies. Again, check each website for their fee structure to see which package would best suit your own personal situation.
Clickbank is another payment processor similar to Paypal that you can use to sell digital products. In fact, clickbank is really made especially for digital products (whereas Paypal can be used for anything). Clickbank has a great built in redirect script. Once a buyer pays, Clickbank simply redirects the buyer to your download page.
To set up Clickbank, first you need to get a publisher account. Affiliate accounts are free (to promote other people’s products & earn a commission), however, publisher accounts (to sell a product yourself) will cost a fee of around $29.99-49.99. So if you don’t already have a Clickbank account & you want to sign up, go to Clickbank.com & sign up for an account. You will have to submit your product, & they will review & approve it. This process usually take about a day or two.
Once you have been approved, you can upload your products. To do this, login using your login information. Then click on the “Account Settings” tab. Then click the small “my products” link just below the tabs.
You will then be able to add new products to your account. This is a really simple step. This is all you have to do: Enter the thank you page URL, set the price, and you’re done! Yes that easy. Remember, the thank you page will be the page you create on your website thanking the customer & you should have all download links on that page.
So, to give you an example, you would create on html page on your website. You should make the “thank you” page link long & hard to guess. Something like yourdomain.com/ae39asla_ao23af_2l3j.htm On that thank you page, thank the customer & then link to each product you have uploaded on your website. Each link may look something like: yourdomain.com/your_product_here.pdf. Make sure to make the direct link to the actual file hard to guess as well. By the way, most html editors will have a built-in link button to easily create links for you, but just in case it doesn’t here is the simple HTML code to create a link:
<a href=”http://www.your-product-url here.com” target=cb>Type What you Want the Link to Say Here (such as Product 1)</a>
For ClickBank to sell your product you must direct customers to follow a payment link on your Pitch Page. The payment link will automatically take the customer directly to a ClickBank product order form. After the buyer pays, Clickbank will redirect them to the thank you page you entered (as mentioned above).
Your payment link should be targeted to a new window, and should be in the following format:
Here it is in html:
<a href=”http://ITEM.PUBLISHER.pay.clickbank.net” target=cb>CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE</a>
Here’s how to make it work…
Replace ITEM with the item number of the link (product) for sale. As you set up products to sell in your ClickBank account, you will need to assign each of your links an item number: 1,2,3, etc. If you are setting up your first product, the item number is 1. Replace PUBLISHER with your ClickBank account nickname. Replace CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE with any promotional text or image you prefer.
That is all you have to do to set up a simple system with Clickbank. Again, it costs money up front, however, they do have built-in affiliates that could help you make more sales, so it will most likely be worth the cost.
Other Things to Consider When Using Digital Delivery:
Aside from the technical aspects of digital delivery, there are a few other things you may want to consider such as:
1. What file format will you use for your digital item? Obviously, you should consider a format that most users will be able to use without any trouble. For instance, e-Books are most commonly sold in PDF format, etc. By using a format most people are familiar with, your customers will feel more comfortable buying & downloading your products.
2. Keep your files secure & prevent Google from indexing your eBook. If you are selling a product & you don’t want people to be able to access the product, you should take some necessary steps to keep it secure. A simple & cost effective way to do this is to simply have your item located in a secure file on your website, create a robots.txt file &/or meta tag to prevent search engines from finding it, and by changing your URL to a more complicated one (such as www.yoursite.com/eBook89_32DoWnloAd_32.pdf). By adding lots of numbers & characters you make it nearly impossible for someone to guess the download URL. Also, make sure to create a robots.txt file.
What is a robots.txt file? A robots.txt file is a text file you can place on your website to instruct robots on where to craw, or more importantly where not to crawl. This is important because unless you want all of the pages & files in your site to show up online in search engine results, you will want to learn how to create a robots.txt file. Also, some SEO gurus have argued that having a robots.txt file can attract spiders & increase your search engine positioning.
So how does a robots.txt file work, and how do you create one on your website? Well the robots.txt is a simple file (mostly created using notepad) that includes a set of instructions for the search engines. These instructions can tell the spiders which pages they are allowed to crawl for indexing, and which ones they should not crawl. You can also give specific instructions for specific search engines, and you can include different commands.
Below is an example of common instructions used: To allow All search engine spiders to crawl your site & to all ALL files to be indexed, use this command:
User-agent: * Disallow:
The command above means all spiders can crawl your site & they can include all files in their index. The * means “attention ALL spiders” & by leaving the Disallow field blank it means you are telling them they can crawl all files. To instruct ALL search engine spiders to stay away from certain files (for instance your /images/ folder, you would simply use the following command:
User-agent: * Disallow: /images/
This instructs ALL robots that visit your site to not “crawl” or include all of the files in your /images/ folder to be included. If you would like to include more folders, just keep adding more Disallow commands:
User-agent: * Disallow: /images/ Disallow: /PDF/
Create a Robots.txt File Using Notepad
To upload a create & upload a robots file to your site, open Windows Notepad. Then type the command in Notepad that you want to instruct for the Robots (use an example above).
Then save the name of the document as a “robots” and make sure it has the .txt file extension. Now, go to your website & import (or “upload”) the file. Then publish your website. After you publish your website, your robots.txt file should show up.
To check, just type in www.YOURSITE.com/robots.txt and see if it show up. If it does then this should be working & it will prevent robots from viewing your files/folders that you do not want to be seen. This is a great way to keep secret files, e-books, personal documents, PDF files, etc. from being indexed and placed on search engines.
Creating a Robots Meta Tag
Robot.txt files are a great way to prevent search engines from viewing entire files or folders, but what about keeping them out of individual web pages? The solution is to use a special HTML Meta tag that will keep your webpage from showing up on search engines (such as Google, Yahoo, etc.).
To use an HTML Meta Tag to prevent you page from being indexed, simply type the tag below into your HTML code between the <head> tags.
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,nofollow” /> This will allow you to keep individual pages from being included in search engine directories. This is important because you don’t want your “thank you” page to be crawled & indexed by spiders because it will have your download link on it.
Misc. Digital Download Troubleshooting:
Also it is worth mentioning that even though digital delivery is a great feature and works 99.99999% of the time, occasionally there may be a technical difficulty preventing the buyer from downloading the product. Either the buyer will not see the link on the download page (yes it happens) –or eBay®, Paypal®, Clickbank, or the hosting company you use could experience a technical difficulty or their server can be down.
In this case, the buyer will probably contact you to let you know that they didn’t receive the item. I usually simply apologize to the buyer & send the digital item via email as an attachment as soon as I get the message & answer any other questions they may have. Again, these things happen to every seller from time to time & there is nothing you can do about it. After emailing the buyer, you may want to check the link to make sure it still works, and/or see if there are any problems that need to be corrected. If the link ever expires on a free hosting site or you want to change it, just follow the same procedures mentioned earlier to re-host your file.
Again, usually if the buyer contacts you it is usually because they didn’t know that they had to click the link to download the item, or there was just technical difficulty preventing them from downloading the item. And even though these problems can’t be avoided 100%, if you have 2 or 3 methods working together, it will be best. For example, set up email responder & have the buyermredirected after purchase.
Also, it is very important to always check to make sure the digital delivery works before you actually start selling the product. Whether you use a free file hosting company, host on your own website, use emailing, or use an online company you should always do a “test run” to make sure that the download works properly. This may take a couple of minutes, but it can save you a big headache later on if you take to time to make sure it works perfectly the first time.
Thank you for viewing this online guide. If you found this useful, please let others know by linking to this article, or sharing it using social media.