[448] How to generate semi-passive income by selling your own planner or journal

I generated more than £185k in sales of my 2021 Social Media Diary and Planner and related products.

In this podcast episode (which you can also read as a blog), I share my tips on how to generate a semi-passive income from selling a planner or journal.

You’ll find out:

  • How to choose a topic for your planner/journal
  • How a planner/journal can help you sell higher-tickets products/services
  • How to ensure your planner/journal is profitable
  • How to develop complementary products you can sell alongside your journal/planner

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode.}

1. Make sure your planner solves a problem 

There are so many types of planners available – the competition can be huge. Which is why your planner needs to solve a specific problem for a specific person.

For example, my Social Media Diary & Planner helps business owners who are struggling to come up with content ideas. It’s packed full of key dates and awareness days, which helps them generate content ideas. And it includes templates and checklists to help them create annual, monthly, weekly and daily content plans – which helps them stay on track.

Another example might be a music practice planner. I’m an amateur pianist, and one of the problems I have is organising what I’m going to practise, when. The membership programme I belong to sells a piano practice planner. This is a great resource for keeping track of your practice. It also creates a record of what you’ve covered so you can look back at your progress.

A wedding planner/journal is another good example because it helps prospective brides stay organised and creates a keepsake of the event.

2. Pick a niche for your planner
Don’t be put off if there are already planners on sale in your industry/space.

It is possible to niche down within your industry

For example, there are hundreds of planners on dog training. Niching down to a particular breed of dog – or aspect of training e.g. potty training, behaviour –  will not only help you stand out, it will also increase your sales.

For example, Bridezilla founder, Alicia McCormack created a wedding planner for people who hate bridal magazines and wedding fairs. There are also planners for vintage weddings, 1950s themed weddings and other specific niches.

There are lots of possibilities to niche down within your industry. Even if it seems like there are lots of planners already on the market.

You may feel that getting super specific will reduce your sales. Actually, you’re far more likely to make sales because your product will be a better fit for your ideal customer.

3. Build an audience to sell your planner to

The average conversion rate for online sales is 1-2%. Which means for every hundred people in your audience (i.e. your email list) only a handful are likely to buy. So if you’re hoping to sell hundreds/thousands of your planner – and you don’t currently have a large audience to sell to – you may need to readjust your expectations.

If this is the case, you have a number of options:

  1. Launch your planner anyway – but just do a small print run for your first launch. While the printing cost will be higher, this will give you a chance to test out your product.
  2. Work on building your audience until it’s big enough to achieve your target sales.

4. Build authority on your planner topic

There may be someone else out there who sells a similar planner/journal to the one you want to create.  Someone who has an established audience e.g. a YouTube channel, book and/or large social media following.

So why would someone choose to buy from you?

I say this not to put you off launching your planner, but to remind you that you need to build authority in your industry/space. And also to manage your expectations. It may take you time to build the authority (and audience) you need to sell your planner (at least in the numbers you would like).

The best way to build authority is to publish content that answers your ideal customers’ questions  – ideally on your website.That way, when your ideal clients are searching online for answers to their questions, they’ll end up on your website.

I publish regular blogs/podcasts on content planning/creation throughout the year. This helps me and my planner get ‘found’ more easily in Google.

If you approach your planner business with realistic expectations, you can only build from there. This is one of the things we cover in my How To Launch Your Own Planner masterclass.

We do some calculations to see what your audience size is and what you can expect to sell. Then you can decide if you want to launch now or do a small print run. It can cost more to do a small print run, but you can learn and build from there.

I’ve got a podcast episode all about how much it costs to launch a planner that will help you understand how many you’ll need to sell.

5. Make your planner part of your sale funnel

The great thing about creating a planner/journal is that you can create information products (e.g. online courses/digital downloads) to go alongside it.

You don’t need to launch one now (in fact, it’s best to keep things simple and start with your planner/journal). But if you can see the potential to create an information product to go alongside your diary, you’ll be able to generate more revenue.

Since I launched my Social Media Diary & Planner five years ago, I’ve launched a content planning membership programme to support people with using the diary throughout the year. This is £149 (compared to £39 for the diary) and around 25% of diary owners now opt to buy the planning club as well as the diary.

Do also consider how your planner/journal might fit into the rest of your sales funnel. A planner/journal can often be an ‘entry level’ product which can lead to an upsell for a higher ticket offer.

Ready to launch your own planner or journal?

If you’re serious about launching a planner or journal for your industry, join my How To Launch A Planner Masterclass. I go into greater depth about the steps you need to take to launch a successful planner or journal. And it includes all the checklists and templates you need.

Plus, what you need to do before you go to a printer.

You can join the masterclass here. 

Podcast shownotes

  • About my how to launch your own planner masterclass (03:06)
  • Why you should listen to this podcast episode (03:44)
  • How much revenue my 2021 Social Media Diary & Planner has generated (05:32)
  • The size of audience you need to sell a planner/journal (06:34)
  • Making sure your planner solves a specific problem (08:50)
  • Examples of problems a planner can solve (09:52)
  • Choosing a niche for your planner/journal (and how to research it) (12:27)
  • Why you shouldn’t be scared of creating a planner for a niche audience (13:54)
  • Why you must build an online audience to sell your planner to (15:04)
  • Building authority and why it’s vital for your planner launch (16:45)
  • Setting realistic expectations for the launch of your planner (17:34)
  • How to sell your planner if you have a small audience (18:01)
  • How to generate additional revenue from your planner from online courses/digital downloads(21:05)
  • Why your planner should be part of your overall sales funnel (23:40)
  • Why you should join my how to launch a planner masterclass (27:17)


Join my How to launch your own planner masterclass
Join my Instagram Success Academy
Join my Build Your Online Audience programme

Other useful podcasts

[Bonus] Should you join Janet Murray’s Build Your Online Audience Programme?(podcast)
[Bonus] How to get the most out of my 2021 Social Media Diary & Planner (podcast)[220] How to create a planner or journal for your industry (podcast)
[355] How to create and launch your own planner (podcast)
[414] How much does it cost to launch your own planner (podcast)
[422] Behind the scenes of my launch how I sold £10K of planners in 24 hours (podcast)

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