Frugal Side Hustle: Digital Products with Ellie Diop – EP 242

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Digital connectedness has become more prevalent these past few years as a result of the pandemic that struck us. Our guest, Ellie shares how answering questions online, and making social media content and digital products have saved her financial life. Join us as we get inspired by one’s story of commitment, consistency, and perseverance. 

The worst thing may not be the WORST thing. It may be forcing you into something of greater potential


  • The internet, babyyy. It seems like it’s been around for forever, but it’s only getting started. You can try the internet out by going on your phone or computer and checking out the world wide web. Some cool stuff includes….our ebook! It’s free, it’s online, and it’s got hundreds of tips for saving money. Get  yours at

Ellie Diop is a Business and Strategy Coach, the Founder and CEO of Ellie Talks Money and Ellievated Academy, and the host of the Get Ellievated podcast. At 28 years old, after being rejected from over 50 jobs, Ellie took her $1,200 stimulus check to start a business that she turned into a multi-million-dollar business in less than one year.

How digital products saved Ellie's financial life

When Ellie started her business, she was still living at her mom’s house, had just gotten out of a divorce, and was a mother of 4 children. Despite having extensive work experience and applying to over 54 jobs, no one seemed to be hiring her at the time. A sudden flush of realization hit her as with all this skill set she has, she packaged them all up and presented it to the market of those people who might need the knowledge and skills she can offer. 

Ellie created her first e-Book priced at $15 which soon after became a piece to her breakthrough moment which is earning $500 in a day. It was not an easy start for Ellie but she thought of coming to terms with her fear of rejection and getting NO was something not to be afraid of anymore as she was already at the bottom–the only way for her is UP. 

Digital products, their prices, and how Ellie markets them

Market Research. Ellie took her time to get to know her market in order to build trust with them before she sold them anything. Before having a paid product, she offered free guides and created content on what she thinks her audience might need. Dropping these little nuggets of content, Ellie discovered what people look out for her the most and started everything from there. 

Another worth noting to market your digital products is: organic marketing. Ellie created 3 to 4 content on instagram, goes on live twice a day (5x a week during her first year of business). This helped her scale up quickly for her consistency and dedication to reach out to her audience. 

The cost of side hustle and what Ellie would do anything differently now

With a stimulus check of $1200, Ellie took this as a sign to go ahead with her business. Starting from buying domains, hiring a web designer, paying for software subscriptions to help her, and more. Ellie admits she did not spend a lot of money on her business but she used up a lot of her time–it doesn’t cost a lot of money to make money. Making a list of your expertise, and accomplishments in life and business to recognize what you’re most qualified to teach or make money from. From there narrowing it down to the least resistance, in order to make content that comes out naturally for you. 

If given the chance to do something differently, Ellie wished she could have started way sooner and relied on herself. Also, hiring your customer service person really helped her business flourish as she was able to focus on the things she wanted to do–making sure the business can exist and operate outside of you. 

The first 3 action steps someone should take today to start a digital product business

If selling digital products is your side hustle, take a day on the weekend or whenever you have time to schedule out your content. Ellie believes direct person-to-audience information is what most people are looking for in social media right now. You can try going to AnswerThePublic, input your topic of expertise then you’ll be surprised by a huge web of questions that will appear. Take time to record your answer to these questions and schedule them to upload on Instagram and TikTok. 

It is important to repeat this on a weekly basis, in order for the algorithm to recognize your content and take you to your target audience. Always remember delivering quality content and consistency is how you can make the most of social media to market your digital products. 

Our dream side hustle idea

  • Ellie: Event space that provides themed birthday events with a bus for kids
  • Jill: Greeting cards for neighbors so people can get to know their neighbors better
  • Jen: People pay me to try their wine in beautiful places while arranging flowers

Bill of The Week

Thank you Ellie for sharing your bill about FOOD! We are cheering you on in your purchases of quality food as you aim at health and nutrition!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. Many of you know we have a private community where we do monthly money challenges and offer accountability groups. We want to congratulate one of our members for a big win.

Decluttering as a minimalist

Originally I was not going to participate in this challenge. I began my decluttering and minimalism journey in 2018 and I currently live a very minimal life.

I decided to go ahead and do a pass though my belongings and get rid of items I haven’t used in a while, and items I had an excess of. I was able to find 30 items to donate or trash as appropriate.

Congrats! If you want to check out our monthly challenge community head to to see what challenge we have coming up next.

And keep leaving us reviews on iTunes or Stitcher, and sending the screenshot to And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

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