Product Creation Archives

“A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her…” – David Brinkley

When you try to create your online business you will be bombarded with emails offering you ‘Bricks’ that may or may not help to build your system. Some will be free and some paid for.

For the plan I’m using you will need is a domain, webhosting and an autoresponder and these will all cost. There are ways to raise this money first (hire yourself out eg if you are good at graphics, or installing scripts) but you need need some finance to build a business.
I believe you also need coaching, mentoring or to at least be a member of some useful forums as I mentioned in my last post.
You will also to need your own product and some good contacts. You can use other peoples products initially but it won’t work as well or as fast.

The hardest part is to only collect the parts that your really need and throw away the rest.

You must have a solid plan just like when you are building a house, so that you know exactly what you need and what to do. Otherwise you will end up with the leaning tower of pisa with crumbling foundations.

You must focus on this plan and not start building other sites before you have one working.

It takes time – Rome wasn’t build in a day, but if you keep pushing away at one plan you will get there.
But be prepared – it may well take a couple of years. Most people aren’t going to tell you that but realistically it does take time to gather the knowledge you need and to train yourself to put it to good use.

If you are just starting out this probably isnt what you want to hear, but everyone finds this out in the end anyway so you are better off knowing now.

Focus – don’t keep checking your email, autoresponder, or paypal accounts.
I’ve been doing that today 🙁 it just shows that finding out what to do is much easier than actually doing it. It’s just that I keep getting ‘Congratulations , You Just made a sale’ emails and until this week this didn’t happen.

You have to ignore all the latest products on how to make $1000 per day without doing any work and stick to one thing. If you don’t you will never even make $1 per day.

Following a big boost in my IM business early this week I spent Thursday working on my IM business and left the staff to run our Printing & Stationery and Mail Order businesses. It was sunny so I had a break in the garden. It’s not quite warm enough in our summerhouse, but later in the year I may sit in there with my laptop and work, or maybe even go away somewhere for a week in the summer.
Can you imagine what it would be like to get this kind of freedom?

That’s the target I’m working towards, but for now it focus, focus, focus…

When I was struggling to create my first proper digital product (I’d done a few odds and ends before but nothing I felt I could release – does that sound familiar?) I had a lot of problems:

My Problems

1) Should I do my own graphics or outsource? If I outsourced where should I go. I’d seen some horror stories about using sites like eLance.

2) Who should I go to for advise on the content of my eBook? Was it good enough.
At the time I think it was about 7 pages and I was findind it hard to make longer.
I didnt want to pad it out with fluff like you see in so many eBooks.

3) How do I write the sales page and emails

4) How do I get testimonials?

5) How do I sell it. Do I use Paypal?

6) How do I setup a mini site?
I had many websites already since 1999, one had 1000s of pages, but a site selling and ebook is different and you need to get it right.

7)How do I get affiliates or JV partners to sell it?
With no traffic how could I get any sales at all.

This was in August 2007. I’d been selling physical products online since 1999, but couldn’t break into the information business.

The answer turned out to be simple. I joined two forums – John Thornhill’s Planet Forum and Lee McIntyres Standing Start Profits. Inside I was able to get answers and advice.

Here’s the answers to the above problems:

My Solutions

1) The graphics I outsourced on eLance but scrapped in a few days after everyone hated them and I went with someone from a forum who was recommended by other members.

2) This one was easy, I just sent the eBook to some forum members and they suggested adding step by step instructions with screen shots. In a couple of weeks it to well over 20 pages, and the final version was 44 pages.

3) The sales page was really the hardest part but again loads of help was available, and I hired copywriting expert Randy Smith to write the emails. I figured his copy would sell so many more copies that it would easily pay his fee (and he became my first affiliate too which was a bonus).

4) Testimonials weren’t hard either – the people I’d sent the eBook to wrote them for me.

5) I was lucky to get the advice of John Thornhill on how to sell it and went with Clickbank. He became the biggest affiliated selling many hundreds of copies (he still gets sales today nearly 2 and a half years after it was released)

6) Setting up the mini site was again done with advice of colleagues. It takes time to get it right. Make sure have a good affiliate page with banners and emails or you won’t get top quality affiliates to promote it.

7) Some affiliates appeared almost by themselves, although I did have to do some emailing and PMing to get the bigger ones.
Don’t be intimidated by the thought of approaching a big name. If you have a good product and give them a good commission some should agree.

I’m putting no links in this post because I want it to be information only with nothing to lead people away half way through – if you want to know more about which forums I’m in or have any other questions or tips please comment below.


This disclaimer is the bit people usually do not tell you so that their headlines look better!

1) Not all the $3149.71 was from sales of my eBook, I had commissions on a few eBooks sold to people on the list I built, they are however directly connected.
[This is only my commission so the actual sales would be over $6000 since I gave 50% commission and clickbank take fees as well. Please note most people would quote the total sales so it looks better.]

2) The 1143 subscribers included my affiliate list of 79, and a total of 294 have since unsubscribed.

3) The 3 months is the time it took me to setup everything and get the first sales. Some of the sales and subscribers came later, but it was all on auto-pilot and I did very little more work on the product, so the results came from those 3 months.

Should You Ditch Your Plans And Start Again?

I’ve been reviewing what I have done the last 6 months and come to some drastic conclusions.

My most successful ventures online have all been based on traffic first.
ie find places with traffic and place in front of them what they want.
This has worked very well for me since 1999 starting with QXL, eBay, Freeserve Marketplace, Google, and Amazon.

Many people quote this kind of formula:
1) Find a place where there is traffic/potential customers
2) Find out what they want – eg a problem that need a solution
3) Create or source the item they need and put it in front of them

It isn’t rocket science, it isn’t a new idea – you’ve probably read this many times before.

But how many people do this, especially with information products?
Don’t most people create a product, usually an eBook, then try and find ways of getting traffic to the sales page, or email potential affiliates trying to pursuade them to sell it?
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