Promoting other people’s products and services, namely affiliate marketing, is probably the easiest way to get started making money on the internet.
You don’t have to worry about customer support, taking payments, issuing refunds or putting the time and energy into creating a product in the first place.
However, as time goes on and you get more experienced it is well worth considering creating your own products as there is no doubt that this is where the largest amounts of money are made online.
If you’ve never created a product before then this can seem like a daunting prospect, so here is a short blueprint to help you avoid the common pitfalls.
1. Choose A Launch Date Before You Start
Just as many first time novelists have been working on their masterpiece for 2 years or more, lots of internet marketers spend endless amounts of time working on open-ended projects that never seem to get completed.
So before you do anything set a fixed date to release your product.
This will force you to get things done, not be a perfectionist (a big mistake!) and work backwards in your planning so that you can accomplish all of the other tasks in this blueprint.
2. Realize That The CUSTOMER Matters, Not You
One of the biggest mistakes people can make is to assume that what they’d like in a product is also what their audience would like.
FORGET what you think, go out and discover what your audience wants.
Check what is selling in the marketplace. Sites like cbengine.com, clickbank.com, WarriorPlus, Amazon Best Sellers are all good places for research but keep your ear to the ground and use your intuition too: What are bloggers talking about, what are affiliates promoting?
3. Make A List Of Benefits And Features
You MUST write these down in a list!
They will help you keep on track in both creating the product and the marketing material as you approach your launch date.
Features: What the product consists of. E.g., a 37 page eBook on keeping bees
Benefits: The results that the customer will get. E.g., saves the hassle and money of buying the wrong equipment and making the common mistakes that first time bee keepers usually make.
See the difference? You need to push the benefits in your marketing before you talk about the features.
4. Aim To Massively Over Deliver
Simply, your product should be worth 5-10x of the price you ask people to pay.
Buy some other products that are similar to the one you want to create and break them down. What are their key elements, what are their weaknesses? Write all of this down into your product plan.
Another great thing to do is to include unannounced bonuses in your product. These are parts of the product that you don’t talk about in your marketing. (HINT: Audio interview are excellent for this!). This will create a positive surprise for your customers and reduce the refund rate.
5. Include Different Media Formats
Different people like different formats: Some people like MP3 so they can listen in the car or when they are out running, others text PDF files, some webinars and others recorded video tutorials.
Here’s a breakdown of some of my products:
- Gain Higher Ground Membership: Video tutorials, live webinars, audio mastermind interviews, PDF cheat sheets/swipe files/flowcharts
- The Traffic Escalator: Video + PDF report + audio interview
- Stock Market Sniper: PDF manual + Video tutorials
We discussed content repurposing a while back which will give you some ideas on how to get this done with minimal effort and time.
6. Taking Payments
If it’s your first product then keep this simple!
PayPal is definitely the easiest to set up. I used this for my Traffic Escalator product. It also integrates with other systems (e.g., Rapid Action Profits, WarriorPlus etc) so you can have an affiliate program.
Clickbank is simple, effective, has great analytics and has a built in affiliate program. I use this for GHG Membership.
So don’t worry about getting a merchant account from your bank, you can do this later. Keep it as simple as you can to begin with.
7. Enjoy Yourself!
In my opinion, having fun is crucial to being successful online!
And when it comes to creating products things should be no different.
Personally, I love creating products as much as I do making money. Starting from scratch and ending up with a brand new product gives you immense satisfaction, especially when you start to receive great feedback from your customers (and you will if you follow this blueprint)!
How To Spend Your Time
Having created multiple products myself in different niches I recommend you split your time as follows:
1/3 Research & planning
1/3 Creating the product
1/3 Creating the marketing for the product
Finally, the worst thing you can do – and I’ve seen people do this a lot – is to jump straight into creating the product. It might seem clear in your head at the time but I can almost gaurantee you that skipping the planning and research stage will cause untold trouble later down the line!
Are you thinking of creating a product? Have you had a previous success or failure before? Rather stick with affiliate marketing? Please click LIKE if you liked this and drop your comments below… 🙂
Thanks Rob. I’m new to all of this but learning a lot from you already.
Great Steve, glad this helps you and thanks for letting me know 🙂
I have seen a lot of courses concentrating on producing your own product because there are pitfalls to being an affiliate. Also many just don’t make the money and commissions either go amiss or get stolen.
At the moment I am concentrating my efforts on the Kindle but writing for pleasure is a difficult one to list for benefits. I am also likely to produce non-fiction digital books where the benefits are more evident.
Currently YouTube videos and Facebook Fanpages seem to be the thing to use to drive customers to purchase products.
There is a whole vista of things to implement before you can get your own product out there but it is one that is the best as you get to keep 100% unless you get other affiliates to sell your product.
Like to thank you for your previous help and advice.
Thanks for your comments, very good to get your take on things.
I’ve never tried Kindle myself but I know that it’s a hot area that is being promote heavily at the moment. Please relay your experiences as and when you publish your book(s) – it would be very interesting to hear about your results.
On the affiliates it’s worth giving 100% sometimes (seriously!), as you can really get some great traffic from then and add buyers to your list. Then you can make your money on the “back end” (as it is called) by promoting products to these subscribers.
Just one of several models but it’s worked very well for me so perhaps something to consider….
Thanks for commenting, hope to see you again here soon 🙂
Thanks again! As you know I’m following 15 Steps, so I guess I’ll start with affiliate marketing and then move onto my own products. Just moving steadily along!
Good job Peter, small and consistent baby steps forward is the key to success.
Really impressed with your action taking so far – keep it up!
Just got GoPages Pro which cloaks affiliate links as well as does other things.
At the same time I am looking to buy in OptimisePress the theme plugin for WordPress as it is SEO compliant.
As I have weeded out a whole lot of dross over the last 2 years I have got down to only buying the tools and courses that will eventually assist me in running my biz efficiently.
OptimizePress is excellent! I use it personally and it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever purchased online in terms of value for money 🙂
Great information. I still need some time to decide on my preference. Of course one really takes into consideration the pros and the cons and which one each individual feels more comfortable doing.
Glad you enjoyed, thanks for the comments 🙂
Great info, just watched your “list building” course. Having just set up first affiliate site, the course was a godsend. You have probably saved me a lot of wasted time.
Great stuff Mike – really pleased this helped and thanks for letting me know 🙂
Good luck with your new site and let me know if I can help with anything.
Thanks for this run down! I’m in the midst of planning out a free traffic guide for the subscribers. Though my product is free I’m still using the same principles as if it has a price on it…
You’re welcome – thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
Good luck with your product 🙂