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Ever Consider Your Own Products & Services?

Posted by on 12th Oct 2007 | 7 comments

My blogging friend Yoav left the following comment on my blog saying that we should develop our own products:

People are #1 but product is #2. You can have a 1,000,000 page views a day and do well with advertising, but why advertise other people’s product and make 1% of the money. Make a product and get a 100%.

I think it is a concept worth exploring. Most bloggers focus on ads or selling affiliates products. How many actually have a product of their own? The profit potential is much greater, but so is the work and risk, perhaps this is why so few actually do it.

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I make all my money indirectly from blogging. With my blog as a salesperson I attract leads for my writing and consultancy services. This is probably the easiest way for any blogger to ease into promoting their own products, but of course it is a very active income. You have to work to earn the money. The holy grail is to create digital products that require no work to profit from after the initial creation phase.

The trick is developing a product that you know will be highly valuable to a market. Most people make the mistake of thinking “I would like to make this” rather than “People really need this”.

Yoav knows what he is talking about, he is very successful at developing and launching products that are laser targeted at niches. His company, Cogniview, has several successful products that give people exactly what they need most when they most need it. Their best known product allows you to convert PDF to Excel format files.

Information and educational products are what most people think about when they hear of digital products, ebooks and audio mainly. That is what I had in mind when I created AuthorityBlogger and one of these days I will finish it, heh.

David Hobby will be sick of my prodding but I have been pushing him to create an information product or course for his Strobist site since I first discovered it. A blogger with a successful information product is Aaron Wall with his SEOBook. The more they blog, the wider their names and expertise get known, and the more products they can sell.

If ebooks and info products interest you, keep watching Copyblogger. There will be a free report soon …

So what do you think? Could a product be in your future? Let me know in the comments …


A professional blogger and internet marketing consultant.

7 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by David Hobby on 12th Oct 2007

    Hey, Chris-

    In fact, I have been hard at work all summer on a DVD series. I hope this goes better than my first idea (escort service) which was a complete bust…

    -DH

  • Posted by Steven Bradley on 12th Oct 2007

    Chris I think it’s a great idea and I’ve been looking toward offering my own products for quite some time. The hard part is figuring out what would be a good product to offer and actually creating the product.

    I do offer services and my blog started in some respects as a way to help promote both me and those services. The idea of a product or products for sale, especially ones that might not need frequent updating once they’re created has always been appealing to me.

    I’ve considered ebooks (I’m eagerly anticipating Brian’s report) and I’ve considered web applications. Nothing has yet stuck in my mind as the thing to work on, though.

  • Posted by Chris Garrett on 14th Oct 2007

    @Steven – Yeah, a lot of people start out with ebooks because they might already have much of the content and it is a low risk product to launch seeing as there are no duplication costs

    @David – I look forward to seeing it. Probably way better market than the escort service, though I understand these things are usually more successful when you hire attractive ladies rather than do the escorting yourself? Any reason you want to go DVD route rather than digital download delivery?

  • Posted by Kevin on 15th Oct 2007

    This is something I have been thinking more and more about recently. With respect to Blogging Tips I am looking more at the blog as a way to drive traffic or customers to something I own as I don’t believe it would bring me a lot of money simply via ads etc (hopefully I am wrong).

    The only product I currently sell is Domain Names but I would like to branch out a bit more.

  • Posted by Chris Garrett on 15th Oct 2007

    I think that would be wise, while ads are a nice way to earn revenue you can also generate larger sums by creating and controlling your own product.

  • Posted by Kevin on 15th Oct 2007

    I agree. I’m still not 100% sure what to mark though. I have been thinking about working closely with some people in my field (eg. work exclusively with one designer, one hosting company etc).

    Have you thought about marketing your services on other websites?

  • Posted by Chris Garrett on 15th Oct 2007

    I haven’t considered marketing my services outside chrisg.com as I tend to approach business looking for a smaller number of deeper working relationships to they tend to work best direct, but I think eventually I will have products that could be marketed that way