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 …