You have a great idea for a new eBook, or a video series, that your audience would love to pay for.
You work on it for weeks and create an awesome product.
You create a landing page, write the sales copy, set up your funnel and get your product ready for launch.
But when the launch day arrives, there’s no one to buy your product.
How could it be? Your product was awesome and the price was nothing compared to the value you offered.
How could someone not be interested in it?
Research shows that 8 out of 10 businesses close within the first 12 months. If you ask any of the owners of those businesses, they’d tell you they had a great product.
But what they lacked was market research.
Any serious business would never compromise on product quality. But is there anyone interested in buying that product.
That’s the question that many businesses never ask before launching.
The same applies to bloggers as well.
Almost every other blogger offers eBooks and courses to his audience.
But how many of those courses are really successful?
Apply the Lean Business Model To Test Your Product
If you’re planning to launch an eBook, a video course or any other form of info product, it’s important that you validate your idea before investing time and money.
This is where the lean business model works so well.
Lean is originally a concept from the manufacturing industry. But its core principles are equally applicable to content marketing and product launches as well.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
The lean methodology is based on the build-measure-learn loop.
It advocates building the most essential and core elements of your product, test them in the market, learn from your findings and refine it based on your learning.
This allows you to quickly validate your idea without investing too much time or money. If you see there’s a market for your product, continue to building it. If not, pack up and try something else.
Mapping this on info products, here are a few ways you can test your product idea and gauge its market potential.
1. Analyze the Products of Your Competitors
The easiest way to test the business potential of an idea is to see if anyone else is doing it. You don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Just analyze your competitors and their products to see what they’re finding success with.
If your idea is really unique and you can’t find anyone else doing it, there’s another way.
- Look for products that are closely related to your idea or products that solve the same problem that you’re trying to address. Do some market research to understand if your target audience is satisfied with the solutions on offer.
- If you already have an audience, run short 1-2 question surveys and ask them about their biggest problem that they want you to solve.
For example, if you plan to create an eBook on “Building Authoritative Backlinks”, analyze the products that are already in the market and see how they’re performing.
Look for product reviews and audience feedback to identify the loopholes in the existing products.
This should give you a solid starting point.
2. Get Product Ideas from Amazon and Udemy
Amazon and Udemy are goldmines for product researchers in general, and bloggers in particular. There are thousands of eBooks on Kindle Store that you can use to validate your idea.
Amazon has an endless database of eBooks, customer reviews, and feedback.
Just look for products that are related to your idea, see what they offer and read customer feedback to gauge the potential of your product.
Similarly, there are thousands of video courses available on Udemy where some of the world’s best professionals and instructors share their expertise.
Every course has an outline and a list of topics that it covers.
Find the best performing courses related to your idea and see the topics they’re covering.
This, again, will give you a pretty good idea of the value of your idea and will help you refine your product.
3. Create a Sales Landing Page and Capture Leads with Facebook Ads
Going through the first two steps should give you a pretty good idea of where your product stands and how you can make it more valuable for your target audience.
But to validate your idea even further, without fully committing yourself to it, you need to see if people will actually buy from you.
Remember, you still don’t have a product, it’s just an idea. But creating a professional landing page for your product and routing traffic to it will give you a clear idea of where your idea stands.
Here’s a good example of a focused and well-optimized landing page that lists the key benefits of the product and doesn’t divert visitors from the main call to action.
Add a small opt-in box on your landing page and ask your visitors to enter their email address and press the buy now button.
When they do that, you’ll collect their contact information. But since there’s no product available right now, you can route them to a 404 page giving them the impression that something went wrong with the sign-up. Don’t collect the payment information yet.
If you see that people are responding to your product and signing up, it’s a good indication that you should create the full product.
You can set this up using tools like LeadPages, Gumroad, Instapage or any other landing page app.
4. Create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for Quick Feedback
Finally, when you decide to launch your product, don’t immediately create the full version. Instead, create a minimum viable product first.
MVP is a concept of lean marketing that advocates that you create your product with only its core features. If people respond well to your MVP, you can add the nice-to-have features and invest more time in it.
But if you see there’s not enough interest, you can quickly move to your next idea.
The MVP concept is applied mainly in the manufacturing sector, for example, this solar light manufacturing company used MVPs to gauge product interest.
But the same can be applied to info products as well.
For example, Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income) not only advocates using this approach but also uses it himself.
Creating and launching info products is a very profitable business. But it requires a lot of time and effort. That is why applying the lean approach to this whole process can make it much more viable for your business and help you validate your product idea before fully committing yourself to it.
1 Often Ignored Factor for Blogging Success
Successful blogging expands on a foundation of trust.
People must trust you before they hire you or buy your stuff. Bloggers must trust you before they give you admin rights to guest post on their blog. Zac Johnson gave me publishing rights 4 years ago. Over 1000 guest posts ago, he trusted me enough to offer me log in credentials and the right to publish posts on his blog. Did earning that trust occur easily for me. No; of course not. Hundreds to thousands of hours of blogging factor in to gaining both skills and exposure enough to land publishing rights on perhaps the top blogging tips blog on earth. But did earning his trust seem worth it? Yes, of course. I circle the globe as a pro blogger, living a life of fun and freedom. Publishing guest posts here factored into my globe trotting lifestyle.
New bloggers often mean well but seem deluded. Newbies believe they can guest post anywhere, land clients any time and attract eBook customers within days or weeks of buying their domain and hosting. Impossible. Why? Newbie bloggers seem highly unskilled and lack massive exposure. Makes perfect sense. If you have 40 hours of blogging practice under your belt, how can you earn any reader’s, customer’s or client’s trust? You cannot because you have no clue what you are doing yet, possessing few skills and virtually no exposure. Do not worry, newbie bloggers; put in the generous effort and time, and you will gain skills and exposure enough to be trusted, and with trust comes increasing traffic and increasing blogging profits.
Time to put my kindle down. Bought 2 books today on finding your writer’s voice. One is by @chrisbrogan and the other is by @RyanBiddulph . Reading them at the same time has been inspiring ideas through the ways they differ.
— Eric Cole (@EricColeBlog) January 22, 2020
Eric bought our eBooks because he trusts us. He trusts us because we both put in tens of thousands of hours practicing, creating and connecting, giving much of our lives to serving people and building our businesses. Note; Chris has been at this game far longer than I. We practiced, gain skills and exposure, popped up on the blogging radar screen, and more awesome folks notice us.
I did not kill myself by working myself to death, to gain trust and to earn credibility, but I had to follow my fun – blogging passionately – and nudge into fears to do enough creating and connecting to the point where I became skilled and known enough to earn credibility. This is the eBook of mine Eric bought:
At one point, this was the highest rated eBook in its category, with 59 reviews, almost all 5 star reviews. Why did Eric buy it? Why did it become the highest rated eBook in its category on all of Amazon? I spent thousands of hours writing, gained skills and exposure, earned trust and success flowed to me. No way could I write this eBook 2 weeks into my blogging career. No skills! No exposure! No trust! How could I teach people how to find your writing voice? I could only write 300 words back then before crying in frustration, LOL 🙂 If I could only write 300 unclear, not too confident, words, nobody trusted my writing or blogging skills. Every single blogger you meet struggles through a similar journey as a newbie.
Never overlook the trust factor. Practice your butt off. Create and connect for thousands of hours. Trust will come. Credibility will knock on your cyber door. Steadily earning the trust of more folks accelerates your blogging success and oh yeah, it’s definitely worth it.
How to Deal with the Overwhelm of Blogging Success
I am no blogging billionaire. Currently.
But some days, as success builds, I feel overwhelmed. How do you devote time and energy to blogging and live a rich life offline too? Do you feel overwhelmed by slow, steadily increasing blogging success? Even though experiencing success feels good, the increased responsibility may feel daunting. I love my gig. But in moments, I fear being up until 1 AM to complete my work day.
Follow these tips to deal with the overwhelm of blogging success.
1: Address the Overwhelmed Feeling as Being Fear
Feeling overwhelmed is fear, plain and simple. Feel the fear. Fear passes. Overwhelm vanishes.
All successful business owners need face, feel and release fears to accelerate their growth. Every successful blogger faces, feels and releases overwhelmed emotions to proceed from a calm, abundant energy. Face your fears. Feel and release overwhelm to proceed from a calm, peaceful energy.
2: Trade Overwhelm for Gratitude
Change your perspective. Trade the overwhelmed feeling for a feeling of genuine gratitude for money flowing freely to you. Even if you love your gig, taking on increased responsibility feels uncomfortable sometimes. But receiving more and more money for your increased responsibility frees you from financial stresses like worrying about paying bills. Dwell on gratitude. Overwhelm dies quickly in an appreciative environment. Making more money and largely enjoying the ride feels fun, good and freeing. Remember this any time overwhelmed, swamped emotions flood your mind.
3: Ask for Help
Hire someone to help with specific blogging tasks. Outsource. Hand off certain tasks to free up your schedule. Reduce overwhelm by hiring someone to help you or by coming to a mutually beneficial agreement which lessens your blogging load. Hire experts to help you in your business. Outsource intelligently to relax, to leverage and to let go the feeling of being completely burned out with your blogging business duties.
4: Simplify Your Interactions
A few folks pitched me sponsored post opportunities today. I responded with 2 sentences. I used approximately 9 words and 8 seconds to respond to each email. Release overwhelm by simplifying interactions. Seven figure bloggers sometimes respond only to 1 or 2 sentence emails. Pros often respond with 1-2 words. Otherwise, pros become completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of business opportunities flowing to their inbox daily. Use a few words to make your point and to dissolve the swamped feeling plaguing successful bloggers.
5: Reduce Interactions
Iconic, fictitious trader Gordon Gekko said in the movie Wall Street: “100 deals cross my desk every day. I choose one.”
As the sponsored post pitches, partnership pitches and overall work volume builds, you need to physically respond to only a small handful of engagements daily to leverage, to keep increasing your traffic and to keep increasing your blogging profits. No highly successful bloggers responds to 1000 plus interactions daily through email, Twitter and Facebook because you need to give most of your time, attention and energy to creating content and building bonds versus desperately trying to respond to every retweet, at least if you want your blogging business to keep growing.
Surrender. After responding to a handful of emails and retweets, let everything else go, to focus your attention and energy on what brings the greatest scale, what benefits the most people and what benefits your blogging business. Tony Robbins gives most of his attention and energy to inspiring millions through live seminars, through doing TV interviews and by writing books; he ain’t responding individually to 5000 emails daily. Be 100% committed to your blog and business growth by giving your time and energy to what matters most.
Do you need a nudge to become an author? Buy my eBook:
How About Helping Versus Pitching Top Bloggers?
I often get pitched guest post ideas from bloggers I do not know. Although I appreciate the offer I never take up these folks on their offer because I do not know them, their brand or anything they do. No way do I have the time to actually research the individual; I am a busy bee. Another email bites the dust. I either ignore the email or note guest posting closed long ago on my blog, then include a link to one of my eBooks, like this branding eBook.
Who guest posts on my blog? People who generously helped me, asked for nothing, expected nothing and relaxed. Relaxing is key. Bloggers who help me from a chill vibe often befriend me if they practice writing to hone their blogging skills. From there, opportunities multiply fast. Sweet backlinks on top blogs often flow your way. Traffic and profits increases slowly, steadily expand over time. Blogging buddies supply you with blog post ideas through their questions and problems. Everything grows because you helped top bloggers versus pitching them aka asking them for help. Even if you pitch a valuable guest post idea, the guest post idea serves no value unless you publish the guest post on a trusted, authority blog boasting a huge, loyal readership. Pitches seem worthless until content and links actually appear on top blogs, going live and public, for the world to see.
I often advise helping bloggers freely for months before considering any ask or pitch. Most times, blogging buddies invite you to guest post on their blogs. Blogging success flows to generous people because you get what you give. This is one of the advantages of blogging. Give freely, relax, trust in the process and receive easily. Place your needs to the side. Take care of your fellow blogger. Help them out via a retweet, Facebook Share or perhaps by promoting the blogger on your blog. Nobody needs to struggle blogging. Nobody needs to spend 4 hours daily sending blind pitches to blogging strangers. How about this? Spend those 4 hours patiently, persistently and generously helping people in your blogging niche. Help fellow bloggers to earn their trust. Assist fellow bloggers to befriend fellow bloggers. The split second you earn the trust of any blogger, you plant seeds for a beautiful, thriving, warm friendship. Gaining the trust of fellow bloggers inspires traffic and profits to flow to you. Forget the concept of pitching. I pitched 2 people during my 6 years of running Blogging From Paradise. One blogger pitch served as an experiment with an established, pro blogger and the other pitch served as the direct way to guest post for a 2 million member blogging community.
My 13,500 plus backlinks on Blogging From Paradise flowed to me after I pitched only 2 souls. Imagine that for a second. Observe the raw power of making friends, helping people, expecting nothing and being generous. Capitalize on the passive element of befriending bloggers through generous service. Tonight I will spend 90 minutes walking around my neighborhood. During that hour and a half, my blogging buddies will promote my blog and spread my word. Ditto for my 8 hours of sleep tonight; my blogging buddies grow my traffic and profits around the clock, adding an immensely powerful, passive element to my blogging campaign.
Being generous has some serious perks.
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