Building a Catalog of Online Products

How many times have you heard that you must have your own products in order to make money online? How many times have you seen someone offering a course on how to make big money writing eBooks? How many times has something about the pitch just seemed wrong? Or at least sounded a little like snake-oil?

Well, you’re right to question the concept.

Yes, you really do need to have a list and your own products in order to make the big money in internet marketing. But you’re never going to make a fortune with a single eBook. Sorry, it isn’t going to happen. At least it isn’t going to happen to the vast majority of us.

In order to make money over the internet, you need a catalog of online products. Not just one product but a line of related products. After all, once you sell one product to a person and turned them into a rabid fan, wouldn’t it make sense to try to sell them more products? In any other market that’s where your major sales come from. And the internet really isn’t any different. But to do that you need a product line, meaning a catalog of related online products.

But how do you do this?

In this article, I’m going to explain one technique for building a catalog of online products.

Creating an online product always begins with an analysis of your customers. It can be existing or it can be a predicted customer. In any case, you need to develop a picture of your target customer.

Once you’ve done that you need to identify their motivators. What is it that will make them want to buy your product? What problems are they facing? What is going to happen in their future that they want to avoid? What would they like to happen?

Step three is to determine a solution. How can your topic or product solve their problem? How can you create a teachable system for solving their problems, achieving their goals or avoiding their fears?

Okay, now you’ve got something to sell them. All that’s necessary is to turn it into a product. Or two. Or three.

Start by identifying what products you need to create to support this line. What will be your freemium? What will be your introductory product? What will be your midrange product? What will be your high value product? Now keep going. What will be your marketing products?

Now that you’ve got one product line defined it’s time to consider the rest of your catalog. Start by going down. How many other people can you sell this product to with only minor adjustments?

Then go wide. What similar products can you create that your customers might like?

The Five Stages In the Life Cycle of Online Products

Life cycles are an extremely useful concept. Like most models, they help people to visualize the progress of an online product under certain conditions. They help people to predict the effects of decisions within the life cycle of that product.

There are a number of different life cycles. In fact, everyone who has an interest in an online product has some form of life cycle. Learning content creators have their version of a life cycle based on the effort. Accountants have their view of a life cycle based on income. Project Managers often have two. One based on the development cycle and one based on the types of projects needed. And marketers have their view.

In a previous article, I suggested a very complex life cycle. However, in this article I’m going to describe one life cycle of online products as seen by a marketer.

This marketing life cycle consists of five steps.

1. Pre-Launch

The period before the launch of a product is the focus of many other life cycles. But for a marketer, this time is used for two main purposes. The first is preparation of a marketing plan and marketing assets to be used later in the life cycle. However, this period is also used to create a buzz. Frequently this is a very heavy period of marketing as pre-orders are important to recovering the cost of development of the online product. A large pre-order also helps to focus partners on the product so that they continue to support the marketing effort in the next stage.

2. Growth

Once the product is released there will be an initial period where sales grow. While the pre-launch focused on the initial penetration of the market, this stage is more concerned with obtaining a commanding share of the market. This period is often characterized by high marketing spending with respect to profit.

3. Stabilization

In time, the market begins to reach equilibrium. While new competition enters the market, it tends not to disrupt the status quo. This stage is characterized by high profit with limited market spending and a stability in the market share.

4. Decreasing Sales

As time goes by sales begin to decrease. This can be caused by an obsolete product. Or it may be a market-wide phenomena caused by market saturation. Or it may be the result of an alternate innovative market arising. In any case, this stage is often characterized by wild swings in marketing spending. This is the result of increased spending on marketing with little result followed by a demand to reduce spending in order to increase profit. Determining the value of increased marketing spending during this time can be frustrating and frightening.

5. Alternate Use

This is sometimes referred to as retirement. However, I prefer the concept of alternate use with online products. Online products are most often used as bonuses to improve the sales value of other products. Actual retirement is frequently used to adjust the market demand. Online products are also frequently improved and renamed with a version which somewhat eliminates their retirement in this stage. However, regardless of the strategy chosen, this stage is characterized by the withdrawal from sale of the product and the associated suspension of marketing efforts.

Make Money Online Product Reviews – How Much Do You Really Know?

One of the most profitable online businesses can be found in make money online products across the web. Since there is money involved there are plenty of people out there who are trying to take advantage of the situation and sell bad products which leave the user confused and out a couple hundred dollars. Instead of trying to write individual reviews over the thousands of products around the internet I am going to highlight what you should be looking for in a product. This way you will be able to look at any product you find and learn whether it is going to help you or simply be a waste of money. Do not lose faith because for every one of those products out there that is a waste of time there is one that a person put hundreds of hours and useful information into.

  1. Before purchasing a product you should read a review. There are many websites that provide users with make money online product reviews of the top programs in which they feel are the most useful. Remember that if you are not able to find a program reviewed around the internet then it is probably not very useful and not worth your time or money.
  2. Lets say you are working on your first online business and you reach a point where you get stuck and are not sure where to go? You need someone with more experience and skills to help you right? Well any program that is worth the money will provide you with full customer support. Most of the ones that I have seen have an email where you can reach their customer support team and they will respond to you within a few minutes to a few hours depending on the time of the day that you email them.
  3. Anybody can go on the internet and write down that they have made several million dollars from 1 program. How do you actually know that this is true? Before I purchase and join any make money online club I make sure I see real evidence of profits. Some people will take snapshot photos from their payments account which is a way that you can see exactly how much money they are earning.

Now I hope you have been paying close attention to what I have said because like i said at the beginning there are many excellent ways to earn a living from the internet but you have to watch out for liars and fraudulent products by reading make money online product reviews, finding a program with customer support, and making sure you see proof of their income.

How to Make a Good Online Product

Making a good online learning content product might seem at first glance to be difficult. If you’ve never done it before it might even seem far too difficult for you. And if you’ve seen some of the information content products out there, you may believe that if the gurus can’t make a good online product then how are you going to?

But there’s no reason to be frightened off!

Making a good online product is really easy. Yes, it does require a system and yes it does require care. But you’ll find that you can create a professional looking online product with only a small amount of effort. What it takes is knowledge.

Let’s start this off by defining “good”. After all, if you don’t know what good is how can you make a good online product?

The audience for a learning content product judges the product in three dimensions. First, they judge your content. Then they judge the organization of your product. Finally they judge the delivery of your product. I like using the acronym COD — mostly because I get to practice my bad Newfoundland accent. And it’s easy to get silly with COD.

So what do they judge about content? And how can we make sure what we deliver is good?

If your audience already knew what you were teaching then they could judge the quality of your content. But they don’t so they can’t. So what are they going to do? Well, the answer is the next best thing… they’re going to judge content based on relevancy. Is your content relevant to them? If not, it’s bad. If it is relevant then it’s good. Silly, but then again we tend to make decisions based on emotion so what do you expect?

So how can you make sure you deliver quality content? You need to make it relevant to your audience. Your process has to start with the audience. It needs to identify what would be relevant to them. And then you can begin to develop the product itself. All through the product creation process you need to focus on your audience and their needs. Every thing you do during the product creation and marketing process needs to be focused on delivering what is relevant to them and their needs.

So what about organization?

This is the other way that your audience will judge the quality of the content. If your learning content product is well organized then it must have great content. So organization of your product becomes more important than it should be. After all, not only is it being judged on its own merits but it is influencing their opinion of the content.

To ensure that your information product is well organized you need to perform what is called a structural edit. This simply checks that you aren’t going off into the wild blue yonder with your explanations and that your argument makes logical sense. Traditionally this was done after the product was created. But that’s far too late. Corrections are too expensive by that point. Instead you need to create a detailed outline of your product down to the paragraph level. Then you can perform your structural edit while it’s easy to fix the product.

The third dimension of judgment is delivery.

What does your teleseminar sound like? Is there an introduction? Is there closing music? Does your video have closing credits? Is your book free of spelling errors and major unintentional grammar errors? Unfortunately, the standard to which your audience is holding you is the one they are familiar with — television, movies, radio, traditionally published books. This means you need to look and sound professional.

So how do you look and sound professional? The trick is in the polishing and formatting steps. Once you have created your product you need to edit it and package it. In the case of video, this means adding credits and music as well as removing errors. In the case of an eBook you need to fix the spelling and grammar mistakes and then make the eBook look like a published book.