If you want to develop your own products and sell them on the Internet, then read page is definitely for you. Here's a first tip: not every product sells well on the internet. So you need to learn what kind of products and services are suited for web marketing.

Intro

To get a product to sell you will either have to produce one of your own, by any means you are able to, or you will have to buy one from someone else and sell it for a profit. Anyway you choose to get the product, you should look for quick and easy products.

Note: "product" in this site stands usually for one or more physical (tangible,hard) or digital (soft, intangible) products or for one or more services.

I definitely recommend you to concentrate on products that you could start selling within a month or two because you'll lose your patience. You might even stop working to build a business because you'll soon get to the point when you'll say: "It's just too much trouble!"

Don't fool yourself by saying that you're different. Chances are that you're not the man/woman you though yourself to be. Don't be offended! It might not be your case, but it never hurts to be cautious. :)

Physical products or intangible ones?

If you choose to actually manufacture your own product instead of just buying cheap and sell expensive, things depend very much on you. If, by any chance, you already own an off-line business consider expanding your business online. But ask yourself these questions: can you send your product all over the world? At what costs? Will you still be competitive considering the shipment costs?

If you don't have an off-line business, or if your off-line business has no product of its own, then you're actually starting from scratch. Developing and crafting a tangible product when you're just starting out is usually not the way to go. It's just too expensive for most people. If you still want to be completely independent and sell products that you own, choose intangible products or some services that can be marketed online.

General online marketing ideas

One special thing about a product that will be marketed on the internet is that is has to be hard to find in most offline stores. If your product can be easily found in most corner shops, supermarkets, malls, don't bother trying to sell it online. Also, products like... let's say perfumes, are tricky to market on the web. People prefer to buy them from a regular shop where they can actually try them before deciding if they want to buy or not.

A practice that I've witnessed online, is to send free perfume samples to everyone that asks for one. This gives people the chance to try the perfume first. But it's an expensive technique. It's a hard way to earn a buck. I'm sure that's not what you're after. What you want is something simple, non time-consuming, non expensive (if possible even cheap).

To increase you chances of success, whatever the kind of product you choose to market, you should find a niche: like nourishment for fleas or something. :-) But before choosing a niche, you should know what people are searching for. A good idea is to go to wordspot.com and subscribe to their free weekly newsletter. It will give you the most common 200 words that people search for in the search engines!

Reselling physical products

You buy a product and you sell it for a bigger price. The old fashion way! The heart of commerce!

However, when you're online, the competition is fierce. You might even compete with big companies, so your prices will have to be low enough to convince customers choose you instead. Fight to get big discounts when you're purchasing the products. For large quantities you'll usually get a discount. Sometimes, you can get that discount anyway, if you get your products from a company that runs a "resell program".

I'm not a big fan of marketing physical products online because they happen to have a big disadvantage. People have to wait for the delivery! And it often takes weeks for a product to get to another country for instance. And there's always the shipment issue. It costs a LOT!

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Yes, there are solutions to these problems. One would be to sell the product in a limited area, like your home town or country. But if you have a product with international potential, this means that you'll limit your business. Another idea is to spread your company on different continents... But you're searching for a small cost business. You're just starting. There's no way you can have that kind of money to go international!

That's what I think. There are some very successful businesses that started small concentrating their efforts on a small geographic area before expanding their business internationally. And if you really want to market a tangible product, I think this is the way to do it.

Marketing an intangible product

I love intangible products (most services can be considered intangible products). I've also read in a lot of articles that the easiest products to develop and sell online are information (e-books, articles, restricted web sites) and software. After all, it's kind of like selling fishing books and fishing tools to the fishermen at the side of the lake. There are a lot of them that want to or have to learn how to fish better. And all of them need the a few more tools to fish, right?

Mark my words: You Can and You Will write an e-book if you want to!

E-books (and e-zines or newsletters) are some the informational products I was talking about. If you decide to write your own e-book, the first thing to do is to take the time and think: what is it that you know to do best or what special knowledge do you already have? The answer to this question should tell you what can write about. As a general rule, don't think that people are not interested in what you have to say. You are or were interested in that area. Someone other people are too, be sure of that. But, just to make sure they are numerous enough, search for your kind of informational product on the net by using the best search engines and directories. If other people are marketing a similar product, or they are talking about that subject, then some other people are indeed interested in it.

Fact: You don't have to become a millionaire with your first e-book. Suggestion: Get used to the idea of starting small!

Think about it this way: if you sell 1,000 copies of this first e-book with 10$ a piece in one year, then at the end of that year you will cash in 10,000$. And this means that you will have to sell less than 3 books a day. You could do this even if you approach people one by one in chat rooms and other places like that, :o). Don't do such a thing though - it's called spam!

Don't even think to use Spam to promote your business! What's spam? Spam generally means sending bulk messages to people that you don't know you, or to people that haven't requested that message. In this category are included bulk e-mail and the messages sent to people in a chat room. Besides the fact that spam can be very annoying for the recipient and that the effectiveness of this advertising technique is very low, in many countries it's illegal too. There's only one reasonable conclusion. It's not worth it! You risk too much for too little.

Back to making your own e-book! If you think that you don't know anything that is worth to write about, then I'm happy to inform you that you can become an expert in just about any domain just by reading articles that you can find on Internet. But don't think this is going to be easy! It's not! It requires a lot of time and work.

Here are some theme ideas for you to write about, ideas that you can find in Ken's "InfoProduct Masters" free course that you can get from sitesell.com.

  1. Advertising
  2. Aerospace
  3. Agriculture/farming
  4. Antiques and collectibles
  5. Apparel/clothing/fashion
  6. Architecture/buildings
  7. Arts & Crafts
  8. Auctions
  9. Automotive
  10. Aviation
  11. Beverages
  12. Books
  13. Chemicals
  14. Children/parenting
  15. Cleaning
  16. Communications/media
  17. Computers
  18. Construction
  19. Consulting
  20. Conventions/Trade Shows
  21. Design
  22. Disabilities
  23. Education
  24. Electronics
  25. Employment
  26. Energy
  27. Engineering
  28. Entertainment
  29. Environment
  30. Ergonomics
  31. Financial services
  32. Food
  1. Gambling
  2. Games
  3. Government
  4. Health
  5. Hobbies
  6. Home/garden/flowers/plants
  7. Hospitality/entertaining
  8. Information
  9. Jewelry
  10. Law
  11. Manufacturing
  12. Minerals
  13. Music
  14. New Age
  15. Office supplies
  16. Publishing
  17. Real Estate
  18. Religion/spirituality
  19. Research and Development
  20. Retail management
  21. Science
  22. Security
  23. Sex
  24. Software
  25. Sports
  26. Telecommunications
  27. Toys
  28. Trade
  29. Transportation
  30. Travel
  31. Video
  32. Weather

Always keep in mind that you had to spend time to reach and gather the information and that you had to actually learn a lot about the subject. This is what you'll give your customers: more time, less work to select the valuable info, and the knowledge itself.

You still might think researching is easy, but it's not. I can tell you that! The learning process is very tough and slow, and it requires mountains of work and patience. I don't mean to scare you! If I did, I'm sorry. Here's an idea to cheer you up! Do you remember the time when you climbed a mountain? Was it easy? I'm sure it wasn't! It was rather hard! But, though it was hard, in a strange and inexplicable way, I bet you were really happy.

You were thinking about the view that you will have from "the top of the hill", about the times when, talking about your trip: you'll tell people about the high rocks that you climbed on, about the risk of being so far from civilization and about that special taste that the food has when you are really hungry. And all the ears will stay tuned and listen how the words leave your mouth on by one, filling the air with magic.

Perhaps I got a little carried away, but that's how things really are. You'll suffer, but everyone will look at what you achieved and wonder... how did he do it?

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Enough about that! Let me present you a few tips on how to actually write an e-book. Start by writing a short table of content. It will be your guiding line for any later development. After that, simply start writing. Don't look at the grammatical errors or at your misspellings. Just write, respecting the table of contents and adding new chapters as required. Fill those blank pages with information! Lots of it. THIS step is the actual writing of the book! What comes later are simple improvements. But they are also important. Without them your book is not ready for sale. You have to keep a good image in your customer's eyes so the book must look OK.

And here are those simple improvements: Reread the e-book and correct the misspellings and grammar mistakes. Make all the changes that you might feel appropriate. Now it's also the time to fine tune the content your e-book. Don't waste this time! Add all the ideas that come into your mind. Restructure the content as some paragraphs might belong to other places in the e-book. If you leave the content unstructured, your book will lose most of its informational value. Make the important phrases easily distinguishable from the rest of the text. Use bold, italic, upper case to do that. Or change the color. Look how I used colors in this site!

Personal advice: don't use too many colors. Too much color is simply bad for the eye. Don't emphasize too much of the content just because you feel it is important. Of course most of it is important! After all, it's an informational e-book. It is supposed to have lots of important ideas inside it. Mark only what is really important.

And finally, make the pages look good. Remember that they have to be easy to read too! That's their purpose - to be readable.

OK... so you read it and corrected it. The next step is to read it again. And correct it! Yes! Again! I know you'll think it's already OK, but trust me, it isn't. Actually it never is. But reading it one more time, will really make a difference.

That's it... for now! Your e-book should be ready! Go ahead and sell it. The time to review it from time to time though.

If your e-book is ready, why sell the computer-file version only? Turn it into an audible book and ship it over to your customers. Personally I hate the idea of marketing a tangible product online, but... many people love audio books. They don't have the time to read so they prefer to listen the book while they are involved in other activities. You know, like when they're driving in their car to go to or come from work, and other such occasions.

Another product that can be easily marketed online is a software program. If you have programming knowledge, you can develop a software product yourself and sell it.

If you don't, you can get in touch with someone that knows how to make a program. Offer him a deal. Try to share the risk with him by giving him a percent of the profits instead of a fixed amount of money. Also, this will make him work harder to create a better program. Now, if you want all the profit for yourself, just pay him for his work - that is if you have the money to do this. To find a programmer, you can use the free chat program provided by icq.com. You'll be able to chat live, instead of waiting for e-mail replies.

A good software product or e-book with a great sales letter can be your winning tickets to financial independence. Especially if the program is very useful, profits can be really high because it might become very popular.

Think about a program that you would like to have. One that would make your life easier. Then make it become a reality and make a FORTUNE by selling it. Do you feel that something can be done in an easier manner, or faster, or better? Sell the solution in the form of a program or an e-book.

The greatest inherent benefit of any informational product is that it is instantly available by the means of a simple download. Point this out in your salesletter, in short - but powerful - sentences: "Instant access!", "Download it now!", "Read/use this e-book/article/review/program/script within 3 minutes!".

Another advantage of selling downloadable products is that the shipping cost is almost zero. Both you and your customer will benefit from this.

If you decide to write an e-book, please make a habit out of using a pen and a piece of paper to write down your ideas as they come by whenever they do. Keep these tools in your pocket for the times when you need them. Whenever and wherever ideas come into your mind, put them on paper. Bookmark sites with good content. Add a few comments - you will know what the site is about. Your pen and those sheets of paper will be your perfect tools in gathering information. Use a file or more to save the sheets for later use. Or if you choose to, buy a notebook , to save you much of the trouble.

Pricing the product

Of course, you know that pricing is an important component for any business that wants to be successful. My opinion is that small prices are generally the way to go. It just happens that sometimes, even if the price that you ask for is quite high, your product's quality really makes up for it in full. People tend to be willing to pay more if products meet high quality standards - which usually translates in high prices. This idea works the other way around too: if a product has a surprisingly low price, the average individual believes that the quality will not be satisfactory.

Even more, if a customer buys a product that he pays a lot for, he will setup his mind in such a way that he will sincerely believe that the product is certainly worth at least what he paid for it, if not more. That is because people find it hard to accept that they made a bad deal. They have to maintain a good image about themselves even if it's only in their own eyes. To recognize that we were wrong when we bought something can be a big issue for many of us. Now, of course, when someone comes along and shows you the very same item and tells you that he bought it for half the price, you certainly feel bad about your decision.

Lets talk now about the so called perceived value of a product. Yes, a product has different values. It has a value in your eyes, and that value is usually measured by the production costs of that item (or service or whatever), but it has a value in your customer's eyes too! By describing the product you create an image in the mind of the potential customer. By evaluating that image, he assigns a value - a price - for the product. This is its perceived value.

At some point he will read the price that you actually ask for the product. If the value that the customer assigned is smaller than the price that you ask for, it means that you're losing money. And if that value is bigger, you're losing sales, and thus money! Now, of course, we're talking about the average customer here, not a particular customer. The average customer is your target! And you have to make him feel the price is right! To maximize your profits the price that you ask for must be as close as possible to the perceived value of the product! So you have to set the price at the value that your customer feels to be right.

To increase the profits by increasing the price, you have to increase the perceived value of the product in the same time. And there are ways to do this! One is to add more benefits. Use your imagination! What more could you add to your salesletter? You thought about something? Put it on paper now! And test it!

Another widespread technique is to offer a "free" bonus along with the product. You'd be amazed if you'd know how many people buy the product just for the idea that they get two products at the price of one. Even if people actually pay for it, by calling it a bonus, you will make people feel that's a better deal. And they do make a better deal! But it is a better deal for you too, because it also increases the number of sales!

OK, you might say, but how do I find out which is this perceived value? Simple! Ask your customers! Ask your visitors too. You might get different results. Use a poll or a simple form to get this valuable feedback. Do it! Do it now if your store is already up and running! You have nothing to lose!

A final note: You should definitely register a domain name if you want to sell a product. You'll get the respect of your customers. Choose an easy to remember and a suited to your site domain name. Can anyone remember a long domain name? No! So keep it short. Use a few short words and 12-15 characters at most. Read the "Register a domain" chapter to learn more about this issue.

Related articles:

E-commerce and sales letter guidelines

Using affiliate/associate programs to generate revenue

How to advertise your website

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