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.
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
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
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!
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
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
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.
- Antiques and collectibles
- Arts & Crafts
- Conventions/Trade Shows
- Financial services
- New Age
- Office supplies
- Real Estate
- Research and Development
- Retail management
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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.
E-commerce and sales letter guidelines
Using affiliate/associate programs to generate
How to advertise your website