Why You Need to Create a Product Now – A Cautionary Tale
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If you’ve been reading AffiliatePrograms.com these last few years then you’ll have noticed that I post a lot to the blog (well over 400 posts!).
Before I started contributing to AP I launched a variety of websites which have been earning me a nice chunk of change since their start.
But there has always been one downfall to my work …
I’ve never got around to creating an information product.
I’ve certainly done quite a few for other people (ebooks, white papers, and premium posts) but in the back of my mind I could never bring myself to doing one for my main website.
Well why is that?
I started thinking about this recently.
It’s been almost six years since I’ve started my first website and nearly four since I started my main one. I’ve certainly had a good amount of ideas during that time. I even got half way through the creation of a handful of them. But nothing has come to fruition and what I’m now seeing is that it’s increasingly becoming difficult to overcome the mental block and just get something out there.
Learn From My Mistakes
I have no problem writing blog posts because I know there is a set amount of words I strive for when publishing a piece (usually between 800 and 1,000 words).
Because I have a set amount I know the general scope of the post which means I know there’s an end point to it all.
With information products, however, you won’t necessarily know how expansive it will be.
You’ll start with an idea and it just keeps expanding.
Before long you’re tacking on new chapters to the piece.
- Each new chapter makes you re-evaluate what you’ve already accomplished.
- When you re-evaluate you start second guessing.
- When you start second guessing you give up.
If there is anything I’ve learned from all these failures it would be this:
- Stop second guessing – When you sit down to create an information product you need to have a clear goal for it all. There needs to be a stopping point and there needs to be accountability if you see yourself getting scope creep. You must outline your work and put it in stone. You can always add to it later but at least get the core work done before you decide to throw in a whole lot of extras.
- Don’t do it alone – If I were to do it all again I would have worked with my blogger and business friends. I would have solicited their help in creating the content in exchange for a cut because at the end of the day it’s better to receive 50% of a completed product than 0% of one which never came to light. You really need to tap your network and see if they’re willing to help. A lot of people would kill to be featured in a premium piece of work because it helps build their credibility. Work within these win/win scenarios.
- Do it one step at a time – It’s easy to get wrapped up in trying to knock it all down in one go because you’re excited. Pace yourself. Do just a page at a time. By working on it in chunks you it’ll feel less like you’re creating a full book (or video series) and more like you’re just doing a series of content that are linked together.
- Get it out there, now – You will feel like there’s too much competition or that it’s already been done to death. To be honest it doesn’t matter because you’ve sculpted a community and they want to hear it from you. The longer you wait the more your community evolves. If you wait too long they may have already moved onto greener pastures or no longer feel interested in the original concept.
- Don’t forget that you’re an affiliate – You need to think about your affiliate marketing while you’re working on all this. You don’t have to detail every single step of the process because there are plenty of resources already available. If you add those resources as an affiliate link then you can keep the content nice and lean while earning a little on the side if they decide to take you up on the offer.
- Don’t make it the end-all, be-all – Publishing an information product isn’t the end goal of your website. The show must go on. The information product stands there to help build your brand and to bring in additional income. You need to put your site front and center because that’s where you’re publishing new pieces which will help gain rank and new commissions. Don’t throw the site to the side when you’re working on the product else you may come back to a non existent community (and traffic).
- Learn to let go – The longer you sit on the idea the more it’ll become stale. You have to act fast on information products because so much can change so rapidly. If you wait to get everything together your information may no longer be relevant or someone else swoops in to steal your thunder. I would say focus on refined, targeted topics than going after the broad, general ones that way you can produce them faster and get into the market sooner than later.
I’m at that point where I’m not even sure if I want to produce premium infoproducts for my site.
I certainly understand their value and that’s not to say that I haven’t taken full advantage of producing highly-valuable freebies but after enough time you’ll feel like you missed the opportunity.
There’s still a sliver to get in there but the doors are closing fast. Start now.