Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Picking a Product

You may read this title and think that you have already accomplished this step, and that your product (or your vision for your product) is already refined, wrapped, and ready for purchase. However, there are many key questions that should be considered before bringing your wares or service to customers:

• Are you interested in the product you are trying to sell? If not, why not choose a different product?
The Internet makes marketing anything a possibility. You are far more likely to succeed if you are interested in what you are trying to sell. Also, it is far easier to sell people what they want than to get them to want your product. Create something the market wants.

• Is the marketplace for your product oversaturated?
Examples: Posters, credit cards, prescription drugs, hosting, generic site design, and ink refills are all oversaturated markets. Breaking into these markets can be exceptionally difficult, so think carefully about what would make your product different and needed.

• Is the product something people would want to order over the web?

• Is there something you can do to make yourself different than everyone else on the market? (Please note: “cheaper” usually is not a legitimate branding/business model for most websites in a hyper-competitive market.)
Example: No other e-book covering SEO was supported by a blog that keeps up with the SEO industry every day (at least, not when I first wrote this one).

Another example: In 2002, I created a SEO “worst practices” directory. To this day, nobody else has made a site like it. It earned me thousands in the first year with a marketing budget well under $100.
In the end, ask yourself -- Would people want to link to your site without you asking them to? If not, what creative or original ideas can you add to your site to make people want to link to it?


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