The information publishing business has been very good to me.
In fact, it has produced a full-time income for me for more than a decade.
(Saying that, I feel really old!)
It makes me think… the internet really is a great equalizer.
And we are very lucky to be living in this time of great opportunity.
You had to have vision, money, contacts, resources and a willingness to put in a heck of a lot of time and effort.
Even then, most new businesses failed in the first year.
Now, anyone can start a new online business by copying what is already working, with a shoestring budget, minimal time and next to no resources.
Yes, the business may fail… but the cost of failure is a tiny fraction of what it used to be.
And you can just pick yourself up and try something slightly different, learning from what went wrong last time.
All you have to have is persistence… the willingness to keep trying until you succeed.
That’s what I did.
I had a lot of ‘failures’ on my road to success.
One of the biggest mistakes I made was over-complicating things.
And that is a common factor I see in most aspiring online marketers.
Take product creation…
Most people want their first product to be awesome… the best thing that has ever graced the face of the earth in their niche.
They spend months (even years) creating it, tweaking it and embellishing it in the quest for perfection.
But the truth is that your potential customers aren’t looking for an encyclopedic solution to whatever problems they are facing.
They’re looking for simple step-by-step processes that are easy to implement and move them towards solutions in the shortest possible time.
They are looking for the ‘instant fix’ or as close as they can possibly get to it.
So your mission is to make the process you offer as short and simple as possible whilst still delivering results.
If the final product is a single page of A4 and still gets your customers to where they want to be, they will buy it and love it.
So you should be doing the exact opposite to what most people feel they should do…
You should always be looking for ways to cut stuff out of your system… rather than adding more stuff to create ‘perceived value’.
Besides, trying to come up with something the size of ‘War and Peace’ is going to be very hard to pull off.
There is every chance that you will get demotivated part-way through and just give up.
And a half-finished product will never earn you money.
So ask yourself, “What problem can I solve using a simple step-by-step system?”
Or “How can I simplify an existing complex solution?”
Some of my most successful products have also been the quickest to create.
For example, I used to take old books in the public domain and add my own notes for how to apply the techniques they talked about in the modern world.
I sold thousands of copies of some of the titles and each one took me no more than a couple of days to create.
Maybe 10 years ago, how much you could charge for a product was down to the ‘thud factor’ i.e. the bigger the better.
Now, that is a big turn off for most people.
They just don’t have the time or inclination to wade through hours of content to find a solution.
These days, how much you can charge is down to how quickly and simply you can solve whatever problem people are having.
And this is very good news for us marketers.
For example, can you provide a simple and effective step-by-step solution for a problem in a single 60-minute video or audio?
If so, that’s where you should start.
Put it together quickly and see whether it sells.
If it does, then you can create additional content to build upon it (or offer as an upsell).
If it doesn’t, go try another quick product.
The bottom line is that the money you make from a product rarely has much to do with how much time and effort you put into creating it.
You could spend months on a product that falls flat on its face because nobody really wants it, or you could whip something up in a weekend that becomes an instant bestseller because it offers a simple solution to people suffering from a real problem.
Now go create something wonderful!