Shelley Lowery: Internet Marketing Strategies: Ten Part Series
Part Two: Product Development
Developing your own product to market on the Internet isn't as difficult as you may think. Today's technology has opened a whole New World of opportunity for even the smallest home-based business owner. The knowledge you have within your own mind is all you'll need to develop a successful product.
Everybody is good at something. You don't have to be a Rocket Scientist in order to create your own product. If that were the case, most of us would fail. Maybe you have a special talent or some specialized knowledge. Use this knowledge to create a product.
Before you begin developing your product, make sure you've done your homework. Research the market to determine exactly what people want and develop your product accordingly. If your product doesn't have a market, it won't be successful.
Your product should not only fill a void, but should also be unique. The less competition you have, the better. If you enter a market in which you're competing against hundreds of other products similar to yours, your chance of success will be minimal. Develop a high-quality product that fills a void and provides people with exactly what they want.
Another consideration of great importance is your product's delivery method. The best form of product delivery on the Internet is automated. Internet users want the product they order as soon as their purchase is complete. This can be accomplished in a number of ways depending upon the type of product. For example, if your product is software or information, it can reside on your server and be instantly downloaded via a link.
Not only does instant product delivery benefit your customer, but it will also benefit you. By completely automating your product's ordering and delivery process, you can spend your time performing more important tasks, such as making more sales.
The most difficult part of creating your own product is deciding upon the product itself. First of all, you'll need to decide what type of product you would like to develop.
Two of the most popular are:
Once you have determined the type, then you can focus your attention on the subject matter.
If you would like to develop a software program, but aren't capable of writing it yourself, consider hiring a professional. If you would be interested in developing a desktop software program, simply visit a Search Engine and search for "software developers." If you would like to develop a software that resides on a server, search for "scripting services." Although this type of product will be the most expensive to develop, it can be very profitable.
Information is not only one of the biggest sellers online, but it is also the most inexpensive to develop. Your information can be in the form of a report, ebook or whatever you'd like.
Internet users are starving for information, as that is what the Internet is all about. They have a sincere desire to learn and will search for the information they desire. The best form of information is "how-to" information that teaches or informs in regard to a specific subject. Even if the subject is very unique, the Internet is a great market for even the most niche products.
Don't think you have anything to write about? Think again. Your life experiences alone could be worth a fortune.
There are literally thousands of highly targeted, untapped niche markets that could make you a fortune.
Here are a few subjects to give you some ideas:
Low Carb Recipes
Become a Chef
Arts and Crafts
Throwing a Party
Party Games for Kids
Health and Fitness
Packaging Your Information
Until now, there really wasn't much of a choice for packaging information. Let's take a look at the possibilities...
Text - Can be opened and viewed on any computer platform. This format produces the smallest file size; however, it is very plain and unprofessional. You cannot include any images, you must use the same font style and size throughout your document and cannot use any special text formatting, such as bold and italics. Not a good choice for selling information products.
HTML - Provides the greatest amount of customizations. This format supports any technology used within a web page. It doesn't require any special viewers, as it relies on the Internet Explorer browser to display the content. However, it is very insecure and unorganized, as you must distribute each individual file (files are not compiled into one file format for distribution), which will cause confusion, as your user will have to locate the proper file to begin reading your information.
DOC (Microsoft Word Documents) - Provides a great deal of customization options, including image formatting, text formatting, font colors and font styles. However, the DOC file sizes can be very large. In addition, as not all of your customers will have Microsoft Word installed on their computer, your document may not display properly.
PDF (Adobe Acrobat) - Provides a great way to compress files created in a variety of different programs, such as word processing programs, spreadsheet programs, etc. However, users are required to download and install a special viewer. In addition, you are very limited on creativity, as your information will be displayed as it is in a word processor. In addition, the security options are very limited.
Sounds great, doesn't it?
Well, it is except for the packaging issue. How will you get your files to your customers? You certainly can't distribute your raw HTML files to your customers -- that certainly wouldn't be very professional. The good news is ... there are software programs available on the Internet that will compress all of your files into one stand-alone file you can distribute to your customers. This software program is known as an HTML compiler.
HTML compilers are great and provide a wonderful solution for packaging HTML files. However, what most people new to electronic publishing don't realize is that these software programs won't enable you to 'create' your ebooks -- they will only compile files that you've already created within another program, such as an HTML editor.
What this means is that you would need to create your pages within an HTML editor and then import them into an HTML compiler to create your ebook file.
However, there is one software program that will enable you to create your entire ebook -- from start to finish and that's eBook Starter.
Delivering Your Ebook to Your Customers
Once you've created your ebook and you're ready to upload it to your server, simply create a new directory where you store your HTML files. You can name the directory 'ebooks' or whatever you'd like. Upload your ebook in binary mode.
To create a download link on your web site, most servers will allow you to simply link to the address:
If this method of linking doesn't work for you, contact your server administrator for assistance.
Developing your own product is an essential part of your online success. Take your time and make sure you do your homework before you begin. No matter what product you develop, quality is of the utmost importance.
If you develop a quality product that fills a void and provides Internet users with exactly what they want, your product will be a success.
Back, Part One -- Next, Part Three
About the Author: Shelley Lowery is the author of the acclaimed web design course, Web Design Mastery. And, Ebook Starter - Give Your Ebooks the look and feel of a REAL book. Visit Web-Source.net to sign up for a complimentary subscription to Etips and receive a copy of the acclaimed ebook, "Killer Internet Marketing Strategies." http://www.web-source.net
Copyright © 2008 Shelley Lowery. All rights reserved.