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How I Created My First Product

by | Apr 3, 2013 | Blog, How To, Product Creation | 2 comments

Just Start WritingRoughly around a year ago, one of my niche sites was hit by whatever Google animal was being blamed for everything – might have been Panda, possibly Penguin.

The funny thing is, my niche site was not hit in a bad way.  It actually went up to the top 3 of page one of the search results for 3 out of the 5 keywords I was targeting.

It was so exciting.  Guiltily perusing the internet marketing forums, blogs  and blog comments, I wondered how my little baby site slipped through the content cleanup sweepers that Google had unleashed on us.

What was even more interesting was that the niche site was one of my first.  When I built it, I didn’t know the difference between on-page and off-page SEO, why category archives should be set to no-index, no-follow or what a robots.txt file was.

I just wrote good, informative blog posts on my topic.

Beginner’s luck, perhaps? Possibly.

I think what made all the difference is that I followed a step-by-step approach, slowly, steadily and without getting sidetracked.

I recall that I used different blog articles and various free reports from a cross-section of “gurus”.  For example, for keyword research, some were convinced long-tail and exact search term is the only way to go, while others swore by phrase match.

After reading through 2 or 3 different approaches to the same problem, I chose one, and followed it from beginning to end.

It was a long, slow process, and it took me around three to four weeks to set up the site, working most evenings after the kids were in bed.

I kept my notes on what I did each day, and the results that I was seeing.  Traffic slowly went up, and sales started trickling in.  When the duplicate content penalty and the other anti-gaming-the-system waves from Google started to hit, I was averaging 3-8 sales a week of the product the niche site was promoting.

Then, on that fateful April, when many niche sites were wiped out, my baby little site actually saw an increase in sales.

I decided to take my notes, and write a series for Moonpreneur on how to set up a profitable niche site.

The posts were created for the Ultimate Blog Challenge, April 2012 edition.  A blog series of 4 turned into more than a dozen articles.

I then took those articles, enriched them with more examples, updated the content to reflect the current state of niche sites – it had changed quite a bit from 2011 to 2012 – and created How To Build A Profitable Niche Blog, my first Kindle ebook.

It took roughly 7 weeks from when I wrote the first article, to when I hit publish on Kindle Direct Publishing.  Those 7 weeks could have been halved if I had kept in mind that the articles were going to become part of an ebook.

As it happened, I didn’t have too much cleaning up to do, although some of the sections had to be re-written completely.

The point I’m making is that you might already have your first product lurking around right inside your blog, or sitting on your hard-disk somewhere.   

That set of steps you emailed your favourite aunt on how to clean up her email inbox? It could be a first draft for “Conquer Mailbox Madness: A Guide”.

Those blog posts from when you were obsessed with decluttering your kitchen? Could be ready to be compiled into  “The Clutter-Free Kitchen”.

Empty hard-drive? One blog with only three posts so far? No problem.  This UBC could be a good way to ease into product creation.

Not into blog challenges? Plan out ten blog posts on a single, tiny, focused slice of  your niche market.

Whether starting now, and re-purposing something on your hard-drive, just start creating focused content.

This was the advice I gave to one of my potential customers, who wrote to me when he was on the fence on whether to take my product creation course.

Just start writing.