The Life Cycle of Online Products

Like many things, products go through a cycle during their effective lifespan. These cycles are regular and predictable. A formal life cycle can help build an understanding of the pattern of stages that a product goes through.

There are many different life cycles each based on the focus and pattern, which the author is observing. In this article, I’m going to share a very detailed nine-step life cycle of an online product.

1. Plan

A good online product begins with a plan. The plan details much of the background information required for the online product. However, only the requirements for the product are provided.

2. Design

In this stage, the requirements are given form. The online product that was described in the plan is defined in detail. A detailed outline of the product is produced.

3. Produce

This stage varies depending on the media of the online product. For example, an eBook is written at this stage. A teleseminar on the other hand may be written but it definitely is presented and recorded.

4. Package or Publish

The online product is still in a rough state at the start of this stage — although it is in fact complete. This stage polishes the product and adds elements that turn it into a professional, salable product. For example, a video will have opening and closing credits added and a cover designed.

5. Generating Traffic

At this stage, the product is available. However, sales are not actually occurring. Instead, traffic must be generated in order to ensure that sales are sufficient to justify the costs so far. This is often referred to as a pre-launch stage although it can occur after the launch.

6. Marketing and Selling

At this stage, the product is available and the traffic has reached a stable point. Sales are reasonably stable. In this stage, the marketing emphasis has switched to finding the right types of traffic, rather than the growth focus of the previous stage.

7. Declining Sales

After a period of time, almost all products begin to experience a decline in sales. This may be because of market saturation or real or perceived obsolescence.

8. Bonus

Finally, the sales have dropped to the point that marketing and sales efforts fail to produce sales. At this point, the product is retired from sales. However, it becomes available for use as a bonus to support the sales of other products.

9. Retirement

Eventually, a product will cease to be of value even as a bonus. At this point, the product will be removed from the products for sale list.

Online Products to Make and Sell

Imagination is the limiting factor when it comes to creating online products. When the attention is turned to selling these products, the ultimate purpose is to do so successfully and this means starting an internet business. A PDF (Portable Document Format) on ‘How to Cure a Limping Ladybird’ may well make interesting reading, but it is unlikely to have a large audience, and thus result in the desired amount of sales. Therefore it is best to concentrate on developing a product for which there is demand, and preferably to which we can apply our knowledge.

People buy all kinds of things whether or not they need them. Creating a product that people both want and need would be ideal. One may want to focus on a popular niche, e.g. Improve Your Golf and Take Your Opponent by Surprise, How to Reduce Scars from Spots, Feeding Your Dog to Optimize Its Health, etc. All the former involve popular niches. The key to marketing a niche related product successfully is to focus on a product which has little competition, but which is still popular.

For those new to selling and particularly selling online, starting with a digital product would make sense. There are a number of these to choose from. The largest market place for digital products to check out is ClickBank (ClickBank.com). Getting familiar with the site makes it easy to find out answers to important questions, such as how popular a product is, how many are selling, what it is about, average percentage per sale, etc.

Selling a digital product makes the rest of the process easier than selling a physical product for several reasons. Once it has been purchased access to the product is effectively immediate. This removes packaging, visiting the post office and mailing, and the normal associated time and monetary costs of these activities. In addition there is no need to keep stock, and to have or rent additional space for this purpose.

Selling a digital product can be done single-handedly, thus keeping further costs down, as well as remaining more independent when it comes to running a business by not having to rely on anyone else. Selling somebody else’s product is advantageous in that it does not involve Customer Care, thus making it possible to concentrate primarily on selling and marketing.

There are two types of online products – digital and physical. EBooks and PDFs are the most common digital products. In them links to Affiliate Products can be included. This has the potential to increase earnings beyond the price of the book alone. An example of this would be including a link to a cream that reduces scarring with regards to acne, a book on foods for beautiful skin, etc. Individuals desperate to get rid of acne are willing to acquire things that could free them of it. Getting rid of acne, becoming slimmer, healthier, more beautiful/attractive, salvaging a relationship, etc. are all topics that sell. Everyone can identify with this scenario, i.e. searching for a solution to a problem.

In eBooks links to YouTube videos, or anything else that can benefit the reader can also be included. To take this one step further, it is an idea to accompany an eBook by an audio that can be listened to whilst ironing, driving a car, etc. Many people like to do more than one thing at a time. To fully grasp any information it needs to be repeated several times.

Video is the most popular way of obtaining information. Seeing how something is done makes it a whole lot easier than translating text to the required actions. YouTube alone is living proof of how popular this kind of information is.

EBooks, audio/music, and videos all form digital products. Some are made of a combination of two or three different formats, so offering the user more flexibility and choice.

To summarise there are various kinds of online products to make and sell. They fall into two main categories either digital, or physical. It is possible to start selling someone else’s product pretty much immediately with marketing knowhow. The returns are bigger when selling one’s own product, as is the potential work load. Selecting the right market is one of the most important keys.

How to Offline Market Online Products

Hello, in this article I will tell you about my first experience with offline marketing online products.

Maybe you already are an online marketer or perhaps you’re interested in becoming one? What you should know anyhow, if you don’t already know this, is that there are a variety of effective ways to promote online products other than sitting inside with your computer posting links on Twitter or Facebook.

I thought it would be interesting to go outside and meet people on the street, in shopping centers or any other random place, and just simply talk to them about being an online marketer. I wasn’t sure how to go about it at first but I finally dared to dive in and embrace the challenge. I’m not sorry! Some people seemed genuinely interested and others probably didn’t even take me seriously at all. One guy was even downright rude, like I was annoying him by breathing his air or something, so you really have to be able to handle all sorts of reactions.

Anyway, the hours literally flew and for the most I had lots of fun talking to people about online marketing and what it’s all about. Surprisingly few knew anything at all about what it is; only 1 out of 20 perhaps had a clue to what I was talking about. So I feel like I have at least spread the word around a bit.

It gave me a challenge to try to explain in a simple fashion to not scare off potential customers with too much information at once. There’s a huge amount of info on the topic so the key is to try to keep it as simple as possible. My goal was and is to spike the interest of them becoming online marketers themselves, since the product I’m promoting in fact is an online marketing training program. So plant the seed and if it grows that’s great, if it doesn’t… well you can’t force it! You’ll just have to improve your skills.

At first it was difficult because I wasn’t sure where to start or exactly what to say, but as I talked to more and more people I felt more relaxed and words started flowing easier after repeating myself 50 times. I had printed out some business cards and flyers on forehand and they came in very handy. I found it a lot easier if I had something to presents while giving my little speech. It also seemed to make people more interested in what I had to say.

By the end of the day I had hung up 5 flyers with tags you can rip off at the bottom, had talked to maybe 50-60 people and handed out lots of business cards. I call that success, and even though perhaps only one or two of those 50-60 people I talked to buy the products, that’s money in the bank and the word is out. People like to talk and may pass the information on to someone else who in fact is interested.

So this was kind of like my test drive just to see if the effort could amount to something. The next place I feel may be a big hit is the University. Lots of students who would love to make some extra cash. Think I’ll give them a hand!

This is only one way of marketing online products offline; In the future I’ll be trying out more ways to “offline market” online products, and perhaps I’ll even get creative and think of some more methods along the way!