Hopefully you’ve read my first post in the CJ Profit Plan – if not, read it for step one. It’s not “basically another affiliate program, gimme links, already” with Commission Junction. There’s more to it than that…
Which is why so many pass it by. I’m cool with that, too – since it’s not entirely flooded with competition, like Clickbank and Amazon or others. Read Step One: Product Selection, and come back here.
[If you notice "Commission Junction" gets auto-linked - I've used SEO Ultimate for that so just follow those links for that first post.]
I’m breaking this down step by step. This is a pretty big topic. It deserves a few more posts besides this one, which is aptly named “Market Research.”
Be forewarned – it’s not a light read. It’s around 6,000 words. Bookmark it and come back to it if you need to – this is where the magic starts in making serious cash from a few sites.
And because it takes work – most people don’t bother. You’re smarter than that, though. :)
If I had a donate button I’d put it in (or just buy one of my recommended tools – or use that Amazon button in the sidebar and buy whatever it was you were going to buy anyway, thanks). Grab some pork rinds…or whatever you call a snack.
No sense passing out on your keyboard from a lack of pork rinds in your blood stream.
What I said last time, talking about step one (product selection), was:
You don’t want to get too deep at this point, which is why this is just “part one” – in part two I’ll go over what to do when you get in to the programs you choose, with market research and content planning.
This post covers market research. Content planning is its own post, soon to follow.
First Order of Business: Another Must-Read
Before I get started, thanks for all you who have hung in there and been patient for these posts.
There’s a lot I’ve wanted to say, and I want people to succeed online – I mean that. This isn’t the “last” post in this series, and it’s worth waiting for – so thanks for doing so.
And to be perfectly clear – I don’t have all the answers. If you want to make money online, then get as many opinions and methods as you have markets to enter.
Someone else who “gets it” is Dave – like you didn’t know this, but an example of mega-posts that can get it all done in one post would be Dave’s Niche Domination post.
Nice going, Dave – way to tell the world how it’s done – and I mean that. That is a monumental post (and hence I’ve linked it in my sidebar – it was just too impressive). It covers all your bases.
It’s a must-read…
To my readers, sorry for the wait, thanks for hanging around – now let’s get down to business.
False Advertising Warning
This post isn’t strictly for Commission Junction.
Market research is so “push-button easy” – or so you’ve been sold to believe – that I wanted to weigh in. Besides, this is the process I follow more or less on every market I enter, before writing a single line of copy.
More on planning content in the next CJ post, stay tuned – but these tips are not strictly about CJ, is what I wanted to “warn” you about.
Market Research Goes Beyond Keywords Already
What Market Research Is NOT
Everyone making money in the internet believes:
“Market Research” = keywords, end of story. Find the magic bullet keywords and you’re golden – you can vomit on your Auto-Slog WP-Robospam 2000 and presto…
Get keywords with 50-60,000 visits a month, even better, right?
I think that’s hogwash. I’ve also seen these fancy pants autoblogs – and if you’re doing it and making a killing with your 12,897 blogs – have at it. Ignore me and keep at it – personally I think it’s the lamest gig in town.
Why? Ignoring the ethics of scraping content (which I don’t do) – it’s a waste of time with little return.
I’ll get more done with 5 pages than 1/2 such a network…
I think the push button easy crowd of Auto-Splog products have pushed this idea of keywords = market research, over and out – research is much more than that.
It’s not difficult, despite my 6000 words to the contrary here – it’s just work.
See, I’m crazy enough to think this still takes work, up front.
“Easy button” solutions and product vendors tell you all you need is to find 1 good keyword, name your domain after it and hit the vomit button.
I don’t think so. I bring auto-blogs into this because that’s the mindset I’m up against – and you do yourself a huge disservice by buying into the thinking that “market research” and “keyword research” are the same thing…
Market research is deeper than keywords, reaches beyond that. Want to make a living already, or at least something substantial – with fewer websites?
Put the work into your research before you write something and hit “publish” on that splog o’ yours…
Conduct your research, thank me later, that’s what I’m driving at – and you can forget about the easy button. It’s a fairy tale.
5 Keys To Market Research
This may come off sounding overly complicated. It’s not. It’s just a discipline, and to make it easy – there are at least 5 components to solid market research.
This is how I approach my markets, and it’s more in-depth than most want to hear. That’s OK. Less real competition. :)
I address at least these five issue when diving into a market:
2) Assessing Demand – Quality and Quantity
3) Audience (Demographics)
5) Ask The Right Questions
The point of it all is that the research leads to crafting your content, planning your website and marketing of the same, puts you in touch with your market and it leads to the “sweet spot.”
What’s the sweet spot? Keep reading. This section is work, but it pays off and helps you become a pro in your own market.
Don’t want to work? Throw up some junk with a few links and hope you drive enough traffic to your 100′s of Exact Match Domains and cross your fingers you happen to sell a few things.
I understand why you might skip this step, it seems like you’re not getting much done. I know, I’ve done it and have used blog networks to fill my splogs.
I made nothing on those ventures, but wanted to see if it was possible – and I’m sure if I had the patience to put up hundreds of sites, it might have been barely profitable, but I’m not interested.
Now, I’d rather think first and get paid, than skip this step and pay for it later.
Your business: your choice.
[I also recommend you read others like Dave or Paula and Wanda, Leo and Grizz, Aaron Wall, etc. We all do things a bit differently, but this is what I do in my business and it works incredibly well.]
Market Research Spelled Out
Taking a look at those 5 elements and getting to the sweet spot it leads to:
There are a few things I want to know from my competitors – and I don’t really care if there are a million competing pages, I couldn’t care less, nor should you for that matter.
I focus on the top 15 or so, the real players. Especially the top 10. This is what I want to know:
- Backlink Quantity
- Backlink Quality
- Age of Domain
Marketing for me is a street fight. I’m looking for Achilles’ heel. I pick on people my own size (to begin with, before moving onto Goliath).
I know my backlinking method, I’ve spelled it out more or less, including very simple link wheels, and I use this and that – and it’s surprising that so many online don’t bother to fortify their positions…
Amazon is a classic example – naturally, they don’t really have to, they’re a recognized, global authority. However, they can be out-ranked.
What about after the Google Farmer or Google Panda update?
This much is for certain: there’s even less competition to worry about.
Let’s look at each one really quickly:
You probably already know this is essentially Google’s authority measurement to see how authoritative a site is in the algorithm’s opinion. It’s like a Richter Scale – measurement goes from n/a, 0, 1…all the way up to PR10.
Where I find this useful is in two ways: I always try to get one-way links from high PR pages if possible (it’s easier to create your own in time)…
And secondly: it’s a decent measurement of who you’re up against. Trying to assault page one in Google for your key terms, facing 10 PR 7′s is probably going to take some time to break into – otherwise it’s not too hard to outrank high PR sites.
But I don’t run from a fight easily. I gladly take on the big boys if other things are in place, like…
Backlinks count for votes, in today’s algorithm – yes, after the Farmer/Panda update – they are still used to help Google determine what to rank and where.
Since links are one of the “signals” Google uses to organize their index and at the very least, a count of your competitors’ links is smart business. It tells you how big a fight you’re in for.
[Yes, I end sentences with prepositions.]
To do this, I use Market Samurai. No, not trying to sell you on it, although….well. You know what to do. :)
What it currently does is integrates with Majestic SEO and Yahoo! Site Explorer to find the backlink count for websites, and they are moving toward using Majestic when YSE phases out.
You have a selection of tools to try, if you don’t want to try Market Samurai:
SEOSpyglass – pulls from much more than just Yahoo! data and gets a thorough look at your competitors’ link data, the most in-depth I know of apart from Majestic SEO (and it can pull from Blekko and plenty of other search engines if you have the premium version).
Update: Yahoo! Site Explorer is now retired. SEO SpyGlass has their own in-house link database, and is the best replacement I’ve found, but ahrefs.com is another, and Blekko.com another.
The ‘problem’ with SEO SpyGlass is their speed, so I’m presently debating another solution while Market Samurai figures their new replacement for their backlink data (Traffic Travis is another to consider). Please read my Backlinks Checker Besides Yahoo! Site Explorer post for more details.
Majestic SEO – perhaps the best choice, the most thorough. They have a monthly service depending on your needs, I’m presently too cheap to use them. But they show more links than just about anyone.
Yahoo! Site Explorer – this tool is so familiar it needs little introduction. For years, IM’ers have used it and nothing else to size up competitors – but it’s not showing you all the links, just a good idea of what you’re up against. Also, it is being phased out of existence since Bing and Yahoo! got married…
Use it while you can (which is until 2012 sometime).
Update: YSE is now officially history…
Web SEO Analytics – this is a website offering free and premium services for SEO’s and IM’ers – such as checking backlink data. I love these guys – great info on their blog, too.
I’m sure there are other tools you can look to, these are the tools I’ve used and still use (for example, if one tool is down or returns funny results, I get a second opinion).
Since most use YSE, this leaves a problem for everyone using it so extensively: RIP YSE in 2012…which is why I gave you a list above: it’s not the only tool to use.
Currently you can use it, or tools that rely on its data, like SEOQuake, for example – a free plugin for your browser. Whatever you prefer to use…
Check the number of backlinks – but don’t stop there. If someone has 10,000 backlinks – does that mean you can’t outflank them?
Not at all. It may mean they have 10k crappy, weaksauce links. You can outdo weaksauce easy, even if you’re as cheap as I am. Hire someone on Fiverr, for example, to build some links.
You’ll at least know how many links (roughly) got them to the top ten – but don’t stop at the number of backlinks…and by the way -
Who cares how many backlinks go to the domain?
You’re web PAGE is competing against another web PAGE. Sure, internal links raise the overall strength of your site – but first focus on out-doing external links.
When I size up my competitors, I really want to know about their external links to that web page that I’m taking on – I’m not going “up against Amazon” or “Wikipedia” as a whole: just one page at a time.
Also: when using YSE, be sure to select “Except From This Domain” so that you are looking at those external links to that page (“Only this URL”). Like so.
Backlink Quality + Age of Domain
The quality of the backlinks are key – which is why I use SEO Spyglass or Market Samurai for this part.
Both will tell me the PageRank of the backlinks, and the anchor text. SEO Spyglass will go so far as to tell me if the link is one-way (strong) or two-way (negligible).
What if you don’t own either?
Fair enough – use YSE along with SEOQuake, you’ll then check the “PR” at the top of the listings in SEOQuake, then hit the down arrow to sort them according to PR. Voila! And no money spent (you’ll find it goes much faster with Market Samurai, though – just sayin’).
What I want to know is:
Are the backlinks high PageRank? Are they nofollow or dofollow? SEOSpyglass and Market Samurai can tell me that, in addition to the anchor text used.
By the way, I usually stop my analysis at “PR” and anchor text to size up my competitors’ backlinks.
I only do it if I think they’re going to give me a run for my money – otherwise I just stamp them out as I build links.
Whatever tools you use: it pays to size up those backlinks for quality.
Why go through all this trouble? All this work?
Because I don’t fight blindfolded.
Competitive analysis will forecast how much work you have ahead of you – and how much time or money it may take.
I want to get paid sooner rather than 1 year from now, I’m odd that way. Why work or pay someone to rank a site for terms it will take 6 months to rank for? I like to rank quicker, when possible.
I also want to know if a site has high PR links – if I can replicate those links. Are the links editorial? Can I guest blog at the high PR site? Are they directory links that I can get myself?
If someone has a Yahoo! web directory link and a DMOZ link – they’re serious. Then I ask myself how many other such links they have, and if I can out-perform them in quantity if not quality…
Looking for Achilles’ heel, you see…
Maybe I’m nuts, but I’m sure I’ve saved a lot of frustration in doing this. I save the tougher keywords for later, after I’ve made money on a site.
Then I’m in a position to bring down the Big, Bad Wolf on his own terms – because I have teeth in the market, and I want his lunch.
As to the age of the domains I’m up against, it’s another ranking factor and this can’t be easily replicated…unless you buy an aged domain. ;)
Once I figure I have found a few good spots to tackle, with openings in the SERPs (usually lower traffic than most tackle, and if you can convert your traffic, don’t worry too much about “low” numbers) – I then assess:
Their Overall Quality
It’s unbelievable to me, since this does come naturally to me (writing, I mean, and I’m not bragging, it’s really easy) – but so many of my “competitors” just cannot write…and I happily take note.
I’m also looking over the themes chosen – especially since you can get a preview of a web page before visiting it with just a mouseover in Google now.
Plan to use an ugly theme? Think again…your choice. My first preference is Flexibility 3, and I still use Clickbump and select free themes to mix it up.
I figure that the top 10 will at least show what can rank, and what people will be digging through when they browse – because I want to be the best in the top 10 that a visitor comes across.
My theme has to stand out, as does my content – I want to end the visitor’s search for information when they’re in a buying mode.
Keep in mind that just because a website is in the top 10 doesn’t make them quality in terms of content, layout or appearance.
Stick this bee in your bonnet:
Google has a glorified calculator if you will: an algorithm doesn’t read, feel or emote. It has no soul, no appreciation for the finer things.
It will never buy products to use that you want to sell. It can’t tell you how cashmere feels against the skin, or satin, vs. wool. It has no friends to impress, no fears to overcome, no problems to solve.
It doesn’t know how a fine cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain espresso tastes vs. Sanka Instant.
In other words: Google has no taste.
I’m not poking fun at them, it’s the truth, and I say that to tell you NOT to assume that the top 10 are quality sites.
They can be high-ranking crap, hence the frequent algo-changes and customer complaints about Google’s SERPs, which I happen to love since Google’s paying my bills…
What I’m looking for is an Achilles’ heel in the following:
- Can they write? If so – can I do it better?
- What products they promote that I am, or that I should.
- How well they address the market – are they aware of the needs of the market they’re addressing, or aloof? (I love the aloof webmasters. I eat their lunch, or plan to.)
- What about the prices of the products – does my CJ affiliate sell them cheaper? Do i have coupons to undercut their prices?
- Is the product actually valuable, or is it a joke? Is my product better? In what way?
These are more or less self-explanatory, so I’ll leave them for now, but did want to get you thinking about writing and quality for a second.
You’re an online publisher. You’re a marketing arm of these products. You’re a writer – or hire one.
Publishing online is much more than keyword stuffing and density – writing is about style, accurate information, knowing your audience, knowing their needs and questions, solving their problems…
It’s amazing so many content publishers think it sufficient to publish chum online in a bullet list with a few affiliate links spit on-screen.
Another thing to consider is the misunderstanding of “Features Vs. Benefits” – but I’ll talk about that in the next post.
To be brief, when I analyze my competitors, I read their posts since I’m competing for their lunch. Do they know what they’re doing, or do they happen to be one of the few talking about this product, and in that case they just published chumtent?
[Remember, I defined that a while back as "Chum" + "Content"...]
It’s a frequent problem of IM’ers who just don’t know their market, or lack the gumption to write like they care about the reader as much as they do their rankings: a lack of research.
Look, I’ll cut it to you straight: if you want to make money online in the content publishing end of things, you need to research and write. If you’re writing about a sports car, you can get away with bullet points and 0-60 stats…
But that doesn’t mean you should blithely ignore the soul or emotions of your audience. Even NASCAR gearheads have emotions, and good writers know how to tap into that to close a sale.
More on that in my next post.
Point is, I size up my competition this way – and it’s another Achilles’ heel I’m looking to exploit. Looking over the top 10, you can gather a lot of data for your own content (or see weaknesses).
If you notice their actual product is lame, then you have another area to full-on attack. This is why I don’t believe in trying to sell everything – be as choosy as your shopping visitor will be.
Visitors go to your site for a number of reasons, and if you have product-oriented, specific posts – like you ought to IMHO – then you need to answer their questions about why they should buy your product…
I call that easy as pie, if you have a quality product and do your homework before writing more of the same old drivel.
Assessing Demand – Quality and Quantity
This isn’t an easy one to assess – the demand of a product. Online, we’re used to using keyword tools and suspect that will be sufficient as an indicator for demand. There are other things to consider.
Are there celebrities endorsing the product? Think, “Biggest Loser” and Jilian Michaels for a minute – she’s promoting an entire line of hot products. But this cuts both ways:
1) If a celebrity is endorsing a product in your niche, then what happens if that celebrity gets embroiled in a scandal (Tiger Woods, Mike Tyson, etc.)? Your equity goes down with the public opinion…
2) Such products are in demand in spades – and that means more competition (including the celebrity’s website or sponsors)…
But – you can always promote another product that competes at a lowered price, or offers more features. I did that with certain products, and it’s pretty easy – fish in a barrel easy, actually…
Anything newsworthy, or that gets a public service announcement (usually health-related), will have a demand. Check Google’s External Keyword Tool or WordTracker for keyword ideas if you don’t already.
Like I mentioned in my first post in this series, I like to use Insights for Search from Google, now integrated into their keyword tool. Priceless.
I already wrote about that at SEOSage.org, it’s pretty self-explanatory and I’m telling you, it’s dead-on so far for my research. Pretty incredible to understanding the ebb and flow of a keyword over time, and it offers snippets from press releases and other media to explain parts of the rise and fall of demand.
Google Insights rocks. ‘Nuff said.
A few other ideas to assessing demand:
How many advertisers are there bidding on keywords? Some tools that can tell you this are SpyFu, SEMRush has some information on it and Keyword Elite (I think) has some information on it. I don’t use any of those tools.
I told you: I’m cheap. I just open up the SERPs and count the number of PPC ads in the keywords I’m targeting, or use the competition toolbar in Google’s keyword tool – under “competition” you’ll see it.
That’s sufficient for me – though Market Samurai also gives you an indication of the competition for ads in a given keyword phrase. Why does this matter? It should indicate to you if a keyword is deemed profitable enough to spend money on…
More competitors = more money flowing through that keyword set, and hopefully you’ll get a piece yourself.
Lastly, and probably most importantly to me – I like to check Google Products. I want to see how many reviews are written by customers, most will be from Amazon reviews, but not all.
More reviews indicates more demand, but you can still make a killing on products without any demand if the product is worth buying and you’re the first up at bat.
That, by the way, is exactly how I made my first site so profitable. I marketed those products until people started seeing what I was seeing: one helluva company, with one helluva product line.
Take that for what it’s worth – there aren’t rules here per se, but still do the research.
This is a no-brainer, or should be – but it’s not, the more I look online. Look, if you want to write to someone and get their attention – you need to know who you’re talking to, or just save your breath.
Want to know your audience online? Go to your vendor’s main website. Say you wanted to promote sheds or something, then you’d input the URL at http://www.alexa.com and click “Get Details.” Scroll down and you’ll find more details…
Read. Then click the “audience” button, shown here. You get an insight into who you’re talking to, including age and location – and keep this all in mind when you plan your assault on the SERPs.
From content creation to theme choice, marketing your site and off-site articles, guest post opportunities to cross-selling…you name it. Goldmine.
The good news?
Most of your competitors will be too lazy to do all this.
The bad news?
Most of you reading this will be too lazy to do all this.
Don’t make the mistake of “writing to yourself,” because you’re not: even if you’re the target audience – you need to write to these people.
If you can’t find information on your vendor’s site like this (if their traffic is too low, for example) then use another competitor’s, or find related products. Different brand, maybe.
Personally, I count this critical in marketing – you can’t talk to people you don’t know and expect conversions…this is marketing.
I’ve already covered a bit of this a little earlier – I go for low-compete or moderate-competition terms. I never give a flying monkey’s banana about how many URLs are in the index competing for page one.
I never use the “allintitle” or “allinanchor” search queries anymore.
I assume millions have no clue what they’re doing, because they don’t or really don’t care to compete. What’s the point in counting how many dogs there are in the fight, when the real question is – which is the Alpha Dog I need to take out?
I also use just about all of Google’s tools, Market Samurai and I check the Suggest drop-down menus to about 10 different search engines en masse (what can I say? I’m a junkie for keywords…).
I spend about an hour doing this, sometimes even longer if I’m having trouble – but I’m not complaining. I’m making a living at this, it pays off.
I also mine my competitors’ content for keywords I may have missed, and the PPC ads as well. Here’s a dirty little secret about keywords:
Quality, Targeted Keywords = Lower Traffic BUT Higher Conversions
My resulting $3-5k a month comes from low-hanging-fruit keywords that most people would never bother with – suits me.
My traffic estimates from Google and WordTracker were horrible when I took the chance on my keywords – they were negligible, laughable even.
They make me a living at the moment – because I convert those interested, and when there was no interest or knowledge about my CJ vendor (my main squeeze, if you will) – I created an interest.
More on that in my next post. I’m not tooting my own horn – I’m just amazed at the glut of advice online that reads, “Go for 50k searches or more – that’s where the money’s at.”
Uh…sure…but two problems I see:
1) Many of these terms are much too competitive for me to make an income any time soon. That means they’re usually terms you’d need PPC advertising to penetrate, right now I’m 100% free traffic, SEO only.
2) Most of those numbers are for info-seeking terms, with few exceptions (then they’re just too hot for me to bother with, I’m cheap and lazy and keep looking).
In other words, they’re too general – someone doing research for a term paper or what not, I want buyers, my competitors can have all the “browsers”…
What I look for in keywords:
Targeted terms – these are product-oriented, or have modifiers like “discount, coupon, for sale, buy, reviews” etc. I don’t bother too much with general terms except in supporting posts (those posts that don’t sell outright, they just have links pointing to my reviews).
Low-moderate competition – I already covered that above, and use Market Samurai once I have an idea of some terms.
Decent traffic – anything from 300+ per month. Yeah, I said that – because I can always drum up some interest if need be (it’s called, “marketing”). :) More on that later, but you probably already know how…
I don’t care if it seems like I have a few hundred visitors a month to a page – if I can convert that traffic and get my site ranking, then I’m making sales with it. It’s a complete fool’s errand to think you need thousands and thousands of people per page…
I learned that in the XFactor AdSense course, actually – to try to make a site with 10k or more visitors, you can simply have 10 pages of 1k visitors apiece. The Amazonian Profit Plan has another view: to optimize for a number of keywords per post.
I’m not sure Google’s thinking on this – but WordTracker and others have said more or less the same thing: why rank for 1 keyword a post (XFactor style) when you can rank for 10,000 a post?
How many keywords you try to rank one post for is up to you, I generally have 3-5 I’m trying to focus on and just make more pages on my site if it makes sense, to capture other keywords.
One last thought on keywords – your best bet for what keywords to use on your site will be handed to you by your analytics. No matter who you use: Google Analytics, GetClicky, Statcounter…you’ll be told what keywords were used and you should use them on your site.
Obvious hint: use an analytics program and the recommended keywords you get in return…
Ask The Right Questions
If there is one thing you want to gather from all your research, it should be this: how to ask and answer the right questions. Whether you’re talking article marketing, or on-site content – people are coming to visit your sites for answers.
You can’t give them an answer unless you know their questions. You can’t know their questions unless you know the audience and your products you’re trying to pitch…
And it’s easy, when you think about it – but incredibly neglected. Grossly underestimated, actually.
Why do people want to buy that nice, shiny new gigdet or gadget you have? Why wouldn’t they just buy a cheaper alternative?
What problems does it solve for them?
Does it make your reader feel or look pretty? Confident?
Will it become a status symbol for them? Will they be the envy of the block?
Will they get their keyword and market research done in one place, saving time, like with Market Samurai? :)
In short – what are the benefits to purchasing that particular item that your readers want?
If you don’t know these questions, you have no answers, and your content will come off sounding like a cereal box nutrition label (which has its place, but converting sales copy offers more than this).
What if you didn’t know your audience’s questions? Then you can buy something like Answers Analyst for $97, which tool is going to become part of my own repertoire shortly. Pretty cool little thing, gives you a lot of answers/questions based on keywords – makes short work of it.
If you wanted to do this on the cheap – then read tons of reviews online, starting with the manufacturer’s own sales page – and visit forums if need be: see Google’s “Discussion” tab in the SERPs, in the sidebar…
What are people saying about it? Get the good, bad and ugly – you don’t want to be caught unawares, your visitors are shopping online and you want to know their answers, like a good lawyer, before they ask the questions…
Get the right questions, and if your product actually answers some problem (or solves 5-10 problems) – you need to take notes. More on that in the copywriting post.
Finally, here is a terrible, but common, question to ask when composing your content:
“Would I buy this?”
The real questions are: “Are people buying it? Why do THEY buy it?”
Luxury items, for example…are beyond me. I’m cheap as hell. But would Dave buy a nice wine rack to store his Cava? Maybe he would…now it behooves me to understand why he would, because I wouldn’t. Yet.
All This Leads To “The Sweet Spot”
OK, this is the last bit and I’m saving the rest for another post in this series.
So far you’ve assessed your competition in the SERPs. You can see the ‘holes’ in their position online.
You know if they’re optimized with your chosen keywords or not, you can see if they stink at copywriting or if they have it together…
You have assessed the market, you’ve looked at your product and others in the same niche – I didn’t mention that too much, but you need to do comparitive shopping – because your visitors are doing it…
You have made a list of the questions a potential visitor will ask, and have either used something like Answer Analyst or other means to do this (horse sense works well – but you have to know your market)…
You have made a list of keywords as best you can, and hopefully have a few dozen to a few hundred or more to pick through and build content and marketing around…
Now what? Hopefully you have found the sweet spot.
A Unique Selling Position
It’s priceless. It’s the brass ring in marketing. You’ve already succumbed to its hypnotic powers when you’ve bought anything you own – why did you buy it? Was it strictly bargain shopping?
Fine – that is a unique selling position of sorts, but I think you should sell stuff the other way around. I think you should set your sights higher than bargain bin shopping – even if you’re cheap as me.
What makes a Lambourghini so unique – because ain’t nothing else like a Diablo in my book?
What makes that Vita-mix juicer so cotton-pickin’ expensive – do people buy that? Yes, they do. Why?
These all have a unique selling position – and I’m telling you, when I made my first website that is now carrying the load of my financial burden – I hit that sweet spot.
I was/am marketing a product that you can call a dime a dozen – and if you see your products that way, take a closer look and think again.
I had to ask myself, “OK, these guys accepted me as an affiliate in CJ – but how are these NOBODIES (because they WERE) going to out-do their well-known competitors?”
What makes them different?…
Before you get your first line of copy written – do your homework. Are you in a profitable niche? I make around $100-$200 a sale for my product. That’s profitable, I’d say.
Don’t get me wrong. You can make a KILLING with $8 leads on CJ, or $10 leads – they have CPA offers and a Pay-Per-Call program that I haven’t chased – but I know people making a mint on those $8 leads…
The reason? Demand. Market trends (Google Insights for Search and Trends for Search). My product is evergreen – sells all year, but mostly during cooler months. BUT it is evergreen – it’s not trendy.
Why does my product sell? Because I found the unique selling position, then I told the whole freaking country about it with articles and went crazy building links…
What makes your product unique? Who buys it? Why?
Now you need to put it all in writing.
Next up: Content Planning. Thanks for reading, sharing on Facebook, Tweeting and bookmarking. Oh, and if you bought anything – hat’s off, thank you.
Feeling generous? Enjoyed the post? I am now accepting monetized “thanks” a.k.a. donations. :) Much appreciated.
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