Passion and Profits Part 2
I’m not someone who says, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” I’d really like to say that, but it’s not always true. What I found is what you love often becomes a PORTION of your business, not the whole thing. Sometimes you still have to do some things you don’t enjoy – at least until you can afford to outsource it.
You have to balance all these principles together. Will it fit your personality and business style? Do you have a natural curiosity toward the subject? What value can you provide to others? And are others making money from it today? For example, a lot of people love to be artists. But what if you don’t have the talent (value you provide to others) or what if you do have the talent but you just love painting? If I told you to do what you love (paint), and the money would follow.
That would mean you don’t have to market. Most people who love art don’t love to market, yet that’s a requirement if you want to be profitable.
Accept the facts. You can build a business around a subject you have passion for and something you enjoy doing, but it’s likely you’ll have aspects to the business you don’t enjoy. Some of those aspects like bookkeeping can be outsourced (or hired) from day one. Other aspects like the marketing will often require your participation at least during the initial growth phase.
Now onto to profitability. I don’t ever like being the pioneer in a brand new market. Several times while researching a market I was extremely excited when I found there weren’t any Google Adwords ads. The market was “wide open.” What I later learned in both of these situations is there was a reason there wasn’t anyone advertising there. The visitors wouldn’t buy. They wouldn’t subscribe. And they were a waste of money.
That’s why I told you earlier that you need to figure out what business models are succeeding in a field. If your goal is simply to sell low cost ebooks (maybe you love writing those) but you can’t find any ebooks that can afford to advertise on Google Adwords or aren’t listed well in the Clickbank marketplace, then you might be in the danger zone.
I like to spend some time looking to see what’s already selling. Here’s where you go to do your homework:
All the above links help you find what is ALREADY selling. On the Google keyword tool, you can find out what people are searching for. When you’re searching for potential keyword phrases, also try adding in a few modifiers like review, buy, purchase, shop, or even ebook. All of those phrases mean someone is looking for purchase something.
For example, if I sell camcorders (or am an affiliate for camcorders), I might look for a keyword phrase such as “Canon HV40 review” because it definitely means someone is considering buying this camcorder soon. Or someone could be looking for “online video ebook” which means they’re looking to spend money to learn how to do online video.
The Clickbank marketplace allows you to search in categories and by keyword phrase to find what digital products are being sold. In addition, they allow you to search by gravity score. While Clickbank uses a complex scoring system for their gravity score (basically each separate affiliate making a sale counts as a point but those points degrade over time), on average higher gravity scores means more affiliates are making sales for those products. So when I’m researching the market I like to look for higher gravity scores as proof those products are selling well.
Paypal Shops allows you to see how many Paypal sales a store has made. So if you go to a website selling fishing lures and it shows that they have 5,000+ transactions, you know they’re doing a lot of sales (as Paypal can’t track other sales if they use other payment processors or have their own merchant account). Again look for subjects that have a good amount of sales to prove that the business model is effective.
On eBay you can find out what the hot items are. A majority of these products will be physical products with a very small margin on them (eBay attracts bargain shoppers), but even if you’re planning on a doing an information product you can still see what industries and subjects are hot sellers on eBay. In addition you will find some information products that make it into this list. Choose category “Books” and then “Nonfiction” to find out what big nonfiction books are selling.
Over on Amazon you can find the bestsellers in any category. Normally I start in the book section to see what book sellers are hot (if people are buying one book they will buy others). I also will search other categories for potential ideas. For example if I had a site about camcorders I’d definitely be looking in the best sellers for electronics to find out what I should cover. You can find out a LOT about what people are really buying online by spending a good amount of time in the Amazon best sellers section. Even if you don’t sell any products of your own, you will still sell affiliate products from others and need to know what’s selling.
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