This is a guest post by Nadia about producing content that sells. You can read the guidelines for guest posting at our guest posting guidelines page.
Imagine you’re Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams. You here a voice whisper “if you build it, they will come” while walking in your cornfield and suddenly have a vision of a baseball diamond. Would you build it?
Since the success of that movie, people have thrown those prophetic whispered words around as if they were universal truths. Thinking of starting your own restaurant? If you build it they will come. Want to write a million-dollar screenplay? If you build it they will come. Want to make money blogging? If you build it they will come.
Just Because You Built It Doesn’t Mean They’ll Come: Producing Something That Sells
To some extent it’s true: if you spend your energy developing some product or service (build it), you will probably see some return (they will come).
But that piece of “wisdom” also neglects one fundamental truth about business and consumers. People will only come if they want to. If you built the best hamster wheel in the world, you’d definitely get some interest from some obsessive compulsive hamster owners, but the vast majority of the world probably wouldn’t care less about it.
Now if you built a robot that drove people to work, took care of their kids, and made a gourmet dinner every night, you’d be selling them faster than you could manufacture them.
What accounts for the difference?
The difference is knowing what people want, what they need. Very few people want or need an amazing hamster wheel; too few to make a killing, probably. On the other hand, there are very few people who wouldn’t want a robot that managed all the tedious tasks of their lives. (Not that raising children is tedious. They are a joy.)
To be successful, you have to produce a resource that people think is inherently valuable. This is true no matter what field you’re in, blogging included.
Producing a blog that actually sells
Blogging has come a long way since its early days as web journaling. PPC ads and affiliate programs are losing popularity and are being replaced by blog-writer-generated products, namely e-books about and courses in whatever niche market the blog writes about.
This doesn’t mean that if your blog has captured a very specific market — say a community of knitters — you won’t be able to release a wildly popular product. On the contrary, some of the most successful blogs out there cater to some of the smallest, most targeted niches.
Again, the key, no matter what niche you’re in, is to produce something valuable to your readers.
Let’s follow through with the knitting example. If you started up a knitting blog and grew your network of followers until you made a name for yourself in the knitting community and then wanted to offer that network a product to bring in more money, what would that product be? Would you sell a beginner’s guide to knitting? Probably not. Chances are, you did not become a celebrity in the knitting world by teaching basic patterns to your readers. What’s more likely is that you consistently offered new insights and opened the doors to new opportunities to your readers and they returned the favor by subscribing to your feed.
Given that you’re dealing with expert knitters, what kind of product would be invaluable to them? I’m no knitter, but my guess is that what would be more useful and attractive to someone who does knit is a resource that gives some expert advice about how to start a knitting business or make money from knitting.
The most powerful product you can release is one that helps its users make money. That’s the bottom line. If you want to boost your income by releasing a product, do a little market research before you launch your product to find out what would be most useful to your readers, and then spend 100 hours researching that, and another 100 writing the book.
Become an expert, release a product that your readers want and need, and they will come.
About the Author:
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at accredited online colleges about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.