Profitable Blogging
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How To ​GUARANTEE That Your Idea Will Pay

Lesson 9 Chapter 1

Demand And Buying Power

Here is a fact that is often overlooked: People need to be willing to pay for the product you want to sell.

If the product (offer) you promote is dead, no sales funnel will ever make it profitable.

If you try to sell a $10 Chinese drone that is impossible to control and keeps falling onto the ground, your Free Plus Shipping funnel isn’t going to work.  

In order to build a sales funnel, you need a profitable niche and ONE profitable product line.

How to GUARANTEE that your idea will pay (before you invest a year of your time)

Even if you have a niche, one of the biggest problems with earning money is that you just don't know if your idea is a good one.

Will people find it useful enough to pay? How do you know? What if you waste 2 years pursuing an idea that's doomed?

What MOST people do: Think of a random idea, start doing "fake business" (building a website, getting business cards printed, opening Twitter/FB accounts), and then slowly discover that they have no idea how to make money. After a few months, they'll shift to another idea … then another … always sure that if they find the "right" idea, money will fall from the sky.

Here is the 3-step process that you can follow to target your niche, make sure your idea will pay, and start getting paying clients.

  1. Niche it down 
  2. Be virtually certain of profitability 
  3. Get inside their heads

The first step is probably the most important to earning your first $1,000. You need to define a crisp, narrow target market of customers who will not only pay you, but pay you well.

Niche Down

Let's say you've got an idea to earn money on the side. Say you've decided to be a music tutor.

Do not jump into tactics. Too many people start saying, "Yeah! I could blast that out on Twitter! Music lovers unite!"

Get real.

The first question: Who are you trying to market to?

The average person's response will sound something like this: "Well, you know, people who are interested in music." Or, "Uh … women!"

If this sounds like you, then you have joined 99% of other small-business wannabes who think they should target EVERYONE.

That doesn't work.

 With the right niche targeting, you'll be able to tailor and optimize not only your services, but also your pricing.

And when you target your services SPECIFICALLY to someone — making it truly personalized — they will pay virtually anything.

Targeting the right market isn't easy.

It's counter-intuitive but true: The more niche you go, the more you can earn.

You should not be offering weight loss. You could be offering weight loss for new mothers that got fat during pregnancy.

You should not be selling content writing services. You're to sell ready-to-post blog posts for small bloggers with 5,000-10,000 monthly page views.

You should not be selling marketing consulting. But you may be helping companies with 5-10 employees grow from $50,000/year to $1m/year using information products.

See the difference?

Targeting In Action

In essence it looks like this:

[QUALIFIER 1] — [QUALIFIER 2] who need (YOUR SERVICE)

So here are three examples:

  1. Small-business companies in the financial services industry who need copywriting for marketing materials
  2. Bloggers with 1,000 to 5,000 subscribers who want to develop information products
  3. Working parents in the San Francisco Bay area who want tutoring for their high school kids

Based on the examples above, create your Target Market.

The first step is to be ultra-specific. Since 95% of people will never understand this, when you do, you get a disproportionate advantage over them.

How to find your first profitable idea

The problem with having so many ideas is you're just not sure which will pay off. And nobody wants to spend 9 months pursuing a futile idea — only to discover you've made $0.46 in AdSense money — so we get stuck before we even start.

When you apply this step, you can quickly "score" ideas to see if they have any real possibility of ever paying off — BEFORE you ever spend any time developing them.

Here's how it works.

Take each of your ideas and write them on a piece of paper. Next to each idea, write down who would pay you for your service.

For each person who would potentially pay you, ask yourself:

  • Do they have the ABILITY to pay? Do they actually have money?
  • Do they have the WILLINGNESS to pay? Do they want to pay?

This lets you instantly eliminate half of your ideas … that would not have earned you a dime.

Examples:

  • "Chicago law firms with 3-10 lawyers who want help managing and maintaining their firms' hardware and software assets."

    ABILITY to pay: YES, lawyers swim in money
    WILLINGNESS to pay: NO, they don't pay freelancers and are ultra-conservative
    VERDICT: ELIMINATE

  • "24-45 year old, middle income families who need help on budgeting."

    ABILITY to pay: UM NO
    WILLINGNESS to pay: NOT IN THIS LIFETIME
    VERDICT: ELIMINATE WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE

  • "Music instructor for ambitious children — client is mother"

    ABILITY to pay: Yes. Parents of ambitious, successful children tend to be more affluent than those of average children
    WILLINGNESS to pay: Yes. Parents will spend virtually anything to ensure their child is successful, well-rounded, and gets into a top college
    VERDICT: GREAT IDEA. PURSUE!
This technique will help you get control of your many ideas and escape "Analysis Paralysis."

How to validate a product

The above technique will help you get started, however it still doesn’t fully secure profitability.

Sending out emails to your list and asking them if they would buy — that doesn’t work.

Why?

First, people often lie when you ask them a question like that.

Second, it is better when people vote with their wallet and not with their mouth.

To show you why, let me ask you a question. Last time you bought something, did you know a few days before that you were going to make that purchase?

Chances are you didn’t because buying is a process that you have to go through. If someone had surveyed you and answered the truth, you would have said you weren’t planning to buy it. But you did anyways. Makes sense? 

Throwing spaghetti against the wall

The truth is that unless we are already pretty well versed in marketing and online business, we MUST throw spaghetti at the wall until we get some of it to stick.

There are 4 ways to do it:

  1. (Bad) - Starting out writing literally whatever you want, whenever you want, with no two posts on the same subject ever, and mostly just randomly talking about your weekend. Don't do this. Your blog will likely die reader-less.
  2. (Better) - Starting out very niche with no real idea how to proceed, but a BOAT LOAD of patience and willingness to see it through. This will be hard. You're in a dark tunnel with one flashlight.
  3. (Okay) - Starting out sort of broad while you figure out what the heck you're doing. Being a little broad allows you to experiment with what WORKS for you, it's a way - in my opinion - to "hedge your bets". You're still in the tunnel, but at least there's some lights on the wall along way.
  4. BEST - Starting out very niche, with your multitude of years of online business experience and serious marketing knowledge... with every step of the plan laid out (and a little patience, because you know it's just a matter of time before you reach your goals). You're not in a tunnel, because you worked your way out of the tunnel with your FIRST blog (or relevant marketing job).

Because most of us don't have the qualifications to start out at BEST, why not start out Okay?

Starting out with a broader blog gives you the chance to throw several handfuls of spaghetti at once.

Over time, you will find out what sticks for you - and you will (likely) naturally niche down (at least a little bit) into one area or another - or three, whatever. (If you are really lucky, you may have multiple topics "stick".)

For those that don't feel like an "expert" on any one topic, or "passionate" about any one thing, starting a little broad can be the secret to finding your way.

WHY does "everyone" say you must be niche?

For one, there's Google.

Google likes clusters of same-topic content. There are no two ways around that. Google wants to know they are serving up the best search results and one website that presents itself as an authority on ONE topic is far more likely to rank than one random post on a website that is a sea of all-the-things.

Google will understand you better if you are very niche.

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