How does one go about choosing a platform for their content?

23 replies
Hi all. I've been lurking for a while, and reading quite a lot on WF for a couple of months now. I have an idea for an information product. I want to teach people a different way to blog in order to achieve certain results. (That's vague, I know. But it's not about blogging to make money, which is what most seem to teach about.)

I keep getting paralyzed thinking about how to launch my product. Should it be a book? A video training course? Should I blog it all, and then put it together into one of those? Maybe I should use another platform?

I'm sure I could do a blog, then a book, then a video course, then... etc. For those who create products, how do you go about choosing what the content delivery system will actually be?
#choosing #content #platform
  • Profile picture of the author RealCasher
    If you can make video tutorials, then go for a membership website and charge bloggers monthly.. this one is the best in terms of profits and also has more credibility than PDF ebooks.
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    • Profile picture of the author dana67
      You could also consider starting your own website and tying videos and an ebook into it.
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    • Profile picture of the author TJ Smiley
      Thanks. Yes, a membership site is the longer-term goal on the content. I have it in my head that the most successful sales funnels are going to follow the customery pattern... free report on blog > low price e-book and/or Kindle book launch > video tutorials > membership site. My paralysis in actual execution comes wondering if its necessary to go through the steps and if I should just jump straight to product launch such as a Kindle book.
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    • Profile picture of the author TJ Smiley
      Let me add this, I suppose: I'm tying myself in knots for two reasons. First, I have a solution for people who don't yet know they have a problem, or at least don't realize that my solution is the solution to their problem. Second, I'm wound up about wanting to do things the "right way" or the "best way". When, really, (and I probably already know this), I should just pick a path and follow it.

      I don't know who I'm responding to now. Probably myself.
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      • Profile picture of the author wanderlust11
        I'm in a similar position, as you might've seen I started a thread on my desire to create a forum (which would eventually include members only sections), but I have yet to take any action and am afraid of starting out with the wrong move.

        I'm no expert, but blogging just seems like somewhat of a waste of time to be honest. You could do two things at once and start out with free videos that also promote your Kindle book? Not sure how you'd transition into a website but I suppose that depends on the content/niche.

        Anyway sorry I have no real solid advice for you, just wanted to say you're not alone in your frustration and paralysis.
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        • Profile picture of the author TJ Smiley
          Thanks man. I have a day job where I also allow myself to get into analysis paralysis. But then crunch time comes and I just pick a path and I go. Difference here is that I don't have an externally imposed "crunch time" and so I can just float. I have a very core belief that I'm not allowed to take any wrong paths. Which, of course, leads to not taking paths at all. It's something I need to resolve; given your situation, perhaps you do as well.

          I had seen your thread. I'm of the same mind as others that had communicated that it's going to be vital to have an audience before you launch a forum. I created a forum several years ago; the problem was that I didn't have the critical mass that was necessary for a forum to become successful. A forum user may join, but if there's been no action there in days or weeks or months, they're not going to become engaged and are unlikely to return--at least not often.

          Creating a forum is not the hard part. Finding the people to populate it all at once, that's the thing I think you have to figure out.
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          • Profile picture of the author wanderlust11
            Originally Posted by TJ Smiley View Post

            Thanks man. I have a day job where I also allow myself to get into analysis paralysis. But then crunch time comes and I just pick a path and I go. Difference here is that I don't have an externally imposed "crunch time" and so I can just float. I have a very core belief that I'm not allowed to take any wrong paths. Which, of course, leads to not taking paths at all. It's something I need to resolve; given your situation, perhaps you do as well.

            I had seen your thread. I'm of the same mind as others that had communicated that it's going to be vital to have an audience before you launch a forum. I created a forum several years ago; the problem was that I didn't have the critical mass that was necessary for a forum to become successful. A forum user may join, but if there's been no action there in days or weeks or months, they're not going to become engaged and are unlikely to return--at least not often.

            Creating a forum is not the hard part. Finding the people to populate it all at once, that's the thing I think you have to figure out.
            I hear you, I put off finishing my last semester of school for... a year and a half because there were too many paths approaching and god forbid I take the wrong one. I'm finally finishing and turns out none of my options seem all that great with student loan debt hanging over my head. So that's where I'm at, trying to think outside the box...

            Anyway, I know I'll need an audience and I'm getting ahead of myself with everything. I guess I just see blogging as something I'd do as a hobby rather than to make money, and I can't bring myself to start it without a real plan. But that's where the problem comes full circle and I'm still stuck at square one, getting nowhere.

            As you said sometimes it's best to just go with your gut and over think it later if necessary.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnathan47
    I will try out all the free options first before starting a website. Start posting stuff about it in blogs, create videos, social media pages and the like.. if they gain traction and people like your stuff, think about a website and make better videos and eventually a book. I wouldn't dish out a lot of cash into this right away. Sample them in free channels first...

    Good Luck...
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    • Profile picture of the author TJ Smiley
      Just a website is a pretty low barrier to entry, I think. I rent space on a server so I'll be able to just plop another site up without any added expense. But I think you're right, Johnathan, it might be best to test the waters more to see if I can gain some traction before investing the more precious resource--time--into the project. Thanks for giving me that perspective.
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  • Profile picture of the author scholarcontent
    Create a pdf or a video series. Host on an autoresponder like getresponse and then package and launch on JVzoo or here.
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  • Profile picture of the author sonofGod
    I can relate to what you are saying: I guess you can use a combination products at different price points Low entry Front End Product ==> Upsell To A Video Series ===> Upsell to some coaching if it is relevant. Coaching can even be by Skype messages depending on what you want to charge.
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    • Profile picture of the author TJ Smiley
      sonofGod, I was thinking about this through my workday today, and I was struck by something I heard not that long ago... "a good idea today is more valuable then a great idea at some later, unspecified date." Like I say, I keep wondering if there's a "right way" to do this, but I'm more convinced today than I was last night that all that matters is that I simply move forward.
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      • Profile picture of the author Cheryl Majeski
        Hi TJ Smiley!

        I suggest reading these two books:

        Launch! The Critical 90 Days from Idea to Market by Scott Duffy

        Launch - An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula to Sell Almost Anything Online, Build a Business You Love and Live the Life of Your Dreams
        by Jeff Walker


        They are both very informative, talk about the entire process from idea inception to marketable product and offer much in the way of practical advice.

        I think social media is a really great vehicle for getting a preliminary feel for whatever it is you're doing. It enables you to ask questions and try out the marketplace so you can deliver a product that people are looking for and want.

        I'd start by building relationships, asking questions and checking out the competition to see what they're doing and where they're doing it.

        It's a good idea to start building a following early on so anticipation grows and people will be lining up to buy the moment your product is available.

        Build your business on a strong foundation, even if it takes longer than you'd like. The end result will be worth it.

        Good luck with your endeavor!
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  • Profile picture of the author TeKn1qu3z
    Membership is the best way to sell products, you can make a forum and start to sell your products in private and post the product details in public, just as warrior forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author QueenMelanie
    remember if you are creating a membership site, you will need to think of way to make people want to come back after reading/watching your guide for the first time.. do you have any ideas for that?
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  • Profile picture of the author roblawrence
    It all starts with high quality content. You have to have something WORTH selling.

    Just looking for a hungry market and quickly cobbling something together won't cut it. There has to be REAL value there.

    With so much free information online, why would somebody want to PAY for your information? That's an important question to answer. The platform is really irrelevant.

    If you are confident in your product idea, then just go for it! The market will tell you pretty quickly if there is any interest. Test it on free platforms such as wix or weebly or even google blogger. Put up a salespage. Run some PPC ads and see what happens. See if it's a winner!
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  • Profile picture of the author Richard Batt
    I generally go down the ebook route, personally - mainly because my history has always been in writing and once I start writing something I can knock out 3-4 thousand words in less than 2 hours.

    However, it is much easier (and quicker) to record an audio file than it is to write an ebook and if you already have the software then videos do give you a lot more credibility. If you record a good series then you can always put it into a Udemy course or pop it onto Skillfeed.

    The answer really is - it depends on what you find easier. If you find writing easier - write, if you find speaking easier - speak and if you like the idea of being in front of a camera - film it!
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    • Profile picture of the author TJ Smiley
      Lots of replies! Thanks all.

      TeKn1qu3z / QueenMelaine - Yep, I do have some ideas about creating a long-term membership site for recurring revenue.

      Cheryl - Thanks. I did read Jeff Walker's book. I don't recall much about platform, but I'll definitely go back and have another look.

      roblawrence - I have the skill and experience myself for my product idea. It's a unique and unexplored avenue for blogging. What I don't know yet is if I can find a market. I think it exists, but I'm not clear yet on how to capture that audience.

      Richard - I'm also quite adept in the written medium. I think I'm going to follow the common funnel of blog > free guide > paid book > free video > paid course > paid coaching > ongoing community access and support. It seems like the best way to explore the audience and its needs with time investment sorted from minimal to, uh, maximal.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    I like the idea of doing what you are planning on teaching. For example, if it's about a certain way to blog why not use a blog, perhaps with premium protected content, to share your secret?


    I get kind of turned off when I buy something let's say about how to make it big with ebooks but the training material is in video. There's an inconsistency there that just kind of rubs me the wrong way.


    As far as getting it right the "right way" or "best way" in the beginning, there is another word for this for many of us in many cases: procrastination. No matter the reason, and there are many, don't obsess over this. Get your stuff going and let it grow and improve as you grow and improve.


    Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author TJ Smiley
      Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

      there is another word for this for many of us in many cases: procrastination
      I'm sure you've nailed it, Mark.

      I hadn't thought of the medium being consistent with the content, but that's a really interesting take. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by TJ Smiley View Post

    I'm sure I could do a blog, then a book, then a video course, then... etc. For those who create products, how do you go about choosing what the content delivery system will actually be?
    Many of the replies in this thread have focused on the issue from the perspective of the product creator. You might find it more useful to consider how your prospective students would prefer to digest the information.

    If the product is concerned with making certain aspects of blogging more effective, it's likely that your market is either already blogging or has an interest in doing so, in which case your best initial approach might be to first outline your proposal/idea on your blog and guage the reaction of your readers. Depending on the interest, you'd then have the option of asking readers to sign up for more detailed info, or setting up a paid section on the blog.

    In general, the platform on which an information product is created should be determined by the preferences of the end users. But that needn't stop you from trying your product on several platforms, once created. It's a relatively straightforward matter to convert a text to audio or video, for example.


    Frank
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

      In general, the platform on which an information product is created should be determined by the preferences of the end users.
      Frank has nailed it and it's what I was going to suggest.

      One other consideration to think about -

      Imagine that your product takes off and does really well. Are you going to be able to add additional products, up-sells, cross-sells, yada, yada in the future? Think about how "expandable" or scalable your platform can become because you don't want to start over or mess with destroying what you've already proven is profitable.

      The very best to you,

      Steve
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  • Don't start with a product launch..

    Start with building a list (You can earn income in this process, with affiliate promotion)

    Once you have a list of a few thousands people, you can launch a product successfully..

    Trust me, I've been there with failed launches.

    Hope this helps
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