After all, I share the mantra of fail fast, succeed quicker (or your favourite variation of that principle...).
If you know the reality of "failure" and become desensitized to it, you'll be able to hit out more products and ideas with little procrastination.
This post is to make something very clear - even when you do everything by the book, you can still experience a dud...and only then can you decide where you want to go with it (do you throw more money into it, work harder to create different products, survey lists, etc etc...or do you sell the site and try something more "evergreen" as they say)
Why could it be a dud in the first place? Because some markets just plain SUCK (at least, on first throw of the dice)
A case in point, is a health niche I just flopped with.
Now, this niche had all the ingredients of success:
1. People were buying magazines related to their health problem
2. There were many active communities online (with lots of activity)
3. There were other books/info products selling online
4. People were opting in to my list
5. There was a lot of a backend potential
6. The target prospect was easily reachable, at a reasonable cost
I even ran some test sales copy and had huge responses - with people signing up to wait for the product to be released (aka the underachiever method).
Guess what? Nearly $1000 in product development, $500-1000 in advertising later...and only 8 sales to show for it.
Price was tested, email marketing campaign got great open rates and click thrus...but no more sales.
Sure, some of my keywords were broad, but the majority were targeted and all in all, this campaign was so highly targeted to convert is was crazy (right down to different adwords landing page copy per ad group, with different free reports and email follow up sequences sent to different ad group visitors...)
This was a seriously focused and full blown crack at marketing an inexpensive niche product...a product which contained information which was either:
1. Offered in top selling books on Amazon
2. Being searched for online and asked about in forums frequently
3. Being offered by competitors
4. Showing as "popular" content on directory sites
So, what have I learnt from this?
Well first of all, it's not the 1st project to go belly up...so I know not to let it "hurt me"!
Secondly, I know that I still have options...
1. Split test the sales copy drastically, to try and find a different selling angle (will require a further hefty advertising budget to test the waters though)
2. Sell the site and probably make a small loss on my investment
3. Turn the product into a whole plethora of blog posts using a word press blog, and generate revenue from the site via advertising
4. Build a list from free traffic (following on from the example above) and then continually survey that list to find out my potential upsell offers I could map out inro an autoresponder sequence
5. Continue all PPC campaigns except send the traffic to a survey page and ask the visitor to just TELL me what they will pay for...or go deeper and throw some questions at them which will let me get a better insight into their TRUE desires, which I may have missed.
So, which one do you think sounds like the most viable option if this was your business, roughly and speculatively speaking?
(P.S - I think I already know which one makes the most sense right now, but I'm entruiged to see what you think too...)