Okay, seriously, guys...

33 replies
Bit of a rant, here.

I have spoken to seven people on Skype in the last 24 hours who were at that wonderful stage of IM where you know enough to be dangerous.

All of them seem to think I am somehow the go-to guy for advice on running a WSO. I don't get that. I ran one WSO. One. It wasn't even a product; it was a discount on writing services. Not exactly rocket surgery, you know?

But here are all these people with all their ideas on how to make their millions running a WSO, and they want to know what I think. And I keep telling them the same things.

So to save time, I'm going to lay out everything I know about running a WSO - or, indeed, selling any info product - right here. Because honestly, I am in the middle of creating a product, and if I have to spend hours and hours talking to half a dozen people about WSOs... I'm not going to get much done on it.

So here we go, okay? Four simple rules.

1. Sell something you know.
2. Sell something you know.
3. Sell something you know.
4. Sell something you know.

That may look like it's just one rule, but emphasis makes all the difference, so I'll elaborate.

1. Sell something you know. Not something you heard somewhere, or read on a forum, or thought up while you were drinking tequila last night. That's where you get your idea. It is NOT ENOUGH. You have to test. You have to experiment. You have to get real experience with what you're putting in your WSO.

2. Sell something you know. Not something everybody knows, or something somebody else knows. I've had four people tell me their great wonderful plan is to buy a WSO and rewrite it. That's more than half. If you don't bring anything new to the table, WTF are you doing? Everybody who wanted that WSO probably already bought it. You need something new, something fresh, something that they didn't get in the last WSO they bought.

3. Sell something you know. Not just stuff. Don't make a "garbage dump" WSO where you take a whole bunch of random thoughts and throw them together. Have a unifying theme. Provide a process. Provide a pattern. Provide options. You need to give people something that actually has a purpose, and gets them somewhere.

4. Sell something you know. I don't mean sticking a price tag on it. I mean providing all that wonderful positioning and placement and promotion that demonstrates you actually know this thing you've got on your WSO. Here's a great idea: when you're in the forum posting, why don't you post in threads about the same subject? Answer questions. Give people good advice. Let them see that you're at least somewhat knowledgeable on the subject. And have some actual success stories. That's a plural, stories, not just one. If you sold one website, you are not qualified to write a WSO on flipping websites.

I mean, come on, people. This stuff is not hard. It's not new. All you have to do to make an info product people want to buy is sell something you know.

There. That's what I know. Now... can I get back to my own stuff?
#guys
  • Profile picture of the author Buildingfutures
    No, I require more information. Tell me about this... Running a WSO I hear so much about....



    It really isn't that hard. I ran a few, one was a flunk, the other, well, yeah. It sucked too. But I'm not the kind of guy who can create a product and sell it. *shrug* Just doesn't work that way for me.

    I'd rather affiliate, create websites, or write a little and make some money. I know a lot about nothing, and not enough on any one subject to make it a proper product.

    And lord knows if I went over everything I know in a product the person who bought it would be just as confused as I am half the time. Haha!

    I'm sure they get the jist, buddy. AT least, we hope they do.

    -Sean
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  • Profile picture of the author Akky
    Caliban,

    Don't let anything distract when you're at work. No Skype, No Yahoo, No Email. Only the PDF file open in your screen.

    You can easily get products up in 4 - 5 hours in one stretch.

    Since you are a copywriter, you should really teach us something new hehe..

    My first product was just 8 pages long, I made sales from it. I was never down, I knew I can do a LOT better..Each time a sale comes, you feel excited.

    My second product was 13 pages long, I flipped the whole thing for a smart $2k, netting a cool $3000 including the sales of the ebook. The only place where I did not go wrong was that I never backed down from the field of IM.

    Some tips:-
    • Over Deliver
    • Write on something which you know
    • Crank out top quality products.
    • Fluff-free

    G'day,
    Akky
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    Just a random guy. Learning Ruby On Rails at the moment.

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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Akky View Post

      You can easily get products up in 4 - 5 hours in one stretch.
      Rule 2.

      It's not just about writing the product. It's also about the due diligence - finding the data and the processes that make it work. Like with PPC, it's easy to say "you can spend $5 and get 100 clicks at 5 cents each" - but how easy is it, really, to find someplace in your niche that has 5 cent clicks? And how do you do that? If it's hard to find 5 cent clicks, maybe you should have a different example.
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      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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      • Profile picture of the author JeffLam
        WHY do you allow people to disturb you while you're working!

        Focus!!

        Great post btw. Gotta say though that although the emphasis on various words are there....there is still a lot of overlapping.
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      • Profile picture of the author Akky
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        Rule 2.

        It's not just about writing the product. It's also about the due diligence - finding the data and the processes that make it work. Like with PPC, it's easy to say "you can spend $5 and get 100 clicks at 5 cents each" - but how easy is it, really, to find someplace in your niche that has 5 cent clicks? And how do you do that? If it's hard to find 5 cent clicks, maybe you should have a different example.
        Hey,

        True. But the product has to be top-notch, but I usually write ebooks in 4 - 5 hours and reports in 3 - 4 hours. Then, I'll start proof reading. Then another 1 hour goes for adding/removing content.

        When you have a top-notch killer product, people will propose automatically and people would be promoting your product by the word-of-their-mouth. It's simple, a WSO with a nice letter can get you a couple of sales. If you can bring something new to the table, then those couple SALES would be enough to get you some JV's, affiliates, etc.

        I think you get my point. The product quality matters..

        G'day,
        Akky
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        Just a random guy. Learning Ruby On Rails at the moment.

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    • Profile picture of the author Stefan Vee
      What a beautiful post.

      And you're soooooooooo right!

      I recently bought an excellent WSO because the person selling the WSO
      weaved some excellent and highly unique content in the answers he
      provided in other threads.

      Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author UBotBuddy
    Nice CDarklock

    I am in the middle of my first WSO building session but one other thing I would add is Over-Deliver that "Sell something you know."

    That's what I am doing. Luckily, I have three of the four you suggested. I will work on the fourth one.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Koltai
    Caliban, pretty much every time I read something you've posted, I get inspired to be a better writer.

    Funny thing about the post you just made... Odds are good that if you turned it into a 30-page report, you'd make a killing on the WSO!
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
      I know my wife...
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      Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill

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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

        I know my wife...
        Just make sure you don't offer a refund policy, or she'll likely kick you in the nads if they bring her back.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    The man has a way with words. This should be mandatory viewing before you're allowed to post your first WSO. Period.
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  • Profile picture of the author patselby
    Well, it is easier on your nerves if you write about and/or sell something you know about. It would help with refund requests as well because you could assist the buyer with your knowledge.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joel Gray
    CDarklock appreciate the rant, excellent advice for anyone wanting to run a WSO.

    Thanks for taking time out of you day to give some insight that should have had a price tag on it.

    Joel
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  • Profile picture of the author Fun to Write
    Yeah, but what do you REALLY know about running a WSO?

    Come on, we know you're holding something back on us - fess up.
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Fun to Write View Post

      Yeah, but what do you REALLY know about running a WSO?
      If you really want to know about running a WSO, Brian McElroy has a WSO out about it which is massive overdelivery. It's a bit under a quarter gig of video and case studies, and it just plain rocks... thread's here:

      http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...ial-offer.html

      Brian's got a lot more experience at this, and a lot more proof, so if you want to learn from someone who knows - and where else would you learn? - head over in that direction. I bought it this morning, about an hour after I posted this rant, and I've sent all the Skypers from yesterday over to it.

      And honestly, the price makes it a no-brainer.
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      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • Profile picture of the author TheWealthSquad
    Hmm whats your Skype. I have some questions about your rant. Would you have about 8 hours to go through with me step by step how to do what you described? I know you make it look simple, but is it really step by step?

    Maybe video would help. Or at least an audio transcription. Or even better could you just do it for me and I promise to give you 50% and put all my marketing weight behind it. I have a list of 10.00 people who are really excited about me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
      Follow on thread..

      "What do you want to know? Because I might know it for you"
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      Started in 2009 now working on the above project.

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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by TheWealthSquad View Post

      Maybe video would help.
      Watch my sig. We're hours away.
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      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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      • Profile picture of the author TheWealthSquad
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        Watch my sig. We're hours away.
        Ahh now the secret to your rant. Planting the seed for your upcoming WSO!! Brilliant!!
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by TheWealthSquad View Post

          Ahh now the secret to your rant.
          Nah, it's just that when I'm rolling hot and heavy on something new I get manic and rant about things. I've got big posts on like half a dozen forums today, not because they're going to bring me buyers - some of the forums are completely unrelated to (and uninterested in) my product - but because I'm furiously dumping information into the most useful place.

          The rant ended up here because this was the right place for that rant, and my new product really wasn't. Kind of like getting it out of the way, so the product can flow.

          The spice must flow!
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          "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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          • Profile picture of the author DogScout
            Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post


            The spice must flow!
            I love those books.
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            • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
              Originally Posted by DogScout View Post

              I love those books.
              I remember being a little weirded out as a kid when I saw a picture of Tom Wopat and John Schneider on the set of Dukes of Hazzard, and Tom was apparently a good two-thirds of the way through Dune. Somehow, just never pegged him as the type.
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              "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • If everyone took your advice, it would reduce the number of WSO's by 60%.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    Great post, Caliban. There are too many "theoretical" WSOs out there that indicate things "should" and "could" work, but very little field-tested theories that actually *work*

    If you're brand new to IM, perhaps the best thing to do when running a WSO is offer services, otherwise you'll just be inviting a lot of grief and heartache writing about something you haven't actually implemented with success yourself.

    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author DougBarger
    Ah, guess that just goes to show you don't have to have pioneered the industry
    fifty years ago to be of help and value to someone else with what you've managed to master or at least have success with what you do know and have done. Spot on.
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  • Profile picture of the author KristiDaniels
    It's a phase I think we all go through.

    Just roll with the punches.
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  • Profile picture of the author UBotBuddy
    Yeah I bit the bullet and bought the Brian McElroy info. I just wish it had sound to listen to it. I thought there would have been a PDF with the info for sound or video impaired users. Now I am frustrated.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexGoodall
    Nicely put, CDarklock - I very much like that analysis.

    My only point of disagreement would be "This stuff is not hard."

    Once you've developed the relevant skills, that's true - but developing those skills takes time and effort and perseverence... things which most people would classify as "hard"!

    Alex
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by AlexGoodall View Post

      My only point of disagreement would be "This stuff is not hard."
      That's rather part of the rant, and it isn't particularly clear.

      It's not hard to know what should go into a WSO.

      Putting it there, yeah, that's hard - no two ways about that. I'm sitting over here right now pulling my hair out trying to make sure I get the stuff that should be in a product... into the product. That part's definitely hard.

      But it's not hard to know that when you've only gotten one site to the top of the search rankings, and that site was only there for a couple days... hey, you can certainly tell people what you did, but be honest: do you deserve to be paid for it? Do you deserve to be recognised as an expert?

      You know the answer is "no." You know it every time someone pays you. Deep down, you know you just ripped these people off, and they ought to be requesting a refund.

      That's what's not hard. Knowing whether you have something you'd be happy to buy yourself.
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      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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