For example, let's say you are selling an ebook (or, Lord help us, an entire course) on Project Management. Who are you to sell such a course? Are you:
a) an experienced, PMI-certified project manager with first-hand experience in managing projects and/or coordinating programmes with multi-million dollar budgets;
b) a voracious synthesizer who has spent the last three months reading and digesting project management literature and information and presenting them as an online course;
c) a talented entrepreneural who outsourced the writing and the information collection to focus on the marketing strategy.
If you are B or C, please do yourself, your customers, and the Internet in general an enormous favour and take your website offline - because you have absolutely no clue what you are doing.
There are no overnight experts. Reading a book - or five - on project management does not make you an expert on project management (and the same, by the way, goes for just about every single thing under the sun - from losing weight and quitting smoking to making money online and developing a social marketing strategy).
More often than not, the reason your product isn't selling is because it sucks. And the reason it sucks is because either you or your ghostwriter produced meaningless, rehashed drivel that, at best, pulls together information freely available online without any rhythm or reasons. You create absolutely no value, offer absolutely no insight, and bring absolutely no first-hand experience to the content you are copying (I say copying, because producing is too strong a word that implies originality in some form).
The bottom line - if your product isn't selling, ask yourself: who am I, and am I qualified to write on this topic?
And for 99% of marketers peddling anything from weight loss to online income schemes - the answer is a resounding "no".
July 11, 2011
Thanks to Joseph Then (see exchanges below), this thread articulated a major issue in IM - the fusion of content creation and content marketing in IM. Dividing these functions would result in content being produced by subject matter experts (SMEs), which, in turn, would increase its legitimacy and credibility while allowing marketers to concentrate on marketing the generated content.