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How To Use Product Launch Principles When Selling From Your Blog

Today Yaro Starak from Entrepreneurs Journey and the Blog Mastermind Mentoring Program has written this post on Selling from your blog.

When I say the words “product launch” do you cringe and think of over-hyped Internet marketing product launches? Or maybe you have never been on the end of a barrage of emails sent out by countless affiliates during a big launch and to you a product launch is what it sounds like – creating and then selling a new product.

Whatever the case, more and more bloggers are realizing the potential of releasing a product from their blog as a way to make serious money. While a majority of bloggers continue to leverage advertising as the most significant source of revenue from their blog, there has definitely been a shift towards product creation as a sound blog monetization strategy.

Given successful blogging creates a fantastic platform for selling, it’s only natural as bloggers learn more about monetization that they consider releasing a product or series of products and use their blog as the launch pad.

Unfortunately many bloggers are not familiar with product launch principles – the marketing techniques you implement during a launch to increase sales – and as a result, experience less than stellar results.

Internet Marketing and Blogging

I’m a blogger immersed in the Internet marketing niche, which means I’m over exposed to the product launch process. I’ve been on the receiving end as a prospect for countless product launches, I’ve been an affiliate for big launches and conducted my own launches selling my own products.

Needless to say, I understand a lot about product launch and today I want to offer you two tips you can make use of on your blog when you release a product.

Why only two tips?

I was thinking of some of the classic techniques that all product launches use, things like scarcity, reciprocity, social proof, bonuses, limited offers, etc – All techniques that work and concepts I’ve discussed on my blog previously.

Generally speaking, some people look at these techniques as ways to manipulate others into making a purchase they don’t need or to hype things up unnecessarily. I don’t exactly agree with that, but this is article it not meant to be a debate about the legitimacy of marketing techniques, rather I want to present something practical you can apply when launching a product from your blog.

I know how much some problogger readers hate the long sales page format for selling, so I’m going to stay as far away from that style of Internet marketing as possible and suggest two techniques that every blogger should appreciate and inherently understand how to use.

Note that you can use these techniques to conduct a product launch from your blog to sell your own product or to sell other people’s products. I’ve used the following ideas to sell my own course Blog Mastermind and also when conducting affiliate promotions.

If you want to make more affiliate sales from your blog, use product launch techniques to augment the marketing process. It does take more work, but if you do this right, some extra effort today can result in a significant increase to your sales and also prolong how long you continue to make sales (even after the blog posts are no longer on your front page – yes, you can even make sales from your blog archives!).

Technique 1: Tell Stories

All good bloggers understand that story telling is a cornerstone of compelling blog content. I’ve based an entire blog on my ability to tell my “entrepreneur’s journey”.

Story telling is not something everyone can naturally grasp, but with practice it comes to most bloggers. You just need to learn how to talk about your life or other people’s lives in a way that teaches or entertains.

When applying story telling to a product launch process, the idea is to use the technique to create a frame around the product that cuts through the “noise” bombarding your readers. The noise is everything else in the realm of perception of a person you are trying to communicate with using your blog.

You could tell a story about the product, how you created it or discovered the need for it, or perhaps about your life and how you came to use another product, in the case of affiliate marketing.

Using a story you can market a product without overtly “pitching” it. It’s when a person feels they are being sold to, that they (ironically) usually choose not to buy, because of how over-sold to we are in today’s society. Our tolerance for selling is low, but we still love a good story especially when it teaches us something relevant and valuable to our own lives.

Most bloggers when selling a product will stick up one blog post, talk about how great the product features are, maybe reproduce some copy from the sales letter, and then wonder why no one buys.

A product launch is a process – so to is crafting a story through blog posts. You need to explain what is good about the product by talking about how you used it… using a story. Describe what situation a person is in when the product is needed… using a story…and so on.

Story telling goes hand-in-hand with the second tip I have for you – content marketing.

Technique 2: Market With Content

Again, this is a concept bloggers understand. We are all content producers and we make money off the back of our ability to produce content people love.

When conducting a product launch you create content that has a very specific purpose – to provide value to the people who are likely to purchase the product – the prospects from your target market.

Prospects identify themselves by engaging with your content, which may be indicated by subscribing to your RSS feed, joining your email list or leaving a comment. The important thing is that they read your content, preferably from start to finish, which isn’t something you can ever be certain of unfortunately. Analyzing your server statistics for time spent on your blog is one way you can assess engagement, but it’s not an exact science.

Content marketing for a product launch is not that different from what you should do every day at your blog, however when utilized for a launch you narrow the focus to align tightly with the product you are selling.

Internet marketing experts use free videos, reports, web services and scripts, all designed to provide significant value. This process is often called “moving the free line” and you do this because it helps to sell more product. When the free stuff you give away is so amazing, people who are engaged with your work are eager to get a hold of the product you sell.

As an added benefit, even if people don’t purchase your product, the great content you deliver as part of the launch increases your blog’s growth. There’s no downside with content marketing, if you do it right.

Putting It Together

Using just these two techniques you can enjoy tremendous success when launching a product from your blog.

All you need to do is release lots of great content that is relevant and valuable to the same audience that desires your product AND use stories to deliver this content.

Here’s a simple example. Let’s say you blog about digital television technology and you have put together a guide on how to buy a digital television and set up a home theater, which you plan to sell via your blog. The guide includes installation tips, how to set up the theater, the questions to ask when speaking to the shop attendant when buying the tv and other equipment, common pitfalls to avoid and so on.

As a lead up to the release of your product you publish a series of posts explaining how you came to fall in love with digital television technology, why you love it and the mistakes you made when buying your first digital television and setting up your home theater. All of these posts are stories from your life, they educate your readers, and where appropriate, you mention a guide you are about to release that provides further details if people want to learn more.

You then release a free report listing the top 10 televisions, breaking them down by a set of criteria you came up with, explaining that the full guide includes a list of over 50 televisions assessed using the same criteria.

All of this content is valuable to your blog readers regardless of whether they purchase the guide. The free blog posts and report attract the type of audience who would buy your guide and they enjoy samples that demonstrate how good you are at what you do, therefore how good your product is likely to be.

This process is much more likely to stimulate purchases, it’s A LOT more effective at converting than a single blog post that forces a hard sales pitch, and you get ample fresh content for your blog too.

What I especially love about this process is that it explains the benefits and features of a product using language that isn’t blatant selling or full of hype. The content you give away inherently demonstrates how much value you present (and thus your products), who stands to benefit from your advice and the stories you tell create a frame that cuts through the noise and grabs attention.

Your Launch

As bloggers you should naturally understand story telling and content marketing because there’s nothing new there that you don’t already do to create great content for your blog.

In the case of a product launch, you take these ideas and apply them to a specific purpose – to sell your product. At its simplest, a sequence of blog posts leading up to the release of your product can produce a great result and yet, so few bloggers put in even this much concentrated effort.

I hope after reading this article, before you release a product, you consider putting in a little extra effort to build buzz about your launch using great content and story telling. Implement a launch strategy rather than just stick your product up and “see what happens”. Strategic marketing always works better than simply “hoping” your product will be a success.

Good luck!

Yaro Starak
Entrepreneurs-Journey.com

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Shanel Yang says:

    Wow! This stuff is so great that I just had to subscribe to your RSS. I’m also considering joining your Blog Mastermind Mentoring Program. Thanks, Yaro!

  2. Yaro, I would have to say you are one of my favourite bloggers. Your content is spot on every time – so indepth!

  3. Really great post, Yaro! I plan to look through your site for some other ideas around a product launch as I’m working on one just now. This couldn’t have been more timely, especially as most of my efforts thus far have been around buzz on other sites rather than my own.

    I guess I need to think hard about what people see when they come back to my blog to potentially learn more and “convert.” Much appreciated, Yaro–though your content is always this good : )

  4. Bruce says:

    Fantabulous, Yaro, and right on time!

    I’m getting ready to introduce a product on my blog…my new book.

    Thanks again!

  5. Lenin Nair says:

    Yaro,

    I have a free ebook you marketed a few days ago. And I must say I was not really expecting much from that. As any other guy would give tips, I expected some general tips from it and nothing more. But that was I must say, better than my expectations. I keep that as a good reference and read it fully. Good one.

    Now, about this post, I am happy that you Aussies are coming together posting in each other’s blogs. I am a big fan of Darren anyway. I must say as you said, I hate teh long pitch pages for each product on sale, however, for a blogger its a good way to monetize his blog with such products, most give wonderful sales commissions. Traffic building is however most important aspect. Thanks for the post, Yaro.

    Lenin

  6. Marjorie says:

    Fantastic post! I currently don’t have anything in the pipeline as far as products to sell on my blog, but I know that I likely will in the future. This post will come in very handy when it comes time to do the launch.

    Cheers,
    Marjorie

  7. I’ve been reading Yaro’s blog for some time now, and I always find very interesting articles and blog tips on his blog. Between Yaro’s blog and the Problogger we bloggers definitely have a very good source of information, tips and suggestions for blogging.

  8. Amir Helzer says:

    Yaro,

    Can you give an example of this at work?

    I’m sorry, but it sounds a bit like black-hat marketing MLM marketing. You want to sell something by claiming you’re just ‘another happy customer’ telling about it. Then, you’re going to include an affiliate code in to the product page.

    The (very successful) affiliate website I know, don’t hide the fact that they’re affiliated with a product. They’re very sincere about it. Instead, they’re worked out deals with the product owners to give some extra value to the clients – usually in the form of a deep discount for a short time.

    Have a look at bitsdejour.com (not my site and not my pal). It’s not a blog, but they do have daily posts about new products – which they sell at pretty high volumes. The added value they bring in are honest reviewes, customer testimonials and huge discounts.

    People don’t think they’re just telling about products because they love them. They go there because they know they’re going to find great deals, on a regular basis with honest unbiased product reviews.

    Just my two cents.

    Amir

  9. Raag Vamdatt says:

    Just onw word – Awesome!

  10. Edward Lomax says:

    Great stuff. I think a lot of bloggers monetize their blogs with advertising because they don’t view a blog as an appropriate place to sell. I disagree.

    Recommending affiliate products and selling your own products are probably the best ways to make money with blogging. As your post shows, using content and stories isn’t hard selling. It provides a background and safe place for the reader to become familiar with the product, and then decide for themselves without pressure if the product is right for them or not.

    Just remember to keep your recommendations and products high quality. Excellent post and great concepts to put into practice.

  11. D.F. Rucci says:

    Very interesting article. I am actually considering writing an ebook on lyrics, tips on how to write them, and reviewing some experts work. I will use these tools to help me promote this free ebook, thanks!

  12. Liz says:

    Storytelling is always a great technique. It’s easier to write – for me, anyway – than something that is jam-packed with facts and jargon. In my experience, it tends to interest readers more.

  13. Yaro says:

    Thanks to everyone for their comments so far.

    @Amir – The point this article is making is about using conversational marketing to cut through the commercial noise when attempting to sell something.

  14. “I know how much some problogger readers hate the long sales page format for selling,” When I read this I cheered. What evidence have you seen that suggests that readers hate this method?

    I don’t like it because I find it insulting. I understand myself enough to know what I may like to purchase and these long letters just keep hitting at the pain over and over again like the readers are emotional cripples.

    I hope you or Darren can share proof that the long sales letter is dying!

  15. Amir Helzer says:

    Hi again Yaro,

    Thanks for responding to me.

    I’m sorry about the aggressive tone of my comment. Your point is well taken. I agree 100% that advertisement based income is very problematic and that creating quality content geared to sell products is a much better idea.

    What I tried to say was that in order to be successful as an affiliate, one needs to be very transparent about being an affiliate and to have an edge. I’ve been working with affiliates for a long time (selling my software). The ones who are very successful do that. There are different advantages that they can bring to customers, depending on the situation.

    I think that if bloggers want to be affiliates, they should first consider what unique benefits they can bring, giving their visitors a good reason to buy RIGHT NOW and FROM THEM.

    Conversational marketing is a great way to reach your visitors (potential customers) on a personal level and build trust – creating the opportunity for a sale. Once you’re there, the final step should provide the drive to buy – that’s what I commented about.

    Amir

  16. Amir Helzer says:

    Tom: Long sales letters aren’t dying. It’s a question of relevance. I’ve seen my wife reading a very long sales copy for a health product the other day.

    At the end, she asked me – “so where’s that secret they promised?”. I had to explain her that she’s reading an ad and there’s not going to be any secret here. They’re expecting her to buy something.

    Different things work, under different circumstances, for different people.

    Amir

  17. Ben Moreno says:

    Very thorough and useful article. This is definately a del.icio.us link. When I do decide to sell my own product someday I will reference this article. Thanks.

  18. Ryan Mac says:

    Wow these are great ideas
    I have released products on my financial blog and had very little response.
    Next time a launch a product (which I will be launching a book in the next year) I will definately use this technique

  19. Shannon says:

    Hey Yaro,

    Very interesting post. I do however agree with the story telling tip. It is the corner stone of all successful selling in my opinion.

    It truly is an art to tell a great story that sells, but once you master that art… life is good.

    Shannon
    http://Focused2Win.com

  20. Todd Andrews says:

    Great timing for this post for me. I’ll be launching something in a week or so, so I’ll keep this info in mind.

  21. Yaro says:

    Thanks again everyone for the comments.

    Amir – Thanks for the clarification and I agree with you, at least in principle.

    I think some people can promote affiliate products without ever disclosing the fact that they are paid commissions and still do VERY well – most Internet marketers I know are like this and make a lot more than I do.

    I agree with the sentiment though – transparency is important and can be a selling advantage too because trust is a key factor in conversion, especially in jaded markets.

  22. Dana Wilson says:

    Great Post, Yaro!

    This sounds like an excellent strategy to use in my market; I’m excited about trying it out!

  23. Your post came on right time. I ‘ll try to practically incorporate all these tips.

  24. this is an excellent post , I’m grateful to you, thanks.