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What They Don’t Tell You About Successful Product Launches

Posted By Darren Rowse 12th of August 2010 Blogging for Dollars, Video Posts 63

Many times we see successful product launches being talked about and are so dazzled by the huge sales numbers and income generated but fail to see all the hard groundwork that has been done behind the scenes for months and years before the launch.

Sometimes this is because those talking about their product launches don’t want those considering buying their ‘how to make money’ products to know its actually hard work and sometimes they do tell us but…. well we only hear what we want to and the dream of fast money makes us deaf to the reality.

The reality is that behind every successful online launch there is a lot of groundwork. It might not be as sexy as the actual launch process and it’s result – but it’s just as important. This video encourages bloggers to keep the glamorous big picture launches in mind but to also do the unglamorous daily things that take you closer to the big pay day!


What They Don’t Tell You About Successful Product Launches Transcript

I’ve had this video transcribed below for those who prefer to get it that way. The transcription provided by The Transcription People.

Have you ever seen a product launch that has done particularly well? We see it a lot in the Internet marketing circles, people selling their own information or products on how to launch a product by talking about how much they made. You know, hundreds of thousands of dollars in a launch or millions of dollars in a launch. These techniques to show what you’ve made are fairly typical in this Internet marketing space. But one of the things that I’ve noticed is that a lot of times when these big launches are being talked about, they’re not talked about in terms of the journey that has gone before the particular launch.

I recently had a big launch on digital photography school, we launched a travel photography book, I’ve talked it about a couple of times on ProBlogger.

The book did really well. We sold 5,000 or so copies in the first week and a half over the launch period and since then have sold another five or six hundred, so it’s, it’s probably around the six figure launch mark, which for me that’s a fairly significant amount of money. As a launch event it was really quite profound, it was quite powerful and it was quite fun to be involved with. But that launch was built on the back of four and a half years of other stuff. It only succeeded and got to that six figure level because I put in four and a half years of work on that particular blog, and even before that four and a half years I’d been blogging about photography on another photography blog for two years, so six and a half years to get a six figure launch. I guess if you were to do the figures on that it probably doesn’t add up to six figures in a month, it kind of adds up to maybe five figures a month if I’m lucky (I never was good at maths).

So what are the foundational things that you need to be working on as a blogger?

You know sometimes we hear about these six and seven figure launches and think there’s no way we could ever do that, but the reality is that you can but, but you need to look it at as a journey, and there’s a whole heap of things that you can do every day to take you a little bit closer to some of these bigger launches that you might want to do one day.

Build a Content Base

Every day over the last eight years on my blogs I have put up content and I’ve tried to make that content the most useful content that I can. So that for me is probably one of the most basic things that you can do every day on your blog to take you closer to that big launch that you might have, useful content, keep adding it to your blog whether it be video, whether it be a pod cast, whether it be a post, whether it be just tweets and, and adding content into the web in different ways.

Build Relationships

Another foundation for me has always been about relationships. Every day you have the opportunity to take yourself closer to that big launch by getting to know someone else on the web, whether that be a potential reader, whether that be another blogger, whether that be just someone who’s interested in the same kind of stuff as you on Twitter, you never know where those relationships will take you. You never know whether that one reader may lead you to thousands of other readers, you never know whether that person may be someone that you can collaborate with later on a particular project. It’s about building relationships. So not only should you be adding content to your blog every day, I’d be searching out for at least one other person that you can connect with, someone that you don’t perhaps know yet that you can begin to get to know. Not with any agenda just to get to know them because who knows where that might end up.

Build Your Skill Set

Another thing that take you closer to these big launches is building your skill set. Adding to your repertoire of things that you can do, your abilities to, to patent design your blog perhaps master a different type of social media so getting, getting to the point where you understand and can use Twitter better. Maybe it’s around video, whatever it might be. There’s so many different things that you can learn, and yeah it’s great to outsource some of these things but it’s also good to learn and know them. If you can add to your own knowledge base you will be taking yourself closer to that big launch one day. You can add to your brand, just little things like, you know, tweaking your design, changing the brand that you have, thinking through what it is that you stand for as a, as a person and as a brand, all of these things can take you a little bit closer to that, that big, that big launch.

Build Your Email List

Another Foundation for me has been about building my email list. Building the number of people who are subscribing to my blog and finding new ways to do that. This is something that you kind of have to set up and let it run to some, some degree, but it’s a day by day thing. Every day as you add people to your list whether they be email subscribers or Twitter followers or RSS subscribers, as you grow that network your influence grows and the potential to have a bigger launch and to have a bigger impact upon more people grows also.

I guess the point of this video is not to come up with a conclusive list of things that you can do that will take you closer to your, your goals one day, but it’s to get you to think about what you can do today, what you can do tomorrow and to think about some of those little things that will take you closer to your ultimate goals. Set yourself some tasks this week. Just little things that you can do, posts that you can write, people that you can interact with, just features that you can add to your blog, new skills that you can learn. All of these things will take you closer to that ultimate goal. It’s great to have the idea of a big product launch in the back of your mind, but at the front of your mind needs to be these sorts of daily activities that will take you closer to that.

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.
  1. Nice to have someone point out and SAY IT.. what I have known for a long time.

    Product launches that go nuts takes the help of man many top marketers with BIG

  2. Love it. Solid work as always Darren.

    Have you been having any trouble using Youtube’s uploader lately? It has been failing every time I’ve tried.

    Thanks Darren.

    The Tyrant

  3. Hey Darren,

    Really Great post. You’v made some awesome points.
    I think list building is something that no blogger should miss.

    Thanks for sharing this great Post.


  4. Darren

    Boy I have launched an number of products over the years, and people just don’t know how we must pay attentions to details from links and all the way to that payment page.

    Now yes some products launches maybe spiked up by false numbers, but when it come to us season marketers..we don’t have to give false info to make our programs stand out.

    So if you’re looking to launch and product, just make sure you work on it to the fullest..and not rush just to get it.

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

  5. Darren, your point about the preparation, both direct and indirect, that goes into launching a product is well-made. It’s too easy to forget that a successful launch like your last few ebooks have only been possible because of the reputation you’ve built up over the years. Reading the comments on the various blog postings covering these launches, it seems clear that a sizeable proportion of people buying the books have done so basically because you assured them the content was worthwhile; that’s an enviable position to be in!

    I do sometimes feel, though, that as Karen said in a recent post on Problogger, blog-owners are a little unprofessional in their business dealings, and this is something we all have to grapple with if we want to be effective in our commercial projects. Even some of the most successful bloggers are not immune!


  6. Nice post! I always like to say “measure twice, cut once.” In other words, sometimes you might not get that second opportunity so take your start up seriously, and don’t not neglect any part of it. Once misstep can make or break you.

  7. You’re absolutely right about several years of work leading up to a successful launch.

    But there’s also the part in the IMMEDIATE lead up that people often forget about as well. When we had a launch that made five figures in the first 24 hours, some people were offended by us making so much money in such a short space of time. I had to point out that it took several months of hard work to create the product, design it, write the sales pages and then promote it. So the income is effectively spread over several months.

    And that’s gross! By the time you take off costs (especially affiliate commissions) the final figure is much lower.

    It can be lucrative, but it sure isn’t easy money!

  8. Hi Darren,

    This was really informative. I guess these mean ‘actions’. All these mean actions which are behind the ultimate product launch and ‘success’.

    It is great to be reminded of the practical points which we can implement to achieve the ‘bigger picture’.

    Thanks a lot for sharing and I will make sure to follow your advices.


  9. Hi,
    Since I have bought your books, I started promoting my blogs. I also added this “subscribe” button.

    Can I see who and how many people have subscribed?
    Buh, these technical things are not so easy…..

    Thanks and happy blogging.

  10. Hey Darren,

    Everything that you mentioned is so Important. I’m glad that you have this video transcribed. Thanks for doing that!

    Chat with you later…

  11. Yes that is so true that many times we say that every one on net is selling to make money , but its actually a lot of ground work for that.
    Email list, good content and lastly good personal relation ship as you have noted are so important , being a year old blogger I am getting to that point now .. hope so it would show some fruits soon.

  12. Great advice Darren. Nice to see someone pointing out all of the day to day hard work that has to go into creating the cornerstone of all of this – great content.

  13. Hi Darren,
    You are so right that reaching goals is all about the daily steps you take. People like you and John Reese have been doing big numbers because of all the foundation work done in the past.

    I wrote an article about a goal setting technique I learned that can be very helpful to readers. I use the ideas all the time. The link is as follows if you want to share it.

    Continued Success,

  14. Excellent post! You have been very encouraging to me and I wanted to let you know. You have challenged me to push myself in ways I would not have thought of. I appreciate your insight and experience. Thanks! Lisa~

  15. Building relationships is definitely what I would be focusing on. Withouth the traffic and demand for a product, then there likely won’t be much interest in a product. Great post!

  16. Yes. Hard work is the background for many a success. I think it is a shame the gurus don’t tell you this upfront.

  17. Darren,

    I think you also show us another point as well… the case for using a particular niche to branch out and really sell some products.

    Too many people out there only stay in the blogging arena, or the “how to make money instantly” niche and don’t branch out into places where people are spending money with a lot less roadblocks to go through.

    Many people right now are stuck in a vicious circle with their content, because their audience is a group of people that are doing the same thing they are and never plan on buying.

    Part of that successful launch is making sure that you have found a niche where there are not so many people fishing for the same customers, or to me a first-mover, such as yourself.

    As always, thank you for the powerful content.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  18. It takes time to build anything worthwhile up to the point of great things.

    I think that blogging is great for building up a strong community of people but the blog is never what makes the money.

    You have to deliver something amazing to create income and most people are looking for a quick way out and bad mouth blogging or the efforts that go into blogging because they realize it’s just not going to happen the way they thought.

    Daily goals definitely will take you where you want to be if you keep at it.

  19. Darren – wonderful video, and loads of wisdom in there. So – thanks!

    Success (not just big product launches) is a journey. It isn’t a destination we can get to overnight on a red-eye flight.

    Only the red-eyes are real – and as you said – it takes time. The Law of The Farm rules. The groundwork still needs to be done.

    And only then can big product launches happen.

  20. thanks darren

    however building relationship is harder than just building an email list

  21. Really appreciate the honesty Darren. Particularly, as I slowly inch my way to an inevitable product launch. Your post encourages and inspires me. I read the books, take the courses, and hear the claims of these massive launches. But I go to do the work and it begins to feel almost bottomless and not possible. I can deal with looking past the hype to the work if someone will just honestly layout the work. You did that in your post. Again thank you.

  22. Building a huge content base is the most vital thing which plays an important role in the long run.

  23. Hi Darren,

    Really Great post. I think list building is something that no blogger should miss.

    Thanks for sharing this great Post.

  24. one of the things i personally learned about successful product launches is, before launching the product in the first place, make sure that it is really working well. one of the mistakes i encountered before is that the group was too much in a hurry to launch the product because of the competitor. they launched the product half baked. all the prestige of the launch went down the drain after a few months when the customers started ranting how terrible the product is. all because the group wanted to launch the product first before the competitor does.

  25. thank you so much for this. your advice seems simple and it is not necessarily new, but it was just what i need to hear today. i would like to be able to launch a few workbooks to help mums who would like to start their own little business, and sometimes it feels like growth is happening so slowly on my blog. but i am working on all of those things you listed, and after reading that transcript i feel better now that one person has told me just to keep on keeping on. thanks =)

  26. I’m doing another product launch today (a 96 page fiction eBook and accompanying audio book of one of the stories from the eBook). The others haven’t gone very well. When I give away the products, they get very good reviews, but actually getting people in the door to buy is another thing entirely.

    This time around, I’m working to build a group of affiliates to help out. I’m offering 15% of referred sales, as well as giving the actual customer 25% of the list price of items. I’m also making store gift certificates available for a few sites to give away.

    I won’t make as money money on each individual sale, but I’m hoping the extra marketing buzz drives volume to a higher level.

    Unfortunately, finding the time to do a proper launch can be really tricky, with the normal priorities in life (work, family, sleep) pulling away bits of time in each day.

  27. I don’t think anything spectacular or glamorous is ever the product of spontaneous combustion. Anything worthwhile takes a great deal of work, usually behind the scenes.

    It’s like big blockbuster movie that wows everybody. We never really thing about the hundreds of people behind the scenes who do all the less than glamorous work.

    As bloggers we are both the behind the scenes people and our blogs are the stars. All the glamorous things will never happen if we aren’t willing to work, build and learn on our blogging journey.

  28. Well, this is logical…Will Smith put it this way:”You don’t try to build a perfect wall, you try to lay the bricks of the wall as perfectly as you can”. It’s a long journey.

    Thanks Darren

  29. Successful product launch depends on your network (or also known as your list) because you have build relationship with them by giving valuable information before trying to promote any product.

    However, pre-launch content must be prepared for you to stack your list until the launch offers.

    This is based on my research on several marketers who always have a huge success with product launch.

    Darren, I really love this post. Somehow it makes you like a professional internet marketer, not a professional blogger.

    Just kidding. :)

  30. Hi Darren,

    I am moving toward my first launch and doing my final video interview a little later today. It is a little scary, but nice to know that there sites like yours running around answering questions that I didn’t even know I had.


  31. It’s always great when the subject of internet business and online marketing is treated like it should be… like a business that is never as easy, as some might have you believe.

    I can tell you that as a new follower of the blog, one of the main reasons I tend to come back again and again is that quality, first and foremost.

    Indeed, any product launch is a vital process for a business, and specially critical for an internet business with a growing following. However, and as you so brilliantly put it, it’s not something that can be put together without a plan or without the proper process well in place.

  32. If one is using clickbank as a launch platform for a product, there are actually work around that cut those years and years down to only a few months, and this is a fact.

    The trick with successful clickbank product launches is not big lists, its not yeares of marketing, its not PPC, its all about getting your product to the top of the categories in clickbank, and become one of the “featured” products so to speak.

    I am really just pointing out, not all product launches that are a huge success start with blogs or list ;) But, there is always work involved.

  33. Wow, I wish I had seen this 4-5 years ago when I first started my journey on the Internet.

    Every “newbie” should see this- everyone thinks they are going to have a 6-figure income in one year.

  34. Darren,

    You should be reading MY blog! Not only do I agree with your assessment, I ALSO feel that many of the product launchers LIE. I have personally SEEN some of the shenanigans. Many people are NOT who they appear to be.

  35. Thanks for the tips! Especially the one about building relationships… My goal is to network with one new person every other day. I plan to launch my first product by November 1, so by then I will have 45 new good contacts.

    Thanks Darren!

  36. I am glad to hear you make this point clear on your video. I have ran several small businesses offline and now working my ways through online business. It is hard and I realize that any big launch can only happen with years of hard work. the big product launch hype just make a lot of people feel inadequate without realizing that it takes years of dedicated hards work to get there.

  37. Believe it or not but launching any product is also very tricky business.

    You do not want to miss any opportunity and also want to get the maximum from it.

    Nice read Darren.

  38. Great post! I am finding that most product launches fail. I ordered the CB predators product and it was horrible. Maybe their second launch will be better. The product is awful.

  39. Love it Darren!

    This is really good stuff. It’s very timely for me as well as I’ve just set out my manifesto for the money I want to make online in the next year. Now I’m putting together the strategy to get there and realising that it’s made up of hundreds, even thousands of baby steps.

    Have you read the book The Slight Edge? If not, I suggest you do as I think it’ll be right up your street, having heard you mention elements of it when talking about these mega launches.

    Thanks for sharing.


  40. Timely! I’ve stopped posting daily on my main blog for a while, as I’m ramping up into another project. I’m finding that unless I *am* posting daily, I get out of the habit, and that’s really bad.

    I’ve read elsewhere that daily posting wears out readers. I think that depends on what’s posted.

    Thanks for the encouraging comments about outsourcing. People seem to treat it as a magic bullet, and it isn’t.

  41. Thanks for the honesty!! And then the tips on how to really make it happen.

    Marketers entice unsuspecting newbies into believing how easy it is…just buy my 5-step process and you too will be sitting at the beach ranking in 5-figure months all at the touch of a button.


  42. Hi Darren, this was very motivating. Can you give us a good kick up the bum like this every week?! And thanks for telling it like it is too. I get a bit sick of the I made $3000 in 30 mins type of stuff so it’s brilliant that you acknowledge the many years of hard graft behind your success. Gracias.

  43. Now yes some products launches maybe spiked up by false numbers, but when it come to us season marketers..we don’t have to give false info to make our programs stand out.

    So if you’re looking to launch and product, just make sure you work on it to the fullest..and not rush just to get it.

  44. Darren,

    For each successful launches I am sure there is lot of hard work has been worked off and having connections and authority sure helps. I bet without readers and authority, none of us can get these sales number! Great work.

  45. Sometimes it can be very hard to build your list – even with a free giveaway that has actual value like mine. People don’t always like free. They’re too skeptical. What are some of your new ways of building your list?

  46. Build Relationships is te mst important thing that has to be focused on however it is good article

  47. Thanks for the tips! Especially the one about building relationships… My goal is to network with one new person every other day. I plan to launch my first product by November 1, so by then I will have 45 new good contacts.

    Thanks Darren!

  48. Great video. Thanks. Very useful information. I Posted in facebook. I think it is very important that people understand that the successful of a blog is a process, it does not happens without putting some work into it. People always talks about internet like if it was a magic money place, but like traditional business they need constant work. It is just a different route; it is about building trust.

  49. A wonderful post and I love the way you write man!! You are my inspiration and I will point only your blog that truly helped me reach a descent number of readers over the past few months. But I still have one small doubt, what if my blog content is like saturated. I mean I don’t find content that interesting which I had initially. It is like people are fascinated when some new stuff is launched. Over a period of time, they are off. So, what do I do about that?

    (Everything About Blogging)

  50. Darren, this is a refreshing post. I’ve seen so many people want success quickly. Like you said, it takes work and time to build influence on the web. Your tips, especially about building content, relationships and skills, are right on.

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