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How to Launch a Product on Your Blog (and Sell Out in 12 Hours!)

This guest post is by Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing.

Congratulations, you’ve made it.

You’ve worked hard and paid your dues, and finally you have a blog with healthy traffic and a large list of engaged subscribers.

You know what they need, and you’ve invested the time and energy to create a product that will meet and exceed their expectations.

Now all that’s left for you to do is launch the product, and rake in the cash. I mean, at this point, what could go wrong?

Well, the truth is that a lot could go wrong.

Even with a great product and an engaged audience, success isn’t guaranteed. You still have to launch the thing properly.

Here’s how to do it…

It’s all about commitment and reward

There are two keys to effectively launching a product (or selling anything, for that matter): commitment and reward. These two keys feed off of each other in an escalating dance. Commitment leads to reward, and reward leads to more commitment.

Now, you’ve probably already got the cycle going if you’re thinking about launching a product; you’ve got readers who are committed to your blog, and you reward them with content. They commit by subscribing to your list, and you reward them with emails full of great materials that they enjoy.

Simple enough, right? You’ve got a commitment action, and you’ve got the reward – now all you have to do is lather, rinse and repeat. When they commit, you reward them by exceeding expectations. And once you’ve rewarded them, you create another reason and opportunity for them to commit.

In business, this is how someone goes from reading a blog, to subscribing to a list, to taking a free session, to buying the $20 product, to buying the $200 product, to buying the $2,000 product, to registering for the exclusive one-on-one coaching in Maui.

In relationships, this is how a couple goes from casually dating, to serious dating, to taking trips together, to getting engaged, to getting married, to having kids and raising a family.

Now theory’s great, but examples are what makes it real, so let’s look at a real live case study of how I did exactly this with the launch of my Write Like Freddy blog writing training program.

The back-story (how I built Firepole Marketing)

So first, a bit of backstory, in case you aren’t familiar with Firepole Marketing.

We started the blog about a year and a half ago, and a big part of our strategy was guest posting. So I wrote a lot of guest posts; over 80 of them in 2011, and mostly on very well-recognized blogs that you’re probably familiar with (like the one you’re reading right now!).

I didn’t just do a lot of writing, though—I did my best to time my posts so that they would go up all at once, to make it more likely that people would notice me. It worked, and my friend Eugene made a comment likening me to Freddy Krueger. He said “Danny, you’re like the Freddy Krueger of Blogging—wherever I turn, you’re there!”

Well, the nickname stuck, and I started receiving a lot of emails from people who wanted to know how I wrote so much, and would I teach them?

I resisted for a long time, because I’m not actually in the blogging business—I’m in the marketing education business. But people kept asking, so I finally relented, and put together a training program that teaches my method for writing. I finished it back in January, but I didn’t want to release an untested product to the public, so I did a small internal launch, only to the people on my mailing list.

In other words, if you hadn’t already either subscribed to my free video course or downloaded my book, there was no way for you to hear about it.

This is very important for the case study, because in this launch there was no outside promotion, affiliates, or anything like that. Everybody was already on my list, so the entire launch was about this cycle of commitment and reward.

Don’t just say “Buy my product”

Now, the simplest way to go through a cycle of commitment and reward would be to say, “Hey, I’ve got this new blog writing training program, click here to buy it.”

That would be the commitment opportunity, and then the reward would be the great training that they would receive once they sign up. But that’s really just the bare minimum, and I wanted to do better.

So instead of just the one cycle, the Write Like Freddy launch involved several cycles of commitment and reward:

Involve your audience

The first cycle involved a survey.

Instead of announcing that this new training was available, I put out a survey asking people if they wanted it, and if they did, what they wanted it to include. This was great for me, because it helped me understand what to include and what to leave out in order to make the training as good as it could be. At the same time, filling out a survey is a much easier commitment to make than buying a program, so a lot more people took that action.

I took all the feedback that I received, and announced that I was going to build the program, pretty much to their specifications. That’s the reward—everyone who filled out the survey saw that making a commitment made a difference.

The second cycle involved updates.

Rather than just disappear, and then come back when the program was ready, I shared my progress and my excitement with my subscribers, in several emails. Every one of those emails was an opportunity for readers to reply and engage, and many of you did exactly that.

I value all of the conversations that ensued, and I did my best to show my readers that that emailing me is a worthwhile thing to do!

More commitment, more reward

The third cycle involved the actual option to purchase. The program was made available, and people signed up for it. They were rewarded by getting into the program, and by the promise of what was to come—a promise that I have since delivered on, as good marketers always have to.

The fourth cycle wasn’t actually planned, but it happened anyway.

Since this was a new program that I was releasing, and I wanted to get feedback before releasing it to the public, I had originally intended to cap registration at 50 students. What ended up happening, though—at least partially because of all these cycles of commitment and reward—was that half of the spots had been taken before I even put up a sales page on the Friday, and all of the spots were gone by early in the weekend. A bunch of people complained, and rightly so—they were away from their emails, and hadn’t even had a chance to read the sales page before the program had filled up.

It was my mistake for doing a bad job of anticipating demand, so on Monday I announced that I would let more people in until midnight that day. It wasn’t intended, but that was another cycle of commitment and reward; people emailed me, which is a commitment act, and the program was reopened, which is what they wanted—a reward.

Celebrate and strategize

If you implement these cycles of commitment and reward in your own launch, then two things are likely to happen:

  1. Your launch will go very well; people will be engaged, interested, and buy lots of whatever you’re selling.
  2. Some things will be fumbled, bungled, and for a bunch of reasons just won’t work out as well as you had hoped.

The first thing to do after your launch is over is celebrate the success. You’ve worked hard, and you deserve it!

The next day, you should go back to the drawing board, and make a list of everything that you’ve learned from the experience, and everything that you can do better next time.

What’s your experience with launches? Have you tried one? Thought about trying one? How did it go? Leave a comment and let us know…

Danny Iny (@DannyIny) skyrocketed his industry-leading marketing blog to success by writing 80+ guest posts on major blogs in less than a year (earning him the nickname “The Freddy Krueger of Blogging”). Now he teaches others how to do the same in his Write Like Freddy blog writing training program.

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Comments

  1. Love it. Awesome format of validating the idea and creating a buzz to launch it well.

    Some time back, Ash Maurya of Running Lean fame did something similar. But he switched places for the second cycle and the third cycle. He actually pre-sold the book he wrote. And then delivered one chapter at a time to his buyers. Then collected their feedback after each chapter and made the chapters better. Which meant his book was a lot better than he could have written on his own.

    And when people pay you money to deliver a chapter every 2 weeks, motivation to finish writing comes on its own.

  2. The best tip here is to build the anticipation. Let your audience know in advance what you are doing. Don’t just spring it on them.

  3. Can’t agree more – you need to be committed towards your topic, your blog and your readers. When you are committed, it just shows!

    And then, the readers increase, and stay committed. And then your profits increase!

    It can’t get any simpler than this, yet so many people look for “short cuts”!!

  4. Janmejaya says:

    Thanks author for posting nice topics.
    I have also some products now interested to selling my blog using your tips.

  5. useful tip, but still now i’m selling products of third party products from amazon, I’m thinking to sell my own product in future, but thanks for the tip.

  6. Nick Thacker says:

    Good stuff, Danny.

    Again, I LOVE the fact that you’re so open about how you grew the site in so little time.

    “Umm, I wrote a lot.”

    Obviously, there’s more to it than that (I’ll have to show you my super-intense detailed spreadsheet for guest posting sometime), but essentially, it’s right on.

    If you don’t write A LOT, it’s REALLY hard to get people to notice you. And if people don’t notice you, it’s REALLY hard to get them to BUY from you!

    Thanks for the great post (again). Seems like our paths have crossed quite a few times this week already–I hope that continues, my friend!

    Nick

  7. BangBD says:

    Excellent post!!! Can I apply Amazon Associates Program for my blog site BangBD…..???

  8. Chris Ellis says:

    Solid post Danny! I really like the Commitment and Reward analogy. I have thought about this process a lot but I have never articulated it as well as that. It really is all a matter of gaining trust with your readers and subscribers. The more trust they put in you the more you deliver to them. If you overdeliver to them trust is gained even faster and they are much more likely to commit more of their money to you!

    Another excellent thing that you have outlined in your post was how to warm up your list and potential buyers. You could easily have sent out an email saying buy my product and Im sure you would have had some success, but not as much as you could. You would have left money on the table. Instead you told them you had a product coming out and you got their opinions on it. Then you continued to tell them about how great it was becoming and continually involved them in the product.

    You effectively whipped them into a buying inferno by getting them excited in small steps. This is certainly one of the best ways to use an email list and also to release a product. You essentially let the money come to you!

  9. Mona Andrei says:

    Thanks for sharing. It always amazes me how online marketing mirrors real relationship building. All those “little yeses” (reading, subscribing, answering survey, etc.) are an important part of the process because they help to develop TRUST. Online . . . offline. We’re still dealing with people!

  10. Kalen Smith says:

    Great post Danny! I just launched my own product and can say how important it is to do your marketing reserach ahead of time. I found there was demand for my product, but thought that would be consistent everywhere. The folks on the Warrior Forum weren’t as interested as many of the other marketers I contacted. It’s not just about identifying the demand, but also who is demanding it and how to reach them.

    ~Kalen

  11. Wade says:

    This is amazing! I am still having trouble getting people to come to my blog! Much less having someone buy me out in 12 hrs! Great job, and good post!

  12. Really helpful … I’m about to launch a new eBook and it came about as a result of feedback from my subscribers. I had such a tremendous response to the free 12-Step Guide I offered that I created a far more indepth/eBook version and already have a waiting list. I know next time I have to start laying the foundation for launch much further out and start working on creating an affiliate program, but at least I feel like I’m (finally!) on the right track. Thanks for the insight!

  13. Simon says:

    “Commitment leads to reward, and reward leads to more commitment.”<—I think this, simple, way of looking at marketing is exactly what sets apart those who succeed frpom those who fail; having your focus in 1000 places, at the same time, can only lead to failure.
    "I took all the feedback that I received, and announced that I was going to build the program, pretty much to their specifications. That’s the reward—everyone who filled out the survey saw that making a commitment made a difference."<—also geniously simple. Great job man.

  14. Great post and congratulations on your success!

    Thanks for sharing what’s working for you … very inspiring!

    Best,
    Christine Hueber

  15. Thanks for this great article Danny! Building and launching a new quality and relevant product for your audience, posting links and banners, having traffic and online marketing is only half the battle. Hard to believe after so much effort, but the truth is a lot of times you have to engage in actual conversations either directly on the phone, in person or with one on one emails with potential clients/customers. This is not always the case, but to really seal the deal sometimes you have to use “old-fashioned” or other practical methods to take things to the next level and ensure better success. A lot of times it all boils down to how well you are at forming and maintaining relationships.

  16. How Danny build his empire a guest post at a time. Sounds a good case study. :)

    Thanks for this article. The best “sales people” or promoter are satisfied customers who love you, love your product and love the product experience with you.

    Great post! Maybe we can make it a sticky note.

  17. Another great post from Danny. Thank you for making product launch blissful with your expert advice. I appreciate this.

  18. Pat says:

    Thanks for the post. I agree that in launching a product it’s important to create a cycle of info, affirmation and commitment… eventually asking for the buy. I have a new product coming out shortly and am using a similar system… only it is Evergreen, so once launched should repeat for anyone who gets the link…. working on fine tuning last bits.

  19. Mohul Ghosh says:

    wow.. so how many people bought your course, Dannie?

  20. ♥ ThankU much …
    ~Special Blessings of Love2U …
    ~Debbie:)