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What Blog Products Are You Working On?

At the start of this month, I began releasing details of this year’s ProBlogger Training Day.

This is a big event for me and my team, and there’s a lot to organize. The Training Day won’t take place until October, but already we’ve spent months organizing speakers, booking venues, releasing earlybird tickets, and so on.

Around the same time I put out a call for alpha testers on the new ProBlogger Marketplace we’ve been working on.

Something that occurred to me as I was busily preparing these announcements was just how much work goes into the products and services we bloggers offer. While these kinds of tasks don’t need to be overwhelming, they do take time, and energy, and planning.

Not that simple…

For those who are merely testing the waters with their audience, or want to get something out the door and into the market quickly, getting a new product up and running might be a relatively straightforward task.

But once you’ve been blogging for a while, and you get to know your niche and audience well, you’ll know that your products need to meet certain standards if they’re going to have any chance of success.

At that point—and beyond—every new product requires more work from you. You need to consolidate the constant research you’re doing as you engage with readers, make sure your product ideas fit with your overall blog strategy, plan or conceptualize the product itself, and maybe do a “proof of concept”—some kind of test-run that gives you some idea of the audience’s interest.

And that’s before you’ve even got into the process of building the product (or service offering) itself!

So there is a lot to do, and I think bloggers can put themselves at a disadvantage by believing that making blog products is simple. That can lead them to become overwhelmed, disillusioned, and disappointed before they’ve really given products a go.

…Nor that difficult

That said, once you’ve got your head around what’s required of a project, completing it really is about grunt work: sitting down and getting it done. Not just putting in hours, but putting in effort. Working hard, but also working smart—and knowing when the time you’re dedicating to completing something won’t pay off.

I think one of the more overlooked aspects of being efficient as you create products (or in any aspect of efficient blogging) is keeping an eye on your strengths, and playing to them as much as possible.

Don’t outsource something just because you can get it done cheaply, for example. Outsource the things you don’t do well. Don’t choose to build a product just to keep up with the others in your niche, if some other approach to monetization would suit your unique talents better (there’s a reason why I don’t build blog software products!).

While we may overstretch sometimes, and that may lead to a failure or extra hurdles that need to be overcome, they’re problems that can be worked through. The important thing, really, is to make the effort.

What products or services are you working on?

We’re all making the effort—I know we are! And you know a lot of what I’m working on—the QLD blogging adventure, the ProBlogger Training Day, and the marketplace, among other things.

But what product or service ideas are you working on? And what challenges are you facing?

You don’t have to give the game away, but we’d love to hear of your efforts in the comments, so we can build up a picture of the hard work we bloggers are doing behind the scenes on our blogs.

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. Guillermo says:

    Hi Darren,

    I am working on one product and one service.

    The product is a new version of the ebook I launched back in 2009. The service is a Coaching service for immigrants and newcomers to Canada.

    Challenges: Mostly pricing and finding the best way to market something very innovative for my niche. We are talking people not very used to internet transactions and not technically savvy most of the times.

    Cheers,

    G

    • Natalie Webb says:

      Dude, why couldn’t you have been around in 2008 when I was trying to move to Montreal? :) Got a student visa for awhile, but then it ran out. Boo.

  2. JohnnyFit says:

    I get asked by people who live far away from me to be their personal trainer. I’m struggling with developing an online training program that I feel is worthy enough to charge people money for.

    When I train them in person, I can give direct feedback, be engaging, and ensure everything is done safely. My challenge is being able to deliver that in a virtual experience, and then being able to systematize that.

    Like you, I’m not a programmer, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. Yet all of the software that already exists doesn’t meet my standards. I feel like I’m missing out on a financial opportunity.

    Thanks for the article! Cheers

  3. Eddie Gear says:

    Hi Darren,

    sounds interesting that you are working on the ever so awesome training. As a blogger I’ve been thinking of creating a premium WP plugin that would solve a few problems and also add value to the way bloggers produce content.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Working on a service to provide premium wordpress templates to small businesses and startups!! ItsBuiltForYou.com

    It’s not easy!! But I’m having fun building it!

  5. This month I offered a free e-book on building a health insurance portfolio on my website. On June 1, my intention is to upload that book to Amazon for people with e-readers. I’m thinking about either a $2.99 or $4.99 price-tag on Amazon. I am working on two different projects to replace it. The first is editing some of my better past blog posts into an e-book about Long Term Care insurance. The second project that I am working on is a 13 part email course on planning for insurance during retirement.

  6. Ehsan says:

    Actually I don’t have any product to work for, I’m just working on my blog to make it more better.

  7. Jon Stone says:

    I’m still in the launch phase of my main blog/project, so things are still coming together. However, I do have an eBook in the works that I’m still polishing and tweaking to my liking. Eventually, I’d like to offer a member’s service with personal consulting, networking and other benefits.

  8. I launched my book last month, and am now looking at revamping my merchandise built around my Running Manifesto, and evaluating an expansion into coaching. Plus, contemplating a second book (but not this summer, too many other priorities).

  9. I am working on an ebook that teaches parents how to give 3-6 year olds a leg up in learning about personal finance! After that a revamp of my budget product & a new debt book!

    The hardest part is always balancing the time needed on the book & regular work.

  10. I published my first eBook on Amazon last month and man have I learned a LOT in a short time. The encouraging side is sales have been far better than I expected – especially since it’s nonfiction in a sea of vampire/fantasy/erotica and I just slapped it up there with out any sort of formal launch. Of course in the process I’ve also gotten a taste of all the work it takes to promote a book when you’re a nobody. Currently working on the next book and a new course – both of which tie into my blog theme – self development and living intentionally.

  11. Claire says:

    I have never believed in going in with a small splash. So, what am I working on? Well, I just launched my site a few months ago, and last week, I launched a year long challenge that people can sign up for free and get a weekly challenge to complete for 52 weeks. I figure I can work it into paid products later for those who want it in a different form factor.

  12. Natalie Webb says:

    Funny, the timing on this post. In just the last week I have started working on products for my blog!

    We’re all about making stuff, of the craft/DIY variety. I finally jumped in and started my Etsy store, and I am starting work on my book.

    Until very recently, I had felt a bit lost in the blogosphere. My message was not focused. Once you actually pick your product and start working on it, I have found that suddenly all the rest starts falling into place.

  13. I’ll definitely keep this in mind when I decide to start my first product. Right now I am working on growing and developing my blog as I just started out about a month ago. Thanks for the tips!

  14. S.K. says:

    These are not products as I’m not trying to sell anything really, but two of my projects on my (newly found) blog are the Good Deed project & the WordPress Trial & Error Video Series.

  15. I’m new to this field and I’m doing experiment with my blog to know the perfect way to promote it.This post create a new view.

  16. david says:

    Hi Daren, – well, I personally am not working on any blog products and I’m not even sure I would know where to start!

    Any ideas on how to create / make a product. I would say I don’t know my audience that well.

    So, I am at a loss? Any thoughts?

  17. Ayaz says:

    Well, We almost working same way as you pointed out but I think having a test before launching the product or service kind of think is little bit hard to do and that’s also a bit time taking procedure and In this way I took chances to get it done on the first go.

    I think accepting or visualizing too much at the start from the product that’s become annoying when you didn’t get the response as you thought.

  18. Cheryl says:

    Right now we are offering an online summer camp (e-course) about learning to live – and love – a simple life. The challenges we are facing right now: we are a fairly new blog, not quite 5 months old yet, and great contacts we have yet to make. Pricing is another issue, especially for a first project. Tricky, but success is on the way!

  19. I’m working on a product that clearly explains to beginners how to use Layers in Photoshop Elements. It’s not always easy to get back to the mindset of when I was first learning Photoshop. I have to remember many of these folks are just starting out with this massive program.

    I’ve been trying out what works best by posting free info on how to use Layers and then asking for feedback and that has let me gauge if I’m getting the message across.

    It’s much more work than I had anticipated!!

  20. Kiesha says:

    Hi Darren!
    I haven’t announced this on my blog yet, but I’m actually working on an ebook that will show bloggers how to use the strategies the teams used in my Surviving the Blog contest to build a top 100k blog in 10 weeks. I’m hoping to finish in the next few weeks.

  21. Birgit says:

    I am publishing patterns in my craft niche, so I am thinking about making products all the time.

    My goal for the not so far future is to find a good camera and do videos on my blog and Youtube.

    Further down the road i might want to publish an ebook, but I don’t have a clue about how to go about it yet.

  22. Allan says:

    “Outsource the things you don’t do well.”

    This is so key. I’ve wasted so much time in the past on trying to master different elements of a product, instead of just focusing on what I was good at and outsourcing the rest.

  23. Liv Lane says:

    This past week, I launched the third edition of my ecourse, How To Build a Blog You Truly Love (http://www.lovethatblog.com). It appeals to creative entrepreneurs (artists, healers, writers, etc) – almost all female. Thanks to the research and interviews I conduct, I find that every time I run it, not only does the course get better, but my own blog gets better. I’m now working on turning it into a self-paced ecourse that’s accessible year-round and launching a second ecourse on generating PR/exposure for your small biz or brand. I blogged for nearly five years before I started experimenting with offering my own products there; it’s been the most lucrative and rewarding decision I’ve ever made with my blog.

  24. Erik Back says:

    I’m working on my ebook about six powerful mechanisms behind personal change. I have finished the first chapter and will soon offer it to new subscribers.
    Next week I’m going to start building a new platform based on the Genesis framework and Aweber.

  25. For me, it is books. I have two of them in mind but both are in the early stages. One can’t be written until at least a year from now but I can start on the stories. The other has already been started but I think I need to go back and do an outline for that one and take it in a different direction.

    For me, organizing my time to get all of this done is the key. I need to prioritize and that can be hard to do with so much on my plate.

  26. Clarabela says:

    I am working on something to help bloggers be more organized. I plan to create a basic version to use as an incentive to get people to sign up for my email list.

  27. Diana says:

    Two months ago I launched my website with the challenge to myself to crochet 99 dishcloths in one year. That has proven to be more difficult and time consuming than I expected and I am only on #4 now. I have so many great ideas in my head but time is limited with 3 small children. I’m not sure I can continue presently.

    Thanks for the article. It gave me some good suggestions to think about.

  28. Alexis Grant says:

    Launching two new ebooks! Including How I Surpassed My Day Job Income in Just 6 Months of Self-Employment: http://alexisgrant.com/self-employment. Psyched to take the product side of my biz to the next level!

    Challenges: I’m still learning about how to create a sales funnel, how to offer awesome newsletter content and other marketing strategies. But half the fun is the learning!