One of the biggest mistakes I see so many bloggers making is the fact that they aren’t selling any products of their own.
Sure, you may be promoting somebody else’s product as an affiliate, and that’s certainly a good way to monetize your blog, but the benefits of selling a product of your very own are enormous.
So why aren’t more bloggers creating their own products?
It tends to come down to one of two reasons – either they feel they don’t have a good idea for a product, or they are concerned about the amount of time it takes to create something and are worried that the investment of their time will not be worth it.
These concerns are understandable – after all, who wants to spend months creating something they feel is amazing only for it to ultimately flop?
Fortunately, the risk of this can be dramatically reduced by creating something called a minimum viable product, or MVP for short. Using the advice laid out for you in this article, you’ll be able to eliminate these concerns by creating and bringing a product to market far quicker than normal, and you’ll be able to verify it’s a product that your audience is interested in purchasing before putting too much time into it.
What Is A Minimum Viable Product?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand what a minimum viable product actually is. A minimum viable product is essentially the smallest or leanest version of a product necessary to bring it to market.
For example, my upcoming membership site could have been considered a minimum viable product if I wouldn’t have taken the time to add so many bonuses and extra incentives to join. If I would’ve only offered one core benefit, it could have been considered an MVP.
But why is this important? Aren’t we expected to make products perfect before releasing them?
No doubt it’s best to have products we deem as ‘perfect,’ but perfection is not the point of an MVP. By releasing a minimum viable product, you minimize the risk you take because the time you invest into creating it is so much smaller. Upon release, you can test how the market reacts to it and determine whether or not this product is worth investing more time into.
If so, you can use actual user feedback and suggestions to make improvements to the product, adding more features that consumers actually desire, building a product over time that becomes more and more complete.
Even if you feel you know what your audience wants, you can’t be sure until people are actually offered to purchase the product with their own money. So many people will tell you that they’re interested in something up until it comes time to buy it. Then, the excuses spring up.
Never forget that people will pay whatever it takes, even borrow money they don’t have, to purchase something if they want it enough.
By taking the MVP approach, you respond to what people want rather than trying to make your best guess and hope the time you’ve invested into creating something is actually desired by customers.
MVPs Aren’t Meant To Be Complete
I don’t know about you, but when I create a product on something, I want it to be the world’s best. I want there to be no question on which product is #1.
This is why I continue to add new lectures to my courses regularly.
However, we are business owners, and thus, we need to focus on what will offer the greatest return for the resources we invest.
Take a look at my course earnings breakdown:
You can see here that out of my 5 courses, 3 of them make up about 25% of my revenue each, with the remaining 2 sharing that last ~25%.
Now I’ve got to say, I did not release any of my courses as MVPs. But imagine if I did. Imagine if I had put in roughly the same amount of effort for each course, imagine if they were all roughly the same length, with the same number of lectures.
Would it make more sense to further develop the courses that were performing well, or the courses that weren’t making as much?
If I wanted the maximum return on my time, I’d want to further improve the courses that are already doing well. The marketplace has proven that demand is there, and a further developed product would be bound to shoot up sales even further.
Imagine if I had invested all of my time and energy into my worst performing course?
Even if it were the world’s best, that doesn’t necessarily mean the demand is there. However, now that I know what topics the marketplace is best responding to, I can prioritize my time and work towards dominating that particular space.
It Doesn’t Take Long To Get Something Out There
It takes work to create a product.
I get it.
Yes, you could start promoting somebody else’s products and earning commissions today. I understand that aspect of it makes affiliate marketing so appealing to so many people.
However, if you want to get to places most people aren’t getting to, you have to be willing to do things most people won’t do.
I mean think about it this way – who do you think is making more money, you as the affiliate, or the guy who created the product with an army of affiliates promoting it for him? What side of the table do you want to be on?
By taking the MVP strategy, you can cut the time you take creating a product in half, cut the risk you’re taking in half, and still ultimately come out with a product that better solves your target market’s problems.
It’s a winning strategy. Quit spending time overthinking things and instead spend that time bringing something to the market. It takes the same amount of effort to worry than it does to take action, so you may as well do something productive and create something of value.
Whether you’re creating your first product to sell on your blog or you have already released many, it may be a good idea to make your next product an MVP.
By minimizing the amount of time you put into creating a product and only providing its core aspects that make it valuable to your audience, you grant yourself the ability to test the market and make improvements and adjustments based on what your customers actually want, rather than having to simply make your best guess.
What’s your opinion on creating a minimum viable product? Could you see yourself taking this approach rather than creating a fully-fledged, fully developed product? Or would you rather take your chances with a huge launch?
Interested to hear your take, because there are certainly times when one approach is better than the other!
– James McAllister