If you’re thinking about selling products to get started making money online, you might ask yourself, what is the best product to sell on the internet anyway?
In this article I will help you determine what type of product you should pick and why you will pick it in 4 steps. The last step is the most important one.
Step 1 : Choosing a Product Type
The Main Types:
- Physical Product
- Virtual or Digital Product
- Subscription Service or Information Product
Choosing the wrong product can mean losing a lot of your free time, money and it could mean you’ll never make enough money to even survive long term so it’s important. One of the most important steps to take when building an online business is carefully choose the niche product type and area that you’re going to focus on. You want little competition and scalable growth in your product niche area.
There are millions of products you could potentially sell, but we need to categorize them into a few groups so we can find the optimal type of product to build a business on. Ultimately though it will take some research and experimenting for you to find what sells so you may not find it with your first try.
What is a Physical Product?
A physical product like a red Swingline stapler has to be produced, stocked, and shipped. This type of product requires a lot of overhead on the business side to manage the inventory. Examples of the types of problems that can arise with physical products are supply shortages, degraded quality and logistic issues.
What is logistics? Logistics is getting your products from the suppler to the customer. Increases in shipping costs or local tax that could cut in to your profit margin. If you aren’t the only company producing/buying wholesale and selling this product because you don’t hold the patent, then you could be put out of business overnight by a competitor offering a lower price on it.
If you are the one producing (making) and shipping the product you could eventually be working more hours than you ever intended turning you in to a manufacturing laborer, so kiss your free time goodbye. Of course you could still make a good living selling this type of product if your revenue margin is high enough, but I think you get the point.
What is a Virtual or Digital Product?
Virtual products are things like books, documents, audio tracks and videos in a digital format. There’s no shipping, no supply chain issues and the quality never changes once you create theses products. The beauty of this type of product is that it can scale infinitely so there would never be any issues preventing you from meeting demand for your product.
However, you typically sell one product to each customer. This means, in most cases, that repeat sales from the same customer just don’t happen. Over all, it’s still much better than selling physical products.
You can opt for commission based affiliate marketing where you are selling other people’s products or services online through blogs and websites. This has to be the most popular type of way to make money online. How well you do with affiliate marketing commissions all depends on how much traffic (internet visitors) you can draw in to buy these products.
At least in affiliate marketing you didn’t have to create the products yourself, but also can become a huge waste of time if you don’t sell anything. It all depends on ranking or popularity of your sites in the google.com search results, get on the first page!
What is a Subscription Service or Information Product?
The holy grail of online products is actually surprisingly simple and they make up our last group of products. This group is not exactly a virtual product, but a subscription service or access to digital information.
Examples of services are subscriptions to web sites like dating sites, virtual worlds where you buy virtual things, weekly newsletters emailed, or informational tools or knowledge base (ex. investing how to, building how to, and others like this), all these require your customer to pay monthly for access to the information or online tools on your membership website.
Subscriptions based services are superior, because its recurring revenue for access to a service you don’t ship or have to make since it’s already built. People always forget or are too busy to cancel a subscription. You just have to keep your service running 24 hours a day 7 days a week to earn money while you sleep. Since you retain your members you can be continuously improving your existing service over time to earn even more revenue from them.
So, figure out what knowledge you have that someone else would be willing to pay your for and charge them to access that knowledge. Selling a virtual animal inside your online multiplayer virtual world game is printing money and parents sure do love you for it.
A Short Descriptions of Product Types from Worst to Best for Profit and Growth
- Physical tangible product that you make by hand or have manufactured
- Digital product that you make yourself or someone else makes and lets you sell for them for commission (music, eBook, affiliate products:software/service)
- Subscription service to information (dating site, news letter, or other deep knowledge of information you have collected/created of value in a niche)
Step 2 : 7 Ideas on how to Find Your Business Niche
- Pick a product that you hate and see what people are saying about, solve it’s problems, build a business on it.
- Craigslist.net gigs, find work there, it’s all niches or copy what others are selling.
- Looking at your own skills. What are you passionate about? What do you like to read about? What do you spend your free time doing? What to you know about in-depth? Then teach people about it with eBooks, podcast, and videos.
- Go to Kickstarter.com and see everything getting funded, mirror them or start something completely new there.
- What did I do last weekend? Look at what little quirky ideas, inventions, tools, solutions have you come up with while spending time on the hobby of your passion? Can you create a new product for that niche to sell online (ebay.com)? Can you create an eBook about that niche? Can you blog about it and sell products related to that niche through affiliate programs?
- Compete with sites that are doing heavy advertising online in Google or Facebook. If they have a lot of ads running they must be making money. Google things you are interested in and check out the ads.
- Interview people that are running businesses and find out the biggest pain point running the business, either online or offline. Solve their problem.
The answer could be right in front of you the entire time! But remember you should be passionate about what you are selling, if you aren’t then you will give up on the idea in a short period of time. Check out this list of top selling internet items.
I recommend NicheFinder to help you find your product niche. With it you type in pairs of words on the subject you are interested in and it will do the online research to tell you if that market is already crowed with other websites selling the same things. It has saved me tons of time.
Step 3: Test Your Product on the Market
Prove that your going to be able to sell your new product idea. List your product online at eBay.com or Amazon.com is one way to prove it’s worth. It will take a few weeks to pin point the ideal price and if there is any interest people will buy it. You can then just say its no longer available and cancel the order on your end.
You should try to target a very high price or a very low price. Prices in between will do poorly since people will assume the implied value is bad. If it’s a service it will take quite a bit more effort to test with out a real website.
Step 4: Start Doing Something Today
Stop procrastinating and start making money online! The lessons you learn from your experiments that don’t succeed will add up to make your success a certainty.
What do you think is the best product to sell online?
Please comment below.
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