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Naming Products, And The Introduction Of The Monetization Lab

Last Updated on May 31, 2016  

 

Today’s post is a product announcement combined with an explanation of how to name your products. Step number one…

Don’t do what I did. 😉

OK, I guess I should explain…

I’m good at many things, but I never claim to be good at it all. And one of the things that I’ve never been all that great at is coming up with product names.

Let’s Run Through The History Of My Awesome Product Names…

When I first got started in this particular market, my first major product was called “Blog Masters Club”. Perhaps some of you may have taken that course. Great course with a ton of awesome feedback from my customers. But… “club”?

It wasn’t a club. Why did I call it that?

I used to have a product called “3 Day Money”. Quite a vague benefit there. Just “money”. Plus, it may have led some to believe that you could get to making money in 3 days – which simply isn’t true. The course was designed to be 3 days long. But, as you can see, it would have easily led to confusion.

Then I came up with the “Inner Circle”. It was an ongoing group coaching and support membership that was to be a value-add onto any of my courses. It wasn’t the worse name I ever came up with, but it did fall short on communicating the benefit. (More on this in a bit…)

“Time Master Formula” was the time management course I created. Not horrible, but then it got morphed into what is now known as “How To Step Into Your A Game”. Very vague. Too long. And, either name could mean different things to different people.

“The Finisher’s Formula”. This course is currently inside the Academy training vault. A real hidden gem and a great course on applying logic and systems to make massive headway in your business. But, once again… “finishers formula” is incredibly vague. Means almost nothing. What’s a “finisher”?

Now, I don’t say all this just to rip on myself. We’re always learning – even those of us who’ve been at this awhile. I know that I make great products – and my customers confirm that to me often – BUT I don’t think naming those products has been my strong suit.

Here’s what I’m thinking now…

How To Think About Your Product Names

I was sitting in my hotel room in San Diego, at the Traffic & Conversion Summit, and I was thinking about my product line and some changes to it.

…and it got me thinking about product names. What makes a good product name?

The way I see it, it should be…

  1. Brandable.
  2. Communicate the benefit.
  3. Not lead to confusions.

I’ve written before about branding, what it is and how to do it. If you’re going to be creating a course – especially a flagship style course which is going to be a big part of your business – then that course is essentially a brand on its own. As such, it should have a brandable name, a central ad image, a logo, and a central message.

I also think that a good brand should be easy to say and fairly short. And it should not violate point #3 above because that would make any branding that you do more difficult. That was the problem with “How To Step Into Your A Game”. The title is too long and not very brandable. And, what’s an “a game”? It violates point #3 and because it does that, it violates point #2 as well.

A good product name should either directly communicate the benefit OR naturally lead itself to a story which would then define the brand.

For instance, Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula. Pretty clear just from the product name what it does. You’ll learn to do a product launch.

But, then you have vague titles. Think of Ryan Deiss’s The Napkin Project. I like that it is short. But, the name is sort of an empty slate. What is the napkin project? Well, it is a strong part of the marketing for that product to tell the story of drawing his business model on a napkin – hence the title. You remember the story – and it ties together nicely into a brand.

In looking at some of my past product naming, a few of them were just horrible. Others were perfectly brandable, but I don’t think I completed the package well enough by tying the product name into the story behind that product. I didn’t brand  them properly.

And Here’s Another One…

The “VIP” program. The “Inner Circle” turned into the VIP program. And in the last several months, the VIP program has been the core offer here at the Blog Marketing Academy.

But, if you’re on the outside looking in and you see “VIP”, what would that mean to you?

Very important person, maybe. But, how so? What about the “VIP” is brandable? What benefit is being communicated?

As I sat there in San Diego and did some product line strategy for the Blog Marketing Academy, I arrived at the conclusion that the VIP program needed to be reborn.

Whatever I am doing inside the VIP program – and there’s quite a bit – NONE of it was properly encapsulated by such a vague moniker like “VIP”.

What Are We Really Doing Here?

In the end, there is one word that is so often used to describe what I’m all about here at the Blog Marketing Academy, and it is…

Monetization.

In the end, my ideal audience – and hopefully that includes YOU – is made up of blog owners who are looking to fully monetize their blogs. To make money. Clear as day.

I saw a shocking stat recently…

81% of bloggers make less than $100 a year from their blog.

Only about 8% earn enough to support their family. And only about 2% make what most of us would call a decent income.

The mission of the Blog Marketing Academy is to make a dent in those statistics.

So…

The VIP program is no more. It will now be called…. Monetization Lab.

ml-logo-500

The Monetization Lab is about more than just training toward the goal of monetization (although, of course, there’s a lot in there for that). It is a mastermind group and a community… all focused on one thing: REAL monetization.

I have a lot in store in terms of content. A bunch of new Action Plans in the pipeline. For instance, my next Action Plan release is going to be a “Quick Start” guide to your first dollar. While I have many Lab members who are already making money with their sites, I know that a huge chunk of my readers (and some of the Lab members) are still working on the leadup to their first sale. I want to laser in on that one and get you to that point as quickly as possible.

But, the Lab is about support. And this is something I’m really taking more seriously lately.

I’ve always been active in the VIP Mastermind community, but over the last few weeks, I’ve really taken it to another level. I’m usually in the group several times per day. And being that we’re currently using Facebook as our platform, I’m easily able to even chime in using my iPhone at any point in the day even while I’m out of the office.

And my members seem to be noticing. One of the newer Lab members is Christoph from Switzerland, and he recently sent me quite the long testimonial. He actually took me off guard with it. 🙂 But, part of what he said was:

I’m observing closely how people react and respond to their clients. The VIP-Facebook-Section is a good place to study. As you know, i’m bringing in my questions, whatever they might be, since i think that’s one reason the VIP-FB-page is there. You respond and you take care – PERIOD ! I can feel that you are really here to help, to invest in people and to help them with their issues. Now only mine, but i see your reaction with all the other topics which land on your desk and i simply can say: “CHAPEAU!!”

David, thank you for investing your time and energy into this. I know you are doing it for a living, but i can feel your commitment behind it. You care and it seems to be your heartbeat to bring people further, to see them grow. Every single word i hear from you proves me that you are not one of the millions of guys out there which are looking for the quick buck, you are more … you are unique.

Christoph recently made his first sale from his site, too. His first of many more to come. And I couldn’t be more thrilled. 🙂

….

So, that’s the product announcement portion of this blog post…

The VIP program is now called Monetization Lab.

… and I want as many motivated blog owners inside the Lab as possible.

Not just any blogger. You need to be seeking monetization for the right reasons. I am about monetizing with integrity. I’m about adding real value to the world and making our readers’ lives better. Thing is, you do that while also creating a business machine behind the blog in order to get the value exchange going, and you’ll win.

And this is SO much more sustainable than trying to rely on crap like Adsense or affiliate banners. A real business is something that can’t be taken away from you because of a Google change, or an affiliate program change.

Over the next few days, I’m going to hold open a time-limited special offer to join the Monetization Lab.

If it makes sense for you, great. The next few days would be a good time to make your move.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Get your copy of our flagship process checklist for building your online business out of thin air: The Online Business Roadmap. Starts from zero. No email list, no traffic, no blog, no product. The process will guide you through all of it. Sign up for your FREE LAB member account here to get instant access!


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  • David

    As you know, learning and pivoting/iterating is part of the entrepreneurial journey. I’ve picked some questionable names as well. My one question is, “Why did you drop the word, ‘Blog’ from the title?” IMHO, “The Blog Monetization Lab” creates more clarity about what the club/academy/membership group is all about. Monetization alone is too open to interpretation. “Come join the Monetization Lab,” or “I’m a member of the Monetization Lab,” could be anything. But zeroing in on bloggers who actually want to make money at this thing would create incredible clarity.

    If you like the idea, I’d drop the tagline (and the old logo for Blog Marketing Academy) and put in small letters above “Monetization” the words, “The Blog” (love the Monetization font and the lab image). I think that would be crisp, clean and instantly recognizable (i.e. it would do what you’re arguing for in your post). The current version has a little too much going on.

    FWIW,

    Bruce

    P.S. I love the focus!

    Reply

    • David Risley says:

      Thanks for the suggestion, Bruce. My thinking was that Monetization Lab is a key component of Blog Marketing Academy, and for that reason does not need to exist separately in terms of branding. But hey, there are always multiple ways to do things. 🙂

      Reply

  • Kevin Cheng says:

    Hi, David – It took me a bit to get used to it, but now I think the name ‘Monetization Lab’ is brilliant – this is for people who aren’t as familiar with you (not for us), and it clearly spells out what membership in the Lab is about and can do for them.

    “Finisher’s Formula” is a gem indeed (I went through that course sometime last year). That Theory of Constraints and the various trees really get to the bottom of things and reveal key things like (a) what’s the REAL bottleneck holding up progress, and (b) you flip one of the trees and voila, you have a Gantt chart that spells out what steps you need to take FIRST, and then the logical next step, etc. Really powerful stuff. And not a topic you typically find in online courses anywhere. Thanks for doing that course!

    Lastly, you said above:
    “You need to be seeking monetization for the right reasons. I am about monetizing with integrity.”

    This is how I feel, too, and why I’ve followed you and what you teach here. I don’t want to do banner ads or Adsense or anything like that. I want a direct relationship with my audience and customers: I give them truly helpful value that solves their problem, and they pay me for that in return.

    So, I’ll keep learning and looking forward to all that you’re rolling out for us. BTW, the visual redesign of BMA looks awesome – I like the left sidebar.

    Kevin

    Reply

    • David Risley says:

      Thanks so much, Kevin. I enjoy having you inside the Lab. 🙂

      Reply

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