As a person who has been in internet business for awhile, I remember when things were hard.
I remember the days before Wordpress. I remember programming my OWN content management system to power my site. I remember having to do everything myself, or else pay some programmer who loved to make things seem like a bigger deal than they really were.
Those were the pioneer days where, well…. shit was just hard to do.
Today, we have Wordpress, with the myriad of themes and awesome plug-ins. And it keeps getting better – and easier – as now, even the process of doing a product launch is becoming SO much easier.
When This Applies To YOU
A lot of bloggers read about these things and the point is lost on them. Perhaps you think you’ll never do a product launch. Or perhaps you think (mistakenly) that a launch is only something “those marketer people” do.
Simply put, if you want to start making real money…. stop blogging and launch something. M’kay? You need to stop being a blogger, and start being an entrepreneur with a blog.
Blogging alone is nothing but a big hamster wheel. It is time to upset the status quo, step out of the comfort zone, and start making real money online. Whatever your niche, you should be gearing up to launch a product. It could be a simple e-book. It could be a little video series. It doesn’t have to be a huge product, but put it together and launch it. Throw up a little sales letter and sell it on Clickbank or something. Do SOMETHING other than just blogging.
So, when does all of this launch stuff apply to you? It should apply to you right NOW.
OK, moving on…
What Makes Product Launches Difficult?
Well, launches are a LOT of work. There’s no way to get around that one. I’m actually in the process of preparing for a launch now and it is a LOT of work. That said, the technical part of it is so much easier now.
Typically, there are a lot of separate systems that have to be made to work. Plus, timing is an issue. A launch is an event and you need things to fire on time and just work. Most launches, too, have a prelaunch period where several pieces of content are released. Each has to be set up on the web. The interrelationship between the multiple pages has to be set up. All of it has to be hooked up to your email list, with people routed to the correct page. Then, you’ve got the technical portion of setting up the product delivery site (which might be a membership portal). Shopping carts. Affiliate tracking.
In a word – ugh. Last time I did a launch, I literally had to diagram out an entire flow chart of the way things were supposed to link together. Even with that, I goofed up some things.
There are a lot of moving pieces to conducting a launch – all in addition to the content creation that always goes with it.
Fortunately, a wave of new software is making our lives easier.
Third-Party Hosted Solutions
There seems to be a wave of these things coming down the pike. The first one to be launched was Kajabi.
Now, Kajabi, by all accounts, was a bit of a train-wreck. I was seriously considering signing up, but I decided to let it slide for a bit to see what kinds of growing pains they experienced. And, boy, did they experience them. Kajabi looks like it was rushed to market and it was not ready for primetime. In the long run, I think Kajabi will prove to be a solid platform, but no doubt the rush to market has tarnished their reputation. It just didn’t work very well. I was disappointed, too, because I really thought it would be better than that.
Next, we have FusionHQ. This solution looks to be REALLY solid and I have just recently signed up for it myself in order to get a feel for it. Fusion offers many of the things I thought were missing from Kajabi, including the ability to keep all your own hosting (with Kajabi, you were more tied into their hosting). You can easily set up sales funnels, membership sites, launch funnels – all of it on automatic and without knowing a lick of code. FusionHQ is on closed signup, which means you have to get on a waiting list. They are scaling up in a controlled manner in order to avoid all the Kajabi-esque problems.
There are several others coming down the pike. I’ve heard rumors of them, but no experience at all. So, we shall wait and see.
Sometimes you want the design stuff taken care of and that’s it. You want to keep everything on your own servers. And you don’t want to take on a monthly fee of a third-party service. Luckily, there are a couple of awesome solutions out for Wordpress.
The first is called OptimizePress. This is a theme for Wordpress which is specifically designed for marketing funnels and membership portals. It allows you to quickly put together squeeze pages, launch pages, sales pages, etc. It takes care of integration with your email list, design of your membership site pages, embedding videos and making them HTML5 compatible, etc. I have purchased OptimizePress and am already starting to use it to set up for a coming launch. So far, I’m quite impressed and it is going to save me a LOT of time. Lots!
The other one is called JVPress. JVPress appears to be a feature-by-feature competitor of OptimizePress. The only difference that I can tell is that JVPress currently handles a “rolling launch” better than OptimizePress. That said, I’m pretty sure that’s coming soon on OP, so essentially these solutions are the same. It just depends on which templates you like better, really.
The thing to keep in mind is that both of these solutions are THEMES. This means they help you immensely when it comes to design and site setup. However, you will not have the sales funnel design and the various automatic tools that comes with a third-party service like FusionHQ.
I have personally purchased BOTH OptimizePress and JVPress so that I can evaluate them. From what I have seen, I recommend either of these to you. They both look extremely solid, so it really just comes down to personal preference. I will be doing more in-depth reviews of both in the near future.
No Excuses Anymore
It really is getting to a point where marketing online is commoditizing and literally anybody can do it and look professional in the process. You barely even need to build anything anymore. You don’t have to be a webmaster.
If you have something to teach, you can now launch it in a damn-near plug-and-play fashion.
So, definitely, check out the solutions listed above. I’ll be talking more about all of them in the near future. 🙂