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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Incredibly Specific: A Trend for 2010 (Like Never Before)

I just paid $100 for an extremely targeted information package, written and recorded by an affiliate marketer, about a very specific element of Google AdWords advertising (hint: it's in the content network).

I've seen this working already in practice, and I figure his tips will mean a lot more than $100 to my business, so I bought it right away.

"My business" isn't an affiliate marketing business. It's for clients. Even better. They have bigger budgets.

Let's be clear: he promises that for most affiliate marketers (especially clueless ones), this technique could add up to peanuts. Many campaigns will try as best as they can and spend only $5/day.

So I paid $100 for it?

Yep, because I understand the value. I know it's valuable info.

The other curious thing is I rejected all the add-ons, freebies, and accoutrements that could have come with it. I didn't want to accidentally sign up for something that turned into a renewing contract, and besides, I didn't want to get distracted from the core information I wanted.

Here's what impresses me. Legions of would-be experts and helpful souls will offer up mounds of information this year in an extremely helpful, and free, fashion. Doesn't info want to be free?

And yet this relatively unknown affiliate marketer, proverbially working from his basement... should clear about $75,000 this month from this information product. It may not have huge legs, but it got the job done for him, income-wise. And the value is real. Many really good authors will earn less than that this year, needless to say.

So what impresses me is not that you can make more from specific information, but *how* specific the information is. This product covers a *tiny* sliver of the marketing universe. No one will grade the author on how well he grasps marketing as a whole. Not even how well he grasps AdWords as a whole. Just whether he taught one specific technique in decent enough detail so you can try it: $100.

Will his "loophole" close? Maybe. But in this game, if you can't squeeze $100 out of something before the loophole closes, you gratefully accept the chump label and move on.

I learned the lesson along ago: when I burped out the Google AdWords Handbook in 2002 it was a semi afterthought after 18 failed months attempting to put together a magnum opus on SEO best practices (or something like that). It did great.

In 2004, while I was writing the first edition of a more serious grown-up book on Google AdWords with a big publisher, several times I got panic calls from the publisher. They'd read one of those negative stories about Google's business, and they figured that AdWords was a flash in the pan. This continued through 2005! Really! I'd have to reassure them that they were seeing some very odd (if seemingly respectable) journalism. And that Google's advertising program was not too small to go to press with.

What's stunning to me (but it should not have been) is that a book on Google AdWords is almost too broad today. There's room for books that cover a broad topic. But they don't get people to whip out their credit cards to pay $100 online, do they? Odd paradox. Less is more.

I don't have any New Year's resolutions on the books, but if I did, I bet it would be to try to go to market with an incredibly specific piece of information. And, for a change, screw "free." In Chris Anderson's book, he actually reminds us that the real quote was something like "commodity information wants to be free, and scarce information wants to be expensive."

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




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