How to make Money While You Sleep

by Daniel Batten on September 27, 2009

Michael Caine once said he realised he was wealthy the morning he woke
up realising he was richer than the night before he’d gone to bed.
Over the last year I’ve met a lot of people providing a service, and
almost every one has told me they want to move more into providing
products.

This is a good idea. However, good ideas are commodities. It is the
elegance execution of a good idea that matters. Back in 2005, my first
start-up company faced a similar decision: stick with a product that
required a lot of time to implement, or go for an online product which
could earn us money while we slept. We opted for the online product:
it reached the top of Apple.com and today sells into 65 international
markets. Here are some of the lessons learnt that apply whether your
product is about software development or personal development

If there is enough demand, I’ll put together an online-product called
“how to take an online product to market!” – but in the meantime here
are some free tips that would have saved me time and money if I knew
them in advance.

1. You don’t know your market as well as you think you do. I don’t
care if you have been the international expert for 10 years in your
field. The field is changing, and so are your customers’ requirements.
Ask them explicitly what they want today, and form a product about it.
The best way to find out what people want is to ask them. It will save
you at least a year of re-work

2. Use Google-Ads. Everyone is talking about Search Engine
Optimization – but this is a black art and you can waste thousands
(not to mention the time) and still not be the top website here,
whereas a well placed sponsored ad on the right keywords can get you

to the top of the GoogleSearch every time at a fraction of the cost.

3. Get mentoring in creating a product. If its software, talk to
someone who’s been there before. If it’s a professional development
tool or e-book, again pick the brains of experts. There is an ancient
Chinese proverb that says “A single conversation across the table with
a wise one is worth a month’s study of books.” Get someone you trust
who’s done it before to show you how and cut years off your time to
market by using “other people’s experience”.

4. Get a great title and a great cover design: Humans are attracted to
great titles. “Why Men don’t listen and women can’t read maps” is a
great title: “Gender differences between men and women” is not. A
great title earns you 100 x leverage on everything you’ve
written/spoken/recorded.

5. Rehearse it! John Holt said “We learn to do something by doing it.
There is no other way”. The sooner you start practising it the better.
If you want to write a book – start by writing articles. If you want
to get published: there is a formula to it (see my blog:
“The 7 Rules on how to get published on anything”).

I haven’t written the basics on audio-products and online-software
yet – but if enough people ask, I’ll do this in my blog one week for
you.

6. Technical shortcuts that save big money: If you are doing
audio-books or podcasts: Get an iPod. Get a Belkin stereo microphone
attachment. Get “Audacity” editing software for free (Google
Audacity). The recording quality is excellent. For DVDs, I recommend
Paulus presentersplatform@xtra.co.nz. For visual design of audio-books
and e-books: go to www.obd.co.nz.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lynda Moxey March 12, 2010 at 1:17 am

Hi – I want to say thank you for an interesting site about a subject I have had an interest in for a long time now. I have been looking in and reading the posts avidly so just wanted to express my gratitude for providing me with some very good reading material. I look forward to more, and taking a more active part in the discussions here, whilst learning too!!

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