This guest post is by Nathan Barry of Designing Web Applications.
It seems like every day you read a story about a blogger who released a product to their audience and made a ton of money overnight. But then after you read more details about their story, you learn that they already had a popular blog with a huge audience.
That’s the point in the process where I always used to feel disappointed. While I wanted to replicate their success, I didn’t have an audience.
My story is different. Yes, I managed to pull off a massively successful product launch, but I did it with a tiny audience. I hope this is a story you can relate to and learn from.
In June 2012, I had 100 RSS subscribers for my blog. Not 10,000, just 100. And I’d been working steadily on my blog, pushing everyone to subscribe by RSS, for over a year. Not great results.
But a few months later, on September 4th, I released my first product, an ebook called The App Design Handbook, which went on to make $12,000 on launch day and has passed $35,000 in total sales.
Now are you interested?
Focus on a big goal
What happened in those three months between June and the September launch? The biggest change I made was focus. Since I was working on the book I decided that my blog was going to be almost entirely focused on the topic of designing iPhone and iPad applications. So I started writing posts and tutorials that would be valuable to that audience.
I was hardly the first person to write tutorials about designing apps. In fact, there were many much more popular blogs out there. But I was one of the first to write an ebook on the subject. So when people came to my site and saw that I was working on The App Design Handbook, it gave me instant credibility.
Focusing on a big goal, in my case writing a book, will give you credibility and a reason for visitors to follow your progress.
Give people a way to follow along
At the bottom of each post I wrote from then on, I placed an email signup form for the book. It didn’t provide much information (it would have been better had I provided more), but I did give people a chance to hear about the book when it launched.
This list gradually grew to 795