I recently responded to a question about deciding what to sell online in my Private EBiz Forum. One of my Private Forum Members that I have a great deal of respect for, said that my answer had ‘opened his mind’ when it came to choosing products to sell. He’s already doing very well online, and if what I talked about opened his mind to something new, I thought it would be a good idea to share that info with everyone else. Deciding what to sell online is always the toughest stumbling block for anyone starting an online business. Most people, after reading the generally available material that’s out there on this question, decide to approach it as a math problem. How many searches does the product get in the Search Engines, what’s a click-through rate, what percentage of advertising saturation, etc., etc., etc. That’s all well and good, and a certain amount of this decision is based in that math-oriented research. However, what most people fail to consider is the marketing aspect of this “equation”. The marketing aspect can’t be quantified as math. It isn’t math. But is IS a critical part of this decision. Much more important than the math, are the ways we come up with to present products to people. The presentation, or ‘marketing hook’, can actually be more important than the actual product choice itself. Let’s say we’re considering selling GPS units. We don’t just put up a web site that offers every GPS unit under the sun and hope people find us. We go out and find them with the marketing hook we create. For example, we don’t just put a web site that sells GPS units. We put up web sites geared toward boaters that offer Marine GPS units, and talk about using the GPS to mark the best fishing holes, and to boat around lakes and off the coasts with pinpoint accuracy. We put up web sites geared toward mountain hiking that offer Personal GPS units, and we talk about the GPS being an essential safety product so that we don’t get lost in the mountains, and as a way to go off the beaten path and find the best trails. We put up web sites geared toward off-road four-wheeling that offer the more rugged-looking Car GPS units, and we talk about the GPS being essential to avoid getting lost in the desert, and for finding those legendary off-road party spots that people will remember for a lifetime. A product niche without a marketing niche in mind solves nothing. Try to think of it in terms of what people like to do and what they use to do it, not just as a strict numbers game that has a definitive answer. Every product market has tightly focused niche subsets of products that people use for widely different activities in their lives. This is not just math, it’s a creative imagination process. Get creative with your marketing ideas, and the products will sell.

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