So, as anyone who reads this blog knows, I released an e-book recently entitled Forget the Parachute, Let Me Fly the Plane. And with the publication of the e-book, I threw myself into learning how to sell products on the internet. Reading the popular books and blogs, listening to podcasts, and even purchasing a couple of products from the gurus out there like Perry Marshall and Derek Gehl.
And, while the sales have been fair (and I really want to thank all the people who have purchased the book), the site simply didn't convert traffic in the way that I would have hoped. And then I realized that the approach wasn't necessarily what I had hoped: my wife called it "ugly and over the top". Someone else compared the site to Steve Gibson's site. And I realized that there had to be a better way.
And I went back to the gurus and tried to see what I was doing wrong. And then I realized that all of the gurus are selling their expertise. But I couldn't find any examples of their expertise beyond what they were telling me. And beyond what they were selling themselves. So, they're experts because they're selling products.
So, I went on a bit of a search for someone who had just done it. And I found exactly one example: 37Signals' book Getting Real. They sold a huge number of copies of the book. And their site looks absolutely nothing like the sites that are touted as the paragon of internet marketing virtue by the gurus: John Carlton, Perry Marshall, and Derek Gehl.
And, believing that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I re-designed the Forget The Parachute website based on the design that 37Signals used for Getting Real. (I admit it: I'm a terrible web designer, so this first iteration borrowed a lot more from 37Signals than I'd like. But, if it works, I'll continue to refine.)
I'd like to ask for some feedback from my readers: please leave a comment or send me email: which site makes you most likely to actually buy the book? The original long-sales-copy site? Or the new site based on 37Signals?