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Digital Versus Physical

As Information Marketers living in this digital age, we can easily become myopic with our product creation, meaning, we often focus on creating digital products without considering the physical alternative. There are a few, extremely valid reasons for this. For one, digital products provide instant access with zero additional effort once they’re created. Certain types of digital products can also be created very quickly. I’ll be honest, nothing beats finishing a teleseminar or webinar, knowing you just created a quality product in a relatively short period of time. So what about physical products then? Should you consider adding a physical product line to your existing business? It depends…

While we cannot look at all aspects of physical product creation in this post, I would like to explore one option that is dear to my heart…image-based products. Because of our “bent” toward the digital, when we think of artwork or photographs, we often see them as playing a secondary role in our product creation. We use them for our product covers, header graphics, Powerpoint slides and Animoto videos. Seldom do we consider them as products, except as collections on DVDs or as an upload to our favorite microstock photo site.

However, a quick search on eBay will show you that image-based physical products, prints for instance, are very much alive and well. They can also be quite profitable. And that’s where the Public Domain comes in. When it comes to selling physical prints, nostalgia rules the day! I’ve seen it over and over again where individual prints of a certain image ALWAYS outsell collection CDs or DVDs that include the same image. It has been my experience as well.

So, what does it take to make and sell prints online or offline? You need to understand what people want to buy, a source for the content and a delivery mechanism. If this process sounds familiar it’s because it’s the basis of pretty much ALL successful selling. When it comes to prints, the easiest place to research to see what is selling is eBay. With 65 million people visiting per month, you can get a pretty good feel for what’s hot and what’s not. As for the source of your content…you guessed it…the Public Domain! There are many online sources for finding great, high-rez images to use for your prints. I share many of the best sites in my book, Easy Money Picture Project.

When it comes to the creation process of your prints, you have a few options. You can print them yourself using a large-format printer, although I wouldn’t recommend this approach if you’re just starting out. There are also a number of excellent online companies that can create the prints for you. If you want to go high-end with your prints (like canvas gallery wraps or metallic prints), I would recommend using BayPhoto or MPix. On the other hand, poster prints may be a great option for you as well. My two favorite sites for poster prints are Shortrun Posters and Print Pelican. For instance, at Shortrun Posters, you can prints 18″ X 24″ posters on 80lb. cover stock for $2.00 each. That’s a tough price to beat! And if you don’t need a large size like that, consider this…two 11″ X 14″ prints will fit on an 18″ X 24″ sheet. So you could get full-color 11″ X 14″ prints for $1.00 each. Hopefully you can see how HUGE this is for profit margins. Upload your digital file and in a few days, you have your prints!

Hopefully this post sparks some ideas for you. Over the next 90 days, I will be sharing more Physical Product creation strategies. Until then, get started with this one!

3 Responses to “Digital Versus Physical”

  • Barb Harris:

    Lots of really good information Tony. Thanks. It’s all too easy to get absorbed following links. :-)

  • Hey Tony,
    I have already been working on some prints. Basically using my photo programs to enhance, change depth of field and such to add to my store. Hopefully this week I can send you the links. Cause I really think you will enjoy some of what I did. (as a photographer)

    MJ Schrader

  • Hi Tony

    Great blog,im just getting started on my internet marketing business, and after reading your ‘code breaker’ and ‘power grid’ books, i have found a book in the Public Domain, tweeked a few things, added a workbook to it, and am now ready to go.Your stuff lets me see the endless possibilities all around me, keep up the great work.

    I Love you,Thank you

    Kevin

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