Since I took (roughly 4 years ago) the first feeble steps into web design and web marketing I've had Statcounter embedded in every page I've made to track web statistics.
(Some say I should work more with Google analytics and don't ask me why but I constantly loose my way in the Google reporting, so although Google is tracking my websites too I still prefer to check "my Statcounter" on a daily base).
The beauty of a system like Statcounter is that you see which keywords or key phrases are used most at one point in time. When you check these on a regular base you will start to notice trends in what your web visitors are in to.
A few months ago I noticed an increase in the phrases and words about repairing/restoring design parquet floors (at that time the 'credit-crunch' started to lift its ugly head a bit higher and 'don't move - improve' started to become the new buzz-word). When you - like me - manage your own website (with or without the help of a blog-platform) you are then in the ideal position to write more dedicated pages or articles on the very subject that is so sought after.
Which (of course) I did: two new wood-guides appeared on our informative website dedicated to the repair and/or maintenance of original parquet floors.
And hardly in no time at all did one of them become the most popular and most frequently found as entry page of our whole 'static' website (including our webshops and FAQ & News site our web presence now counts 311 pages - 'only' 60 of them built in Dreamweaver).
In the guide I'd listed products we use and recommend with links to our new secure webshop and slowly we saw an increase in online orders for those particular products.
In my mind the only things missing was how to entice those reading the wood guide to become a subscriber to any of our AWeber (aff) email lists? Last week I thought I'd found the perfect solution: turn the whole context of the guide into a handy and printable PDF-file anyone interested in this could request through an AWeber webform.
Using one of my favourite simple software programs, ScreenSteps (aff) the PDF wood guide started to gain even more 'work-in-progress' pictures and more elaborate tips on how to do this or that when repairing a rediscovered design parquet floor. And with one click of the button it was exported as a perfect Ebooklet (PDF-file), ready to be attached to the first follow-up message of my new AWeber email list.
Until I mentioned this 'project' to my good friend who immediately took it one simple step further: put a price on it and sell it. Now don't take me wrong, he nor I are greedy persons looking to squeeze every penny/pence out of everyone who comes looking for information - far from that.
This simple step further is based on perceived value: turning information into knowledge or as Ed Rivis would say: Shrink Wrap Your Brain.(aff)
So I added more to the 'digital wood product' (another PDF on cleaning and maintaining your design parquet floor, our maintenance leaflet, our report "Things not to expect of your wooden floor, and even our first Ebooklet - which we sell also - "The Benefits and Advantages of Natural Wooden Flooring" and designed two new pages on our static website with images of and info on wood species mostly used in those original parquet floors), decided on the price and combined Paypal to turn AWeber in the delivery vehicle of our first digital wood product.
(And Saturday I found myself another - about to become another of my favourite - simple pieces of software Quick 3D Cover)
Launched the whole new Ebooklet concept with all those extras added to it this Monday and low and behold: within 4 days the first order has come in ;-)
Now I know that's nothing world-chocking to some of you who are used to earning 6 to 7 digit figures during a 'launch' - I'm taken my own pace and am very comfortable with the formula we are using to build trust with our prospects in this simple and effective way.
For us, as a NCO - New Customers Only - business, in rather economical difficult times it is becoming even more essential to find ways to 'copy' the non-NCO businesses "tactics": offering a first trust building item that turns a prospect into a client to start that all important life-time value.
And since that is very hard to do with real wooden floors (free trial?) we are turning wood into digital products.
(And it is fun to do too.)