So I am starting to be a bit more honest with myself about the lack of value of my current business model. My price point puts myself rather low on the value chain. As the field of SEO has grown and my share of voice has grown I have attracted far too many wankers. Many of my customers are amazing people (I have met, became friends with, and learned from many of them), but it only takes a few bad ones to sour my mood. And it isn't fair for my girlfriend to have to put up with me being pissed off at wankers. For example, in the last 5 minutes I just got the following:
a blog comment from Whaterver@hotmail.com, stating
Not the only SEO book on the planet, just check out Chapters. If your SEO book were so good, why would I have to drill down four pages in a Google search to find it? Crap
a phone call about from a customer (not my customer, someone else's) asking me about why her site designer and SEO were fighting and if there was some independent ethics verification body
a refund request complaining that my book was too good
and this comment from a prospective customer
if this book doesn't help me the way i want it (= dramatic increase in traffic as determined at my discretion --- what is my guarantee i'll get my money back?
This wanker exposure is not uncommon either. In spite of making my phone number and email address less accessible I typically get to enjoy about 10 to 20 wankers a day. Some I ignore, but even when I try to do that, these people still make my outlook on humanity and the human race a bit bleak.
The people buying PPC stuff are already looking to spend money, but many of the people who are attracted to SEO are attracted to it because they are lazy, want a free ride, and refuse to add any value to the world around them. This is exactly why the target market for a PPC book is so much nicer than the target market for an SEO Book.
As search gets more complex and changes faster (you could write a 500 page book on just AdWords, let alone organic search) my job is to push traditional marketing principals rather than SEO loopholes because that is less risky and delivers more real tangible long-term value. Also, it is hard to write a book that is fairly comprehensive, up to date, applicable to the spectrum of readers, and easy to understand. I am thinking I need to change my business model. Potential changes may include any of the following
- selling nothing on this site (though I would still update my ebook for a while if I did this)
- increasing price point to $299 to filter out many of the wankers
- charging recurring fees to new customers
- selling a recurring newsletter instead of an ebook
Not sure when I will change my business model, but the sooner the better. What would you do?
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