.357 Article Method Postmortem

The .357 Article Method was a little thing I came up with for writing lots of articles quickly. If you'll recall from this past Sunday, I started out writing a lot of articles for clients to the tune of $35k - which was about 2,000 articles over the course of six months.

That's not a lot, really, just an average of 10-20 a day; it's a sustainable workload, five to ten thousand words, which most people could manage if they just buckled down and did the work. (I am currently playing catch-up with articles and emails, doing 10,000 words a day through the end of the week. It's not as hard as it sounds.) The hard part was convincing people to pay $15 to $20 an article.

In the process of doing this, I came to the conclusion that most people could and should earn at least $10 an article if they just understood English grammar and spelled things correctly. So I wrote the .357 Article Method around the fundamental idea of decomposing your idea into an outline, as I discussed earlier this week - I had the rule of three, the rule of five, and the rule of seven. I still use them, just in slightly different forms.

What Went Right

Looking to my last launch, I did this one as a dime sale. I started it at $3.57 and raised the price every ten sales till it reached $35.70, which happened over the course of the first day.

I also went to a hostile environment for reviews, specifically the WickedFire forums, who hate hate hate the Warrior Forum and indeed ebooks in general. So I went to these people and said "hey, I'm from the Warrior Forum, who wants to review my ebook about how to write articles and ebooks?" which is kind of like jumping into a shark tank and stabbing yourself. This provided me with a lot of grudgingly-positive reviews, which I used in my sales letter with the appropriate "I got these from those people over there who hate us." It worked really, really well. When people who hate you have nothing bad to say about you, then you are clearly doing something right.

I also added these people to a list and incentivised that with a course in charging for article writing, which worked reasonably well. I'll cover the other half of it in the next section...

What Went Wrong

Basically everything about the marketing of this product was completely fucked up. I was going through a lot of personal family drama at the time, so I essentially threw this into a WSO thread and abandoned it. I honestly should have postponed the launch until I could be more available. I also had no bonuses, did a shit job on the sales copy, basically phoned it in across the board. I honestly did not try very hard on this. I guess you could say I went off half-cocked.

And to finish off the list conversation from above, what I did not do worth a shit was sell these people anything else ever. I did nothing with that list. I built no relationship and made no promotions and essentially just let it sit there.

What Was Learned

I have said it over and over and over again: Warriors love dime sales like Germans love David Hasselhoff. It's the ultimate automated, I-totally-mean-it price increase, It happens without you even being there. Whereas I had to go back two weeks later and change the price on SEO Forever, the .357 Article Method just sat there automatically jacking up the price every ten sales. I could bugger off and do whatever. That was awesome.

What wasn't awesome was that I did bugger off and do whatever. I probably could have, and would have, made a lot more sales that first day if I had just been on hand to babysit the thread more. I learned my lessons from SEO Forever just fine, that people would buy stuff from me and price increases helped drive sales, but I hadn't yet cottoned to the idea of how important it was to be there when people bought.

I also was really not up to the task of dealing with a list. I was still very focused on customers as numbers, not as people. It's a backwards idea and doesn't work well in practice. I know better now.

The next thing I did was a little joint venture with John Schwartz, which is showing up on a perfectly appropriate day...