We’ve all done it…

You get really excited about starting a new project, whether that’s a blog, a PPC campaign or developing a new product – only to realize after a few weeks that you’re hemorrhaging money and there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

One of the biggest mistakes most marketers make (I’ve done this as well) is they ignore the most important part of a campaign… And that’s the research

John Caples, a famous direct response copywriter once said “If I had 12 months to put together a campaign, I wouldn’t be upset if we spent 11 of those months doing research to find the right appeal”

He’s right.

If you don’t thoroughly understand…

  • exactly what your customers want
  • who your customers are
  • the words your customer’s use

Then you’ll be doomed before you even start. After 3 years of wasting time and money, here’s a few hard lessons Ive learned from starting new projects….

Small Tests Can Save You Time And Money…

One of the great things about affiliate marketing is it can allow you to test offers quickly and see if they’re profitable.

If you’re thinking of making an ebook on Bodybuilding, you could test a few hundred dollars of traffic with a product through Clickbank and see if your niche is profitable.

If you plan on making a blog, do your best to network with other bloggers in the space before you even launch.

These small steps sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people miss this…

Now the next big thing research will help you with is something that I feel is the most important part of selling…

It Can Tell You The Exact Appeal Your Customers Are Looking For

This one took me a while to nail down with our fitness product. For men and women there were completely different appeals – and also depending on the age of the customer their were different appeals.

A 50 year old guy cares about losing his gut, feeling young and living longer. While a 20 year old guy usually wants to look good so he can impress his friends and get laid. The same product could have an entirely different appeal depending on the age group you target…

You can figure this out by simply using a survey (I use SurveyMonkey) and also reading between the lines when you interact with your customers. One of the things I learned early on was that most people have a reason they’ll tell everyone for why they want to get in shape, and then they’ll have an irrational reason that truly motivates them and pushes them to get in shape.

For example a 55 year old guy might tell people he wants to lose weight so he can keep up with his grandkids, but in his head he wants his wife to look at him like she did when they were in their twenties.

Finding the irrational reason isnt easy, but it can really help you connect with your customers and selling to them will be much easier.

And along with the right appeal, research can show you one of the biggest, yet most overlooked parts of selling…

It Can Show You The Words And Language Your Customer’s Use

One of the keys to selling is speaking the same way your customer’s speak.

If you’re selling a fitness product to women, trying to sell them six pack abs is not going to work. Just look at the covers of popular magazines and you’ll see this right before your eyes.

The women’s magazines use words like “lose belly fat” and get a “flat tummy”, while the guys magazines use hot buttons like “six pack abs” and “burn fat, build muscle”

These are things that just a few hours of research can tell you. And its the difference between a profitable project and one that’s a dud.

And not only does this work for selling, it also works for creating content on blogs. I did this with my MMA site. I asked what were the main things they wanted to know, and we saw a huge response for people wanting MMA betting information.

And Shoe did the same thing when he created the Shoemoney System…

So whether you use a survey, or you get information from things like magazines and websites – using the words your customer uses are crucial to wetting their appetite and making a sale.


So whether you’re promoting a CPA offer, an ebook or selling your own product and services, you need to make sure you study and understand everything you can about your potential customers.

Even if you don’t want to put in the time for full fledged research, do yourself a favor and spend a few hours on blogs, forums or send a simple survey to your readers to get a feel for what they’re looking for.

By Justin Goff

Justin sells the highest paying fat loss product on Clickbank called the 31 Day Fat Loss Cure. Get more info on being an affiliate here or check out the best damn podcast about the crazy world of Internet Marketing

32 thoughts on “The Most Overlooked (But Vital) Part Of Starting A New Website”
  1. I’m always amazed by startup websites (even ones with significant funding) that clearly have not thought out what they are trying to do with their site…unbelievable

  2. It is surprising to see the amount of internet marketers that start new projects without considering what their customers are actually looking for.

    1. Yep! It seems so obvious, but hell we all do it and learn the hard way 😉 (at least I did)

  3. Nice post Justin. I am launching a product and looking into PPC research and as you said it is very exciting and i haven’t slept 🙂

    Thanks for pointint these things out, they seem minimal but make a huge difference.

    Talk to you soon
    Jorge Diaz

  4. Very good post though if you are not spending any money at all and using time rather than cash to drive people to your site lack of research will not hurt nearly as bad. Personally I research as I go whether it be my own presence, my competitors, or my traffic. If I were to plan a massive ppc campaign the story would be quite diffrent and research would come first. Anyway good tips.


    1. To me, time and money are the most precious resources we have as entrepreneurs.

      Im very, very strict with my time – and if its waisted I’m jsut setting myself back and losing money.

  5. Jeez Shoe, another link bait article! This jiberesh has been re-hashed and posted for over a decade online. When are you going to come up with new original cutting edge material instead of re-tread filler?


    1. The post is made my Justin Goff. And true that, it is spread over the net. However, its a great post or should i say “reminder” to those people who are still making the mistakes

      1. Now I see why Shoe uses the term “like shooting fish in a barrel”.

        He seems to understand stuff other people don’t get

  6. Sometimes it’s tough to do research if you’re looking to do something entirely new though.

    In that case, I guess you just have to rely on instincts and be ready to cut your losses as soon as it looks as though the efforts are being wasted.

    1. If you’re doing something entirely new, there’s still research involved (even more I would argue)

      You need to find out if people want to buy what you’re selling, and there’s no easier way to do that then to get feedback from customers and do it on a very small scale

  7. Honestly Justin, I think one of the most overlooked parts of starting a new website or anything for that matter, is putting in hard work and dedication. A lot of times, you’ll start on a new project and the amount of work you’ll put into it will diminish over time.

    Of course structure, organization, and planning will help, but if you don’t work hard, even with all these great tips you shared, it still won’t kick off.

  8. This is very true; research is key. I know I’ve messed up but I need to find ways to improve my research skills and be patient.
    Thanks for the helpful post.

  9. You could have written this earlier, and I could have forwarded it to the management of first casino in Singapore. They really made a mess in the first week of opening.

  10. Even though we do see this information re-hashed all over the net, it’s still good to remind ourselves of it.

    All in all it was a good read. Thanks!

  11. You’re 100% right about the research part. Having just started out I’ve burnt through quite a bit of cash because I was in such a hurry to see results. Each campaign that I’m running (whilst still losing) I’m researching more and more and the numbers are getting better and better (albiet slowly). Thanks for the post

  12. By researching and testing proper way in every sites will help to generate more leads or sales. That what your customer need.

  13. Excellent advice, it’s going on the whiteboard. Any good books on this kind of sales copy research/writing?

    1. David Ogilvy’s “ogilvy on Advertising” talks about research in pretty good depth

      John Caple’s “Tested Advertising Methods” is also great

      I think both are must haves for any marketer

  14. It’s unfortunate, but lot’s of business and people don’t do this at all. They just have a grand idea and don’t really think about the practically. They just think having a website will increase sales, but they don’t really think about how they’ll accomplish.
    Yes, research is essential, but it’s probably the most boring part that nobody wants to do.

  15. Agree with everything you’ve said, as long as people don’t get analysis paralysis……and try to study, study, study and figure absolutely everything out before launching……because you can’t figure it all out…..gotta dip your toe in the water and get started……

  16. You said it. Research is everything. If you don’t take everything into account, you’ll miss your target. Thanks.

  17. This is a great post and I couldn’t agree more. Those who don’t know their customer are destined for failure.

  18. It is true that most of the new projects fail because of inadequate research. Research and especially customer research is something that gets the least time in projects that have written failure all over it.
    A product launch can only be successful if it is accepted by the customer and a customer will only accept it if it satisfies a need in him. In order to identify this need a complete customer research has to be done before taking up any product launches.

  19. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information specially the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  20. Hi Justin,

    I believe research what people want is the vital ingredient before you get started building a site. I use to screw up this point and never see money coming in. Once I understand this and perfecting this skill, everything seem clear and making money has never been easier.

    Thanks for this post.

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