It Doesn’t Have to Look Good, Just Be Good

I only have three tips for fast infoproduct creation:

  1. Don't make it look good.
  2. Get excited about your topic.
  3. Practice.

John Williams made an excellent point to last Wednesday's blog post... which was about writing a small report and adding onto it later, releasing free upgrades to existing customers while increasing the price to new buyers as the size of the infoproduct went up. John said that I left out the part about doing the actual work, writing the e-book itself.

It has never taken me longer than 7 working days to create an infoproduct. By "infoproduct" I mean a 100 to 150 page e-book. A few years ago I created a package where I sold 3 e-books in one, that was a one month project.

One week to write each of the three e-books and I spent the final week writing a bunch of articles to promote the book so I could post one article to article sites every day or so.Your product doesn't have to look super great and fancy. It doesn't even have to look okay.

I heard a story once about a guy who ordered a DVD from a web site about how to play the guitar. The DVD was homemade, burned on a store-bought DVD-R with the title of the DVD handwritten with a sharpie marker on the disc.

The buyer popped the DVD into his DVD player. There was no menu, the video just started up and was a low quality camcorder video of a guy warming up on his guitar. The camerawoman (his wife) was fiddling with the focus and zoom and asking if it was recording.

Edit: Paydex pointed out that the story was from Russell Brunson about some weightlifting DVDs he ordered - thanks - it's been bugging me for years where that story came from.

The creator of the product didn't bother to edit any of this out. Heck, maybe he didn't even know how!

It didn't matter. The buyer was more than happy with the lessons the DVD had to offer. The presentation doesn't matter as much as you think. Ken Evoy heavily tested graphics versus no graphics on his sales letters... guess what... graphics hardly made any difference.

In fact, fancy graphics and Flash can hurt your sales letter conversion rates if they are too large and distract readers from your headline and sales copy. Just present your information in a simple and readable way.

Would you rather create a product that has a nice looking box with crappy content, or a crappy box with great content?

Please, do everyone a favor and get your product out there even if it isn't 100% polished.

Filed in: Product Creation

Comments (44)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Donna Maher says:

    There are varying schools of thought on your subject… I would still like a product with great content AND a nice wrapper – but maybe that’s because I’m a graphic artist – and I’m what they call a “visual person”.

    That’s amazing about the DVD story… it must have ended up having some REALLY awesome content… since it sounded horrific to behold.

    Well, I spent a week on my product, and even though it’s not perfect, it’s dang good – especially for the price. Click my name to see it if you wish.

    Thanks again for sharing… your mind fascinates me.


  2. Amin Motin says:

    “Would you rather create a product that has a nice looking box with crappy content, or a crappy box with great content?”

    100% great content every time. Good post and very timely for all those people wanting to hit perfection before doing *anything*.

  3. Robert, I think you mean “get your product out there even if it isn’t 100% polished”.

    Your products would be completely useless to someone like me if they weren’t “complete” because I wouldn’t be able to use the material without enough step-by-step.

    That’s why I can buy your products as soon as I hear about them. Well, so far anyway 😉

  4. Robert,

    I’ll admit it. i have been to your blog SIX times since your last post looking for a new post….


  5. Truer words have never been uttered, indeed. 🙂

    Those who wait until perfection wait forever, whereas those who act upon their good ideas can share their successes with many.

    The morale is sound and excellent. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  6. That story is from Russel Brunson, BTW.


    “I paid $50 for a weightlifting DVD the other day, and when I turned it on… the opening scene was black.

    Then you heard the guys wife say “I can’t see anything.”

    A second later the guy said, “You’ve got to take the lens cap off honey!”

    You then saw her take the lens cap off, and he started teaching.

    Now, that was horrible quality, but the content was amazing. I ended up buying all 6 dvd in his series BECAUSE THE CONTENT WAS SO GOOD!”

  7. Dunns Number says:

    and readers, Let’s DIGG this Blog post for Plank-o so we can get more blog posts FAST!!


  8. Right On!
    It doesn’t have to be perfect and it doesn’t have to look great. Content is the key. This all fits the old saying, “You can’t tell a book by its cover.”
    It is amazing how many folks are talking about getting it done, it doesn’t have to be perfect, or it just needs to be good enough.
    Again, the key is content.

  9. Bigdadda says:

    Robert – I really digg this blog. I ordered PHP uncensored and can’t seem to get enough of your stuff. Keep it up.

  10. Brian says:

    This is going to work for a while.

    It will lower the bar on the quality of products in the marketplace.

    Then people will eventually get “buyer rejection fever” when a product is less than stellar in presentation.

    Then the professional packaged presentation will be what sells in the marketplace.

    Then…..we should have made enough to have retired!

  11. Jim Hubbard says:

    I agree to a point about the graphics and the DVD quality.

    No it doesn’t have to be perfect, but the graphics and DVD quality should be atleast better than amateur or I won’t even get to the content because I’ll figure it is just as amateurish.

    I think with today’s inexpensive software to create boxes and covers and headers and the images available for free or atleast inexpensive that if you are so bad as to not be able to do a decent job with it, then there are plenty of people willing to do it for a very reasonable price.

    On the other hand it doesn’t need to be a product that has cost the creator $3,000 to get created either.

    The best products I’ve seen do seem to come from the non Guru’s that know their niche, but don’t have thousands to spend on professional graphics and sales letters.

    So I do believe quality of the graphics and sales letter needs to be decent to even have a chance at someone getting to the quality of the product.

    So I guess that is what you are saying. Just get your product out there, but be smart about it. You can polish it later.


    Jim Hubbard

  12. Earl Adkins says:


    I have to agree with you here. I remember the first Info product that I created. The box didn’t look all that great and I know that the PDF wasn’t fully professional looking, but I put it out there.

    To my surprise, I immediately sold $500.00 worth at $97.00 each. That was several years ago, now I’m using the product as a lead generator and it has netted me nearly a 1,000 optin leads.

    As long as you have solid, usable information in your product, put it out there. There is always time to tweak the graphics, sales copy and marketing system.

    The bottom line is…if it isn’t available for someone to purchase, you’re not going to make a penny on it.

    To Your Best in Success,

    Earl Adkins –

  13. Jim Lodwig says:

    Excellent post on info product creation Robert.

    Where I find that graphics are helpful is to provide a visual representation of a product regardless if digital or physical.

    To be clear I’m referring to graphics for an ebook, report or audio/video course NOT mini site graphics on the sales page.

    Just go back and look at some million dollar sales letters as an example.

    John Reese we know did 1 million and you won’t see mini site graphics on the sales page. Product graphics YES however.

    David D Angelo –
    I forget how much, Eben Pagen his real name, makes off this course but reportedly his biz does over 20 million a year.

    For those who may be new to marketing you might find this resource helpful. Even as long as I’ve been online I forgot about it for years till recently.

    Enter a domain like and check out what the sales letter looked like when it launched and then the updates.

    Some great info you’ve been sharing Robert look forward to the updates.


  14. Excellent points made Robert.

    People spend so much time creating eye-candy for their sales page, that they never get around to launching the product at all.

    Before I purchase anything on-line, the first thing I look over is customer reviews, both good and bad. In my opinion good ad copy and testimonials about your product are key. Even if you place a link pointing to a forem that discusses your product on the sales page increases the marketability of the product overall.

    Thanks once again robert for giving people the real skinny on info product creation.

  15. “Getting it done” is more important than great graphics.

    I don’t know about everyone else but it took me longer to make the graphics for my latest report than it took me to write the report!

    The first product I produced looked plain, black box with white lettering plain. End result…..sales and then sign-ups!

    Could the sales and sign-ups have been better? Yes.
    Did I make money and get sign-ups? Yes.

    Get your first one DONE. It doesn’t have to work miracles….it just has to work!

    Rinse and repeat. You will get better over time.

    Brian Ankner (non-guru)

  16. Bob Stovall says:

    Well, I’m #15. In my part of the world, that’s more than 10. Can’t wait for the next post. Good stuff, Robert. I’ve always advised clients to get their website, info etc. out there and polish it up later. If the info’s good, it’s not right to hold it back from those it could help.

  17. John says:

    Hi Robert,

    I think that sometimes people worry too much about making a product look great instead having a great product. If the product is good people will buy even with average graphics.

  18. Excellent post! I have suffered from this myself and the result was a huge product launch delay. I believe people with OCDs – obsessive compulsive disorder – with respect to perfection are the worst sufferers. It is always good to launch a product in its basic phase and then slowly work on it per user feedbacks. Even for software also, it is easier to gather feedback from users and integrate them in the next version rather than wondering about all the features in the first version.

  19. Chris Noble says:

    If you’re a perfectionist no product you make will ever be perfect – that’s a given – but just like no-one wants to go back to brown and amber computer screens, so buyers expect more now and a good presentation will reduce buyer remorse and refund requests.

    Good design is often “less is more” so it doesn’t need to be flashy, just classy.

  20. Marian says:

    Robert, I agree, if it’s not perfect it still has got be kind of “cool”! 🙂

    That is it’s got to have great and useful content. But if it has a great looking package…I’d feel myself much more better if selling something like that. 🙂


  21. Paydex says:


    You need to POST DAILY,


  22. Robert Plank says:

    Brian: Exactly. If it slows you down, get rid of it.

    That’s why I went from making my own minisite graphics to outsourcing the graphics, and then doing away with graphics altogether when I realized it made almost no difference in sales. All it did was delay my launch by a couple of days and sometimes that was enough time for me to lose interest in the project.

    Paydex: Daily posts… I wish… if I were to post daily I would have to make this a paid blog.

  23. Paydex says:

    I don’t know.. making money on your phpsales makes this a sort-of paid blog…



  24. Paydex says:


    I’ll pay to read your blog, in exchange for a daily post.

    or even better, you can video-blog (vlog) 5 minutes a day and post it online…


    P.S. if you have time one of there years, please email me- it seems hard to get your attention sometimes 😀


  25. It’s further evidence that it’s the *content* that’s king…not the pretty graphics.

  26. Aisling says:

    Inspiring, thanks! I need to get a bunch of products out, and it’s far too easy for me to delay because I want them to look “just so.”

  27. Sean Isaacs says:

    Robert, thanks for this reminder that when someone purchases a product or service, their concern is for what it will do for them. The look is important, but not as important as the content promised in the Sales Letter.

    One of my biggest challenges has been trying to create the PERFECT packaged product. I like the idea of getting something done and perfecting it as you go.

    This was helpful. Thanks!

  28. Carlton says:


    With you about 50/50 on this one (ok,maybe 80/20). I agree that the steak is more important than the sizzle of the product and MANY times, the sizzle is what is advertised. But there are some things that I think are crucial in a info product. Spell checking, font size, and colors are part of the ‘packaging’ that I feel should be at least standardized in a info product, video, etc. The author could be excellent and know all about his subject, but when the ebook is filled with spelling issues it lowers my belief or trust in the author.

    But, and I know this from experience, many people (ME TOO) suffer from procrastination and self doubt and hesitate from releasing good idea and products. We create all kinds of reasons why we delay or hesitate in releasing a product. Getting that first one out there can really help the confidence.

    Great info as usual

  29. Glen Wayne says:

    Robert, this is great advice and you are a great example to all of us. If everyone took this to heart and acted on it…the marketing world would be transformed overnight!

  30. Clyde says:

    I received your message over a week ago and am finally getting here to read the post and leave a comment. What happened there?

    I have learned so much from you and from Lamce as well. My problem has been in making myself implement what I learned, to much on my plate. I am cleaning my plate this week, I suppose that is how I found the email from last week.

    Anyway, One of the things I have learned that I have actually implemented, believe it or not, is getting SOMETHING out there and going on from there.

    This has helped me more than you could ever imagine as it took me almost a year to get my first membership site up because Dave and I wanted everything to be perfectt. I wonder how many sales we missed.

    Thanks for the excellent information and PLEASE, keep it coming.


  31. Sudarmaji Lamiran says:

    Hi Robert,

    a nice to read blog as usual
    one question though:

    what would you do if the future customers turned to dislike your product?


  32. Sudarmaji Lamiran says:


    what is the plugin you’re using to display the available-seats in writing a comment?


  33. Creating a product and a basic sales page fast, putting a buy button on the sales page now, then improving on the sales page and the product as you go is the best advice you have ever given.

    It amazes me when I tell people that and they give all kinds of excuses about needing to get everything exactly right before launching a product.

    Keep eating your own dog food, improving on your systems and turning them into products.

    I love your three steps above.


  34. Ben McMahan says:

    Robert, I really like your suggestion, as it mirrors my own ideas. The formula that works for me is: (1)research like crazy (2) write the book (3) proofread and edit the book onscreen (4) have wife read and proofread printed copy (5) take wife’s suggestions, fix the errors (6) put it on website (7) market it like crazy.

    That’s it for the first edition. Perfection may take several more editions.

  35. Andrew says:

    I purchased a DVD that had appalling production quality, but I liked the content, so kept it and didn’t claim a refund.

    But a product must “work” before release i.e. you can learn from it and apply the system being taught.

  36. Clyde says:

    Ok, you don’t have to slap me with a wet mop.

    This is exactly what happened with our membership site. Now everything is so out of date we are having to do an overhaul before we can launch. This time I am using Wishlist, WP Drip and some other tips and tricks from your arsenal.

    Hope to have everything up and running next week. It’s about time.

    Thanks for the solid content and advice,

  37. Howard says:

    Interesting. I had worried about the quality of some podcasts that I had posted because they weren’t particularly polished, and didn’t have a fancy “needledrop” intro.

    Guess I’ll stop worrying about it now and get on to producing more podcasts.

    Could also apply to another project I have in mind for a different blog, too.

  38. David Ashton says:

    Hi Robert,
    I am amazed at the wisdom you have. Seriously this post is very true. Trying to get something really neat before you release it can cost you big bucks in lost revenue. You could always offer an update to the people who have already bought.
    In the end, it doesn’t really matter as long the article or ebook delivers.

  39. Robert,
    You keep hammering us with this concept in so many different ways so that eventually we might get the point! Trying to make everything look pretty is also a good way to distract ourselves from putting it up and risking “failure” or “fear of rejection” – you know – “what if someone doesn’t like it” type thinking, instead of us having enough faith in what we do to know that the content is excellent and will help anyone who comes to find it.

    Thank you for all you do for us! You are the king for sure.


  40. Hi Robert,

    I was working with my coach yesterday afternoon, focusing on a publishing projects. I mentioned wanting it to be “perfect”. Needless to say, she stopped me and pointed out that it needed to be done, not perfect. I’ll admit to hiding behind “perfect” for fear of being judged. The more I work it, the less chance there is of anyone seeing it. Thank you for a great and timely post.

  41. Sergio Felix says:

    Hey Robert,

    I remembered when I released my very first information product, it took me a whole year to finish creating it (because I never saw it “perfect”) and in the end, it only did average in the sales.

    I wished I had someone to tell me not to bother with irrelevant stuff, get the product out there faster and then adapt as I went.

    But what’s done it’s done.

    Right now I want to publish my first Kindle book and I’ve been procrastinating on it since I don’t know how to actually publish the book (the technical details).

    So I read this small book from Amazon on how to publish to Kindle and it turns out it’s a lot easier to do than what I thought so the main problem is lack of discipline to follow up and not to aim for perfection.

    I think I once heard Alex Jeffreys say “Don’t get it perfect, get it going” which sounds pretty adequate for this.


Leave a Reply

Back to Top