John Thornhill’s Master Class — Choosing A Product To Produce

August 15, 2011 | By Dee Ann Rice

Have you ever produced a product before?

The answer for me would be NO.

So if you are at the same place that I am maybe you are wondering just how do I decide kind of product to produce and then what to produce my product on.

Those were the questions I was asking a few weeks ago when I went about the very early stages of producing my first product.

Lets start with what kind of a product to produce.

Since this is my first product I am going to create an eBook.

If this is your first product I would suggest this as well.

An eBook is much simpler to produce that the others.  If you want to use some audio or video that could be incorporated into your eBook in small amounts.  I am definitely not going to attempt a piece of software. However, I would love to do that someday.

Now we have down just what kind of a product we want to produce.  That was easy.  So on to what the product is going to be about.

We now have 5 lists of 10 things.  Well that is if we are lucky.  I really had a hard time coming up with 10 on some of those.

I actually ended up doing number 5 as I was very stumped and could not figure out what I wanted to do.  In reality though if I had made good lists I would of found my answer in my lists.  I ended up choosing a topic that I had written two blog posts on.  That topic should have been on my list.

I think even the job of creating a list is a learning experience though.  The next time I will have a much better idea of what I am doing and I think or hope the job of picking a topic will be easier.

Due to the fact that this is my first product I am not going to worry to much about researching whether or not it will be very marketable.  I am looking at this as a learning experience and will market what I come up with.  I do think my topic is marketable though.

The whole idea of producing a product is to make money so if your product has no market you will make no money.  That makes this part of the process a very important part.

I have just told how to choose a topic for a product.  It is not complicated but I found it to be hard the first time.

If you are trying to produce your first product I hope that this helps you to be able to pick your topic.

I would love to hear comments on picking a topic.

Maybe you found it hard also or maybe it was easy for you.  It might help someone else if you shared a comment.

If you have produced several products maybe you have some valuable suggestions for those of us just starting our journey down that road.

Where ever you are on your journey your comment will be greatly appreciate.



If you find this post interesting or useful could you please share it with your friends. Thank you.



P.S. Thank you to those of you who helped me choose my topic. I could not have done it without you.



{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Robyn August 15, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Hi Dee Ann

Great post, well written and I love your graphics. Sometimes the hardest part of creating a product is trying to work out what niche to choose. Niche selection is so important. Some people choose a niche because it is popular, some because nobody else is doing it.

I think the best way to choose a niche is to choose something that you are passionate about. If you have passion for something it doesn’t seem like work to write about it, proberly the hardest part will be stopping writing because you want to share so much.

Good luck with your product, can’t wait to see it when it is finished.

Take care.



2 Dee Ann Rice August 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm


Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

I totally agree with you. If you are passionate about something it is much easier.

I finally did pick something that I was passionate about and enjoyed writing about. I am excited now.

Thanks again for your input.

Dee Ann


3 Dawn Kay August 16, 2011 at 1:18 am

Hey Dee Ann

I think the hardest part about product creation is deciding what to create the products on.

I’m not one of those that does a list of what I’m passionate about I’m afraid as I’d end up with a product nobody wanted to know about (lol).

What I have found easier is what Sally’s always told me to do and that’s writing about what you’ve been doing or learning online.

Then it’s fresh in your mind because you’ve just done it and you’ve got social proof too.

Easier to write about it then I feel.

I like what you did and asked your readers what product to create and maybe you could even ask them what they want covered in your ebook too.

Then your giving them exactly what they want…

Anyway good luck with it and I’m looking forward to seeing the end result.


p.s If your still doing the topic I think your doing I reallyyyyyyy think it would be a good idea to add some videos showing them too.

Your fab at videos so know you can do it


4 Dee Ann Rice August 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm


I am still doing the topic that you think I am.

I have done this list thing several times when different people have suggested it is the way to figure out what to do an eBook on. Every time I have not been very successful and have not gotten the lists really made. This is the first time I have actually carried through and decided what to do an eBook on and it was not from doing the lists but from asking people what they thought.

I am also planning on putting some videos in my eBook. I think my topic would really lend itself to several videos.

Thanks for your input. I love hearing what other people think.

Dee Ann


5 Barry
August 16, 2011 at 8:12 am

Hi Dee Ann, your tweetmeme button isn’t working. This could be due to have ‘ in the title.

How do I choose what to produce?

The first time around I was much like you were and very undecided. I chose to go with what i know about eBay.

As i learn more I have ideas for new products and have a list of them now with 3 on the list and 3 in progress.

I haven’t researched any of them as I know that people will want them becuase of reading posts like this one and many others asking how people do certain things.

I have to agree with Dawn about your videos Dee Ann. Write the eBook first and add videos for the more techi’ or complicated areas.

Your videos are great, which brings me to my next point:

I’ve put a little challenge together and would love it if you would take part. The details are on my blog Dee Ann

Catch up soon,
Barry recently posted…Challenge: I Am Showing You Mine But Will You Show Me Yours?My Profile


6 Dee Ann Rice August 16, 2011 at 6:08 pm


I could not figure out why the tweet meme button was not working and forgot about the permalink. It is fixed now (actually I figured the permalinks thing out on my own finally. Then I read your comment and noticed that you figured it out also. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction). Maybe I should do a post on that.

I am learning that choosing topics for products is really more of a look at what you know and like decision instead of trying to be scientific about it.

Thank you for sharing your ideas on choosing a topic. It is great to see what works best for others.

Have a great week.

Dee Ann

I am planning on using videos in my eBook. I think they will be an essential part of it.


7 Barry
August 16, 2011 at 8:13 am

Me again, the Facebook button is also failing. I think it’s the ‘ after thornhills.

Hope that helps.

Up for the challenge?

Barry recently posted…Traffic Foundations: Learn From My Mistakes and Get Social Media FriendlyMy Profile


8 Dee Ann Rice August 16, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Yes I could not figure it out before I left this morning. I looked and looked at it.

I should of know what was wrong as I have done the same thing before but must of figured it out faster last time because I remember fixing it right away.

Then while I was away I have this vision of what was wrong, came home, changed it and it worked. Then I found the comments.

Thank you so much for pointing it out though and telling me what was wrong.

It was driving me crazy. I almost left a comment on my own post saying “If anyone can tell me why my tweet meme button is now working please leave a comment below” You must of heard my frustration all the way to the UK.

The Facebook one is working now also.

Yes I am up for the challenge. I was going to use a video in my next post and already have figured out what I am doing it on so, this is great timing for me.

Thanks again.

Dee Ann


9 Barry
August 17, 2011 at 1:51 am

Hi Dee Ann, just came back to use your button 😉

Have a great day

Barry recently posted…Challenge: I Am Showing You Mine But Will You Show Me Yours?My Profile


10 Dee Ann Rice August 17, 2011 at 7:28 am


Thank you.

You are so thoughtful.

Dee Ann


11 Cheryl M. August 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I’m all for you including videos too! As you well know, I am scared to death of making videos. Which is really dumb, because I’m great with computers, and teaching a webinar is no big deal to me.

I just tweeted a request for people to give me ideas for a blog post! It got forwarded to facebook too, and I might put a request on my blog as well. I’m curious to see what the average mommy blogger has questions about.

Great job Dee Ann!


12 Dee Ann Rice August 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm


Thanks for coming by.

I am going to use videos in the eBook. They do not bother me to do. Sometimes I get frustrated with editing them but doing is no problem. I actually enjoy doing that.

Ideas for a blog post? I have trouble thinking of my own sometimes. lol You are also posting such different things on your blog then I am but, you know those people could always benefit from some techie types of posts.

Good Luck and talk to you soon.

Dee Ann


13 Adrienne
August 16, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Decisions, decisions, decisions. What the heck to do! Yep, I’m in the same boat Dee Ann so thanks for structuring your post this way.

Also really love the graphics and I can tell where you got those! So glad Mouh was so generous with those too.

I’m leaning towards two different things right now but will definitely go the easy route my first time around and just do an eBook. That much I do know. I still have to jump into the outline, etc. so I have a ways to go yet.

Thanks for this post though, really great tips to help me gather my thoughts of what I’m going to do. Can’t wait to see your product too! Let’s all jump in head first together shall we?

Always appreciate what you share with us.

Adrienne recently posted…How To Get Around In LinkedInMy Profile


14 Dee Ann Rice August 16, 2011 at 8:59 pm


I love the graphics also. It is so fun to use them and they add so much to posts. I am also glad that Mouh was so generous to give those to us.

Well I have my topic and that took me something like 5 weeks to decide on so this eBook could take me forever to write but I am plugging away at it.

I am all for jumping head first together!

I wish you the best of luck in writing your eBook and I will be very interested in reading it when it is done.

Thanks for coming by and thanks for a great comment.

Dee Ann


15 Ian Ieba August 18, 2011 at 6:59 am

Hi Dee Ann

No need to ask how you’re doing!

You are on a roll now :) I am pleased you have decided on your first product (I am hoping it’s still the one I think it is!)

We are quite close together in the JT Masterclass timeline in product creation. I was having the same trouble you did; it was definitely going to be an e-book, but about what was the problem? I do agree with Dawn “what to create the product on” is the most difficult part.

My eventual product topic was steering me in the face all the while, but it took somebody else to tell me before I realised it! :)

It’s now well underway and I am hoping to have it finished by the end of this month early next month.

Great post Dee Ann and the graphics are terrific, packed full of information and advice; a great guide for anyone trying to choose a topic for a product.

Take care, catch up soon

Ian :)


16 Dee Ann Rice August 18, 2011 at 9:19 am


I think I am only behind you by a couple of week in JT’s class in actual lessons that have been recieved but I am behind you in about 6 weeks in progress because it took me so long to decide what to do.

I am doing my ebook on what you think I am and it was staring me in the face also. Just took you and several others to point that out to me.

Thank you for helping me decide what to do.

I am glad you like the graphics. I love them. If you want the graphics go to How to use display boards and notes and Blackboards. Don’t know if you have been to his blog or not but he has amazing stuff on there and most of it is free.

Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughts.

Dee Ann


17 Jeffrey Morgan August 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Hi Dee Ann,
In the beginning, I had the same “What Do I Do Now” type of feeling. I think this is natural.

However, now that I have momentum I have no lack of ideas. I’m now published on Amazon and others. While going through the publishing process, I learned a ton and I mean a ton about E-Books and producing them for my market. Now when I have an idea I write an E-Book. Just like you write a post … write an E-Book and put in up for sale for $5 dollars.

Things are moving so fast out there that you just can’t lounge around the office considering your options. Get writing. If what you write is a bomb you can easily with-draw it and try again. It’s not like you have a publisher who has committed millions on a first run publication. Don’t over think it. Go for it …… “DO IT NOW!”

On a surreal note ……. I actually have a post about your Blog and one of the comments that you received on one of your posts coming out on the 10th of December. As I was running my numbers early this very morning, I detected where someone had boosted my content about the post ….. before I have even published the thing. Now that’s cold! You just can’t think this stuff up! I dare you to even try.


18 Dee Ann Rice August 22, 2011 at 9:01 am


I know you are right. I can not sit around and figure out what to write. I just need to do it. The first time I guess it just seems like a big deal and I know that it isn’t.

The thing that amazes me is you have your blog posts out as far a the 10th of December. I try to write mine ahead of time but never thought of getting that far ahead. Think I need to just start writing and get a lot done so I am out at least several weeks.

I think that thinking about things is not good. It uses a lot of time that I could just be writing.

Thanks for coming by and commenting. I have learned a lot from your comment.

Dee Ann


19 Jeffrey Morgan August 22, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Hi Dee Ann,

The Bloggers Market Group has 18 Blogs and 5 Websites. As of the first of the year I’ll have an additional 6 Blogs.There is just NO way that I can survive the daily schedule without providing content in advance.

I’ll be writing on this very subject on the 17th and 24th of September and then again on the 1st of October. Titled: “The Content Hopper”, “The Product Hopper” and “Oh No … Another Hopper”. I go into the issue of producing not only your content but your products as well as your opt-ins well in advance. You see the reason that “pop-up opt-ins” are so annoying is that they never change their offers.

Now, the real magic here is the fact that I am pre-exposing my market to my content with this comment on your Blog. Father Google just eats this up. Make no mistake about it. There are many “Comment Search Engines” out there that index everything you say on the web, “IN ORDER” no less. So the day that the post is actually released, well ….. in a word “ZOOM”.


20 Dee Ann Rice August 23, 2011 at 9:15 pm


Wow, 18 blogs and 5 websites. Do not know how you keep up with it all. I have trouble keeping up with 2 blogs, 1 husband, 2 kids, a networking business and life. Don’t think that adds up to what you do.

I can see that mentioning the titles early would be of benefit. I am going to try to start doing content ahead for my blogs (one of which I have barely started).

Really gives me motivation to get my stuff done when I think of keeping up with 18 blogs.

Thanks and have a great week.

Dee Ann


21 Rachel August 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Thanks Dee Ann for demonostrating how easy it can be to turn our
knowledge, information, and passion into products that can pay us over and over again.


22 Dee Ann Rice August 22, 2011 at 8:17 am


Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

I am glad you found my post helpful.

Dee Ann


23 Mouh September 4, 2011 at 5:36 am

Hi Dee Ann,

Great post on how to choose a good topic for your first product. I am happy you used the graphics. I am actually on cloud nine! 😀

I have something to say about being passionate. We sometimes have an idea for a product and it is sooo good, but it is not our real passion. This doesn’t mean the product isn’t good or we don’t know about the topic we write about.

I’ll give you example from my own experience. I wrote my product about how to write, create and sell eBooks. I put a lot of valuable info there. But when I wanted to blog about the topic, I didn’t feel like it’s my passion. But I still love the product I created. I only have knowledge in that field, but it is not my passion.

Being well-versed about a certain topic doesn’t mean you can blog and market it really well. That’s what I’ve discovered and I might be wrong. :)



24 Dee Ann Rice September 4, 2011 at 7:51 am


I totally agree with you. Just because we know something about a topic does not mean it is our passion and I think it does need to be our passion if we are to blog about it.

I have done similar things. I started a blog, which still exists, about a topic that I knew a lot about. I though it was a passion but found that it was not the passion I thought it was. It was very hard for me to blog about it. I finally left that blog and started another one and it worked lots better.

I love your graphics and have lots more plans for them.

Dee Ann


25 Linda September 17, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Well, I made my first ebook already, but it wasn’t for profit, guess that was a good start, right?

Now, I have something else I am supposed to be working on, but I got so darn busy with my regular job that I never got to it and not sure it is really something people will want to know, yet I haven’t really seen it out there, so I guess it will be ok. I just don’t want to spend hours creating something that maybe no one will want…but, I might try it some

Other than that, I would really not have any idea on where to go – I have been in sales most of my life and have a lot of that behind me, but in reality, it hasn’t gotten me where I want to be – yet everyone keeps coming to me for advice, which I LOVE to give.

so, I am not sure what I would do, but keep thinking and watching what is going on and maybe something will hit you for a new idea.

Anyway – I am sure your first product, whether it be an ebook or something else, will be great!

Good luck!


26 Leonard Evenson October 18, 2011 at 4:28 am

Your designs are very imaginative, they make the whole article feel like a learning process due to the blackboards. Are there any other products one could make, if they wish to produce something on their own but do not have good writing skills, or time to write a whole book? Can short videos be considered a product?


27 Dee Ann Rice October 18, 2011 at 9:34 am


I am glad you liked my post. I have fun doing the graphics.

I would not consider one short video to be a product but if you did a series of videos on how to do something that might work.

I am going to use videos in my eBook.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

Dee Ann


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