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Bill Platt of the Phantom Writers, invites you to reprint this article in your print publication, ezine, or on your website. This is a Free-Reprint article. The only requirements for publishing this article are:

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    Thank you for adhering to these four very simple rules.
    Deciding Whether to Offer Your New Gadget as a Product or Service
    Copyright 2004, Bill Platt

    If you have ever made and designed your own software, you will
    have likely already learned the lessons in this article. The 
    same lessons can be applied to the businesses of most Internet 
    marketers. 
    
    The main lesson I learned was that it does not matter how good 
    your software product is, the quality of the product does not 
    ensure its financial success. 
    
    Microsoft of course is an exception for a number of reasons.
    First off, Microsoft has always sold their product first to the
    computer retailer. Secondly, they have built the legal war
    chest to force businesses to pay for their products. They also
    have the war chest available to promote their products with 
    tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. 
    
    My business is not a Microsoft and yours may not be either. So, 
    we do not have the lock on selling our products as a necessity 
    to the middle man, and we do not have the same kind of budget 
    that Microsoft possesses. Even still, we should never ever give 
    up on our hopes and dreams of success. 
    
    
    NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!
    
    I am able to share this message with you from a position of
    experience. 
    
    See, I am a programmer of moderate knowledge. I have undertaken
    software projects on several levels while searching for that 
    infamous pot-of-gold. 
    
    In the early, early days, I wrote three separate software 
    packages for direct resale to the public. The first and second
    time, I supposed that it just was not the right package to get
    the attention of the public. 
    
    The third time out, I approached the project with the shareware
    attitude. I sold one copy of the package. 
    
    The fourth time out, I gave the software for free, but supported
    by ad revenue. Selling advertising on an unknown name is tougher
    than giving away the software. I gave away several hundred copies
    of the package, but did not sell a single ad lot, so I ended up
    serving my ads alone. 
    
    The fifth time around, I finally got a grip on the challenge. I
    had developed software for my own use, and thought others might
    like the package. I was right. 
    
    
    THE HARD, NAKED TRUTH
    
    I could have offered the package for resale, but it was software
    that could only be used by a very tight niche market. There were
    only about 500 people who I suspected might be interested in the
    product as a stand-alone application. 
    
    If I sold the package for $100, I might could have made $50,000
    on the product alone, but that is optimistic. At $100, I am 
    willing to venture that my takers would have been fewer than 
    50 strong. So now, my gross earnings on the product may have
    been $5000. 
    
    Realistically, I would reach my largest market base at about
    $20 per user. If I could have turned that $20 on the 500 users,
    then my earnings would have been a maximum of $10,000 earned on
    the product. Granted, that is not too shabby, but it is far from
    exceptional. It is definately not on the scale of Microsoft.
    
    
    THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX
    
    I finally realized that if I were to offer my software as a
    service, then I could resell the service to the same people 
    over and again. By offering the product as a service, I could
    then insure that I would have a continuous source of income to
    spur the upgrades that are discovered to be needed down the 
    road. 
    
    Over the last three years, I have tweaked and prodded the 
    software to offer more and more value to the service and to 
    increase the ability of my clients to get real value from my
    product/service. 
    
    My service is designed to help writers of free-reprint articles
    to get their articles delivered to ever-expanding groups of
    publishers who are looking for great content to reprint.
    
    Since January of 2002, I have managed to triple the number of
    publishers and webmasters I am able to reach with my client's
    content. Along the way, I have been able to improve my program
    to add even more added-value services to my basic package. I 
    could realistically increase the cost of my service by five 
    times, and my clients would still be getting their money's 
    worth from my service. And yet, more added value services are
    right around the corner. 
    
    
    THE SOFTWARE OF MY FUTURE LABORS
    
    I have finally learned the lesson of how to sell my software
    online. With my future software products, some will be offered
    as a free service so that I can get the additional exposure,
    and others will be offered as pay services. 
    
    I have earned more money for my service than I had ever hoped
    to earn as a software product. And the money is continuous
    which gives me the opportunity to receive additional benefits
    to my pocket book when I decide to upgrade the software. 
    
    My latest individual software package has been put up on my
    site as a free service so that I may receive the additional
    exposure. 
    
    If you are a webmaster and you are using content written by 
    others to spice up your site's value in the search engines and
    in the minds of your visitors, then this new software will be
    of good value to you. 
    
    In order to meet the terms of reprint stated by the writer of 
    the content you are using, you must hyperlink all URL's in the 
    article copy. Doing this hyperlinking by hand is a real painful 
    experience, especially if you are using lots and lots of content 
    written by others. By using my newest, most nifty little tool,
    all you have to do is to put the text copy of the article into
    the form and click "convert," and the software will hyperlink 
    all URL's in the copy that you are working to prepare for quick
    and easy placement into your site. 
    
    This software is called the "TPW Text-to-Hyperlink Conversion
    Tool" and it can be found at:
    
      http://thephantomwriters.com/link-builder.pl
    
    
    AN ADDED VALUE
    
    Even though this software is mostly used by the webmasters who 
    take my client's content for reprint on their websites, from my 
    site's article archives, this software is actually an added
    value to my paying client's as well. 
    
    By targeting the software to those who will use my client's 
    content for reprint, my client's are assured that there is no
    reason why the webmasters would not be able to hyperlink every
    article that is used from my website. My client's benefit from
    this tool because their terms of reprint are honored much more
    frequently than ever before. 
    
    
    IN CONCLUSION
    
    By targeting my software to both sides of the equation, my user
    base and my client base, I am offering added value services to
    both groups and providing my potential clients more reason to
    buy my services. 
    
    Perhaps as you look down the road with what you are going to be 
    doing with your website, you will find more ways to extract more
    income from your own website.  
    

    Bill Platt owns http://thePhantomWriters.com . Do you need free content for your website or ezine? Our archives deliver more than 350 free-reprint articles available for your use. http://content.thePhantomWriters.com . Do you write your own articles? Let us distribute them for you to our network of 6000+ publishers & webmasters http://thePhantomWriters.com/distribution




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