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Bells and Whistles

Written by Ryan Ambrose  · March 27, 2008

fireworks

I’m as big a fan of bells and whistles in the things I buy or find as anyone else. I like shiny web sites with gradient images, video games with great sound and graphics, and flashy casings on tech toys that appeal to a geek like me. They contribute to the ‘wow’ factor, and truthfully, a few well-considered bells and whistles can make a product better.

The problem is, they don’t make the product, and I’ve seen quite a few examples of shiny, glitzy products that have plenty of ‘wow’ factor, but no real use. A few examples:

  • High budget blockbuster movies that neglect the ‘movie’ part of the movie. They have excellent sound, special effects, and ‘A-list’ actors or actresses, but they’re still miserable as entertainment.

  • Web sites with plenty of cool features, but nothing of any real substance or fun.

  • Ebooks and software that are visually beautiful, but don’t serve any real function or give you any information. One of my old anti-virus programs was this way, and all it did was take up too many resources and look shiny while the viruses made it through undetected.

All of this leads me to my point. When you’re promoting a product or service online, you’re selling something substantive. Adding the bells and whistles is great for causing word-of-mouth sales or a reduction in returns, but if what you’re selling doesn’t do what you said it would do, you’ll still have a bad product or service. A flashy, fancy failure of a product or service is a failure nonetheless.

Add bells and whistles, of course, but make sure your product or service works as advertised. Trying to hide the fact it’s miserable behind fancy features is a good way for someone to notice and mention it, probably to friends and family, and possibly on a blog or forum. Make sure it does what you say it does first, and then give it the ‘wow’ factor to take it over the top. Preferably with gradients, because I like them.

Seriously, how do you make a beautiful, sellable ebook? Find your answers today with The Ebook Walkthrough!

My name is Ryan Ambrose, and I’m one of the co-authors of Can I Make Big Money Online.



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Comments

One Response to “Bells and Whistles”

  1. Jonathan on April 25th, 2008 3:50 am

    Ryan I completely agree with your arguement. If people focussed a little more on what they produce, rather than how they promote it, then there would be a lot more satisfied online customers.





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