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Want to Sell More Products? Use Controversy!

Jinger Jarrett
Aug 17, 2007
When Dan Brown published his book, "The Davinci Code", Christians were up in arms. After all, Brown had effectively rewritten two thousand years of Christian history with the claim that Jesus Christ had been married.

Whether you choose to believe this or not is really immaterial to this article. Personally, as a Christian, I saw nothing to get all up in arms about.

In fact, Brown's strategy was brilliant. Who knows if he really believes what he said? The bottom line is the bottom line.

As a marketer, I found it easy to see through Brown's, ploy. By creating controversy over his book, he sold 46,000,000+ copies, of "The Davinci Code". Now he's laughing all the way to the bank.

Writing about controversial subjects is nothing new. Using controversy to promote your products and services is also nothing new.

The subject Brown chose to write about had already been done before. A good example is a book by Robert Ludlum.

In 1976, Robert Ludlum published "The Gemini Contenders". Ludlum offered an alternative gospel, written by one of Jesus's disciples. If recovered by the Nazis, this alternative gospel could destroy the Allied World and lead the Nazis to victory.

What Ludlum didn't do though is rewrite history. He used actual events as chronicled in mainstream history books.

Ludlum also didn't set out to offend anyone. He was telling a story, pure and simple.

So what does this have to do with controversy?

Plenty. It can mean the difference between a blockbuster product, and a super blockbuster product. It can mean thousands, or even millions of dollars difference in sales.

Recently, a lot of products have been released in internet marketing that used controversy as a main selling point. The problem is, many of these products didn't live up to the hype.

The real secret to controversy is timeliness. You also want to live up to the hype you'll create when launching your product.

The question is, how do you do this?

First, do your homework. Regardless of what industry you're in, you can do a little research and find out what the latest trends are.

Search Amazon and find out what books about your subject are hot. Carefully study these books. Read the table of contents, reviews, and any other information you can find.

Next, do a search on a news site at Google, Yahoo, or MSN. Put your search terms in quotes to make your search more effective. Find out what's being written about your topic.

You can also search news release sites like PR Web. The advantage of searching a PR portal is that you can see what other businesses are saying about themselves. News releases are meant to be informative news pieces about a business, but these news pieces are still written from a particular business perspective.

To create controversy, you need an alternative viewpoint.

Here's an example:

With Dan Brown's book, he chose to go against 2,000 years of what had been considered conventional wisdom by Christians. He offered a different historical viewpoint to history, and he chose to base his story on this different viewpoint.

It worked. His sales prove it.

The controversial viewpoint is often not the most popular viewpoint of the times, but this doesn't mean the viewpoint is wrong, or less than because it's not the most popular viewpoint.

King Solomon once said "There is nothing new under the sun". I believe this is true. There are no real secrets, only principles that work.

Creating controversy is a viewpoint that works.

Creating controversy is a timeless principle you can use to sell your products and services. Just make sure your product lives up to the hype you create. You'll sell more products that way.
About the Author
Jinger Jarrett is the author of "1001 High Traffic Sites to Market Your Business for Free". Learn how to market on high traffic sites like Google, Yahoo, and MSN News. http://www.jingerjarrett.com. Visit her internet marketing bookstore at http://www.lulu.com/jingerjarrett
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