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Think You Can Sell Hot Dogs?

by PotPieGirl on February 1, 2010 · 26 comments

How Would You Sell Them?

Yes, I said it… hot dogs. Today we are going to talk about hot dogs – more importantly, how to SELL hot dogs. What in the world do hot dogs have to do with making money online? Well, actually it has a lot to do with it. Sit back and enjoy another trip into the weird mind of PotPieGirl.

Congrats! You’re a Hot Dog Vendor

Well, it’s been decided that YOU are going to sell hot dogs for a living. You got your hot dog cart…you got the buns and the weenies and all the cool stuff that goes with it. Awesome, now you’re ready to rock and roll.

Selling hot dogs should be easy, right? I mean c’mon, EVERYBODY loves hot dogs, don’t they? All you gotta do is put yourself and your hot dog cart where the people are. Easy.

So, you think about a place like downtown New York City. Tons of people there, right? Should be a breeze to sell a ton of weenies each day.

But wait – there’s also tons of OTHER hot dog vendors in New York City, too, aren’t there? You bet there are!

You’re gonna have to compete… get there early, get a good spot, offer something a little different than the rest of the vendors…..whew, you’re gonna have to like WORK.

Sure, there’s tons of people there and sure, you’ll probably sell a few, but you’re gonna work your tail off, jump up and down, and stay on top of things to get that piece of the market. There are also plenty of vendors there already that have been doing this for YEARS. They know what they’re doing… they know their market. In short, they are established and experienced and just might run your little hot dog business into the ground.

So, okayyyyyy….maybe downtown New York City is not the place for us. Maybe we need to take your hot dog cart to a place where there are a lot of people, but not any other hot dog vendors.

That should be easy, right? If you’re the ONLY hot dog vendor, you shouldn’t have to work so hard, ya think?

Yeah, well what if you find a large group of people somewhere every, single day BUT…..they’re vegetarians.

Think you’ll sell any hot dogs even tho you are the ONLY hot dog vendor for miles?

Not thinkin’ so.

We need to rethink this….

Ok, what if you park your hot dog cart right near a construction site that has a large group of workers? Now, that could work! Only problem is, it’s winter….they aren’t working now, but maybe they’ll come back soon….maybe?

Or maybe you could park your hot dog cart right outside your house…whatcha think? People come by now and then…maybe someone will want a hot dog AND be willing to pay you for it as opposed to going in THEIR house and just cooking one….maybe?

Selling Hot Dogs Is Too Hard!!

Sheeesh, this big idea to sell hot dogs suddenly got tricky. Perhaps it’s too hard and you should just quit before you even got started? You can park that hot dog cart in your garage and make your family eat your hot dog supply for the next 5 years….lol.

Not the answer. Quitting before you even tried is how I define “failure”. Let’s get back on this and make YOU a Hot Dog Tycoon!

So you gather your wits and get out there and take a look around. You suddenly drive past a good-sized high school or college that is right next to a park…and there’s no other hot dog vendor around.


No, you probably won’t see as many hungry people as you would in New York City, but you definitely will see more hot dog eaters than you would with the group of vegetarians…and you won’t have to wait to SEE if someone shows up as opposed to the construction site….but it could work – with a LOT less work on YOUR part.

These folks are hungry AND they eat hot dogs…you are positioned to be found without having to jump up and down and carry on the BE found.

You put yourself where you can be found by people that are looking for what you’re selling.

Hello? Tap, tap….can anyone hear me?

Put your offer where you can be found by people who want/need your product…and where YOU don’t have to work so hard to BE found.


Making money online is the same way… especially with affiliate marketing. Sure, those high-gravity Clickbank products are cool…and people are obviously buying them – BUT tons of OTHER affiliates are also SELLING them (New York City).

And yup, you can take that high-gravity product and get it found for a totally unrelated keyword…..so what? (think the vegetarian group). They don’t want what you’ve got so why offer it them?

Or… you could work one itty-bitty keyword that is very relevant, but the search volume is super, super low….and then fuss ’cause you aren’t getting massive traffic and results from that one web page (think the construction site). You can’t MAKE people search for a keyword more than they do. You have no control over search volume. You’d need a group of those itty-bitty keyword pages to have an impact on your sales and traffic-levels.

Or maybe….just maybe… you could pick a less-competitive product and have YOUR “cart” be found in a little nook (niche) where you don’t have to work so hard to get there and STAY there….AND, people WANT what you are offering.

You can do the same thing with a high-gravity product, but the odds of finding that little nook where you can be found and stick there are slim. Not IMPOSSIBLE, but slim. The folks you are competing against are not all one-man/one-woman hot dog carts – they are multi-cart owners who have lots of people working for them and deep-pockets to MAKE it work (and KEEP working).

Pick your battles. Use your time wisely.

Sell hot dogs.


Dave February 1, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Excellent post!!

Julie February 2, 2010 at 11:04 am

I LOVE this analogy! It really makes things crystal clear about how I should be going about my affiliate marketing. Oh, and it made me a little hungry too :) Thanks again!

PotPieGirl February 2, 2010 at 8:31 pm


I was a little hungry when I wrote it =)

bj February 3, 2010 at 2:15 am

Yeah, this is a great analogy!

I have to admit to having a rather strong lightbulb moment yesterday. It helps when you put a neon sign on top of your hot dog cart after you’ve found the right location. Couple A-tent signs on either end of the block. Maybe one of those helium filled balloons with your logo on it floating overhead.

In other words I gotta put in at least a half hour to an hour a day on promo EVERY day, whether it’s submitting the feed in a few new places, writing a few more articles with links back, blogging in a few places, commenting on some blogs that don’t nofollow their comment links and that are similar topics to mine, etc etc etc.

Scott Holley February 3, 2010 at 3:35 am

Great example! I like your logic…it makes perfect sense! The solution would be a chicken potpie stand

Allan R. Wallace February 4, 2010 at 1:10 am


I appreciate the link you e-mailed yesterday. It looks like a valuable short cut for something I’m about to start. There was enough info on Moran’s first page to show it a worthwhile guide. Better to buy a dog cart and start making money, than start shopping for parts to build a cart eventually.

After playing with OWM for a long time with some success, I’m finally going to go deeper. I came back to use your link to Wealthy Affiliates since you were the first to recommend WA. Of course that was over a year ago. What does the teacher do if the student is not ready?

Time to dive in.



Jean February 6, 2010 at 12:56 pm

excellent presentation and analogy……it made sense…presented in a common scenario that keeps me thinking of possibilities…if I where to sell hotdogs.

Azghar February 6, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Excellent post PPG! Makes total sense to pick out a market where competition is low and what people want.

It’s really common sense stuff, but its great to be reminded.

copywriting February 9, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Very well thought out and informative. I’m sure many others enjoy reading this too, but are just a little scared to post – anyway – thanks again!

Graduation Stoles February 10, 2010 at 8:10 am

Fun post, sensible too. I like your writing style. The only problem I can see is that while your hot dog example spells out the solution, the interpretation of the metaphor is not very clear what the equivalent solution is.

You pointed out the other examples in the context of making money online – New York, the vegetarians, the construction site. Yet you didn’t bring up the equivalent of the university next to the park.

The last paragraph, where I would expect the solution to be, seems to relate more closely to the New York scenario than to the university/park solution of the hot dog sales metaphor.

I’ve been enjoying your blog quite a bit, found it while searching for info on Squidoo links, and I have learned a great deal from you this afternoon. The comments are closed on the other posts I’ve been reading though so let me just thank you here for those other posts as well.

Gary February 10, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Niche, niche, niche. It’s like a diamond in a mine. So hard to find, but when you do…..

Thanks for the post, and I’m hungry now. If you want to sell more hot dogs put some Skyline Chili on em….

Michelle | Large Format Posters February 11, 2010 at 7:01 am

I can’t sell hotdogs, I’ll just end up eating them, then I won’t be making profit :*(

portable storage containers poughkeepsie February 12, 2010 at 7:08 pm

great post. keep up the good work.

Paul February 13, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I love what you said about those high gravity ClickBank products. Are you trying to get rich or build a business? It seems that it’s pretty easy to “build a business” if you center it on something for which there is a need, you are solving someone’s problems, and you have a passion for.

If there is just your passion but no need and you are not solving someone’s problem… that is called a hobby.

I found you because you solved my problem about how to use PayPay buttons to take orders. It was clear, simple, and easy to follow. You gave great value and solved my problem… and now I am a fan!

Keep up the great work!

Diseño Web February 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Jajajajaja Excelente Post, very good analogy,

“You put yourself where you can be found by people that are looking for what you’re selling.” :O

Jasper Conran February 15, 2010 at 5:14 pm

I love this analogy! It really helped me think deep about my affiliate marketing.

shaun February 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm

lol what a great post i love it well done :)

Telugu News February 17, 2010 at 5:24 am

Excellent analogy.I think every marketing guy should read this article.Keep posting.

Cass February 17, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Who would have thought I would even read a post about Hot Dogs! But you make it so simple! Perfect analogy – Loved it!
Also- Just followed (followed through on that is :)Day One of OWM. We are celebrating here at the office (Michelle and I). My article is on Page 1 of Google in the second spot!!! I’m addicted!!
Thank you SO MUCH! We are SO Grateful!!!
Cass and Michelle

I love Hotdogs February 17, 2010 at 7:49 pm

That is a great analogy. At least with internet sales, you don’t have to stand outside in the freezing cold. On the down side, you don’t get to eat free hotdogs!!

Bob Bro February 18, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Jennifer: This is an inspiring post and I thank you so much for it. I just celebrated one year in IM and I am still a long way off from achieving what I need.
As I read your blog, I realized I have spent the entire year in highly competitive niches.

Now I am going to rethink this. Instead of trying to prove to myself I can make it in these niches, I am going to try to get off in some other niches — which, to be honest, sound like A LOT MORE FUN!

Thanks, Jennifer.

Amy February 22, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Loved the analogy of selling hot dogs! Makes so much sense!

Thanks for keeping this excellent blog going!

Mobile Broadband February 25, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I trult believe anyone can sell anything – as long as they put the hard work in first and spend time finding their niche and their strengths.

business logo design March 2, 2010 at 6:01 am

The good thing about your information is that it is explicit enough for students to grasp. Thanks for your efforts in spreading academic knowledge.

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