Getting Paid for Your Knowledge
Information products have been around since long before the internet was even imagined. For generations, people have been sending off for information about all kinds of subjects which would arrive by mail in paper or book format.
The Internet has made the delivery of these products far easier than ever before. All you need to do is click on a link and your information is on your desktop, phone or table in just seconds. While this is great for the information consumer, there is also a whole world of opportunities for individuals with specialist knowledge or detailed information about a vast range of subjects.
Information products can take many forms including books, manuals, videos, home study materials, “How-to” Guides and reports. Once produced in digital form, all of these can quickly and easily be delivered electronically. You can also sell your information products in print form through platforms such as Amazon, Createspace and Lulu.
Like all online business ideas, there are Pros and Cons to Selling Information Products.
Simple to Create: All you will need is a computer and a word processing programme to create your information product. Once it’s complete, you can convert it to a PDF and sell it online. Many online sales platforms will also let you sell your product in print form.
Minimum Investment: Although creating your information product will take time, your financial investment will be minimal.
Flexibility: Information Products can be created from anywhere and at any time so you won’t be limited to working set hours in a fixed location. As long as you have access to the internet and some kind of device, you can work.
Easy to Market: Although you will need to spend time creating a marketing plan and promoting your information product there are lots of resources online to help you with this.
Passive Income: Once you have created your internet product, you won’t need to do anything more than market it. The same product can be sold over and over again to infinity although you will need to update your market strategy regularly to continue to generate interest.
Time: Creating your information product will take time. You’ll need to organise all of your ideas and plan how to present your knowledge. You’ll also need to allocate time for editing, rewriting and proofing the final product.
Small profits: As eReaders have grown in popularity, prices for eBooks have been dropping consistently. It is rare to see an ebook nowadays with a price above $10. You’ll need to sell your product at a competitive price in order to attract buyers.
How to Create an Information Product
1) The very first step you’ll need to take is identifying the subject for your product. This needs to be an area in which you have experience and knowledge but more importantly, it needs to be subject with mainstream appeal. Think about the knowledge you have that would be useful to lots of other people. This could be cooking skills, living frugally, car maintenance or gardening for example. Once you have an idea about your subject area, you’ll need to refine this a little more.
2) It’s important to establish whether people will be interested enough in your idea to pay money to find out more. Using a keyword search tool like SeoBook’s Keyword Tool can tell you how many people have searched for your subject online. It’s best to choose a niche subject with a wide appeal over a very general subject. For example, instead of creating an information product relating to DIY in general, you could focus on Tiling or Flooring.
3) Decide what format your information product will take. This will also help you to choose the platform you will use to distribute it. If you decide to create an eBook, you can choose from a number of eBook retailers through which to sell it. You also have the option of selling via your own website or using a number of different vendors simultaneously. e-Courses are also enormously popular and if you decide on this format, you can sell your course directly or use a platform like Udemy which can market it for you as well.
4) Organise your ideas into a list of the key knowledge areas that will form your information product. Decide in which order you will present each topic.
5) Break down each item on your list into a sub-list of specific information. This is also a good time to list the resources that you will use for research. You now have the outline of your information product.
6) Create your product, using the outline that you created in steps 5 & 6. Choose fonts that are easy on the eye and ensure that your formatting is consistent throughout. If you are creating an e-course, make sure that you are including a range of different materials, for example a combination of text, video and audio to hold the interest of your audience.
7) Whatever format you choose, make sure to thoroughly proof and edit your final product. Spelling and grammar errors, repetition or poor quality video and audio will negatively impact your product and could damage your reputation.
8) Build a website dedicated to your product. Even if you are using Amazon or another platform to sell, it’s still a good idea to have your own site with its own sales page and lots of detailed info about you and your product. You can easily link to the Amazon site which will process sales if you don’t want to deal with this directly.
9) By placing a subscribe button on your website, you can collect the email addresses of visitors to your site. You can then use this data to market other products now or in the future.
10) Choose your selling platform (if you’ve decided to use one) and upload your product. Kindle Direct Publishing is the distribution channel for eBooks on Amazon. If you want to offer your product in print, CD or DVD, Createspace should be your first port of call. If you’ve chosen to sell through your own website, you’ll need to use FTP to upload to your site.
11) Arrange how you are going to get paid. If you’re selling your product on Amazon then the site will look after this for you. However, if you are selling directly from your own website you will need to add a payment processing method. PayPal is the best known of these and one of the easiest to use. ClickBank is also a good option which gives you the added benefit of promoting your product in its marketplace. Be aware that if you are selling to European customers, you’ll have to pay VAT tax. ClickBank can handle this on your behalf.
12) Now that your product is complete, you’ve made it available online and created a website to promote it, a large part of your work is over. However, you have more to do. It’s now time to promote your product. Blog about it, share it on social media and make sure that you keep promoting it as much as you can. The more people who know about your product, the higher your sales will be.
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