By Charles Holmes (www.multi-level-marketing-website.com)
I honestly believe that information products are the best way to monetize a website and make money online. Common types of information products include:
- Digital MP3 Files
- Recorded Webinars
- eBooks and Special Reports
- Online Courses
- CDs and DVDs (if your audience prefers physical media)
- And more!
If you are just getting started, or are thinking about creating information products, I highly suggest you do not create an eBook first. It simply takes way too much time to write a book, and you won’t be able to sell it for very much money anyway.
I’m not saying books aren’t good to create and publish. I simply don’t believe they should be your first information product. For the amount of time they take, you could probably create five information products in other formats.
Listed below are the steps I follow to create an information product.
7 Steps To Get Started With Your First Information Product
Step #1: Identify Your Target Market and Topic
One of the biggest mistakes people make is creating a product first and then wondering who they will sell it to. Don’t do that.
Before you create an information product, you need to pick a target market. Find out what your target market is already buying and much they spend on different information products in different formats. Focus on their wants, not their needs. Unless you sell toilet paper, you will struggle to make money selling people what they need.
Step #2: Pick a Format
Once you have a target market picked out, pick a format for your product. I highly recommend audio. I recommend audio because most people can speak 200 words per minute. That means a 60 minute audio is about (60 x 200) 12,000 words.
If you were to sit down and try to write 12,000 words, that would take a week or more (for most people). If you can create a 3-4 hour audio program, that’s 36k to 48k words, enough for a big book.
If you don’t want to do audio, consider a video format instead.
Step #3: Brainstorm Titles
Once you have a format to work with, you need to spend some time coming up with a great title. You need a title before you create your product. Your title should highlight the key benefit of your product. You want it to be catchy and tell your target market what your product will do for them.
Step #4: Create a Sales Letter
Once you have a format picked out and you have a title selected, you need to create your sales letter. Don’t underestimate the importance of writing, editing, and finalizing your sales letter before you create your information product.
Your sales letter will discuss the benefits and key features of your product. It must be well written and persuasive. You can add testimonials and graphics after your product is finished.
Step #5: Set a Deadline
Your next step is to set a deadline to create your new information product. Shorter deadlines are better. Give yourself no more than 7 days to create your product. If you drag it out, you’ll still be working on your product a year from now.
Step #6: Create Your Product
Now you’re ready to create your information product. Remember that good enough is good enough. If you are a perfectionist, you might struggle with this step. Create a quality product, but don’t worry about it being perfect. It never will be perfect.
If you choose the audio program like I discussed, simply create a table of contents or make a list of questions and answer them on the audio program. For an hour long audio program, you need about 20 questions that take you three minutes each to answer.
Create your product quickly and then spend a day or two editing it. If you need someone to help you edit it, pay them to do it and get it finished.
Step #7: Market Your Product
The final and most important step in the process is to market your product. You must:
- create a written marketing plan to promote your product
- be willing to commit at least one year to actively market your product, and
- be willing to spend some of your money to market your product. You can’t just put it on your website and expect it to magically sell. If you aren’t willing to spend time and money marketing your product, do not create a product. Products don’t sell themselves, even if they are high quality.
These are the seven steps I used to create my products. They work well for me.
Information product can sell for $.99 to several thousand dollars each. Whatever you do, don’t spend hundreds of hours to create something you will sell for 99 cents. That is a waste of your time. Remember, your time and your knowledge are valuable, so pick a price that can offer you a handsome profit potential.
The more “specific your niche” the more you can get for your product. For instance, a time management audio course for CEOs might sell for $29.97, whereas the same course for CEOs in the manufacturing industry might sell for $197. Whenever possible, pick a niche within a niche.
Whatever you do, don’t under-price your products. Leave enough profit per item so you can afford to spend some money on advertising and still have room to make a profit.
Here are some example pricing formats:
- Special Reports $3 to $10 each
- eBooks $10 to $50 each
- MP3 Audio Program $20 to $80 each (I charge $10 per hour length, so an 8 hour MP3 would sell for $80)
- Webinars $30 to $297 each.
I’ve found that the number 7 is pretty magical. $27 is better than $29 and $47 is better than $49.95.
6 Tips for Success
Here are some of my best success tips I learned during the past few years with my information marketing business.
Turn Your Product Into Multiple Formats
Once you have a product finished, and it is selling well, turn it into multiple formats. For example, turn an eBook into a webinar and audio program. Remember that people learn in different ways!
Repurpose Your Content From Your Website
If you have a large website (more than a couple of hundred pages), you can easily use that information to create information products. That’s what I did for most of my eBooks and audio programs. That way you don’t have to re-invent the wheel.
Writing Takes the Longest and Is the Hardest To Do!
It might take you a few months to write an eBook, but you can create an audio program in 1-2 days, or a video in about a week (or less). If you’re fixed on writing a book, create it in audio format first and then have it transcribed. This will save you lots of time.
Good Enough Is Good Enough
Your product will never be perfect. Make it good quality, but don’t focus on perfection. Start selling it quickly and make changes as customers provide their feedback. You might just find out that your customers are happy with the finished product, even if you aren’t!
Don’t Sell Your Stuff Too Cheaply
It’s hard to make much money selling something for $5 to $10. My best advice is to turn your products into multiple formats with different price points.
Give your items a high perceived value. Don’t be scared to test different prices until you find the price that produces the most sales.
When I first started selling eBooks, I couldn’t sell any at $10 each. So I raised the price to $15 each and sold a few. I raised it again to $20 and sold more. I raised the price to $27 each and sell them like hotcakes.
Learn How To Sell First
Before you launch your first information product spend some time as an affiliate marketer. Learn direct response marketing, email marketing and pay-per-click, so you know how to sell. If you don’t know how to sell before you create your first product, you won’t make many sales after you publish it.
Are you already an e-goods seller? We’d love to hear your experience and tips in the comments.
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