In the last article we talked about why informational products are the best type of products to sell online. An informational product can be a digital book (known as an e-book), a digital report or a white paper, a piece of software, audio or video files, a web site, an ezine (electronic magazine), or a newsletter.
Any product that's informational, instructional, or educational in nature can be considered an info product.
If you missed last week's column you might want to un-line your birdcage long enough to read it first so that you have a thorough understanding of what we'll be discussing this week, which is how to create your own info product.
As covered in detail last chapter, here are a few of the reasons why information is the best product to sell online:
* It's fast to create, fast to market
* There's no inventory to stock
* The startup costs are low
* You can automate the sales and delivery process
* There are no shipping and handling charges
One of the best things about information products is that you don't need a product designer or a manufacturing plant to crank out the goods. You also don't have to spend months and months doing product development.
If you have a computer and a word processing program you have everything you need to create a best-selling info product in a very short amount of time.
Great, you say, but I'm no writer. How the heck can I get into the information business? The good news is you don't have to be a great writer to create a great info product. If you don't have the ability to create the product yourself there are several avenues you can take to info product success.
Co-author with a writer
In my opinion, expert knowledge is much harder to come by than great writing skills. If you are an expert on a subject that people will pay to learn about, you just need a good writer to take your expert knowledge and put it in a saleable form.
I know many subject matter experts who can't write their names in the snow and many excellent writers who don't have the expert knowledge required to create an informational product that will sell. Co-authoring can be a match made in Heaven if an equitable co-authoring arrangement can be made. Co-authoring means that you both get credit for creating the product and share in the revenues.
If you are an expert on a topic, but not a writer, find a writer to co-author the project with you. Conversely, if you're a writer without specific knowledge, find a subject matter expert and partner with them to create the product.
Hire a ghost writer
A ghost writer is someone who will write the ebook for you anonymously, with the writing credits going solely to you. You supply the expertise and guidance and the ghost writer puts it in a readable format. You can hire ghost writers on an hourly basis or for a flat fee, depending on the scope of the project.
There is no shame in using a ghost writer to put your thoughts to digital paper. You don't really think all those pro athletes and Hollywood actresses can write 300 page books now, do you?
Publish a directory
Can't think of a subject that you're qualified to write about? Try compiling a directory. A directory is nothing more than a listing of specialized information that you target market to a particular segment of the buying public. For example, my company publishes a dropship and wholesale industry directory that is a listing of company names, addresses, phone numbers, and website addresses. I simply have someone research the industry and compile their findings in a directory format, package it nicely, and sell it online for $27.
Sign on with an affiliate program and sell their info products
There are thousands of companies that sell informational products and most have affiliate programs that you can sign on with. Becoming an affiliate basically means you become a reseller of the company's products. You promote the product, you make the sale, the company delivers the product, and you earn a commission.
The key to creating a successful info product is this: the information must be worth far more than the price of the ebook itself. If you're charging $27 for your product, it must give the buyer many times that price in perceived value.
I asked info product expert Jim Edwards, co-Author of "How To Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as little a 7 Days" for his advice on how to create a killer info product.
Here are Jim's Top 5 Tips:
* Niche It - Make sure you are targeting a highly defined niche audience... don't try to sell to everyone. You can get a lot more money showing life insurance agents how to find more customers to buy $250,000 policies than you can trying to sell a product on generic sales skills improvement.
* Hit Their Pain - Make sure your info product hits a painful problem that members of your target audience will do just about ANYTHING to solve. The more intense the pain, the more they're willing to pay to get rid of it.
* Give Them A Taste - Give people a taste of what you offer in your info-product by giving them a sample. Just like the wholesale clubs get you to buy tater-tots in a 50 lb. bag by giving you one to try, you can induce people to buy your information by letting them read the first chapter or listen to the first few minutes of an audio.
* Entertain Them - People hate to be bored. Increase the power of your product by adding humor, drama and other entertainment elements that make them want more and more. This will not only help with future sales to satisfied customers, it will also keep your refunds down and increase word of mouth advertising.
* Keep it Evergreen - Don't make the mistake of creating a product that hits a fad or a fleeting market. Create info-products that can be updated with very little effort. This allows you to create a product once and keep the sales rolling in for years (literally) to come!