One of the most popular income streams you can develop online is your own digital information product. If this scares you, it shouldn’t. All it really boils down to is organizing and sharing information and advice.
Please don’t let your fear prevent you from being a content developer. You aren’t required to have certain credentials, a publisher or agent. This is just you passing along quality information to your readers.
You may be asking: why do people buy info products over print books? There are a number of reasons: convenience, prominence in the marketplace (when they search for a certain keyword phrase, your product comes up), and the fact that most consumers buy a variety of books and courses when there’s a topic they want to know. Folks usually don’t buy just one.
Go through the creation process at least once. It’s not nearly as scary as you might think, and it will create a certain amount of authority for you as you begin to earn an online income.
Choose a Niche That You’re Passionate About
If you’re not passionate about helping your readers, it will be obvious in your writing. They can tell. You want to have a connection to the niche you’re in. Even if you’re not directly involved, you should have enthusiasm for being there to assist others with the solutions they need.
Remember that when you publish an info product, it contributes to your status as a niche leader. People will likely want to turn to you in the future. Ask yourself if you’re ready to be in this niche long-term.
Can you see yourself immerse in this niche every day? There are topics that you may not want to engage in day after day. For example, maybe you discover there’s a need for information for families going through hospice care.
There are two possibilities.
You approach this as something that fulfills you. You love helping people who are in need.
The other possibility could be that this topic is depressing for you. You can’t imagine thinking, writing or talking about this topic on a regular basis.
When you’re first thinking about niches, don’t select one just because you have experience with it. Choose a niche that you can see yourself being in well in the future.
Think about it. If the first information product goes over well, you can create an entire empire of eBooks and online courses for sale to your target audience.
Develop a Viewpoint That Sets You Apart
To be the most effective, you don’t want to create an information product that is basically the same as everyone else. I may sound a little dramatic but the key is to be different. Add and present a different viewpoint into the conversation.
This will position you as someone who innovates. It will also show that you follow your niche.
- Google Alerts come in handy when you’re in the research phase of creating an information product. This is an alert that goes straight to your email’s inbox. It tells you when there’s new content on the web about your chosen word or phrase.
- So for instance, if you were writing a diabetes report, you could set up an alert for “diabetes study”. That way you would get all of the breaking news coming out of research labs about diabetes.
- You may also want to tune into the media on a regular basis. News, magazines, and online websites are always covering the latest information in health, finances, relationships, pets, etc. You name it. Just about every niche gets discussed in the media.
- Forums will give you a wealth of information. These are the online hubs that your target market hangs out in order to find information they need from other people who are experiencing the same thing. Facebook groups is a good example.
- Go through the forums and look for unique tips and suggestions and issues people have with the broad topic. By doing this you might find excellent “drilled down” ideas that let you create a more specialized info product.
- Look at other blog comments. Just like forums, if you can find a blog where the audience is actively engaged, then you’ll have a wealth of information available to you.
- Interact with your own audience. Whether that’s through your email list, your blog posts, or social media. Ask questions and listen to your readers’ concerns. These are the people who will be buying your info product, so it’s their needs that you want to meet.
Find a typical topic in your niche and brainstorm ways you can tweak it for a unique viewpoint. For example, let’s say you are considering the Yoga niche.
You could look up the latest health news to see which disease benefits the most from yoga and then create a trend-based ecourse that will be one of a few courses specifically dealing with yoga as a treatment for arthritis.
Draft an Outline
An outline can be a lifesaver when it comes to creating your first info product. It helps you stay on topic, which is important because many of the courses on the market aren’t focused and often ramble. This rambling can cause the audience to lose interest.
You can use some of the same methods in creating your outline that you do in getting your initial idea. Here is a good formula for creating a useable outline for your new info product:
Step 1: Write Freely
There are many basic things you’ll want to put into your information product. Even if you assume everyone already knows a particular thing, make sure it’s in the product anyway. You want it to be thorough and enjoyable for all your buyers…even beginners.
So for example, using our yoga idea, you might make a list like this:
- What Is Yoga?
- What are the different types of Yoga?
- Which diseases find relief from Yoga?
- Which yoga poses help arthritis the most?
Step 2: Use a keyword tool to add to your list.
Go to a site like Ubersuggest.org and start playing around with keywords like arthritis, yoga poses, yoga pain relief, etc.
Step 3: Dig into the research methods previously discussed.
Using a combination of forums, news media and other online sites, we can add on even more to our outline, like this:
- How often to practice yoga when flaring
- Best time of day to practice yoga
Step 4: Organize your outline.
In this step, you’re basically putting everything in logical order. For example, you’re not going to put “What Is Yoga” at the end – because that’s something people need to know right at beginning.
Sometimes it won’t matter which order the outline is in. For instance, it doesn’t matter if you tell them how to check your breathing during yoga first or if you tell them how to check your posture during yoga first.
Just make sure that you recognize any issues that do need to be in a logical order and arrange those accordingly. From there, you can drill down even further and outline each module or lesson if you feel it will help you complete your first info product faster and easier.
Develop Conversational Content That Empowers the Reader
If you’re not a professional writer, then creating an information product might be extremely intimidating to you. But it shouldn’t be. First of all, info products aren’t expected to be text only.
You can create a wide variety of info products. This includes audio and video media formats, too. Sometimes, you may want to include multiple formats in your info product, like a main PDF with accompanying videos, for example.
Keep in mind that your readers are not looking for a scholarly book that a college professor might want to read. It’s been said that most consumers have an 8th grade reading level, so you want to keep it simple and easy to digest.
Be conversational in your writing style. Like a friend writing to a friend. Don’t use large words when a short, common word will do. And don’t get too excited about breaking some grammar rules.
Just make it enjoyable for your audience. Don’t deliver a product with lots of grammatical errors, spelling errors, or typos. Clean it up and make sure you’d be proud to send it to someone you were trying to impress.
Get Your Product Ready for Sale
Many newcomers to info product development are so focused on the actual research and product creation phase that they forget there’s more to the process beyond those two elements.
You should create bonus items to accompany your product. Think of relevant things that the reader would also like. For example, with the yoga course, you might offer one or two other guides, such as:
- Foods to Eat During an Arthritis Flare
- Quick & Easy Ways to Complete Household Chores During an Arthritis Flare
Both of these would help an arthritis sufferer when going through a flare.
Some marketers like to have a good upsell or one time offer, too. An upsell is adding on something of higher value to the package. A one time offer is when you give them just one chance to grab something else, and don’t offer it later.
Have professional looking graphics for your product, whether you’re going with a Kindle launch or putting your info product on your own site. If interested, a graphics artist can create a matching header, footer, background, ecover, testimonial box, and order button for your site.
A Kindle graphic might just be a simple ecover, but it’s still important. It’s a good idea to work with someone who understands how to make the most of a thumbnail image.
Your product creation steps will also include things like creating sales copy, possibly setting up an affiliate program, and actively promoting your product.
The process isn’t something you do overnight. You do it in increments. Once you get through it the first time, you’ll find it much easier the next time you do it. Don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes along the way. With an info product, everything can be tweaked as you go.
You’ll also discover (as you implement your plan), which parts you enjoy doing and which you wish you could outsource. This is something that will help you on all future launches.
I hope you feel more confident and motivated to create an info product. You have what it takes.
Now there is another way though. And it involves pre-selling an idea and creating the product only if you hit your sales goals. Click here to find out more.