Ever wanted to make money online selling your own informational product? In this article, we will talk about how you can create your own info product and how to market it.
So, what is information product?
An information product is simply a product that teaches customers something. If you have how-to eBooks on your hard drive, you already have a good example of an information product. The great thing about creating your own information product is you can create it once and sell it for years to come. This is especially true if the basic information changes very little over time.
So, how do you get started with your own product line? It all starts with creating (and launching) your first information product…
Start with Market Research
When you have a product idea, it can be tempting to dive in and begin working on it immediately. But as a smart online business owner, you need to do in-depth market research before you begin the creation phase of the project.
Use your research time to discover what problems and issues your target market has, as well as what they’ve tried that didn’t work. These research results can provide you with the information and facts you need to create products and services that your target audience wants and is willing to pay for.
You can start your research by using a website like Amazon. Go to their books section and type in your niche. This will help you see what’s already available on the market today and what products you’ll be competing against.
As you search the books, take a few minutes to read the table of contents for some of the popular titles in your niche. You don’t want to steal another author’s ideas but you can use the table of contents and other material as inspiration for your product
For example, if you’re writing a book on the topic of puppy training, you might find that one author includes the topic of puppies barking. You can cover this topic in your own book; however, you want to use your content, voice, style, and your own examples.
Another way to do market research is to browse online marketplaces like JVZoo.com. You can use this website to see what digital products already exist and how popular they are with consumers.
To do this, create an account or login to an existing account. then go to the marketplace. You can find the marketplace by clicking on Products > Marketplace.
You’ll see thousands of different products but what makes JVZoo so helpful is that you can see how well various products have sold, as well as their price points and refund rate.
Find products in your niche by using the search function. Start by entering a keyword that people in your niche commonly search for like ‘puppy training’ or ‘puppy care’.
You can also search for products by author name. This can be helpful if you know a product creator who is already an authority in your niche. See what products they’ve released and how well they were received by consumers.
Pay attention to products that customers didn’t like or had high refund rates. This can show you what mistakes to avoid in your own product. You should also note what the most popular products are and what they have in common.
Determine Your Product’s Price
If there’s one thing that many online business owners struggle with, it’s choosing the price for their product. You don’t want to go too low and undercharge your customers or they might think your product doesn’t contain enough valuable or helpful information.
On the other hand, you don’t want to charge too much. This can give them the idea that your product promises more information than it actually does. This can lead to unrealistically high expectations that often disappoint the buyer and result in a high volume of refunds.
That’s why it’s smart to look around before you set your price. Try to find similar products that are selling. You’ll probably find products in a range of prices.
Look at what’s included in the product for the set price. Generally, products that are high ticket include additional elements that make them seem more valuable (like videos and audio).
Keep in mind that when you see a price, that’s not how much the online business owner makes per sale. That’s because most product creators offer affiliate programs.
If you’re not familiar with how affiliate marketing works, affiliates sign up for your program and you give them a special link to share with their online communities. The special link is unique to that affiliate.
When someone clicks on an affiliate’s link and buys a product, you’ll know which affiliate the sale came from. So, you pay that affiliate a small commission. The standard commission rate is 50% on digital products, although some creators offer commissions based on other factors, too.
The advantage of offering an affiliate program is you have people spreading the word about your product. However, it means that you will split the overall profit with the affiliate. So, if you want to make $20 per sale, then you may need to charge $40 for your product.
Of course, pricing isn’t just about money. It’s also about presentation. Let’s look at how this works with two product creators that are trying to sell their eBooks on the topic of fish aquariums.
Aaron, the first product creator, has a sales page that looks like it came from the ’90s. It has garish colors and flashing icons. There’s no money-back guarantee on the page and there’s nothing about Aaron.
Now Brett is the second product creator. He’s selling the exact same eBook. The difference is he took the time to learn how to make a beautiful sales page. He hired a copywriter to fine-tune his landing page and he included a money-back guarantee on the page.
Brett has also added a section where he introduces himself as the author. He provides explains why he’s qualified to teach on this subject. He also, provides social proof of his authority status.
Which product creator do you think will sell more eBooks, Aaron or Brett? Now ask yourself which product creator you’d like to promote as an affiliate?
If you want to charge a premium price for your product, you need to be prepared to show your potential customers that you are trustworthy and your product is valuable. Brett communicated this by taking the time to put together a good sales page that made it easy for customers to say, “Yes!”
Create Your Own Product
Now that you’ve researched the product market, and know what customers expect, you can create a product that delivers exactly what they want. For some entrepreneurs, this is the scary part of the process because you need to begin creating a product.
However, don’t let the creation phase intimidate you! Creating a product can be fun and simple, if you follow these tips…
Begin with an outline. Create a list of what you want your product to contain. For example, your list might look something like this:
- eBook with eCover
- 5 Videos
- Short Workbook
- 3 Templates
- 6 Checklists
Once you have a clear vision for your product, it’s easier to create. At this stage, you may feel a little overwhelmed. But keep in mind that you don’t have to put together this product in one day. It’s OK to take your time.
Make it manageable. Since you know what you want to include in your product, break down the individual parts so you can work on it in smaller chunks. For example, don’t tell yourself you have to write the entire eBook today. Instead, focus on writing just one chapter at a time.
If that still feels too overwhelming, you can concentrate on writing just one page at a time. It doesn’t matter if you write slowly. What’s important is that you make progress every day and get it done.
Own your weaknesses. The next step is to look at the elements of your project that you don’t want to handle or that aren’t among your skill set. You may be a fantastic graphic designer but writing is your weakness. If you struggle to put words on the page, you may want to consider outsourcing the task to a freelance writer.
Outsourcing allows you to work on the parts of your product where you shine. If you can’t outsource quite yet, consider bartering with someone who could use your skills and abilities. This creates a win-win situation for both you and the online business owner you partner with.
Keep your idea focused. Sometimes, it can be tempting to create a product on a general topic without seriously considering your niche. Usually, this leaves the product creator trying to cram as much information into their product as possible.
However, you’ll find it’s a lot more enjoyable to create a product when you’ve narrowed the focus. For example, a general eBook might be on the topic of dogs.
You could concentrate on making the book about cocker spaniels. You may also want to narrow it even more by making the book about cocker spaniels and their common health problems.
Establish accountability. It’s easy to promise yourself that you’ll get your product created. Then, one day you realize it’s been months since you’ve made any progress. You spent all of your time learning about the latest Facebook algorithm or chasing a shiny object.
A simple way to stay on track and actually get your product launched is to implement an accountability plan. This can be as simple as telling your business friends that you’re launching a new product. Tell them when they can expect to see it by attaching a realistic date.
This creates a public deadline and works well for most people. If you hate to let your friends down and you hate to admit defeat, then hold yourself accountable for making a certain amount of progress in a specific amount of time. It can be a great motivational tool.
Add Value to Your Product
When it comes to creating a digital product, you want to make sure that it is valuable and helpful to your customers. If it doesn’t meet their needs or provide benefits that make their situation easier, they’re more likely to ask for a refund or complain about your product to their friends.
The good news is that adding value to your product isn’t that hard. It’s just a matter of including the information you promised, plus few bonus items. These extra items should enable them to gain a greater understanding of the topic or help to make implementing the solution easier.
One way to add value to a product is to take the main point from an eBook and turn it into slides. Bundle the slides together and offer your customers a simple presentation in a handy PowerPoint file.
If you want to go a step further, you could take some of the content from your eBook and lightly edit it to turn it into a script. Read the script and record the presentation as you read. Now, you have a bonus webinar or video that your customers can access.
You can also create MP3 audios to accompany your digital product. These MP3s could feature affirmations, excerpts from your eBook, or expanded discussion topics that dive deeper into your content.
Take how-to content from a chapter in your eBook or short report. Turn this information into a checklist that shows customers how to complete a task, step-by-step. This can help customers implement what you’re teaching, making them feel like they got even more value.
You can also design beautiful printables. Printables are usually PDF documents that customers can print at-home and use for various tasks. For example, if you sell an eBook on healthy recipes for single moms, you could include a printable grocery-shopping list.
If you’re creating a self-improvement product, consider creating a workbook or journal to accompany your content. For example, if your product is on overcoming procrastination, the workbook may ask questions about when they procrastinate, what your readers do to procrastinate, why they procrastinate, etc.
Journals and workbooks are useful for helping your customers get to the root of a problem or issue they’re struggling with. You can easily create one inside your word processing program.
Another way to add value for your customers is to create templates. This is especially helpful if your product is meant to teach your customer something. For example, if your content shows customers how to write sales copy, include 2-3 templates they can work with.
Create a short video that shows customers how to use these templates. Invite them to watch the video then fill out the templates using your tips.
Adding value to a product isn’t hard. It just takes a little bit of planning and a desire to help your customers implement what they’re learning from you.
Creating Upsells for Your Product
When you’re working on a product, it can be easy to get tunnel vision and focus only on that project. But smart marketers look for ways they can create upsells of their products. If you’re not familiar with the term, upsells are additional product elements that customers can buy, often related to their initial purchase. A quick example might be getting two additional elements of the product at a special price.
Amazon uses this strategy successfully. When you’re looking at a product, scroll down. Typically, Amazon will have an offer of two additional items you can buy with your product. Then they give you a discount for purchasing the three items as a bundle.
Using this strategy will help you earn more per sale and give you plenty of opportunities for customers to enter your sales funnel. It can also attract big-name affiliates who like to promote products that have multiple upsells.
So, how can you make your very own upsell? Consider items that pair well together. Imagine you’re on Amazon and you’re buying a puppy bed. Amazon guesses that you’ve either adopted a puppy or you’re about to. So, Amazon suggests pet training pads and training treats.
If you’re creating a product about building sites with WordPress then an upsell might be membership to your WordPress theme shop or a set of video tutorials that explain how to customize WordPress further.
Of course, your upsells don’t have to be related to WordPress. You could also sell a copywriting course or a package of done-for-you blog posts, so your customers can start filling their blog with content.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to create a brand new product for an upsell. You may already have plenty of content that you can tweak and use as part of your product. For example, if you have blog posts on the topic of content marketing, you can bundle them into a short eBook titled, “Content Marketing for Beginners”.
You can also look at PLR or DFY content you’ve purchased. If you bought an eBook on branding, consider recording each chapter and saving it as an MP3 file. Now you have an audio course as an upsell.
Another way to create a profitable upsell is to create an exclusive training package. This training could be a series of webinars on the same topic that you bundled together or a video series that’s been previously unreleased.
When it comes to upsells, you’ll want at least offer two but don’t go overboard here. If you have dozens of upsells, customers may become irritated and wonder how they can access their original purchase easily.
Focus on creating 2-3 upsells that your customers would find valuable and promote those only. If you want to, you can build out your sales funnel with even more products later. But if this is your first product release, keep your upsells to a minimum.
Promote Before Your Product Launch
It’s natural to be excited about your product launch. You’ve worked hard and you preserved. You have a product that your target market wants and needs. Now, you’re ready for your big launch.
However, don’t make the mistake of launching immediately. If you launch too fast, you don’t give affiliates a chance to learn about your product and schedule emails to their lists. You also lose out on promotional opportunities like guest posting, creating ad campaigns, and getting featured on podcasts.
Unless you already have a huge following, you need to plan for launch. Ideally, you want to plan for 4-8 weeks in advance. As you’re picking a launch day, be mindful of holidays and other events that may impact your launch.
For example, if you live in Canada, you may not think twice about launching on July 4th. However, if most of your customers and affiliates live in the United States, they’ll probably be too busy celebrating to buy or promote your product.
If you live in the US and most of your audience lives in Canada, launching on the second Monday of October may be difficult because that’s the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday. So, try not to schedule a launch too close to a big holiday, especially if it includes a 3-day weekend.
Another thing you may want to consider is how seasonal your product is. You can launch a weight-loss product in November. But you’ll get more interest and buyers if you wait until the final week of December or even the first week of January.
Once you have a date nailed down, it’s time to begin your promotional efforts. If you want your launch to be successful, you have to get the word out about it. So, start by considering who you know that might be willing to help you promote.
If you’re close friends with other marketers, let them know about your upcoming launch. Share the date and ask them to help you out. Be sure to have sample copies of your product ready to go.
You want to make it easy for other marketers to promote your product. Many of them prefer to review a product before they recommend it. This enables them to ensure it’s appropriate for their list and truly valuable.
Next, look around for podcasts in your niche. Getting featured on a podcast is a terrific way to get the word out about your product. Many podcast hosts prefer to schedule their episodes in advance, so as soon as you have a launch date you’ll want to reach out to the hosts.
If you’re not sure where to find podcasts, start by checking the iTunes podcast directory. It’s filled with hundreds of podcasts on almost every topic imaginable.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to limit your search to podcasts in your niche. You can look for podcasts where your product could complement the target audience. For example, if your product covers mindfulness, then you would naturally look for podcasts that cover this topic.
However, you could also think of other groups of people that might benefit from mindfulness like parents. Look for family podcasts and reach out to the host. Let him or her know that you think your area of expertise could really benefit their listeners.
You can also try submitting a guest post to popular blogs in your niche. If you’re not already familiar with some of the top names in your industry, use a search engine like Google. Try entering “popular blogs about (your topic)” or “popular bloggers in (your niche)”.
Once you find a few blogs, read some of the posts to get a feel for the site. Then look to see if the blogger has posted submission guidelines. These guidelines will tell you how the blogger prefers to receive guest posts and any special instructions they want you to follow.
Be sure to read and implement these guidelines. Some of the most popular bloggers see hundreds of guest pitches a day. They need to go through the submissions quickly so the first ones they delete are from people who didn’t follow the guidelines.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to do every promotional activity you’ve ever heard of. Try to pick 7-10 promotions you’d like to set up. For example, you might have a goal of appearing on five podcasts, guest posting for three bloggers, and livestreaming twice on Facebook to talk about your upcoming launch.
Create a special launch calendar so you know what to do each week. You can adjust and tweak this calendar as you learn what works best for your business.
Prepare for Your Launch
While you’re busy working on your promotional plans, you also need to be prepare for your launch. Don’t leave these details until the last minute. If you do and something goes wrong, you may not be able to fix it in time for your launch. This can create confusion for your affiliates, create chaos for you, and lose sales.
Here’s what you need to check before you’re officially ready for your launch…
Review your sales page copy. You want to make sure that your content fully and accurately explains what your customers will get. Describe each element of your product and the benefit to the customer.
For example, you might describe your checklist this way: “The included checklist makes it easy to implement what you’re learning about (topic) so you don’t waste valuable time wondering what to do next. You’ll have a clear step-by-step plan that you can act on and begin experiencing benefits of (your product) right away.”
Include product images. When it comes to your sales page, amazing copy isn’t enough. Customers want to see pictures of the product they’re thinking about buying. You can create realistic 3D product images by using a tool like eCover Authority. Doing this gives your customers a better idea of exactly they’re getting.
If your product is digital, make sure potential customers understand this. When a customer really expects the product to come in a box; but, it is actually a digital download, they will be disappointed and may want a refund as well as avoid buying from you again.
Add video if possible. Putting video on your sales page is a wonderful way to increase conversion. You can record yourself talking about your product and embed it easily using a website like YouTube or Vimeo.
If you don’t want to be on video, create a slide presentation about your product and narrate it. Record your narration and pair with your slides for an instant video.
Do a test sale. It’s easy to assume that your product or shopping cart is working correctly but there are no guarantees. You need to run a few test sales to make sure customers will be able to order the product without a hassle.
Stay positive! It’s easy to get down if you find a mistake or problem with your sales funnel. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come and focus on finding a solution that works for you.
How to Market Your New Product
After your product launch, you may think it’s the perfect time to kick back and relax. But, getting through a product launch doesn’t mean your job is over. In fact, by the time you launch a product, your work has just begun! Now, it’s time to start thinking of creative ways to market your new product…
Try livestreaming. You can livestream from Facebook, YouTube, or a host of other websites. Use this to your advantage by creating educational livestreams that potential customers will find useful.
Don’t go for the hard sell here. Instead, focus on serving your community. If a viewer asks a question that your product addresses, absolutely mention that. Just don’t make your livestream one big infomercial. Focus on education in terms of the problem or short answer to the question.
Be active in niche groups or forums. Another way to send traffic back to your product is to participate in groups within your niche.
Answer questions from other members, respond to comments, and engage in the events, polls, and contests that the host creates. The more you give back to the group, the more likely other people are to visit your website and discover your product.
Experiment with AdWords. When a potential customer types a keyword into a search engine, they typically click on the first link or the next one. With Google AdWords, you can pay to make sure your site is the first link searchers see.
Your success with AdWords will depend on how much you’re willing to pay to rank, how long your campaign to runs, and the cost per conversion. However, if you’re willing to experiment, you can use paid traffic to get more traction for your product.
Study your analytics. It’s not enough to have an amazing product. You also need to have a fantastic sales page, too. You can monitor the health of your sales page by checking the analytics or metrics of your page. Use what you learn from your data to improve the page.
For example, if your data shows that many customers add the product to their cart but don’t complete the transaction, it may mean there’s a problem with your order form or that your checkout instructions are confusing.
Creating and launching an information product can be fun and easy. You don’t have to wait until you feel ready or until you have decades of experience. You can launch one right now!