Creating and selling your own information products is one of the best avenues for modern marketers looking to generate income online. At one point or another in every online marketer’s career comes the thought of creating an information product. But most never get started because #1 they think packaging their expertise is too hard or #2 they don’t understand the value information products can bring to their business.
Imagine if you could bottle your expertise, package what you know into your own signature information products, and sell that information to the people who need it most?
What if you could share your expertise with 10 people, 100 people, 1000 people, or 10,000 people who were all willing to pay you to help them get unstuck?
Think of the impact you could make. But in order to help others you must first understand what successful information products are and how to deliver them to the solution-seekers who want them.
What is an information product? (aka info-product)
It’s a collection of knowledge, assembled for distribution, and designed to be consumed by its users. Information products can be packaged in a variety of mediums and can be created for low cost or zero cost. Information products can provide a significant and recurring income that grows over time. Plus the more practice you put into it, the better you get, and the better your results.
Millions of people are searching for solutions to their problems online each and every day. If you can find a way to package YOUR solutions by turning your expertise into an information product you have an opportunity to become an authority in your field and create passive income by selling those solutions.
Types of information products
Information products come in a variety of forms. Here is a list of the different ways you can package your information products.
eBooks - Ebooks are probably the most common type of information product available. They are easy, quick and inexpensive to create and store online. An eBook can be a great entry-level product to the rest of your product line. An eBook doesn’t need to be very long, but can include links to other bonuses such as audio recordings, other written content, live teleconferences, etc.
Reports - These are simply shorter versions of an ebook and may sometimes be called a “whitepaper” depending on the industry you are in.
Printed books – This is a classic information product. I consider the book to be more like a fancy “business card” and credibility builder rather than an item that earns you a lot of money. Therefore, I don’t recommend releasing an actual, physical book until you have started building your list and have at least a couple other information products under your belt. If you decided to publish a book, consider going with a print-on-demand publisher.
Audio – CDs, MP3 and Podcast – Don’t consider yourself a writer? That’s okay. You can create an information product without using the written word. Compile recorded interviews, or a live event and make it accessible on a CD or as a download. You can also create an audio version of a written eBook. We’re a society that likes to multitask and audio products turn drive time into learning time. Of course, instead of sending your customers a CD, you simply send them an MP3 file to download.
Videos – Video is another great way to provide information and arguably the most powerful. In fact, many topics are better suited to video. For example if you’re selling information on how to train a new dog then a video may be easier because people can see you demonstrate the training technique.
Newsletters – Do you publish exceptional newsletters? Boost your income by charging subscribers a monthly fee to get access to your emails. You can automate the subscription process for new subscribers, as well as the cancellation process making it easy to generate passive income.
Membership sites – Want to hold a workshop online? Membership sites are a really cool business model, because instead of having to make people pull out their credit card over and over again, you just put them on auto-pay (recurring billing) or give them the option to lifetime access with one lump payment. The good thing with membership sites is that once people are signed up, they usually stick with it, specially if you provide really good value and over deliver.
Blogs – A blog is a great way to deliver information on a scheduled basis. While most people think of blogs as the ideal vehicle for promoting information products, keep in mind that a blog is an information product itself. You can create a blog where members must register and pay to get access to the content.
Tutorial courses – Use screen capture tools like Jing and Camtasia to transform powerpoint slides into a video. Screen capture software allows you to record your computer monitor and is a great way to give step-by-step instruction where the viewer can get an over the shoulder view and follow along. If you want to record yourself use a Web cam or Flip video.
Software and Mobile applications (ex. iphone app) – Also called mobile apps, it is a term used to describe Internet applications that run on smart phones and other mobile devices. Mobile applications usually help users by connecting them to Internet services more commonly accessed on desktop or notebook computers, or help them by making it easier to use the Internet on their portable devices. Creating mobile apps, web apps, or traditional software tools is a smart way to ride the wave of cutting edge technology trends.
Teleseminars – Used to provide information, training, or to promote or sell products to a group of people interested in a particular topic. They are similar to traditional seminars, in content and purpose, but they are given over a teleconference or bridgeline rather than at a specific location.
Webinar – This is an interactive type of seminar that allows the host to deliver a presentation, lecture or workshop over the web. You can monetize your webinar by charging an attendance fee. Another option is to record your webinar then sell the replay if you want to turn it into a paid information product. Add the replay to a membership site or include it in an online coaching program.
E-Zines – Consider an E-zine as an online magazine. An ezine is a more specialized term appropriately applied to small magazines and newsletters distributed by any electronic method, for example, by email. An online magazine shares some features with a blog and also with online newspapers, but can usually be distinguished by its approach to editorial control. Magazines typically have editors or editorial boards who review submissions and perform a quality control function to ensure that all material meets the expectations of the publishers (those investing time or money in its production) and the readership.
Mindmaps – A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mindmaps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid to studying and organizing information, solving problems, making decision and writing. Mindmaps make great information products as they detail all the steps toward creating a solution or completing a project.
Any combination of the above – Bundle any combination of the above information mediums to create an entirely new product. The possibilities are endless.