Creating your very own information product is certainly a worthwhile endeavor. In fact, having your own product is often one of the easiest ways to not only make money online, but it can help you to build and establish a brand, build valuable partnerships and create your very own team of affiliate marketers who are willing to promote the products for you!
And as you might imagine, you can see far greater results through the efforts of a large group of affiliates than you ever could on your own, thus your time is much better spent creating your own products than simply promoting others.
Of course, many people think creating a product of their own is expensive, time consuming and difficult. The truth is, creating a high quality information product isn’t all that hard to do, especially when you turn to the experts and hire them to create the product for you!
In fact, you could have your first product done from start to finish in 48 hours or less.
In this post, you’re going to learn how to create your own product – an eBook, info product or video product, from researching markets and topics to getting it set up to sell and even marketing it, in no time flat!
So let’s get started.
Choosing A Product Type
The first thing you’ll want to do is decide exactly what type of product you’d like to create. This could be an info product, an eBook to be sold via Kindle and other outlets, a video series, or something else that will appeal to your target audience.
Remember that some types of product formats may work better for certain topics and markets than others. For example, some people prefer to read content while others prefer to watch it in video format. Just the same, different groups of people do better at learning new material in various formats, such as detailed, step-by-step tutorial guides or comprehensive, “watch over my shoulder” videos.
Additionally, you can re-purpose the same product into several different iterations in order to get the most out of it. For example, an eBook created with the intention of being sold on ClickBank could also be sold on Amazon for Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and other platforms. You could even use the same basic content to create a video series!
There are even other ways of re-purposing content so that you’re able to extend the value of every product.
For example, a single book could have its content converted into all of the following formats:
- An eBook for Kindle, Nook, iPad and others
- A print book sold through CreateSpace or Lulu
- An eBook sold through ClickBank
- A video series sold through ClickBank
- An audio series sold through ClickBank
- An audio book sold through Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), Amazon, iTunes and others
Multiple formats will give you a wider distribution net and far more income than you ever thought possible, all without having to invest in additional products until you have recovered your initial investment!
Choosing A Topic
Many people create a product on something they are personally interested in or have knowledge or experience in, because they simply feel it will be easier to create a quality product. While that is generally true, it doesn’t necessarily mean that product will sell.
A good way to get an indication of what type of material is selling well is to take a look at various online marketplaces and search through the bestsellers in various categories. If you already have a topic in mind, go to a section that correlates and see if anyone else is selling a product on a similar topic, and if so, how well are they selling?
Let’s say you want to write a product on growing cacti.
Here’s an easy way to research.
- Visit Amazon.com.
- Hover over “Books & Audible” in the menu on the left.
- Click “Kindle Books” or “Books”.
- Then click a category that closely matches your topic, in this case, Nonfiction, then Crafts, Hobbies & Home, and then Gardening & Horticulture.
- This will show you a list of “New and Popular” titles in the genre, and you can drill down further. In this case, I clicked “Ornamental Plants”.
- The first book in “Ornamental Plants” under “New and Popular” is “Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties” by Debra Lee Baldwin. There are also several other books about cacti and succulents on this page.
- Click the bestselling book on your list, in this case “Succulents Simplified’, and look for “Product Details”. This will tell you the book’s bestseller rank overall in the Kindle Store as well as in some of its various categories.
This particular book, at this moment, is #28,495 in the Kindle Store. It’s also #1 in several categories, including Ornamental Plants and Flower Arranging.
A good general rule of thumb is that a book with an overall rank of #30,000 or lower means the title is probably making fairly decent money for the author. A book with a rank of around this number generally sells (and this is a very general number) around 50-75 copies per month.
This number can vary widely based on several factors such as current new releases that may affect rankings drastically, and the fact that a book may rise very quickly and fall just as quickly, but it gives you a good idea of what you might expect around that ranking if you stay there for a while.
Remember that rankings are highly volatile on Amazon. A book could be in the top 1,000 one day and drop to 15,000 the next, or vice versa.
Rankings are based on sales in correlation to things such as length of time since the last sale and how well other books are doing. It’s not easy to predict.
Another way to find out if a product might sell is to check out magazine publishers to find out if any magazines are being published on the subject. If so, a product would probably sell well, because it’s not likely a publisher would create and market a magazine without doing research first into whether it would sell.
You could also write their advertising department to ask what their current subscriber number is, or their reach. This will give you a good indication of how popular the magazine is and how large the market might be.
Remember, interest in a market does not necessarily equal sales!
For example, there could be hundreds of thousands of websites about insect collecting, but if people in that market aren’t spending a lot of money, all the traffic in the world won’t matter. So look for products that are actually selling, not just general keyword numbers or website numbers.
You can use this same technique with virtually any online or offline marketplace.
Some ideas include:
- Your local library or bookstore
- Websites of Barnes & Noble and other booksellers
- The ClickBank Marketplace
- Affiliate forums
- Internet marketing discussion groups (WarriorForum.com etc)
Browsing these sites will give you plenty of ideas, and checking out bestseller lists will make it easy to find out what is selling and what isn’t.
Ebooks are perhaps one of the easiest type of info product to create, regardless of your skill level or experience. Using software such as Microsoft Word or Open Office you are able to create a simple PDF-formatted document that can be sold to your audience.
If you want a general idea of how easy it is to create a book for sale on Kindle, for example, take a look at this checklist:
- Write your book in Word or another word processor and save it in .doc format.
- Add a title page with the book’s title, author name and copyright notice at the front.
- Be sure each chapter has “Chapter One”, “Chapter Two”, etc. set as “Heading 1”.
- Create a flat book cover design at 1600×2400 pixels, or pay someone to do it for you.
- Submit the doc file and cover JPG to Kindle.
It’s really that simple! There’s no special formatting required in most cases, because their conversion program can convert your doc file to the .mobi format used by Kindle.
And here’s a fantastic tool that will compile all of your documents into the many different popular formats, including mobi and .epub!
If you want to sell your book on ClickBank or another similar platform, all you need to do is take that same document and export it as a PDF file, zip it up and it’s ready to go!
Creating An eBook Cover
People say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but the fact is, almost everyone does. It’s only natural, because the cover is the very first impression you get from most books. Unless someone tells you how great a book is before you see it, you probably won’t know anything about the book other than the title and what the cover looks like.
This is especially true online.
As you’re browsing through a traditional bookstore, most of the books only present the spine. Thus, the title generally becomes the first impression for most books, except those few that are displayed with their front cover facing out. But that is generally reserved only for big sellers.
But online, you see the full front cover displayed as a small thumbnail among many others. If your cover doesn’t stand out and grab attention, the rest of your marketing – your title, your description (blurb), your reviews… none of that will matter.
Fortunately, there are a number of decent designers available on sites like Fiverr.com. For $5, you can get a book cover that is probably better than anything you could do on your own, unless of course you’re already a good designer. For $20-$50, you can get a really excellent cover done by a highly experienced designer.
Your book cover is definitely not a place to skimp. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and it better be a good one. There are also thousands of designers that can create quality covers for you. Check out their portfolios to find someone whose work matches the goals you have for your cover.
Creating videos is a little trickier, but with the right software or service you can easily create video products that will sell. In fact, there are online services that make it incredibly easy to create videos just by uploading a few images or slides and some music!
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Tip: Content Samurai is the fastest way to create incredible, professional looking videos that get results – With this simple to use, web based platform you can crank out insanely awesome videos for your business in just minutes and you won’t need any previous editing experience.
Creating a new video is as easy as uploading your script, tweaking the slides and adding a voice over or audio track. (and it’s all done in an intuitive way using the built in wizard helper that will save you hours of frustration)
I’d also recommend you check out Filmora – Which is a super easy to use desktop video editor with modern and intuitive design and tons of great effects.
Selling Your Products
There are a couple of different ways to sell eBooks with little or no upfront costs involved. You can sell them directly, either on your website or on ClickBank, or you can upload to Kindle and other platforms.
Let’s take a look at some of the best places to sell your products. Remember, you shouldn’t focus on a single platform. Sell your products through as many platforms as you can and multiply that income!
For years, ClickBank has been one of the most popular places to sell digital products, and for good reason. ClickBank has an unbelievable number of active affiliates who are always looking for new, quality products to promote. This is a major benefit, because your products can make money even if you’re not great at promotion yourself.
If you’re going to sell on ClickBank, you need to keep things in mind:
It costs $49.95 for your first product, paid on approval of your product, to sell on ClickBank. This could be cost-prohibitive for some people who are just starting out, but it’s definitely worth the cost if you can afford it.
You’ll need excellent sales copy and very good graphics in order to attract the attention of the average affiliate. This could also be cost-prohibitive, because a good mini-site design and eCover can cost at least $100 and up to $500 (sometimes even more), and good sales copy can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars from an experienced, quality copywriter.
However, if you don’t have great sales copy and a nice design, most affiliates won’t even consider you. You could try doing it yourself to save money, but good sales copy is very tough to write unless you have a lot of experience and understand the intricacies of doing so.
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TIP: If you’d like to learn how to create a great sales letter for your product then consider joining Simon Hodgkinson’s “10 Day Copy Challenge” By the time you finish the daily assignments,you’ll have your own high-response sales letter in hand and you’ll be ready to take orders!
The great thing about this course is you’ll get plenty of examples you can swipe and use in your copy. This makes it easier than ever to create your own sales letter!
And there’s no getting overwhelmed, because this course breaks down the entire process into 10 easy-to-follow steps!
Note: You must provide promotional material for potential affiliates if you want the best chance at being chosen by affiliates for promotion. (As long as you keep those things in mind, ClickBank can be insanely profitable.)
Amazon Kindle (KDP)
The most popular program for selling books is the Kindle Digital Publishing platform made available through Amazon, also called KDP. Don’t make the mistake of thinking these books are only available on Kindle devices! These days, most devices have a version of the Kindle app available, including the iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac, and more!
The KDP program gives authors 70% royalties for products between $2.99 and $9.99, with a few exceptions (such as sales in certain countries). For everything else, they offer 35% royalties.
If you’re selling a product for $2.99, you’ll get approximately $1.79 in royalties, minus any download fees or other fees. And of course, if you sell in other countries you’ll be paid in that country’s currency and subject to exchange rates.
Don’t forget to join Author Central. Once you join, you can add your author names (up to three on one Author Central account) and then add all of their books so you can track their rank, reviews, etc.
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble’s NookPress program makes it possible to publish on the Barnes & Noble website for purchase with the Nook tablets and Nook app on other devices. They pay similarly to Amazon, except their percentages are 40% and 65%.
Secondary retailers not only help you get onto websites you might not otherwise be able to get onto, but they can also benefit you in other ways. Right now, there are two major players in this market.
Smashwords was the only player in the market for a long time, and was the only way for international authors to get onto Barnes & Noble for ages, too. Smashwords makes it easy to get onto Apple, Sony, Kobo and some other markets from one place.
They’ve also recently added the ability to get your books onto the Oysterbooks reading platform, which is like Netflix for books. For less than $10 per month, Oyster users are able to read an unlimited number of books. Oyster pays authors 60% of the retail cost of their book.
In addition to selling books through partner sites, you may also make occasional sales on the Smashwords.com website.
Draft2Digital makes it possible to submit to Amazon, Kobo, Apple and Barnes & Noble from one location. (Smashwords has a few more retail channels than Draft2Digital, however Draft2Digital has a few key benefits over Smashwords.)
For example, reporting is instantaneous on D2D, while on Smashwords, you have to wait weeks or even months to see how much you’ve sold. Only those sales on the Smashwords.com website show up immediately.
Another major benefit of Draft2Digital over Smashwords is that they pay monthly, whereas Smashwords pays quarterly. A lot of people don’t like waiting three months for payment, making Draft2Digital more attractive.
You might want to use Smashwords to submit to sites like Oyster and Sony, which Draft2Digital currently can’t do, and use Draft2Digital for other sites. But unlike Smashwords, D2D does not offer books for sale directly from their own website.
Kobo Writing Life
Kobo Writing Life makes books available for the Kobo eReader device. Sales of the Kobo device are relatively small, making eBook sales relatively small, but many authors report enough sales to more than justify setting their books up on Kobo.
You could use Smashwords or Draft2Digital to submit to Kobo, but if you put your books up directly you’ll have a bit more control and better statistics.
Apple is a major player in the eBook industry. Its iBooks app is available on iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, as well as its line of Mac computers. Apple has sold countless millions of these devices, so the market is massive.
The one major drawback to submitting to Apple is the need to purchase your own ISBN numbers. You’ll need to buy in bulk for them to be cost effective. You can get onto Apple without buying your own ISBNs through Smashwords and Draft2Digital.
Promoting Your Products
Of course, the best way to promote your products is through the use of affiliates on a platform like ClickBank, because affiliates can multiply your efforts in ways you, as one person, never could.
However, that won’t be so simple on Amazon and other platforms, because while there are affiliates for Amazon and many other publishing platforms, they don’t tend to promote books because the commission is so low.
Here are a few ideas for promoting just about any type of product:
- Create a Twitter account. Follow people who are interested in your niche and interact with them. Re-tweet some of their tweets, so hopefully they will re-tweet yours.
- Create an account on Pinterest. Set up pin boards in your niche and pin relevant images, linking to your book in your descriptions.
- Create a Facebook fan page that correlates with your niche.
- Create a Facebook fan page for your author name. You do not have to create a new Facebook account for this! Fans will not know who owns the fan page.
- Create educational YouTube videos in your niche and link to your website or your book in the description and in the video.
These are just a few ideas to get you started.
Product creation is a relatively simple, straightforward process. You may need to invest a little time and/or money into the process, but the potential payoffs make it worth the effort.
It is far more profitable to expand your product into various formats than to try to make money with a single format. Diversification is extremely profitable. The more formats you make your products available in, the more profits you stand to make.
Most of all, never forget that quality is key. Remember that most of the websites you’re likely to be selling on allow users to review products, thus if your product starts to get a lot of bad reviews, it could be dead in the water before it even gets started.
Produce quality writing. Edit it thoroughly. Create eye-catching, professional book covers and graphics. Create engaging sales copy and descriptions. Make quality promotional material available to affiliates.
Do these things, and success is assured.
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