Informational products are big business online and provide a fantastic money-making opportunity for companies, bloggers and entrepreneurs looking for a way to generate more revenue. Informational products include eBooks, e-mail courses, DVDs, audiobooks, blog subscriptions, seminars and anything else that involves writing or speaking in order to deliver value.
Informational products are ideal because they are:
• Low cost and simple to develop (write it yourself or hire a writer)
• Difficult to steal or copy (they’re instantly protected by copyright law and copying out a PDF is a slow process)
• Potentially very high-value (some eBooks sell for $100 and more)
• Minimal-no overheads (the only overhead in many cases will be PayPal fees)
This makes selling an eBook or a course a highly propelling prospect and a great way to generate income. All you need is an idea, and then some SEO/PPC marketing to drive traffic there. The latter is just a matter of finding a good company to work with, but the former can prove tricky if you aren’t naturally an ‘ideas guy’ (or gal). So how do you come up with an idea that will sell?
Look for Pain Points
Pain points are issues that affect many people in your industry/niche and which you can look to solve. For instance if you were in the bodybuilding niche then you might note that some people struggle to gain weight and size, or that some people struggle to stick to a nutrition plan. If you then write an eBook that addresses this problem and solves it, you will have a built in audience. A good rule of thumb here is to ‘scratch your own itch’. Obviously you operate in this niche/industry regularly, so what issues do you encounter regularly that you can help solve with an information product?
Poll the Audience – But Be Careful
If you can’t identify any stress points on your own that affect enough people/haven’t been covered multiple times already, then you can alternatively ask your readers/viewers for their suggestions. These will likely be your customers, so ask them what they want and you should in theory have a surefire hit on your hands. Be careful not to take what they suggest as verbatim however as many marketers believe that consumers actually don’t know what they want the most. As Henry Ford famously said before essentially inventing the car: ‘If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses’.
Ask for stress points, but then you come up with the unique way to solve those issues.
Look At Competition
Another way to get inspiration is to look at the competition. What other informational products are selling in your niche/industry and how successful are they? If you see one product that’s selling well but you think you can do better, then don’t be shy to simply emulate their idea. Not every business idea has to be original, in fact often it’s safer to copy a working formula. This way you can also look at the marketing channels they’re using and take advantage of those and even ask their customers how the products could be made better.
Alternatively you can look at the competition in order to find the holes that aren’t being filled. If there are a million bodybuilding books but none aimed at women, then could this be a potential market for you to tap into?
Before going ahead with any idea though you should first ‘validate’ it to ensure that people will buy it. And how do you do this? By getting people to put their money where their mouth is!
What you can do for instance is to create a landing page for an eBook or set of DVDs and then direct traffic towards it using AdWords. Ask people to click the ‘buy now button’, but then display a page saying ‘coming soon’ when they do. This will give you a good idea of how many people want your product before you waste too much time creating it or outsourcing its creation. If it’s not popular, then simply test a different title or think of a new niche and then try again. Eventually you’ll find a need you can fulfil and then you’ll have an almost-guaranteed revenue stream to help grow your business.