Whatever you want to call them.
These are the digital assets many entrepreneurs use to build email lists, create market authority, and earn a few bucks.
You’ve probably read articles about how people make a living writing ebooks. Or, maybe you’ve bought an online course from a favorite blogger. The concept behind information products aren’t foreign — you, too, could create these digital goods with some dedication and a helpful guide.
There isn’t too big a difference between the great content you’re creating now and getting it bundled for online sales.
Need some good information product ideas? Want to follow along with our infoproduct guide and start making money? Let’s do this!
Part 1: Forming Your Information Product Ideas
An infoproduct takes many forms:
- Video series
- Audio guides
Information products don’t have the high overhead.
They also greatly benefit from digital packaging letting sellers use digital distribution.
The most common introduction to this asset usually takes the form of an eBook.
Why should you create infoproducts vs your usual blogging?
A product grants you the ability to earn additional income outside of the existing affiliate offers on your site.
The product also plants you in a prime position to build brand authority within your niche due to having something of value to offer than just free information.
The product condenses your knowledge and experience and provides a straight-forward collection of best strategies and proven methods with your topic. This is especially beneficial to would-be buyers because they’ve felt overloaded with information — your product gives them an “easy” way into the topic.
Information Product Ideas: Start With What You Know
There are many methods to finding a profitable topic for your information product (all of which we will cover) but perhaps the best place to start is with what you know.
- Pro: You already have most of the information needed to populate your work
- Con: Your knowledge and set of skills may not be truly profitable
Building an infoproduct from your knowledge lets you cover all angles.
You have a deep understanding of the topic and strong convictions — this expertise shines in the infoproduct.
You worked through the basics, up to the advanced levels, so you know which areas to cover.
This gives you a perfect entry-point since you’re removing the pitfalls and troubles they’ll likely experience when starting
Likewise, your level of expertise puts the readers in good hands since you’ll have the ability to include a personal story with the work. Including this story creates a brand identity in the work and helps the reader bond with you and the message/task.
1. Write down a list of your top five interests and skills
2. Form an idea for each of the main chapters (usually 6 – 12)
3. Compare them to the main “turning points” in understanding the topic
4. Handoff the work to gain feedback about the scope of the project
Information products do not need to educate.
You can create a piece of work that entertains or takes on a nonfiction/fictional format
Educational pieces are generally easier to sell because there are always newcomers seeking a solid understanding and condensed knowledge of your topic.
- Flirt the outline with a few of your close business connections and see what they have to say about the work.
- Put together a rough design and tease it with a small portion of the community to build data about its reception to solidify the idea.
Going with what you know will bring ease to the product development.
Plus, you’ll have fewer troubles with all other elements of the product launch thereafter since you A) know the audience, and B) know where to get it found.
To be frank:
Even if your idea and topic don’t seem all too profitable – create the work, anyway.
You’ll gain a great understanding of the product development process more so than simply reading about it.
Information Product Ideas: Using Research & Development
The alternative method to product development comes in the motion of research and development.
- Pro: You’re able to cover any topic and start with a firm understanding of the market
- Con: Your choice in the topic may be out of your understanding
Using R&D, as noted, will allow you to cover the exact topics people seek when using the Web.
This will reveal whether they are profitable from the start so you’re not spending hours creating a product that has ill reception.
Surprisingly, people still have difficulty using the Web to learn about topics.
They’ll get wrapped up in the noise and clutter due to the enormous amount of sources.
People generally like to have a single source for education much like what they are used to from their experience in school (textbooks).
The combination of R&D and condensing the work into a single piece will have great value to those that search for the work.
1. Use keyword research tools to data mine search terms and focus of those coming to your website (or what you can tell from competitor sites)
2. Visit 10 – 20 of the biggest blogs and websites in your industry to see what they have on the market. Consider purchasing one or two of them to understand the tone, direction, and sales process. This should help you understand where to make improvements if you’re covering a similar topic.
3. Collect and use sources such as physical & digital books, videos, interviews, and lectures, so you’ll have a complete picture of what you need to cover and how to explain the information.
Information products that are the result of R&D can create big earnings.
These information product types can tackle any topic.
Although, it’s easy to get lost in the information and create a piece that doesn’t convey experience and authority.
For this reason, it’s vital that you become part of the learning process and put the methods and strategies to the test as this will give you a real-world angle for the work.
Like before – flirt the idea/topic to those within your circle and consider doing a soft launch.
This will reveal its reception within the community (and also give you the motivation to get it done).
Start Small but Think Big
That’s really all that’s too it in terms of coming up with a profitable idea.
It’s a matter of condensing your knowledge or using research then comparing it to what the market has to offer followed by gathering feedback on its initial conception.
But, here is a little example to get your creativity rolling …
Suppose this post was a paid information product.
Sure, it answers a common question but there are many products currently available that covers this topic. This makes it hard to gain an edge in the marketplace. The alternate, profitable route could pool together multi-media for covering the information, exclusive interviews with top professionals in the industry, worksheets, and even a membership area.
The point is that you should go big.
Think of the bigger picture when you’re developing your information product – include horizontal and vertical opportunities when you’re planning the work.
Your idea could grow from a single eBook into a massive multi-media empire complete with complementary pieces that supercharge your profits.
Many product creators stick to a single format – use this as your edge in the market.
Now, get to work on a few of your ideas, write them down, and move onto the next section.
Part 2: How to Create Information Products
The most tedious, overwhelming part of developing an information product comes down to the actual work put into its creation.
Our example covers the eBook format but the same barriers are in place for any other formats.
It’s the stress and long hours you would place into a piece of work which may (or may not) become a great seller.
It’s because of the unknown outcome that causes you to freeze and fail to take action.
After all, why spend 100+ hours on an information product if it sells just a single copy?
Clear that from your mind.
You’ve already done the hard work of forming a profitable information product idea.
Everything thereafter will come to fruition.
It’s the forming of the product that will be your next challenge.
Information Product Creation: The Groundwork
An eBook (as our example) is a whole lot of writing.
But, you can view the work as a series of long-form blog posts … you do not need to write in a single weekend.
This applies to other, common infoproducts like e-courses and video series.
The structure will become your greatest guidance when forming your information product.
The work can be however long or short.
Just make sure it covers the topic in full detail.
Getting It Outlined
Doing the outline will be the first step in developing this structure and will give you an idea of how much you’ll need to cover.
Here are a few product elements to keep in mind:
- Come up with a chapter for each “part” of the information
- Focus on just one idea for each of the chapters and collect those resources
- Aim for 20k – 30k words
To begin, approach your infoproduct topic from the standpoint of a complete beginner and ask the important questions — like:
- How they will get started
- What comes after the basics
- What one would learn and experience at a master level
Think as if you are creating a text book.
Envision it as it takes the reader through basics (uses fundamentals) while building to bigger concepts in the later chapters.
Forming the Workflow
Next, outline and come up with a chapter title for each of the main elements of the work.
Doing this outline of chapters will give you an idea of what you need to cover.
And, will break the entire project down into manageable pieces (you can work on a single chapter at a time at any particular date).
Tip: Look at a popular book in your industry and try figuring out why it’s structured that way.
Then, create a folder containing subfolders for each of the main chapters.
Use this file structure to collect notes and resources for each of the sections so you’re not bouncing back and forth between these items.
Refresh your memory and experience with each of the chapter topics each time you sit down to work on them.
Tip: The ideal workflow would be opening a folder and have everything required to complete a chapter to keep you distraction-free.
Getting It Done
Last, try to complete a chapter each time you get to work.
It’s easy to lose your train of thought if you stretch out the work across a week or two.
Figure that each chapter may have roughly 2,000 words and work on each as if they were a very long article on your website.
Use the normal approach to creating articles with intro, body, and conclusion with the slight tweak that you’d lead in and out of the chapters.
The actual work isn’t all too difficult when you get down to business.
Having a solid structure and set of resources for the project will give you guidance for each of the chapters. And, it’ll come to completion before you know it.
The important thing is to just write, write, write.
Don’t stop to edit as this will be done prior to publication – just get those ideas onto paper.
You can always go back and beef up each of the articles with additional media and information but focus on the ‘core’ content, for now.
Packaging the Information Product: Templates and Designs
It’s time to craft that work into a deliverable product after you have completed the main content.
There are a variety of ways to approach the product “packaging”:
- Write and edit the work in a text editor and export it to a PDF (easiest way)
- Use templates and InDesign to add visual flair and flexible layout (harder)
Beginners should go the simple route of producing work with a text editor such as Microsoft Word.
Your basic text editors are easy-to-use and export the work into a PDF format (best filetype for infoproducts such as eBooks).
- There are Word templates available that will give your work a better look and feel.
- Including media embedded within the work will give your work an additional edge, too
The advanced route would be through the use of a publishing program such as Adobe InDesign.
InDesign is made for handling print layout and design.
But, requires a lot of education and knowledge of the software in order to get the most from it.
All you would need to do is work out a format and begin pasting your content to the InDesign layout.
Photoshop is a very handy tool for the eBook production since you can use the tool for forming the eBook cover and other graphical elements of the work.
Perhaps your best course of action is to get started with a format and tweak it to your liking.
You can source a designer that will aid in the eBook development, too.
There are many freelancers that offer their services in InDesign and Photoshop, and plenty that is well experienced with eBook creation!
Remember this: shiny graphics and layout may be pleasing to the eye but the most important part of the book will be the information.
Avoid Perfection (You Can Always Revise)
Make an effort to work on just one section of the work throughout the week – there’s no rush to get it done.
Don’t fret and stress yourself if you don’t include every tidbit of information.
Remember, you can always revise the content.
Don’t worry about being perfect – just be perfect enough for your audience.
That doesn’t mean you can slack and be sloppy in the work.
But… don’t get caught up with endless editing and inclusions which creates project “creep” so things never get done.
An information product can come together as quickly as a day.
Some may choose to give it time and spread it over a month.
Take the time to work on each piece and see each chapter to completion.
- Work out the entire project and then go back for edits
- Handoff the work to people within your business circle and gain some feedback
Likewise, release it to a few community members and influences to get feedback. Then, make those appropriate edits.
This should go on just long enough to get the major flaws fixed.
The smaller stuff? Well…
Part 3: Putting On the Finishing Touches
The example we have been sharing is related to developing an eBook.
You’re more than able to expand your product offering into other media formats such as video and audio.
Not to mention different, adding new formats create new income sources such as premium tiers or membership areas.
It’s the inclusion of expanded media that bring additional value to your product offering.
We’d like to share a variety of extras you could include to fill out your offer beyond the basics.
And, some of the ways to tweak the main offering so it’s attractive to your community (so it may find its way into an affiliate program of its own).
Here’s how to do the finishing touches …
Improving the Visual Appeal
The product “packaging”, albeit a graphic, is a very important element of increasing attention toward the product and closing the sale.
People want to be assured the product they purchased has a professional appearance.
No doubt, you’ve seen a handful of information products during your time on the Web. More so, you’ve most likely seen product graphics that aren’t stellar. Did it put you off from going any further? The graphic for these products aren’t enticing so you feel the information couldn’t possibly be of value (even if it is).
Creating the image for the information product is very easy.
There are many different methods to approach designing covers and other graphical elements of an infoproduct, including:
- Scripts and templates within Photoshop
- Online services such as MyeCoverMaker.com
- Pursuing freelance services
Those aren’t inclined at graphic design would benefit greatly from the guidance of a freelancer experienced with book design.
Those that take the DIY approach can find many templates over at CodeCanyon.net, scripts (free and paid) from doing a Google search.
Or, could use online graphics tools to make the media.
The goal is to give it a physical look (3D) as this gives the impression that it has some “weight”.
Perception is a real thing even when it comes to information products!
How to Make More Money with Information Products
There are two excellent ways to take your information product and turn it into a passive income stream on top of the up-front sales, these include:
- Injecting affiliate links to resources
- Creating tiered versions of the product
The first is easiest since it’s something you’re already accustomed to doing if you’ve explored affiliate marketing.
All you need to do, to maximize the work, is to link to your references and resources using your affiliate links.
Alternative ways to inject affiliate offers is by sending people to resource pages on your website, including micro-reviews within the context of the work.
Or, including extra customer support through worksheets and checklists which also use affiliate links.
- Check with your affiliate program terms seeing if “offline” promotions are available — if not, point people to a live landing page
- Realize some readers will feel “turned off” by the promotions so keep them to the essentials
The other method would be through tiered pricing.
Tiered pricing is a great way to boost your income from the information product without adding too much extra work on your end.
A basic, intermediate, and master tier level of product offers will allow anyone to purchase the product based on their budget.
There are built-in incentives to encourage customers to upgrade to the next level.
Here is an example of what you could offer:
- Basic: eBook
- Intermediate: eBook and video interviews
- Master: eBook, video interviews, worksheets, and direct contact
Each tier could come with a different price point and payment model depending on the amount of value you deliver with each offer.
In fact, you could even include a subscription model to one of the tiers if you want to include continued support for the big spenders
In return, you would increase your earnings each passing month.
In all, we suggest you use a clever mixture of affiliate links for resources and playing with the price points to maximize your product on the market.
Remember to set it at just the perfect level to encourage affiliates if you place the product on an affiliate marketplace (usually around 50% commission).
Then, you’re ready to get rolling and will have a variety of offers to the community.
Getting the Information Product Ready to Launch
Last on our list is the process of putting together everything you need prior to the launch.
These items which you’ll want to cover include:
- Testimonials from the initial group sample
- Marketing strategies and outline
Of course, take a look at other sales pages and gather data from your experience with buying information products. You can use these real-world examples as part of your swipe file and overall strategy. Keep a record of sales emails you receive from other lists, too. And, try to work the marketing pitch around the ones that really caught your attention.
- Gather those important testimonials that will be placed on the sales page.
- Pass off your infoproduct to a few of your long-term community members and other important people in your niche
- Grab their picture and a quote from them which will aid in the sales funnel since it reinforces your authority in the industry
- Work on your marketing strategies which may include advertising, guest posting, interviews, and other traffic generating methods
- Figure how you will respond to feedback and criticism about your product during the launch
- Answer any issues and problems that may arise during the launch
In essence, be prepared for the launch with everything you can when it comes to the marketing.
Finally, gather some of the frequently asked questions and have them answered on the landing page or part of the sales page.
These FAQ’s will help people overcome any buyer remorse one faces when completing the purchase.
Plus, it will stop interruption during the launch from having to answer each and every person that has a common question.
You’re Almost There!
All-in-all, going the extra mile by adding a bit of visual flair, including links in the resources, and preparing for the launch will get everything on your way to success.
You’ve made it to the tipping point so it’s now just a matter of pushing past the edge and cruising to the full product launch.
Part 4: Shopping Cart Setup and Listing on Affiliate Networks
The sales process, when selling information products, must be timely and intuitive.
The buyer should be fully aware of what they’re purchasing, its price, and how it will be delivered to their inbox.
You may have to overcome an individual’s rejection of information products since many expect free information.
There are many vehicles for delivering your information product to paying customers. Each comes with their pros and cons.
Let’s set up a shopping cart, first, to sell information products on your site. Then, get them listed on an affiliate network to expose it to more people.
How-to Setup and Process Digital Product Sales
There are big, elaborate shopping carts built for mega ecommerce stores housing thousands of products.
And then there are simple, direct gateways meant for selling a single product.
Truth-be-told, a simple shopping cart is the best option if this is your first foray into selling an information product.
However, there are many features you’ll want to be included to make the sales process quicker and easier.
A few essentials needed in shopping carts include:
- Easy integration onto your platform
- A simple checkout process
- Responsive design and layout
- Coupon codes and discounts
- Tracking, analytics, and backend
Go to the ecommerce stores you frequent and take a mental note of the shopping experience on each of the platforms.
Take notes of what each shopping cart requires to complete the transaction along with the look & feel of the cart.
The easiest method to implement a shopping cart is offered by Paypal which allows you to embed a checkout button on any page, plus it’s likely you already have a Paypal account.
The only trouble with basic shopping carts such as Paypal is its lack of product delivery which would have you manually sending the file to each buyer based on the email address you receive.
The better option is to use a shopping cart that has automatic product delivery such as one offered by:
… and others.
These shopping cart types upload and deliver your work on checkout.
In all, the robust, simple shopping carts will come with most of the bare essential features.
Built-in product delivery, discounts, coupon codes, and even social sharing will make for a very profitable mode of sales.
So, take a few hours to do your research and find the cart that best suits your product and website.
Listing Your Infoproducts on Affiliate Marketplaces
There are a lot of affiliate marketplaces available at your disposal for selling information products but two that should immediately come to mind are:
Both have wonderful features for listing products and managing the product delivery.
These affiliate platforms also include an affiliate backend if you wish to take your sales to the next level by recruiting partners.
Clickbank is one of the best affiliate networks to sell information products.
Those seeking Clickbank for their product delivery will need to pay a fee to list their product(s).
Access to the marketplace will give you an edge in recruiting affiliates due to the reports and analytics provided to members seeking offers to promote.
In all, a marketplace will give you the complete package for selling information products, online. This will grant you access to more than enough tools to promote and increase sales. It’s well worth the price if you see a great reception for your product launch.
Digital Product Sales: What To Know
When selling information products – consider the following:
- Find a respectable price for your product so it’s accessible to your buyer’s without breaking the bank
- Keep it high enough to encourage affiliates to promote the offer
- Keep the sales process as simple as possible without any hang-ups
- Leave no doubt in the buyer’s mind from the moment they add the product to the cart to when they receive the download
- Create a follow-up sequence thanking the buyer along with methods of contact for tech support, inquiries, and refunds
If you’re planning on selling just a single product than Paypal + shopping cart front end will be an easy choice.
Paypal is easy to integrate and transition to marketplaces once you can confirm the product has potential on a larger scale.
Uploading and configuring your information product in a shopping cart will be a little scary when you first start playing with the code.
But, it’s a cinch once you’re in the system.
Otherwise, hand it off to an experienced freelancer (which won’t be entirely expensive).
With all that in mind – you’re ready to begin selling your information product.
You should have a proper product landing page when you’re working with the shopping cart. But, you could take a minimalistic approach and keep it to a small blurb – it’s your choice. Always test what works and take full advantage of those landing page best practices!
Part 4: The Information Product Launch
Our final look at developing an information product will take us through the product launch phase.
Now you’re right at the grips of releasing the infoproduct to the world … it can be scary … but it’s exciting.
The prospect of selling your digital product becomes lucrative if you’ve done your research and hard work.
It could fizzle … but that’s part of the process.
Whatever the outcome you can step away knowing that you’ve gone the extra mile and conquered what most never do.
From this point forward, the work you place into selling your infoproduct relies on your momentum and drive.
You can certainly launch and hope for the best or you can put on your business suit and get out there to sell the product.
Get ready … set … launch!
The Pre-Launch Phase
The pre-launch is your moment to collect the last of your thoughts and prepare for the coming onslaught to your web server, email inbox, and social circles.
There will be some mistakes made throughout the process but that’s why you have a pre-launch. This is the time to hash out any of the kinks so the main phase doesn’t go off the rails.
The Success Stories
By now, you should have placed your product into the hands of a few of your followers and business connections.
This gets them sharing their thoughts and feedback about the information product.
The feedback and response can either go toward fixing any last issues or as a testimonial for your product landing page (with their consent of course).
Likewise, you should encourage those early ‘testers’ to share their results.
This feedback and story-telling are used in your launch marketing materials and post-launch content.
- Gather stats and their personal recollection of what they learned
- How they applied the tactics or what was the results
- Edit the story and include graphics
Then publish these on your website and in your newsletter to create excitement for what’s to come.
Buzzing with Blogs
An easy and effective way to generate buzz is to release a slew of guest posts on relevant blogs in your industry (and a few in areas completely unrelated).
These articles can push people to a pre-launch landing page to collect email addresses later used in the launch email.
The added benefit is that you will begin building links to the landing page. This starts it with a decent reception in the search engines.
Do what you would normally do as regards to using content for marketing.
But, with the intent to educate and build a buzz around what you have to offer.
Those with a shopping cart with affiliate backend features or listing on an affiliate marketplace have the ability to attract affiliate marketers for the product launch.
Catering to the affiliate marketer can help a launch tremendously.
Some main items you may want to include to attract these individuals may include:
- Holding a contest
- Ad graphics
- Swipe files for email
- A support forum
- Content excerpts
The point is to give them a healthy commission and everything they need to aid in your product launch without lifting a finger.
Piece together the emails, ads, and even articles they can publish to bring their community to your product.
The Launch Phase
It’s go time.
You’re ready to launch, you’ve done the heavy lifting, and you’re excited to get the product up and out the door.
First and foremost: launch the product without anyone knowing and run a few tests to ensure that you can purchase your product.
You don’t need to tell people about the soft-launch since it’s just to make sure there are no kinks during the big announcement.
Other items that should go on your list as part of the main launch phase include:
Get the Copy/Creative Online
Take all those flashy graphics you created for the product and begin adding them throughout your website.
Add them in areas like:
- Inserted in blog content
- Below post content
Don’t go too crazy with it because people will take notice but just cover all the basics.
Follow suit by publishing a post announcing the launch of your product. This is your sales letter but toned down as if it were any other post (it’s just special, this time).
Add your product to your list of resources and change links to competitor products with your own in existing posts.
Basically: if you can add a graphic, link, or some form of media to draw attention to your product than get it out there.
Get It to Your Email List
If you’ve got an email list than you need to shoot out an announcement email … or two … or three.
Consider doing the first email that explains that you have released the product.
- Where to find it
- What it has to offer
- The benefits
- How much it costs
Go straight forward with this one and get to the point.
The second email should bring in some kind of emotional angle which can be provided through one of the success stories. Or, a bit of injection of your opinions and comments along the way.
The second email can pick up those stragglers on the fence about the information product. This email helps them project what’s possible if they buy your digital goods.
Finally, a third email that just comes out and says “buy me” as one last hurrah will stick around and do its job to catch anyone off guard by the blitz of the main product launch.
Overall: don’t go too crazy with emailing your list as people may get turned off from your aggressive sales behavior. But, do make the effort to keep your list informed since that’s why you built it in the first place.
Get the PR Going
Get out there and begin running the social circles and update every social profile you have at your disposal.
- Update the profile
- Share a link to the landing page
- Ask and respond to questions
- Start a Twitter discussion group
- Post a big event image on your Facebook feed
- Update LinkedIn groups
- Release a YouTube video
…or really any of the best traffic generation tactics.
Bring awareness to your product through social media, advertising, content, and other traditional Web-related means.
The Post-Launch Phase
The product is up and out the door.
Maybe you’ve already got a few sales.
Maybe it’s still building momentum and gaining traction.
But, regardless of its status, there are a few things you can be doing to keep everything chugging along at full speed.
Responding to Reactions
Monitor what people are saying about your product and brand throughout the launch and respond to their comments and criticism.
- Keep a level head when responding even if their comments are negative and mean-spirited
- Tout and triumph those that have great things to say about your offer
Most dialogs will be on the social circuit but don’t neglect emails, phone calls, live chat, and blog posts that begin to pop up post-launch.
Nurture these individuals and they may buy your product if they had been on the fence.
Also, be nice anyway because a good nature shows your support and authority.
Talk about the Process
Share how the product launch went at some later point.
Write a blog post about what went on behind the scenes and what you had to do in order for it all to come to light.
People will get to see a glimpse of you rather than just the sales side of your business. This may encourage people to buy your product since they may find you very relatable.
Additionally, you can continue to interweave the product and its launch into future articles. This keeps it in the focus of your community and those coming to the site.
Tell the tale and you’ll hook them in.
Measure Everything (and Make Improvements)
Last on the list: test & measure
Use A/B testing on your:
- Product pages
- Social updates
The goal is to increase conversions on your product.
Test one small element at a time, measure the response, update based on positive feedback, and repeat the process.
Likewise, measure stats gained from your launch to Form new ideas for products, traffic sources, and finding customers.
Build a new list based on those that purchased your product, too, since these individuals will likely buy your next product!
Congratulations, You’ve Launched an Information Product!
There you have it.
You just made your way through the infoproduct development.
This took you throughout the entire process of setting up and launching an information product.
Taking these actions can be very tiresome and difficult but they are immensely profitable and fulfilling.
See what you can explore with information products.
See how it can change the game and help you make money online.
See how it’ll redefine your authority and expertise.
All the best that take the challenge and please let us know how it turns out if you find yourself launching a product!