How to start an information business

Not sure you know something that others would pay to learn more? Think again. Odds are that you are the person who does something, whether it is a modest life, how to change the oil in your car or keep the deer from eating your tulips. Your knowledge can come from your education, professional experience, hobby or passion. The first step in starting a business with information products is to make a list of things you know from these areas.

  1. Research your idea to make sure it is viable. Your goal is to determine if people are interested and willing to pay for the information you can provide. Start by searching for a keyword on a site as a “SeoBook” keyword tool that will tell you how many people are searching for your topic, as well as the terms and phrases they use. Niches often sell better than general topics, so the Keyword Tool can be used to help you find a profitable niche. For example, instead of a gardening product, you can focus on “organic gardening” or “container gardening”.
  2. Decide what type of information product you will create. This is also a good time to determine how you will distribute it. For example, if you go with an e-book, will you sell it on Amazon and other e-book retailers or as a PDF on your site (or all of the above)? If you run an e-course, will you sell and distribute it on your own website, by e-mail or through a service like Udemy?
  3. Make a list of what your market needs to know about the topic. Organize the information to be taught. This becomes the outline of your project.
  4. Within each main category of your topic, list the specifics of what your market needs to know. This will become the detailed information you provide.
  5. Create the product based on your outline. If you are writing an e-book, you have the outlines and specifics, so all you have to do is turn them into sentences. If you’re making a video, use your outline to create screenshots or videos, emphasizing the details listed in #4. If you’re taking a course, you may have a combination of text and video, so you’ll need to create them based on the best delivery of information.
  6. Edit and check all materials. Today, more than ever, consumers do not want “good enough”. They pay for your information and deserve to have the highest quality product.
  7. Create a website. No matter how you deliver your product (i.e. through Amazon or Udemy), you need to have your own website. It should have a sales page, which highlights all the benefits that your product offers and information when you have those ties to the place where you can buy it.
  8. Add a list of emails. An email list not only allows you to keep in touch with people who are not buying your product right away, but also to sell other products in the future. These are products that you can create or you can promote affiliate products.
  9. Upload your product to your distribution channels. If you sell on Amazon, upload it to Kindle Direct Publishing or Createspace (material items such as books, CDs, DVDs). If you sell directly through your site, you will need to upload your products to a web host via FTP.
  10. Set up payment processing or product links. If you’re selling through a third party, such as Amazon, ShareASale, all you need to do is include links to your product page on your website. You can promote the links directly, as well as post them on Twitter and Facebook. If you’re selling from your website, you’ll need to set up payment processing. The easiest option is through PayPal, although if you sell to people living in Europe, you will have to pay attention to paying VAT. Another option is to use ClickBank, which for a small fee will not only process payments, but you can include your product in your market, which allows others to promote your product as an affiliate.
  11. Promote your product. Once the product is ready and ready to sell, this part of the job is done. Now your task is to let your market know about it in order to buy it. There are many ways to sell an information product, including guest writing, blogging, social media and more.

Many believe that the information business is a product of the age of the Internet, but in fact information entrepreneurs have been around for hundreds of years. The difference is in the past, the information was delivered by mail. The advantage of the Internet is that it is faster, easier and more accessible to provide information online than by mail.

What is an information product?

Everything that delivers information that someone wants to buy is an information product and includes:

  • Books
  • Reports
  • Guides
  • Home training courses
  • Seminars
  • Sounds
  • Video tutorials
  • Webinars
  • Study materials

You will notice that everything on the list can be delivered electronically or as tangible products.

There are many benefits to having an information business, including that they are:

  • Easy to create. You can convert a word processing document to PDF to sell on your website or e-book for sale through Amazon and other e-book retailers. There are also many online resources for creating print, CD and DVD, such as Createspace, Lulu and others.
  • Available for creation. Text products cost you nothing because you only need a word processor (Open Office is free) and a PDF creator that is free through many resources. But even video creation is affordable and can be done with basic screen capture software or a smartphone.
  • Easily available on the market. While you need a marketing plan, let people know about your information product can be promoted through a variety of affordable and easy to use internet marketing strategies and resources.
  • Passive sources of income. By passive, I don’t mean that you can set it up and forget it. However, once the product is created, you do not need to do anything beyond it except sell it and update it. You do it once and you sell it over and over again.

As with all home business ideas, there are some drawbacks to selling information products, including:

  • They can take a long time to produce. Organizing the idea and creating the materials takes time.
  • The cost of text items (i.e. e-books) has decreased with the increase of e-readers and e-books. There was a time when information entrepreneurs could value their e-books at $30, $50 and even $199. That day is long gone, as people often receive the same information for less than $10 on the Kindle.

There are many ways to make a living at home and online. Of all of them, information products offer tremendous flexibility in terms of when and where you work great income potential if you make a great product and get it on your market, as well as a passive revenue stream. Information products work well with other types of business, such as Coaching or blogging if you are interested in creating many income streams.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always educative & objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on the links in our articles.

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About the Author: Adil