Information products are a hot commodity in the online marketplace, transforming traditional entrepreneurs into infopreneurs. Ebooks and special reports are two of the most basic forms of info products. They are relatively easy to create and distribute and best of all, these products can generate passive income–money you make while you sleep.
An ebook is an electronic book that can be downloaded to a reader’s computer or hand-held device. Special reports are similar, but typically shorter in length. Some savvy internet marketers sell special reports ranging in size from two to twenty pages. Ebooks tend to be more comprehensive, with page counts from twenty to three hundred.
If you’ve been thinking about cashing in on this trend, then follow these simple steps to get started.
Establish Your Expertise
Everyone is an expert at something. Whether you are great at writing financial reports, organizing a home or training hamsters, you have something to offer the public. Sure there may be other people out there with similar qualifications, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room in the market for another expert. If you have a unique approach, you can compete with the best of them.
Building your expert status takes some effort. If you have special degrees in your field, a popular website, have published articles, been quoted by the media or given presentations on your topic, you are on the right track. If you don’t yet have these qualifications on your resume, start working on adding as many of these credibility-builders as possible.
Find Your Audience
You could write the most fascinating ebook on the planet, but your parents and friends will not be enough of an audience to make it worth your while. To be successful at selling ebooks and special reports, you must be able to reach a broad group of buyers. The best place to start is with a content-rich website.
For example, if you want to become an expert on dog training, your website should appeal to dog enthusiasts. To attract an audience, offer resources and articles that appeal to the dog-loving community. You can write your own articles or ask others to contribute content to your site. You can also locate articles available for reprint from sites like EzineArticles.com and ideamarketers.com. The key is to offer as much valuable information as possible. When your site visitors find value, they will be more interested in investing in the products you have for sale.
Communicating With Customers
One of the most effective ways to reach potential buyers is with an ezine. By sending a monthly or even weekly electronic newsletter, you accomplish several things at once: you get your name in front of your website visitors, you establish your credibility as someone who provides valuable information, and you can get your products in front of readers repeatedly. Studies show that the average consumer must be exposed to a product six to eight times before making a decision to buy. Your ezine can become a powerful tool for your information product business.
To capture subscribers to your ezine, provide a subscription link on every page of your website. You may want to offer a bonus, such as a complimentary special report or ebook, to entice visitors to sign up.
Create Your Products
Once your website is drawing traffic and your ezine is going out on a regular basis, you’re ready to create your first information product. First you must decide what topic to cover in your ebook or special report. Consider what information your site visitors want to know. Do you receive the same questions over and over? Answering those could be the basis of your first product. You could also survey your customer base to find out what interests them.
Once you know what your subject matter will be, then get to work on writing your first ebook or special report. It would be wise to have your content edited by either a friend or a professional so you can ensure you are delivering the best output possible. Don’t forget to include your website and contact information along with a copyright statement similar to the following:
Copyright © 2006 by Annie Author
Once your work is complete, you will want to convert it to a user-friendly format. Adobe PDF Creator software allows you to convert your document to PDF format which can be viewed on personal computers, Macintosh computers, and numerous handheld devices. You can also choose security settings to protect the contents of the document. If you don’t already own this software, you can visit to convert up to five documents at no charge.
Automate the Sales Process
Once your finished product is ready to go, you will need to automate the sales process. You could add a link to your website and attempt to process payments and deliver your info products manually, but this will only leave you and your customers frustrated. One of the benefits of info products is the instant gratification. When a customer makes a purchase, he wants to access the product immediately instead of waiting for you to check your email and deliver the goods.
There are a variety of online merchant systems available and one such solution is offered by This service manages the sales and delivery of electronic products. You can upload your file to Payloadz and create shopping cart buttons that can be placed on your website. When a customer makes a purchase, Payloadz will handle collecting the payment (which is processed via Paypal), and will send the buyer a link to download the product from their server. All you have to do is sit back and wait for the cash to hit your bank!
Market, Market, Market
Once your product is created and the sales and delivery process automated, your focus should be on marketing. Few businesses can be successful without marketing, and information products are no exception. Here are some ways to market online without breaking the bank:
*Publish articles in related industry publications and websites.
*Publish articles through content sites such as ezinearticles.com.
*Write a book. Being an author is an instant boost to your credibility and a book can open the doors to a variety of opportunities such as media appearances and speaking engagements.
*Form strategic alliances with website owners in your industry. Trade links to each other’s sites, swap ads in your ezines, or partner on a project or event.
*Be everywhere. Participate in teleconferences, internet radio interviews, blogs, and industry-related forums and chat rooms.
As your business grows, continue to evaluate what your customers want to know and develop products to meet those needs. Remember that it’s much easier to fill a need than to create one. And if you can do just two or three things each day to market your business, it shouldn’t be long before your website traffic and product sales exceed your wildest dreams.