Today, I want to follow-up on Thursday’s post about information products. Like I mentioned, I just finished with the 2nd edition of my ebook and was pretty excited that I had one less thing on my “to-do list” to worry about.
The problem is I’ve recently come up with 100+ different product ideas for this blog. So I have that sinking feeling like I’m about to go through this whole process again (and again, and again, and…)
Anyway, I got to thinking over the weekend about how I’ve haven’t written a thing on this blog about information products. And since my eBook is almost half of my income, I feel it’s important to talk about a few things I’ve learned during the first year of marketing this product.
[Sidebar: At first this was going to be a single blog post. But once it reached the 4,000+ word mark, I decided to chop it up into 4 smaller, easier to read articles. Hope you don’t mind.]
Am I an Expert on Information Products?
Before we get to the “meat” of this tutorial, let me be clear about something—I’m not an expert about information products.
Sure I make a decent income from my ebook. However I don’t consider myself to know everything about the process. Like everything else in my life, I’ve learned through the very painful process of trial-and-error. But in my opinion, that’s the best way to learn something.
Another thing I want to mention is my philosophy of “street cred.” I think it’s important to show that you know what you’re talking about before you dispense advice. So here’s a snapshot I took last night from one of my three Clickbank accounts.
Normally I think it’s kinda tacky to talk about the money I make. But I want you to know that I’m actually doing what I talk about instead of running my mouth.
Typically I make about $4000 a month from my eBook. I know this isn’t a huge amount of money, but it’s one of the pieces of the puzzle that allows me to earn an almost fully passive income on the Internet.
I work only an hour a week on my info product site which allows me the freedom to travel and dedicate a lot of my time to building content for the “Steve Scott Site.”
Now with all that said, let’s briefly talk about what makes a ‘successful information product’:
What is a ‘Successful’ Information Product?
Success varies from person to person. I’m sure there are plenty of Internet Marketing gurus who would laugh at my ‘successful’ eBook. And there might be many others who are envious at the amount I make.
So before talk about a creating an info product, I think it’s important that you spend a few minutes and quantify what YOU consider to be a success. In other words, what dollar (or pound/euro) amount would make a difference in your life?
I think it’s important to set realistic goals before creating an information product. That way you can keep testing/tweaking the marketing of your product and watch as your profits edge towards this amount.
Okay, we’ve covered the preliminaries. In the rest of this post, we’re going to cover the creation process of the information product…
#1- Be Ultra Specific
Please pay close attention to what I’m about to say…
Don’t create a generalized info product!
You’ve probably seen an example of what I’m talking about. The Internet if chock full of crappy eBooks on generalized subjects that nobody’s going to purchase. Like weight loss, dating, making money, etc.
The truth is these products don’t excite the customer and they most certainly don’t solve their problems.
I wasted over a year by not following this tip.
In 2007 and most of 2008, I spent most of my time creating what I thought would be the ultimate product in my niche. I covered every possible angle and wrote till my fingers almost fell off.
Once I hit the 130,000 word mark and discovered I was only halfway done, I made a decision that changed everything…
What I realized was simple. My info product was becoming the online equivalent of “War and Peace.” I’m sure somebody would have read the whole thing. But most would have looked at the length of this course and swiftly asked for their money back.
My problem was this eBook tried to solve every problem that the customer would have.
Everything changed when I decided to toss out 60% of what I wrote and tailor the rest of the material around solving one very specific problem that my customers were experiencing.
And the rest is history!
When creating your information product, you want laser-target one theme. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. Instead do your best to really give all you can about fixing this one problem.
Yes, I know there are many products that do well in the generalized category. But the product owners are either very experienced marketers or very lucky. When creating your first eBook, I recommend you stick to one tightly focused theme.
For instance, let’s say you’re a web traffic guru. In my opinion, it would be a mistake to create some sort of massive traffic product. You’d be better off creating an ultra-specific course like “How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog from Twitter.” This information product would be geared towards bloggers who want traffic from this one social media site. That’s the definition of ultra-specific.
#2- Solve Problems, Don’t Make Products
Here’s another important thing to remember…
People don’t buy products. They buy solutions to their problems.
You’re not that special. Nobody is going to buy your stuff just because you’re a super-cool person. The only reason you’ll make a sale is if your offer fixes something that’s troubling the customer.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard about Internet Marketing is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think about what keeps them up at night.
Figure out the questions that go through their head: What obstacles are they facing? How much money would they pay for a solution? How difference would your solution make in their lives?
I’ve seen a lot of products that are lengthy and full of information. But they don’t perform their primary focus—Fixing their customer’s problems.
The reason I recommend the “ultra-specific solution” approach to info products is it identifies what goes on in the mind of your customer then (hopefully) provides a solution to helping them out.
Like I said, this turned into a pretty lengthy article. I know that most blog readers prefer an article that’s less than a 1,000 words.
So in the next week I’ll release parts 2, 3, and 4 of this series.
Stay tuned!Take Action. Get Results.
11 thoughts on “Successful Info Product Creation and Marketing [Part 1]”
This is some pretty helpful stuff here for me Steve. And I appreciate you showing that you really do make money.
Wow 130,000 word count. whew you were really trying to invent something weren’t you? I definitely got some pointers here I can use and look forward to the next part.
I was trying to smash one out of the park, but the end result is I suffered from major burnout. What changed was over the summer of 2008, I started surfing and I would sit out there in the water (because I’m a terrible surfer) and think about this goliath-sized info product. Finally one day it hit me that I should tightly focus my product one small fixable problem.
Anyway, glad you found the information to be useful. The second part is queued up and ready to go for this afternoon.
Spot on, Scott! I really liked the Be Ultra Specific part. I think that is very often overlooked, and I am not saying I haven’t done it. Can’t wait to read the next parts of this series.
Patrick- Yes, being Ultra Specific can save a lot of future headaches when you’re trying to promote your product and nobody seems interested. The next part is coming today.
Excellent article Steve, as usual. I’ve created many an ebook and this was a helpful reminder of stuff that is required for creating a product that people buy. Since the ebook is not listed here…where is it? I want to go see it now! HA.
Thanks Yolanda. For now, I’m keeping the name of the product private. The reason I showed the Clickbank earning thing is to show I know what I’m talking about…but I want to keep this one “close to the vest.”
Once again, thank you for a very clear and insightful post. You saved me months.
Glad to hear it Ralph. In all likelihood, I’m going to turn this whole tutorial into a free report on this site…so I’ll send it out when I have a little more time to throw it together.
You just saved me around $100 by posting this series just at the right time. I was gearing up to buy the Info Product Creation Kit from Mark Joyner, but I think I’ll follow along with your course first.
.-= Gail´s last blog ..The ideas file- the electronic equivalent of a jotter =-.
Gail— To be honest, Mark Joyner definitely knows what he’s talking about. I’ve read a couple of his products and he’s pretty damn successful. What I recommend is read as much free information out there, then if you get stuck on a certain problem, then look to purchase a product. This method has worked pretty well for me…
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