There are a number of ways to create revenue online … Adsense, affiliate marketing, membership sites. But the best way to build the foundation for an online business is by creating your own information product.
I realize this can sound like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Just follow a few basic steps, put in the effort, and you’ll have an information product that’s uniquely yours.
But before you get started, you first want to make sure there’s a market for your information product. The quickest way to do this is to enter the keyword for your product into a Google search and see what comes up. For instance, let’s say you’re considering writing an ebook about how to paint with watercolors. You’d search on the term “how to paint with watercolors.”
Take a look at where Google sends you. Are there ads along the right side? If you don’t find any, then you might have a problem. If you do, then follow up on them. See what’s selling and make note of anything that appears to be missing. Also, you want to note how many competing websites Google lists (this information is located at the top on the right in the light blue bar).
Next, venture on over to the Overture Keyword Selector Tool (http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/) to see how many searches are conducted for “how to paint with watercolors” every month. You’ll receive a list of the top 100 searches that include your search term (assuming there are 100). This will give you a ballpark figure of the size of your potential market.
Finally, check Google Groups (http://groups.google.com/) to see if there are any painting with watercolors groups. If there are, this can be a great place to find out what people are looking for. This is the type of valuable information that can help form the structure of your product and assure that you don’t leave out anything that might be vital to its success. Try a similar search for any forums that are related to painting with watercolors.
Got a market for your potential product?
Great! Now it’s time to get down to work.
Keep The Possibilities In Mind
At one time, most Internet products were delivered either as an ebook or as a software program. While both of these continue to be popular mediums, the Internet has evolved dramatically as additional bandwidth has become more accessible to greater numbers of people. Today, products are also delivered in the form of video lessons, audios, transcripts, CDs, hard packages (mailed directly to the buyer’s home), monthly membership sites, or any combination of these.
While at this point you certainly don’t need to make a decision about how you’re going to deliver your product, keep the possibilities in mind. Consider what might be the best way to convey information to your targeted audience? In the case of “painting with watercolors,” is an ebook the most effective medium? Or is it, perhaps, a video series actually showing you going through the process? Or a membership site that delivers a training series on new techniques every month? Or perhaps a combination of these?
Of course, your decision making process will have to take your budget into consideration. Can you afford the software required to put together a video series? Can you afford the software for a membership site? Just don’t lose sight of the fact that your primary consideration should be your potential customer. What will best suit his or her needs? Plus, with a little hunting around, you should be able to find some shortcuts that will make any required software reasonably affordable.
Just remember to think in the long term, not the short term. You’re building a business, not playing around with a product idea.
In Part Two, you’ll begin to research your topic and organize your material.
About the Author
If you’d like to learn more about creating your own information products, visit: Nitty Gritty Marketing. To begin to build your own Internet business the right way, visit: Nitty Gritty Marketing On Squidoo.