September 11, 2013Written by Yuwanda Black
First off, as today is September 11th, I just want to take a moment to remember the victims of 9/11. I lived in New York City when the attacks happened. I could smell the smoke from my apartment and the ashes landed on my window sills — and I lived in midtown Manhattan, miles from downtown where the crash happened. I remember it like it was yesterday, as I’m sure many do.
Now, to today’s post . . .
Many freelance writers are capitalizing on the “information products” trend and becoming “infopreneurs.” I’m one of them; I’ve been writing and selling my own line of information products (ebooks/eclasses) online since 2002. It’s given me much more career freedom.
What I mean by this is, because I have another income stream besides writing for clients, it allows me to choose my client base more carefully – I don’t have to take on any and every writing job that comes my way. This is partly why becoming an infopreneur has been one of the best things to happen to me professionally; I simply can’t imagine doing anything else for a living.
In this post, I’ll lay out some pros and cons of what it’s like to sell information products online. Before we get to that though, let’s define what an infopreneur is.
As defined on the popular site, Succeed As Your Own Boss, an Infopreneur is someone who markets and sells prepackaged information products. This includes, but is not limited to, ebooks, workbooks, CDs, videos, DVDs, forms, e-courses, worksheets, manuals, MP3 audio files, e-zines, newsletters, home study courses, workshops, seminars and conferences.
For example, I write and sell a line of ebooks and e-classes, mostly on freelance writing and self-publishing.
These are but a few examples of those of us who are capitalizing on the information craze. There are thousands (if not a few million) others.
In case you don’t know, information is the easiest, most cost-efficient, most profitable product to sell online. The reason why is best explained in a post I found on DropShipWholesale.net, which explained it this way . . .
As more and more people move to the World Wide Web seeking their fortunes, the number-one business question of the recent age has become: “What’s the best product to sell online?” The answer is simple: information. No other type of product is easier to create, faster to bring to market, easier to distribute and potentially more profitable, often offering profits of 1,000 percent or more. [Source: What's The Best Product To Sell Online? The Answer Might Surprise You]
I loved this article by Yaro over at the uber-popular blog, Entrepreneur’s Journey. He breaks down – by day — just how easy it is to make six figures per year selling information products online — information products you create. This of course means you get to keep all the money.
As someone who’s been selling ebooks online for over a decade now, I can tell you that what he lays out is soooo feasible.
Where the real challenge comes when creating information products to sell is: (i) is finding a topic that will appeal to a niche audience, but one that is large enough to sell well; and (ii) marketing the product/service you create consistently.
If you can overcome the above hurdles (and it may take some trial and error), you can literally write your own financial – and lifestyle — ticket. For example, selling ebooks and e-classes online allows you to . . .
I. Work as much or as little as you want: Although in the beginning, you’ll be working a lot more than you probably want.
Factors That Contribute to Success Selling Info Products Online
(a) A Cache of Products: I didn’t start to realize that I could make a real living from selling my ebooks online until I’d written a dozen or so titles. That’s when I noticed that my sales became more consistent.
(b) Niching It & Experience: Another thing that contributed to my income growth is the fact that I write in a defined niche – one I have a lot of experience in.
(c) Good Ole Hard Work: Once I realized that “Hey, I can really make a living JUST selling my ebooks,” I started to pour more of my efforts into it.
Once you build up a cache of products — if you promote them consistently — your income can be surprisingly steady.
(d) Marketing Consistently: Make no mistake, promoting (marketing) is where the real work comes in, so be prepared to do this consistently. You can have the best product/service in the world, but if you don’t get the word out about it regularly, you won’t make very many sales – even on major outlets like Amazon.
And the reason is simple – the web is a very crowded place; competition is fierce. You can’t do hit-and-miss marketing; you have to constantly be on the promotional grind. I can’t stress this enough. For this reason, a big part of planning a product should be the marketing schedule, ie, what are you going to do daily, weekly and monthly – consistently – to promote your product.
Your marketing schedule is every bit as important as the product itself. Be sure to choose marketing tactics that you can afford to repeat.
FYI, It’s one of the reasons I like article marketing (and lately, social media marketing). It’s free, can be highly effective and yields results for years to come because people go online to look for information.
Article marketing – when done right – does a beautiful job of giving prospects the info they need to make a buying decision. It, in effect, pre-sells for you (again, when it’s done right).
II. Work from anywhere you have an internet connection: All you need is a laptop to create info products to sell – really!
III. Set your own working hours: As a non-morning person, this is HUGE for me.
IV. Earn as much as you want: Your income potential as an information seller truly is unlimited. Again though, it takes a lot of work to create a product that sells steadily enough online. But, if you get two or three of these, you can make a full-time living.
The Most Important Thing You Need to Know to Create Infoproducts That Sell
There are over 50 products in Inkwell Editorial’s e-store, but just three to five of them account for the bulk of sales. So doing your research to find out what people really want to know is key to producing profitable products.
V. Not have to worry about paying for and/or stocking inventory: While you can create physical products if you want, you don’t have to. Also, when you create physical products, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stock them.
I only deal in e-products and services (except for the SEO writing class, which I offer online and off). One day, I may go the route of producing DVDs and physical books, but for right now, I like the fact that I don’t have to.
VI. Control your own future financially and professionally: As an infopreneur, you never have to worry about being fired, or being discriminated against or being told that I’m too old, etc. As long as your brain is working, you can create info products to sell. This kind of “career control” is pure gold in my opinion.
All of these are major advantages of being an infopreneur.
HOWEVER . . .
This career is not without its pitfalls. I discuss four major ones in a post over on e-Junkie, a site I blog for regularly. I also lay out some solutions to the problems. So mosey on over and check out the post …
Although I wouldn’t trade my career for the world, it’s not for everyone. Knowing what to expect in the way of problems will go a long way towards helping you decide if becoming an infopreneur is something that could work for you if you decide to branch out and use your skills as a freelance writer in this manner.
If you have any questions about being an infopreneur, ask me in the comments section below. I’ll get back to you.