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Freelance Writers: What It’s REALLY Like to Create and Sell Your Own Info Products Online – What I’ve Learned in 10+ Years

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. May they continue to rest in peace.

Now, to today’s post . . .

Freelance Writers Cashing In on the Information Products Craze

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.

Note: Read the other two parts of this series — Part II; Part III.

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.

What is an Infopreneur?

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.

3 Examples of Freelance Writers Who Became Infopreneurs

How to Make Money Creating and Selling Your Own Information ProductsFor example, I write and sell a line of ebooks and e-classes, mostly on freelance writing and self-publishing.

One of the regular guest posters here, Karen Cioffi, has developed an e-course (Create and Build Your Author Online Platform).

The co-author of Inkwell Editorial’s social media writing ebook, Nina Lewis also has a “Make Money with Your Blog” course.

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.

Why Information Is the Best Product to Sell Online

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]

How to Make $100,000 Per Year Selling Information Products Online

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.

2 Problems Most Infopreneurs Face

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.

6 Advantages of Selling Ebooks & Other Information Products Online

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.

On-demand service providers like Smashwords, CreateSpace and Lulu allow you to produce and ship only when a customer places an order – and they do it all for you!

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 …

4 Pitfalls To Expect When You Sell Information Products Like eBooks Online And How To Handle Them

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.

Questions about Selling Information Online?

If you have any questions about being an infopreneur, ask me in the comments section below. I’ll get back to you.

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P.S.: Get 4 Ebooks for One Low Price — The Ultimate Self-Publishing Package!

P.P.S.: You can now order any of our products (like the SEO copywriting course) and take up to 6 months to pay with PayPal’s BillMeLater plan.

 

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    Comments

    1. Hey Yuwanda,

      I’m glad I found this site, so many great blog posts (most are from you!). I’m just starting out in this biz but can already see myself working on my own time from a hammock in mexico. lol You really need to find the right niche (hopefully not oversaturated) and that people are actually interested in. Then use social media and other sites to market.
      Dan recently posted…Automatic vs Manual DMCA TakedownsMy Profile

      • Dan:

        Hmmm, working in Mexico I can see — in a hammock, well that just might be a bit difficult with all that swaying back and forth (and napping!). LOL!

        Glad you’re enjoying the site, and good luck on your freelance journey. You’re in for a wonderfully wild ride. 🙂

    2. Yeah, I need to be more up to date on updates as well! I have been working on a Facebook course, and thank goodness I didn’t put it out yet, because it would have been a lot of back end work. Updates are a tedious process, but mandatory. Thanks again for reminding me about Yahoo Answers. I have been working on a survey with little results, and I totally forgot to go to Q & A sites to see what is going on in the market place. However, I got on Facebook and inboxed 5 of my ideal clients personally, and they kind of gave me an idea of what they were looking for. On other news, no worries Yuwanda. I know that you are extremely busy, so whenever. In that time, I have been doing some soul searching and reading my favorite business bible: Think & Grow Rich. And, there are some truths in there that I didn’t recognize I was doing! Thank you Tiffany! 🙂
      Nina recently posted…How to Use Social Media to Build High Quality Relationships and Increase SalesMy Profile

    3. This is a great post…I’ve had the idea of creating info products swimming around in my head for awhile. I can definitely attest to the marketing aspect being time and focus intensive. Back when I was dabbling in affiliate marketing I quickly realized that it wasn’t enough to advertise sparingly in one place, no matter what the internet marketing pros said. Now that I have some more experience, I have to find some time to brainstorm and see what I come up with.
      Tiffany recently posted…Facebook’s New Page InsightsMy Profile

      • I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with something Tiffany. One of the best ways to do this is to troll “Answer” sites like Yahoo! Answers. This will give you some insight into what regular folk want to know about a particular subject you may be thinking of writing on. Also, outright ask readers of your blogs, newsletters, social media accounts, etc. what they want to know about in your defined niche. You’d be amazed at what folk want to know that you hadn’t even thought of writing on.

        Can’t wait to see what you come up with. 🙂

    4. Thanks for the great tips on creating info products Nina. Your comment just gave me an idea for a follow-up post next week, How to Create an Info Product that Sells.

      I’ll cover some of what you’ve covered here. I don’t do #2 nearly enough. I think if I did, some of my ebooks might not have been written.

      Also you’re spot on about doing updates — which can be such a pain (I’ll swear I’ll scream if Google makes one more change to anything anytime soon!), but is so necessary.

      Thanks for sharing so freely. You’re a doll. And FYI, I still haven’t forgotten your email; it’s in my inbox and I’ll get back to you soon. My life is a bit crazy at the moment.
      Yuwanda, Site Editor recently posted…Freelance Writers: What It’s REALLY Like to Create and Sell Your Own Info Products Online – What I’ve Learned in 10+ Years My Profile

    5. I can certainly attest to this. Creating and selling an online course online has been one of the most gratifying experiences as a business owner. There’s nothing more exhilarating than logging into your email and seeing a payment notification for something you created years ago! And, Yuwanda is right, marketing is the key. If you don’t market, know one will know it exists. I have been guilty of sporadic marketing– and we all know sporadic marketing leads to sporadic income. However, I started my marketing again( a work in progress), and guess what I am getting more leads, sign ups, and sales. The thing with marketing is you have to find out what works for you. 100% of my sales have been from Facebook and Facebook alone. Therefore that’s where I focus most of my marketing efforts. I would like to add a few tips:

      1. Give people what they want, show them what they need. Survey your list and see what they actually want.

      2. Promote first, create second. You want to make sure people are really interested in your idea and will actually pay you money. When I did a live training series for my make money blogging, I promoted it, and then started developing the content when I got my first sale. The payment beforehand kept me accountable for delivering.

      3.Produce high quality content. Your first time around may not be the best, no matter how much you think it is. The key is to produce content, get feedback, and keep testing, and tweaking until it’s up to par.

      4. Provide updates if necessary. Online marketing is such a mercurial field;everything is always changing. For example, Google Keyword tool no longer exists, now they have a keyword planner tool. I have to update my blogging course to reflect this change. Don’t be lazy about providing updates and pushing out new, and fresh relevant information when needed.

      I hope this helps! 🙂
      Nina recently posted…How to Use Social Media to Build High Quality Relationships and Increase SalesMy Profile

      • Great advice Nina. Thanks. 🙂 I agree about providing updates. Adding the “newly updated” stamp to your product increases buyer confidence. Whenever I’m going to buy an info product I make sure it’s been recently updated.
        Tiffany recently posted…Facebook’s New Page InsightsMy Profile

        • This is one of the most frequent questions I’m asked about my e-products, ie, when was the last time they were updated. So if you’re thinking of creating a product, keep the “update” factor in mind.

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    1. […] I’ll be doing a follow-up to last week’s post on what it’s really like to create and sell your own info products online. That post received a lot of interest, and some of the comments gave me the idea to cover some of […]