Those Not-So-Beaut Information Products
Every man and his dog will tell you that the Internet is an information medium and this is precisely why one of the greatest commodities you can sell online is information.
Many of you reading this article will already have been suckered into believing that you can run a real “business” selling ebooks from your site and may have even spent countless hours creating a you-beaut site to showcase the ebooks and various other forms of informational products you have for sale. Why have your sales been so disappointing?
Quite simply, you’re wasting your time.
Granted, the Internet IS an information medium. Granted, information products DO sell very nicely indeed online. But not if all you’re doing is selling someone else’s product in isolation. You will not generate an income from promoting the latest Internet marketing guru’s “insider secrets” marketing course. Sure, you may make a sale here or there but you’ll also be spending a fortune in advertising. Don’t believe them when they tell you you will make thousands promoting their products, if that’s ALL you’re doing. Despite what the “gurus” would have you believe, it just ain’t gonna happen!
Because people need to have a reason to seek out your site.
How do you give people a reason to seek out your site?
Provide them with the information they’re looking for. In other words, in order to sell information products from your site (or anything else for that matter) you must first create a content-rich site that contains the sort of information the target audience for what you sell is looking for. Then, and ONLY then, will you have even the chance to sell the information product.
There are a number of products out there that have done EXTREMELY well for their authors by being bundled with resale rights. In other words, if you buy the product, you then have the right to resell it to others. These products typically sell you on the notion that you, just like the author, can make thousands of dollars each month reselling the book.
There’s just one teensy bit of information the author neglects to mention. Although he “gives you” a website, just like the one you visited when you bought the book, if you want it you must host it with the author. For a monthly fee.
The product contains links to other products and sources that you can’t change. Guess who gets the commission every time one of these links is used to make a purchase? You? Hah! Author again.
And forget about choosing who you use for your payment processor. 9 times out of 10 you’re forced to use a payment processor designated by the author because, of course, he’s negotiated the best possible deal. For you. Yeah right. He gets a commission of every sale you make.
THAT’S how the author makes HIS fortune. By lining up an army of patsies, most of whom will be lucky to sell a single copy of the product. But because he has THOUSANDS of you out there, he still makes a fortune. If each of the thousands of resellers sells only one copy, he still makes commissions on thousands of sales. You don’t get that opportunity.
And one other piece of vital information. You need to be one of the very first marketing these products to generate any income from them at all. They have a VERY short shelf-life.
Now, these types of products certainly have their place. I promote one of them from my site, in fact. But I don’t promote it as something to generate an income with. I promote it instead because of what it can teach you about internet marketing in a very short time. And I say so.
Information products can do very well online, indeed. But not these sort. Think instead in terms of creating your own content-rich site that attracts targeted traffic (the more specialized your niche the better) and then write your own e-books and sell them from your site. Establish an affiliate program to get others to sell your book for you. There is a veritable army of people out there looking for a product to sell, and any product, so it sometimes seems, will do. In time, they will wake up and smell the coffee but until then, put that salesforce to work for YOU. Just don’t promise them the moon though, OK?
Think also in terms of publishing a newsletter on the subject of your choice. Not only does this help spread the word about your website, vital to all-important traffic generation, your newsletter can become quite a lucrative source of advertising revenue once your subscriber base reaches a decent size (of several thousand).
Or you might decide instead (or as well) to launch a subscription-based newsletter to generate subscription income as well as advertising revenues.
Another approach is to create a members-only area of your web site and charge a monthly fee for access.
All of these ideas involve information products. Start thinking outside the paradigm of “selling an information product from your site”. Your site *IS* an information product! So is your newsletter. And utilized effectively, they’re MUCH more likely to result in a steady, reliable and secure source of income for YOU, not just another internet marketing “guru”.
2001 Elena Fawkner
Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online … practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for the work-from-home entrepreneur. http://www.ahbbo.com/