Writing a simple e-book on a real estate related topic require no large investment, but has large profit potential. However, this isn't just about passing on your knowledge. You also need to learn marketing skills - perhaps even more than writing skills.
Know something about real estate? You can sell your knowledge. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is with simple e-books. They are cheap to make and unlike with paper books, you can keep most of the money from every sale.
It cost $50 to set up an account with an order processor like ClickBank, and probably less than that to set up a simple web site to sell your e-book on, if you do it yourself. A domain name costs less than $10 per year to register, or about 75 cents per month. Hosting for web sites is as cheap as $6 per month now. If you don't already have internet access, you can get it starting at $10 per month (although I recommend paying $40 for cable internet access).
What other business can you start for a couple hundred dollars or less, and have overhead costs of less than $50 per month? If you use simple articles to promote your web site (as I do), you don't even need to spend a penny on advertising. At 999articles.com, you can even get a free e-book showing you how it is done.
The most common standard now is Adobe PDF. Many will tell you that you have to pay $300 or more for the PDF creation software, but hat isn't true any longer. You can use Adobe PDF online to make your e-books without having to learn nearly so much technical stuff. Get the book right the first time, and you can even do it for free (they usually give free trials). Otherwise, you can pay just $11 per month to use the service as long as you need it.
Selling Real Estate Knowledge - An Example
What can you sell? Try to find a new angle. Books that simply have 70 ways to invest in real estate, or another rehashing of zero-down techniques are tough sells. If you can sell them at all, you probably won't be able to price them very high. People want something new.
Certainly, you can just report on what others have done, and give examples and easy to understand explanations. But is better if you have some personal experience in a specific area of real estate, so you can speak with authority. It is best if you not only have experience making money in some specific way, but it is also a way that can be done in most parts of the country. Leasing cheap land in Northern Michigan to Christmas Tree farmers may have been very profitable for you, but it won't get people in other parts very excited.
Suppose you have learned how to buy houses with basements and convert the basements into legally conforming bedrooms. Basement space adds little to the price of a home until it is carpeted and has proper windows to make it legally habitable space. By doing so you have made a large profit buying and selling several homes. Put your system on paper!
Many areas of the country have homes with basement that are unfinished. There are a lot of investors who can't seem to make any money with their over-priced rental homes - and they would love a new way to make some money. This is a book you could sell.
In the above example, the goal would be to make the e-book as useful as possible. Make it a step-by-step guide and you don't even have to make it very long. Many e-books that sell for as much as $60 or more are less than 100 pages, and why not? One good idea can make or save the reader hundreds of dollars after all. As long as the most crucial information is there, and it is an easy-to-read and easy-to-apply format, you have done your job.
At least you have done your job as a writer. The next important job is as a marketer. This is the job that really makes you the money. In fact, this is so important that you may want to pay for someone to write your sale's page. This can cost as much as $2,000, but you may sell three or ten times as many books as if you did it yourself. Ask for examples of previous successful work.
If you are short on cash, you could try to arrange to pay a nominal fee up front and then a percentage of each sale. This could mean much more in the long run, but keep your initial costs down. It also means that the ad copy writer has a keen interest in making a page that sells. It is always a good idea to have a bonus or two that go with the book. This can be another short book on a related topic. It can also be something as simple - but useful - as a checklist for inspecting houses or searching for them.
How much can you make? That depends a lot on your marketing efforts. Let's suppose you create a $27 e-book or “e-course". Using ClickBank as an example, you will get to keep about $24 of each sale. You can also offer a commission of say, 50% to other ClickBank affiliates who refer customers to you. These are sales you otherwise almost certainly wouldn't have, so $12 is more than fair.
If, by distributing articles you can generate traffic of 200 visitors daily to your web site, and 1% of them buy the book, you'll sell about 60 books per month, for an income of $1440. If affiliates refer another 20 sales or so your way, for another $240 in revenue, the total would be $1680. Want more income? Promote the book more, or leave the site to do it's thing and write another book.
Copyright Steve Gillman. For a Free Real Estate Investing Course , and to see a photo of the home we bought for $17,500, visit: http://www.HousesUnderFiftyThousand.com