Freelance writers and authors have a unique opportunity to earn extra income by selling information products such as ebooks, special reports and electronic workbooks. Since you already have a talent for writing, you can use your skills to capitalize on one of the hottest online business trends.
Here are five steps to success as an “Infopreneur. ”
1. Develop a Niche
Most writers have favorite subjects they like to write about. Decide on a topic that you are passionate about and become an expert in the field. You can establish your expertise by writing articles and/or books about the topic. Take it a step further by conducting speaking engagements or teaching related classes. Developing notoriety in your field will help you build a loyal following.
2. Host a Killer Website
Once you’ve narrowed your focus, launch a website that focuses on your topic of interest. For example, if you like to write about parenting, you could create a website that offers parenting advice, activities for kids or resources for new moms. Fill the site with plenty of free content; useful website links, articles and interviews. By providing valuable content for free, your site visitors will not only have a reason to come back again, but they will be more inclined to purchase your information products.
3. Publish an E-zine
Sending a monthly or weekly e-zine is the one of the best ways to market to your audience. Since the average consumer must be exposed to a product six to eight times before making a buying decision, the more you can get your name in front of them, the better. This also allows you to build a rapport with your audience, thus giving them more incentive to buy from you.
4. Develop and Sell Your Information Products
One of the most important keys to success with information products is meeting the needs of your audience. Consider what your audience wants to know, or better yet, ask them! Next, make a list of product ideas. For example, a photographer could write a special report on how to take flattering pictures, a pet fanatic could write an ebook about first aid for pets or a gardener could write an ebook on plant care in the winter.
Once your first product is ready, you can set up your website to automate the sales and delivery process. One company that offers an affordable solution is www.payloadz.com. This service allows you to create shopping cart buttons for your website, process payments seamlessly via Paypal, and sends the buyer an automatic email with instructions for downloading the product. This allows you to earn money while you sleep!
5. Market Your Website and Products
There are many ways to get the word out about your online product business. You can include a link to your website in your author bio when you publish articles. You can offer reprints of your articles for others to publish on their websites and e-zines, each with your author bio and a link back to your site. You can swap links with websites in your industry and offer to exchange ads in each other’s e-zines.
With a bit of effort and some perseverance, your information products could generate revenues beyond your wildest dreams, as well as add some variety to your working life. An added bonus: magazine editors will appreciate the niche expertise that you have to offer.
Stephanie Chandler is a small business expert and the author of FROM ENTREPRENEUR TO INFOPRENEUR: MAKE MONEY WITH BOOKS, EBOOKS AND INFORMATION PRODUCTS (Wiley, Dec. 2006) and THE BUSINESS STARTUP CHECKLIST AND PLANNING GUIDE (Aventine, Sept. 05). Visit http://www.BusinessInfoGuide.com to access hundreds of resources for entrepreneurs.