Writers should, I believe, always be working on creating new products that they can promote and sell. Most freelance writers have written information products for clients, but many haven’t written them for themselves. There are many reasons for this, of course, and the reasons will vary from person to person. If you’ve decided to take the plunge and create your own information product, however, you’ll need to know how to come up with ideas for your product.
I’ve written quite a few products for clients, and helped a few of them come up with ideas (they usually have a broad idea, and I can help them narrow it down). I’ve also written a couple for my own sites, and am working on a new one right now for this site. Here are some tips and tricks I use to help come up with ideas for products, and then figure out whether or not they are good ideas. J
In many cases when people want to make a new information product, they already have something in mind. If that’s the case, you can skip over this step and just worry about getting the specifics of the product hammered out. If you have no idea what you want to create, however, there are a few things you can do to try to come up with something. Here are a few that I’ve used:
- · Google Trends – You want to make sure you’re creating a product in a market where there is interest. Using the Google trends tool (google.com/trends) you can see what types of things people are searching for. Type in different ideas, to see how much people are interested in a topic, and what types of trends there are. If you type in “learn to knit” for example, you will see that this topic is trending downward, but with surges each December. Just play around with different ideas and see what looks good.
- · What do YOU know – Are you good at something? Do people often come to you to get something done? It could be anything from cake decorating to cooking to candle creation, it doesn’t matter. If you’re good at it, the chances are you can make a great info product for it.
- · What are you passionate about – If you’re already passionate about something, you’ll be able to make a better product about it. Even if you’re not an expert, you can always do research and become one. If you’re passionate about it, it won’t seem like work!
Is there a Market?
Once you’ve got a general idea for what you could write about, go find out if there is a market for it. No matter how much you know about ‘how to breed Brazilian tree rats’ for example, it is unlikely that you’ll be able to make a living with an information product about it. You can check on this type of thing by doing basic keyword research to see how many people are searching for it.
You can also try to find where people who might be interested hang out, and go right to them. This could be online forums, or a specific website or even in person meetings. If you can’t find anywhere that they congregate, the chances are there isn’t a market for it.
In most cases, you’ll want to get fairly specific with what your information product covers. Trying to sell a 500 page eBook on ‘everything you need to know about becoming a photographer’ isn’t going to be easy. If you can narrow it down to, ‘how to choose a camera for your new photography business,’ however, it only has to be 20-30 pages, and will be much more appealing to potential customers.
Watch for Pain
One of the most important things you can do is to look for areas where people are hurting. This could be physical pain, or other types. Is there something that annoys a lot of people, that you think you could help them fix? Is there a common problem people have that you could help them solve? All these things are areas where people have pain, and you can help them fix it.
People are much more willing to spend money on products that solve problems. Identify one problem or pain area that people have, and see if you can write a product on it. Even if you’re not an expert on it today, you can do the research and become one. That is one of the HUGE advantage we writers have in this industry. We don’t have to already know about something, or even pay someone to do it for us. We can just write it ourselves, doing any needed research.
Once you’ve gotten your ideas together, choose which one you want to focus on. As long as the product you choose to make has a big enough market, and you know how to promote it, you can make great passive income creating and promoting products online. This is an excellent way to diversify your income online.
If you’ve never created an informational product, why not? Share your thoughts in the comments.