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The Process of Creating Information Products

Simple Tips for Creating Products That Sell.
 
Paul Smithson - 26th January 2009
   
paul smithson Creating information products is a relatively straightforward process.

First, you need to find a niche.  Then you need to find a problem (also known as a need) within that niche.  Then you need to develop a solution to the problem, and create a product that offers that solution. 

Of course, it sounds a little easier than it really is. In reality, there’s a little more to it than that, but in essence those are the exact steps that all successful businesses take when developing any product or service, whether it be information products or high-tech gadgets.

Your first step is finding that niche. A niche would be something like golf, or fishing, or cosmetics. Or it could be a niche within a niche, so for golf you could have driving and putting, or for fishing you could have fly fishing, fresh water fishing or sea fishing. Some niches will be more fruitful than others, but you can get a good idea of what might make a profitable niche by looking to see what other products are currently being sold.

A good starting point is to take a look at Amazon and similar online retailers. How many books are available?  If only one or two books are for sale it might not be a profitable niche or it could be that you’ve discovered an untapped market.  If there are dozens available, it’s probably something that could work for you as it’s probably an active niche.

Next, you have to find a problem that a lot of people in that niche are having.  If you’ve chosen the golf niche, the problem might be something like players having trouble breaking 80, sinking putts for a par, or steering clear of a slice. 

Ideally, the problem should be something that a majority of the people who are interested in that niche would likely to have.  You can find out common problems by reading magazines and browsing Internet forums in the niche. The latter can be a particularly fruitful place as people will often post threads in forums that you’d be unlikely to see in a conventional magazine, and it has the added benefit of you being able to join in the thread and find out more. Keep an eye on threads that have a lot of posts as these are obviously topics that people are interested in. Also, look for threads that have been active for a lengthy period of time. If the same topic has been discussed for six months it’s highly likely that this is an issue people would really like to solve.

Once you’ve identified a few problems, you need to look for a solution to those problems.  Some of them may be very difficult to solve, even impossible, but don’t let that put you off. Often it’s the ‘impossible’ ones that offer you the best chances of success as if you can provide an answer to the ‘impossible’ problem you will have a real winner on your hands.

If you don’t know anything about the problem personally, you’ll have to put your researcher’s hat on to find a solution. Read as many books as you can on the subject. Collect information from forums and web sites. Talk to people in that particular niche and try to enlist their help. Aim to become an expert not necessarily in the niche, that might be too much to expect, but in that particular problem. Learn everything you can about it.

Once you’ve gathered together all the information you need it’s time to create the product.

The product could be an eBook, a video, an audio series, or any other type of information product. You don’t need to limit yourself to just one format. Once you’ve acquired the information you need there’s no reason why you can’t use it in multiple formats as people have different learning styles so some people prefer video or audio over the written word and visa versa.

No matter what format you choose to release your product in the best method for creating it is almost always to put together a skeleton outline. You can do this using any of the outlining tools that are available on the web.

Start by coming up with the major headings for each of the sections. Then break that down into specific chapters and finally break the chapters down into sections.

The time spent putting together an outline is time well spent. If you miss this step you will find that you lack direction and this invariably ends in the product never getting finished. A clear, well thought out outline really will help you to get a birds-eye view of what is involved and what work needs to be done.

Once you’ve completed the outline start to flesh it out. At this point the work you need to do will vary depending on what format you have chosen. For example the fleshing out process will be different for a video than it is for writing a book.

If you’re not confident in your ability to do the necessary fleshing out, you might want to consider outsourcing the work. The great thing is that because you have put together the outline and done the necessary research you will have everything you need to hand it over to competent writer and know that what you get back should answer the problem that you identified in the first stage of the process.

That’s really all there is to it.

It’s an incredibly easy and straight forward process that can be replicated again and again once you’ve mastered it. However, it’s not a five minute process so don’t kid yourself into thinking that you’ll have your product ready for release after just a couple of hours.

It takes time and effort to do a good job, but if you’ve picked your niche right and identified the right problem to solve you can end up with an evergreen product that sells in large quantities for years to come.

About Paul Smithson - Paul Smithson is the founder of Intellimon and the driving force behind the best-selling XSitePro web site development tool. Since graduating in Business Strategy and Direct Marketing from two of Europe’s leading business schools, Paul has set up five multi-million dollar companies, one of which is now owned by the BBC. His areas of expertise include business strategy, e-commerce, on-line and off-line marketing, software development, and maximizing the potential of on-line businesses.


For more information about this, and many other Internet Marketing-related topics, visit Paul Smithson's site, www.xsitepro.com.

Source: http://www.xsitepro.com/the-process-of-creating-information-products.html


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