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Information Product marketing and selling is a booming business for those who get it right. By getting it right, I mean for those who understand that a quality product will sell whereas an amateur one will not.
So, before you rush off to upload your latest ideas and expect the money to start rolling in, think about what you are offering. The successful information product sites are successful because they are professionally written, accurate and interesting.
To help you on your way, I have divided the examples of success stories into interactive and non-interactive. By this I mean some information products require simple uploading and then checking whereas others need regular contacts with the clients.
Info products are a unique tool in the creation of passive income businesses because information can be sold automatically, requiring little or no intervention from the seller other than checking their bank account from time to time. Of course, you also need to provide support, website management, affiliate optimisation, SEO, SEM and SMM which sounds a lot and it is. However, if you are managing physical products you would also need to consider supply chain management, customs, import laws, credit notes, payment, storage and delivery. Info products provide passive income entrepreneurs more time to focus on delivering value to the customer.
E-books now represent an 11% share of the book market and self-publishing are the way to go when the publishing houses reject your work. Don’t be discouraged. All types of E-books, from fiction to biography and from scientific works to erotica, are thriving and selling. We all have a unique perspective on a subject or a cool story to share, learn how you can turn an idea into an ebook and make money in the process.
Fifty Shades of Grey
E.L. James is perhaps the most famous of the self-publishers. After being rejected by many publishing companies, she self-published the first of her trilogy in 2011 and has since gone on to sell more than 100 million copies, as well as the rights to the movies. She self-promoted by releasing teasers through sites like Fanfiction before the series was acquired by Vintage Books in 2012.
Whilst, not every writer will become the Queen of Erotica, her story shows that self-publishing fiction can be extremely profitable.
John Locke was the first self-published author to reach US$ 1 million sales on Amazon with his Donovan Creed and Emmett Love series. His key to success he claims was that he had five books lined up before he started publishing so that, once he acquired a new reader, he immediately had something else for them to read rather than making them wait and possibly forget him.
A Self-Publisher’s Companion
In the non-fiction universe, Joel Friedlander has his own success story in advising writers how to self-publish. He has written books, gives courses and writes articles and blogs about the subject.
Templates, Forms and Patterns
Templates and forms are static products which are sold as is for the client to complete and submit as required. Although each item is usually very low priced, high sales volumes mean they can be very profitable. In most cases, everything is digital but, in some, items can be posted.
Weight Loss Challenge
Rewarding Designs does excellent business by selling laminated charts which are posted to the client, such as a weight loss monitoring chart. It is a simple and low priced item but its popularity by selling through Etsy means a high volume of sales.
Rather than spending thousands of dollars to visit a lawyer to prepare your last will and testament, Tim Hewson has created a Canadian Will Kit which will be posted to the buyer for only CAD$ 35. He also writes a blog for the site offering another will related advice free of charge.
Colette offers a wide range of all types of patterns for ladies clothing either in digital or in printed form. If you prefer to receive your patterns in the post you can wait a few days or download them and print yourself immediately. Prices range from US$ 14 to US$ 29 per pattern.
Blogs and Niche Sites
Education and Training
Education information product teaches clients certain educational items, such as how to pass exams, help with writing theses and dissertations, languages etc. The difference between this category and online courses is that you will receive a diploma or certificate which can help in your future career or studies.
Fluent in 3 Months
Benny Lewis is a writer and travel blogger. His course Fluent in 3 Months is not exactly a language course but a way of teaching how to study languages so that you can travel and pick up the conversational language very easily. He recognizes that one of the stumbling blocks in speaking a foreign language is the worry about sounding silly and focuses on tricks on how to overcome this.
Fluenz has a different approach to learning online languages. It is a mixture of video, written homework, exercises, workouts and a personal teacher. The founder of the site, Sonia Gil is an active part of the courses and the aim is to take students from beginner to intermediate in one of 7 available languages. They also offer intensive one week face to face courses.
Starting at US$ 378 a course, they are not the cheapest on the market by far but the addition of personal tutoring has proved successful.
Security Guard Training
On his website, Pat Flynn offers numerous sources of earning passive income but one of his most successful is Security Guard Training. He wrote it for a friend and it has sold well ever since. It covers all fields of training, from local laws to armed guarding and has generated over US$ 50,000 so far.
Certified Management Accountant
Stephanie Ng is the author of “How to Pass the CPA Exam” and manages her own website specialize in accountancy related exams tuition. The idea is to prep the client for specific exams and teach them how to pass them.
Leed Exams for Architecture
In order to become certified as a “Green” architect, you will need to pass your LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) exams and the Green Exam Academy can help you. This course is aimed at getting you a basic pass through a series of course work and workbooks and was created by an architect from California.
Online courses usually teach clients to master a certain skill and are offered as a series of lessons. They can and should include workbooks, challenges, tests and quizzes to encourage and motivate the buyer. Some people prefer actual DVDs or CDs for their courses so they can listen in their cars or watch on the beach. Learn how to create and sell an online course to generate a passive income.
Udemy is an excellent site where course writers can upload their courses in return for a % of their sales. It covers just about every online course you could want. Here are two of their bestselling courses.
This is an online course created by Nathan House to teach users how to become cybersecurity specialists and is one of the top-selling courses o Udemy.
It comes in four parts by the end of which they claim you will know 80% of what government specialists know and that you will be able to protect yourself or your business from all types of hacking threats. With today’s hacking environment, it is considered one of the best courses for computer protection.
If you see yourself becoming a life coach and selling your coaching services online as an information product, the Life Coaching Certificate Course from Udemy offers online training from beginners to advanced and is one of their best selling courses. Written by Kain Ramsay, he shares his knowledge and experience of the Academy of Modern Applied Psychology with the student and he includes worksheets and other printable documents.
Isha Shoppe offers DVD sets to help with meditation techniques under the instruction of mediation Guru Sadhguru. They have a wide range to suit all needs as well as an online shop for related products. Sadh guru has created an info product that actually improves the lives of people and the state of the world. There are a lot of lessons for aspiring info product creators in this example. What actual and real human and world benefit can you incorporate in your info products?
Cake Decoration for Beginners
Melissa Diamond from My Cake School started her own cake baking and decoration online business 5 years ago and focuses on teaching the basics in her field in easy to watch step by step video guides. For US30 a year, her subscribers get access to recipes, video and tips to take complete beginners to become proficient, and amateurs to become professionals.
Handicrafts are a very popular subject of online courses. Usually, these courses are lower priced and work over the course of 3 or 4 classes to master one technique. Jessica Sprague uses Teachable as a site to sell her scrapbooking courses starting from as little as US$29 which means she has a large client base paying small amounts regularly, leading to her great success and popularity.
There are all types of dating and relationship sites available but Sarah Jones attributes her success to a different approach. Her courses, Launching Your Dating Life and Becoming a Benevolent Badass, on Introverted Alpha last for 12 weeks. They are aimed at men and teach them how to approach social situations with an eye to building relationships with women.
The course comes with a free handbook so you can remember what you learned and, at US$5,000 per course, she offers a more personal touch than other online courses.
This may sound simple and it is… if you are an expert in your field. Sites such as Just Answer allow users to contact professionals such as medical doctors, vets, plumbers, lawyers, accountants etc and ask them questions for a fee. The better the answer, the higher the rating the professional will receive which, in turn, will generate more questions and income.
How-To guides are similar to online courses but tend to be much more specific. For example, an online course may be “Car Mechanics for Beginners” whereas the How-To Guide will be “How to Change the Oil in Your Car”.
How to Optimize Your Search Engine
Search Engine Optimization has become more and more important as affiliate marketing and social media have exploded across the web. Why write about something if it comes at the bottom of the Google search page? Rand Fishkin and Gillian Muessing have written the ultimate How to Guide called the Beginner’s Guide to SEO and have sold to thousands of clients.
Their site offers all types of online courses on how to expand your presence on the web. Costs vary from US$99 to US$ 999 per month (depending on a number of users and levels of advancement).
Apps and Games
Apps and games are big business as we become more and more reliant on our technology. From the smallest most localized app to the multi-million dollar games, there is money to be made. Many apps come free of charge or for a 99c fee but their income comes from challenges which require a small expenditure. You can continue without paying but it will take you a lot more time. Mobile Apps are an optimal asset that can be optimised for passive income.
Lumosity is the brainchild of three lab scientists who created the game in 2007 and is aimed at improving your brain with a series of mental and problem-solving challenges each day. The full installation costs US$11.99 subscription per month but there is a smaller free version available with in-game purchases available. It currently has 70 million players.
Spotted by Locals App
Spotted by Locals is a cool little app for travellers in Europe and the USA. Started by Sanne & Bart van Poll and still monitored closely by them, locals are invited to comment on things of interest in the town or area in which they live. The app is free for the spotted item but each relevant town has a local guide available at a price through the app. With more than 50 thousand followers so far, it is growing daily.
Some of the biggest online games started as self-published on sites like Steam. Minecraft and Broken Sword both started on Steam and have gone on to raise millions for their writers. The idea is to come up with a great story, then use a fundraiser site like Kickstarter to get the funds to start your programmers and artists working.
Image, Video and Sound
How to Paint and Draw
Glenn Vilppu offers an intensive and expensive (US$600) course on all styles of painting and drawing. He is a celebrity in his own field so the higher price tag is well worth it. He also offers advanced courses on anatomy, body essentials and sketching as well as holding actual workshops around the world for those who need a more personal touch. Learn how this artist is selling her art online and generating a healthy monthly passive income.
Stock photography has an extremely important role in today’s social media and much of it is aimed at bloggers and website creators. Photos can be sold from a few cents up to thousands of dollars for exclusive rights or well-known photographers. Photography is another way of making passive income by selling stock photos.
Karina Robin has earned an excellent reputation for high-quality wildlife photography, as well as travel photos. She sells through her own website but differs from other photographers in as much as she will then post the printed photography, either on card or aluminium. Furthermore, she is an ardent conservationist and the proceeds of all sales go to animal conservation charities.
Social Media Influencers
Peter McKinnon is a photographer and has 1.8 million followers on his Instagram page. He alternates by posting stunning visuals with offering photography and videography advice. The number of followers he has generate income from sponsorship or advertising and he is one of the top photographic social media influencers. There are numerous ways to monetize your social media.
Podcasts and YouTube
Podcasts are basically small broadcasts, only shown online. They can be audio or video and are often sold on platforms such as Apple or Google Play where, if you want to watch them, you will need to subscribe for a monthly fee. But the main income from podcasts and YouTube channels comes from monetizing followers, i.e. the more followers you have the more you can earn from advertising and sponsorship.
Host Anthony “Pomp” PomplianoJimmy Song is a Bitcoin expert, sharing his advice through his weekly podcast called Off Chain. As he is an expert in his field, he has thousands of followers and is considered the “go-to” source for all things crypto-currency related.
Another cryptocurrency success story comes from Crypto Asset School. This is a YouTube channel with over 43,000 subscribers hosted by Chris Coney an offers advice to its audience on a weekly basis.
For Young Kids – Podcast
Stories Podcast is a podcast for young children and offers a bedtime story each week. Stories are read by a group of actors so the voices are different and it is a wonderful experience for young kids.
CoCoMelon offers weekly stories and sing-alongs on YouTube for kids. It has become a phenomenal success with over 43 million subscribers all eagerly waiting for the next week’s story and receives income generated in the millions of Euros. Discover how you can make passive income from your own youtube channel.
There are different reasons for wanting to buy sounds. It could be for a blog or a video you are making, or simply you find them relaxing. ASMR Glow has over 700,000 subscribers on YouTube and simply posts videos of her making different, quiet sounds from kissing noises to whispering to brushing her hair. Clearly, she found an empty niche and filled it..
Online Magazines and Newsletters
The Robb Report is one of the most successful online magazines when it comes to generating income via advertising. It started in 1976 as a hard copy magazine and is now purely online focusing on high-end and luxury topics. It recently sold to a private equity company for US$ 60 million.
Motley Fool started as a small investment firm and is now considered one of the top three investment consultancies in the world by the Hulbert Financial Digest. It produces three different newsletters on investment, options and shorting for a monthly subscription fee. The team has also produced several books available on Amazon.
Coaching is more personal than online courses and normally consists of video and personal time. The coach communicates directly with the client and offers encouragement, advice and criticism. Coaching can be done on a one to one basis, but it can also be done on a one to many bases. When you deliver your coaching information on a one to many, you start generating passive income. Tony Robbins is the king of coaching and he delivers his info in diverse ways one too many events, one to one coaching, books and even DVDs.
Dr Andréa Paige describes herself as a master of lifestyle medicine. She offers online coaching for healthy living including fasting, detoxification, juice cleanses and yoga. Her success is due to her personal approach; she remains in constant contact with her clients and is always available to answer questions and motivate those who might be tempted to fall by the wayside
Getting a Better Divorce
Sean Leamon from Divorce and Your Money is a lawyer and certified public accountant who runs online courses as well as personal coaching to prepare individuals for divorce, both legally and financially. He has also written a book so covers many aspects of information product sales. What has made him successful is that he works with his clients on planning for a divorce rather than reacting to what happens afterwards.
Business and Life Coaching
Aja Edmond offers to coach in many subjects from wardrobes for success to market audits. She works on a one on one basis with clients and takes them from the basics through to advanced business techniques in payments of single and bundle offers. She has an MBA and works with clients from companies such as Disney and Ralph Lauren.
Business support offers information product to help businesses (usually Small to Medium Enterprises) start up advice, HR practices, marketing ideas etc. usually as a mixture of online courses and coaching.
Buying from China
Everyone knows that China offers lower prices for products than most other parts of the word but the business world is a potential quagmire if you don’t deal with them properly. Lindy Chen has established a set of video guides aimed at assisting potential buyers with recommended suppliers and methods on how to buy from Chinese suppliers. She has also written a book on the subject. Her products are not cheap but can save the potential business person thousands of dollars in expensive mistakes.
Gourmet Marketing offers a niche specific form f marketing advice and courses for the hospitality industry as well as a range of E-books on the same subject. By responding to a specific need in the industry, it has won several awards for training in the Food and Beverage industry.
Workshops and Webinars
Rather than pay high travel costs and have employees leaving work for extended periods of time, online workshops and webinars are the ideal solutions. Established over conferencing software, groups from around the globe can share knowledge and experiences without leaving their offices. Workshops can also be for individuals, similar to online courses but on a more personal level.
Started by Chris Martenson, Peak Prosperity started as a company giving seminars and has bloomed into a multi-platform business offering online consultation, webinars, seminars and DVDs of their courses in achieving life prosperity. When Chris holds the seminars he also records them for future sales. The financial success comes from the re-selling of already accomplished work.
Dr Joe Dispenza is a chiropractor and life coach who gives both online and actual workshops on numerous health topics such as meditation, mindfulness and achieving inner peace. His success comes from combining online with physical and he travels the world holding retreats and giving speeches. Dr Dispenza is an example of how info products can generate multiple millions in revenue every year.
His income comes from subscriptions to his live broadcasts as well as the actual events. He also sells products such as music and clothing through his online shop.
Memberships, Groups and Clubs
Putting together like-thinking clients means you can charge membership fees, receive sponsorships and earn advertising fees.
By writing a regular blog, you can hope to attract followers and perhaps monetize your writing with relevant advertising or sponsorship. By making part of your blog membership only, like Len Markidian through Podia, you can appeal to the masses as well as sell to the few. Len offers tips on marketing strategies and offers some courses for free but more for members.
Rather than paying a substantial monthly fee for memberships, some sites offer micro support where, for less than the price of a large cappuccino each month you can have access to a private page on your favourite authors or bloggers page, such as Mark Manson. This is a good way to see if you wish to become a full member or to subscribe to any of his courses. Patreon and Patreos are enablers of this passive income, info product, business model.
Business clubs encourage networking and thus increase profitability. Clubs like the Tip Club have been successful in joining together like minded business people both online and face to ace with fees for memberships as well as for meetings. Another source of income is from local sponsorship and support.
Meetup offers a wide variety of clubs available in your area and around the world so if you are a budding actor, painter or musician you can find like-minded friends to meet with. It is solely an introduction platform and earns its income from a small sign up fee for the relevant groups. Learn more: Passive income for students
Community management is the ultimate info product. Users will come to your site and create the information on your online property. The more information of high quality you have the higher the value of your info site becomes. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are nothing but info products, they put in little information of their own. They let users create it, their role is to provide the software, curate the content and marketing. The more information is created, the more users will come which will increase the stickiness of the site. These sites monetize their users by selling ads and data.
On a smaller scale, p2p independent forum has managed to create an info product which attracts many investors looking for information on p2p products. This info product business model shows, that it is still possible to create an info product without writing 100s of blog posts.
A classic example of an info product is BackYard Chickens This site has all the components of a niche community site. With articles, forums, a newsletter and also an email out responder. The monetisation of the information and the audience takes places through affiliate marketing, ebooks, courses and sponsored ads.
Classifieds sites operate on the same model, people post ads and other people come to the site because they want to see them. Facebook has muscled in this niche, with users creating classifieds groups based on locality and interest. You can base your info product on a Facebook group or page, and the market offers within that page.
Boats is a niche classifieds site, which has a subsite in different countries. Users log in and post their ads and other users browse and contact the sellers. An info product business can be created by enabling a market. In this case, it is boats but a market can be created whenever there is demand for a product or service because both buyers and sellers are looking for that crucial pricing information.
Nice Websites and Blogs
Blogs and Nice Websites are the first things that come to mind when it comes to info products. There are 100s of subtypes and niches one can choose from. Backpack reviews, Scuba Diving Mask Reviews, Site focus on a particular lifestyle, veganism, minimalism, keto diets, happiness and homemaking. Finding a niche is the first part, the second part is finding the unanswered questions in that niche. What are the pain points? How can your info product solve them? For success to come easily you need to bring in something unique and a differentiator when compared to the competition. You can start a niche website from scratch or buy a website for sale.
A good example of an niche website info product is drone Enthusiast is a website which markets highly priced drones. It drives traffic to the site by creating rich content on different drone types. The drone suppliers offer unique content to the site.
Whichever information product you choose, you can find examples of great successes online. What is not written about are the failures so make sure you are truly interested and passionate about what you produce, share that enthusiasm and skill and you will succeed.