Information products is one of the largest money-making markets of our day. In the global economy, nearly 3 billion people are online, all of whom, in one way or another, are searching for information to make their lives easier, better, more affordable, and more fun. Information and how to utilize it is the key to unlocking success in life, which is why those people who have valuable information the rest of the world needs or wants and who advertise their information make a killing selling it online.
The great thing is that this industry is also available to everyone if they want to take a piece of the pie. There is information and knowledge that you have which others want that simply isn’t available to the public yet, information people need to improve their lives and for which they would be willing to pay.
This guide on how to sell information online is nothing new to the industry, but for anyone new to the process, I feel like this guide is fairly revolutionary. I have divided up this article into everything you need to know about information selling online, so if you are completely new to the digital information market, I would suggest reading all the way through. If you want to skip some the background, you can start reading at the “How to Do It” section below where I have given you actionable steps that you can take start selling information today.
What Is Digital Information?
Digital information is any type of information or instruction that you can deliver to someone’s email or personal computer in the click of a button. Digital information consists of video courses, podcasts or other audio courses, ebooks, and articles or article series. Digital information is so important to our world because it is worth so much to us. We now live in a time where most of our questions can be immediately answered, and those with knowledge to share are the ones who can greatly benefit from the potential of marketing it online.
Even with so much information available at our very fingertips, you would be surprised that there is still very little information that is available to you which is hidden under pages and pages of Google search results, which means if you think you can find every answer you need for free on Google, think again! Not only are some pages buried, often the first pages that appear on our favorite search engines are trying to sell you the information they have, and people are generally willing to pay for information if it doesn’t come fast and easy.
For you as a seller, this is good news. This essentially means that not all information is free, and there is indeed a market for the information you are selling. With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can help people realize that even though free information is good, the information you are offering is worth paying for.
Why You Should Sell Information Online
Now that you know people don’t actually have all the free information they have ever wanted available at their fingertips, your wheels may already be turning about how you could work this in your favor, and the point is your should! Selling information online is a preferable way of starting a lucrative business because it is cheap, easy to start and maintain, and has the potential to make a lot of money.
The great thing about selling information online is that it costs nearly nothing out of your own pocket to create or market. There may be some costs that crop up here and there, but by and large these expenses are marginal at worst. Setting up a website is either free or only costs a few dollars every month, depending if you want an original domain or not. Getting recognized on Google is also a free venture; it just requires your time.
Some other tactics of selling information, such as through Facebook ads or Google ads you may have seen cost money, but these aren’t a priority starting out. Creating the information product itself is often free too, such as a PDF ebook. Amazon even allows authors to publish and list on Amazon for free, and YouTube hosts millions of channels and courses which cost you nothing.
Like I also already stated, it is incredibly easy to do. When you sell information, you only need to sell what you know, or like we stated earlier, you sell what other people know for them. There is no inventory, and the equipment you need to create a course is so inexpensive that even shotty public libraries have the technology you need to get started.
The most important reason, however, to consider selling information online is that there is great potential to make good money. Because it is all free, any sales you make is just gravy. In addition, there are 3 billion people online. The whole 3 billion person population may not want your information, but I bet at least 1000 a month do, and that’s figuring low. If you even had 1000 people buy an information product you were selling for 8 dollars a piece, that would be $8000 a month, and that certainly isn’t something to turn your nose up at!
How to Do It
At this point, you are probably saying, “Enough mumbo-jumbo! Tell me how to do it!” and I’m right there with you. The rest of this article will be focused on how you can get started selling information online with some very clear and easy steps to follow along the way.
1. Choose a Niche
When you are selling information products, it is crucial that you are selling to people who actually want your information. It wouldn’t make sense to sell something to baby powder to someone looking for a horse comb – it just doesn’t make sense. What this means is that you not only have to choose the type of information you want to sell but that you also have an audience for it. You need to be willing to sell something that others are passionate about.
You also want to make sure you are passionate about the information you are going to sell too, and that you maybe have some idea about what it is and what it entails. It isn’t always necessary that you are a guru in the industry, but it is important that you like the topic or find it interesting. Even if you are making a killing selling information products you hate, you won’t really feel fulfilled, and that is just the truth about selling any product at all.
You can go about choosing a niche by doing the following, and I encourage you to do this before you keep reading:
- Make a list of topics you think are interesting and fun.
- Look online to see what people are selling and if there are courses you can find on the subject. A lot is good, but could take a while for you to compete. A few good ones is better. None or a few that are not good is not probably the best.
- Look for things they say they are going to teach and if there may be deficiencies in the information they are providing.
- Do steps 2 and 3 for each of the topics you find interesting.
- Choose one that really speaks to your passions.
Choosing a specific niche but one that can also impact large amounts of people will set you up for future success.
2. Decide on Affiliate Marketing or Your Own Product
Now that you have a niche in mind, it now comes down to whether you want to sell another person’s course information or if you want to make your own. Both have their benefits and drawbacks. If you choose to become an affiliate, you will need to find someone already offering courses or materials or online information about your product that is willing to take you on as an affiliate. If you want to make your own digital informational course, ebook, or whatever else, it will take more of a time investment, but the overhead is minimal and you won’t need to share your profits with anyone. If you want to do affiliate marketing, click here for some more details.
If you want to market your own product, take the research that you already did and see what types of information they are offering. If it is good, consider taking your own spin on it. If it is lacking, map out a plan of what you would do better. You don’t have to have everything planned out immediately at this point, but a general idea will be beneficial moving forward. If you already have a book or course in mind or already created, you are in a good position to start making money on it right away.
3. Host Your Content
If you are creating your own content, you will want to find a place online where people can go to watch it or download it with an easy payment plan in place. It is often just easier to do this through a third party site because getting all of the payment systems in place and making sure there are no legal issues when doing it on your own can be a nightmare.
- Research different content delivery platforms (there are a few really good ones like Udemy and Thinkific for courses, but you will want to weigh out which one is the best for you).
4. Create a Website
Besides the information product you create, your other money-generator will be a website. Anyone who wants to sell digital information online needs a website because it will become the vehicle to gain traffic and potential sales. If you don’t have money to create a website, you will actually be surprised. You can create one completely for free. For your own custom domain on a cheap web hosting platform, you don’t need to pay much more than 5 to 10 dollars a month. This goes up with better hosting, but you can decide on that if and when you have more capital. For a free website with good hosting and other internet marketing support, I recommend the following:
- Go to WealthyAffiliate.com (or click inside the website box below) and sign up for an account.
- Enter a domain name that relates to the niche you have chosen.
- Customize your website in a few clicks and get support as needed to set everything up.
- Consider using WealthyAffiliate.com to host a custom domain. There is a lot that you can do with this.
5. Market Your Website
Now that you have picked a niche, found an affiliate program, perhaps have produced your own digital information to sell, and have a kick-butt website, you are ready to start the real fun: marketing! Up to this point, it has all been planning, and preparing, but true money starts flowing in in this stage. Unfortunately, just having your site up for google to see is not enough. You have to learn how to get as many people to your website as possible who will buy your information product.
The first step is fairly simple to do in theory, but it can take a lot of time and patience. To get started, first create a sales page. The page should be completely promotional but totally interesting information about your content and why people should buy it. The page should have buttons and calls to action all throughout linking to your content delivery page or your affiliate sponsor’s website. You may want to create several different sales pages too to target different keywords people may be looking for (more on that in a minute).
You can also create more content as you see fit. Your homepage can be static, such as only one page that gives people information about your product, or it can dynamically show new pages and blog posts. You can build out a blog focused on your industry and write as much content for that as you want, but each blog should be focused on targeting keywords (words people look up in search engines), and they should link to your sales page/s. You can also create as many other pages as you would like, such as an “About” section or a “Contact Us” section to make your online presence more professional looking. It is up to you, and ultimately these decisions are determined by who your potential customer base is and what they would like/want in order to buy your product, so thoroughly be thinking of your niche during the content creation process.
Now that you have some content on your site and a few sales pages, there are a few things you can do to drive traffic to your site. I will mention two of them so that you a basis of where to start. If you are unfamiliar with the processes I mention, you can find thousands upon thousand of free sources online that will teach you about it or demonstrate it, or you can go to WealthyAffiliate.com and sign up for a membership where they actually teach you the following marketing strategies in depth.
- SEO: This stands for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is a generally free way of promoting your website so that you show up on search engine results when people look for certain keywords. If I type in, for example, “ways to make money online”, I expect to be brought to a page or website that talks about ways to make money online. Seeing as there are several hundred/thousand results that Google finds on this subject all across the world, you want to your pages and content to rank higher and better than anyone else’s, and yes, there is a way you can personally change your site in legit ways to do this. Consider the following ideas:
- Make sure on all of your pages that your titles, h1s, and url contain a keyword you think people may put in Google if they are looking for information you are selling.
- Include your keyword or a variation of it in your pages’ meta descriptions.
- Create constant content centered around different keywords people may be looking for in search results, at least a new page/blog every week.
- Get people to link to your content by reaching out to them personally or by engaging in link building (link building itself is a huge topic, so spend some time trying to figure this out.
- Paid Advertising: Paid advertising refers to an actual online ad you can put up on Google or Facebook (and other places) for a price. Anyone who clicks on your ad you pay for, so another name for this type of advertising is pay per click, or PPC. Google’s ads work by showing your site’s sales page at the top if someone enters a particular keyword which you specify. Facebook works by showing your ad to specified demographics at certain times to help with conversions. Consider a paid ad option only if you have enough capital and if you can afford to make up each click with one sale. Otherwise, consider the SEO option first because it is free to do.
- Online Support: What I have realized as the true secret to success is real support from people who have already been had success themselves. I would recommend joining an online entrepreneur group that has people with whom you can network, tools that you can use, and training programs that are up to date with online market trends. I have already mentioned Wealthy Affiliate several times, but I personally haven’t found a system more thorough or in-depth as this online business.
Evaluate Your Progress
Selling a digital information product such as a course or an ebook is an intensive process, and expecting to sell hundreds, thousands, and millions right away is a very difficult prospect to do. A lot of this can take anywhere from 6 months to 3 years to accomplish, depending on your dedication level, how much content you are producing, how much you are doing SEO and Paid advertising, and how well your sales pages are performing. Since this is a long-term game for most, it’s a terrible idea to measure your success solely based on a sales metric. Here’s are some other ways you can determine how successful you are being when it comes to selling your information products:
- Are there a few more people coming to your site now than a month ago? A year ago?
- How long are people staying on your site when they arrive? Are they immediately leaving?
- Are people engaging on your site, clicking through where you want them to, and leaving comments after reading an article? Are these numbers steadily increasing?
- Are people finding your site organically on search results? Are these organic converting and clicking through your content?
- Do you have and goals and benchmarks for your efforts and your sales performances? Are these reasonable? Are you putting in the time or money you need to reach these goals?
If you answer “No” to any of these questions, there is a good chance that your sales could suffer because of it. To measure some of these goals, I would recommend installing an analytics tracking tool on your site. One of the best is Google Analytics, as it can give you all of this data and much much more to help you really evaluate how to sell your products.
Last Pro Tip
Before closing up this blog post, one more thing you can consider while you are striving to sell more of your digital information products is advertisements on your sites. If your site has enough visitors every month, usually a few hundred or so, you can find ad sponsors who will put ads on your site and pay you for your space. This could be an option to generate a little more revenue while you are pursuing your efforts, but the obvious downside is having ads on your site. The ads are generally relevant, but they can indeed distract from your overall sales pitch, so be careful and consider this option wisely. You don’t want to sell your birthright for a mess of pottage.
Get Going Selling Your Digital Information Online
This may be one of the most comprehensive guides to selling digital information for beginners you can find all in one place, but there are so many resources out there to help you. Consider checking out more of our site, and once again, I am a huge fan of Wealthy Affiliate myself where I was able to learn all of this and more to start my journey of success.
That’s my profile picture on Wealthy Affiliate. You can connect with me personally here or anyone else in the industry to help you along the way.
Please leave a comment below if you have any feedback or questions, and I promise to answer you ASAP so you know where to go and what to do if you get stuck along the way. Fill the world with what your digital information; we all need it!