How to Make Money Selling Information Products Online

After the internet became a mainstream phenomenon in the late 1990s, it changed life as we know it. Communications, travel, music, government… shopping. Yes, retailers large and small have embraced the Internet as a way sell to customers across the country… and around the world

E-commerce has grown exponentially over the last decade and shows no signs of slowing down. Consider that 40 percent of the world’s internet users, that’s more than 1 billion people, have shopped online at least once. And worldwide business-to-consumer online sales were $1.7 trillion in 2015… and that grew to $2.35 trillion at the end of 2016.

Large e-tailers like Amazon and eBay, as well as traditional retailers like Walmart, have embraced the online business model wholeheartedly. But even though they may dominate the industry, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for small operators like you.

In fact, there’s never been a better time to get involved in selling online as a solo entrepreneur. It’s so much easier to make money with an online business than have a bricks-and-mortar store. The risk, the investment, and time spent is so much smaller.

Along with all this e-commerce activity has grown a whole new way to create and sell products. And it happens to be the easiest, most cost-effective, and oftentimes most profitable way to operate an online business. I’m talking about selling information products.

What Are Digital Information Products?

An information product can come in all sorts of formats, but at its heart a product like this must pass on useful advice to the consumer. Despite the name, people don’t want simply information. They crave tips and strategies for making their life better. They want guidance. And that’s what the best information products provide, whether it’s a video, an ebook, an audio, a webinar, a membership website…

Keep in mind that in this case, although a CD or DVD or a printed book is technically an information product, we want to focus solely on those products that are delivered electronically, usually via download or some secure membership website.

For example, an ebook in PDF format, a video on a password-protected site, or an audio recording downloaded from your website. The reason for this is because this way your customers can order products anytime day or night, from anywhere in the world, and get their product instantly, without you being involved in the transaction. It’s money while you sleep. Sure, you will have to handle customer service and keep an eye on sales. But it’s much less hassle than having to keep track and send out orders.

Why You Should Sell Digital Information Products Online

There are several more advantages with digital information products.
1- They are easy and cheap to create. You can make a digital information product using nothing but your time and mental energy. That’s free when it comes to your investment money-wise. You just need ideas. Then you write your ebook, film your video, record your audio, create your webinar… whatever you plan to do. This also means that if the product doesn’t sell as well as you like, you haven’t sunk any money into the project. That reduces your risk and financial exposure.

2- It’s virtually free to store them. Because these products are digital, they are simply space on a server, on your computer (make sure to back it up), or on the cloud. For people with physical products, if they're not doing online drop shipping, they have to carry large inventories. That costs money to store and manage all that product if you have a warehouse and have hired a fulfillment house or other provider to oversee it. And don’t even think about doing it at home — you’ll quickly become overwhelmed. Much better to stick with digital in which your products take up basically no space.

At this point, you might be worried. You’re thinking that if you have digital products being sent to customers… what’s to stop them from sending copies to their friends or selling it on their own? Nothing really. But rest assured that 99.9 percent of your customers won’t do this. And for the most part information marketers aren’t too concerned about this issue cannibalizing sales.

How to Find a Profitable Market for Information Products

So how do create your own information products… and make sure they’ll be bestsellers?
The first step is research. You need to follow the trends and figure out what the most profitable niche markets online are right now and what format would work best to meet that need. A great place to start is with your own interests. If you can match a profitable business with a passion, you’re all set.
So start with an interest you have. Then start checking around online to see whether you are the only one who loves… online poker, for example. Look for blogs, Facebook groups, and online forums for discussions about this niche. Look at the mainstream news — is it mentioned? Look at retailers like Amazon or eBay to see what products they have for sale in this niche.
For information products in particular, you should check out the site, which used to specialize in information products although it has branched out into other areas.
You’ll find many categories in all of these places, from yoga to dog training to travel planning to weight loss and fitness… there’s sure to be something that you’re interested in.

From all these sources you’ll get a good sense of whether or not this a viable trend with sales potential. You should also research what sorts of products are offered, the topics they cover, the prices… this is also vital market data you can use to guide as you create and sell your own similar information products. You’re not plagiarizing or ripping off — you’re getting inspiration
It may seem counterintuitive to seek out thriving markets and then try to join in. But that simply means that there is a ready market for your products. It’s not good to be a pioneer and try to create a market from scratch — that’s often a recipe for failure. Your prospect’s follow trends and latch on to fads… you should too. At least until the next trend comes along.