Once you have a good idea of WHOM your target market is, it’s time to connect that audience with the right PRODUCT. In other words, we want to bring a solution to our target’s problem.
The first question that has come up when I teach this concept in live seminars is about the difference between selling physical products versus digital products; “Is it better to sell physical products or digital products online?”
The short answer is: “Yes, it is possible to sell physical products online”. Amazon is the authority on this subject. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can be Amazon. There are also smaller mom and pop businesses selling physical products via the web – and doing just fine with it. Items that are easy to ship (jewelry, small electronics, small gifts and bric-a-brac, kitchen gadgets, vitamins, video game components, etc.) are usually better choices.
If you have access to a product that can be stocked, shipped and acquired at such a cost that there is enough margin for you to sell it and make enough of a profit…then certainly run that product or idea through the Market Research testing resources to see if there is a buying crowd for it.
Amazon even has a way for you to sell physical products through their distribution system if you have a product that can compete and you can make a profit with. There are also plenty of people who have been successful using websites like Ebay or Etsy to tap into the physical product selling market. So, it can be done.
However, the difference between selling physical goods and digital information products is so vast, and since I have made my career based on the latter, I teach what it means to provide digital products (information, online services, software, media, e-books, membership sites, videos, etc.) to a buying audience, and this is what we will focus on with this course. (In fact, this very course – whether you are reading it or listening to it is a digital product.)
If you are dead set on selling a physical product, you have my blessing (not that you need it) but I would encourage you to do EXTRA research to make sure your costs are covered in bringing that item to the correct market. Yes it is possible, but it is often harder to do and usually requires more effort.
The best way to explain and justify my position on this is to make a comparison between to the two types of business models.
Look at these significant differences between selling physical goods versus digital information products:
A physical product has to be manufactured by someone. A digital product is developed once and that same file or media is then resold unlimited times.
A physical product has a potentially limited supply. A digital product has no limits on supply as the same file or files can be resold unlimited times.
A physical product has to be stocked or physically stored somewhere by someone. A digital product is stored as a computer file on a web server or computer. It is a collection of virtual invisible matter that is almost mysterious. But can provide limitless value to the end user. This is the real magic of selling digital products.
A physical product has to be shipped. A digital product is delivered electronically (by download) and that delivery can easily be automated due to the nature of technology.
Also, since a physical product has to be shipped the customer must wait for its arrival. A digital product can be delivered instantly.
A physical product has potential for loss or breakage. A digital product has only one copy and since it is not physical, cannot be damaged as easily or lost the same way a physical product can.
A physical product has more labor cost associated with it due to manufacturing, storage and shipping. Once a digital product is developed it can be managed or reproduced virtually and automatically.
A physical product has a basic minimum cost to produce. A digital product has an almost infinitely flexible profit margin to work with.
For example, it costs just as much to create and sell 1 e-book as it does to create and sell 1 million e-books. The reason is because you still only need to create 1 e-book and the purchasers of your e-book all download a copy of the same file. The original source document stay in tact and ready for the next download.
But to create and sell 1 physical widget is not the same cost as creating and selling 1 million physical widgets. You have to keep creating, stocking, repairing and delivering more widgets in order to continue to sell them.
The most powerful concept behind the profit margin of a digital information product is that it is “manufactured” once, yet can be sold and delivered an unlimited number of times. And further, can be delivered almost without any human intervention, as the delivery process can usually be automated as much as 100% via digital technology. Or at least, semi-automated.
The bottom line is that selling a physical product or even a offering a service can mean having to “start over” every time a sale is made.
Again, we are exploiting the power of Internet technology here. This is why the focus of this course is all about providing digital information products to a targeted market.
————— V2 ———————–
Developing Digital Information Products
While Phase 1 (Market Research) is probably the most ignored step by would-be online marketers, Phase 2 in this process (Developing a Product) is probably the most misunderstood.
There are two reasons for this.
First, most people start with a product idea instead of researching a viable topic. As I have already made abundantly clear, this is the wrong approach about 99.9% of the time.
But the second misnomer is that most people are intimidated by the prospect of creating a product. I am assuming that many believe they are going to need to invent something new or write a completely original book from scratch, or produce media using lots of technical equipment they don’t have. (How intimidating does that sound?)
Or perhaps product development summons up mental images of guys in lab coats pouring liquids into beakers or computer programmers glued to monitors for months at a time writing mysterious software code.
Actually, this product-getting step is the easiest (even if it sounds like the hardest). Why? Because very few “new” products are actually new. This is especially true when selling digital information. There are not as many new ideas for topics as there are new ways of packaging and presenting existing ideas that we already know will sell.
Writing is a big part of product development. But as it turns out, much of what we will need to write about is already written. It’s a matter of collecting those words and paragraphs and organizing them into a finished package.
Further, the online digital information product arena is full of products that already exist in almost complete form that are available as private labels – that is, NON-copyrighted work that we can use to create a product of our “own”.
Therefore, digital information products can be either created from scratch or acquired from an existing product source.
Forms of Digital Information Products
There are basically seven forms that a digital information product can take. They are…
audios or podcasts
software and scripts
e-zines and newsletters
website content and membership access
photographs, images and graphics.
All of these are information products that can be created and delivered digitally. All but the last have to do with putting together “words” – I like to call it “writing” but that might scare you if I talk about it too much. We should probably call it “compiling, because most of the actual writing is about editing words and phrases that already exist.
Some of these product forms serve a dual purpose and can cross over into another form. For example, the obvious and most common form is an e-book. Another form of digital product is an audio or podcast. But these forms can cross into each other, in that the audio can simply be created by using the e-book as a script for the audio, with maybe some minor editing.
This is an important point to note because it leads us back to the vital fact about creating and developing an information product. Again, most of the work of product development is about writing and organizing words more than inventing them. Many people are intimidated by the prospect of writing a book, when in fact, it is a much simpler process than most realize. When you break the task down into simple steps, it’s actually just a series of small writing or editing projects joined together as one bigger one. A book is usually just a collection of chapters. And a chapter can be created by combining a few articles. Articles are a few paragraphs written on and related to the same topic. When you add that to the fact that much of what needs to be written is often already written and really only needs RE-writing.
The best example of this comes from your fourth grade report writing assignments. When the teacher asked you to write a report on poisonous snakes or the various types of clouds, she didn’t expect you to already know about the subject. She intended for you to research the topic in a set of encyclopedias (wouldn’t we have loved an Internet back then?)…and then RE-write the information you read about in the articles you discovered. Report writing was really article RE-writing. The goal was to form the piece in our own words and resist the temptation to copy the World Book Encyclopedia verbatim.
Creating digital information products is very much like that …only easier. For one, we DO have an Internet full of information. Secondly, there are literally thousands of writings that are not copyrighted that make it easy for us to copy/paste into our own documents and re-write them. It is fairly easy work. A fourth grader could do it.
However, writing and re-writing are just one way to acquire digital information products. There are generally, three ways to get our hands on products we can sell as is or quickly convert to something.
————— V3 ———————–
Types of Digital Information Products
There are generally three kinds of digital information products that are readily available. They fall under these categories:
resell rights products
private label products
We’ll study them one at a time.
In order to understand what an affiliate product is and how to use them as a solution to provide your target with, you will need to first understand what Affiliate Marketing is.
Affiliate marketing allows you to market a product that someone else has created and provides the delivery and support for. So , what do you do? You send them customers. While it sounds like a typical commission sales program (and it is that), it’s better than that with marketing digital information products than it would be for physical goods.
Commissions on digital affiliate products are quite high. The rates average 50% to 75%. You may wonder why someone would pay you 75% of their sale when they have to provide the product, support and delivery of it. Seems high, doesn’t it? The reason is simple: digital information products have a nearly unlimited and flexible profit margin. Once the product is created, the provider can put the delivery system on virtual auto-pilot and then move on to do other things (like create more products). Most are happy to be left with 25% to 50% of the sale while they allow an army of affiliates to get customers for them.
On the other hand, it presents a great opportunity for affiliates who do not have a product to sell but need to provide one to their target, with an easy way to do so. By simply sending your audience to the proper affiliate link, earning as much as 75% of the sale is an excellent marketing model. This is unheard of in the offline marketing world.
It’s a win-win situation – and the entire paradigm is possible because of the nature of digital information products; their low cost to produce and their high margins of profit.
In any affiliate program there will be at least three parties: the customer, the affiliate (you or your web site) and the merchant. In some cases an affiliate network may interface between you and the merchant, handling the code generation and redirection, or providing the backend payment processing for the actual merchant…. and in most cases taking a portion of any funds processed for this service.
There are different payment terms that an affiliate program can use to measure how much money you get. Payment terms break down into any one of four methods including:
This is referred to as a Cost Per Sale (CPS) program. The merchant pays a percentage of the sale price when the transaction is finalized.
With this payment method you (as an affiliate) would get paid based on the number of visitors go through the link you send them to. You get paid for every visit to the page from a unique visitor, whether it produces a sale or not. This is called Cost Per Click or CPC. (Or Pay Per Click – PPC – depending on which side of the transaction you are on.) Obviously, you would earn less for sending the provider a “click” than you would sending them a competed sale. But the volume of “clicks you send them would be much higher than the volume of sales you can provide.
The Cost Per Lead (CPL) or Cost Per Action (CPA) method pays based on the number of visitors who are referred to a site AND sign up or request information from that site. so you would get paid for visitors who take action. This is similar to to the CPC/CPL method but requires that the visitor has some interaction and agreement with the website such as requesting more information about a product or service, filling out a contact form and/or providing a certain amount of data such as a phone number.
Almost all affiliate programs have a minimum account balance that has to be generated before a payment or check will be cut to the affiliate. However, sometimes there will be specified ‘timeout’ periods in which a lack of sales over a certain period of time may void any vested amount not yet paid as well, so it is important to know what exactly you are agreeing to before signing up with a particular affiliate or associate program.
One of the first BIG affiliate programs began in the late 1990’s by Amazon. They invited retailers and web site owners to link to their site primarily to market books. Since then, they have added a multitude of goods. For Amazon, affiliate marketing has proven to be the perfect way to reach a target audience without going to great expense and time researching marketplaces and trends. In fact, the company eventually decreased their “normal” advertising budget down to next to nothing, and spent that money instead on rewarding their affiliates with support and commissions. It has proven to be a phenomenal success. Some in the industry believe that Amazon actually invented the concept of affiliate marketing. I’m not sure if that is technically true, but they have certainly exploited it beautifully and with great results.
Note that Amazon commissions range typically on the low end (approximately 3% to 8%). This is mostly because they sell physical goods with hard costs, shipping and labor expenses. But they also sell well-known products and national brands, which gives them an edge like no other affiliate program.
While there are several affiliate programs and networks including eBay, Commission Junction and as mentioned, Amazon, the one which outshines them all in ease of use, expandability and features is by far ClickBank which we will be going over in some detail. A close contender for ClickBank, is a program called JVZoo, which we will also spend some time on in this section.
Clickbank has become a very well known player in the Affiliate Marketing space and is an effective network at the center of most affiliate marketing business models that offer information or digital products.
ClickBank provides two major services:
For the affiliate marketer (you), ClickBank acts as a database of growing digital products that can be promoted as displayed in the ClickBank Marketplace. Their system makes it easy to manage special affiliate links as well as a system for tracking payments. ClickBank even handles the payments to affiliates and is therefore a clearing house of sorts for both the product owner (the publisher) and the promoter of the product (the affiliate).
When product owners include their products in ClickBank, they are allowing ClickBank’s massive army of affiliate marketers to sell them. At the time of this writing, there are approximately 100,000 ClickBank affiliates.
ClickBank charges the publisher (product owner) a one time fee to set up a product account. ClickBank then keeps a portion of each sale – a fee which is split between the publisher and the affiliate.
The commission percentage structure is based on one-time product sales and monthly revenues through sales that are triggered through your Clickbank ID. You receive a commission rate determined by the partner site that ranges from 5%-75%.
ClickBank allows vendors to accept credit cards on their web site without the need for a merchant account because ClickBank handles all transaction processing and divvies up the funds accordingly. (This is one of the major reasons for their fees.)
It’s ClickBank’s job to keep track of who sells what and who gets paid when. They do this by using a cookie tracking system. Browser cookies track the transaction from the time the visitor lands on the sales website until they order and check out. Because it is simple to implement & use, it doesn’t require any significant web design considerations, nor does it impact the performance of the web site or web server. This method works by simply writing a small text file (cookie) to a user’s browser when they click on an affiliate link. This cookie holds the referring affiliate’s ID, which can be identified at the merchant’s order page to credit affiliates for referred sales.
Cookies make tracking affiliate-referred-sales very convenient for the webmaster. The cookie can be read and used on any page or on any form, and can be used in conjunction with almost any ordering system. Not to mention, the cookie that records the affiliate’s ID can remain active for as long as the merchant wants it to. This is how the affiliates get credit for customers who clicked on a link weeks, or months, before finally purchasing or making a repeat purchase.
The number of cookie-enabled browsers is growing, because a majority of web surfers’ favorite sites require cookie use; plus, the option to disable cookies is not obvious in the two major browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox/Mozilla. Those users who take the trouble to disable cookies are, oftentimes, the same users who will probably be wary of other tracking methods and have learned to intentionally bypass those as well.
The signup process at ClickBank is easy to complete.
To get started go to:
You will see several links, the first of which is a link to signup for an account.
Once you’re at the signup page, it’s pretty straight-forward. Simply fill in all of your personal information so that your account can be created and personalized with all of your information.
Make sure that you use valid information in this signup process. This information is what will be used for paying you. You will get sale notifications at this e-mail address. You will get your paychecks sent to this physical address. You will get a phone call if anything important with your account or check comes up.
Your address will never be abused and the only thing you are going to get once you get all setup is sale notifications and checks so those are good things that you’ll always be willing to let into your e-mail box and your postal box.
The last part of this page is the “Agree to our terms and conditions” box. Read those terms and check the box.
In addition to the few main terms that they list in the bullet points you will notice that there are three active links within the box which are “Return and Cancellation Policy”, “Accounting Policy” and “Client Contract”.
These terms pages explain in detail everything you need to know about getting paid, how you will get paid and when you will get paid. You will also learn how Refunds and Cancellations affect you and the vendor and how they are handled within your account as well as the general rules of using Clickbank.
Once you’ve clicked through all of the terms pages and have your signup form filled out simply click on the submit button.
Next, check your e-mail and you will find that you are now an official affiliate in the Clickbank affiliate marketplace!
You can now go in to your account, make changes, check stats and paycheck information as well as locate products and find other information.
Take a few minutes, log in and click around a bit in your account. You can also click on the HELP page at Clickbank to check out some of the additional information available to you or for an answer if you have any questions.
One of the great things about ClickBank is that they market many different eBooks, software and other digital products, so they have something of value for almost any web site – this doesn’t mean that they should be your only affiliate network or that they are perfect for your site though.
Once the right fit is found and products are put in place that match your area of focus, you can further adjust your offerings depending on how well the current ones do.
The easiest way to know if what you are doing is the right fit is simply seeing whether or not the products and services you are offering are selling and whether or not having them offered on your page has had any detrimental effect on web traffic. If these two success factors are there then you are at least partially on track – if not then the results you are seeing may indicate either a poor marketing plan or that you have not adequately tailored your offerings to your clientele. If you are not seeing any negative impacts or statements from web site visitors but still have not been seeing the sales you would expect the odds are you have the proper niche but are just not using the right marketing and methods of demonstrating the value of your offerings. If however you get even one complaint you can be assured a large percentage of visitors are annoyed and simply are not speaking up, and you are most likely not providing the proper combinations of offerings for the niche your site represents.
Careful consideration of factors like these, feedback you receive from customers and overall web site traffic can help you further optimize your site as well, which we will go over in more detail later – but should primarily be used to determine if you have indeed made the correct choices in marketing your niche.
[ADD JVZOO HERE]
Matching an Affiliate Product with Your Target Market
By now you should have a solid idea of who you are targeting and what your area of focus or niche is going to be. If you haven’t, go back to Phase 1 and do your Market Research!
Now it’s time to find a product that can be sold within this niche and to this specific target group. Here’s how:
Step 1: Go to Clickbank.com
Step 2: Click on the MARKETPLACE link to find the categorical listing of the current ClickBank products.
Step 3. Choose the category / subcategory that matches as closely as possible the category that your market research produced as being promising.
Step 4: By searching the products in that category, you will be presented with dozens, hundreds or possibly thousands of products that may be attractive to the niche you are targeting.
Now, narrow down your product search. You only need ONE product, so choose a good one. You can find a good product to sell based on the commission percentage. The most you can earn is 75%, but do not choose a product that pays less than 50%.
By default, the product listing is sorted by popularity, so the higher in the list the product appears, the more popular it is and the better it is selling. But you can’t use that data alone to choose a good product. Usually, the products listed in the top ten are selling well because they are being promoted by so many aggressive marketers that the competition for selling that product may be too high. You might start looking at the products appearing in the number 11 spot or lower to help minimize the potential for competing with the “big boys”. Remember, your market research is based on a very specific target, so you don’t have to sell them the most popular product in the world to make money. You just have to sell them a good one that lines up with their interests. In fact, if you sell one that is not as well known, you may have an even better chance of increasing your sales conversions.
The next piece of data you need to close in on for your choice of product to promote is the refund rate. One of the disadvantages of selling ClickBank products is that ClickBank makes it quite easy for customers to refund their purchase. In fact, ClickBank allows each transaction the luxury of a 60 day money back guarantee. The bad part of this is that ClickBank products are refunded more often than some other transaction mechanisms used on the Internet.
On the other hand, the fact that ClickBank makes such a generous offer to the end buyer makes the sale much more attractive and less risky for the consumer. This is apparently working well for all parties because ClickBank continues to grow in popularity and it’s vendors continue to operate successful ventures and product launches in spite of the ease of refunding a purchase.
So it is important to measure and compare the refund rates of the products you are considering. Obviously, a product with a smaller refund rate is a better product to sell.
Calculate the refund rate of a product by first noting the commission percentage amount. Then get the actual selling price. You MUST get this from the sales page of the product. This information does not appear in ClickBank’s listing. Just view the “pitch page” by clicking the link and scrolling to the bottom that product’s website (sales page) to find the selling price.
Now make this calculation:
Actual Selling Price Multiplied by the Decimal Version of the Commission
In other words, if the product sells for $47.00 and the commission percentage is 75%, run this through your calculator:
47 x .75 = 35.25
This gives you the GROSS commission. This is NOT the actual amount that ClickBank pays on the product because this raw calculation does not factor in ClickBank’s fees.
But you can still use this number to estimate how many refunds are processed for a product.
The number that ClickBank displays under EARNED PER SALE heading does take into account refunds and chargebacks. So while a product theoretically earns 35.25 commission on a $47 sale, the earned per sale number may show substantially lower after refunds are factored into their equation. That information makes it possible for you to calculate out what the refund rate is (approximately).
For example, using our $47.00 product with a 75% commission, we have a raw commission amount of 35.25. But what if the amount listed under EARNED PER SALE is $20.00? We can see that the difference between the ACTUAL amount earned and the GROSS commission is 15.25 – that is a HUGE 43% refund rate. This would NOT be a good product to promote. We should be looking for refund rates of 10% or less.
So again, using the same sample numbers as above, let’s say our $47 product that pays 75% (35.25) has an EARNED PER SALE listing of 31.75. The difference is now 3.50. This is an approximate refund rate of 10%. That number we can live with.
So to summarize the refund calculation we do this:
Selling price X percentage (in decimal form) = Gross Commission
Gross Commission – the EARNED PER SALE Amount = the Difference.
If the Difference is more than 10% of the Gross Commission, there are probably too many refunds for this product.
Next we have to measure how strong the sales letter (pitch page) is for this product. This is not a perfect calculation because you will need to use what Wall Street calls “sentimental analysis”. But we also have some “technical analysis” to apply to help balance a more accurate measure.
First, use your own opinion and look at the pitch page yourself. DO NOT look at this page as if YOU were going to buy the product. If this product is in a niche you have no personal interest in, then you won’t be able to relate to it. Instead, you are looking for a professionally designed website, easy to navigate and an order button that is easy to find. Look mainly at images and color. This judgment should not take you more than 30 seconds. If it does, you are thinking too hard.
Don’t bother to read the page copy for now. Just read the headline, scan major bullet points and scroll through the page to see if it has a general VISUAL appeal. You should not spend too much time on specifics here. What you are really doing is ruling OUT bad, ugly unprofessional looking websites that look like they were created by absolute amateurs.
Here’s a word of warning: you will find a lot of bad looking websites. There is no ClickBank rule that says it’s vendors have to have nice looking websites. But the problem is if you are trying to sell a product that appears on a bad looking site with bad graphics, it will be harder for you to sell it.
If you don’t know what looks good, look around at the best selling CB products and see what all the successful product pages have in common. (Professional graphic design, nice up-to-date e-covers, easy navigation and an easy check out).
The technical analysis of this works like this:
ClickBank lists a calculation that displays the percentage of sales that are referred. In other words, it is telling you how many sales are made by affiliates as opposed to how many sales the vendor is making directly. Generally speaking, a product that has a higher referral percentage is better than one that is being sold mostly by the vendor himself. A product that is sold MOSTLY by the vendor’s direct marketing efforts will not give you an accurate sampling of that niche as most vendors have a tendency to sell to their own in-house list of followers who will buy from them more readily than cold prospects that come through search marketing will.
Also, affiliates can only successfully sell products that have sale pages that are converting, so it is logical to assume that if a product has a majority of affiliate sales when compared to non-affiliate sales, then we can conclude that the sales page is working well enough. I would rule OUT any product that has less than 50% of its sales coming from affiliate referrals.
The final test when looking for a good product to sell is rather simple. Again, it is more about the process of elimination than anything. You need to AVOID any products who have sales pages that are actually squeeze pages themselves.
In other words, if the pitch page requires it’s visitors to opt-in to a list, subscribe or fill out anything BEFORE they can see the sales page, do not promote this product.
If the pitch page does not have a check out or order button, it needs to be ruled out.
Why? Because YOU are going to be sending YOUR traffic to YOUR squeeze page when you promote a ClickBank product and if you send people to a squeeze page that takes them to another squeeze page, you will have committed marketing suicide.
Setting up a squeeze for capturing traffic BEFORE they see the final pitch page, is the secret that separates successful Internet marketers from amateurs. If you simply send traffic to a ClickBank sales page, you will lose a HUGE majority of sales by failing to follow up with that large percentage of folks who do not purchase on the first visit, but WILL purchase on the 7th, 8th or 9th visit. In fact, in many cases you can easily DOUBLE your conversions making sure your follow up is in place correctly.
By running your search through the analysis outlined above, you will greatly increase your chance of success and raise your conversion rates. Follow the steps of research methodically, leaving your emotions aside and you will eventually discover that there are some great products to bring to a specific target group who will gladly pay for such information.
Resell Rights Products
Another type of digital information product to promote to your target audience is called a resell rights product. Sometimes these products come with different rights and privileges.
A product that has “normal” resell rights, gives the promoter the right to sell the product for any price and keep 100% of the sale. But sometimes, the license allows for even higher privileges.
For example, a Master Resell Rights products usually allows you to sell the product for any price you wish and also sell the resell rights to that product to your end customer. That means your audience can also sell the product for whatever price they wish. They would receive “normal” resell rights to the product that you had “master” resell rights to.
Resell rights products usually come packaged with several other files besides the product itself. In most cases, a resell rights product will even come with a website template that will act as a sales page for its owner. All the promoter usually needs to do is edit a few details on the website file such as the selling price and edit the order button or check out link. These website files can be uploaded to the seller’s own hosted domain.
The main advantage of a resell rights product is that is possible to have a sellable product within minutes. Since the product is already created and even includes the necessary graphics and web site files, it takes almost no effort to have a product online and ready to take orders.
The main disadvantage of these kinds of products is that they are usually poor quality and their content cannot legally be edited.
Additionally, most resell rights products include a lot of promotional content that takes it’s readers to websites that do not benefit anyone but the original product creator. IN other words, the ebook may contain several links and information about the author’s other ebooks, software, websites and offers. In fact, it is this concept that provides incentive for the product creator to even offer such “generous” rights. They know that if other people are selling their product, those vendors will ultimately be driving traffic to the author’s website(s). And they find this traffic to be well worth the sacrifice of their product being sold by others who keep 100% of the sale price.
This is actually a great traffic generating model for anyone who wants to create an original product.
Private Label Rights Products (PLR)
Private label rights products (called PLR’s) are similar to resell rights products in that they are already created for you. But they have a huge advantage in their licensing. Products with Private Label Rights, means you have full control over their content, packaging and distribution. You can edit and/or rewrite the content, re-title and redesign the packaging if you choose. You can even claim authorship over a PLR product.
You can also combine PLR products to create another product of your own, or use the content from any product(s) as content for an original work of your own.
Each PLR product package comes with the product itself, it’s source files, a website and all graphics, so you can edit as needed and upload to your hosting account.
PLR’s are a great way to create a digital product because they give you something to start with and edit or change into an original product of your own. Ideally, the best digital information product to sell is an original product of your own creation, that is unique to you. But most people are intimidated by the thought of creating something from “scratch”. PLR’s are the answer.
Whether you consider yourself a writer or not, anyone who can put a couple of sentences together can at least edit already-written content and spin it into something “original” with very little effort.
You will find that editing a PLR actually teaches you how to write better and it is surprising how it will muster up original thoughts and phrases in your mind that you may not have known to write about. It is like starting a conversation you didn’t plan to have – only to discover that you actually had something to say!
PLR’s are probably the best keep secret in Internet Marketing and will become an important tool in your online success strategy.
Creating Your Own Digital Information Product
As profitable as affiliate marketing can be, (some affiliate marketers make five figures a month), the most profitable way of succeeding as an Internet marketer is to create your own basic information products and then combine them with existing goods or services that help to enhance the reputation and effectiveness of your own brain child. This means that you will need to create your own basic product that will serve as the foundation for your efforts.
By being the prime source for your own product, you have a much greater marketing advantage – not the least of which is the ability to control your price point, as well as the ability to offer your product(s) to potential Joint Venture partners and affiliates who can sell your work for you. Both of these advantages are huge. In fact, they are
enough of a reason to pursue the creation of your own product.
Although, it is also possible to get started in the Internet Marketing business by selling other people’s products through affiliate programs like Clickbank or by using resell rights products, these technique should only be looked at as one of many ways to market online. Eventually a truly successful online marketer will almost always need to earn most, if not all of his or her revenue from an original, prime source product.
In order to create your own products, there are several characteristics
that will prove to be absolutely essential, if you really want to make an
impact on the right target group.
One of the first things you can do is ask yourself how creative you are. Notice I didn’t say to ask yourself IF you are creative. Everyone is naturally creative in their own way – it is how human beings are designed. But some folks don’t exercise their creativity for a number of psychological and/or emotional reasons.
So you need to look at HOW you exert your own creativity. Don’t wonder IF you are creative – just study your ability to invent, pretend, play, think outside of the box, manufacture an original thought, paint a picture (mentally or literally), carry a
conversation, etc. ALL of these activities require creativity.
When we are children, we are most aware of our own creative methods because we haven’t grown into a world that teaches us what we CANNOT do. Kids think they can do anything. (that’s also how they get hurt and need guidance.) So as an adult, you have to
sometimes go back to the way you thought when it was okay to make mud pies for no apparent practical reason – except that it was fun to do and interesting to discover. We lose that as we mature …if we are not careful. So tap into that childlike (not child-ish) mind set and have fun discovering new things.
There are no boundaries, no preconceived expectations, and nothing to prevent making anything you want. People who have exhibited the ability to take nothing and turn it into something certainly have what it takes to create a successful online product.
Then, there are people who express creativity by taking something that is tried and true and giving it a fresh and new look. People with this type of ability often see all the good points of a product or service that has a proven track record. Those people feel it can be enhanced or improved in a number of small ways that will not only help to retain the interest of long term users, but also attract others who may have overlooked the product in the past, because it was such a common thing.
People with the ability to take a good thing and make it a little better, a little more user friendly, a little easier to understand, definitely have what it takes to come up with a product or service that can be effectively marketed online.
So where does your creativity level exhibit itself to your best advantage? Let that direction lead you into the next step of the process, which is learning how to create products that will be marketable online.
How to Write a Book…(Don’t Be Afraid. It’s Easier Than You Think)
Having your own unique product to market has so many advantages, it’s almost too difficult to explain them all. It’s almost better to have experienced all the opportunities that naturally arise when you own your own original creation in order to fully understand how profitable it can be.
Aside from the obvious aforementioned financial benefits of being the prime source on a product, there are also great advantages to the actual practice of having written something down. When you write, you permanently record your ideas, opinions, knowledge, wisdom, experience, advice, thoughts, dreams, inventions and even the life lesson you may have learned from mistakes and failures.
The idea of writing a book is very intimidating to almost everyone who has never tried to do it. The truth is, you don’t have to be a genius to write a book. You have to simply be willing to organize some thoughts on paper and write several articles on the topic. And a little patience and persistence doesn’t hurt either.
But creating an information product should always start with writing a book (or booklet, e-book, report, etc.) even if you don’t want your final product to be in the form of a book.
If your goal is to create a video, podcast, audio-book, blog, series of articles or some other kind of information product, starting with writing it in the form of a book will make the entire process MUCH easier on you later.
Also, creating your product in book form allows you to have access to your information later when you need to promote your product. For example, let’s say you have written a book and want to post an article on an article directory. Just copy / paste a section out of your book and you are done! What if you find yourself in need of an email marketing follow up series of articles? Simply turn to your book and pull out the paragraphs you have already written. Edit them or use them as they are – they are already yours. Having a book is an awesome record of your information that will act as your own resource tool in ways that you will be surprised to discover.
If your information product takes on another form, your already written words can become the audio book’s script or the outline for your video content.
The point here is simple. When you write a book, you are making it easier on yourself to convert your information into any other form you want to later.
Another huge advantage to writing a book, is that it gives you credibility in every topic that you have written about. These days, it’s possible to not only create an e-book very easily, quickly and inexpensively, but now, it’s just as efficient to have your work printed
in paperback form and sold on Amazon! If having a website with an e-book displaying your name as the author gives you credibility, imagine what it looks like when you have an actual physical book being sold at the world’s most famous online book website. There are dozens of services that allow you to submit your e-book to them formatted according to their specs and they take care of all the particulars of turning you into a “published” author.
Technically, this method is considered self-publishing and you certainly earn less profit per book. But this is an amazing way to turn your written work into something that could earn you great respect in a specific niche.
Here are a few services that will help you publish a physical print book without going through all the expenses of a conventional publisher:
The company listed below will print short runs of your book for very little cost in paperback or hardback form. They aren’t technically “publishing” the work, in that they do not market it or submit it to Amazon or other book selling directories. But they do offer a great way to quickly transform your writing into a physical book if you want to go that route..
But remember that writing a book is not always about getting it published – whether in hard-copy (print) or in e-book form. Just having created an organized, collection of your own words is a resource you will find to be one of the most valuable assets that you will use in your information marketing business. Having already recorded your thoughts, your “book” will serve you as a library of ideas that are just a copy and paste away.
Think in HOW-TO Terms
Writing a “How To” book is a tried and true method of creating an information product. This kind of information has been selling long before there was an Internet. Creating How To information is much easier for the beginning writer to research and even easier for the advanced marketer to sell.
How To information should be focused and specific so that it appeals to a measurable demographic. A book about gardening will probably not market as well as a book about the difference in planting perennial bulbs. Specific is usually better, if done carefully. You also have to balance this with the notion that the specific niche must also have a
large enough following.
As another example, a book about skin care will be harder to sell than one about removing acne scars. This example is a sub-category or focused niche that still has a sizable audience.
How To information has been tested to sell very well for many decades (long before there was an Internet). And now that there IS an Internet, the amount of research information available that is required to produce How To products is mind boggling.
This may sound like a long process, but remember: You don’t have to do a 500 page volume. With “How to” information, this is much easier than it sounds. You’re providing people with specific steps and solutions that don’t require major creativity, just accuracy, clarity, and usefulness.
Most people who are new to this idea may believe that they can’t create their own information products because they can’t write. There are also a lot of ‘so-called’ experts who will have you believe that it’s more difficult than it actually is. But you definitely can create your own ebooks information products. And you can do it faster than you think!
If you’re new to this concept, your main challenge may be in getting recognized. But creating your own products will be easy once you learn a few shortcuts.
The first time you see someone riding a bicycle, you might say “That’s not possible” or “I can’t do that.” And, maybe you’re right to some extent. You can’t ride a bicycle yet. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t ride a bicycle ever. You just have to get on it, stumble a few times, get the feel of it and before you know it, you’re doing something that seemed impossible just a few days ago. It’s the same with writing.
The trick is to get started. Just start writing and let your thoughts flow. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar or sentence structure or formatting or any of that for now. Just get the information out of your head. You can edit it later. If you edit too much while you write, you might interrupt the flow of ideas.
A lot of people think you have to be an English major to start writing. This isn’t true. Start by writing the way you talk to a friend. Then have someone read it aloud and see if you can find any areas that sound confusing. You can also get a college student to edit it for you, if you’re not comfortable doing your own editing.
Create an Outline
When you have the topic for your information product, start putting it together by organizing and recording your thoughts. If your mind is a jumble of ideas and thoughts, sort them out by making a simple outline. This will provide a basis for how you want to present the information and will help you organize the data in a flow that is logical
and easy to grasp. The outline will also help you to not forget a point of interest that strikes you as being particularly relevant to the subject matter.
Having an outline for your product will guide and accelerate your product creation process faster than you can imagine. For the time being try not to get overwhelmed by the fact that you are creating a “product”. (Even though you will be.) Don’t think about the end result (yet) or about creating books, audios, videos, software, etc.
What makes the product creation process so simple is that at the core of each product is just good content. The words, videos or audios that make up the work are its content. And all you need to have a good information product is good content; plain, simple, straight to the point, no frills content. And this content is much easier to compile than it is to invent. That is why an outline will help you so much.
Outlining what you’re going to say can actually help you get your point across much faster and clearer. It’s always good to get all your thoughts down in one place before you fill in all the details.
Here’s example of an information product outline:
IDEA: How to Do Magic Shows for children
Table Of Contents
Preface: Why Kid’s Love Magic
Introduction/Overview Introduction to Magic Tricks and Illusions
Section 1 History of Magic
Section 2 Easy to Learn Basics of Magic
Section 3 Tricks with Coins and Balls
Section 4 Tricks with Ropes and Silks
Section 5 How to Keep Their Attention
Section 6 10 Tips for Creating a Magic Show
Section 7 How to Get Bookings
Section 8 How Much Should You Charge?
Section 9 Should You Be a Clown? Pros and Cons
Section 10 Where to Get Props
Magic Resources – Where to Buy Magic Props Online
Another good point to remember is that your product doesn’t have to be hundreds of pages long or contain hours worth of recordings. You c an create short powerful reports, audios and guides because they are quick and easy to produce. Shorter products allow you to spread your risk. Remember that not all of your projects will become home runs. That’s just the reality of any business that most of us have to accept. So, if you invest a lot of time and energy into creating a monster product that turns out to be a dud, you would have lost all the time and energy you put into that project… with nothing to show for it.
On the other hand, if you had only spent a few weeks on creating a much shorter info-product which also turned out to be a dud, you could quickly pull that one out and replace it with another short one. Your risks are dramatically reduced and your chance of putting out a winner is increased!
This means that most of the time it’s better to create 10 or 12 little products a year and have 2 or 3 of them flop (which means 8 or 9 of them are bringing in the cash!) than to only create one or two big products in that same year and risk having them both fail. There is also a much better chance that one of your products will be a hot seller if you have a dozen or so.
Once you have done this a few times, it is not unreasonable to create a new information product each month.
Also, if you create several short reports or recordings all related to the same topic you can then later compile them all together and create a bigger product. If many of your shorter info products sell well then your larger product should sell well too and you can charge more for it. It’s almost like getting paid to create your bigger, more detailed
product as you go. As long as the smaller products deliver complete information on a singular idea, your customers probably won’t realize that’s what you’re doing and you won’t be cheating them out of anything.
The PLR Shortcut
If you are starting with a Private Label Rights (PLR) product (which I highly recommend doing of you are new to this), it may already act as your starting outline. You may want to re-organize it, add to or delete from it, but it can be a great shortcut in this part of the process.
Outlines are the conventional tool used by authors because they help organize the flow of the work and provide a skeleton that is easy to work from. When writing from an
outline, you are not limited to starting your project on page one and working through to the end. You can jump to topics and sub-topics when you are inspired without losing the overall flow of the work.
If your outline is too long or has too many categories and headings, then you may have a problem. You can always remove a certain topic if you find that it is becoming too big or cumbersome. It’s easier to delete too much information than it is to invent missing
information. Create an outline you know will change, grow and shrink as needed.
An outline is almost essential for almost any information product you create whether it is a book, audio or video script. Even a software solution will need a flowchart (outline) to work from. At the same time, don’t let the outline enslave you. It is meant to keep you on track when you have nowhere else to roam. As you progress with your work, you will no doubt encounter other ideas or thoughts that you want to include. Feel free to see the outline as a work in progress, and add, revise, and delete as you see fit.
No doubt, as you move along, there will be details that come to you that may be relevant to a section of the product that you have already completed. Simply go back and find a way to insert the new thought in the right place, so the integrity of the work is maintained.
Think of each section in your outline as an assignment for you to write an article about. Writing articles is much easier than writing a book. And writing an article is simply a collection of five or ten paragraphs. And you can probably guess what a paragraph breaks down to. The point is, you will soon find that writing a book is just a collection of all the articles, paragraphs and sentences you have written about a topic with a common thread.
Using A Blog as a Writing Tool
One good way to organize your articles is to store them on your blog. A blog is not only a good marketing tool, but it is a good organizer. You can easily post an article to your blog and CATEGORIZE it. You can create categories that would ultimately match the headings or even become the chapters of your book.
A blog is really nothing more than a database that displays, stores and organizes text and web page elements (like images and links). These are the same elements you would likely use in your information product, so keeping them in a blog is easy and practical.
If you are collaborating with another writer, a blog is a GREAT way for both contributors to have universal access to the project. Also, a blog allows you to work on your project from anywhere you have Internet access. Imagine getting that brainstorm of an idea for your next article while you are on vacation. Just log in and post your thoughts! A blog can be created in conjunction with your outline or it can BE your outline. It depends on how you want to work.
More Quick Tips and Tricks for Creating an Original Information Product
When you’re creating your product outline, Google can be an invaluable tool. Most people know about Google.com as the largest search engine in the world… however, few realize how powerful it is as a research tool.
The key is in knowing how to tap into Google’s research powers. One
of the best ways to find content is by using the search string called
allinurl. With it, you can go to Google and type in this:
allinurl: your keyword phrase
…and search its database for sites that have that keyword phrase in their URL, either in the domain name or in a file name.
For example, you could use something like:
allinurl: magic trick articles
allinurl: card tricks
allinurl: magic tricks with coins
allinurl: rope tricks
You should find some really good content using this method. At least you will discover ideas for sections, chapters or articles.
You can use the collected content as a template and start rewrite all of it. Take
each paragraph, consider what it’s saying and then rewrite the idea in your own words. It’s easier to edit something that exists than start from scratch.
Unless you have to have the entire product be your words, start by using third party content along with your own thoughts and ideas mixed in. But don’t steal anything! Plagiarizing is illegal.
Amazon book department is a great way to generate tons of quality content. Amazon even offers a great tool that can be used for researching content. They call Search Inside. All of the results that you find in each of the books are highly targeted,
and specific to your niche and your needs. The results come from books by expert authors on their subject.
This is a content creator’s dream; exact laser-targeted answers to all your questions, whole pages of content on your subject that you can read, digest and rewrite, all delivered to your computer instantly.
Creating check lists or “top” lists can be another quick way to put a product together. For example, you could put together a “Travelers’ Checklist” which travelers could use to ensure that they have everything they need before they leave home. Or, you could make a Top 100 list of practically anything in a snap. You could also use the same idea to create a “Top #…” list for any subject. For example, “Top 10 Ways To Lower Your Blood Pressure,” etc.
Holding a contest and compiling the entries is a great way to capture people’s attention. If you’d like to write a guide on ‘creative landscape designs,’ you could hold a contest and ask everyone to submit their best ideas/designs and allow you reprint rights to the submissions. Then, compile all the submissions into one guide or book. This is normally referred to as vanity publishing. This type of product creation tactic works well in the poetry market where authors are seeking to get there poems published. Some will like the idea of having a book with their name in it to show off to friends and family, hence the term vanity publishing.
You could very easily compile lists of useful resources on certain subjects and turn that into a product too. Like, a list of free coupon sites, hotel and travel discounts, free hosting or free web space sites, free clipart, free anything.
You could also create a directory of sites, resources, software or even businesses. For example, you could create a list of the best restaurants in your area and offer some information on each, as well as dining tips, and so on.
Pay attention to what fads are popular and what people are buying. You can always think of similar or related products to sell to an already successful market.
Still Can’t Get Started?
If you are having a little trouble getting started, stop thinking about the 10,000 words you thought about all week when all those great ideas flooded your mind. Instead, focus on creating one or two good paragraphs. Once you have done that, it will be easier to write another. Before you know it, you will find that the entire page is filled and so will your mind be filled with great ideas on how to continue the thought.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that creativity comes and goes. It is always present. But sometimes it is necessary to coax it along. Just as the outline is to be considered a work in progress, so is your draft. Keep editing your work by reading through it and then going back and re-reading through it. Take breaks between editing sessions even if it is several days. Continue doing so, until you cannot find anything else to edit, fix or change for the better.
Once you feel the editing process has been exhausted (for now) you can begin formatting the material into a more organized and readable format. Choose the font and size you want to use; separate sections into chapters and/or subheadings and sub-sections. You may find yourself still moving a few parts around as you did when editing.
Add any images, charts, diagrams or other visual elements into their appropriate locations. Most word processing applications and all desktop publishing programs make this part of the task easy.
Create your Table of Contents AFTER you have formatted the contents of the book so that you aren’t re-creating it every time you move a section to another chapter.
Be sure to add any title pages, credits, acknowledgements, glossary or index as you feel is needed.
It’s a great idea to make sure your final product is in PDF form for universal and cross-platform compatibility. These days, most text editing programs have built in tools for converting your work to a pdf. PDF’s (portable document format) is the universal web friendly format for most ebooks.
Microsoft Word can convert your document to a PDF or you can use Adobe Acrobat’s software to create the document. A good Google search will produce many options for managing this final step.
Product Internet Success System” First Editio
How to Produce Ebook Format
The Portable Document File (PDF)
The genius of this particular file format for information products is that because the .PDF files run on an independent program that can be utilized from any operating system, it then makes the document files platform independent themselves so long as the customer has the program to run the .PDF files from.
Adobe Reader itself is also completely free for anyone to download and use. Now, several years ago Adobe Acrobat was the only product to create such a file format.
At a cost of $300 it wasn’t very cost effective for the entry-level marketer to take advantage of it. Now, however, there are free ways to create a PDF file for your products.
Download the CutePDFWriter software and install it on your computer. Then from your word processing program simply choose it as your “print” option.
You’ll then be asked where you want to save the file. Pick a location and save the text document as a PDF file.
It’s as simple as that to create a high quality text-based info product for you to promote. Another one is…
Open Office – http://www.openoffice.org
To use it as a PDF compiler, all you need to do is open it up by creating a New Document. Then when you finish writing up and formatting your original product as far as font settings, line spacing, adding images, and things of this nature are concerned, all you need to do is hit the Export as PDF button and it’ll be exported in .PDF form.
Now normally, the links inside the document won’t be clickable when you open up the finished PDF file in Adobe Reader. There is a way to work around this. Two ways actually.
The first, and easiest, is to simply add the entire link within the document so that your readers can copy and paste them themselves to their own browsers. The second and a bit more complicated way is to download a PDF editing program.
One free option can be found at:
However, if you are going to use this option, you’ll also need to download the PDF995 program at:
This works like an additional printer and creates the PDF files this way. Sounds complicated, but it’s not really. All the information you could ever need about using the PDF995 line of software can be found right at their website.
Alternatives to “Writing” Your Words
Instead of writing a report, articles and chapters, you can also create content with a video or an audio recording. With the quality of home recording equipment going up and the price of the equipment going down, you can easily create high quality media.
All you need is a software application to convert the videos outputted from your recording device into a format that can be viewed online. You can also use any audio recorder or recording software and talk freely into it. Imagine you’re talking to a friend and you’re giving her advice about the subject you want to write about.)
You can also record a screen capture or desktop video of your computer using video capture software. There is software available that will allow you to record videos of anything that you do on your computer screen.
If you have a microphone for your pc, you can also record yourself talking as you record what is happening on your screen.
You can show someone how to use a certain piece of software, create training videos for companies, teach a foreign language, or almost any other subject you can imagine.
Check out the following screen-capture video software tools…
- Camtasia Studio – http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.asp
Camtasia is the most expensive of the screen recording products but it is also the most robust, and widely popular.
- HyperCam – http://www.hyperionics.com
- ScreenCorder – http://www.matchware.com
You can also easily turn any of your interviews, audios or videos into printed products by having them transcribed. A transcriptionist will type out the spoken words exactly as they are presented in your audio or video files. You can easily find a transcription service by looking in your local directory or by doing a search online for “transcriptionist” or “transcription service”. Transcripts are an excellent way to create bonus products to add increased value to your package.
You can use talk-to-type software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, which is the most accurate speech recognition product developed by Scan Soft Solutions Provider. The manufacturers claim that this product delivers up to 99% accuracy. You can replace slow and painful typing with the simplicity of using your voice to turn speech into text at up to 160 words per minute. You can create e-mail, instant messages, documents, and spreadsheets more than three times faster than typing – simply by speaking. Plus, you can use your voice to control your PC. You can start programs, use menus and surf the Web all by voice.
This revolutionary product gives you everything you need to get started in minutes – including a free high quality headset microphone with noise canceling technology. By using this particular product, you can be faster, and have more fun, as you create letters, reports, and e-mail, all by speaking. By talking and doing nothing else. You can also use it to surf the Web, open and close applications, even control your mouse and the entire desktop.
To find out learn about Dragon Naturally Speaking go here…
How To Create And Package Audio Products
There is a free audio software that makes it SO extremely easy for anyone to create an audio product. It’s called Audacity.
Download the software and install it on your computer.
To create an MP3 go to…
Download the Lame MP3 encoder. Install it on your computer. You’ll use this file to create an MP3 from your audio recording from Audacity.
Depending on whether you already have one of those cheap headsets (headphones/microphone) that some dealers bundle with PCs, you can
record an audio without spending a dime. If you don’t have a bundled microphone, the ones at Circuit City or Best Buy costs between $8 and $15.
From here onward, I’ll assume you have Audacity and Lame installed on your PC. Before You Record A few basic setup configurations are required in order to record a podcast. First, connect your microphone to the microphone-in connection on the PC.
Connect headphones to the stereo line out or headphone jack (generally the green audio connection). Don’t forget to put those headphones on.
Then a laundry list of audio optimizations for your PC are recommended to keep your system running smoothly during recording. After you launch Audacity, make sure Microphone is selected as the recording source in the drop-down menu on the mixer
Open the Audacity Preferences window from the File menu. On the Audio I/O tab, verify that your sound card is selected as the device for both playback and recording.
In the Channels drop-down box under Recording, choose 1 (Mono). Unless you are using two microphones, the Stereo option simply duplicates the track, making the file size bigger without a resulting improvement to audio fidelity.
Switch to the Quality tab, and choose 44,100 Hz as the Default Sample Rate and 16-bit as the Default Sample Format. Audiophiles will argue that higher sample rates and formats are better, but for spoken word, 44,100 Hz and 16-bit sampling works admirably, especially considering that the resulting output will be MP3.
Ignore the rest of the settings on the Quality tab.
The File Formats tab configures output options. Choose WAV (Microsoft
16 bit PCM) as the Uncompressed Export Format. Leave the OGG Export Setup untouched.
Then, find the location at which you extracted the Lame codec to add it to Audacity by clicking on the Find Library button and browsing to the file location.
I generally unzip the Lame codec to C:\LAME so I can find it easily, but there’s no “right” location. Once you’ve added Lame support, close the Audacity Preferences window by clicking on OK. Ready To Record
Click on the microphone icon in Audacity’s Meter toolbar to turn on monitoring. You should see a red level indicator moving slightly as it picks up ambient room noise.
Talk into the microphone and make adjustments to the volume until you get a level that rises close to the right edge of the meter without turning the far-right section solid red.
If you get a solid red bar at the far right, the audio is clipping, which means you’re finished file will sound distorted. Once you’ve adjusted the level, you’re ready to record.
With all the preparations out of the way, it’s time to create your first audio. Push the Record button and start talking. When you finish recording, press the yellow square Stop button and save the file in .wav format. Saving is an important step, in order to
make sure you don’t accidentally delete the file.
It’s time to edit the audio file or save it as an MP3 for distribution as your first audio. Editing can be as simple as eliminating all the places you said “um” by highlighting them and deleting them, or as complex as adding a music bed and inserting other audio clips into the recorded file.
To keep this simple, we’ll assume you’re a one-take wonder and you recited a golden monologue for your first audio. To save the file as an MP3, open the preferences again, choose the MP3 bit rate on the File Formats page. (Generally for voice audio, somewhere between 32 and 64 is good enough without making the file size too big.)
It is THAT simple to create an audio… and completely for free.
How To Record Interviews With Experts
At some point you will probably want to hold tele-seminars or just simply record phone interviews with experts in your idea subject area.
Most use a service that charges them a fee per call – sometimes a flat
rate or sometimes based on the number on the line. Some marketers use a free software product called Skype to make free phone calls. The problem is that Skype doesn’t allow you to record the phone call.
Now… there’s a new free software product called Gizmo that lets you make free phone calls AND record the call. It’s perfect for marketers holding tele-seminars or doing interviews. Go to:
Download the free software, install it on your computer and then purchase the number of minutes you want.
At the bottom of the call control drawer on your Gizmo, you will find three buttons: Record, Hold and Mute.
After a call has connected, you can press the Record button, and Gizmo will begin recording the call. The file is placed by default on your desktop, but you can specify a location in your software options/preferences. The file is a .wav file and should be playable from any media player like QuickTime or Windows Media Player. When you
begin recording the call, the other party will hear an announcement, “Call being recorded.” You will not hear the announcement. When you finish recording, the announcement will tell the other party, “Call recording stopped.”
If you want an MP3 rather than a WAV file, you can import it into Audacity and save it as an MP3.
NOTE: Recording calls is legally restricted in certain countries, states and localities around the world. It is your responsibility to understand and comply with any laws that may apply to you or the person you are calling.
How To Make Video Products For Free
When it comes to free video editing software (for PCs) there is little doubt that Microsoft’s Movie Maker is the most robust and feature-rich product to use. It ships free with Windows XP or you can download it here:
If you are looking for other options for free video editing software try
How To Package Your Digital Products As Instant Downloads (.ZIP Files)
Sometimes you will want to bundle your files together and allow your clients to download them digitally from your website. Some web host provider will not allow your customers to download EXE files and if you link directly to a PDF, MP3 or other audio/video file it will try to play or open the file immediately rather than downloading and saving the files to your customer’s computer.
So if you have several different files that you need to deliver to your customers wouldn’t it be great to be able to package all of them into a single file the clients can download easily. Well you can definitely do that and the software tool you want to use is called WinZip at you can get it for free at…
All you really need to do is create a specific name for your zipped file, something like myproduct.zip etc., import all the files from your desktop, and they’ll be ready to upload as one single file. Simply open up the WinZip program, choose the Use Evaluation Version, and if you aren’t already using the Classic interface, then just hit the WinZip
Classic button at the lower left corner of the program window that opened up.
Once you’re there, a different screen will appear. Choose the New icon at the top. When you click the new icon, a new window will pop up. In the “File name” area, put the name of the file you’d like your zipped product to have. Say, myproduct, then be sure it’s inside the folder you want it to be in, or make note of where it is going, and then click OK.
Now, find the files you want to add inside your zip file for your product. For instance…YourProduct.pdf, YourProductAudio.mp3. YourProductVideo.swf and hit the Add button.
If you want to add multiple files at the same time, hold down the Ctrl key when selecting the files.
Once you’ve finished, release the Ctrl key and then hit the Add button. All the selected files should upload inside the zip file together. If you have a specific folder you would like to add to the zip file, then you will need to hit the Cancel button to close the Add window.
Once closed, you will be taken back to the original window. Now, you will need to open up the My Computer area and navigate to the folder you wish to add.
Highlight the folder, then drag it over to the empty white space under the top icon menu on the WinZip window that is open. Then you should see your files appear there. You will not see the folder, but rest assured when you open up your newly zipped file it will be there.
Close the WinZip Program and find your myproduct.zip file inside the folder you placed it in, that’s all there is to this.
Judging a Book by it’s E-Cover
Don’t for one second think that an information product shouldn’t have a good looking cover. If you’re going to sell your product to the public, you really should go the extra half mile and get some great cover art created art for it. Many information product developers mistakenly believe that customers should just be able to read about their product on their website, click on a link, and then they will want to buy the product.
While is possible to sell your product with words alone you must realize that even online, people continue to “judge a book by its cover” so to speak. Look at it like this. Would you buy a book from Borders or Barnes and Noble if it were just a stack of papers stapled together? Heck no you wouldn’t. For $15.95, you want something with an official binding and an appealing cover.
What would bookstores be like if every shelf held only stacks of paper held together with binder clips, large staples, rubber bands or manila folders? Even if Edgar Allen Poe or Stephen King wrote the pages and his handwritten pages were sitting there, hardly a soul would be enticed to buy.
No matter how good a product is, it must be nicely packaged to give it a professional look and feel. In the physical world the value of a paper book is exponentially increased by the addition of nothing more than a glue binding and nice cover.
Likewise, an ebook or other type of information product’s sale-ability and appeal is exponentially increased when it is packaged with an appropriate cover image that represents what the product would look like if it were indeed a physical package.
In order to sell well, a book sitting on a retail shelf will actually have to have more than just any old cover. It will need to have a spine as well.
And the pages cannot be attached with notebook rings (usually). The cover should appear to be professionally designed. In other words, a shoddy red cover from Kinko’s will not make buyer’s pull out their credit cards and rack up purchases. Brick and mortar booksellers know how to sell books. They do it with eye-catching displays and covers
with color, catchy text, and shiny spines.
But, to be honest sometimes even good products with good looking packages and covers get passed by. So, hear me when I tell you, you should seriously consider getting some good cover art done for your information products because consumers are want to be able to visualize what they’re getting. And that picture has to look good. It
has to make them say, “Wow, that looks like an incredible product!”
You don’t have a lot of time to grab their attention and a picture, a good looking picture of your product can surely help.
If you are thinking of offering your product as a free gift for visiting your web site, subscribing to your newsletter, or as a bonus for purchase of something else, then the artwork may be less important.
But if your product, even a free product, is worth the effort of creating and marketing to consumers, then it is worth getting great cover art to package it with.
The artwork serves two purposes:
- It gives Internet surfers an immediate image of your product when they’re glancing at a web page. People only spend a few seconds scanning on the web, so your picture can make or break a sale when there’s hardly time to read the rest of your sales
- If you are creating a written information product it makes for a nice graphic at the beginning of your book or report. Although ebooks don’t need complete covers like traditional books do, people may be more receptive to ebooks that look like paper
books. The cover art makes your ebook appear more official and published like a traditional book, and that makes the ebook more appealing to readers. It will grab their attention when they first open the file to read.
So how do you go about getting an ecover for your product? Well…
There are a couple ways to get great cover art for your information product. The first is to create it yourself. This is the most time consuming of the options.
Developing your cover from scratch is do-able. But I don’t recommend the do-it-yourself approach. This is because, if you’re short on software skills, artistic talent, or time or if you would rather focus your energies elsewhere, then there are more efficient ways to get cover art.
A Shortcut – Ecover Software
You can also buy specialty ecover software from a number of web sites. The software generally is a set of templates that will create a 3D style ecover image from flat looking 2D images. But you would still need do the work of designing your own cover.
Here are some places that you can find ecover generating software…
The ecover generators listed below require you to have the Adobe
Photoshop software installed on your computer…
You can learn more about Adobe Photoshop and how to purchase it
Remember if you do design your products’ cover art using software or Photoshop plug-ins, you own the copyrights to the finished artwork and to anything else you design with the templates or the programs.
My Recommendation – Hire A Professional Ecover Designer I suggest that you hire a designer to prepare your cover art. There are numerous reasons. When you hire a designer to create your cover art, you will get the following benefits:
- You get full copyright and exclusive ownership of the finished artwork.
- Professionals with professional skills can turn around your project quickly, sometimes in just a matter of days.
- You avoid struggling with software to create your own artwork.
- Designers are familiar with what types of colors, fonts, and overall designs are better for marketability.
- An artist can likely also help you create matching graphics for your web page menus, headers, etc.
Artists who design e-cover art generally charge from $50 to $500. If your investment of, say, $100 results in an additional 50 sales per month, wouldn’t that be a good investment? YES of course.
This is why I recommend professionally designed cover art. The cost is
completely offset with improved marketability and increased sales.
How To Find A Good Cover Art Designer
Conduct an Internet search. If you type in key words “ecover design” or “minisite design” you’ll get pages and pages of results. Cover artists are literally standing by to get your project on the world wide web.
Some individuals specialize in cover art, and some provide a gamut of graphics services. Below I have listed some of the ecover designers I have found using this method…
- Pro-Ecovers.com – http://www.pro-ecovers.com/
- DesignGuruRyan.com – http://www.designgururyan.com/
- MiniSiteGraphics.com – http://www.minisitegraphics.com/
- MiniSiteStudio.com – http://minisitestudio.com/
- EcoversLab.com – http://www.ecoverslab.com/
- EcoverArtist.com – http://www.ecoverartist.com/
- CoverGraphic.com – http://www.covergraphic.com/
- BlackWire Design – http://www.blackwiredesign.com/
Once you land on an ecover designer’s website, read through their terms to see what their fee is, how well they work with people, and any examples of his work. Contact them to get additional information.
And regardless of any testimonials on their web page, ask for references of real people whom you can contact yourself.
Look for things like:
- Does the artist get a lot of repeat business? You can usually tell from their portfolio which most e-cover artists have on their websites.
- Has the artist been responsive to your questions?
- Have you seen some excellent examples that you really like? Again look at their portfolio.
- Does the artist guarantee your satisfaction?
- Will turnaround be a few days? It really shouldn’t take more than a week at any rate.
- Will he or she revise the artwork after you’ve seen the first draft? Is this revision included in the quoted cost?
- Do you feel yourself wanting to buy the product shown on the designer’s web page that this designer “covered”? In other words, do his or her pictures entice you to make an immediate purchase?
- Will the artist also be able to create additional items like web page headers, banners, or related items?
The work to weed out designers is pretty easy and when you find a few that you like the artwork will pay for itself in the long run when you want to create product after product. Therefore it’s good to have someone who designs great covers, whom you can trust and rely on, works quickly, effectively, and charges reasonable rates.
Remember a good designer works with you and for you.
Tip: Find out the web site design (also called a minisite) services fees when you’re asking about the cover art fees. It’s an added perk if your cover artist also provides web page design services. You may wish to have your cover design and website design match and a good artist can also generate titles, banners, buttons, and other related web page items.
Final Thoughts on Product Creation – Overcoming Setbacks
If you get stuck or lost at any point during the product idea process, don’t panic. Just watch what the experts in your field are doing and how they’re doing it. Then do the same thing….or better.
If you can’t think of a great title for your information product, look at what the experts are doing. Or, go to amazon.com and do a search for books on that subject. Read the titles/headlines and you’ll get some great ideas from there.
Don’t know how to create an outline for your product? Look at how the existing books are formatted. Most of the work has already been done for you. You don’t have to steal other’s work, but you can look at their stuff to get ideas… you can model after the successful ones. And of course, make yours better!
If you feel like you have a creative block, do whatever it takes to shift your focus. Put the project aside for an hour (or even a day) if you have to. Go watch something funny on TV. Listen to your favorite music. Read a motivational book or article, play with the kids, or just go for a walk.
It’s really not as difficult as we often make it out to be. Just change the track your “train of thought” is currently riding on. Doubts and negative thoughts may enter your mind occasionally. Don’t fight it, just gently nudge your thoughts towards the positive and productive. Then, go back to the project with a new, fresh attitude and perspective.
Once you get excited about the end results you’ll achieve, get back on the computer and start writing.