According to Internet World Statistics there are more than 6.7 billion people from all regions of the world using the internet, as listed in their 2009 Usage and Population Statistics report.
It stands to reason that the vast majority of these users are online looking for information. The sheer numbers indicate that times have never been better for entrepreneurs looking to make a living by operating an online business.
This unquenchable thirst for knowledge (information) has brought forth a huge opportunity.
Information products are in demand, have been and will continue to be well into the future. This demand has given rise to what is called the infopreneur, people who create and / or market information.
Some may think this to be a new media thing, but the history of information marketing is quite long. Traditional books and newspapers for example, are a part of the legacy.
Within the information marketing industry are two types of products, the physical products like books, audio tapes, CDs and DVDs and those products that are digital in nature, like eBooks, video, and slides.
The beauty of this industry lies in it’s raw material, your knowledge.
Everyone has at least 2 or 3 topics that they are very knowledgeable about. On those topics, your level of knowledge is far greater than most other people you’ll encounter.
It’s about leveraging what you know.
Digital products are the easiest to manufacture and the most profitable, as you need only create the product once. This is a bonus benefit that makes this a very attractive business model.
Identify a niche, digitize your knowledge through copywriting, and market your product. The entire manufacturing model comes from within and each product will be a result of your research into what problems you can solve for your readers and other users of the internet.
Other benefits of information marketing;
- Operate this business from anywhere in the world
- The investment to get started is minimal, mainly your time.
- This does not require a lot of equipment
- There is little and sometimes no interaction with the buyer
- No packaging or shipping is required
- The earning potential has a very positive upside
Let’s look at this business model a little closer.
Identifying Your Market
One of the key elements to developing a successful product is identifying exactly what it is that people are having a problem with.
What are they talking about and how do you find out about it?
There are a couple of answers to this question.
Bloggers can simply ask their readers for feedback, through a series of surveys or questions.
However, your main approach to this should be research. Tools like Google Trends and Google Insights are very good for researching the latest trends and search terms. There are a host of other tools as well.
Like any business venture, you’ll have to put a little skin in the game, but with Information Marketing there really is a minimal cost for getting started. If you are a blogger, you already have much of what is required, a computer system and a desire to produce content.
A few additional software tools to assist with the production of high quality output and to make the process easier than it already is will not be major setbacks financially.
One of your largest investments by far will be time. With an already vigorous schedule, you will need to find time to perform research and go into production mode.
Not to be overlooked is the marketing aspect of the product itself. It is important to invest in marketing so that a positive launch and some momentum can be gained. Overlooking this key element could be a crucial mistake. Remember, you have not had to invest much money into product development so don’t skimp on the marketing.
Lastly, do not forget the single largest investment of this or any business, you. Invest in your continued education by reading books, magazines or taking courses on whatever topics that interest you. The more knowledge you have the more of an authority you can become. This knowledge can be converted into information products, helping to boost your business to new heights.
Return on Investment
As previously mentioned the earning potential for a valuable high quality product is very good, particularly when you consider what you invested to bring this to the marketplace.
Say you invested 25 hours generating an eBook over a 2-week period. This product has the potential to generate substantial amounts of money for you now and years into the future. That 25 hour investment could still be paying off years from now.
Digital products are delivered via a simple download. No packaging, postage or trips to the post office and delivery is instant. In this digital age people want what they want now and instant downloads are a great feature for the seller and buyer alike. The buyer pays and downloads their product, while the seller’s bank account receives a deposit. It really doesn’t get any easier than this.
Since your buyer was completely happy with the product you delivered, finding real value and problem solving solutions, they have now developed a respect for you as a person.
They will become loyal customers of yours for years to come. Whenever they are in need of advice on a topic you cover, it will be you that they will turn to for help or answers. This establishes you as an authority figure, one who is both trusted and respected.
As a business, Information Marketing could change your life. But just as all others, you must work a plan and a strategy for a prolonged period of time.
Starting with no products or customers, just a desire to go out there and research what it is that potential customers want, then present this to them in a compelling fashion.
This is what will allow you to build a customer base and continued income for the future.
On today’s internet this is a valuable skill to have.