If you’ve been considering different types of passive income ideas, you might’ve stumbled upon the idea of selling your own information products by now. People from all walks of life are creating their own information products that help them generate pretty decent passive income and you could do the same. Of course, it won’t be easy. Nothing worth doing ever is.
Selling your own information products takes some time. You’ve got to create the content for your downloadable ebook, email course, webinar, or whatever kind of information product you’re considering selling.
Creating your own ebooks can generate a nice passive income if you put in the work upfront to make sure your ebooks provide value and that they’re easy to read. Most information products are designed to help the user or reader gain knowledge in a quick and easy-to-digest format. If you’ve got an eye for design, you could design it yourself or use a template from HubSpot – they’ve got tons!
Before you write a single word, consider the following.
The first being the topic (or niche) you’re passionate about that you’re considering teaching via ebook. The second being whether that topic can generate income for you based on what’s already selling in that genre. For this part, you’ll need to do some research to determine what’s selling in your niche.
One of the most popular ways is to go to Amazon – the largest retailer of ebooks as of this writing – and browse the Kindle marketplace for books in the same genre. Figure out what’s selling and what’s not. Ask questions like what types of ebooks are in the top 10 bestseller section? What genre are they? What kind of covers are they using? What’s the average price of a bestseller on Kindle? Go through reader reviews and find out what people want to read about – and then go write it!
Then, you’ll need to decide whether you’ll write it yourself or outsource the work. If you’re not the greatest writer (and you’ve got the budget for it), outsourcing is probably your best bet. Find a writer with a style that can help sell your ebooks. Check out their blog or whatever content they have online and select a writer who can get the work done for a decent price.
You can sell your ebooks on sites like Amazon, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Sony, Barnes and Noble, and a handful of other marketplaces.
2. Email Course
If you have knowledge about a specialized topic that people want to learn – like how to make money online – then you can sell your own email course. Or, you could offer it for free to people to get them to your site. I chose to offer a free email course to my subscribers because you have to provide some type of value before you can even think about making money. You have to build customer relationships and that takes some time. Providing a free gift is a great step in that direction.
Another option is to offer an email course for free and then a more comprehensive course that costs money. Caitlyn Pyle does this with her Proofread Anywhere course, an online course that teaches you how to start your own proofreading business by proofreading court transcripts.
Come up with a topic that you know will sell by performing a little bit of research. Go to Udemy or Teachable and figure out what types of courses are selling. Look at the reviews and see what people like and don’t like about each course. Then, try to figure out a way to create your own course on the same topic without it being identical to any courses you’ve seen. Provide a new perspective or a new way to do something and your course will stand out from what’s already available.
A webinar is simply a seminar conducted online. If you have something you can teach to others – a skill or specialized knowledge – you can host your own webinar. Webinar software available includes Google Hangouts, Skype, Cisco Webex, Adobe Connect, MegaMeeting, ReadyTalk, GoToWebinar, and more. Some are paid and some are free.
Do some research and determine what’s best for you based on your needs and budget. Then, start creating your outline and presentation for your webinar. Be sure to have it proofread before you go live to make sure there aren’t any mistakes. It’s also generally a good idea to ask for feedback from students who attend your webinar. Create a short survey that pops up after the webinar ends or simply send them an email thanking them for attending and asking if they’d be willing to fill out a quick survey about their experience. Then you’ll know what to improve upon for your next webinar.
4. Online Course
Create and sell your own online course through sites like Teachable, Udemy, or Coursera. Just like with ebooks, it takes a bit of time upfront to create the course content, so you’ll probably spend a few weeks creating modules and setting things up online. You might also want to create slideshow presentations using SlideShare or PowerPoint to incorporate into your course.
Find a topic that you’re sure will sell before you start creating your course content. The last thing you want is to spend weeks creating content only to find out that your course is a dud. Just like with the other information products I’ve mentioned, it always helps to do a little bit of research before you jump into creating something that’ll likely take up a lot of your time. Check out my post on popular niches to consider for your content.
5. Niche Site
A niche site is a site dedicated to a particular topic that teaches people something or informs them about something. For instance, your niche site could focus on different blends of coffee or specialty chocolate. Find your passion – and make sure it has a market – and create a site around it. Optimize it for keywords and consider placing ads on your site to generate some income once you start getting visitors.
Another way to make passive income with niche sites is affiliate marketing — essentially promoting other people’s products for money. A lot of top bloggers make their money using affiliate marketing. It’s an idea worth considering, especially if you’ve got the money to try out different products and write your own engaging, in-depth reviews on them.
Steps to Get Started
1. Find Your Niche.
Before you get started, you need to know what your niche will be. Check out the list of profitable niches I listed above to get you started. Once you know what kind of niche you’d like to create products for, move on to the next step.
2. Brainstorm a List of Possible Products.
If you’re unsure of where to start, look at top-selling information products for ideas. Write down what types of products you’d be most interested in creating.
3. Create Your Products.
Once you know your niche and what types of profitable products you’d like to create, it’s time to start creating your products. If you’re going to be creating the content yourself, take the time and effort to put your all into your products so that people find value in them. Otherwise, you won’t be selling many more once the reviews start pouring in. Focus more on helping people than on making money and you’ll be a lot more successful.
4. Market Your Products.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you create your products, they’ll immediately start selling. You’ve got to promote them. Use every tool to your advantage. If you’ve got the budget, you can try paid ads on social media. If you’re just starting out, you can try creating an email list of subscribers to help you sell your products now and in the future.
5. Sit Back and Collect Your Checks.
Once you’ve got the passive income train rolling, you’ll be able to create more and more content and rack in more and more money by simply outsourcing the work to writers to create your content. All you have to do is sit back and collect your money.