How to Develop Books, Ebooks and Information Products with Maximum Market Appeal
by Stephanie Chandler
When it comes to creating information products - whether a free report that you give away for new subscribers to your mailing list or a revenue-generating product such as an ebook, special report or audio recording -- you will increase your chances of success by doing a bit of research and planning prior to product development. Following are the steps you can take.
1. Generate Product Ideas
Start by listing the questions you are asked most often. If you find yourself answering the same questions repeatedly, consider that insight into potential product development opportunities.
2. Get Input from Your Target Audience
Survey your target audience--not your friends or your family, but the people you most want to reach. Find out what needs they have that you can fill with the right product. You can use a tool such as http://SurveyMonkey.com to gather data.
3. Evaluate Internet Search Demand
Google's free keyword tool allows you to type in a key phrase and see the number of monthly searches conducted locally and globally. The tool also generates a list of related keywords, which can be a great way to inspire product ideas while determining demand for the products you create.
4. Find a Market Need
The best information products fill a need for your buyer, which means your product should solve a problem, provide how-to advice or reveal hard-to-find industry information. Also, a product that is too broad may have a harder time finding an audience versus one that is designed for a niche market. For example, if you're an authority on travel, instead of creating a report with general travel packing tips, you could create a series of reports with packing tips for specific destinations, increasing appeal with travelers headed for those locations.
5. Choose Your Format
Information products come in many shapes and sizes. Here are some options to consider:
Book -- A physical book typically doesn't have a large profit margin (unless you have a specialty topic that can command a higher price), though it does bring additional business benefits. For example, you can leverage your author status to get access to media interviews, paid speaking engagements, consulting contracts and more.
Ebook -- Thanks to the influx of digital readers, ebooks are hotter than ever. You can make an ebook available through your website as a simple PDF document, or you can take extra steps to have it formatted for Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc. Consider using http://Smashwords.com for a cost-effective way to convert and distribute your ebook.
Special Report -- Shorter than an ebook, a report is typically two or more pages on a specific topic, delivered in PDF format.
Audio Recording -- The industry standard is to deliver audio recordings in MP3 format, using software on your computer or a service such as AudioAcrobat.com.
Video Recording -- Due to bandwidth and space requirements, videos delivered digitally should be shorter in length or hosted on another server (either a private server or a site like YouTube.com) for easier viewing.
Everything Else -- An information product is basically any way that you can package and deliver information. You could develop white papers, transcripts of recordings, workbooks, booklets, databases, formatted spreadsheets, worksheets, templates or training programs that combine multiple formats.
6. Establish the Right Price
Every market is different and your price will depend on many factors: how much your audience can afford to pay, how much they want or need your information, scarcity of competition, your authority and reputation in your field, and perceived benefits of your offer. Also consider the perceived value of your product. A price that is too low may send the message that it won't be worthwhile, while a price that is too high may limit the number of purchases and raise expectations with those who do buy. For best results, test different pricing options to find which will work best.
7. Create a Great Sales Page
I'm going to take a stand here and tell you that I despise long-form sales pages. I can also tell you that you can absolutely sell products without them. (Can you imagine how absurd it would be if your favorite retailer created overly-hyped sales pages for every single product you clicked on?) Instead, create a great, content-rich sales page that describes the benefits of your product, includes compelling testimonials, establishes your authority as the product creator, and makes it easy to purchase.
8. Automate Delivery
Consumers buying online want instant gratification. Make sure you automate the purchase and delivery of your products using a shopping cart system such as http://ejunkie.com or http://payloadz.com.
9. Promote, Promote, Promote
You can have the best product on the planet, but if nobody knows about it, it won't matter. Make sure your product page is optimized for the search engines. Consider purchasing Google pay-per-click ads to test sales conversion. Cross-promote your product on your blog, social media sites, newsletter, and everywhere else where you have the opportunity to reach your target audience. The more effort you put into it, the more rewards you will receive.
Stephanie Chandler may be contacted at http://StephanieChandler.com
Stephanie Chandler is an author of several business and marketing books including "LEAP! 101 Ways to Grow Your Business," “The Author’s Guide to Building an Online Platform” and “From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur.” She is also founder and CEO of http://AuthorityPublishing.com, a custom publishing and marketing company. For hundreds of resources for entrepreneurs, visit http://BusinessInfoGuide.com. For author, speaker and consulting details visit http://StephanieChandler.com