No matter how green you are in your niche, you can always start working on a product of your own. No one is looking for your expert credentials (unless, perhaps it’s a medical topic that requires that level of expertise).
On your blog, you already know that you’ll be using affiliate marketing and maybe ad revenue to generate an income. But you want to take it to the next level, and you should start working on that from day 1.
Forget About Expertise and Competition
The first thing you have to do is face your unfounded fear that the market is saturated or that you can’t hold up to someone else in your niche. Nobody cares about that but you – and you’re using it as an excuse not to put yourself out there.
There might be 1,000 books – or 10,000 – on your topic. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write one, too. People who are into a certain niche don’t read just one book and stop.
They educate themselves about a topic thoroughly. For example, if you suffer from panic and anxiety, you’ll want to read dozens of books and pick up tips from each one that work for you.
Pregnant women don’t just buy “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” They buy several books that help prepare for the upcoming event in different ways. In most niches, people are looking for fresh ideas or different slants, rather than “professional job titles” of the author.
Look at competition as a sign of health in the niche. It means there’s so much interest, that everybody is trying to meet demand. So you want to jump right in and share your ideas, too!
No one is asking you to write War and Peace here. (If you’ve never seen how thick that book is, check it out). What they do want is value for their money. So you can start out small and write a 10-page report filled with useful tips and sell it for $4.95 if you want to – or $7 – and get through the process with peace of mind.
Starting small sometimes takes the pressure off of you because you don’t have to write a lot, you’re not charging a ton, and the conversion of sales is easier because it becomes a no-brainer to fork over a small amount.
Creating an eBook
Let’s go through the eBook creation process. You want to find a slant first. So you have options – write an A-Z book that covers everything (intimidating for a first timer), or, you can go with a narrow slant.
Some marketers like to think in terms of a series. Either way is fine, but if you want to get your feet wet, pick a narrow topic to begin with. So for instance, instead of “Stress Relief” as your eBook topic, choose “Aromatherapy for Stress Relief.”
Then do a little research to create an outline for it. Brainstorm first, then look on news sites, in forums, on competing blogs, in the table of contents of other books, in keyword tools, and more to find ideas.
Your outline might look like this:
Chapter 1: How Stress Affects Your Body and Mind
Chapter 2: How Aromatherapy Soothes Your Stress
Chapter 3: Essential Oils and Blends That Deliver a Calming Effect
Chapter 4: Aromatherapy in the Bath
Chapter 5: Using Aromatherapy at Work and on Your Commute
Chapter 6: The Best Scent Dispensers to Place in and Around Your Home
Then write your content, using paragraphs that are nicely broken up – and subtitles, just like you see here. One thing you don’t ever want to do that’s often mistakenly advised to newbies is to simply “rewrite” someone else’s content.
It’s good to educate yourself, but it’s plagiarism if you create a knock off of someone else’s content just by rewriting it. Not only that, but keep in mind that most of your audience will be reading other people’s content, too – and if you make it apparent that you do nothing but rip off the other leaders in your niche, your reputation will suffer.
When you finish creating your eBook, turn it into a PDF and zip it up in a zip file. You’ll need a way of selling it. You can use a site like ClickBank (where you’ll need a site to sell it from), or you can use JVZoo, where you don’t need anything upfront.
Another option is Kindle. With Kindle, you don’t upload the PDF, though. Using Kindle, you can reach a global audience – and it’s FREE for you to use! Series do really well here, assuming the content is good.
Utilize free promotional days on KDP Select to give your book away free and generate reviews for it. Never create phony reviews – they’re onto those types of scams and it will ruin your account.
Make sure, once you have an eBook live for sale somewhere, that you go place the eCover on your site linking to it for sale – and post the link to it with commentary all across your social networks, too.
Consider a Membership
If you want to, you can create individual modules to explain a concept, and put them inside a membership site where users can gain access to the content and pay for it on a recurring basis.
You can make it ongoing training where they pay indefinitely, or have a fixed monthly membership – anywhere from 3-12 months and beyond. One example of an indefinite membership would be a PLR membership site.
PLR is content you write once and sell repeatedly to people who can then edit it and use it as their own. So you could create a “diet PLR membership” site and limit it to a set number of buyers, such as 250. If you sold 30 pages of content for $15 per month, you’d make $3,750.
You can also create a course that gets drip-fed out to your audience month after month for a limited time, like a 12-month course where each month delivers a new lesson.
Video courses are becoming more and more popular – primarily because people like to see as they learn. You can put your videos that you create into a private area where only the paid buyers can gain access.
If you go the video route, keep in mind that some people don’t like video – or they won’t have access to a high enough Internet speed to allow them to watch the videos with ease.
So always have a transcript available for your non-video customers. This takes a bit more time and effort, but if you want to outsource it to someone, you can do that on freelance sites.
Make sure you practice with video before you create your first course. You don’t want to make rookie mistakes like slurping your coffee by the mic or saying, “Ummmm” too much so that it’s a distraction.
How Services Fit Into Your Sales
Products aren’t the only way to level up in business. Sometimes your time is the product – and you can sell it to those who need to use your talents and skills in exchange for a non-residual form of income.
What kinds of services sell well online? Here are a few examples:
* Life or business coaching
* Freelance writing
* Graphics or website creation
* Virtual assistants
The best things you can do as a freelance service provider are:
* Create your own website (or a Page on your blog) that promotes your services
* Have a portfolio, if applicable, of your work
* Explain your rates – and periodically run specials to get new clients
* Sign up to freelance sites like Elance.com to promote yourself
Being a service provider is a way to generate fast income, but you want to work on your own products simultaneously because residual earnings are what provide you with security during times when you can’t work.
Sales Funnels and Copywriting
When you’re selling a product, you have to start educating yourself about sales copy and sales funnels. Sales copy is what the visitor reads (or sees if you use video) when they land on your site and you try to convert them.
The sales funnel is the process they go through whenever they make a buying decision. So some people have a simple one level sales funnel – you either buy the product, or you don’t.
Others go further than that. If the prospect clicks out and decides not to buy, they’re shown a Downsell offer, giving them a chance to get something cheaper – or get on their list with a freebie offer, so they have a chance to promote to them again.
If they do buy, they might be shown a one time offer or upgrade. This is something where a bigger ticket item is presented to the buyer, and some sellers go overboard on this, making people choose 5 or more times to the point of many of them giving up completely.
Affiliates love sales funnels because it gives them a chance to increase their earnings when they promote you. If you create a product, think about it strategically in terms of maximizing your sales and providing value to the customer.
Sales copy is something where you have to set aside your own personal disdain for being “sold to” and learn how to sell to others. There’s a reason copy is hyped up – it works.
That doesn’t mean you have to be sleazy or dishonest. But you need to create a sense of urgency and make your offer irresistible, too. You can learn how to create good sales copy a few different ways.
* Study those who got you to buy
* Read books on sales copy and persuasion
* Split test your copy
You always want to split test your sales copy to see what performs better on your visitors. Is it video or text? It is a blue color or red? Is it this headline or that one? Split testing presents the same sales copy with one small tweak to your traffic and reports to you about which one performed better.
Then you take that preference, like one headline over another, and use it in your sales copy while split testing another element in your sales copy, like price point or layout.
Understand that as a newbie, your journey in Internet marketing will be filled with ups and downs – successes and failures. This is normal. There’s not a guru alive who hasn’t failed at one or more things – but it’s the ones who learn and get better who make it to the big leagues.
The people who give up easily aren’t cut out for a work at home career. They’re better off providing services and working for others. Right now, it’s normal to feel apprehensive about how well you’ll do.
The mere fact that you’re here educating yourself and striving to be there for your niche audience says volumes about your character as an entrepreneur. Take it slow. Ask for help. And always remember to help others who know less than you do.