Our house was struck by lightening, and caught fire right above my 6-year old daughter’s bedroom. Thankfully, we all escaped without injury.
I don’t know how I could have survived that disaster financially if I worked for someone else. It took so much time to deal with settling the insurance claim, replacing our worldly belongings (even down to the tooth picks), finding a new home, and putting my daughter into a new school.
Because I own multiple businesses that generate recurring income, I was able to keep money coming in the door, even while I was out dealing with the disaster.
Yes, I am very fortunate to own businesses that make money while I sleep, while I’m on vacation, and while I’m out having fun with friends and family.
It still takes work to setup a business that has recurring income. I won’t lie to you about that. But it doesn’t take any more work to create something that is residual than it does to create something you are just paid for one time.
In the past 3 years, I’ve switched my entire business model to just focusing on projects and companies that can provide me with residual income. I want to leverage the power of my time – to create something once, and be paid for it multiple times.
In the rest of this essay, I’ll walk you through how to create a residual income stream for yourself by selling information to others. From selling reports, books, videos, audio recordings, and other types of training materials, information marketing is one of the easiest ways to create residual income streams.
Step 1 – Decide What Type Of Information Product To Sell
The first step is to decide what type of product(s) you want to sell initially, and on what subject matters.
The easiest way to decide what types of product(s) to sell is by researching some of the hottest trends in the market. You can do this by searching on some of the most popular places on the Internet.
For example, you can use Google’s Keyword Tool. With this tool, you simply type in the different key words that you think people would use to search for a product.
Then Google spits out the data on how many people are searching on that topic each day on Google’s search engine.
Plus, Google also shows you other related key words that may be even more popular than the ones you initially listed. These related key words are displayed in a section called “Keyword Ideas”.
Another great way to decide what types of information products to sell is by using Amazon. As we’ve talked about in several other newsletters, Amazon is the largest bookstore in the world, and you can market instantly to millions of ready buyers for no up front cost.
So you can do some research on Amazon and see what topics are hot sellers in the books and Kindle books categories.
Another popular place to search on the Internet to get ideas on what information products to sell is ClickBank. ClickBank is an online marketplace of more than 50,000 digital products.
Even if you don’t sell your own products through ClickBank, it still gives you a lot of information about the digital information products that are currently the most popular.
You can use any or all of these tools to find some general subject matters that you find interesting – and that also appear to have people buying that type of product.
It is best if you find something that is both popular and that you find interesting…so you can have some fun in the process.
Step 2 – Create the Product
Once you have decided on what type of information products you want to sell, the next step is to create the product.
Many people get caught up in the notion that they can’t create an information product because they are not a writer. Well, don’t let this discourage you. It is cheaper than ever before to hire other people to write good content for you, and/or to hire experts to interview.
If you don’t want to create the information product(s) yourself, a great way to get them created is by hiring a freelance writer from sites like eLance or even Fiverr.
Another way to create an information product is to interview an expert about a certain topic. You can find experts to interview on sites such as eZineArticles.
On eZineArticles, there are more than 400,000 experts authors who are willing to share their articles with others. The key here is to look for authors who have written a lot of good quality articles about the topic you want your information product to be about.
You can then contact them to see if you can interview them and record the interview.
You can then use the interview in various ways. For example, you could transcribe the interview into a report, and sell both the audio and printed transcript as your information product.
As another example, you could use the transcript from the interview as information that you then re-purpose as the content of your report.
Or, you may work out a deal to have the author write the information product for you instead of just giving you an interview that you can re-purpose.
Creating your information product does not have to be difficult. There are tons of great free and inexpensive tools that you can use to create information products, such as a simple word processor such as Microsoft Word.
An information product can be as simple as a single book or report, or it can be as comprehensive as a training program that includes a book/report, resource links, video files, and/or audio files.
Once you have decided what to create, just get something created that you can start selling. You can repeat this process later to create even more products.
Step 3 – Sell the Product
Before you can start selling your information product, you first have to decide where you will host the sales process for your information products.
If you’re new to information publishing and want to get started as quickly as possible, you should first start by taking advantage of the giant powerhouses such as Amazon, eBay, iTunes, and Fiverr, to name a few examples.
Each of these giant powerhouses allows you to sell information products, and you generally don’t have to pay the giant powerhouse anything until a sale is made.
And even then, you only pay them a small commission (generally 10%-20%) in return for them basically giving you free advertising to their millions of daily visitors.
When you list your products for sale on a giant powerhouse such as Amazon, you won’t have to worry about creating sales letters and order forms, since those are built into the platform of that web site.
You simply walk through their wizard to create the new product listing, and you’re done. They make your product available to millions of daily visitors within 1-2 days of creating your product listing.
The other option is to have your own web site and sell your products there. In that scenario, you will need your own sales pages, your own order forms, and your own way of accepting payments (like through a merchant account and/or Paypal).
You may want to do both, like Jynell and I do at Thriving Business. We sell our products on our own web site, and we also list our products on giant powerhouses such as Amazon.com so we can get a lot more free exposure for our products.
You can see examples of some of our products and our various order forms on the Products Page of our web site.
Once you have your sales process setup, you then have to drive traffic to your products.
If you have listed your products through the giant powerhouses like Amazon, you will get the benefit of their millions of daily visitors without having to pay for the advertising for it.
But if you want to send visitors to product listings on your own site, you will need to use various free and paid advertising methods to attract those visitors.
Step 4 – Watch The Orders Come In
Once you have everything setup to accept orders, it’s very exciting once the orders start to come in.
I love receiving daily reports that let us know about the various products that we sold the previous day.
And I especially love it when each order report contains lots of orders for the same product.
Depending on the type of order system you use and your own preferences, you may receive your order reports in one of various formats.
I just included the above screen shot to show you an example of how exciting it is to receive notifications that you just made a lot of sales, and a lot of money.
And I love it even more when those orders came in while I was sleeping or doing something else.
That makes all the hard work worthwhile – to see something that we created once generate revenue over and over.
And of course, you can repeat this 4-step process to create and sell more products if you want to keep increasing your revenue.
I hope you consider publishing information for yourself, so you can add more residual income streams too. Sites like Amazon, eBay, and Fiverr make it easier than ever before to get started, even if you don’t have a clue how to setup your own sales letters and order forms.
*Originally published as Issue # 117 – August 21, 2012