In 2021, over 2.14 billion people around the globe will purchase their goods and services online. That is almost a third of the entire world population checking out their computers, tablets, and phones for their next transaction. That many people create a lot of opportunities.
Not everyone wants to maintain inventory or has the next idea to start Tesla or Amazon. However, what almost everyone does have is knowledge. At some point in your life, you developed a skill or learned enough about a topic that other consumers would be willing to purchase.
Starting your next online business could be as simple as putting together your family recipes for a blog and cookbook. Maybe you know how to raise chickens in a city, or you have managed a couple of kiddos that are doing well and can offer the rest of us some valuable pointers. Whatever the topic, you have information that can be sold in the digital marketplace.
What are Information Products?
Information products or “info products” are items of value you can sell online that offer knowledge to consumers on specific topics. These can be books, audio recordings, videos, and so on. They typically take a little effort up front to launch and then sell in the background of your business for extra income.
Instead of offering just your time for money, you are creating a product that can sell without you constantly needing to check and recheck its process. This is a great way to expand your income streams and flush out the services and products your current business offers. Here are a few examples of info products.
1 – Ebooks, PDFs, Kindle Books
An Ebook is one of the easiest ways to earn money on the side and expand your online reputation. It lends credence to you as an expert in your topic. If you are a financial coach and write a short “how-to” guide on improving your personal finance, you create a marketable digital product that can be sold on your website, Amazon, and more. You also have a product you can give for free when people sign up for your mailing list or offer as a prize for contests.
2 – Webinars, Podcasts, Videos
Creating digital media that can be easily viewed or heard through a mobile device is an excellent way to grow your brand. There are thousands of YouTube stars and TikTok influencers that got their start offering advice on cooking, cleaning, fixing your car, applying for college, and so much more.
Creating content-rich media that informs the general public how to do or complete a task improves your visibility among your competition. You can earn money this way by building out your sales funnel with marketable content and even open up some space for advertisers.
3 – Online Courses
If it seems like everyone under the sun is selling a course, it is because that is precisely what they’re doing. Putting a series together about how to be an education consultant or starting a freelance IT career is a great way to earn money on the side. Most people with good business ideas just need that extra push of knowledge to get started and are willing to pay for a course that outlines the steps they should take.
4 – Templates and Documents
Many people do not know how to format a proper resume or what kind of Living Will they should fill out in case of disaster. You can easily sell pre-made documents that fit many of these needs on platforms like Etsy, Amazon, your personal site, and more. Do a quick search on Etsy for “work resume,” and you’ll immediately see the potential.
5 – Membership Site
This one takes a bit more upfront cost to build, but if you can get a highly engaging website made with information only available to members, you have a strong money maker. Many craft workers like woodworkers, cosplay enthusiasts, gamers, furniture makers, and more have specialized websites that feature a free and membership section. Even a $5/month paywall can mean the difference between putting your mortgage on autopilot or paying your kid’s tuition.
Where to Begin
Starting an online business can be a challenge. There is almost too much information available to see the clear pathway towards a clear solution. The good news is that info products require less cost, no inventory management, and way less operational knowledge than a traditional brick-and-mortar store.
If you would like to learn more about the foundational steps you should take to developing or growing your online business, check out some of our other articles related to money, culture, wellness, and being a strong online entrepreneur.