How To Create Informational Products That Sell 
While the popularity of informational products has been on the rise for many years, the COVID-19 pandemic lit a fire under people considering a career change, looking for a better work-life balance, or wanting to start their own business.
Despite the abundance of information available instantly online for any given subject, forward-thinking entrepreneurs saw a demand for specialized knowledge packaged in a way that could guide customers to their end goal.
Informational products are in demand because people are looking for more than just information; they are looking for credibility. People buy informational products because they want knowledge and expertise from people who have achieved the same things they want to achieve— and they're willing to pay.
In this guide, you'll learn how to create and sell online informational products. We'll teach you what they are, why they're profitable, and how you can make your own.
What Is an Informational Product?
An informational product is a form of content or media created and sold to share knowledge and expertise with the customer. Informational products can take many forms but are primarily delivered digitally and hosted online.
Content creators typically have credibility in the topic and aim to impart valuable knowledge with their product. Customers pay for this specialized knowledge; in exchange, they will learn a new skill or idea or strengthen their understanding of a topic.
Types of Informational Products
To better describe informational products, let's give you some examples. Here are some informational product ideas for your next business venture:
Online Courses: An online course (link to how to create an online course guide) is a structured learning program that students can access online. It can include video lectures, quizzes, interactive elements, a training program, and written lessons.
eBooks: An electronic book (eBook) is a long-format, structured, written piece of online content. Many eBooks aim to teach the reader how to do something or how something works. They can be sold on Amazon, hosted on your own site, and read on any device that can access the internet.
Membership Sites: When you have to pay to access exclusive content online, you're looking at a membership website. Typically, membership sites require a monthly subscription to access online courses, webinars, videos, how-to guides, and other learning content.
Webinars: A webinar is simply an online seminar. Speakers can deliver their seminar live or create a pre-recorded video, audio, or both. These are just like industry-specific in-person events, but they take place online.
Templates/Worksheets/Workbooks: Just like in school, a worksheet or workbook is designed to walk the reader through a certain prompt and teach them about the subject. It's highly interactive, like a fill-in-the-blank book with quizzes in it. These are pre-designed documents that you would create.
Why Informational Products Are Popular for Entrepreneurs
Believe it or not, digital products are highly popular among entrepreneurs today. It's hard to go through someone's website without finding a plug for their online course, eBook, or paywall-gated content. Why are informational products so popular for entrepreneurs? There are a few reasons:
Low Overhead Costs
Almost every type of informational product has a very low overhead cost. Think about it — you could take some time this week to create an eBook for free. You don't have to build anything, create a physical product inventory, deal with shipping, or hire a workforce. All you need is a laptop and plenty of life experience.
With a lightweight business model like this, you can create online courses for very little money.
Low overhead costs allow entrepreneurs from all walks of life to create informational products. A chess player who lives in poverty can put together informational products for very little money (or free) to teach people how to get good at chess.
With low overhead costs come high profit margins. In other words, because minimal costs are incurred to create digital products, you can make a lot of money online on each sale.
Additionally, rising demand for informational products can lead to increased sales if you choose a well-researched topic that's highly sought after. The more specialized and niche your product is, the more you can charge for the product.
As you update your product or expand to new offerings, you can continue to sell to your existing customers and save on marketing to new customers.
The beauty of informational products is that business owners can scale their operations easily — it's all a matter of marketing, picking the right host, and making great content.
Since everything is digital, there's no limit to how big your cohort-based online courses (link to cohort-based online courses post when live), membership sites, eBooks, or webinars can get; the physical space of a classroom does not limit you.
Your target audience can be located anywhere in the world, and you don't have to worry about high shipping costs and lost packages (although you might encounter some language barriers); your customers can receive your product instantly.
Plus, you only have to go through the hard work of making the content once. Once your informational product is created, you just have to market it and fill as many orders as possible.
With digital products, selling more doesn't equate to a higher cost on your end, either. You can essentially scale your informational products for little to no cost.
Imagine a world where you can work from anywhere, anytime, and do what you're passionate about. This pipe dream becomes a reality when you sell informational products.
Whether you're looking for additional income, want to travel more, or simply want to be your own boss, selling informational products can provide you with that flexibility.
Some people develop and sell their products through their own websites, others utilize social media, and many entrepreneurs succeed by using online course creation software. Online course software can provide greater flexibility by automating your marketing, payment collection, and content distribution.
Another selling point? You can write and talk about anything. There are seemingly endless topics to create informational products about.
The simple fact is if people want to acquire knowledge of a topic you know a lot about, you can make a successful informational product.
There's no limit as long as the topic has high market demand and you're knowledgeable, passionate, interesting, and determined. Even with more niche topics, people might pay more money to learn from an expert like yourself.
Earn Passive Income
Creating and selling informational products is a great way to make passive income online. Once you spend upfront time putting together the content and marketing your product, you can continue to generate sales without constant effort and get paid over time. If you are selling a membership or subscription-based product, you can generate recurring revenue through monthly or annual subscriptions.
You can also generate passive income through affiliate marketing, which involves building a team of affiliates to promote your informational products in exchange for a small commission from each sale.
How To Create Informational Products Step-by-Step
How are you supposed to get started? In this section, we'll give you step-by-step instructions to create informational products.
Step #1: Research & Planning
Before doing anything, you need to determine what your informational product is going to be about and whether there's an audience for it. Once you identify a topic you want to focus on, conduct market research to determine if there's a market demand for the knowledge you're offering and analyze the competitive landscape.
You can start your market research by talking to potential customers and looking at what your competitors are doing. You want to understand your customer's needs and why they want to acquire the knowledge you're sharing. Find out if there's a gap in your competitor's offerings you can fill or if you can provide a superior product.
Define your target audience: this is the population you need to reach in order to make a lot of money through this endeavor. Knowing who your audience is will help you personalize your product to customer needs and maximize the value your customer receives.
How do you create a target audience? You want to start with demographics like age, income level, and passions. This should be the root of your content. You can add extra layers like location, education level, and family status if you want to get more specific.
With your ideal customer in mind, you can start creating the structure of your product. Keep your target audience front of mind and ensure your content is:
Relevant. If you're teaching about cooking great vegan food, you shouldn't start teaching about how to run a zoo. Those two subjects are irrelevant, and you'll lose your audience.
Interesting. When you're talking to someone who has a certain list of interests and passions, you should utilize that to keep your content interesting.
Marketable. Targeting an audience will help you sell copies of your work. In a literal sense, it could be the audience that you send ads or emails to.
Step #2: Content Creation
Your content needs to reflect your knowledge and expertise of the subject matter. If you don't know anything about your topic, then no one will want to buy your product (sounds harsh, but it's true). By the same token, if you don't format your informational product in a digestible way, no one will see the value in your product.
Remember your audience, stay true to your topic, and use the research from step #1 — this is how you create information products that sell.
Always ask yourself, "What do I wish I knew when I was first learning about this?" Gather information and resources you can use to help fill in those blanks and create content for your product. You can draw from your personal career experiences, interview other industry experts, visit your local library, or start with an online search.
When developing your product, think about whether you want to create evergreen content or content that is always up-to-date with new and emerging trends. Evergreen content will remain relevant over time, requiring less updating and resulting in more passive income.
New and trending content will require more frequent updates as more becomes known about the topic. Still, it will provide more opportunities for you to sell your product to the same customer multiple times with updated and improved iterations.
Step #3: Create Your Informational Product
Now, you're ready. It's time to create your informational product.
Think about your topic and how you can best deliver your information to your customer. Do you need media elements like audio recordings or visual presentations? Perhaps an online course format would be best. Can you convey your message effectively through plain text? An eBook will do the trick. Can your customers benefit from discussions with other students? Consider creating a community forum.
Whatever format you choose, make sure you present your information in a way that's easy to navigate and ensure the design is consistent throughout. Choose a color scheme, font, and aesthetic for your product that will appeal to your target customer. Your product presentation will affect your customer's perception of its value, regardless of the contents.
For more technology-driven formats like online courses, membership sites, or webinars, you will need to look into a hosting platform to help you create and deliver your content.Online course software and hosting platforms typically include all the tools you need to manage your students, track their progress through your course, lead community discussions, and more.
Content creation is the most time-consuming part of this process, but your time spent creating high-quality content will ensure the future success of your product.
Step #4: Launch Your Informational Product
Launching and selling your informational products will require you to make your product available through a membership site or course platform or create your own website. This might sound daunting, but this process can be made worlds easier by using the right software tools.
Once your product is launched, keep an eye on the feedback you're receiving from your customers. Make sure you are addressing any errors or technical issues in your content. Use your customer feedback to improve your product and provide ongoing value. As a bonus, you'll always be one step ahead of your competitors.
Once your informational product is completed, you're not finished. The hard part is behind you, but now it's time to start marketing and selling your product. Here are four of the best practices for selling informational products online.
Four Best Practices for Selling Informational Products
1. Utilize Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most popular options around. It's free to send an email (you don't even need a stamp), and it's quick to automate the process. An email list of potential customers will allow you to send very specialized and targeted messages promoting your online course.
Your emails should contain promotions, information, and introductions. You don't want to spam someone's inbox or waste their time, but you want to give them something valuable to look at or think about.
Emails should be quick and direct. You don't need a big build-up before getting to the heart of the message.
2. Take Advantage of Social Media
Like emails, social media is also a free way to promote your informational product. Some companies are only successful because their social media presence is so strong, even though their product isn't so great. This is the power of social media.
Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are a must-have. Make sure your accounts are business accounts and build a reputation for being knowledgeable within your space. One marketing strategy is to look through related Facebook groups to find potential customers.
You can use these accounts to engage with your audience, build your reputation, and link to your content.
Make the most out of your existing customers by asking them to fill out a review of your product. Positive reviews are one of the most effective ways to attract new customers. Highlight them on your social media, website, and email marketing campaigns.
Remember to plug your website and content without being overly sales-y about it.
3. Provide a Free Sample
A free trial or sample will certainly generate some buzz around your product. It's a nice way to give people a teaser of what you have to offer, then entice them to purchase the full package.
This is really common with online courses. You might offer the first few videos for free or give some worksheets as free content. This allows the customer to determine how valuable your online course is and whether or not it appeals to them. If it does, converting them into a customer should be easy.
It's a lot easier to sell a product after someone tries it out for a little bit. The same is true when it comes to informational products for sale.
4. Offer a Money-Back Guarantee
If you really stand behind your product, then you should offer a money-back guarantee. What does this do? It shows your customers that you're serious. Suddenly, they can try your online courses, webinar, or membership site risk-free.
There's always some hesitancy when it comes to buying a product online. Someone is about to give a stranger money online without any proof or sense of trust. With a money-back guarantee, this fear goes away.
If you have a more expensive product you're selling, a money-back guarantee can be even more effective.
Knowing how to create a sell an informational product is a great way to share your knowledge with others and get paid for it. If you follow the steps we've outlined in this guide, you will be on your way to creating a successful online business. This could translate to passive income that hits your bank account every week.
If you're interested in creating and selling online courses, check out Simplero's online course software. Simplero's all-in-one hosting platform handles everything from course creation and student management to marketing automation and online payments. Get a free demo of Simplero today!