There are many ways to make money online. You can buy and sell tangible products. You can buy and sell services. You can sell software. What makes information products so lucrative is that they avoid a lot of the hassles you normally face buying and selling the other items I mentioned.

Unlike services that are closely related to performance quality and can vary in customer satisfaction on a case by case basis, an information product either sucks or it doesn’t. Unlike physical products and other tangible goods that have to be shipped, you don’t have to worry about the nightmare of returns or defective products. The worst thing that can happen is if somebody downloaded your information product and didn’t like it and you give them a refund.

The best part about information products is that they are truly scalable. What I mean by this is that you only work once and then you can sell it many times over. In fact, you only need to scale up your distribution platform and you can scale up the revenues your products produce. If I’ve gotten you excited about creating your own information products, pay attention to the following discussion. They help step you through the process of finding product ideas, creating products and promoting them the right way.

Use crowdsourced online sources to find hot trending topics

The first thing that you need to figure out is to determine needs. Nobody’s going to buy your product just because you think that product is awesome. The world doesn’t care about what you think. All it cares about is whether you can fill its needs. So, it’s a good idea to pay attention to what people actually are demanding.

Thankfully, there are lots of online resources that you can use to determine demand for particular types of information. You could use Google search trends, Reddit, and trends at Twitter. The great thing about these resources is that people send out this information in an organic way. There’s nothing artificial about it. There’s nothing self-conscious about it. Just by posting content on those places or searching for certain content, they give you an unvarnished and untainted snapshot of what they’re actually demanding as far as information is concerned.

Find concentrated online “homes” of these trends

Now that you have a clear idea regarding the types of information that are trending online, the next step is to find concentrated “homes” of these trends. For example, several years ago drone technology was trending. It seemed that judging from Google search volume alone, more and more people are interested in drone technology. As a result, there were drone forums that were built up. There were also drone Facebook page and LinkedIn groups. Do you see how this works?

So if you’ve spotted a trend where people are really interested in a particular type of information because it solves some sort of problem, look for the homes of these trends. They can be on social media. They can take the form of a forum. Whatever the case may be, identify the specific areas online where people congregate about these topics.

Research the specific needs behind the trend

Simply identifying a trend is very different from catering to the needs of the people behind that trend. For example, just because you know that drone technology as well as robotics technology are very hot nowadays that still doesn’t give you enough to go on. As far as building a product goes, you still have to pay attention to what are the specific needs that people have who participate in these trends. Are they looking for how-to information? Are they looking for reference information?

Knowing the specific needs will give you enough information as to create the right direction for your product. Maybe most of the demand is for reference or encyclopedic type of book. Alternatively, maybe most of the demand in your hot trending niche is very hands-on practical “how to” book. Be aware of the specific needs so you can craft a product that is narrowly tailored to those needs.

Find existing products that service the trend’s need

Now I’ve got some seemingly bad news for you. You may be thinking that it’s bad news when you enter a niche and there are already players there. I don’t blame you for thinking that way, but this is actually good news. Why? If they are the first players there, chances are they’ve stumbled and screwed up somewhere along the line. Maybe they did not come up with the right product that addressed the needs of the niche fans perfectly.

You need to focus on what their strengths are as well as their weaknesses. If this is your mindset, you essentially use your competitors to do your homework for you. You pay attention to what they’ve done so you can see what kind of products they produced, the shortcomings of those products and how those products are being promoted. By knowing this information, you can come up with a far superior product with a better distribution network.

Creating sales pages that work!

Another key factor that you need to look at is your existing competitors’ sales pages. They are selling their information products a certain way. Pay attention to the common features of the sales pages that they use. There’s probably a reason why certain common features appear again and again. Create your own version of these sales pages and run traffic campaigns. Test your initial page and see if you can improve on the existing designs out there. Make adjustments on an elemental basis.

What I mean by elemental is that every sales page can be reduced into a small set of elements. One element, of course, is the layout. The second element is the picture quality and selections. Third element is the actual text. Fourth element is the font, so on and so forth. By experimenting with small changes based on each element, you can keep making incremental improvements until your landing page converts at a very optimal level.

The secret here is to not skip a step. You have to go element by element. Also, it’s really important to focus on conversions. I’ve got some bad news for you. All the traffic in the world is not going to put extra dollars in your pocket. You might be able to pump tons of traffic on your webpage but that doesn’t automatically mean you will become a millionaire. Instead, focus on conversions. Conversions are what put dollars in your bank account, not necessarily traffic.

Use small traffic tests then scale up

Now that you have a composite sales page going based on reverse engineered information, the next step is to buy small amounts of traffic and test conversions. If you see that you’re converting really well, keep scaling up your traffics buys. If, however, you’re still having a tough time converting at an optimal rate then you need to keep tweaking your sales page on an elemental basis. Once you have come up with the “right formula” for your sales page, then you need to scale up your traffic buy. You also need to start buying more traffic from other sources.

The bottom line to successful information product marketing, the bottom line is you need to be systematic and methodical. I’ve made out the basic framework that you need to follow to not only find the right product to produce, create the right product and promote that product in an optimal way.