Although there's plenty of hype about making money online, the one thing that has sold - and will continue to sell in massive quantities - is information products.
At the Proctor & Gamble Summit in the summer of 1998, Evan Neufeld, practice director of research firm Jupiter Communications, declared that the top reason why people are online is for the information. And how could it not be?
The Internets history holds its roots in the distribution of information, when the original Net-heads, (government and academic officials), used it to exchange vital data amongst one another. Today those roots are constantly being fed by the millions of online citizens who exchange ideas and thoughts on a continuous millisecond-by-millisecond basis.
And when you add to that mix over 300 million Web sites, 100,000+ discussion groups, and thousands of online publications in probably every conceivable subject category, you can't help not to see how the words 'Internet' and 'information' become nearly synonymous.
So as trainers, we're in an ideal position to take advantage of this never ending need for brain food. Indeed, providing information is our livelihood. Here are three key methods that you can use to increase your income from this online info sales revolution:
1) Get your book listed in online bookstores.
There are literally thousands of niche-based online bookstores, that are always on the look out for interesting titles. These include independent online bookstores - which are similar to a mail order catalog, in that they have no physical storefront - and affiliate bookstores - which sell books for the larger independents like superstore Amazon.com.
As a matter of fact, Amazon.com alone has well over 100,000 affiliate bookstore owners, also known as resellers, marketing titles for them.
Each title is given a brief one-paragraph review, with a link for people to order directly from Amazon.com. Imagine if you could find 10 or 20 targeted online bookstores like this to market your work. You could easily increase your income with very little work.
Many online bookstores have submission guidelines listed on their Web sites. If not, you can either e-mail a request to whoever runs the site, or locate a physical address and send your review kit. If you wish to have Amazon.com affiliates sell your book, you must first be listed in the main Amazon database. There's a special section for authors and publishers on the site at (http://www.amazon.com).
2) Offer audio excerpts of your information product on your Web site.
This is a prime venue for you to showcase your expertise, especially if you sell audio cassettes and/or provide speaking services. Using RealAudio - which is a software product that allows listeners to hear your message by simply clicking on a button - you can create an audio file that can be accessed directly from your Web site.
As long as the company that hosts your Web site provides RealAudio server space, you can have a file set-up in as little as an hour or two. You can get more information about transforming your audio files in RealAudio format by visiting their Web site at (http://www.realaudio.com).
3) Submit articles, excerpted from your information product, to targeted online publications.
E-zines and Webzines, (online newsletters), can reach anywhere from a few hundred, to several thousand readers around the world, who are all interested in the same particular topic. And although many zine editors don't pay for articles, they're almost always in need of fresh content, and they're often willing to give you a generous resource box at the end of your article which you can use to sell your information product. (I personally sell hundreds of dollars worth of manuals this way each month.)
The first thing you'll need to do is locate a list of publications. When you find a few that look appropriate, subscribe to them so you can get a feel for what the audience wants.
Secondly, you'll need to send a brief e-query to the editor that explains who you are, as well as a summary of the article. One of my e-queries even lists several different articles that the editor can choose from. If they're interested, they will contact you to submit the piece.
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