I started my first info publishing business in the early 1990s. I bought my first publishing equipment (high-speed printer, booklet maker and guillotine cutter) by the mid-1990s. I bought my first perfect binder system (to create paperback books) in the late 1990s. In 2002, I got rid of everything and when 100% digital.
I’m telling you this because I want you to realize I’ve been in the publishing game a long time. So whether you call it website publishing, online publishing, content publishing, or even content marketing – it’s all publishing at the end of the day. Information is consumable. Most people come back for a refill every day! It may be funny to look at it that way, but when you look at information publishing as a business, you are looking at a potentially never ending stream of income.
MISTAKES YOU WANT TO AVOID
Over time I learned from experience what topics to pursue what topics to avoid if you want to make money.
You don’t build a business around something unless you can make money, right? And yet so many people try to do just that. There are many markets that are filled with people who aren’t willing to pay money for information when it’s available – free of charge. Keep in mind, if you dig long enough, you can probably find whatever you’re looking for without having to pay for it. Take the dating niche for example. There are courses designed to help you find the love of your life, connect with them, and so forth. There are courses designed to teach men how to talk to women and women how to talk to men.
You can find the same information without having to buy the course if you’re willing to dig for it. Most people aren’t. They’d rather pay an author, teacher or publisher who has already done the work for them.
This brings us back to you. If you’ve already put in the time, done the research or understand how things work, the info publishing business may be a perfect fit for you. If you haven’t done any of those things, you do have options. Knowing the information is one thing. Getting that information into a sellable format is another. You can find experts who don’t have the time, perhaps money or inclination to turn their knowledge into an information product. There are more people out there who fit this profile then you may imagine. In many cases, they undervalue what they know. If that’s the case, you can learn how to create, publish and market an information product yourself. In other words, you can become a publisher. As publisher, you can recruit experts and package their knowledge for them. Do that and you’re in business.
You can find experts in your own hometown. I’m talking about experts in health and fitness, investing, business, real estate and so forth. There are people in your hometown who can teach how to quit smoking, how to buy real estate with no money down, maybe even how to sell ice to Eskimos? In other words, there are experts all around you.
Whatever type of businesses exist in your hometown or city, the owners can tell you how to build that type of business. I’m talking about any type of business that you can think of. There is a vast reservoir of untapped knowledge around you. You just have to be willing to do the work it takes to tap into it. You may have to talk to five people before one says, “Yes.”
YOU HAVE OPTIONS – PICK ONE
The options are simple. If you are the expert, create the product yourself using the knowledge you have. If you’re not the expert, find a profitable topic and seek out an expert in that niche. Personally, I enjoy going to the local Barnes & Noble bookstore to see what’s hot and what’s not. The magazine rack will be a good indicator of what’s selling and what isn’t. A huge market may not be represented on the magazine rack. Why? Possibly because the people in that market are used to getting their information for free online.
That’s why most of the boxing magazines have disappeared off the shelves over the years. The market can find the same information for free online. That’s what the trend is – at least for now.
MARKET SEGMENTS – BEGINNER, INTERMEDIATE & EXPERT
The majority of people buying information in any market always seem to primarily fit into the beginner category. For example, there are probably more people who want to publish a book on Kindle right now that there are people already selling books on Kindle. If you’ve ever published a book on Kindle before, you’re no longer beginner. You would fit into the intermediate or expert category. Keep in mind, no one is handing out certificates identifying you as a beginner, an expert, or anything in between.
As an info publisher, you can choose to target a specific segment of your market. Again, it seems the vast majority of information publishers target the beginners in their market. You can go to Amazon.com and check out the book reviews on just about any topic you can think of to confirm this. Once someone has the basics of any topic understood, they start looking for something that offers a little bit more than the ABC’s of the subject.
On the other hand, things usually go wrong when a person loses sight of the basics. At one time or another, you may find yourself having to go back to the basics to determine why things aren’t working properly.
With my own projects and publications, I try to produce something that will help people on all three levels. If you’re a beginner yourself, you may not be able to produce expert material at this point. I’m using the word “beginner” in this context as it relates to getting started in the info publishing business. The point is, use what you have. Teach what you know. Share your experience. It will be “brand-new”to more of your readers or listeners (depending upon the format you use) then you realize.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section below. Thanks for reading.