By John Wood
Fortunes continue to be made by people selling information online.
If you’re interested in claiming your piece of the online pie, a great way to get started is to turn one of your passions into an e-book. And once it’s finished, marketing it is a snap. There are companies that, on top of processing your online transactions, give you access to a ready-made sales force to help you sell your product.
Clickbank.com is one such company. In business since 1998, they have an affiliate program that is 100,000 members strong.
As soon as you set up a Clickbank merchant account (for a fee of $49.95), just follow the easy step-by-step instructions for listing your e-book in the Clickbank marketplace. This is where active Clickbank affiliates search for products to promote with their websites or e-zines.
Let’s say you have a passion for fly fishing. So you write an e-book titled How to Become a Fly Fishing Expert and list it on Clickbank. A Clickbank affiliate who specializes in products for fishermen sees the listing and decides to promote it. He writes a sales blurb and posts it with his affiliate link on his website. In exchange, he gets a piece of any sales made as a result of his efforts.
You determine the percentage of the sale price you’re willing to give up. (A 50/50 split seems to be the most common.) And Clickbank takes care of paying the affiliate his share.
As time goes on, you could have hundreds (or even thousands) of Clickbank affiliates helping you promote your e-book.
For you, it’s found money. Without lifting a finger, you’re making sales to people you otherwise may never have reached.
Now, to generate an even bigger income stream, you can make “backend” sales to those same customers.
These people have just bought your e-book and love your innovative fly fishing tips. You’ve got them very interested in what you have to say, so now is the best time to sell them something else. Here are six ideas for additional products you could easily develop:
1. Another e-Book
You could write an e-book about more advanced fly fishing techniques, or one that details The Top 50 Fly Fishing Spots in North America.
2. Online Course
Can you teach someone how to fly fish online? Why not! There are plenty of resources available to tell you how to do it. Just type “develop an online course” into any search engine for examples that you can use to develop your own.
Hire a moderator to interview you about fly fishing, or invite an expert on a related topic to participate in the call with you.
A teleseminar gives you several ways to generate income. You can charge people to listen in on the live call. You can record the call and sell the recordings at a later date. You can sell another one of your products during the call – maybe that second e-book you wrote or the online course you developed. Or you can sell someone else’s product in exchange for a commission. If, for example, you have a travel agent join the call to talk about a special fly fishing vacation package, you would work out a commission deal with him in advance.
A webinar adds a visual element to the information you’re presenting. It may consist of an online PowerPoint presentation, a text chat, a video (of you reeling in a beauty perhaps?) or even a live video of you via your Web cam. A webinar is a convenient and economical way to make conference-like presentations to your prospects, no matter where in the world they reside.
5. Subscription-Based Site/Service
If you can always think of something new and interesting to say about your area of expertise, you could set up a membership site to publish your information – and charge members to access the content. For example, if 200 avid fly fishermen subscribe to your “members only” e-newsletter at $10 per month, that’s $24,000 a year right there.
6. Live Event
As your list of customers grows, you may want to organize a conference, seminar, or workshop that you can invite them to – and charge a pretty penny for. Not only do fly fishermen love to learn about fly fishing innovations, they love to mingle with other fly fishermen. The added bonus: If you video or record the event, you’ll instantly have another product to sell.
No matter how you decide to market your backend products, never lose sight of the fact that “It’s all about your customer” – not you. Frank Bettger hit the nail on the head in his classic sales book How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling when he said that marketing is about “finding out what people want, and helping them get it.”
Keep that in mind as your backend strategy evolves.
Now I said I’d give you six ideas for turning something you already love to do into an ongoing stream of income… but I really want to share a seventh one with you. In fact, it’s quite possibly more exciting than any of the opportunities listed above. I’m talking about a low-tech, spare-time source of truly passive income.
Copywriter Nick Usborne put this moneymaking strategy to work himself by taking a few simple steps. He spends a few hours on it each week. And last week, he pulled in $4,447. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg…
You, too, can learn how to create a steady, consistent second income just by repeating the simple steps Nick followed. Discover the four-step process right here.[Ed. Note: John Wood is a copywriter with American Writers and Artists Inc. Learn how to write effective online sales copy that converts website visitors into cash with AWAI’s free newsletter, Wealthy Web Writer. Get your complimentary subscription now.]