When you start an info-publishing business — or any business, for that matter — there are many things you don’t know. And that includes plenty of things you don’t know you don’t know.

Many new entrepreneurs even miss the “obvious” strategies that would propel their ventures forward.

The speakers at our Info-Marketing Bootcamps made plenty of mistakes when they started out — and learned from them. Maybe more important, they realized that they could accelerate their progress by learning the “hidden” secrets of mentors and experts who had “been there, done that.”

Today, I’d like to share with you one of those secrets. And it’s just a small sample of the in depth education you can get by attending an event like our Bootcamp — or, if you can’t make it in person, through our Info-Marketing Bootcamp home study kit.

An info-marketing business starts with an idea for a product. Sounds simple, right? Well, it’s actually the hardest part.

You might have the “perfect” idea. You might have been telling friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers about it for years. And everybody’s told you it’s great.

But unless you’ve done the research… you really don’t have an idea.

Market research is what I’m talking about. And there are two questions your research must answer:

1. Are people looking for the type of information you want to sell?

2. Are people actually buying it?

You can find the answers fairly quickly.

The first step is to simply search for phrases related to your idea in Google and other search engines. If ads appear at the top and on the right hand sides of the search results page, that’s a good sign. It means others are paying to advertise the kind of information you intend to sell — which means people must be buying it. You can also use free keyword tracking tools to find out how often phrases related to your idea are searched. A few thousand searches is a good sign. A few hundred a month is bad.

Then you start researching the competition. Click on the ads that appeared when you did your search. Sign up for the e-mail lists of these companies and study all the marketing materials you receive. You could also buy some of their products.

Base your own offer on what appears to be working for them.

What comes next? “Ready, Fire, Aim,” as Michael Masterson says.

The only way to get a winner is to test your idea in the marketplace. So get your offer out there. If it doesn’t work, try a different marketing approach… maybe even a different product. And keep trying until you come up with a combination that does work.

One of the main advantages of info-publishing is that the testing process is quick, easy, and cheap. And your products are digital, so you don’t have to stockpile a warehouse full of widgets. (In some cases, you don’t even have to create an actual product until you start getting sales.)

Research and testing is hugely important, which is why we put so much emphasis on it in the Info-Marketing Bootcamp home study kit. You learn exactly how to take the start-up steps you need to take… as well as the cutting-edge techniques you’ll use once your business is up and running.

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