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This lesson is continued from Lesson 12 Part 1: How To Create An Information Product Without Becoming Overwhelmed.
6. Monitoring Your Progress For Motivation
This is a tip you can use in conjunction with the ‘1000 words a day’ tip in point 8 below. As well as just saying you want to do a certain amount of words a day, you should also note down how many words you actually did do.
What you should do after a day of writing, is at the top of your document, note down how many words you’ve done all together. So if you finished the day and wrote 2656 words, you should write:
End of 06.09.2012: 2656 words.
Then if you write in the same document the next day and do 1023 words, directly underneath write:
End of 07.10.2012: 3679 words.
You’ll find that you can keep track of how long it’s taking you to complete the product, and if you’re anywhere near as competitive as me, you’ll find you want to beat your previous day’s word count wherever possible.
It’ll also be easier to see if you’re slacking off with your daily word minimum. If that ever does happen, make sure you do something about it.
7. Proof Reading Your Product
Once you have finished writing up your lessons, the next step is to spell check and proof read it all. It’s best to proof read your work at least twice. Chances are, you won’t have got everything perfect the first time round. You may need to restructure sentences, and you may need to add new paragraphs in. You can do this while proof reading, but the problem is these bits will need to be proof read as well to make sure they fit in comfortably. So once you’ve finished proof reading and adding in all the additional parts that were left out, read over it at least one more time to make sure everything flows well.
8. Additional Productivity Tips
Here are a few more things you can do to make your work easier and to increase your productivity. While you don’t have to follow these tips, doing so can considerably speed up your work time:
- Make Sure The Internet And Your Phone Are Off.
When you’re working, the internet and your phone are two of the biggest distractions you can have. It’s because of this, that you should turn them off whenever possible. The internet can definitely go off. I know at times you will need the internet to do certain research on for your product or to get a link to insert, but this should be left to after. Do all the writing in one go, then do all the research in one go. Separate them as it’s too easy to get distracted online. You could check your email for a link to something, end up seeing someone’s messaged you on Facebook, then think it’ll be ok if you quickly check it. Then you end up replying. Then after you reply, you see that cute person has added a new picture, so you check it out. Along with the rest of their profile. *The cycle goes on*. Be strict on yourself, and physically turn your internet off when you’re in writing mode.
If there’ anything you need to add in later that you can only get from the internet, then make a note of that and both bold that note and make it a size 18 font so it looks like this. That way when you’re scanning and cleaning up your document later, it’s easy to see. You can then go online and get all the missed information and links at the same time.
The same goes with your phone. Keep it on silent, so you’re not distracted by that friend that always like to call you up for a general chit chat. As well as putting your phone on silent (No vibrate) turn it over, and / or put it in the next room. This will stop you from being tempted to look at it, and you’ll likely forget about your phone when you’ve deep in work mode.
Decreasing your distractions is a sure way to get more work done, so be strict and give it a go.
- Just Write, Nothing Else.
This is a tip that I’ve found considerably speeds up the time it takes for me to get projects completed. I used to write and spell check as I went along. I used to read over paragraphs as I completed them. Now however, I do none of that!
It’s best to just get your words down on paper (Or on computer screen). Don’t worry if they’re spelled incorrectly, and don’t worry if the sentence has a word or two out of place. That can all be fixed at the end once the whole lesson is finished, but for now just focus on flowing your ideas out onto the document. When you don’t spell-check or proof read along the way, everything gets done a lot quicker. At the end you can bulk spell-check everything, and then proof read it through once or twice. I suggest twice, as you’ll probably be adding / changing things the first time around, and will need to proof read that as well.
It’s got to the point where I now write multiple lessons before I proof read and spell check any of them, but it’s up to you if you want to do this too. I just find it easier to do the writing stage while I’m flowing, then the other stages after.
- Wake Up And Work.
While I know not all of you will be able to do this due to other work commitments, if you have a weekend free or you work later in the day, one great tip is to wake up and work. By this, I mean as soon as you wake up in the morning, you should put on your computer and start working on your product. The only thing you’re allowed to do after you’ve turned your computer on, is to quickly go toilet if needed, brush your teeth, and get a cup of cold water. Anything else will have to wait till later. Don’t turn on the TV, don’t get anything to eat. Don’t read, don’t do any cleaning, and don’t have a shower. Just wake up and work.
The reason for this is simple: Everything else is a distraction. As humans, we tend to put things off by allowing ourselves to believe we have other more important things that need to be done. In reality though, it’s all just a distraction tactic we use which gets in the way of the real important work we need to do. This leads to us taking longer to do anything else but the real work, and means we often find other things that need doing along the way.
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t shower or eat in the day, I’m simply saying you should get as much work done as you can first. My guess is you’ll be able to get at least an hour’s work done before your belly starts rumbling, at which point you can leave your computer on and get some food. You can even have a quick wash if you want. The difference right now though will be you’re already in work mode, and you’ll want to do those other things quickly so you can get back to work. And even if you don’t feel like this, a least you’ve got an hour or mores work done. That’s better then delaying and getting nothing done. Give this a try, it really does work.
- Aim To Do ‘1000’ Words At A Time.
Another good idea is to give yourself a daily word target. As a starting point, I’d say you should aim to write 1000 words a day for your product. You may need to decrease this if you are working another job or have kids always around, but you shouldn’t lower this to anything less then 500 words a day. This is because you still want to get your product done in a decent amount of time, and don’t want it to drag on forever. If it does, it’ll be too easy to get demotivated by it, and feel like it’s never going to end. You could also aim for more then 1000 words a day if you have a lot of free time and are a fast writer. But I’d say keep 1000 words as the minimum bench mark.
This isn’t to say that as soon as you reach 1000 words you should stop writing though, hopefully you’ll feel like you’re flowing at this point so will do a lot more. I’ve had days where I’ve aimed for 1000 words but ended up writing over 7000. The 1000 words is only a minimum; if you feel you can do more then go for it! Just make sure you don’t drop below your daily limit.
If it feels like you haven’t got the time to write at least 500 words a day, then you should see if you can restructure your day in any way. Watch a lot of TV? Then see if you can cut some of those programs out (Believe me, you can). Go out with friends a lot? Then reduce the amount of weekly meetings you have. At the end of the day, this is your business. If you don’t put the work in to make it happen, you’ll only have yourself to blame. Finding the time to do the work can mean cut backs in your social life, and making sacrifices in other areas too. But when your product is complete and you start making sales, you will see it’s all been worth it.
- Start With 100 Words.
Some days, that 1000 word or 500 word minimum seems like something you haven’t got the energy to do. In fact, you may not be feeling to do any work at all. While some times it’s good to just go with that feeling and have a 1 day break, if you’re feeling like that more then once in a 7 day week, you’re going to have to push through this mental barrier.
One way to do this is by doing point 2 above (Wake up and work). Another is to put your computer on as soon as you feel you don’t want to work (No delaying and making up excuses) and tell yourself you’ve just going to do 100 words. That wont be so hard will it. Force yourself to open up at the point when you finished off, and just start writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s your best writing ever, just get it done. A lot of the time, you will find that things aren’t as bad as you thought they were going to be. If this is the case and you feel you can keep writing, then go for it. You may even make your 1000 word minimum or more.
If not and after 100 words are done you are really struggling to work, then at least you’ve got an extra 100 words done. Give it a try again later after you’ve rested or had something to eat.
These productivity tips can work wonders, and mean you can get your product complete a lot quicker and easier.
Outsourcing Product Creation
If you’re not a very strong writer and haven’t got the means or desire to create an audio or video product, you still have an option. It’s possible to outsource your product creation, so you get someone else to do everything for you. This will of course cost money to do, so won’t be an option for everyone. But if you don’t feel you have the time or skills to create a good quality product, then this is a route you may want to take.
I won’t go deep into this as it’s outside the scope of this course, but if you want to look into outsourcing a product to be created, I recommend the outsourcing site Odesk. I have used them plenty of times to get all different things outsourced. You can often get work done for a good price, it’s simply a case of finding the right person for the job.
Getting Your Affiliate Program
Ok. I’ve touched a bit on affiliates in this lesson already, and have also done so in previous weeks. You should read the above section ‘The Potential Income Is Much Greater Then Being An Affiliate’ if you haven’t already, for a look at how having affiliates on board can increase the amount of money you can make.
If you want to make any product you have even more successful, you will normally have to bring affiliates on board.
Affiliates are people who promote your product for you, in exchange for a cut of the selling price. They will normally do this either via advertising your product on their own website, by emailing their list with your product, by paying for advertising on your product, or by any other means they can think of.
In order for you to get affiliates on board, you will need to be able to provide them with a unique affiliate link just for them. This link will track the sales that came directly from them, so they can accurately get paid for any sales they male.
To be able to give them a link, you need to first set up your affiliate program.
You can do this in one of two ways. You could:
- Set Up Your Own Affiliate Program.
One option is to set up your own affiliate program. There are plugins for WordPress and scripts that allow you to do this. You will have to deal with paying people on time, and have to set up a page where people can sign up for their affiliate link. You will also have to promote your affiliate program.
- Get Your Product On An Established Affiliate Program.
The other option is to sell your product on a payment processor that already has an established affiliate program built in. Examples of this include Clickbank and E-Junkie. Both of these are payment processors can use to both sell your product, and to tap into their existing base of affiliates.
I’d personally recommend you get your product on an existing affiliate program provider. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the ease of it all. Not only is it often easier for you to set up your affiliate program, but it’s also easier for a lot of potential affiliates too. People who promote products on Clickbank don’t have to sign up every time they join a new affiliate program, they simply search for your product and automatically get given their personalized affiliate link. If they want to promote your product and you use your own affiliate program however, they will have to sign up and fill in all their details from scratch. This may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but often people go straight to affiliate programs like Clickbank to find products in their niche simply for the convenience of it all.
Out of the two established affiliate programs I mentioned (Clickbank and E-Junkie) I personally suggest you go with Clickbank. The main reason is again for the ease of use. Clickbank sort everything for your affiliates automatically so you don’t have to. It showcases your product to it’s affiliates, it keeps track of all affiliate sales automatically, and it pays your affiliates automatically without you lifting a finger. While E-Junkie is a quality service, you still have to manually pay affiliates. If you forget one month or are unable to pay out on time, you could end up with some angry workers. For this reason and the others mentioned, I suggest you run your affiliate program through Clickbank.
All of the above mentioned affiliate programs will provide you will full instructions on how to get your product up and running with their affiliate system.
How To Find Affiliates
So now you have an affiliate program on Clickbank or your chosen program, the next step is to go out there and actually get people to be an affiliate for your product. Yes that’s right; even if you use an established affiliate program such as Clickbank, you will still need to put effort into finding people to promote your product.
A lot of people think that as soon as they put their product on Clickbank, they will automatically get a load of people finding them and promoting them. In reality however, it doesn’t really work like that. You see, while there are a lot of affiliates around, only a small percentage of them are actually making a decent amount of product sales. Most of the ones that will come across your product via the Clickbank Marketplace won’t generate you any sales.
There are other people that will put your product link on a page of poorly spun content and hope it ranks for your names. They will then hope to steal your sales when you promote the product and people go on to do some more research into it.
Many of the affiliates worth having will often only get on board promoting your product if one of two things occur:
- Your gravity in the Clickbank Marketplace is at a decent level, or
- You have gone out of your way to befriend them and built a relationship with them.
Let’s look at that first point. When top affiliates browse the Clickbank Marketplace for products to promote, one of the main things they look for is the ‘Grav’ score of the product. Grav is short for Gravity, and gives potential affiliates an indication of how well your product is selling by all different people.
According to Clickbank, Gravity is the:
Number of distinct affiliates who earned a commission by referring a paying customer to the vendor’s products. This is a weighted sum and not an actual total. For each affiliate paid in the last 8 weeks we add an amount between 0.1 and 1.0 to the total. The more recent the last referral, the higher the value added.
What this means is that the more affiliates you have making sales for you, the higher your Grav score will be. If you have 20 different affiliates making sales for your in a short space of time, your Grav score could be up to 20, but will decrease as time goes on.
If however you have one super affiliate that makes 1000 sales of your product, you will still only get a grav score of 1, as all sales were made by the 1st affiliate This will benefit you in terms of sales you make of course, but it won’t do much for getting other affiliates on board.
If you yourself made 1000 sales without different affiliates, you would get a grav score of 0, as you are not an affiliate and don’t use an affiliate link when making sales.
So in order to get a good grav score, you need to do the next step:
Befriend potential affiliates and built a relationship with them.
Tip: If you want to find a proven affiliate in your niche, then do a Google search for another product in your niche. Check out all the results on the first page, and see who is promoting those products as an affiliate You can then contact those people, and let them know you have a good quality product they may be interested in promoting.
If you want relevant people advertising your product, you will need to go out your way to communicate with them. You will need to email them, communicate with them on social media sites, and the like.
Befriend them well before your product is ready for launch if they’re a social type as well, as get on their raider by being useful and interactive with their readers.
If they don’t have social sites, you can instead email them and tell them who you are. Let them know you have a product they may be interested in promoting, and you will be willing to do a special deal for them promoting your product (Higher commissions, maybe giving exclusive content they could use to promote it etc).
Wherever possible, you should keep the contact details of all the affiliates you have on board. This will make it easier to contact them about any future products you release, or if you want to do a relaunch of one of your existing ones.
You can grab their contact details on your affiliate page with an optin form. Tell them you’ll send them tips on making more with affiliate sales, and they’ll be kept informed about any future special offers for affiliates you have going on.
Be sure to keep your affiliates happy, as these are the people that can take your sales figures to the next level.
Getting More Affiliates With Higher Commissions
Sometimes, you may come across an affiliate who you really want to promote your information product. At times like this, you may want to offer them a higher commission rate then everyone else if they will promote your product.
The top affiliates are used to getting at least 75% commission for any product they promote. Yes this means that you only get 25% for each sale they make of your product, but if they get you a load of sales you wouldn’t have got otherwise, then this all becomes worth it.
You could try and approach these top affiliates with your standard commission rate if you so choose, but be aware that you’ll probably have to offer them more if you want them to get on board. This is especially true if they’re currently promoting another product for a higher commission rate.
How To Deliver Your Product
Alright, so now let’s look at how you can deliver your information products.
When it comes to membership sites, you should use a tool called Digital Access Pass(DAP for short). You can see more information about DAP in lesson 3, as it’s covered in more detail there. DAP is the program I’m using to deliver this course right now, so you can see how it works just be thinking about the process you went through when logging in to see this lesson. If you think back to when you signed up as well, you will notice that I use Clickbank for my payment processor and for my affiliate program. While I’ve used a few different combinations for different products before, this is the one I’ve found works best.
When it comes to delivering an ebook, you have a few options. If you are selling your ebook on Amazon Kindle, please refer to lesson 11 for how to get it on there. If you are giving your ebook away for free to anyone that signs up to your mailing list, your best bet would be to send a download link for your product in your final welcome email using Aweber. Your book should be a PDF file, and easy to share / print out / be read on different devices. This is a good think, as if it’s not a paid product and instead a book that introduces people to your brand, you want as many people to see it as possible. Just leave a note in the ebook that tells people to sign up to your list to officially receive your product and to get a load more goodies in future.
If you are releasing a paid ebook, then you won’t want it to be shared as easily, and may not want to release it as a PDF. While it’s still possible to deliver it via Aweber, it becomes easier for people to share around with anyone else.
One option is to put your ‘ebook’ behind your Digital Access Pass wall as a few pages on your website. That alongside the Copy Protect plugin for WordPress will mean that no one can copy it and share it around with others.
The only problem with this however, is it won’t work for all niches. For example, if you sell cooking books, people will most likely want to print it out and have it by them while they’re making the recipe themselves.
So you can put your ebook as a protected page on your website if you want, but don’t let it get in way of making things accessible for your customer’s where necessary. If your readers are a tech savvy bunch, having it protected on your website should be fine.
Testing Your Product
As well as proof reading your product, it’s vital that you test it in every way before you launch to the public. You will want to test that everything is put together right, and that your system is in place and working correctly. The last thing you want is to launch your product and payments aren’t getting taken correctly, or people can’t receive your free ebook. So do a test purchase and sign up before you decide to launch.
You will want to obtain your product in the exact way your customer is going to, and you will want to read through everything to make sure it’s all there.
I can’t stress how important the testing stage is. Ask yourself, did you receive all the necessary emails? Did it have the correct details in these emails (Both your customers details and your details)? Was it clear what steps to take as a customers (You may want someone else to do this as you already know how the process should go so may think something is clear when it’s not).
Test it, and get a friend to test it too. Chances are, you’ll need to change one or two things. When the system is all running smoothly however, you are ready to launch. Good luck. 🙂
Having your own product is essential if you want to take your online income to the next level. It increase the stability you have, as if you lose your Google traffic, you still have other ways to monetize your product. If you’re just promoting affiliate products, it’s not as easy to bounce back from Google taking your traffic. At least if it’s your own product, affiliates who still get Google traffic and traffic from other sources will still be making you money. In fact, when you have good affiliates on board, it’s possible to not even have a blog to sell your products (Although it is still advisable).
Creating your own product doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as many people think it will be. Using good planning and a selection of productivity tricks, you can get your product created a lot sooner then you thought.
What To Do Now
Here is what you should do between now and next lesson. If you don’t have the time, that’s fine. Do as much as you can, and do the rest when the time is there:
- Decide What Product You’re Going To Make.
Is your product going to be a membership site or an ebook? What is your product going to be about? Think about and decide that now.
- Research Your Unique Selling Point.
What can you offer that’s different from your competitors? Have a look at what other people are offering, and find a gap in the market where you can do better then everyone else.
- Map Out Your Product Overview.
Once you have an idea of how your product’s going to go down, it’s time to map everything out in one single document. The sections you’re going to include, the target market, the price, the aim of this product etc. Everything you can think of about the course, make a note of it here. You can refer back to this later.
- Layout The Product Structure, Then Fill It In.
Create documents for each lesson or chapter, and lay it out with Heading 2s. Once you have completely laid out your course and you know everything that’s going to go into it, start writing under each Heading 2 like it was a blog post in it’s own right without the intro. Your introduction for each lesson / chapter should be directly below the document’s Heading 1.
- Decide Your Product’s Affiliate Program, And Start Getting Affiliates.
When your product is finished and ready to be sold (Be sure to proof read it and test it first), the next step is to get an affiliate program up and running. Once you have done that, start getting affiliates on board by searching for and contacting them personally. Once you have your affiliates on board and your product is created, you are ready to launch.
What’s Happening In The Next Lesson
Next lesson is the final one. We will be looking at other ways you can become less reliant on Google traffic, and giving you a whole host of new and varied suggestions to generate you own traffic. I’ll see you then.