Like most things in life, there are 'secrets' to being successful. Creating info products is no different. And like most things, 'secrets' are there for all to see.
The first problem that most people face when starting out as an 'info-producer' is in coming up with ideas to write about.
Initially, you have to be a thought recorder. Write down every crazy (or not so crazy) idea that fleetingly crosses your mind. Carry a notebook. This not only lets you capture brilliant ideas that have a habit of disappearing, but also starts to train your mind into an opportunity state.
Opportunities are like cosmic rays: they are everywhere, but most of time we can't see them. With right training, our brains can easily become very sensitive opportunity detectors.
At some point you will start to notice that many of your brilliant ideas are rubbish. Don't worry. Keep on writing them down. Even a bad idea can sometimes be adapted later.
You will notice that a lot of your ideas fall into patterns. This is your subconscious mind's way of pointing you in right direction. If it keeps on returning to a theme, chances are that somewhere, buried deep inside you, is gold. Now go digging.
When your notebook is growing, start thinking about your ideas bank. Be objective and ask yourself, "If this was only project that I could ever do, would I be happy?"
Take all your top scoring ideas. Take a little time and expand each one. Write a broad synopsis of each so that you have a concrete idea of what final product will look like. Don't try to write it - just outline it.
What do you put in your outline?
Remember old adage: 'I take advice from five wise men: Mr Who, Mr Where, Mr What, Mr Why and Mr When.'
Add to those two more: How and How Much.
Make every section or chapter answer one of these seven questions (and you can ask each of them in different ways) and you have outline of your book.
Now you should have a shortlist of realistic, doable projects - any one of which you would be happy to run with.
Next comes most important step of all: do your homework. The best product in world is worthless unless there is a market for it. So how do you find that out?
1. Take your shortlist and talk to 5 good friends. See what they have to say. Do they all favor one over others? Why? What is it about it that captures their imagination? Would they buy it? Who do they think would buy it?
2. Pay attention to their advice, but don't even think of acting on it. Even if they all think every one of your ideas stinks, it could easily be them that is wrong: they may simply be wrong audience.
3. Write a very detailed description for yourself of exactly who you think will buy your products. Really try to get inside mind of someone who could use what you have to say.
4. Write down at least ten words (or 2 word phrases) that most sum up each of your possible products. Define your keywords, in other words.
5. Get yourself online and search every search engine you know for every one of those key words or phrases. Check out as many sites as you can that engines throw up (and don't just look at first page of listings either). Get a feel for market. What you are doing here is trying to find out if there is already a market for your product, and what people searching for it are being offered.
6. Be brutally honest with yourself. If google only comes up with 10 sites for one of your keywords, and none of sites are particularly relevant, then you can bet that right now, there isn't much of a market. If this is case, ask yourself honestly if you have staying power and specialized knowledge to carve a completely new niche. And where would you go to reach them?
7. Find newsgroups and forums that are relevant and lurk. Are people asking questions that your product will answer? Can you discern a need?
8. If you can, you may have next super-niche product all ready to be written. Congratulations!
9. If you can't, move on to next project on your list and repeat.
This might all sound rather long-winded - and it certainly flies in face of proponents of 'create a product fast' philosophy, but it needn't take all that long.
At end of day, you will have achieved three things. You will KNOW which project to work on, and why. You will KNOW who to target. You will KNOW what your future projects (and backend sales) will be.
And, as a by-product, you will have become a super- powered opportunity magnet in process.
As you can see, real secret is taking action. But if you are like 99.9% of people, you will find excuses for not taking action.
Every single excuse is 'getaroundable.' For example:
"I don't know if anyone will be interested."
It certainly helps to write about your passions - if only because your time spent in research will be minimized. But it isn't strictly necessary. Do you really think that people who write fascinating fact- filled articles in magazines are all passionate about their subjects? No, they are just writers who are given an assignment.
If you can't find a subject that YOU are passionate about, find one that SOMEONE ELSE is passionate about. Maybe that someone else is a friend or family member - great! Start a joint project.
Or maybe you don't have friends who are passionate about anything (hard to believe, but possible). Then go and find a subject that a lot of people are trying to find out about. Do a search on most popular keywords. I just did that and these seven all came in top 50: