Your content is your product: your book, e-book, e-course, CD or downloadable audio program. This is the information people will pay you to receive. You must offer high quality information on your topic that would be otherwise unavailable without purchasing your product or a similar competitive product.
There are two ways to get content: create it yourself, or become a member of an affiliate program. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Review them, and choose which is right for you.
If you are very knowledgeable about your topic, or plan to be, you may want to consider creating original content by writing your own e-book or e-course. The main advantage to creating your own content is the competitive edge you will gain. With affiliate programs, there are several people selling the same product. However, if you write the book or program yourself, you have a unique take on your topic not available anywhere else.
Another benefit to creating your own content is the ability to institute an affiliate or reseller program. This means recruiting other online marketers to sell your product for you, and you receive either a percentage of profits (with affiliate programs) or a flat fee for the rights to sell your product (with reseller programs). These types of programs are discussed in greater detail in the following section.
The downside to original content is the time investment you must make. If you do not have extensive or specialized knowledge in your chosen topic, you may want to enroll in an affiliate program, as the results can be just as effective and profitable in either case—as long as you know which areas to focus on.
These days it’s easier than ever to create your own e-book. Many new computers come with desktop publishing software that allows you to format, add graphics and embed links easily with no programming knowledge. You can also find free or low-cost software for creating e-books, including cover creation, which is an integral part of your e-book as it will be the first thing buyers see when considering your product. Check out these e-book creation programs:
Easy Ebook Creator, $19.97, is a full-featured, easy-to-use program that comes with full resale rights. This means you can not only create your own book, you can also offer the Easy Ebook Creator to make an even greater profit.
Ebook Compiler, $29.95 for unlimited commercial e-books and free for personal use, is another simple program to create full-featured, attractive e-books.
Create your e-book for free: If you can write and format your book using your computer’s word processing software exactly the way you want it to appear on-screen, you can simply convert the file to PDF (Portable Document File) format, the most popular e-book format, viewed using the free Adobe Acrobat reader. You don’t have to own the full version Adobe Acrobat software to convert your file to readable format. There are several web sites offering free PDF conversion. A few of them are:
NOTE: Another exciting benefit to creating your own content is this: you get to attach the title of “author” to your name! If you’ve always wanted to write a book, this method may be just the opportunity you’ve been looking for.
Creating original e-course content: An e-course is simply an e-book broken into timed installments, providing the same information in a manner that allows the buyer to digest one portion before taking on the next. E-courses can be enhanced with self-study questions and interactive elements; by providing consumers with more, you can charge more and still have satisfied customers.
Setting up an e-course for distribution is even easier than preparing an e-book: simply determine how many parts your course will be in, break the information into segments and put them into your autoresponder program. With an e-course, you will have two separate autoresponder series: one containing your marketing message and “teaser” information, and the other containing your actual product.
In the next section, you will learn exactly how to set up your autoresponder program for the best marketing results.