What to ask yourself before writing an informational product

Find out what you know

“Do I really have superior information on this”?

“If I don’t, can I at least gather a more complete collection of basic info on this, which would provide value”?

“What is my information really worth? Could someone find it somewhere else for a lot less, or at better quality”?

Find out what you can learn

“Is it possible for me to find out more about this topic
than the average person knows?

“What would such knowledge require…sharing information with others in my field? Going back to school? Independent research? Personal experience?

“Do I have the time and resources needed to write the best informational product possible? Or should I maybe find a better topic I am more knowledgable about”?

These are the questions you need to ask yourself. Notice that none of them asked, “does anyone need this knowledge”.  That’s because, on the internet, there is almost nothing that people don’t want to know about. A better question might be, “Is this a topic that anyone would be willing to pay to learn more about”.  Yet I hesitate to mention even this question because it is possible to build interest in a topic…even a subject which readers don’t typically show an interest in.

Your main concern should be whether you have, or can gain, sufficient knowledge in your topic which can provide a real education for your student.

Pre register for my eCourse, How to Sell a Great Informational Product


Supersize and the (not) value of the bonus

This article is about the value of your bonus, or “super-sizing” your product. Once upon a time, I witnessed a young teen-age boy eating a Big Mac.

Um, believe me, he didn’t need it (and I’m not being mean here). None the less, there the young man was, gorging himself on 1000 unneeded calories.

People were gasping as they watched (…continue reading…)

Getting off the grid of techno madness

Depluggin the family….one wire at a time

First, there was the television. Oh, how I fought having one, after marriage. My daughter and I had always functioned quite nicely without one. We had…books; art; we had…brains, and conversation. There were always meals to make from “ooooh, doesn’t that look good!” recipes, and science experiments to try (can you really magnetize that? Let’s try!”). Our seemingly endless activities, IQ exercises, discussions, and mental meanderings left NO ROOM for something so stupid as….living your life through a hollywood actor. But, love is blind, and “the man” was oh so convincing.

“Our new baby can learn to be BILINGUAL with these Muzzy videos! It’s the deal of the century, but we have to buy now!”

“No way”

“I’ts FOR the kid, mama…”

“No, honey, it will be abused”

“Look, I know it got abused at our old house, but I threw the DVD player out just as soon as I learned it had a TV function”

“No, Eric, you watched it non stop”

“Well, yea… I watched DVDs”

“….and tv shows….”.

“Wellll….did I do that? Really? i thought I only watched DVDs”

“Husband, how can you lie like that… you KNOW you watched Tv”

“Did I? I really thought I was watching DVDs but I ‘m not here to fight with you”.

“Good. Cause we are NOT getting a TV”.

“Well, honey, how about this…how about we have a TV room”

“NO way…”

…to keep the Tv from distracting you

“You mean to keep you free from lectures while you o.d. on westerns”

“No, honey, I told you, it’s for the kid”.

“Okay, Husband. IF and I mean IF you find a VCRr WITHOUT tv, and if you solemnly swear to only play Muzzy Videos, then we’ll do it”.

Three broken thrift store gadgets and one complete muzzy video set later, the man is wearing me down.

“We already bought the videos” he whines. “They don’t SELL VCr players anymore without TV”

“That’s your problem”

“But don’t you want our kid to be bilingual? Now is the time for their brains to learn”

17 years later, I am now looking at a dead set of muzzy videos that were viewed maybe three times and are rotting in the corner along with countless tvs traded in for something cooler, newer and that we just had to have. I am pleased to say that there is no television upstairs, but what does it matter? My business requires me to be online, and they always manage to collectively gang up on me after dinner…with a plan

“Hey Mama sue, daddy found a great movie for us all to watch!”

“What is it”

“Battle of the Angels”

“That sounds spiritual. Okay, why not”

The angel was a robot with no soul that a human falls in love with. Weird, but not as bizarre as the sound effects. Super creepy, worldly vibe. Too late. They love it. They’d hate me for nixing it.  The tightly clad girl with the elfin features and wet suit seems like soft porn, but how do I protest against a cartoon character with the sexy voice who ends up being a real human with cartoon like features airbrushed on? No, i’ll just be the backward, puritanical freak with impossible standards if I dare to suggest that my family watches something more wholesome. (like, it’s a cartoon, mommmmm)

I suddenly realize…my teenagers and husband in no way share my values when it comes to entertainment. Letting them make the selections without me is insane.

The New Rule

All family members must unanimously agree that a movie is okay.

Mom and dad must preview it from start to finish….first, before the kids (what a great way to spend time together away from the teens).

Mom and dad must both be unoffended and satisfied with the movie. No one can accuse the other for over reacting; each persons verdict of “filth” or ‘boring” must be respected by the other.

Non helpful comments like “all you like is garbage” or “you don’t like anything!” are to be avoided.

AT the end of the day, it just might be more helpful to find some real value to share together.

On the table side by side, >The Holy Bible and the TV Guide.

One is well worn and cherished with pride, No,
not the Bible—– the TV Guide!

As the pages are turned what shall they see? “Who cares! Stop fighting—turn on the TV”.

Confusion then reins for they can’t all agree, What they shall watch on that old TV.

So they turn to the Book in which they confide, No! Not the Bible– the TV Guide!

The Word of God is seldom read,Maybe a verse or two just before bed.

Exhausted and sleepy, tired as can be, Not from reading the Bible, but from watching TV.

Then back to the table, side by side, The Holy Bible and the TV Guide.

No time for prayer, no time for the Word. The plan of salvation is seldom heard.

Forgiveness of sin so full and free, is found in the Bible and not the TV.


A Healthy Mind

We’ve all seen those commercials where some buff person strolls out sipping some smoothie. The camera rolls and shows like 15 cucumbers and a whole head of brocolli crammed into one pill or drink. We’re told that if we just take this pill, or drink this shake, then we will be powerhouses. Reader, does that seem right to you? Does it really make sense to fortify your body with mega doses of food that you would never be able to chug down naturally? The wierd part of this scene is, they always leave out the water. As in, that powder that they stir in the shake, it’s dehydrated food. Gallons and gallons of water have been extracted to make that supplement. Reader, does that seem right to you? Doesn’t it seem like to make all of that food work, it should have the accompanying water necessary to transport those glorious nutrients into your cells?

At this point during the commercial, everyone in my family is howling, “how can anyone eat healthy…it takes up too much space in your stomache.” But then, we stop and think about and must admit, yea, if we didn’t eat the twinkies and ho hos, well;;  maybe there would be room.

Most thinking people will conclude that eating a reasonable healthy diet on a daily basis makes more sense then cramming.  Binging.  And doing penance with a week of health shakes.

I have found this same concept to be true with our mental health.  People are always told “think positive!” and then, the person saying this gives out a list of affirmations to quote. Now that would be great…if they could just walk around all day listening to it. But what tends to happen is, the motivational tapes play for 30 minutes at night, and then the student wakes up, rushes to work in a toxic environment with crap playing on the radio. They roar home listening to nothing but death on the six oclock news, and when they get home, they watch a horror movie. Talk about binge dieting!

Reader, did you know that just as your body needs proper food to stay healthy, so does your mind? The problem is, how do we know what is good for our bodies…or our mental health? We do know that lots of fat and sugar aren’t supposed to be good for us. And we do know that lean meats, dairy in moderation, and health carbs, along with fresh produce are awesome for our health.

Pop and technology

In our house, I have found that eliminating soda pop (called “soft drinks” in some parts of the world) and turning off gadgets, frees our minds and bodies up to eat healthier things.

WiFi and french fries

I recently pulled the plug on the WiFi at my house. Too many family members were walking around like zombies, glued to their smart phones….or missing in separate rooms, eating dinner alone. I begged. I pleaded. Threatened. Bribed. I’d call the kids out for something and 30 seconds later, they would dash to their room for snap chat time. This took all night just to get everyone together. Finally, after another wasting evening choralling everyone together, I’d had enough. The next morning, all of the kids were wandering around like displaced fruit flies, looking for the missing melon.

Whining turned to snapping. Snaping turned to snarling. And it hit me…your kids are addicts.  (stay tuned for part 2…..

“Google says I’m dying”

stethoscope and keyboard of a computerThat’s what I heard on someone’s blog once, but it’s not what you think…this woman joked that if you enter your symptoms into Google, you will become convinced after the first two webpages you visit, that your end is near.

That’s the humor in forming a diagnosis based on incomplete information. And that’s what many of you do…you think you aren’t a success because you aren’t getting a lot of

“likes”, traffic, or people signing up for your newsletter. But any one of these things, on their own, is not necessarily an indicator of how good your business has been set up.

Remember, you only need people to visit you, who actually end up buying your product…eventually

See, a lot of people get ALL stressed out because their competitor has more likes than them…more sign ups than they do… or they are getting way more traffic.

But what they DON”T realize is, none of these factors guarantee the most important thing in internet marketing…getting the sale.

Plenty of people get plenty of likes, plenty of followers, and plenty of traffic, but not one single person has ever bought their product.

I know, because they tell me. (Remember, I’m an online coach). And I meet people all of the time who have the most awesome sales funnel you could possibly imagine…but they aren’t making any sales.

They are constantly stressing over rankings, click through rates, and how they can get more comments. But guess what? Not one of these things ensures the sale. The truth is, it takes many factors, usually, before someone buys. But it’s not an exact science. Remember, spiders crawl the world wide web, but humans are the actual ones who make the buying decision. That’s why some rules don’t apply in some circumstances.

Sometimes, a marketer does everything right, but they have an annoying pop up ad that drives everyone away from an otherwise perfect experience.

Some marketers are themselves annoying, and build the site around their annoying online presence.

Or, they look unprofessional and incompetent, and their website’s exit rate shows it (exception…the Lazy Stoner)

Or, they brag, brag, brag, and even though have proof, no one likes them, so no one stays (though, there are exceptions…like the Rich Jerk)

And here’s the most important point I want to drive home for you…if you are a marketer and you do absolutely every single thing right, following all of the checklists out there, it is highly likely there will be some exception to the rule in your situation, or (more likely) a gaping hole, somewhere, in your marketing plan. And guess what? You won’t see it, because, (here it is)

We ALL have blind spots.

And I want you to know that, as a marketing coach, one of the hardest things for me to do is to hold back from giving free information….free advice…free feedback, to those of you who who desperately need it…and don’t even know it.

Aren’t we all like that? Don’t we all want to wipe the nose of that stranger who has something hanging from their nose? Or at least point it out? Well, maybe you don’t feel that way, but as a mother, I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to scrub another mother’s child’s face, because.. well, because I’m a mother, and I care.

It’s the same way as an internet marketer. People follow my blog who could be doing so much better online if they’d just do x, y and z. It’s hard not to tell them so.

But I’ve learned from experience, that free advice is not cherished, not followed, and is even resented by most people who are too proud to get a second opinion.

Is your blog, website, or marketing funnel all that you want it to be? If you know your website could do better, schedule a phone consultation today.

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