I’ve created three information products in the past six months that have collectively earned about $25,000 in profit. This averages out to a little over $4,000 per month which is a very livable wage and coupled with a few other online income sources could put you well on your way to a secure self employment.

How To Get Started: Niche Selection

The most important thing you need to decide is what will your product be about. What need is there in the market that you can help solve?

Example 1: I created a product that teaches people how I build websites that make money with Amazon’s affiliate program: Niche Profit Course. I created this product as a response to the hundreds of comments and emails I received after writing this article outlining a few of the tips I used to make $42k with Amazon Associates in 2009. It became pretty clear that the readers of my blog wanted more details so I set out to create an in depth step by step course to show people how I make money with Amazon’s affiliate program.

Example 2: I was a professional Halo player for several years and in fact that’s largely how I got started making money online. I used to sell Halo lessons for $30 an hour and eventually $50 an hour. So when a new version of Halo came out in September 2010 I saw an opportunity to stop trading hours for dollars and instead to create an online training course designed to teach people how to get better at Halo. I knew from giving countless lessons that beginner and intermediate players make many of the same mistakes throughout every new version of Halo. So I simply created a course going through the wide range of things I’d discuss in a typical lesson and started selling it.

Example 3: It takes far too long to create Amazon affiliate links for a blog the manual way so I wanted all the functionality of being able to create Amazon affiliate links but to do it all without leaving my WordPress dashboard. This was the very first premium plugin I released and it’s since undergone 3 major revisions (and free upgrades for customers – even those that bought it cheap the first time). Get it here.

How To Find A Niche:

In all three of the examples I shared above, you probably noticed a few common themes: Expert Subject Knowledge and Solves A Common Problem

Expert Subject Knowledge:

If you know a lot about a particular subject it’s very easy to bundle that knowledge into an easily digestible package and sell it, particularly if that knowledge is in a high value area that people are willing to pay for like with my Niche Profit Course. However, as you saw with Example 2 you aren’t limited to typical “high value area’s” and in fact people are willing to pay for a lot more than you’d think. I bet you’d be surprised by how many people pay me to get better at Halo.

In both cases I used my expert knowledge to create and sell a product to a market I knew existed because of the comments and emails I got asking for more information about Amazon’s Affiliate Program and I knew people were willing to pay for Halo lessons based on past experience so why not a training course?

Bottom Line: If you know a lot about a subject consider developing a product to serve that niche. When possible avoid highly saturated niches particularly those found in the make money online space that so many people foolishly flock to – especially if you don’t know anything groundbreaking.

Solves A Common Problem:

The best products in the world were created with the explicit purpose to solve a common problem. The more common the problem the larger your market; however, there is also an opportunity to make a substantial amount of money in smaller niche markets too. Easy Azon has done very well and it focuses on solving a problem that helps you save time. Whenever the problem you set out to solve can directly save time it helps out.

Bottom Line: There are countless problems in thousands of niche markets and if you can solve the problem with an affordable product you can make some money.

Wrap Up:

Next week I’ll cover how to actually create a product and after that I’ll tell you how to sell the product. One of the things I’m going to continue doing in 2011 is creating, marketing and selling more information products both in niches related to this blog and in niches outside this blog like my Halo Training Course. There is a ton of money to be made in the information marketing space and the places I’m looking at most in 2011 are for obscure niches with problems that need solving.

Be sure to catch Part 2 of my info product series by subscribing to my blog.