How I Made My Knowledge Sell & You Can Too

July 30, 2010

Cultivating KnowledgeDo you have information you can turn into cash? I bet you do. You might be surprised to discover that many people would pay to know what’s in your head.

I wasn’t confident that I could make my knowledge sell, but I did it and you can too.

Over a decade ago, I discovered that people would pay good money for the information I had to share.

My first attempt at selling my knowledge wasn’t revolutionary, or mindblowing, but it worked. I had no special skills, or advantages in fact, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

Here’s what I started out with:

- No business experience.

- A shoestring budget.

- I used a free webhost.

- No technical knowledge – I built an ugly website using Microsoft Frontpage.

- Zero online sales experience – I studied online sales copy and newsletters to see what worked.

- The autoresponder I used for my weekly newsletter was a free download.

- I had no way of accepting payment online, so customers had to mail me cheques, then wait for me to email the guide.

- I was extremely naive, which was probably a good thing, as I might have given up before I started.

The Only Thing I Had Going For Me Was Desperation

I was recovering from a long illness and I was desperate to get back to work. But with two small kids at home and limited resources, I had no idea what to do. I tried to break out as a freelance writer and I did have a few small successes. But the payment was a pittance, in return for the hours I put in sending out queries, fillers, and articles on spec.

It was frustrating because I wanted to write and I was willing to work hard, but I also wanted to make a half decent rate for my efforts. So I began looking for other ways to make my writing sell.

It Pays To Be Open Minded In Your Research

Knowledge Wall

I bought a computer, in the hope that it would at least speed up my writing time. I also got access to the Internet and when I first began browsing, I accidentally stumbled on a site about Disney World.

To be honest, I knew jack all about Disney World, aside from the fact that it was somewhere in America. And no offence to Americans, but I had no desire to visit the country. At the time, the newspapers seemed to be full of stories about British tourists getting car-jacked and murdered in the USA.

My curiosity led me to a search on Disney World and the safety of British tourists. I figured I could probably glean enough information to help me pitch an article on the dangers of visiting “the killer mouse”. But I found an interview with Michael Eisner, Disney’s former CEO and quickly changed my mind.

Eisner explained that many British tourists were afraid to visit Walt Disney World because of the crime. He pointed out that this was crazy, because most of the crime was in the Miami area, which was over 200 miles away.

Well, that got me thinking that this Disney place might not be so bad after all. My kids would love it and it looked like we might not get mugged or shot.

So I researched like mad, gleaning any information I could from websites and forums. And not only did I learn how to plan the perfect Walt Disney World trip; I discovered how to save a whole bunch of money too. And while I must have spent hundreds of hours researching, it saved me over two thousand dollars on our first trip.

People Will Pay Good Money To Learn What You Know

Mickey Money
The entrepreneur within me said it would be wasteful, if I didn’t do something more productive with the knowledge base I’d built. I might have saved a lot of money, but I didn’t actually make any cash for the time I’d put in. And thousands of people could benefit from what I’d learned.

I don’t even know if e-books existed back then. But I figured I could write a simple guide on how to save money on a Walt Disney World trip, sell it on a website and send it to customers by email.

So I created my information product. It was only about 24 pages long, took a few days to write and I sold it as a simple text document for $10. Yes it was short, but my main focus was to provide folk with the information they needed. I didn’t see the point in padding the product out. After all, if readers don’t want to spend a lot of time on research, they don’t want to waste time reading through a whole bunch of fluff.

Now this might not seem the best way to sell your knowledge and it isn’t. But despite my obvious mistakes and amateur approach, my little information product sold.

And there is no reason why you can’t do this too. You can get so much information and useful tools online to help you, so you’re sure to do far better than I did with that first product.

A Few Tips On How To Turn Your Knowledge Into Cash

“People begin to be successful the minute they decide to be.” Harvey Mackay

1. Don’t underestimate the importance of knowledge you already have. If you’ve spent hundreds, or even thousands of hours learning how to do something, there will be plenty of people willing to pay for a shortcut.

2. People are always looking for ways to save time, save money, or make more money. If you can show them how to do it, you have a huge advantage.

3. You don’t need to spend months writing a massive tome. People want to buy your knowledge, so they can get started right away. They are paying for the time you spent learning and researching, not the time you spent writing your information product.

4. You don’t need to stress over your writing style for this type of product. So long as it is readable, with few grammatical errors and typos, your readers don’t care if you write like Hemmingway, or Bart Simpson.

5. It helps if you’ve actually put your own knowledge into practise. People are more likely to buy from you, if you’ve actually done what it says in the book.

6. If you don’t have a clue where to start, don’t let it put you off. An easy to use guide, like the 7 Day Ebook, will help you to come up with an idea, plan out your book and get it written within a week. And it also shows you how to market your book.

So what are you waiting for? Has this convinced you that you can make your knowledge sell? Or is something else holding you back?

Read About Other People Who Have Made Their Knowledge Sell

- In the late 90′s, Rosalind Gardner started a business, selling other people’s products online. By 2002, she was able to quit her day job and nowadays, she makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. And she shows you how to become a super affiliate in her popular e-book.

-Kathy Hendershot-Hurd is an online business expert. She has years of experience in showing clients how to build a successful blog that makes them money. And she shares her years of knowledge and experience, in her powerful guide -8 Week Power Blog Launch.

-Tom Volkar has been coaching and inspiring people to become self-employed for years. He has produced several information products himself and now he has packaged his knowledge in a guide, which shows you how to create inspired info products.

Image Credits

Cultivating Knowledge by Anders Sandberg
Knowledge Wall by The Value Web Photo Gallery
Mickey Money by Kurtxio

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