If you’re going to write, why not make it pay off in a big way? It’s well within your grasp, so there’s no point in shooting for the barn door when the moon is clearly in sight.
Tip Number One: To maximize your earnings, seek projects with a high probability of success.
This makes sense to most. But often after sharing this advice, I see first-time writers heading off in a different direction. Beginners often stick to what they’re most comfortable with. That’s fine if you’re purpose is to raise your standing and become better known in a particular field. But if sales and profits are your major objective, you need to go where the money is.
Profitable markets are all around you. As marketing consultant Tony Blake says “There are people walking around with money to spend… money that’s burning holes in their pockets… all you have to do is follow the smoke.”
Following the smoke is taking the high-probability route. Look for large potential audiences first. Find a group you can market your book or report to and then give them the kind of information they seek. Ideally you want a large target market full of rabid buyers. If your audience eagerly buys up multiple products within that niche, you stack the deck in your favor before ever putting pen to paper.
One way to spot active markets loaded with rabid buyers is to seek markets with lots of competition. Now that may go against the grain of conventional wisdom, but I recommend that you seek out markets with competition and then put your own spin on it with a unique product buyers will love. Lots of competition usually indicates an active and healthy market. Look for markets where competitors exist, instead of wasting time trying to carve out a niche that hasn’t yet been tapped in a big way.
Tip number two: Start where your audience lives.
If you want to hit a home run with your book or information product, tap into the current mindset of your market. What are the thinking and talking about? What’s the biggest issue they faced over the past year? What are the news stories this market keeps talking about?
How are current conditions affecting the people you want to target? If it’s something the media covers consistently, you can tap into the issues that people are already obsessed with and gain an open and receptive ear.
When you go beyond the surface, often you can make some important discoveries about what’s worrying your target market. And when you know what the problems are, you’re halfway towards a solution. All you have to do is develop workable remedies or fixes and present them in product format.
Tip number three: Take a look at current winning products.
The easiest way to do this is to check out the Amazon site and their bestseller lists in particular. With hourly updates, you’re getting the most up to date information about the hottest sellers in specific genres.
Examine those that are closest to your chosen category and look for weaknesses you could improve upon. Spot the holes and plug them with your product. In other words, build a better mousetrap and attract buyers with your superior product.
Another way to benefit from bestsellers is to consider what the next best product would be for buyers of a certain book. What would be the next logical product this market would like to obtain? For example, let’s suppose one of the top books in the Health and Fitness category was a new publication explaining how broccoli builds healthier bodies and is one of the healthiest foods we could consume. A natural follow-up product might be “101 delicious broccoli dishes you can make at home”.
Tip number four: Observe online forums.
Pay particular attention to the kinds of questions people are asking. Look at sites like Yahoo Answers, as well as any niche-specific discussion boards you can find.
Take note of the questions being asked. Look for the same question asked in different ways. Then set out to find the answers. One way is to find a panel of experts and ask the same questions of each expert and then craft a frequently asked question type of report.
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