If you’re using article marketing to drive free traffic to your web site you’re probably very close to having your own digital product you can sell online.
What kind of product? Special reports that are about 7-15 pages in size. Small enough to be put together more quickly than you might think, but large enough to create value that people will pay for. If you have 10-12 articles written on a specific topic you can easily put them together and have a special report done in no time.
Easily Creating Your Reports
A typical article is probably about a page in length. The easiest way to create a report is to gather 7-15 articles that are similar in topic and put them together — voila, you have a report!
Of course, sometimes it’s good to have a section of the report that’s longer than a page — and you also want to make sure the report doesn’t “feel” disjointed. So look for a couple articles that fit together especially well and tweak the end of one and the beginning of the next to turn them into one longer article.
In fact, if you take a little time and do that with each article, you’ll end up with a much better report — one that flows rather than jumps around.
Making Money Using Free Reports
This is similar to article marketing in that you give some information on how to solve a problem and then promote a product that can make the process faster and/or easier.
Where it differs from article marketing is in the promotion of the product. Articles that are submitted to directories usually have to have a rather passive pitch or they’ll be rejected. But in a report that you are going to distribute you can be as blatant as you want.
Just remember, if you’re all pitch and no info you won’t be making a very good impression on the reader. Be sure you balance the info with the pitch.
Although there’s not a hard-and-fast rule, special reports that you give away usually contain more affiliate links than a report that you sell. The paid reports also usually contain more hard-core information.
Making Money Selling Reports
Probably the most basic way to make money with a report is to put up a sales page and a PayPal button. If the info product is decent you’ll make some sales — maybe a lot of sales. And you can use articles or free reports to drive traffic to that sales letter.
You can also use the report as a “foundation” for a larger info product — add some screencast videos, some interviews, checklists, etc., and you have the makings of a full-blown information product that could be promoted with affiliates, joint ventures, etc.
Building Your List With Reports
This one is for the person who’s more patient, who sees the big picture, or who isn’t desperate for money right this minute.
Saying “Pretty please!” just isn’t enough these days to get people to join your list — you need to give them a solid reason to give up their email address. A special report written to solve a problem they have is a great enticement.
Building a larger list of prospects is something that should always be “front of mind” and the reports you put together can be instrumental in helping to build that list.
There you go — three solid ways you can use small reports to make money and build your list. And just think, it all started with writing simple little articles!