Issue#53: Building $1K - $10K Monthly Revenue around Info Products - Part 2
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This is “Part - 2” of how Info Products are making thousands of dollars in revenue.
No fluffy content. If your goal is to build a $100m ARR business, this is not the right post. Here I am are NOT going to talk about building the next Facebook or Twitter. If your goal is to make a $1K to $10K MRR, continue reading.
This post will cover one micro opportunity and talk about multiple niches in this space. This post also explains how to do tech implementation, do market analysis, how the current players are doing, and ends with a cost analysis to understand the overall cost for 100 users.
This is “Part - 2” of how Info Products are making thousands of dollars in revenue.
Most people often try to build SaaS solutions spending a lot of time only to realize that they built a product that nobody wants. Most first-time founders start building their products without validating the product/market fit. This is high risk and to control this risk, the best way would be to start thinking about ‘making info products’. People are living of info products sales. For example, Daniel left his full-time job at AWS and started building info products making thousands of dollars in revenue. The same is the case with Arvid Khal who earlier built SaaS and is now writing info products full-time. This approach also gives you an audience that likes your content and you could leverage these audiences while building your SaaS product.
(This isn’t completely about Micro SaaS but still about profitable niches)
One of the biggest advantages of courses/ebooks/curation lists/content is it draws a highly interested audience for a given topic. This is also a part of the “Building Audience First” strategy.
By working on courses/ebooks/curated content/lists that interest a niche audience, you are building the biggest wealth of ‘audience’. If these audiences are happily paying for your lists/content that is curated, then there are high chances that these audiences could turn your paying customers.
Negative Nancy says - “If my info product fails, am I not losing my time?”
Me - Well yes but the risk is there in building SaaS as well. You are risking more by building SaaS than creating an info product. Most info products can be validated in 2-3 days with some preview content and see if that generates any interest with the marketing channels you know. An info product is the best way to get started and make your first dollar and get your first set of audience.
Negative Nancy says - “People can copy my info product easily.”
Me - Yes but the problem exists for a long time for ebooks and movies too but businesses run despite all that. There are ways to mitigate by reaching out to the person who copies your product and duplicates it this but that may not be worth the effort in most cases. But some people use that as an opportunity to openly shame the one who copied and thus build more awareness about the original product. People have been writing books and making movies and this content gets copied often but that problem shouldn’t stop you from building your info product.
Deep-dive & Some niches
Why should you do this? As mentioned earlier, this not only gives you money but also gives you an audience and a platform to build products by talking to your subscribers. Let’s see some of the info products that you can think of. Note that info products could be both one-time purchases and recurring revenue too. For example, info products like newsletters give recurring revenue. Info products like books give one-time revenue. Either create content or curate content.
Below are a few success stories that can inspire you to start creating info products.
CSS Flex & Grid: This creator made more than $4K in sales from a book on CSS Flex & Grid. But note that she has made built an audience on Twitter and Youtube before writing the ebook. But some people do it the other way round too. You can first write an ebook and start selling it by writing in various forums and then leverage these buyers and ask them to join on Twitter or your Youtube channel too. The trick is to START now.
BetterSheets: Built by this creator, Better Sheets made more than $40,000 in the past year from spreadsheet products. His spreadsheet products teach users how to better utilize Google sheets so that the buyers can sell their spreadsheets or use spreadsheets a better way. His core product includes 100 Twitter templates inside Google sheets and other related products around sheets.
SpreadTheWorld: Xavier created an info product by curing the list of communities where people can post about their products and get users. Xavier identified that this is an everyday problem for most founders. So, he simply started collecting data about various forums/communities and made a list with that data. But instead of building the list on a complex tech stack, he just used Airtable and provided access to this list via Gumroad purchase. This helped him to spend less time going to market and rather spend those efforts in marketing his info product. Xavier made more than $9000 USD in less than 5 months from this info product. He in turn used these audiences to sell his next info product UserBooster that is already profitable and making hundreds of dollars.
Podcast OS: Josh Kaplan(founder of BusinessCasual) and Janel created PodcastOS to solve the everyday problem for Podcasters. Running a Podcast isn’t easy and there are a series of repetitive steps involved in publishing a podcast. So, Josh and Janel created a Notion document that helps fine-tune this everyday process for podcasters. Instead of building a complex SaaS product, they decreased their risk factor by spending less time on building an info product. PodcastOS made more than $10000 USD in the first few months and is still bringing thousands of dollars in revenue.
NotionPack: Ben created NotionPack to help freelancers. His product NotionPack consists of all the documents typically freelancers need for handling client projects. This pack built on Notion apparently save hundreds of hours with the prebuilt templates and can be set up in minutes and easily customizable to clients' brand. Ben made $16000 from this info product within just 2 months of the launch.
Notion Templates: Easlo made $20000 USD in less than a year selling Notion templates. See the Notion templates at Easlo.co. Now after making $20K USD from his templates, he doubled down on Notion and created a Notion course to help people create Notion templates and he already made money out of this new course by leveraging his previous buyers.
GetTims: Quentin made $3,000 with his digital product that curates a list of the best free tools to build online projects. He used a simple tech stack without making it too complex. He used Airtable and Gumroad to charge users and provide access to data. TIMS is a growing database of more than 200 free tools and resources for Indie Makers. It aims to help aspiring makers, side hustlers, and entrepreneurs easily find all the tools and resources they need to build their projects, with virtually no budget.
Need more examples? Most of the below curators are making hundreds of dollars in revenue by curating content - either one-time curation or recurring content curation.
IncubatorList: Find the best startup program among the world's 550+ best startup accelerators, incubators and investors.
MarketerCrew: A weekly newsletter with top discussions around various communities. Get the weekly email that makes marketing enjoyable. Stay informed on the latest news, tools, and insights
GetCommunityList: Find hundreds of Communities to Promote your Product Finding the right communities takes hours and manual googling sucks. With Community List, instantly find relevant communities with all the data you need in one place.
PressHunt: A curated list of journalists, reporters. Press Hunt saves you hundreds of hours by aggregating data on over 750k journalists, reporters, and podcasts in one place, complete with their coverage focuses and contact info.
GrowMySaaS: The best way to grow your startup. Unlock a database of 150+ growth and conversion strategies for early-stage SaaS startups.
Curated Twitter Templates: 100 Twitter Templates curated in Google sheets that can be swipe files for Twitter growth.
Swipe Convert: Swipe files to improve SaaS conversion, signups, and revenue.
ScrapBook: Scrapbook is a database of 280+ high-quality SaaS tactic ideas for every step of the funnel, from acquisition to retention.
Startup Growth Kit: A collection of Notion docs and templates to grow your startup or indie project! Get hundreds of places where you can post your startup, hundreds of guides about launching on Twitter, Product Hunt, Reddit, and more.
InfluenceWeekly: The weekly report the Influencer Marketing industry reads every Friday. Delivers every week to 10K subscribers.
Jona: Jona offers curated lists of journalists across 50+ categories and countries.
Use Twitter Meaningfully: A guide on how to build relations and grow an audience on Twitter.
The Launch Checklist: Launch Like A Pro On Product Hunt With These 80+ Actionable Tips From Expert Entrepreneurs
Startup Growth Kit: The best way for your startup to increase growth, users, and revenue
🔒 👉 [Get access to 800+ additional ideas across all niches from Pro version with data points, revenue information. The Pro version also comes with community access].
You don’t need a lot of technical chops to create successful info products. All you need is good knowledge of a subject and should be able to create content of it. Pick whatever you are best at and see to create a one-time purchasable ebook/course on it. Once you see good sales, improve your tech stack and build a simple logged-in-only access portal for your content and then build a community around your audience using tools like Circle, Tribe, Edition, etc.
You don’t need a lot of technical knowledge to build and sell curated content.
If you are selling info products like ebooks, you need a few of the below tools.
If you are selling curated lists in the form of Airtable lists, Google sheets, Notion docs, you can accept payments on the below tools and send private access to the users.
If you want to write recurring newsletters, content with daily/weekly/monthly curated content, you can use tools like Substack, ConvertKit, Gumroad, etc to compose content right inside these tools and send from these tools without going outside the platform. In most cases, you can also accept payments from these tools directly.
Gumroad - Accepts Paypal, cards, Apple pay
(And Yes, you don’t need to have any coding knowledge)
You can also think of using PayTable to sell curated lists from Airtable. PayTable helps you set up the entire workflow.
So, the biggest question is where to start promoting your info product?
Follow the same approach how people do for a Micro SaaS product.
Start building an audience first by creating a simple landing page with email signup to capture the leads. Use a custom domain if possible. If not, you can use the free Gumroad landing page too.
If you need some kind of inputs from your prospective audience, you can start sending emails and ask for quick meeting calls. Don’t take a lot of their time. Start with a 15min call.
If you are confident and started working on your product, send sending quick glimpses of your work to the folks who signed up via email.
When ready for sales, start with a discounted price and send an email to your subscribers. Make sure you mention that the discounted price is only for the first 20 people or so and this creates a sense of urgency for your email subscribers.
Once you start seeing the sales, capture the screenshots and share them on social media and other communities (more on this below).
Don’t lose the momentum.
Make it an easier choice for your audience to pay.
Provide community access with the purchase of the info product. Setting community is easy with tools like Circle.so, Tribe.so, etc.
Provide option for consulting too for questions/strategies around the content purchased. This gives more confidence to users and generates extra revenue per purchase.
“How do you sell your curated lists/content?” - Selling one-time purchases like these is relatively easier than selling SaaS subscriptions as there is no overhead of recurring payments for the end-user.
Start with submitting your website to BetaList. Post to IndieHackers (make sure to select the appropriate sub-group).
See 50 communities to promote your list. Don’t spam.
Some more places to promote your curated lists.
In most cases, you should be able to find a bunch of subreddits and Facebook groups around a given niche. For example, if you are building a curated list for marketing techniques, look for growth marketing groups on Reddit and Facebook. If you are looking to create a list of VCs, Funding companies for Founders, see for various Reddit groups, Facebook groups who might be interested. Also, you can find more founders on Twitter and IndieHackers too. But this purely depends on your chosen niche.
Go to this list to see 2000 Slack communities around various niches from animation to marketing. Find required Slack groups based on your niche and join Slack. Don’t spam Slack groups. Start interacting with users and provide value before selling the product.
Provide a sneak peek of the list by showing a few entries from the list. Put a price and discount. Once your product starts gaining attention, launch it on ProductHunt.
Newer communities that help content creators
Cost Analysis for 100 customers
The cost for this is $0 and that is the beauty of Info products typically ebooks, Paid Access to Airtable data, Google sheet, etc doesn’t cost a lot of money.
The cost for products like this is almost always zero. Build your curated content in the form of a Google Document, Notion Doc and put it for sale on Gumroad.
If you are selling curated lists, make a list using Google Sheets or Airtable or Notion or Coda and provide private access to the sheet on each purchase.
All of these tools are completely free or have generous free tiers. For selling the lists, you would need to accept payment, and below are a few tools that help you set up payment without writing code.
Stripe ( Stripe has a new feature to generate payment links without having a website)
These tools charge you only a small share of the sale amount. So, you don’t have to pay any money upfront. All you have to do is build the list put it on these payment tools, market, and start selling. The infrastructure cost is $0 and you would only pay a small share per sale.