With the proliferation of self-publishing print vendors, inexpensive video equipment and the Internet, starting your own info-publishing business can be accomplished with little monetary investment compared with traditional publishing. Information publishing may take the form of printed books, ebooks, blogs, videos or podcasts, with initial product production done in your home or office. Print-on-demand companies will print as few as one book; blog, podcast and video providers offer solutions to market and sell your info product. Solid, salable ideas and writing or speaking skills are required, as well as marketing and advertising savvy.
1. Obtain a local business permit, if necessary, and register with your state for a business tax identification number. There are no special licenses required for information publishers, especially those working from home.
2. Prepare a business plan and research the market and competition for the type of information you plan to provide. The Small Business Administration has free information on its website to help you in preparing and writing your business plan.
3. Purchase a domain name and Web-hosting package and create a website. Some hosting providers offer turnkey Web solutions for information publishers and other ecommerce companies, such as shopping carts, Web page templates and other necessities.
4. Purchase any necessary equipment you’ll need to produce your informational product. If you plan on writing ebooks, your computer will suffice. If you will produce podcasts, you’ll need a USB podcasting microphone. If producing videos, a high-quality video camera and editing software will be necessary.
5. Visit other info publishing sites to gain ideas for your own site. When you find several you like, perform an online search for the company name and see where they appear on other sites. You’ll use this information to learn how marketers use as many Web resources as possible to promote their business.
6. Spend as much time as possible marketing and promoting your website and informational products. Posting on blogs, article submissions and linking to other sites are just a few ways you can increase exposure for your product.
7. Contact several self-publisher book printers if you plan on selling books, and CD/DVD manufacturers if you are providing digital information in physical form. Consider companies that can provide “just-in-time” short-run manufacturing and drop-shipping to your customers to simplify your business.