As I try and shift my business towards carrying products rather than being a pure service business, I have decided that a strong part of that business will be educational books and courses.
I love to share my knowledge with others, often imposing my views of how to do things on other people! I figure that if people are actually seeking out information on topics I am experienced in, then it is a fantastic opportunity for me to create a product around it.
My focus is on teaching, specifically in business and marketing. I see teaching as a great way to create these products because firstly, I use these kind of things, I love to learn. Secondly, I know that by teaching I become better myself. When at school I loved to quote “those who can do, those who can’t teach”, I only now think that is half true! The key is to seek out teachers who have actually been there and done that. The problem with school teachers is that often they cover the same ground over and over again, because of the way curriculums are structured and as such loose passion for what they teach. This leach of passion transfers on to the student.
I have several aims for my business, which I will share over the coming months. At a high level these are to create a SaaS product, continuously create educational products and focus on increasing my consulting rate to take on clients where I can add the most value.
Following Amy Hoy’s advice of creating a tiny product first, I have decided that my first full product will be a book, more specifically a kit, containing a business guide (operations manual) and including added value items such as templates, video tutorials and interviews. This product is tentatively titled The WordPress Business Kit. It’s goal is simple – to be everything someone needs to start a WordPress Consulting Business on the side. It contains processes and lessons on how to prospect, propose, sell, deliver and support WordPress projects. Buyers of the book will save time by not having to create their own documentation such as contracts, proposals etc, as well as learning everything you need to know to get started in this kind of business on the side.
I’m in the process of editing and promoting the book now. I’m already over 30,000 words in, so I think it’s fair to say this isn’t an idea for a project but something that I am actively working on. My aim is to release it at the end of February. If you sound like a good fit for this book, then you can find out more here.
How am I writing it?
I am not daunted by writing the book. I have no problem writing 1,000 words a day as demonstrated years ago by Chris Guillebeau and more recently Nathan Barry has taken on this approach to great success. In fact it is Nathan’s excellent Authority blueprint that I am following. I recommend his book if you are interested in creating your own educational products. With my background of SEO writing, I am well used to pumping out the words. The daunting aspect is editing! I am, in addition to writing 1,000 words per day, editing 2,000 per day well. This is difficult, I find reading out loud helps a lot.
Why I’m writing it
I love to write but have an issue finishing because of my problem with editing. I’m proving to myself a much as anything that I can complete a writing and product creation project and I aim to learn as much as possible about creating and selling a product through this process. I love to learn.
Who is it for?
I am also, of course, writing it for my target customer. I have myself successfully started a business on the side selling WordPress services. I see real opportunities for people to take their love of WordPress and create value for other people by doing this. I also think that there are mistakes that can be made, I know I have, and if people can learn from my mistakes and ultimately deliver better projects for their clients then it’s better for everyone. Also, the more people using WordPress the better it is for it continuing to evolve as a product that we can all benefit from.
My transparency pledge
I’d like to be as transparent as possible throughout this process, as it’s a fantastic way for me to teach others and inspire them. I know that others who have done this have been a great inspiration for me. I would like to pay it forward.
Ultimately I know that the majority of my small audience here are going to have no interest in this at all as a product, but many will be interested in the journey and learning from that, so I aim to share as I go. If you have any questions so far please let me know.
If you do love WordPress and are interested in starting a business on the side selling WordPress services, or know someone else who is, then make sure that you sign up for specific book mailing list. I’ll be teaching more specific stuff on that list.