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8 Steps To Create Your Digital Information Product

http://davidmerrill101.comYou can create your own digital information product.  

Publish it, promote it and then move on to the next.  

It’s really that simple when you know exactly how to go about it.

By the time you’re done reading this very short article, you will know exactly how to go about it.

I’m not going to guarantee that everything you do will work out, but knowing that is part of the secret sauce to this 8 step method that I’ve used quite successfully many times over.

It’s not always the method I use, but it’s one that I frequently come back to.  It’s also the method I teach to product creation novices.

That’s because the biggest obstacle I’ve found that my students have when trying to create a digital information product, is (1) keeping it simple and (2) making it happen.


It’s very common to complicate things.

When you make a big production schedule for your project, with numerous parts and all kinds of bells and whistles, you’ll be digging a very deep hole that you’ll probably have trouble getting out of.

The simpler you keep it, the more likely it will be that you can complete it from beginning to end.


The single biggest reason that people don’t ever complete their project is procrastination.

There’s always a better time to do it.  

There’s always more to learn about your topic before you get started.

And here’s the biggest procrastination excuse… you’re not prepared to make it perfect.

Perfection, or its illusion anyway, is your biggest enemy.

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The easiest way to put off taking action on your project is to understand that you’re not ready to make it perfect.

Here’s a tip for you: It will NEVER be perfect, no matter what you do.

So just get it started, get it done, wrap it up with a bow and move on to your next product.

So, here is my 8 step method for creating your digital information product.


8 Steps To Create Your Digital Information Product

1. Pick Your Big Idea

What information do you want to deliver to your audience?

Think of what will help them solve a problem that is common in the niche.

Your product will, ideally, address just one problem… just one… and offer an actionable solution to it.

Time you need to complete this step:
1 hour


2. Decide How You’ll Teach It

Decide if you’ll make your project an e-book, a video tutorial, a webinar or something else.

Time you need to complete this step:
1 hour


3. List 4 Main Elements In Your Big Idea

Write these down on a document or notepad.

Don’t decide on 3 elements (or topics), or 5 or 6.  That will distract you from moving forward.  It will give you one more thing to think about.  It will become a burden if you choose too many, overly simplistic if you choose too few.

But worst of all, it will confuse things.

Keep it simple.

Keep to the plan.

Don’t think… act.  

List the 4 key elements that you need to teach in order to solve your audience’s problem.

Time you need to complete this step:
1 hour

4.  Outline Each Element

Open a clean document or notepad for each element.
Outline how each one works.

Why is each one important to the solution of your audiences problem?

How can they implement your suggestions?

Time you need to complete this step:
1 hour for each element (4 hours total)

5.  Research Each Element

Even if you KNOW your topic inside out, refine your information with a bit of research.  

This will bring each element up to date, will help you develop some interesting facts and statistics related to it, and will give you some perspective on what other leaders in the field are saying about your 4 elements.

Time you need to complete this step:
1 hour for each element (4 hours total)

6.  Fully Develop Each Element

Now, fully develop each of your 4 elements.

That means, if it is a written project (like an e-book or report)… write the body text for each element.

If it is a video series, record the videos for each element.

If it is a webinar, construct the actual slides for each element.

Time you need to complete this step:
1 hour for each element (4 hours total)  

7. Bridge The 4 Elements

Write a short paragraph after each element, connecting it to the next one.

Time you need to complete this step:
1 hour

8. Package It

Give it an Introduction that tells people what they will learn.  Then, a Summary that tells people what they just learned.

Your product is done.

Time you need to complete this step:
1 hour

How To Do It

I just showed you what to do.

This is how you do it.

Write your outlines as guidelines.

Then either write them out completely, or shoot your videos or whatever you’ve chosen as the medium for your instruction.  

One of the keys to this system is to adhere strictly to the “Time you need to complete this step” for each and every step.

This entire system should be completed in no more than 17 hours.

Don’t stretch this out over 17 days.  Work in 5 hour blocks, for 4 consecutive days.  That means, you should complete this entire project in about 4 days.

A 5 hour block should be done in this fashion: work 1 hour, then take a 20 minute break. When you complete 4 hours of production, it will be a 5 hour block since three 20 minute breaks is an additional hour in the process.

Of course, you can tweak and change all this.

If you do, it won’t work as well.

Set your clock, check your calendar.

Adhere tightly to this process.

When it’s all done, your product will be concise and valuable to your target audience.

It won’t be perfect.

Please… don’t make it perfect.

Make it complete.

Don’t make it complex, just make it complete within the outline you created above.

This is not going to be the world’s greatest information product ever, and it’s probably not even going to have any kind of shelf life.

Things change on the internet, and they change fast.  

Systems, platforms, business models… they all change.  

Chances are, your product will be out of date within months of its release.

Sure, you could labor over updating it, but you know what?  With the simple structure I’ve given you here, just create a new one when it’s time for updating.

Need help getting started? 

Click Here to learn more about how you can create digital information products… and market them, too.  It’s just one of many topics we talk to folks like you about, everyday, in the Whirlwind Success “VIP Club”.

Have you ever created a digital information product?  Do you have one in mind?  How long have you been mulling it over?  

Is this 8 step method helpful to you?

Leave your comments below and please, share this article on your social sites with your friends.

David Merrill 101
I'm an Internet Marketer and Online Marketing Coach. My students learn no-nonsense, power strategies and techniques to build solid blogging and internet businesses. David Merrill+

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33 Responses to 8 Steps To Create Your Digital Information Product

  1. Ron Killian June 28, 2014 at 6:10 am #

    Some great tips David! Sure many people will find your post very useful.

    Things to keep in mind myself when I am creating products.

    I agree too that procrastination is the biggest downfall for people doing their own stuff. See it happen all the time. Happens to me as well. Just gotta push through it and get it done.
    Ron Killian´s last blog post ..Profitable Blogging Blueprint

    • David Merrill 101 June 29, 2014 at 12:04 am #

      Nice to hear from you, Ron.

      Procrastination is a major obstacle to creating your own products. That’s why i like to move people into a rapid shot-gun approach like the one I outlined in this article. That way, your product is done before you have a chance to think of all the reasons you need to put it off.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  2. Marquita Herald June 28, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    Excellent outline David and while it’s all valuable information the nugget I love is “please don’t make it perfect – make it complete.” I also like how you encourage people to set realistic expectations because as a recovering perfectionist myself I know firsthand how much time and energy can be wasted. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Marquita Herald´s last blog post ..Strategies to Build Courage and Conquer Fear

    • David Merrill 101 June 29, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

      Yea, perfection is a major issue with moving forward, Marty.

      Thanks, too, for giving us your unique insight “as a recovering perfectionist”.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  3. Karen Peltier June 29, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    Hello David.

    I haven’t done a digital information product yet, but have been wanting to for quite some time. I guess part of what has been holding me back is not knowing which technology to use and thinking of it as a “big” undertaking.

    Your breaking the project into eight steps and putting a time limit on each step is a great solution even though I must admit I caught myself thinking I could spread each part of the project out over several days versus doing it in four days. But then I thought back to my teaching days and realized completing something in a shorter time period helps maintain focus, avoid procrastination, and limit perfectionism! So, I think the key is to finding that chunk of time and then following your steps.

    By the way, your Whirlwind Success VIP club sounds like a great idea. I’ve watched your video and am definitely thinking of joining!

    Karen Peltier´s last blog post ..Which of These 10 Methods is the Best Way to Wash Your Produce?

    • David Merrill 101 June 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

      Thanks for your insights, Karen.

      The whole point to the production plan I outlined, is maintaining focus and limiting “perfectionism”. Those are big obstacles for most people to overcome.

      I hope you don’t put off your plans too long. Just pick a technology you’re comfortable with and get it started. You can always change your mind or reevaluate another strategy for your sequel!

      Thanks for your interest in the VIP Club. Would love to have you there.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  4. Sarupa Shah June 29, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this – especially as you have put timings in – I often forget that those times when I set my timer to limit my procrastination and faffing – magic was created…boundaries are so important especially in any creation process as otherwise one can become carried away or overwhelmed! As ever David – a wonderful informative and incredible useful post. Thanks … and I am going to be sharing this with my clients as they need to see this!
    Sarupa Shah´s last blog post ..How to make it SO in your own business! [video]

    • David Merrill 101 June 29, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

      Thanks for loving it so many times Sarupa. I think 3 Loves is better than 5 Stars 🙂

      I’m glad you pointed out the importance of setting the timer. You know, we all like to think we can do things as inspiration or mood moves us. But as a professional, you’ve just got to do it. Worry about getting it right later. First, set a rigid schedule and rip it!

      I’ve done a lot of freelance writing for publishers and research groups. When I get an assignment, it comes with a deadline. Something like… deliver Chapter One in 2 weeks, Chapter Five by the end of week 4 and Chapter 7 by the end of week 6. It’s a 6 week assignment, period. Not to be done when the mood strikes, just sit down and stick to a DAILY schedule so you can deliver on time.

      Thanks for dropping by Sarupa.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  5. Mark June 29, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    Excellent post David!

    Your proven 8 step process is extremely practical and very easy to follow.

    But I have to tell you, as far as I’m personally concerned, I think the best advice you’ve given is warning about falling prey to perfection killer syndrome!

    That one issue far too many times to count, is simply a long term success and potential success killer! Thanks for the warning!

    That extremely critical point, can’t be stressed enough!
    Mark´s last blog post ..Three Extremely Critical Things That Successful Entrepreneurs Figure Out Really Fast!Part Two

    • Sarupa Shah July 6, 2014 at 11:33 am #

      It is a deffo more that 5 stars…I think you raise a really moot point as many entrepreneurs who leave their ‘job’ say freedom is a value and for many the confusion is about I will show up when I feel like it – that is not freedom – as an entrepreneur committing is the greatest gift you give to yourself, well certainly it is in the top 10 🙂
      Sarupa Shah´s last blog post ..What are you selling?

  6. David Merrill 101 June 29, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    I think anyone that’s ever had success producing finished articles, videos or anything else, know the importance of avoiding making it perfect. In fact, even if you’ve had to write a blog post, you need to get it done, and worry about how it reads after the fact, not each step of the way through the process.

    Speaking of blogging, I find it amusing when people tell me they can “never” create a product, when they are doing exactly that every single time they publish a blog post.

    Thanks for your insights on this subject, Mark. I appreciate it.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  7. Heather June 30, 2014 at 2:47 am #

    Hot crap! This is the BEST tutorial and guidance. I am preparing to do some more video tutorials and I haven’t because I wasn’t sure really how to get going. Thanks!!!!
    Heather´s last blog post ..Are you ready to kick the junk in your trunk good-bye?

  8. nick catricala June 30, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    nice article you have here and very informative.. actually I find it complete to start creating our digital product right now… to bad that I am the king of procrastination when it comes to these things.. so I thank you very much and I know this will help many, many people.. my hope is that I get out of my procrastination mood and get going to create one soon 🙂

    By the way, when I read “please don’t make it perfect – make it complete.” it reminded me of something is totally unrelated but it is so common that almost every one know what it means..

    When I hear some say “make it perfectly” or “be perfect” my reply is simple.. look what happen to the ONE who was perfect… that was to teach us that being perfect is not alway good and so I love to do things and never think to make it perfect.. just do it or not haha 🙂

    Thanks so much for your sharing..
    nick catricala´s last blog post ..A Lifetime Commitment -Part 4 of 5

    • David Merrill 101 July 11, 2014 at 12:24 am #

      You might not procrastinate if you have a simple system to follow, Nick.

      That’s why I created this method, to make sure you get it done… even if it’s not perfect. And believe me, it won’t be… it never is. That’s what makes it so much fun!
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  9. Kyle Nelson July 7, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    Hey David – – I have been aspiring to launch my own digital product for years now but never really knew how to take it on. this article was a great step in the right direction for me and hope that i can get going on some ideas i have. The steps you have broken it into makes it look attainable and easily done with the right amount of patience and determination. Thanks for this great outline! I will for sure utilize it.
    Kyle Nelson´s last blog post ..Steps To Take When Creating A Buzz On A Shoe String Budget

    • David Merrill 101 July 11, 2014 at 12:27 am #

      I’m so glad to hear that you plan to put this method to use, Kyle.

      The biggest issue I have with clients is not how good they are at doing things, but how much time it takes for them to ever get started taking action on them at all. “Doing it” is the biggest part of the strategy. “Doing it right” gets easier and easier as long as you stay in motion.

      Good luck!
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  10. Holly July 7, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    Sounds simple.. but the hours on it make it scary for me…. However it’s important to put in the time to get out the results… and it’s better to know what you are up against with time to begin with than being frazzled by the time it will take!! I’ll be back!
    Holly´s last blog post ..I Know, I Know

    • David Merrill 101 July 11, 2014 at 12:34 am #

      It does take time, Holly, but not very much when you figure what you end up with… a product you can sell and promote over and over again. Use it for profits, and also to build your list for backend profits.

      I’m convinced that creating your own product/s is the single most important thing you can do to build an online business.

      Immerse yourself for 4 days, 17 hours, and I’ll bet your online business will take on a whole new dimension.

      Thanks for the feedback, Holly.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  11. Leanne Chesser July 11, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    I follow a system I learned from my coach. It’s quite similar, actually. I like they way you’ve laid this out because it will help to keep things simple. That’s definitely a common challenge when creating courses or products. It’s one of my challenges, for sure. I’ve come a long way with it, but I could still make things simpler.
    Leanne Chesser´s last blog post ..The Ultimate Life Purpose Guide

    • David Merrill 101 July 27, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

      It’s all about getting it done, Leanne.

      You can always improve the system and the product, but save the improvement for “the next one”.

      Once a project is begun, just complete it. Then step back, reassess and make it better the next time. Never linger on any one product or project.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  12. Dr. Erica Goodstone July 24, 2014 at 3:53 pm #


    Thank you for sharing your simple and easy to follow plan for creating a product. I am just about to create a new ebook and while reading this I have already listed my 4 main elements. Before reading this I had many different elements and wasn’t sure where to begin. Organizing my material into 4 elements made it instantly clear to me what I want to teach. I will also be offering a life seminar on a different topic and will use your system to set that up too. Makes it so easy to create when there is a ready-made process and all you need to do is insert the details. This post was a gift to me today.

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone´s last blog post ..Be a Star at Attracting Clients

    • David Merrill 101 July 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

      So glad to see you jumping on it, Dr. Erica.

      The biggest reason people can’t complete products is because they never start them. Always for good reasons, mind you… but you’ll never complete what you never start.

      Good luck with ebook and life seminar!

      Sounds exciting.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  13. Kelli Claypool August 24, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

    Very nice article, David. I like that you mentioned this… “Your product will, ideally, address just one problem… just one… and offer an actionable solution to it.” For those just starting out in their own product creation, they tend to over complicate things by offering solutions to too many issues. By focusing on ONE problem, the more the reader will consume it and desire more.

    Thank you for this fantastic educational resource!!
    Kelli Claypool´s last blog post ..Alzheimer’s: Early Warning Signs

  14. David Merrill 101 August 25, 2014 at 12:02 am #

    Trying to solve all of your customers’ problems in one single product is such a common mistake that novice product creators make.

    I’m glad you underscored this in your comment, Kelli, and I hope this article proves to be of value to you as you go about creating your own products.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..What Does It Cost To Run An Online Business?

  15. Yorinda Wanner September 1, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

    Hi David,
    these are great tips and worth reading more than once!

    Have you heard of the “one problem, one solution, one sitting” approach?
    I recently came across this in one of Jo Barnes’ webinars featuring someone who found he had more success with that approach.

    Thank you for sharing your expertise!
    Yorinda Wanner´s last blog post ..Turning self-defeating Beliefs into Empowering Questions

    • David Merrill 101 September 2, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      I’m not familiar with Jo Barnes or the particular method you point out here, Yorinda.

      But it sounds like we’re all on the same page in essence.

      The point is to laser focus, not make the production anything you can’t handle in a short amount of time, and then just do it.

      I like the idea of “one sitting” but I’m not sure how feasible that is, unless you’re working on a very short project, like maybe a webinar presentation, blog post, article or short pdf report.

      For a major project, you’d need to use a “one sitting” strategy per chapter, or per training module, etc… until the project is done. The key here, is to keep to a very rigid production schedule and finish even a large project in a matter of days or weeks. Not months or years 🙂
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..List Building With Video | Introducing Breakthrough Video

  16. David Bennett September 2, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    As I was reading this I was ticking off the steps and thinking – I have this already. I have all the content of an e-book on the nitty-gritty of how to choose a digital camera – a real-world guide of practical information and guidance.

    Do you think that would be a worthwhile thing to turn into an e-book? Well of course, I shouldn’t ask – just go ahead and do it.

    Thank you for the boost to my motivation.
    David Bennett´s last blog post ..Good Luck Bellboy

    • David Merrill 101 September 3, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

      An ebook sounds like and excellent way to go, David.

      More importantly, you’ll want to get the ebook into the hands of well qualified prospects. Perhaps you might offer it, for instance, as a free add-on to a paid course on video marketing, or image marketing. Or, you could offer it on a site like free-ebooks.

      So, yes, get working on the ebook, but keep in mind the market you’ll move it into.

      Good luck, David… it’s an exciting journey.

  17. Christi Johnson September 15, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    This is my biggest problem – taking action with the ideas that I have. I always think that my ideas are silly…so I don’t do anything. I find them to be too basic…and then I go online and find ten people doing exactly what I thought and earning extra income from it. Is that crazy or what??

    Thank you for your encouragement, David. I most certainly need it!
    Christi Johnson´s last blog post ..Christi’s August, 2014 Income Report

    • David Merrill 101 September 21, 2014 at 12:36 am #

      The best encouragement you can receive, Christi, is to achieve something real.

      Take one of your “silly” ideas and decide on a product. Maybe a 30 page ebook, or a 5 video tutorial series.

      Day 1, create a 3-day production schedule.
      Day 2, 3 and 4… follow through.
      Day 5, do whatever post production processing you require.

      Take the weekend off and start marketing it Monday morning. Don’t worry how “good” it is. It’s good enough to show you that you can do it… you’ll believe it now, not because I said it, but because, hey.. you just did it!

      Let me know if you need any help along the way, and let me know how it works out, Christi.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  18. Julieanne van Zyl January 26, 2015 at 12:22 am #

    Great tips David – so many people get overwhelmed because this is such a big project. However, by following your steps and remembering that’s it’s not supposed to be perfect, is going to help a LOT! I’m a morning person, so when I created a big educational product, I would work on it for 2-3 hours each work day morning. I did it before anything else – before looking at my email, or going to facebook. And, it got finished!
    Julieanne van Zyl´s last blog post ..No Worries, wearing my runner waist pack at a Rock Concert

  19. Lawrence May 26, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    Great step by step process complete with time allotment. Things like time may change and may not be as long as an hour depending on your own process. I do like the outline though it gives you a target to reach for if you find you have gone off the rails. I will be making note of this and I am trying to get ideas together to move in to production. I love the creativity aspect of it which allows your mind to concentrate on something positive.
    Lawrence´s last blog post ..What is Fear?

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