Informational products can be a great way to learn new, valuable skills for online side hustles, but you also need to be careful to avoid low quality training. Gumroad is a popular online marketplace these days for this type of digital product. However, there is unfortunately a lot of sellers there that aren’t providing useful training even though they’re charging money for it.
I’ve actually been creating and selling informational products since 2009, so I have a lot of knowledge and personal experience with this industry. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that you follow someone online these days that was taught by me or by someone I trained over the years! After noticing an epidemic of really horrible products being sold, especially some on marketplaces like Gumroad, to very vulnerable people, I wanted to created a post to help you avoid getting scammed.
Why Buy Info Products?
You can actually find informational products being sold in almost any industry. They’re especially popular in the make money online or side hustle niches, since there are always a lot of people that want to learn how to make spare cash or even a full-time living from home. Some of this training is simply garbage designed to take your money, while others can give you priceless knowledge that can actually teach you real-life money making skills.
After more than 27 years of earning a part-time or full-time income on the internet, I am still an avid learner. No matter how successful you become with an internet business, you should never stop learning. Things change over time. Strategies that used to work great 10 years ago won’t make you a penny today. To truly be successful long-term, you have to constantly learn and adjust the way you run your business.
There are basically two ways to learn new things: trial and error or paying someone else to teach it to you. Trial and error can take a lot of time and money, which is often a luxury that most people do not have. With info products, you can tap into that trial and error that someone else already did and learn the real knowledge you need to know quickly.
High Quality Training
Here’s where things can get a bit confusing though. The products that you perceive as the best may actually be the worst, and vice versa. Really try to look past selling strategies and marketing to see what is really being sold. Are you buying useful knowledge to learn new skills or are you buying a promise of quick riches? 99 times out of 100, the product promising you quick riches is complete garbage just designed to take your hard earned cash.
I highly recommend to stick with digital products and training that will improve your abilities. Learn tactics from those that are already doing it successfully, so you can then put these into action for yourself. Real progress takes time and work though, so anyone promising you something different is likely just trying to get your money.
Like I said before, you may not initially perceive this kind of training as being the best. It’s likely going to be slower and offer less in the way of promises compared to some flashy products. However, don’t always judge a book by it’s cover.
I want to start off by saying that not all information and training products found on Gumroad are bad. There are actually some there that are really great. However, you have to remember that Gumroad has become a fashionable place for newbies to make money as a side hustle. People now teach others to use this service to create and sell info products. They’ll build a few thousand Twitter followers, create a product, and then try to start generating sales. This leads to a lot of garbage that you really need to do your best to avoid.
Buying a crappy training product is obviously a waste of money, but it can be a colossal waste of time too. Going through the process of buying it and reading / watching it to find out that it’s not worth it will cause you to lose a lot of time and energy from the extra frustration. In a worse case scenario, don’t be afraid to get a refund for a purchase if it’s not what it promised it would be. When someone puts more effort into a sales page and delivers a bad product, you don’t deserve to lose money to that.-
Pay a lot of attention to reviews. Don’t just buy something because someone you follow on Twitter is promoting it. Try to find out more information about it beyond what the seller is telling you. Truly good stuff will almost always have reviews from real users, while garbage products often only have fake reviews (they’re pretty obvious to tell the difference too).
Examine Free Content
One method that you can use to potentially weed out bad sellers is to see what they offer for free. If you can find really useful, high-quality free content from someone, then their paid training will likely be even better.
I like to look for specifics. Newbie internet marketers will often provide vague and very general content. It’s because they have to go out to the internet and learn about a subject first before they can write about it. This results in fairly basic information about the subject that is really easy to find elsewhere. While this isn’t a guarantee, you’ll often find that marketers that don’t give personal experience in their content are likely a “fake it until they make it” marketer. They’ll be much more likely to sell you a product full of completely rehashed information.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, someone that is speaking to you from personal experience and even providing some examples as they go is likely a real marketer that is already successful. The information that they provide isn’t going to be basic, rehashed training that won’t help you. They’ll teach you real-life strategies that they’ve actually used to make money online. If you pay close enough attention, you can separate the good from the bad before you ever spend a penny.
Buy With Trust
Try following a handful of marketers that teach the kind of knowledge that you want to learn. Pay attention to their free content for a few weeks to try to figure out who actually knows what they are talking about. Once you’ve identified the high-quality marketers, continue to follow them exclusively. I personally find it much better to stick with a handful of people that you trust when you want to learn new skills.
By only buying from those that you trust, you’re benefiting yourself in a number of important ways. As I’ve talked about already, you’re much less likely to get scammed or end up buying a crappy product this way. You’re also much less likely to end up paying twice for the same knowledge.
It’s actually pretty common for marketers to have some overlap in their training. When you stick with one or a couple of trainers, you get used to their teaching style and you avoid wasting time and money on repeat content.