Plan B Week 1: Starting Your Own Information Business

When it’s time for “Plan B,” will you be ready?

Many years ago, I had this thing called… a job. I liked my job, it paid pretty well, but the company seemed to be constantly re-organizing, re-arranging, and forcing people who had worked there for years to re-enter the job market at the worst possible times.

I didn’t want to end up unemployed and broke like so many of my friends, shoved out onto the street with nothing but a pretty resume and some “free career counseling.”

So, I started working on a “Plan B.” Over the years, I dabbled here and dabbled there, in my spare time, in publishing, in web design, then SEO, and built an Information Business to earn myself a little money on the side.

They never did lay me off. Maybe I was just super awesome, or maybe I was just lucky. But I did have to quit one day, and when that day came – I was ready, because I already had a thriving spare-time business that was just begging me to get into it full time.

Back then, none of it was easy – but you don’t have to do it the hard way, because I’ll show you how. And if I had to do it all over again today, this is the system I would use:

Click To Play The Video:

(Click to play – you may need to give it a few seconds to load.)

This 12-week class is completely free – just sign up now and you can have the whole thing.

Every Tuesday for the next 12 weeks, I’ll release a new module. Watch the videos. Do the missions. You can discuss it with the rest of the group right here – and let me know what you think in the comments below.

P.S. Dear Video Haters: Just like we do in the SEO Braintrust, all Plan B training modules will be released in a PDF as well as video… so if you prefer, you can download the printable PDF of this week’s module. You can also download the video (Size: 5.2MB, MP4, iPod/iPhone/iPad compatible) and watch it offline.

I’m now using HTML5 video to support “all” video-capable browsers – hello, iPad!

Are you signed up yet?

If you haven’t already joined the Plan B mailing list, sign up now to take this class for free, and receive all weekly updates.

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46 thoughts on “Plan B Week 1: Starting Your Own Information Business

  1. Chyeahhhhh, Dan the MAN! I’m still torn on my market(s) right now, but I figure it’s go big or go home. My plan is if I end up in jail, you’ll bail me out in exchange for my case study. Deal?

    PS – I promised my future wife I wouldn’t do the “How to Become President of the United States of America” infoproduct, so it will only be a couple hundred bucks bail, max.

    • @Nate, thanks and thanks for the Tweet!

      @Dave, We updated the software on the Plan B site, and it started stripping the videos out of the posts – I hate technology. Fortunately, this site doesn’t use any fancy hybrid software setup, so everything just works. ;-)

  2. As a former L.L. member – I was delighted to get your email on a 12 week info course. In reality, my e-commerce store is doing well, but it seems that the sharper I get with this whole I.M. game, the harder it becomes to get ‘top shelf’ information. (Incompetence running rampant, I tell ya)
    I don’t really have any inclination to do an info product, but hey, I guess that’s why we call it plan B.

    For anyone not familiar with Dan, I highly recommend that you subscribe to this and any other optin email list that he offers.
    12 weeks! I know it’s free so I’m not expecting hour long videos, but whether 2min or 20 min a week, I’m in!

    Thanks Dan,


  3. Looking forward to Plan B – making it a Plan A in the future.

    Thank you in advance for your time and effort to share this program!


  4. Thanks Dan!
    I’m really looking forward to learning from you again.
    This is going to be an awesome course. I hate technology too
    so I guess I’m in good company.

  5. Hey Dan, its great to see this thing hit the road. The video doesn’t seem to be working for me though. Is there something wrong with the file?

    It may be my internet access acting up again too. Not sure, but just though you should know.


    • @Eric, if it’s not playing for you – let me know what browser (and version) and operating system you’re using – we’ve tested it on every combination I can get hold of. If the connection speed is an issue with streaming it, there’s a download link there too – just right click and “save as…”

  6. I tried to watch it in FireFox and IE 8 and no luck. Also tried to download it and play it that way, but came up as “server execution failed”.

    I honestly think its do to the poor service I have been getting from my ISP lately. I will try it again tomorrow and let you know if it works.

  7. I just left the browser window open for about 20 mins. Eventually it loaded and then ran flawlessly right thru till the end. That was in Fire Fox.

  8. Hi Dan, looking forward to this course, appreciate the effort and hard work you put into making the web a better more useful place.

  9. Yaay, yaay, yaaay! Lets go, lets go, lets go! I just downloaded it straight off and zipped through the pdf. Thanks Dan, I’m one of those video haters. Though if I do manage to get through these 12 weeks then I guess I will have to throw out videos?

    Question: How do we know whats a good topic to choose? Do we need to keep an eye on the existing competition? And even if we are able to come up with a specific spin (“Internet Marketing for Mommy Bloggers”) how do we verify there is some sort of market out there for it. Or do we just assume that as you said “Internet is so big that almost any topic can be monetized”

    • @Abey, we’ll get into more details on selecting a topic next week. For now, just understand that this isn’t a “put any old garbage out onto the Internet and become a gozillionaire overnight” kind of thing. So, think about:

      #1 – What do you actually know something about? You don’t have to be the world’s foremost expert, but you need to know enough to communicate good ideas, and be able to recognize real expertise when you see it.
      #2 – What are you actually interested in enough, that you won’t be trying to chew off your own legs to escape from the trap in a few months?

      If you’re concerned about monetizing it – think about hobbies and leisure activities that people spend money on. If you want to do something with the “big three” (money, love, fitness) you need a very strong angle – something that makes you unique – and a story.

      I can think of reasonably good plays in all three that I haven’t seen done before, and I’ll talk about those next week to illustrate the idea. It’s the combination of Topic and Voice that makes your thing unique.

      When you are unique, you have less competition and more opportunities to find partners. In the information business, every “competitor” is also a potential partner.

  10. Hi Dan,
    This course looks great. Just wondering what exactly do you mean by Information Business? Do you mean the intention is to sell products? Or to get sales by memberships fees?

    Just wondering, it may help me decide my topic for the rest of the course.


    • @Peter – an Information Business is one where your relationship with the audience is built on creating and disseminating information about a particular topic. The “money end” can come in a lot of forms: subscription models (“membership sites”), advertising, affiliate marketing, digital products, physical information products, even other physical products.

      Let’s say, hypothetically, that I decide to create myself as an expert on “classic arcade video games.” There are lots of people playing them, lots of people who wish they could… the Internet almost makes “scale” irrelevant because you’ve got access to the entire planet. Having tried to get some of the free tools for this up and running so I can play Donkey Kong again, I can tell you that it’s confusing and not as easy as it could be.

      Could I build a community around a website that talks about this topic? Yes. Could I think of something to sell them? Yes. In fact, I could think of everything from a simple PDF “how to get the darned thing working” guide, all the way to a physical arcade machine that connects to the Internet and downloads games from online repositories. BTW, that last one could manifest as a book on how to build one, videos on how to build one, software that makes it easier to find and install games, and/or even finding someone to build and ship the thing for you.

      (I will assume that neither of us wants to open a factory in our spare bedroom, garage, or kitchen). ;-)

  11. Man, I sure am glad that this class didn’t fall between the proverbial cracks… I was so looking forward to this, and am glad that this will class has now started.

    Thanks, Dan!

  12. Dan, the video worked for me today just to let you know. Must have been a internet problem that day.

    Thanks for all your hard work in putting something together for free. I know it takes a lot of work and energy to put some of this stuff together.

    Similar to what you said, this itself will help build up a community for better business down the road. I wish you tenfold in return as you deserve it.

    Thanks and I look forward to you great material.

  13. Dan, sorry if this is off topic, but I have just a few quick questions regarding SEO. I have asked this on Matt Cutts post about pagerank sculpting.

    He said that he wouldn’t nofollow links to the archive and category pages of a blog, but wouldn’t this create duplicate content issues? Because different urls of a wordpress blog have the same content (tag urls, main blog url, category urls, archive url)

    Do you have any suggestions or is this not an duplicate content issue with google?

  14. Hi Dan,
    Good to see the course start! And here I am, already a week behind. But it’s okay…. I’m sure I can catch up quick.

    Is it a mistake for me to start out with just one topic in mind? I already run an online business, but I want to do something completely different, and on a topic I’ve thought about for years. It’s the one about which I always say “I should have…..”

  15. Week 2Update:

    We’re making one more attempt tonight to get this working on the Plan B site, if that fails I’ll post week two on this site tomorrow.

  16. @Eric, that’s way off topic, but I’m already working on a post about this issue.

    The short answer is “I agree with Matt” and “people worry way too much about duplicate content, especially on WordPress.”

    The long answer is that you can do a lot of things to make these pages more unique than they are – including writing excerpts for every post, and editing your theme so that the excerpts are displayed on the category & tag pages.

  17. Dan, yea I know its way off topic, sorry about that. I was just very confused about WordPress and duplicate content, because everyone talks about duplicate content (including Google) and then the talk about how seo friendly WordPress was, I started to get so confused.

    I currently write a excerpt for each post so that the RSS feed is unique and then get it posted on RSS directories. Wasn’t sure if that was actually effective in helping build links or getting those pages indexed though.

    But overall, so I guess you would suggest not worrying about it?


    P.S. I will get back on topic after this. :)

  18. Hi Dan ,
    When you are putting this weeks video for PLAN B. I have not got any email about it. I just don’t want to miss it :)


  19. This is great. With people being laid off, it’s badly needed. You always have good info, well presented, and well worth while. I have a book and hope to “go live” in 2-3 months. I expect to learn a lot that I haven’t already known.

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