Creating an outline is an important step when writing an information product.  If you just start writing without direction it can be difficult to format everything you want to say into one clear structure.

Here are a few steps to creating your information product outline:

You may want to take a legal pad or notebook and on one page just start jotting down ideas you would like to include in your product as they come to you.  Don’t worry too much about structure at this point, you just want to get all your ideas out on paper.  Anything you can think of which may be a good fit for your product, write it down.

You might want to use mind-mapping software like Mindmeister.com to create a mind-map of ideas.

You can also write questions down such as “who needs this product?” “why this product is necessary”, etc.

Once you’ve written all your thoughts, take a second sheet of paper and create an outline.  You want to write things down in the actual order they will appear in the book.  Your outline may include some of the following things:

* Introduction
* Copyright page
* Disclaimer page
* Body of the book
* Closing
* Recommended Resources

Now you want to take the body of the book and break that into main sections.  For example one section may be called “Getting Started” while another may be called “Marketing your Business”.  Of course, it will depend on your subject but this should give you a general structure idea.

Now for each section such as “Getting Started” write down each sub section that corresponds to “Getting Started”.  Lets say you’re product is about starting a website design business then under getting started you may include – “Who Needs Web Design Services?” – “How Much Can a Web designer Expect to Earn?” and so on.

By the time you finish going through each section you have a rough outline.  Now read through it.  Does it all flow nicely?  Would some of the information fit better in another section of the book?  Did you leave something out or should you add something else?  Edit and tweak it a little then leave it for at least 24 hours.

After a nice rest go back to it and look it over again with a fresh and open mind and make any necessary changes.  Once you’re happy with your structure, use your outline to get  writing!

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