Some people say that the biggest problem for digital product creators is piracy of their work. More often than not their products end up being shared around for free on Black Hat sites and forums. Sometimes this even happens before the official launch date.

I take a different view to this and I know a few marketers who feel the same way – so what? Sure, having a product that you’ve slaved away at being shared around isn’t ideal but what have you really lost? Some people will point to all the lost revenue from potential sales but the truth is that the folks who downloaded a pirated copy of your product were never really going to buy it.

That’s the harsh reality. They may have a vague interest in seeing what it is but they are not “customer material” and definitely not an “action taker”. Usually they are just on the look-out for the next big thing and can be best described as an “info-tainment seeker”. Just looking for the 5 minute buzz they get from browsing through a new info-product.

Believe me these downloads are not lost sales and in-fact you can and should be using these Black Hat sites to your advantage. For a starter you should have a few affiliate links spread throughout your ebook so that as your content goes viral you may see some commissions finding their way to you.

Another way would be to make the best product that you possibly can so you can enhance your reputation in the marketplace and maybe, just maybe convert a handful of those pirates into genuine customers. You can imagine if someone is blown away by your content then they’ll want more of your stuff, join your newsletter and buy future products of yours.

So really what I’m trying to say is don’t sweat it, embrace it and try take the positives out of it!

Now as those of you have been following me for any length of time know I have been working closely with my mentor John Thornhill on a new product which I will be launching in the near future.

I thought it would be a good idea to give you guys an update and let you know what I’ve been doing. So basically I’ve been busy building a membership site to house all the content of the product. There is quite a lot of information and so I thought it would be best to deliver this through a secured membership site so that people could log in whenever they want and work through the course.

Building a membership site isn’t as hard as you’d imagine and is actually quite easy using Optimize Press. I use OP for this blog and for squeeze pages, sales letters etc. etc. but I have to say it’s a dream for membership type sites and I found it very easy to use.

You see my product is fairly in-depth and contains an ebook, video course, checklists plus much, much more. I didn’t think it would be good enough just to deliver it through one huge zip file and think by having a membership site it just gives the whole project a greater sense of quality and perceived value to the customer.

As I mentioned above I’m pretty sure my product will eventually make it’s way onto Black Hat sites but that hasn’t stopped me securing my content. Luckily for me Optimize Press is compatible with all the leading membership scripts.

In the end I chose WishList Member and installed it in only a few minutes. It’s a pretty nice little plugin that integrates with OP and my auto-responder so that when a customer purchases the product they will automatically be emailed their log-in details for the site.

It also allows me to allow different membership levels gain access to different areas of the site. For example; if your were a Basic Member you may only have access to certain pages but if you had the Platinum Package you would see a lot more content.

Another huge benefit is being able to include an on-going monthly membership section whereby I can add content once a month for customers who are part of that membership level. This is a great advantage as it ties in with my last post about “How Important is Your Backend” because it will generate not only recurring payments but also commissions to affiliates. And remember it’s a lot easier to recruit affiliates when they’re is the chance of making recurring commissions.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Hopefully in the coming weeks I’ll be able to give you more information about the product launch but it’s all Top Secret at the moment.

In the meantime I’d be interested in hearing about your plans or what you’ve been working on recently. Leave a comment below and let’s see what we’ve all been up to!

Thanks for reading,


Want to read more posts like this? Then you’ll enjoy these posts from the archive…

6 Reasons to Build an Email List

75 Most Inspirational Quotes

Mastermind Gold with John Thornhill



Easy going guy and founder of who enjoys traveling, live music and good coffee - as well as sharing tips and strategies on this blog to help others navigate the world of online marketing!

    14 replies to "Protecting Your Content from Pirates"

    • Dean Thompson

      Hi Noel,

      A really interesting take on the piracy problem and the Black Hat practices of some people.

      As with many things in life you’ll always get people trying to bend the rules, but in this instance they’ll be few and far between.

      But as you mention, if you do create a masterpiece, even these Blackhats may come aboard and realise what they’ve been missing out on legitimately.

      I like your positive outlook on this subject. Even though the problem is minimal, it can still work out to be a win/win situation.

      Looking forward to seeing your Top Secret plans being revealed. Hope we aren’t expected to bring a briefcase to a park bench wearing false moustaches though 🙂


      • Noel

        Cheers Dean and don’t worry everything will be delivered in a timely and easy manner – we’ll leave the false moustaches for another time 🙂

        – Noel.

    • Roger

      Hi Noel,

      I like the way you have turned a negative into a positive. I will look forward to seeing my new product being stolen by the pirates.


      • Noel

        Ha ha thanks Roger!

    • Clarenc

      Hi Noel,

      This is a great post and you made a very good point about the fact that people who download pirated products were not going to buy it otherwise.

      I like how your post also mentions how to turn this into an advantage to make more profit.

      Looking forward to your product launch.


      • Noel

        Thanks Clarence, I think it’s the only way to use the situation to your advantage. And it’s best not to focus on these downloads as lost sales but concentrate on attracting new customers.


        – Noel.

    • Andrew Stark

      Hi Noel,

      For info products piracy is generally not an issue, and provided you take basic security measures like putting it inside a membership site then you should be fine. It’s not like the music or film industry where you have invested millions and need to recoup your costs before breaking even.


      • Noel

        The thing is Andrew even with the most secure membership sites all it takes for your product to leak out is for one customer to share it. That’s why I think it’s something people should use to their advantage and put a positive spin on instead of worrying about it.


        – Noel.

    • Jude Banks


      I found your post interesting and informative and gave you a like on Facebook. I agree about not worrying about this type of piracy because there is just so much one can do to protect content and products. I relate to your suggestion about the potential for converting pirates into legitimate customers.

      Something similar happened to me. I had a regular spammer to my blog. At least he was a human not a bot. I never approved his posts and was thinking of blocking him. I let one of his comments go through by mistake. He must have been grateful because he ended up buying an affiliate product I had on my site at the time. I recognized his username in my stats. Go figure!

      • Noel

        Hey Jude,

        That’s great, I’m glad you liked it and found it helpful 🙂


    • Scott Stembridge

      Thanks Noel, that was a fresh take and a great perspective to have. It is easy to focus on the negatives in situations like these, and the points you mentioned to take advantage of such situations are certainly valid and ideas I will be appying myself.

      • Noel

        Thanks Scott,
        Glad you enjoyed the post. Hope all is well with you.


    • Karl Dieterich

      Hi Noel,

      You have the right attitude – do what you can to protect your material, but don’t get bent out of shape if if you find it’s being shared somewhere. Like you said, most these people were not going to buy the product anyway. Although, I have heard that some of them simply like to “try” before they buy, so there can be some sales made.

      I’d rather focus my energy on creating a high quality product than chasing down pirates anyway.
      Great article, Noel!


      • Noel

        Thanks Karl,
        It’s true a few of these people may in time turn into customers so it’s always good to create the best product you can and not worry about the pirates!


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