This is the first chapter in my Make Money From Online Courses Book book.
The knowledge industry is booming, and online learning is especially popular. According to a research report by Global Market Insights, the e-learning market will be worth over $300 billion by 2025. Given recent events, the eventual market size will probably exceed this prediction. Early in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led many people to move from in-person to online study. In response to this shift, the world expanded its capability and appetite for digital learning.
We live in a time when anyone can learn anything from the comfort of their own home. You no longer need to sign up for classes at your local community college. Anyone with Internet access can register for an online course and have instant access to new information.
For the entrepreneur, this has created immense opportunity. Online courses are cheap to design and deliver. There’s no limit to the number of students you can serve. Through online marketing, you can reach a global audience and impact millions of people while working from home.
However, course creation doesn’t come without challenges. The low barrier of entry means that anyone can throw together a digital program and offer it for sale. Competition is significant, and the quality of courses is variable. Consumers who have been exposed to questionable online products and marketing techniques are wary about who they give their money to.
The days when you could be first to market with a new online product are long over. If you want to profit from your course, you must commit to building and selling the best offering you can.
As a course creator, you also have a myriad of technical tools at your disposal. While this may seem like an advantage, it can be overwhelming. Should you create an email course or video-based program? How should you host and deliver your content? What marketing tools and methods are most effective? How can you avoid launching your course to crickets?
This book answers all these questions and more. In these pages, you will discover exactly how to create an online course people want to buy. You will also learn the exact steps to launch your new product with maximum impact. You have knowledge to share with the world. With the help of this book, you can start earning from your first course in less than three months.
Between them, the authors of this book have sold short email-based courses, high-end video programs, and membership sites. They have made mistakes and learned from them. They have mastered the tools of course creation, implemented profitable sales funnels, and delighted students with their innovative offerings. They understand what contemporary course buyers want and how to market digital products without wasting time and money.
However, course creation isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Creating and selling your first digital product takes passion and dedication. You must build a solution people want, then commit to sharing it with the students you are destined to help. You must devote yourself to serving your audience and providing the highest level of product and support. And you must never stop marketing.
If you’re willing to do these things, then you can turn your knowledge into a profitable business.
Why Offer an Online Course?
Before we get started, ask yourself whether creating a course is right for you and your business. Is this something you even want to do? To help you decide, the following are the most common reasons why people sell online courses. Do any of these resonate with you?
For Leveraged Income
Once you create your course and work out the marketing and delivery kinks, you can automate many aspects of the selling process. While it’s not completely hands-off, your income potential is unlimited. With minimal additional effort, you can sell hundreds, even thousands, of copies of your digital product.
However, don’t be lured by the promise of passive income. You still need to maintain your course and provide customer service. In today’s competitive market, the most successful course creators are constantly improving their content for new and existing customers.
To Monetize a Small Audience
With an online course, you can start making money even if you have zero or a handful of followers. This book shows you how to sell the first version of your course and then grow your audience once you have a profitable idea. It also teaches you how to keep selling your product so that you can build up a sustainable income.
To Be Seen as an Expert
Building a course around a topic shows your expertise in the subject. Having a course increases your authority and credibility. This leads to more opportunities in your niche. For example, you can offer a short course as an entry product for new customers. Then pitch higher ticket services once people have enjoyed your initial offering.
As a course creator, you establish yourself as someone who is making a difference in your niche. You demonstrate your unique perspective and passion for your topic. And people will be drawn to find out more about you and what you provide.
To Grow an Engaged Audience
As an online business owner, you want to connect with your tribe and grow your audience. Online courses can help you do that. As you market your product, you present yourself as an expert who can solve a key problem for your target audience.
Students who complete your course build a relationship with you. They get to know who you are and your teaching style. Your students become your most loyal followers. These are the people who go on to buy your other products and services.
Marketing an online course is a proven way to expand your email list and create a loyal fanbase. We dive deep into how to build a tribe in chapter eight and chapter nine of this book.
To Help Others
People who create online courses often have the heart of a teacher. They enjoy breaking problems down into bite-sized chunks and passing their knowledge on to others. An online course allows you to help a larger audience, rather than working with people one-on-one.
You know your potential students better than anyone else. And only you can make the perfect course for them. By creating your own product—instead of selling someone else’s—you develop the ideal solution for your tribe.
In short, online courses expand your ability to help others in a meaningful way. And for many, that is reason enough to create an online course.
These are not the only drivers to build a digital product, but if you want to succeed, you must be clear on why you’re doing this. You will face obstacles on your journey and your reasons will motivate you to keep moving forward.
So, take time now to decide on your why. Write it down. Keep it close. And whenever you’re feeling doubts, pull it out and read it.
11 Steps to Course Success
Having a clear purpose prepares you for success, but motivation is not all you need. You must also follow a process.
There are thousands of ways to bring your first product to market. All of them can work, though some are more effective than others. The problem is that most new course creators get lost pursuing too many ideas. They spread themselves too thin and fail to gain traction.
The answer is to stick with one system. This book teaches you one such process. It is based on the authors’ experience in the online space. It isn’t a restrictive formula; you can adapt it to suit you and your audience. But there are some key elements you must not skip.
The system is designed to ensure your idea is viable before you invest your valuable time and money. You will start by selecting a course topic. Then you test your idea by selling a limited version of your course. We call this your Minimum Viable Course (MVC). Once your first students complete your MVC, you can build and launch the final version of your product.
There are 11 steps in total:
- Select a Topic
- Define Your MVC
- Test Your Idea
- Pick a Platform
- Outline Your Course
- Create Your MVC
- Refine Your Course
- Build Your Tribe
- Engage Your Tribe
- Update Your Sales Page
- Re-Launch Your Course
In the following chapters, we walk through each of these steps one at a time. Follow the directions and complete the action steps. Do this and you will make money from your first online course. This system works, but only if you commit to developing and selling the best product you can. Do you have what it takes to make money as a course creator? Let’s find out.
If you’d like to read the rest of our Make Money From Online Courses book, click below to check it out on Amazon.