Avoid these most common mistakes in creating online courses
How do course creators make $50,000 and more a year? How have I been able to make nearly ten grand selling an online course in just four months?
Creating an online course is THE next level for a lot of bloggers but there are traps you never hear about from those…Buy My Course on Making a Course programs.
In this video, I’ll show you step-by-step how to create passive income with online courses from the secrets to success to the biggest hurdles. It’s part of a three-video series on making the most money with your first online course.
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How Much Do Bloggers Make with Courses?
I’m pumped for this video. Courses are like that next level of passive income for a lot of online entrepreneurs and it is going to absolutely amaze you how much you can make. Online course platform Teachable surveyed 100,000 course creators in 2017 and reported over $32.9 million in course sales with one creator making over $400,000 in a single month. More than 1.5 million students signed up for the courses for 2.9 million in booked classes.
In another part of the study, we see that four-in-ten online course creators on Teachable made $50,000 or more a year. Even this next group though, that 39% that made between $25,000 to $50,000 did pretty well considering this is something you can set up in your free time and can automate with the system I’ll be sharing with you here. That’s what I want to get you to, that group making fifty grand or more a year on your courses.
I just launched my first course four months ago in December. I’ve done two launches and have it set on that passive income system and have already made $9,133 in sales.
What we’re going to do over the next three videos will change your life! In this video, I’ll walk you through the basics of making money on a course. I’m going to show you the five biggest challenges facing course creators and how to overcome them. I’ll also reveal the three secrets to staying on track and creating a profitable course.
In the next two videos, I’m going step-by-step into creating a course and then selling your online course to make thousands a month. These aren’t going to be some weak outline videos, I’m going to be detailing everything you need.
I’ll be releasing those other two videos within a week but I’m leaving a free checklist to everything we’ll be talking about. Not only will it give you an easy list to follow but I’ll also give you a bonus report, the 10 Critical Steps to Creating and Making Money on a Course.
Reasons Online Courses Fail
So we’ve already seen that courses can be big money and I’ll give you the step-by-step to making it passive income in our course marketing video. But if it’s all this, why isn’t everyone creating an online course? What is keeping you from starting a course?
I want to hear your reasons for what’s keeping you from creating a course so tell us in the comments below. Asking that question to a conference of financial bloggers last year, I saw five major hurdles come out almost universally. These are the top five reasons keeping people from finishing their course and really making money.
Ideas for Online Courses
First is that people just aren’t sure what they can teach. Maybe they don’t feel like they’re an expert or they don’t know that their experience has value. And that’s really where you need to start, understanding that your experience has value. You don’t have to be the top person in the world on this subject or be a natural teacher. Your experience, your story has value that can help inspire people.
As for ideas on what to teach, that’s the easy part. Spend five minutes browsing online course platform Udemy and you’ll realize you can teach a class in anything. Look at a few of these, Rubik’s Cube, parking, reversing and low-speed driving, what to text a girl.
We’ll walk through an easy process for developing your idea in our second video but start with something you enjoy doing, a hobby or an interest, and search for it on Amazon or Udemy. There are going to be courses and books there to give you ideas.
Am I Qualified to Teach an Online Course?
The second hurdle course creators face, and this is actually one of the biggest challenges for everyone, is what’s called the impostor syndrome. Impostor syndrome is that nagging feeling, the voices of self-doubt that ask, “Who the hell are you to be teaching someone?” It’s this general disbelief that you’re qualified or good enough.
This is something that even the most successful people struggle with, all but the most narcissistic people fight those voices every once in a while. Know that and get back to the idea that your personal experience has value because when it comes down to it, the step-by-step of something, that process involved isn’t the only thing we buy a class for, right?
If I wanted bullet-points on how-to do something, I can find that online. It’s your experience learning the topic yourself and helping students through their own journey that is worth the cost of a course.
We’ll cover researching your topic and how to deliver the lessons, all those things you’ll need to put your course together so DO NOT worry about not knowing enough about your topic.
Getting Started Creating a Course
Now you’ve thought of a topic and you’ve defeated those voices of self-doubt, now you’re facing the third hurdle in creating a course and what I call analysis paralysis. This is that never-ending loop of worrying that you don’t have enough information or haven’t planned something well enough. Ultimately you never get started because you’re forever stuck in that research phase.
This is something we’ll look at in one of those three secrets to creating a successful course in scheduling everything. Understand also though that overthinking a course can be just as bad as not doing enough research. Overthinking it is just going to bog your course down in the needless detail and bury that experience part of the story.
Don’t overthink your course. Use that process for research we’ll talk about in the course creation video and set a strict timeline for getting things done.
Knowing How Much to Put in Your Online Course
This next hurdle is one I struggled with creating my own course and one that will ultimately lead to disappointment. This is the belief that you have to cover EVERYTHING in your course. For example, I tried covering an entire life-long strategy in my goals-based investing course. I cover everything from putting the goals and strategy together, changing it in every decade of your life and through retirement.
And it was just too much. It ended up taking twice as long as it should have and more narrowly focusing your course will speak more directly to a group.
Now I’m happy with how the course is selling but maybe a more focused course, a series for each decade would have connected better with specific groups. It would have taken less time and in-the-end made more money.
This is something we talked about in picking a topic within our build-a-blog series. Your blog can’t be all-things to all-people. It’s just going to get lost on the web because it doesn’t connect with anyone. Narrow your focus to a very specific idea, a transformation you want to help your students achieve and for a specific group.
Creating a Marketing Plan for Online Courses
Now if you manage to defeat all these challenges, you create your course and get it out on a platform like Teachable or Udemy, there’s still one more hurdle that beats so many course creators I talk to. It’s that they don’t have a marketing plan.
It sucks that you can’t just create an awesome online course. You can put out the most amazing course out there but if you don’t have a marketing plan, you’re not going to make a dime.
Think about all those Facebook ads you see in your feed, the sponsored posts. Most of those are for some kind of a course and they still don’t make any money. This will be one of the secrets to success we’ll talk about next and I’ll be doing an entire video on marketing your course in the series.
Secrets to a Successful Online Course
Now after all that, I don’t want you to think it’s impossible to create a profitable course. Those are the major hurdles you’ll face but this is something anyone can do and you WILL MAKE MONEY! I’m going to share three keys to developing and selling a course that will help you overcome these challenges and make more money.
First is that you have to set a strict schedule for everything! There’s a lot in the process from creating to selling a course and you can get side-tracked at each step. That idea of analysis paralysis can hit you at each step so you need to set a strict deadline for each and just move on no matter what.
For example, this is the schedule I set on my investing course. I ended up going over this because I fell into that analysis paralysis and trying to put everything into the course but this was what it should have taken if I had kept to the schedule. Stick to a schedule, map out how many days for each step and YOU CAN have a course making money within five months.
The next secret is going to help you make a lot more money. When you’re done developing your course and you’re trying to think of how much it should cost. I want you to think of a number, then double it!
This actually isn’t mine, this is directly from Ankur Nagpal, founder of Teachable. He says one of the biggest mistakes he sees in course creators is they’re not charging what the class is worth. You see here a breakdown of the prices for an online course and I guarantee you, the people making the most money are those in those top two groups charging $100 or more on their courses.
Your time is valuable, your information is valuable, understand the value in your experience and charge what your course is worth.
The third key here is going to be to set up that marketing plan for your course. This is something we’ll go into more in the third video of the series but it involves creating a marketing funnel for your course. This is not only going to get you more sales but it will automate the process, making you money every month without having to do anything more.
Creating a marketing funnel means putting together a few blog posts or videos that talk about the topic, that make people aware of a problem and get them interested in a solution. Through an email series, you start building a relationship and help them evaluate different ways to solve the problem. Then finally, you offer your solution, your course as one of the alternatives.
It’s a longer process than just putting your course up on an online platform and hoping people buy but it is so much more effective. I’ve seen it work, I’ve used it and I know it will work for you.
Don’t forget to click through and get your free checklist for creating a course along with that special report on the 10 critical steps to making passive income on a course. I’ll be following this video up with one devoted to starting your own course but you can get that checklist free right now.