05. Create a Digital Product or Course
Creating a digital product or course is similar to writing an ebook. You’re monetizing your expertise by teaching it to the others.
That being said, you don’t have the benefit of Amazon promoting your course. You have to do the promoting yourself through your own website, your email lists, and possibly through affiliate partnerships. You also need to create a compelling sales page that will convince visitors to buy from you.
If you don’t already have an audience, it might be better to self-publish on Amazon first. That way, you can validate your course idea, grow your email list (just make sure to have an email opt-in at the front and back of the book), and more or less create a rough draft of the course (since it will probably be similar to the book).
Here are some additional resources to help you with an online course creation:
- TheRiseToTheTop.com – David Siteman Garland’s website that’s helped thousands of entrepreneurs launch profitable online courses.
- Monetize Your Expertise Podcast – Helpful episodes by online course expert Grant Weherley to help you start your fist online course.
The events of 2020 drove many learners indoors. For those who seek to grow their knowledge or build new skill sets, the ability to enjoy online classes means that folks with knowledge and the ability to make a video can easily promote their expertise. If you have skills to share, building an online class can mean passive income in the future.
Finding a niche
If you’re already an online learner, you may have a lot of skills and a great deal of interest in teaching what you know. Take care to dig down deep and choose a narrow field in which to teach. Experts with Kajabi recommend narrowing your “niche topic” before you launch your course to lower competition.
Some of the most profitable courses include
- personal development
- arts and crafts
If your personal credentials allow you to offer certifications, try to choose a niche that will allow your students to leave your class with more than knowledge.
Building a fully detailed course
Create an outline of the topic that you want to teach. For example, if you want to teach a course on building a life as an experiential minimalist, your classes could cover
- low-cost travel tips
- ways to earn at your new destination
- the best small gear products for suitcase living
and other steps to show the mindset and products necessary for such a lift.
Your course needs to look sharp and have a professional appearance. Experts with knowledge on how to create an online course recommend an HD camera, lighting to reduce shadows, and editing software.
Building a website
Your class videos can be featured on your website. In addition, you’ll want your blog posts available there, to draw in potential students and show off both your expertise and your communication style.
As your website grows and gathers traction, consider linking your offerings to others building online courses. For someone teaching the steps to an experiential minimalist life, you might have a link to someone who teaches about recognizing art from different periods, or those who teach new languages to potential travelers.
When putting together your website, make room for affiliate links. An experiential minimalist might link to luggage, to restaurants in their area, or to outdoor music festivals. No matter what is involved in the class you’re selling, there will be products and events that tie to it, and by linking these items to your blog post, you can build both market connections and passive income.
Having a solid marketing strategy
Promote your expertise both online and in-person. If you know how to do something specific, such as packing effectively or staying in budget to increase your travel dollars, share your expertise on social media.
Offer free coaching to anyone else interested in what you’re teaching. Create a small, 3 minute video with suggestions on the best suitcase to roll around on cobblestones or find the best beer in Prague. Offer a link to your gear suggestions blog and include a teaser to your class on packing for all weather conditions with photos of your time in Dublin.
As you consider putting together your website, writing blog posts and making your videos, carefully review where you’re going to place all of this data. There are simple website hosting platforms that aren’t video friendly, and there are all in one setups that will want a portion of your passive income and take a percentage of each class sold. Choose well for your best presentation and for expansion over time as your class offerings grow.