The Foundational Elements of Profitable Online Courses

The Foundational Elements of Profitable Online Courses

Reader Comments (12)

  1. “Design your course for them, not you”

    I’ve produced and sold three courses and I still struggle with this bit!

    • I do, too! But I find I get better at it the more I do, like most things. 🙂

      It’s hard to make myself SLOW DOWN and really go through the steps, but I’m always glad when I do.

  2. Do you feel that this applies to online courses covering topics outside of blogging and content marketing? How would you approach this differently if you were, for instance, creating an online course to teach Website Building/Wordpress? Related vertical but vastly different than the content generation and marketing aspects. Same for SEO?

    • Absolutely. This is fundamentally about the intersection of instructional design and marketing, by which I mean you focus intently on solving the educational problem, which is what good marketing does. It applies to any niche, and we’ve taught people who have built course-based companies in any viable niche you can imagine.

    • These principles come from instructional design, not the content marketing world. You’d use the same approach for gardening, music lessons, cooking classes, software programming, foreign language education, dog training, accounting, small business skills … you get the idea.

      In other words, what Brian said. 🙂

  3. This post is packed full of useful information! It confirmed things I knew and brought to light a few things I hadn’t clearly thought of before! Thank you so much for this!

  4. Hi Sonia!

    I constantly hear about getting into the minds of your audience in order to truly understand them, and I find that advice to consistently be true.

    As a founder of a blog for students, I have been exploring many different ways to get in the heads of students from all around the world, and to really sympathize with their ordeals, which translates to my writing.

    Overall, great article and really good points!

  5. I am going to use a variation on your question for each chapter of my ebook. What will my reader gain and be able to do after reading this chapter that they couldn’t do before?
    I also use a benefits list? What benefits will my reader get from reading and applying this chapter?
    Thank You for this helpful article. Much Appreciated Denim James

  6. Brian, thank you for this incredible compilation of challenges. This previous email sent from also Sonia’s desk was absolutely astounding. You guys hit the nail on my head perfectly.

    One thing I did want to ask was your brief mention of “advice, don’t be the cheap one comment” could elaborate on that? Right now we have created a detox and hormone curriculum course but we are hung up on what price point to sell at , we don’t want to seem cheap but we can undercut if necessary. Since we don’t have nearly the amount of authority as say Dr Hyman we we’re thinking by that undercutting may be the best option to give people a taste or a tripewire to give us a platform to sell more, traffic etc.

    • Competing on the lowest price is usually a quick race to a business that is unprofitable and lacks resources.

      You don’t have to price your offering identically to the biggest authority in your market, but on the other hand, you may be able to offer things that person cannot. You may be able to offer more individual attention, for example. Or you could cater to a specific subset of learners. Or you could have a unique methodology you pair with it.

      Trying to market a course that’s “like the big expert but cheap” will usually end up painting you into a financial corner that can be tricky to get out of. Unless you have something on the back end to make up the difference, like products or services that you can offer to your learners.

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