If you don’t want to read it, you can watch this video.
In this presentation, I’m going to tell you how to make a lot of money selling books and courses online.
In 2009, I wrote a book, Making Money A to Z with Self-storage Unit Auctions and the book did really really well which prompted me to create a course, which also did really well.
The problem is… I did the course off of my website and as you start to scale-up, you start running into problems.
That prompted me to look for solutions. One of the solutions I looked into was Udemy. I signed up for the platform and I immediately had problems. I was creating courses my own way. Udemy wants you to create courses in a very standard and formal way so when one of the clients comes to the courses and goes from course to course, there is a similar feel. That makes sense. I totally get that.
It was frustrating for me. But I went ahead and did it. You can’t have your courses as long as you want them.
A new thing with Udemy that did not happen when I was there is that Udemy changed the rules where you could not price your course above a certain point. This happened after I stopped hosting stuff there. I left the site because I got frustrated. What you see is what’s here. I mean, because the thing is – I can’t take it down. It’s still here. I know one course was $300 and Udemy killed the price.
It’s pretty interesting. They will make the thumbnails and stuff for you, so that does work. I’m just telling you about my experience. People have made tons of money with them, but I wasn’t one of them.
I went to Thinkific.com. They are not paying me to say this. This is hands down the best solution I have found. I’ve not tried everything. I looked at Teachable. I looked at other things. In terms of flexibility, if you don’t have a big course, there are other solutions out there. But if you have a robust course, this is your thing.
I have maybe 120 hours on this site. It loads really quickly.
As we go forward, your online courses are going to have to be indistinguishable from a college course. That’s where we are heading.
Many people have the framework. They have curriculum courses and know how to put stuff together, which is nice. As someone who has done this since 2010, the most important thing you need to focus on is your audience and traffic. How are you going to get traffic?
One of the reasons I went with Udemy briefly was I thought I could get traffic from them. I probably got 20 sales. The majority of the sales were from the traffic I sent there. That’s where things became problematic, because of the way they track stuff. If a person visited Udemy before they bought your course, even if you were the one who sent them to the course, Udemy would get half of your money. I was like… Whoa! That upset me.
I left because of the inflexibility. I wasn’t getting students from the pool. It wasn’t working for me. Then when I did my own thing, my income went up by 30 times what I was doing before.
I was also here. Like I said, I like Gumroad. I still have a lot of books and stuff there. I’m not moving them anywhere. It’s just the site doesn’t load as fast as I would like. There’s issues with the catalog because I have so many things, right? So, I just left it alone.
When you create courses online and have to direct traffic, you have to be careful of where you are directing your traffic. This is something I have learned.
When I focus and direct traffic to one spot, it works out amazingly well. But, when you are directing traffic to several sites, it gets to be really crazy.
If you want to make a lot of money selling online courses and books, your first concern is who is going to buy it. That’s the first thing you need to think about. Sometimes, you have people who have experience and they’re really good doing this task or they have experience in this career field, but there’s not enough people online to generate income. That can just be the reality.
When people say, they want to sell courses online, I asked them if they have done their research to be sure there are enough people online to pay them for their services.
So many people start writing a course or a book and they get their Facebook page together. They start Tweeting and they have no clue if there are enough people in their bucket to support their project. Often, they have no idea. This kills many people, whether you are doing a YouTube channel or blogging, or vlogging. It’s all about if there’s enough people who are interested in what you are doing to be sure you will make money.
I had a video that tracked very well and I made a lot of money. The bigger issue was – I didn’t set it up correctly.
The problem was I did not set it up correctly. There were two groups of people that came to the video. There was one group of folks trying to be efficient who wanted to know how to start a business. They were interested in how to do a lean startup. They had money, but they were looking to be more efficient with their resources. That was maybe 5 or 10 percent of the people.
The other 90% had no damn money whatsoever. I created a video that’s doing very well in terms of getting views, driving traffic and drawing an audience that doesn’t have the money to start a business.
Just because you start a business with no cash doesn’t mean it’s not going to be expensive. Your time is the most important resource you have. So, if you waste three months, nine months or two years on trying to start it with no money, you could have gotten a part-time job and got the money in a month to find out if it wasn’t going to work or not.
You’re sitting there working and slaving away for years on something that was never going to work anyway. I see that everywhere. It’s really, really bad.
You have to learn how to generate traffic. There’s only three ways you’re getting traffic.
- Organically – which is building inbound marketing content so you can get leads.
- Paid traffic – which is paying Facebook, Google, Bing or somebody to get traffic.
- Influence traffic – which is getting referral traffic
For me, organic traffic is better. From me to you, if you’re going to do this, it’s going to take time. I’m talking months or years. If you’re going to circumvent that, it is going to take money. You are going to need money and guidance.
If you want to put together some stuff and sell it online, here are some tips for you. Depending on who your crowd is, you might want to tighten your game up locally before you go online.
Start locally. Put some content out. YouTube is an inbound marketing device. A podcast is an inbound marketing device. You are going to have to pay for traffic or you are going to have to start going to events to get to know people for client work and referrals.
It’s an amazing opportunity that we have right now.
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