Online learning is the future. If you have any sort of stake in the online economy, taking and selling online courses should be central to your business. The self-paced e-learning market will make $51.5 billion in 2016 according to the E-Learning Market Trends Report by Docebo.
If the above facts alone aren’t enough for you, there’s much, much more: E-teaching is one of the best ways get your message out there, make money and enhance your brand.
How I started selling online courses
At the beginning of 2013, I published a free course on Udemy – just a few YouTube videos I’d made showing how to create a website with WordPress. The course started filling up with students and it got positive feedback.
Buoyed by this success, I created more free and paid courses to see if I could supplement my active income (doing graphic and web design work for clients) with passive income.
To my delight, the courses started selling. Slowly at first, the first few months a few hundred dollars, then over $1000/month, then over $2000/month.
By the beginning of 2016, I had earned more than $100,000 on Udemy. $50,000 of which came from 2015 alone. You can track this in my income reports. It was life changing.
Why selling online courses is amazing
Selling online courses to over 100,000 people from over 200 countries around the world has been one of the best things that ever happened to me.
I travel the world; I create video courses; I write books; I put out free content; I employ people to help me with the tasks I don’t like doing; I also employ people to work for my clients; I have revenue in my business that I’m investing in new brands and new businesses. It’s a good life.
Everywhere I go these days, I’ll already know someone. Students, instructors, entrepreneurs – people from all over the world from different backgrounds – we’re all connected by a mutual desire to educate ourselves and help others to educate themselves.
I was passing through Manila last year on my way to a conference. I was contacted by a Filipino guy named Niel Reichl. We met at the Mall of Asia, and he introduced me to Halo-Halo, a famous Filipino dessert. He knew me through online learning.
It’s fantastic, when you arrive in a new city, to be shown around by a local.
What online courses do I teach?
My courses are aimed at solo entrepreneurs. The information in my courses could, potentially, earn you thousands of dollars online. This sounds like an incredible boast but that’s how much I’ve made and my courses explain how I’ve done it.
You can find free courses here on setting up a website, WordPress, email marketing, passive income, design, etc., here: robcubbon.com/freecourses
And, you can find my premium courses on WordPress, content marketing, design, passive income, and entrepreneurship here: robcubbon.com/courses
And how much do I charge?
But I’m proud that I can sell this information at a price ($10-$27) that is affordable to most people living in “developed” and “developing” countries. What’s wrong with that?
People say I should charge a premium price ($999 or $4999 plus) for access to information that will help people set up six-figure businesses.
Internet marketers preach that high-value information should come with a high price tag. But personally, I would hate to charge thousands of dollars for courses. Desperate people will miss house or car payments in order to purchase courses that they hope will turn their lives around.
The preachy internet marketers then argue that people don’t value products at $10-20 and therefore don’t attach enough importance to them. This is true. Some people will purchase the course and never take it.
For me, it’s about numbers. But the numbers aren’t of US Dollars. More people will take my courses when sold at affordable prices. I will change more people’s lives for the better than if I charged high prices.
The world I was brought up in
The world I was brought up in was restrictive, inflexible and frustrating.
Your ability to get a “good job” depended on your experience, which depended on your University education, which depended on how well you did at school. If you hadn’t done well at school, you wouldn’t get a good degree and you wouldn’t get a “good job”.
So the type of “good job” you could hope for depended on your university degree, which depended on the subjects you were good at around the age of 11-12.
If, in my case, by the time your mid-20s came along and you weren’t a successful rock musician, oh well, you were going to do crappy jobs for the rest of your life.
Now, kids are investing sums of around $30,000 in further education that’s not even going to guarantee them a crappy job.
The new world order
The job for life within a large organization is gone. You are much better off investing a few dollars in online courses to learn saleable career skills.
As well as skills, connections are vitally important to the new world order. But they are nothing like the cozy bar room introductions of the elite in the old world order.
Connections in the new world order are multi-national and highly-targeted. A graphic designer in London can connect with PHP developers in Eastern Europe or India. Employment and money can flow within seconds.
This is a huge disruption. Not only do these connections bypass the old corporate, class and geographical boundaries, but also the business transactions are performed without the accounting, contractual and legal hurdles that existed.
… the more connected we are, the more empowered and demanding we become. We learn to expect things in real-time … information and technology are commodities. This resets markets and flattens the landscape for business where now and in the future, no business is too big to fail or too small to succeed.
Brian Solis from Why Non-Profits and Businesses Need to Act Like Startups
Connections are key to the new world order. And the information and skills that pass between the connections are its lifeblood. You can supercharge your online connections with e-learning and e-teaching.
How do we leverage the new world order?
The new world order is about who you know and what you know. People who can adapt new skills will succeed. Those who can provide value with their existing skills can now feed the aspirants of the new world order.
So, learning continues from when you leave school until the day you die – learning never stops! Now it’s not a choice, it’s a necessity.
The new world order is all about providing informational value to your ever-increasing pool of highly-targeted connections.
The people who can best learn the new skills and best make new connections will succeed. By teaching useful information you will make the best connections.
You can do it!
You can be part of the new world order by e-learning and e-teaching.
As for selling your courses, you can do that through one of the above-mentioned online learning platforms.
However, you must sell courses from your own site as well.
The hard way is to set up a WordPress membership site plug-in with video storage. There is a baffling array of WordPress membership site plug-ins.
A very popular and easy to use membership plugin is WishList Member. I have a free course Create a Membership Site with WishList Member and WordPress which shows you how you can use WishList to charge for online content. However, I first tried out MemberMouse for my membership site but I was disappointed with their support and documentation. So I migrated toDigital Access Pass (DAP) which offers greater functionality than most of these plug-ins.
Any questions, ask away!