If you’re passionate about something and you want to share it with the world, then you might want to consider creating your very own evergreen course.
You may think no one’s going to pay you for sharing information, but you’d be surprised to know how many first-time entrepreneurs (who’ve never sold a single thing online) successfully sold their first course!
If you haven’t read the previous posts in this series, here they are along with a free checklist:
- The Introduction to Evergreen Blogging Profits
- How To Find A Profitable Niche
- How To Develop An Online Presence
- How To Create Content That Truly Sticks
- How To Generate Traffic From Multiple Sources
- How To Build Your Email List
If you want to experience launching a successful online course, then read on because, in this guide, you will learn exactly how you can create your very own course and generate passive income for years to come!
Why Create and Sell Your Very Own Course?
Here are a few reasons why you should consider creating and selling your very own online course if you want to generate passive profits.
1. There is a huge demand for online courses
The online course market is worth billions of dollars annually. And it doesn’t look like it will slow down soon. People love that they can learn new things in the comfort of their homes, and study at their own pace.
They need not go to school on weekdays or weekends, just to listen to someone drone on and on about theory.
And people can buy a course that only discusses the things they need to know – no fluff and unnecessary introductions and background chatter. They can enroll in a beginner course, an intermediate course, or an advanced course.
And that’s where you come in. Depending on your level of expertise and the audience demographic you want to reach, you can choose to create a course that’s geared for beginners or more advanced students.
2. It can provide you with passive income
Want to make money while you sleep? Or while you’re away on vacation in the Caribbean? Or anywhere remote, for that matter? When you sell your own online course, this is very possible.
In fact, many entrepreneurs have successfully created passive income streams for themselves just by selling online courses.
You can create your course in January, start selling it in February, and from that point forward you could earn money day in and day out. You don’t even need to edit your course again.
Though if you want your course to continue selling, then you should definitely want to spend a lot of time promoting it!
3. You can create a course on practically anything you want!
Do yourself a favor and check out platforms that sell online courses. You’ll notice that topics can range from the most basic to the most advanced tutorials on many subjects.
What this means for you is if you’ve got something to teach, then you can create a course for that!
If you love to cook, you can create a course on how to bake desserts using a special technique. If you love taking photos, you can create a course on photography. If you love designing clothes, and you want to share your advanced techniques, then you can sell your own course on this subject as well.
You can design your course to cater only to beginners or advanced students. Or you can create a comprehensive course that will take people from being absolute newbies to experts! The choice is totally up to you.
Don’t underestimate people’s ability and willingness to pay for your knowledge.
If you market your course as something that can help your students fix a problem, or improve their skills, or address a specific pain point, then you’d have a very profitable course on your hands.
How To Get Started With Creating And Selling Your Own Evergreen Course
Before you create your online course, it’s important to put yourself in your students’ shoes. Would they find your course valuable? Would they learn something new and actionable from you?
Do you care about their learning experience or are you only out to line your pockets with their money?
Always remember that if you want evergreen blogging profits, you need to provide as much value as possible to your audience. If you do not do this, and only think about yourself, then your blogging business will not last.
Helping people should be your top priority whether you create a video course, a text-based course, an audio course, etc.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create your first course:
1. Choose a profitable evergreen topic
While you can create a course on any subject you want, you want to make sure you’ll have enough people interested in your topic.
Helping people is important, but since you’re building a business, you also want to see a return on your investment and generate a healthy profit.
There are quite a few ways to find a profitable topic:
- Check if there are existing courses on the topic you want to cover. If there are, and it’s selling, then that’s a good sign. It simply means there’s a demand for that topic, and you can create a better course.
- Do keyword research to find out how many people are searching for your topic. If you’ve got a decent number of monthly searches, and there aren’t enough resources on the subject, then you might be on to something!
- Seek out forums in the niche you want to cover and see what kind of problems people are having with. Forums are literally a gold mine so be sure to go through all the threads containing your topic. Create a list of target problems and then create a course around them.
Lastly, I mentioned ‘evergreen’ because you want to create a passive income stream, right? If you choose a non-evergreen niche like technology, then your course will become obsolete as soon as that technology becomes outdated.
But with evergreen niches, you need not worry about all that. Your course could still sell decades after you launched it!
2. Test and check if your topic is indeed profitable
This step is very important if you want to avoid wasting your time and money on building a course no one will buy. You can ask the opinion of your family and friends, but they’d probably be biased and tell you what you want to hear – that your course is great and it will sell like hotcakes.
But if you want to get real world feedback from people you’re interested in selling your course to, then you can try creating a survey and have your target audience answer it.
If you’ve got an email list, you can simply ask them to answer your quick survey. If you don’t have a list, then you need to get creative.
You might create a mini-course on the subject you want to sell and use it as an email opt-in. Then drive traffic to your mini-course.
Track how many people visited your site and compare it to the number of people who signed up.
If you get a nice conversion rate, then it means your course can be profitable. If you get very low sign up rates, then maybe your idea isn’t very sellable. Or you simply didn’t target the right people. Or maybe you need to write better copy to encourage prospects to sign up.
Try split testing so you can make an informed decision on whether to continue with your course or just totally forget about it.
3. Create a course outline and write your content
You should already know your course has an audience waiting to be sold to. The next step you need to do is plan out how you will structure your course.
Creating a detailed outline is very important as you can clearly see which areas you need to cover. Cover the main points in your course – no need to go crazy on the details yet.
The important thing is you need to get your audience’s problem solved, and you need to make sure your course answers that problem thoroughly.
Break your course into small “bite-sized” sections. Group similar concepts together. Don’t allow your ideas to be all over the place. Your audience will appreciate you taking the time to make things easy enough for them to understand.
Once you’ve finished the outline, take a moment to review it. Ask yourself if you left anything out, and if you think it’s got all the details to help your intended audience. Only then should you start working on the content.
Don’t get too hung up on getting the perfect eBook cover, or the perfect lighting for your videos, or how you will sound in your audio recording.
Some successful bloggers’ first-ever courses were shot on their smartphone or their laptop’s webcam! Whatever content type you go with, your students will pay you for your content and your knowledge.
4. Upload your course to your website or a third-party learning platform
Now that you’ve successfully created a great course, it’s time to upload it online so you can start selling it.
There are generally 3 types of places where you can sell your course:
- Your own website – having your own course on your own web property gives you the most control over your product. You can choose your own design and set your own price. You don’t have to give anyone a share of your profits; you get to keep everything! If you use WordPress, you can simply use a plugin to manage your course and your payments, and you can be in business in a matter of hours!
- Third-party hosted platforms – if you don’t have your own website, or you don’t want to be bothered with setting it up on your own, you can host your course on a third-party platform. These platforms make it easy for you to upload and manage your course, but they come at a price. Some require a monthly or annual subscription while some require a certain percentage of your sales.
- Online learning marketplaces – sites like these have become popular in recent years. If you want to get your course in front of millions of people, then this is the good place for your course. However, the downside is that you have little control over your course once you upload it. Most platforms also place a limit on course prices, and they even take a cut of your earnings so be sure to keep this information in mind.
My favorite platform (and I’ve tried 4!) is Podia. Inexpensive and they don’t take any fees. They also have great customer service and answer my questions quickly. It was also easy to build my Successful Blogging School on Podia. You can try out Podia by taking my (totally) free course, Blog In A Box.
5. Promote your course to your target audience
Since you’ve already identified your audience before you even created your course, it’s now time to let them know about your course and how it can help solve their pain point!
If you’ve got an email list like I discussed in Step 2, then you have to email them now. Let them know how they can benefit from your course and guide them to where they can buy it.
Make them feel special, offer them something nice as an existing subscriber – maybe a discount code or a free preview.
Use proven marketing strategies to encourage your target audience to buy your course. Know how a sales funnel works so you can entice your leads or prospects to become paying customers.
And remember to ask them to opt-in to your email list so you can contact them again later
Are You Ready To Sell Your Evergreen Course?
An evergreen course is one of the best ways to generate passive income. While you need to put in a LOT of work to make your course awesome, you need to remember that you only need to do the hard work once.
You can create a course in less than a week and have it generate sales for many years. Imagine if you are selling several evergreen courses – you can live the life you’ve always dreamed of and spend your time doing what you love the most!