Give Yourself a Raise: The Big Income Potential of Teaching Your Own Online Courses

02/27/2015 04:47 pm ET | Updated Apr 29, 2015


As a business owner (or future business owner), you should always be looking for ways in which you can diversify your income streams.

Where can you offer more products or services to existing customers? Where can you branch out to different content mediums to attract more people? In what ways can you leverage your time and add more to your bottom line at the simultaneously?

A couple of months ago, I stumbled upon an online course my girlfriend bought on how to optimize your YouTube videos. I wasn't particularly interested in the topic, but I was intrigued when I found out that the producer of this course was a normal guy that happened to be making well in to the six figures annually selling it on a platform called Udemy. I saw the potential to grow my own reach; not only would I be able to tap into Udemy's customer base of over 5 million students, but it was an opportunity to get myself in front of an audience that I may not have been able to reach otherwise. Not to mention, it would enable me to add an income stream to my business that was semi-passive; I wouldn't have to sacrifice too much of my time to add a decent amount of income.

Fast forward to now, and in just under two months, I've released three marketing related courses on Udemy, added a couple thousand dollars to my monthly income, and teach over 4,000 students; all with very little time commitment.

Interested in reaching a brand new, responsive audience, while spreading your message AND making some nice passive income in the process? It doesn't take much effort, but there are some vital steps to take to be successful. Here they are:


Choose the right topic to teach: Choose the topic of your course as the biggest problem your target market faces. For example, as a marketing coach, the biggest problem my clients face is not being able to attracting enough customers in to their business. And that's exactly why I made that my first course. Make sure you understand your market enough to know exactly what they want to learn how to do, then deliver it!

Produce quality lectures with actionable steps: You want to keep several things in mind when producing your course videos: make sure you speak with enthusiasm and excitement (there is nothing worse than a boring course), have high quality video and audio (the quality directly relates with the price you can charge and how many students will actually finish it), and give your students a call to action at the end of each lecture or section. Remember to let them know how they are going to apply this knowledge to themselves effectively.

Write a convincing course description and promo video: You want your course description to be strong sales copy of why they should purchase your course; an easy way to structure it is to present the problem the audience is facing, agitate the problem (let them know why it sucks to have that problem), relate to the problem personally (preferably with a personal story), solve the problem, and provide a call to action (buy the damn course!). It's also important to cover all of those things in your promo video as well, because some people prefer to read the course description, while others opt for watching your video.

Promote it yourself: Although you can make great money over time relying on Udemy's own promotions they do for your course, I think it is necessary and smart to doing your own promoting to drive sales as well. You want to know my favorite way for promoting my products? It's holding webinars. Holding webinars is a great way to engage your audience, give them value in the form of a presentation on an awesome topic they care about, and then selling them something to further help them at the end. To really maximize the amount of people that show up to your webinar (thus increasing your chances for a sale), make sure you have both a strong topic, and a great looking registration page. Here's an example of how a webinar registration page should look, for a webinar I'm holding soon.

After you've completed the steps above, you're now set up to create a nice income stream for your business, which takes very little time to maintain. You can decide to publish a single comprehensive course, or you can go a step further and publish multiple courses to increase the income potential. The choice is yours.

Now go out there and teach what you know!

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