I love hearing about bloggers who are making waves and creating a career for themselves from scratch. Blogging is such a new (and unregulated) industry, that this generation of bloggers will be the rule makers and shape the entire industry for years.
While there are thousands on thousands of bloggers, and a small percent of those bloggers have done something right and managed to make blogging their full-time job.
Bloggers are writing sponsored posts, going on press trips, running ads, and creating their own products in order to generate a full-time income. A lot of bloggers overlook online courses, or don’t think they are qualified to create one when in reality online course are one of the best ways that a blogger can monetize their website. Let me tell you why:
Bloggers Have Authority
By virtue of being a blogger – you’ve already established authority in some niche. Perhaps you’re an authority in what you blog about, or using WordPress as a blogger, or promoting yourself on social media.
Bloggers have a unique and valuable skillset that they can teach others through an online course.
Being on the inside of the blogging world it’s easy to forget that there are people who have absolutely no knowledge about blogging as an industry and would love to learn.
You can cater courses to that audience regardless of what you blog about, or make an online course about the content your audience loves.
Bloggers Have Validated Ideas
Bloggers can easily decide whether or not their audience will be interested in a course or not simply by checking their Google Analytics.
If you’re a niche blogger, perhaps a vintage fashion blogger for example, you can create an online course teaching your students how to find vintage pieces at the local Goodwill or how to give well loved vintage pieces much needed TLC.
If you don’t think your niche has room for online courses, think again. Go to your Google Analytics account and take a look at your most popular posts.
More often than not, you can turn those posts into a profitable course idea. For example:
- If your number one post is about getting blog traffic from Twitter you can make an entire course detailing every step you take to get traffic from Twitter.
- If your number one post is an OOTD featuring your fall wardrobe you can make an entire course teaching your audience how to layer for fall.
- If your number one post is a recipe featuring almond milk, you can make an entire course on how to bake dairy-free.
Once you know what your most popular topic is, all you need to do is create a lead magnet related to that topic, add it as a content upgrade in the post, and keep that list warm.
When you launch your product send it out to your qualified list and we find that usually at least 2% of your list will convert.
That might not seem like a lot, but with a list of just 1000 you’ve got 200 customers buying a $148 course and you’ll make just short of $3000.
Bloggers Have “Search Engine Juice”
Even if you’re a new blogger and not even ranking anywhere on Google, you’re still ahead of those whose only online presence is their social media.
Once you have content published, all it takes is strategy and time to have your content found on Google.
Blogging tip: If you’re on WordPress, consider installing the SEO by Yoast plug-in. It really simplifies SEO and will make your life 100 times easier.
Bloggers Have an Audience
So many course creators have to start from scratch when it comes to finding an audience. You already have one.
Whether it’s a full-fledged army or you’re still in the beginning stages, you’ll still be starting with something. Having an audience before creating your online course is so valuable. Your audience already knows and trusts you, therefore they are will take less warming up before they are ready to buy from you.
If you haven’t started building an email list – now’s the time; and if you have – great! Growing a list is easier when you’ve already got something built – and in your case you do!
Courses are More Profitable Than Other Methods of Monetization
Really, when it comes to monetization there is a world of potential out there for bloggers. The ways to monetize are plentiful, and each come with their own set of pros and cons.
At the end of the day, though, research points to online courses as being the most profitable option for bloggers looking to make a living off of their influence.
Bloggers Can Monetize What They’ve Already Created
If you’ve got a thorough blog post or series teaching your audience anything you can take that content and use it to script videos for an online course.
Using the content you’ve already created means there will be very little extra work for you, but you’ll see a turnaround quite quickly. Where one of the most time consuming and in-depth parts of making an online course come with researching and curating the content that you’ll present, chances are that as a blogger you’ve already done this step and don’t even realize it.
As I mentioned before, you can reference Google Analytics to see what your audience has already enjoyed and shown a preference for and from there you can turn that post into a module or an entire online course.
Courses are More Profitable Than Sponsored Posts
Most bloggers dream of the day when they begin to get a steady stream of sponsored posts. Heck, sponsored posts even took place of a traditional job in college for me, but I do realize that they aren’t the most practical or sustainable to make money through a blog.
Realistically, most bloggers can’t charge more than a few hundred dollars for a sponsored post, and even then it’s hard to predict when you’ll get sponsored opportunities.
Courses, on the other hand, are much more predictable and bring in more money. You should charge at least $100 for your online course, and your course will continue to be an evergreen and profitable asset for as long as you choose to sell whereas you only profit from sponsored posts once.
That’s not to say that you should give up on sponsored posts altogether, but it isn’t advised that you base your entire business model around sponsored posts. They are great for supplemental income, but less sustainable than selling your own evergreen products.
Courses are More Profitable Than Running Ads
Don’t even get me started on ads. Even in my very best months I’ve only ever been able to pull in several hundred dollars through ads where that space could be better used promoting my own products.
Ads are a great way to dip your toe into monetizing online, but the real money comes from selling your own products.
Courses are Evergreen Assets
Due to their evergreen nature, you can sell an online course over and over again. As a blogger who is constantly creating new content (likely related to your course topic) it’s easy to write a new post plugging your course every month or two and see a new wave of sales.
Some of our Most Successful Course Creators are Bloggers
When it comes down to it – some of our very most successful course creators are bloggers and that’s no coincidence.
These are people pulling in six figures selling courses and it is because they’ve used their blogs to build an audience that knows them and trusts their content.
Bloggers like Melyssa Griffin, Mariah Coz, and Regina Anaejionu are all prime examples of bloggers who are making livings off of online courses.
OK, I’m sold. Now how do I get started selling online courses?
Starting the course creation process is intimidating if you’ve never thought much about it before. Knowing where to start and what elements to include can be a bit overwhelming.