The Ultimate Course Creation Bonus Bundle [Time-Limited]

For a limited time, you can snag Teachable's "Course Creation Bonus Bundle" when you sign up for Teachable's Basic or Professional Plan using my link.

*This is a limited-time offer. I'll remove this post as soon as the bonuses expire.

Here's what you get with the bundle:

1) The Profitable Teacher Course (see details/curriculum below)

2) Course Creation Workshop Series, 

3) DIY Studio Setup Cheatsheet, and

4) 8 weeks of Q&A group coaching (Professional Plan only)

 

Additional bonus available for Pro Plan:

8 weeks of group training

 
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Details about "The Profitable Teacher" Course

The Profitable Teacher course walks you through Teachable's proven, step-by-step system to create your own profitable online course in 5 weeks or less.

You could enroll in the course at anytime on your own for $348, however, for a limited time you can get this course as a free bonus when you sign up for either the Basic or Pro Plan using this link. 

Here's what's covered in the course: 

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FTC Disclaimer: I am a Teachable affiliate partner which means that I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you choose to sign up for Teachable after clicking through my link. 

I have been a Teachable user for over four years and only promote products that I love and use :)

Teachable Pricing: Which plan is best for you?

I've been using Teachable to host my online courses for the past four years and I've used almost every plan that they offer at one point or another (with the exception of the high volume plan.)

In this post I'm going to break down what each plan offers (and what I used it for) in the hopes that it will help you choose the Teachable pricing plan that is the best fit for where you are in your course business right now. 

Teachable offers 4 different plans: 

  1. Free: Click here for the quick link (it can be hard to find on the site)
  2. Basic: $39/month or $399/year
  3. Professional: $99/month or $999/year
  4. High Volume: $299/month 

* You can switch your plan at anytime if you are on a monthly billing cycle, however you will save some money if you sign up for an annual plan. 

All Teachable plans (including the free plan) include: 

  • Unlimited video
  • Unlimited courses
  • Unlimited students
  • Unlimited hosting
  • Integrated sales pages and payment processing
  • The ability to manage student accounts
  • Discussion forums
  • Basic quizzes, and 
  • No fees on free courses 

Technically, you could run an entire online course business on Teachable's free plan, but this may or may not the *best* option for you. 

 

Who should use the free plan?

If you are brand new to Teachable, the free plan is a great way to get familiar with the platform before you buy. I stayed on the free plan while I was setting up my course.

But there are some major drawbacks to selling your courses on the free Teachable plan. The most obvious is the transaction fees. 

Here's a breakdown on the transaction fees that are charged for each sale for each of Teachable's plans: 

Teachable | Pick the Right Pricing Plan for You 2018-05-18 11-27-56.png

Do the math on "free"

If you're selling courses on the free plan, you'll end up paying $1 + 10% on each course sale.

For example, if your course is priced at $200, you'll end up paying $21 of each sale to Teachable if you're on the free plan.

At this rate, if you sold more than 5 courses a month, you would be better off upgrading to the $99/month Professional plan (which has no additional transaction fees) and benefiting from the increased functionality and instant payouts. 

In my opinion, the free plan is great for getting your course set up, but not the best option for launching or selling.

Once you're ready to start selling your course, I highly recommend upgrading to the $99/month Professional Plan if you have room for it in your budget. If not, the $39/month Basic plan is a better option for selling your course than the free plan, but it does have some drawbacks that you need to be aware of. 

 

Who should use the Basic Plan? 

At $39 a month, Teachable's Basic plan is fairly affordable which makes it an attractive option for most new course creators who are working with a tight budget. 

Here are the additional features that you'll get with the Basic plan:

  • a custom domain for your school
  • the ability to generate coupon codes to promote your course
  • an integrated affiliate program (so other's can promote your course)
  • a built-in email marketing system
  • third party integrations,
  • drip course content (which allows you to deliver your courses over time instead of all at once), and
  • you can have up to two authors/owners for your school. 

These features are great, however,  there are three things that you need to know about this plan so that you aren't caught off guard later on down the road:

  1.  Teachable charges a 5% transaction fee on every course sale. 
  2. You must use Teachable's "payment gateways" which means that you don't get instant access to your course revenue. 
  3. You are required to offer a 30 day refund policy. 

Let's break it down...

If someone purchases your course while you are on the Basic plan, Teachable will hold your funds for the 30 day refund period. If the student does not request a refund within 30 days, Teachable will deposit the funds into your Paypal account the following month during their payout period. 

*Note: You do get instant access to your funds with the Professional plan (this hold only applies to courses sold on the Free or Basic plan.) 

On average, I had to wait about 45 days from the time I made a sale to the time the funds hit my back account. That might be fine if creating courses is just a hobby and you're able to cover all of your expenses with other income. But that's a long time to wait if you're trying to bootstrap a legitimate business or side hustle. 

On top of that, you have to pay Teachable a transaction fee of 5% for every course sold on the Basic plan.

Do the math

If your course is priced at $200 and you make 10 sales in one month, you'd end up paying $100 in transaction fees on the Basic Plan. The Pro plan is $99 a month but has no transaction fees, therefore, if you were to sell more than 10 courses a month at this price point, you'd actually be losing revenue by staying on the Basic Plan. 

This part can seem counter intuitive, but it's important to crunch the numbers to see where your "break even" point is on each plan so that you can maximize your course revenue. 

 In sum, the Basic Plan is great if:

  1. You're on a tight budget,
  2. Only planning on selling a handful of courses each month (where transaction fees are less than monthly cost for the Pro plan), and
  3. You're willing to wait at least 45 days to get access to your funds. 

 

 

Who should use the Professional Plan? 

In my opinion, this is the best plan for people who are serious about turning their course into a legitimate source of income.  

Here are the additional features that you get with the Professional plan:

  • Instant payouts 
  • No transaction fees
  • Live chat support (as opposed to email only)
  • Graded quizzes
  • Advanced developer customization
  • Advanced reporting
  • Unbranded website
  • Bulk import students
  • Up to 5 owners/authors

The most important feature of the Professional plan, in my humble opinion, is the instant payout feature with no additional transaction fees.

PayPal & Stripe Integration

When you're on the Pro plan, you can integrate your PayPal and Stripe accounts right into Teachable so that all of your course revenue goes straight to you instead of being processed through Teachable's payment gateway. 

Refund Policy Optional

Another good thing about the Pro plan is that offering refunds is optional. I actually prefer offering a 30 day refund policy on my courses, but you may want to have a stricter policy where students are required to show their work or no policy at all. This plan gives you the freedom to choose how you want to run your business. 

Advanced Reporting Tools

You also get advanced reporting tools so that you can monitor completion rates and see exactly where your students are in the course. This is great for identifying weak or trouble spots in your course curriculum. 

Advanced Design & Automation

And the final thing that I'll mention about the Pro plan is that it offers a lot more flexibility when it comes to customizing your school. You get access to the "Power Editor" which let's you add custom code to your school to change the functions and designs to meet your needs. You also have the option to integrate additional third party apps like Zapier so that you can do a lot more with automations. 

 

Who should use the high volume plan?

The High Volume plan is for people who want to have more than five owners or authors for their school. If you're a larger organization and need to have multiple admins or instructors who need access to the platform to upload materials, then this plan is for you. 

What do you think?

Are you considering using Teachable to host your courses? If so, which plan do you think you'll use?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments below. 

 

Blog Smarter, Not Harder

Millions of people start blogs each year. Some of them are wildly successful, while others struggle to get a couple dozens page views a month.

If you're anything like me, you have a topic that you're passionate about that you'd like to monetize through blogging.

And I realize that blogging isn't just about making money, but if you want to be able to turn your blog into a full time online business at some point, you need a monetization strategy that actually works.  

In this post, I'm going to share a counter intuitive strategy that has helped me build my blog from nothing to over $12,000 a month in revenue. 

If you're just getting started and looking for info on how to actually set up your blog, make sure that you click here to  sign up for my upcoming free "easy blogging" masterclass

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Why most blogs fail

The common blogging advice that you've probably heard around the web is that if you want to have a successful blog you need to create a ton of content.

Then you need to post that content to all of the social media channels and hope that one of your posts goes viral.

And if that doesn't work you cross your fingers hoping that your SEO efforts will pay off and that Google will magically send readers your way. 

You might get some traffic that way. And I'm not saying that you shouldn't use social media to promote your content. But that's the strategy that EVERYONE is following. 

If it allegedly works so well, wouldn't there be more successful bloggers out there? 

I followed this strategy in the beginning too. The first year that I started my online business I made less then $5,000 from my blog for the entire year :( This was after creating new posts every week and promoting my arse off on all the social channels.

I was exhausted, burned out, and left wondering if this whole online business/bloggin thing really worked. 

What I found out was that blogging DOES work. But the generic advice that been regurgitated for years just doesn't.

the painful truth

I quickly realized that if I wanted to make "real" income with my blog, I had to treat it like a real business. And I had to start acting like a real business owner. 

That meant I had to stop being cheap and invest in the right tools. That doesn't mean that you have a spend a fortune. It just means that you have to invest what money you have to work with wisely so that you can actually grow your business instead of spinning your wheels.

I had to STOP thinking that if I just pushed harder, or wrote more posts, or posted on social media more often, that that would somehow magically make my business grow. 

3 secrets to wild, crazy, mind blowing success 

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I probably got a little carried away with that one, but I'm feeling a little sassy with my subtitles today :)

But in all seriousness, if you can wrap your mind around what I'm about to tell you, it will literally change your life, blog, and business forever. 

The problem is, it's not sexy. 

Brace yourself. Here we go. 

The 3 things are: 

1) Math 

(yes, that is not a typo)

2) Data

(you're getting excited aren't you?)

and...

3) Automation

Whoa baby! Is it hot in here, or is it just me? 

Oh wait... you're not "feeling it" yet?

Okay, just bear with me. I'm about to break it all down and give you some action steps that will make a big difference to your bottom line.. 

The unsexy math formula for predicting your income

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Blogs make money in a couple different ways: 

1) Promoting affiliate/sponsored products,

2) Selling their own products (ebooks, courses, templates, or physical products), or

3) Offering services.

There may be a few other ways, but in all likelihood, your blog income is going to come from one or more of those three categories. 

Here's the key:

Your income is directly related to the price of the product(s) that you offer and how many  (targeted) people see your offer.

Allow me to demonstrate.

A real life example

My goal was always to make at least $10,000 a month with my blog. 

My blog (which is about audiobook recording) makes money in a couple different ways:

1) I use the Amazon Affiliate Program to promote audio equipment and other products that are relevant to my readers, 

2) I have an ebook on audio recording, 

3) I have an online course on audio editing, and 

4) I offer narration and editing services. 

What I did was I created a very unexciting, but helpful spreadsheet that would tell me exactly how many people I needed to get my products and services in front of in order to hit my revenue goal. 

I made a blank copy of the spreadsheet just for you if you'd like to download it and plan your income right now.

It already has all of the formulas plugged in, so all you need to do is enter your current products (or products you plan to offer) and your income goal. Feel free to go bananas with this. 

 

Here's how this works. I list all of the products and services that generate revenue for my blog in the first column. Then I type in how much I make each time someone makes a purchase. If I know my conversion rate, I'll enter that. If you don't know your conversion rate, use 2% as an estimate. 

If you don't know what a conversion rate is, it's just the percentage of people who end up making a purchase on your site. 

The spreadsheet will tell me how many sales I need to make of each product and how many leads or subscribers I need to get in order to hit my sales goal. 

Pretty nifty, eh? 

Hitting the numbers

If you haven't started your blog yet, or if you have been doing ALL THE THINGS (weekly posts, social media, SEO) and you haven't come close to hitting these numbers, you might be feeling a bit deflated right now. 

It's alright. I've got your back. 

When I first started my blog it took me AN ENTIRE YEAR just to get 400 subscribers. 

BUT!...

Once I figured out the "easy blogging" strategy that I'm about to share with you, I started averaging about 2,000 subscribers a month using JUST ONE BLOG POST!

Here's are some screenshots of my ConvertKit account. This is the automation tool that I use to collect email address and automate my sales sequences. 

This is a snapshot of the last month (March-April 2018). 

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Here's a snapshot of the last year. 

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As you can see, things started to shift for me pretty dramatically at the beginning of 2018. 

Here's what happened to my income as my subscriber count started to increase: 

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And just so we're clear, I'm not sharing my income to brag or anything weird like that. I'm showing you because data doesn't lie.

I want you to notice the direct mathematical correlation between increasing traffic to my site and the amount of income that my blog brought in. 

Now, let's talk about how I did it. I think it will surprise you. 

My "Easy Blogging" Strategy

Here's how this works in a nutshell. 

I wrote ONE high quality blog post on a topic that I new my ideal reader/customer would be interested in. Not 10, 20, 50 or 100 posts. JUST ONE. 

In the beginning, I wrote about whatever I felt like writing about. 

For this ONE post, I did some research to find out what my audience was interested in the most. 

Next, I created a "lead magnet" that was relevant to the post AND to my paid product.

A lead magnet is just a downloadable piece of content that your reader has to provide an email address to get.  It acts as a bridge between your free content and your paid products or services.

Your lead magnet could be a cheatsheet, resource guide, checklist, audio download, or a mini course. In my case, I chose to do a 5-Day Challenge to get people interested in and ready to buy my online course. 

Boosting Your Traffic

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While I think that social media is a great place to promote your content, it's very difficult to get PREDICTABLE and CONSISTENT results. But you need consistency and predictability to grow your blog's income. 

I use paid ads (Google and/or Facebook) to promote this ONE blog post. 

Within the blog post, I promote the lead magnet and make it very easy for people to sign up for it right inside the post. 

If the idea of using paid advertising sounds scary to you, I totally get it. But it doesn't have to be a gamble. 

I started out spending $5 a day to promote that blog post using Google Adwords. That's $35 a week. And at the time, that seemed like a lot of money to me because I was making almost nothing.

But after that first week I was able to turn $35 into $100 in course sales. Instead of spending my profits on a pizza or something else I didn't need, I put that money right back into ads. 

After about four months of doing this I was able to scale my blog income up to over $12,000 a month. 

I like to think of paid advertising like a snowball. The more you spend, the more people you reach, and the larger your income grows. 

Recap

I covered quite a bit in this post, so I want to make sure that you leave with the most important points. 

1) Decide what you want your income to be. Find products to promote (or create your own) then use the income planner spreadsheet to figure out how many subscribers you need to hit your income goal. 

2) Stop doing all the things and focus on just one strategy at a time.

3) Create ONE blog post and ONE lead magnet. 

4) Promote your lead magnet inside the blog post (make sure it's prominent and tie it into the post content if possible)

5) Use paid advertising (Google or Facebook ads) to drive targeted traffic to your blog post. 

6) Track your results. 

These are the basic steps, but I realize that there are more specifics that just wasn't able to get to in this post like:

1) how I set up my sales funnel

2) how I research my post topics, and 

3) how I automate this entire system. 

I'm working on putting together a free (no pitch) tutorial where I'll walk through how I set up each step of this process in painstaking detail. 

If you would like to see a complete tutorial of how I set all this up, just click the button below and leave your name and email address. And I'll send you a link to the video as soon as it's ready. 

 

See, blogging isn't always just about making money. It's also about creating interesting, helpful content.... Just because :)

I hope you got some value out of this post. 

xoxo

Krystal

 

Up next: How to Replace your Income with One Online Course

replace your income with an online course in 7 steps

When I created my first online course I tried just about every "guru" tactic I could find, from SEO to Pinterest to posting on Instagram and Twitter multiple times a day.

I did ALL THE THINGS that I thought other people were doing to get people to sign up for their courses, but I ended up with low course sales and income that was wildly unpredictable.

That's when I decided to try something different. 

Within four months I was able to take one $97 course and scale it up to over $12,000 a month in revenue using an automated process.

(Disclaimer: I mention several tools that I have used personally to create my online course business throughout this post. Some of those links are my affiliate links.

Here are screenshots from my SamCart account for each month so you can see the progression. 

Month 1: November 2017

Month 2: December 2017

Month 3: January 2018

Month 4: February 2018

Month 5: March 2018

Okay, for some people, $10k-$12k a month might not be that big of a deal. But I know that when I was just starting out and trying to replace my full time income, $10k a month would have been a REALLY BIG DEAL. So I want to share exactly what I did in the hopes that it might help you in some way. 

The 4 Tools I used to set this up

Before I get into what I did, here are the list of tools that I used to set all of this up.

There are only four. The total cost for all of them combined is $184 per month (which is pretty low overhead.)

1. Teachable ($99/mo) - for hosting my course & promotional challenge. 

2. ConvertKit ($29/mo) - for collecting email addresses and sending automated emails.

3. Samcart ($19/mo) - for creating professional checkout pages and accepting payments from students.

4. Deadline Funnel ($37/mo) - for creating evergreen funnels with countdown timers, expiring links, and page redirects. 

Recommended Free Trainings

There are two free trainings I highly recommend that helped really me figure out how to replace my full time income with one online course. 

1. Teachable's 7 Steps to Launch Your Own Profitable Course

2. The Fletcher Method "Perfect Funnel Masterclass."

Also, if you're thinking about using Teachable to host your courses, you'll want to check out their Quick Start Tutorial as well. 

 

Not let's get into what I did (and didn't do.) 

1. Stop doing ALL THE THINGS

Blogging, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook Groups, SEO, Snap Chat... AHHRGH! The list goes on. 

This is what we are told we NEED to do to "grow our audience." And those things can help. Maybe you get a lot of traffic from ONE of these sources, and if so, that's fine. 

But the best thing that I did, was to STOP doing all of these things and focus on creating JUST ONE traffic source that actually worked. For me, that was Google ads. 

2. Build the Relationship

Sending people DIRECTLY to your sales page DOES NOT work. At least not very well.

People need to get to know you BEFORE you ask for a sale.

It's like dating before you get married. You have to build a relationship with your prospective students first. 

Formats that work well for this are: 

  1. Free mini courses, 
  2. Challenges, 
  3. Workshops, and 
  4. Educational video series 

These formats give people a chance to see you (and your teaching) in action. Potential students can get a feel for your personality and teaching style before they buy (which reduces your refund rate). And you get a chance to show people what you actually know, which boosts your credibility as an instructor. 

3. Create an "Educational Journey"

Your customer journey should do these 3 things:

  1. Tell people who you are and why you are qualified to teach your subject.
  2. Educate people on the BIG problem that your premium course solves. 
  3. Solve a SMALL problem in your mini course that gets them one step closer to resolving the big problem that your full course solves.

I use a free 5-Day Challenge to achieve all three of these steps.

The great thing about a challenge or a mini course is that it also serves as a lead magnet. So there's no need to create a dozen different PDF's, ebooks, or other giveaways. Just focus on creating one really high value piece of content and promote it heavily. 

4. Automate

Automating as many things as you can will save you time so that you can work on other things like improving your course, interacting with your students, or relaxing (self-care is important!)

I automated my "challenge" using ConvertKit (to capture emails and send automated email sequences) and Teachable (to drip video content out over 5-Days -- and to deliver my full course.)

Personally, I can't recommend these two resources enough.  However, you could use any other email automation provider/course platform that you like. 

5. deadlines = More sales

If there are no deadlines, people have little incentive to consume your content or buy buy your course. 

When I first started offering my 5-Day Challenge, there was no deadline. Guess what happened? People didn't consume it. They assumed that it would always be there, so there was no sense of urgency. They let it sit untouched in their inbox. 

Since people weren't consuming the content, they weren't ready to buy my course during the promotion period and this really hurt my sales. 

Once I put a deadline on the free content, the consumption rates increased dramatically because people didn't want to miss out. 

I was able to automate all of this using Deadline Funnel

Now I'm able to run my 5-Day Challenge every single week. The whole thing is automated. At the end of the week the links expire and Deadline Funnel redirects people to my course sales page for the remainder of the promotion period. 

I keep my cart open for four days each week and at the end of the four day sales period, Deadline Funnel turns off access to the sales page. This let's me imitate a live launch even though my entire process is fully automated. 

Bottom line: FOMO = more sales. 

6. Don't be afraid of paid ads

The entire first year I was in business I REFUSED to use paid ads.  I was determined to get all of my traffic FOR FREE because I had a VERY limited budget. 

Here's why that mindset is bad for your business...

Paid advertising makes your monthly income more PREDICTABLE. 

Relying on social media, SEO, and "word of mouth" will keep your income in flux, which will keep you struggling month after month. 

If you want to see profits faster, start experimenting with paid advertising. 

I know it can be scary to pay for advertising, especially when you have a limited budget. That's why it's important to start SMALL and SLOWLY scale up so that you can collect data along the way. 

Here's how I use ads...

I did some research to find out what my potential students were searching for online. Then I created one blog post on a topic I knew they would be interested in. Next,  I used Google Ads to target keyword phrases that were related to the topic of my blog post. 

Note: I started by spending just $5-$10 a days on Google Adwords. Once I saw that my funnel was working (i.e. I was earning more than I was spending) then I started to increase my daily ad spend a little bit each week

Within the blog post I included a signup form so that people could sign up for my free Challenge which led into a sales sequence for my full course at the end.

This worked well because I wasn't trying to pressure people into signing up for something. I simply gave them an opportunity to sign up while they were reading the post. 

I was really skeptical that this would work because this approach is so indirect and non-pushy, but 62% of people who viewed the blog post signed up for the 5-Day Challenge. 

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7. Know Your Numbers

This is REALLY important. In fact, it's almost impossible to become profitable without this piece.

I track all of my numbers and metrics on a weekly basis. Here's an example of how I set up my tracking spreadsheet. 

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4 numbers that are CRITICAL to your success: 

1. Sales Conversion Rate (find it by dividing leads by sales -- then multiply by 100.)

For example, if I get 100 people to sign up for my Challenge and I end up selling 6 courses, my conversion rate is 6%.

2. Revenue Per Lead (find it by dividing total sales revenue by total number of leads.)

For example, if 100 people sign up for my lead magnet and I end up earning $5000 in total sales, my revenue per lead is $50 per person. 

3. Cost per Lead (find by dividing total amount spent on advertising by total number of leads.)

For example, if I spend $1000 on ads to get 500 leads, my cost per lead is $2. 

4. Profit per Lead (find by subtracting cost per lead from revenue per lead.)

For example, if my revenue per lead is $50 and my cost per lead is $2, then my PROFIT per lead is $48. 

Your revenue per lead will tell you how much you can spend on advertising without losing money. That's why it's so important to track your numbers. I track all of my numbers on a weekly basis so I can closely monitor how my ads are performing.  

Once you start collecting data you'll quickly see that becoming profitable is just a simple math equation. 

Free course revenue Planner

Find out how many sales & leads you need to replace your income or hit your goals.  

My bizarre method for creating online courses that sell amazingly well

When I set out to create my first online course it took me FOREVER...

I spent months agonizing over the topic. 

Then I spent a few more months wondering how long it should be, which platform I should use, how much I should charge, you know, all the things we waste time on...

Then it took another couple of months to get up the courage to get on camera (maybe you can relate?)

Then there was the editing. So much editing. 

Then, after all of that, I had to figure out how get it in front of the RIGHT PEOPLE so that I could sell the darn thing.

I made a few sales, but...

I quickly found out the hard way that the course I created wasn't EXACTLY what my students really needed. 

Sure, it had a LOT of information. But they kept telling me that they wanted something different. 

So I had to go back to the drawing board to not only create a course that my students actually wanted and needed, but to create a course creation process that was more efficient and more effective. 

I had two goals:

  1.  I wanted to be able to create courses MUCH FASTER and stop wasting time, and 
  2.  I wanted to get feedback from REAL STUDENTS to help shape the course content so that I didn't have to guess about what to include in my course.

My problem in the beginning was that I thought that I had to create a gigantic, super comprehensive course upfront so that it would be just be done... and perfect... 

But the thing is...

That's not the right way to think about course creation.

That's actually a recipe for disaster. 

Your courses should evolve to fit your student's needs over time. 

The method that I'm about to show you kills multiple birds with one stone because:

  •  It allows you to test topics very quickly, 
  •  You get feedback from real people so you don't need to guess about what to put into your full course, 
  •  You get social proof and testimonials that you can use to promote your course and make more sales (yay!), and
  •  This method actually creates your marketing and promotional materials for you at the same time. 

Here's how it works:

  

Instead of spending months or years creating a course that I have no idea if people will buy or like or whatever, I create a "concept course" first. 

If you've ever heard of a "beta course" this is a similar idea, but it's different. 

While a beta course is typically a full course that is being tested before being launched, a concept course solves a very specific problem that is related to the main topic that you want to teach. It is NOT a comprehensive course on the topic. 

You can think of a concept course as a mini course, a workshop, or a challenge that has a very specific purpose or solves one problem. 

For example, if I ultimately want to teach a comprehensive course on dog training, my concept course might focus on teaching one specific trick or command. 

The idea here is to run people through your concept course to get critical feedback -- because this is going to tell you what you should do next. 

Here are a couple of questions that your concept course should answer:

1) How much interest is there in the course topic?

This is good to know, because if no one is interested, there's no point in wasting time creating a full course. Instead, you can pivot or come up with a different idea to test. 

2) What are the goals of your target student (in their own words.)

It's really important to understand the underlying motivations, needs, and desires of your students so that you can create a learning experience that gets them the results that they really need. 

3) What do your target students want to learn more about?

When students go through your concept course, they will naturally ask questions about things that were not covered. You can use this information to decide what to include in your full course.

4) What common common questions are being asked? 

This is super important to understand because, when we know a topic well, we tend to gloss over things that WE think are obvious, but might not be so obvious to someone who is learning. 

Using this method allows you to create online courses that your students actually want and need, rather than spending a whole bunch of time creating something that was doomed to fail from the start. 

It removes a lot of the risk and helps you to iterate and refine your ideas much faster, which leads to succeeding much quicker. 

At this point you might be thinking --

"Okay, I see the potential, but this seems like a LOT of extra work." 

I promise you, it's not. 

 I've come up with a way to test my "concept course" ideas before I create any content at all.

If you would like to see exactly how I set all of this up, click the button below to let me know and I'll put together a free tutorial to share all the nitty gritty, step-by-step details with you. 

This step ^^right here^^ should give you a big clue about what happens next :)

Can you guess what it is?

2018 Teachable Review

(The Good AND the Bad)

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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission of you click through and make a purchase. 

 

I've been using Teachable to host my online courses for about three years now, so I thought I'd share some of the things that I love about the platform, and some of the things I think could be improved. 

If you're not familiar with Teachable, it's an online software program that allows you to create and sell your own online courses.

Teachable is very similar to other independent third party course platforms I've tried, like Thinkific. However, it's not an online course marketplace like Udemy.

I'm sure you're much more curious about what I DO NOT like about the platform, so we'll start there...

However, I do have plenty of GOOD things to say about Teachable. I've been able to grow my online course revenue to over $12,000 a month on this platform, essentially on autopilot. So make sure that you read about all of the GOOD things this company has to offer online course creators as well.  

Also, make sure you check out the time limited bonuses at the end of this post :) 

 

The Bad

 

Downside #1: Getting your money 

My biggest complaint about the Teachable platform is that you have to subscribe to their $99/mo Pro plan if you want to have immediate access to your course revenue. If you are on the Free or $39/mo Basic Plan you have to wait six to eight weeks to get paid out from Teachable. 

When you are just getting started and trying to bootstrap your online course business, having immediate access to your funds is essential. I know for me personally, I would roll all of my course revenue back into paid ads to pay for traffic so that I could continue to grow my course profits month after month. I wouldn't have been able to to that if I had to wait two months to get paid out from Teachable.

To be fair, the reason why Teachable does this is because they offer a 30 day refund policy on all courses purchased on the Free or Basic plan. They hold all course revenue for 30 days and then they pay you out the following month.

I have no issues with offering a refund policy personally, however, I'm not a fan of Teachable requiring that people offer a refund when they are paying for an account.  If this were limited to the free plan only, I would feel a lot better about it.

Now, if you are on the $99/month Pro plan you get to connect your own payment gateways (PayPal and/or Stripe) and your funds will be paid to your directly instead of having to go through Teachable's payment processor. 

Bottom line: if you plan on selling more than $99 worth of courses in a month, I'd highly recommend upgrading to the Pro plan because it will give you instant access to your funds and you won't get hit with extra "transaction fees" so you actually get to keep more of your money. 

 

Downside #2: It's hard to FIND the free plan. 

I love being able to "try things before I buy" so being able to set up a free account to tinker with was a big deal to me. But here's the thing, if you go to Teachable's pricing page, this is what you see ... 

As you can see, the FREE plan is not highlighted here. If you want to try out the service for free you need to have a REALLY good eye. There is a link to sign up for the FREE plan at the bottom of the page, but you have to look for it. 

I don't want to sound too entitled here.  I'm grateful that they offer a free plan at all. They certainly don't have to. I just wish they would make it easier to find. 

I'm sure that Teachable has a good reason for "hiding the ball" so to speak. Maybe they've tested this in the past, but I'm a big fan of how Thinkific really promotes their free plan BEFORE promoting their paid plans. 

For comparison, here's the top section of Thinkific's homepage. 

 

Downside #3: You can't fully "white label" your school.

One of the major reasons why many course creators choose Teachable is so that they can have more control over their online business. While it's true that Teachable gives you nearly complete control over your marketing, course content, pricing and how you communicate with your students, there is one little drawback: they don't offer fully "white labeled" schools. 

When something is fully "white labeled" it means that there are no logos or references to the software company on your site. 

When other companies' logos and URL's are present on your site it can cause confuse your customers.

For example, imagine you're buying something on Amazon, and they all the sudden, when it's time to checkout, you end up on some other site that you don't recognize. It can feel a bit sketchy.

The most noticeable place where this is an issue is with the roll out of "My Teachable" accounts. 

What's the issue with "My Teachable" accounts?

When Teachable first launched, students were required to create a new account for every Teachable hosted school that they signed up for. 

This was fine because it meant that your students had a specific account for your school only. 

In an attempt to streamline the process for students who may end up enrolling in more than one Teachable hosted school, Teachable came out with "My Teachable" accounts that gave students access to all Teachable hosted courses that they were enrolled in regardless of whether they were taught by the same instructor or not. 

Here's what the login looks like for my Audiobook Tutorials school that does NOT have the MyTeachable feature enabled: 

Ultimate Teachable Review: The Good & the Bad — The Course Geek 2018-04-09 16-00-36.jpg

 

Here's another school that has MyTeachable turned on...

Ultimate Teachable Review: The Good & the Bad — The Course Geek 2018-04-09 16-07-09.jpg

As you can see, if someone goes to sign in or sign up for the "Idea Babies" school, they are going to see quite a few references to "Teachable" which is not my brand, nor it it something that my students are likely to be familiar with. 

That is really the extent of the "bad." 

Now let's talk about what I LOVE about Teachable

 

The Good

 

Love #1: It's an all-in-one solution

You could theoretically run an entire online course business using Teachable for free. This might not be the best choice for everyone, but it's definitely possible. 

Teachable comes complete with:

  • a full content management system for all of your videos and course content,
  • integrated sales pages that allow for one-click upsells, payment gateways to give your students the option of paying upfront or subscribing to a payment plan, and
  • a messaging system for emailing your students, 
  • you can also create blogs and individual web pages right inside your Teachable school, 
  • AND you can even set up your own custom URL for your school. 

If you wanted to perform all of these functions WITHOUT a platform like Teachable you would need: 

  • A website or blog
  • Credit card processing 
  • Video hosting
  • Course or membership software
  • an email service provider
  • Etc. 

Now, obviously many people do choose to have a separate website or use more advanced email management services, (I prefer ConvertKit myself) but the point is that you actually don't NEED all of that stuff if your goal is to create a course for free. 

 

Love #2: So easy to use. 

Everything from the signup process to creating your school is incredibly easy with Teachable. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's one of the easiest software platforms that I've ever used. I've tested similar course platforms like Thinkific, New Kajabi, Udemy, and Podia as well, but Teachable was by far the easiest to get the hang of. 

Once your inside of your Teachable account (free or paid), there are a number of helpful resources waiting for you. 

 

You can sign up for Teachable's free weekly live QuickStart Webinar (highly recommended). This will walk you through the process of setting up your school and creating your first course inside of Teachable. 

Or you can jump right in to creating your first course or customizing the the look of your school. 

Teachable also has an extensive "Knowledge Base" full of tutorials and answers to commonly asked questions. If you get stuck at any point, you have immediate access to the knowledge base right from within your account. 

Love #3: Unlimited Everything! 

Even if you are on the free plan, there's no limit to the amount of videos you can upload or courses that you can create. At first glance, this might not seem like a big deal to you, but if you've ever tried storing your video on a service like Vimeo or Wistia, you know that video bandwidth fees can add up fast. 

 

Love #4: It's Built to Scale and Grow 

There's no limit to the number of student accounts that you can have on your school EVEN IF YOU'RE ON THE FREE PLAN!!! 

Regardless of whether you are just getting started with your first group of students, or whether you have thousands of students in your course, Teachable doesn't charge you more for additional student accounts. It's built to scale as you grow your online course business. 

 

Love #5: Drip Courses

Want to release your course modules over time? It's possible with Teachable. Studies have shown that releasing content over time helps keep your students engaged and prevents them from becoming overwhelmed by too much content all at once. 

You can set a specific date that you want your course to start or you can set the course to "evergreen" mode to release modules on a schedule depending on when a student enrolls. This feature is available on Teachable's Basic plan and up. 

 

Love #6: One-Click Upsells

Want to maximize your course revenue by offering relevant add-on's during the checkout process. Teachable supports it. I've seen everything from additional courses, templates, workbooks, or even 1-on-1 coaching offering as an upsell on the Teachable platform. The sky is the limit. 

 

Love #7: Payment Plans, Subscriptions & Coupon Codes

Want to offer a payment plan for your course? You can do it with Teachable. 

Want to create recurring monthly revenue by turning your Teachable School into a membership site? You can do that too! 

You can even offer different coupon codes to your students to give them access to various discount levels on your course. 

 

Love #8: Supports Affiliate/JV Partners

Want to work with affiliate or joint venture partners to get more students in your course? Teachable let you set assign affiliate links to your JV partners, track sales and even pays your affiliates out for you. 

 

Love #9: Advanced Customization

If you sign up for Teachable's Pro plan you can customize almost any aspect of your Teachable School through the "Power Editor." You can also add additional functionality through Teachable's Zapier integration. 

If you are on the free or basic plan, you still have the ability to change the look and feel of your school, you just won't have access to the advanced code editor. 

 

Love #10: Bonuses!!!

Teachable has oodles of data on what it takes to create a successful course because they get to see behind-the-scenes of the thousands of schools that have been built using the Teachable platform.

Instead of keeping all of that info to themselves, they've created a bonus course called "The Profitable Teacher" that walks you through the entire process of creating and launching a successful course. For a limited time, they are giving this course (as well as several additional bonuses) away for free to anyone who signs up for a paid Teachable plan (even the Basic plan.) 

As you can see, no platform is perfect, but there's a lot to like about Teachable.

Thanks for checking out my review!

 

Read Next: Udemy vs. Teachable for Creating Online Courses

Switch from Mailchimp to ConvertKit in 4 easy Steps

Email marketing is the lifeblood of your business. If you're an author, course creator, or business owner of any kind, you need a way to collect contact information from potential customers, readers or students so that you can communicate and build a relationship with them over time. 

Like most new business owners, you probably wanted to spend as little as possible because, let's face it, every dollar counts. You found out that you could collect email address with Mailchimp for free and that sounded like a pretty god deal to you at the time. 

But as time went on you started to feel limited in what you could do with the service. Trying to figure out how to do things that should be simple became a frustrating task that ate up hours of your time. Since Mailchimp counts subscribers multiple times if they sign up for more than one of your lists, you quickly hit your "free" account limit of 2,000 subscribers. 

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I went through this growing pain last year when I started getting serious about growing my online business. So I started looking for alternatives. Aweber seemed like a decent option, but I quickly ran into many of the same limitations that I was trying to get away from by leaving Mailchimp in the first place. 

I looked at half a dozen other services like Ontraport, Active Campaign, Infusionsoft, etc. and they seemed really complicated and EXPENSIVE! 

I needed a platform that was easy to use on my own without hiring an expert to get me up and running, but that had some of the more advanced features that the more expensive platforms had like the ability to create automation rules, deliver multiple lead magnets, and segregate my list so that I could custom tailor my marketing messages. 

That's when I found ConvertKit

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With ConvertKit you can create unlimited forms, automated sequences, standalone landing pages, live broadcast emails, and easily organize your subscribers using tags and segments. Best of all, you don't get charged multiple times for having the same subscribers on multiple lists like Mailchimp does. 

Their automation rules are sophisticated enough to allow you to create custom automated sequences that include or exclude subscribers based on certain criteria. For example, in my online course business, once a student purchases one of my courses, I can set up a rule that will prevent them from be bombarded by more sales emails for the same course. If you don't do this, you'll annoy your current customers pretty quickly and that's never good. 

Once I saw what this platform could do, I was sold. 

My next step was to figure out how to make the switch from Mailchimp to ConvertKit. I felt a little nervous about doing this at first, but it was easier than I expected. I'm going to walk you through each step that you'll need to take in this tutorial. 

Step 1: Create Your ConvertKit Account

The first thing you'll need to do is set up a ConvertKit account. You can get a 1 month free trial if you use my referral link. It doesn't cost anything extra for you, but I will receive a small commission if you use my link. Every little bit helps! This offer isn't available publicly so make sure you click the button below to get it!

Get started by creating your account. Just enter your email address and choose a password. 

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Next, you'll be asked to enter your billing information. Don't worry, you won't be charged until after your free 1 month trial ends. If you decide you don't like ConvertKit after trying it, you can always cancel your account before your trial is up and you won't be charged anything. 

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If you don't cancel your trial membership, you'll start getting charged for the service in 30 days. ConvertKit is $29 a month for up to 1,000 subscribers. If you have more than 1,000 subscribers you can view the different pricing tiers here

Step 2: Create Tags in ConvertKit for Each of Your Mailchimp Lists

In Mailchimp you organized your subscribers into different lists. 

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You can see in the example above that I have three different lists that I will want to import into ConvertKit, so I'll want to create a tag inside ConvertKit for each one so that I can keep them neat and organized when I switch them over. 

You can create a tag in ConvertKit by first going to the "Subscriber" menu.

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Next click the "+Create a tag" link at the bottom of the right hand column.

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You'll see a box appear where you can type in the name that you want to assign to the tag or category of subscibers. 

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Once you create your tag, it will appear in the tag list in the right hand column of dashboard.

Step 3: Export Your MailChimp Lists

Now it's time to log into your Mailchimp account and export each of your lists. 

Navigate to your "lists" page and click on your first list. 

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Next, click on "Export list." 

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Choose, "Export as CSV." 

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Mailchimp will send you an email with your exported list attached. You'll need to download before you continue. 

Step 4: Import Your CSV File Into ConvertKit

Now that you have downloaded your list from the email that Mailchimp sent you, head back over to ConvertKit and click on the "Subscriber" tab. 

Next, find the button that says "Import Subscribers" and click it. 

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Next, click on the option that says "tags" and then choose the tag that corresponds to the list that you are importing from Mailchimp. 

In my case, I'm importing "List #1" and so I want to click on the tag that says "List #1" that I already created. In Step #2. 

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Next, you'll need to drag your CSV file that Mailchimp sent you via email to the box that says "Select or drag-and-drop a CSV file." 

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And that's it! Just repeat the steps for each of your MailChimp lists. You can view your complete list of subscribers by clicking on the "Subscribers" menu at the top of your dashboard. You can view your individual lists by clicking on the tags located in the right hand column of the Subscriber page. 

ConvertKit makes it incredibly easy to import, export and manage your contact lists. 

Would you like to learn more about how to use ConvertKit to grow your online business? 

I'm putting together a FREE ConvertKit Masterclass that will walk you through the entire platform from creating simple forms and landing pages to planning complex email sequences and automations. 

 FREE ConvertKit Masterclass coming soon!

FREE ConvertKit Masterclass coming soon!

The free tutorial is almost done. If you'd like me to send you an invite to the masterclass, just click the button below and enter your name and email. 

If you have any specific questions about ConvertKit that you'd like me to cover in the free masterclass, leave a comment below and I'll do my best to make sure you get an answer!

How to Grow Your Online Business with Audiobooks

How to Grow Your Online Business with Audiobooks

Audiobooks are an incredibly effective way for authors to reach new audiences, connect with their fans in a more intimate way, increase their book’s visibility online, and boost revenue. But here's the thing...

But audiobooks aren’t JUST for authors.

I’m willing to bet that if you’re a blogger, podcaster, speaker or online course creator, you probably haven’t given much thought to expanding your reach and growing your brand through audiobooks. Maybe you thought audiobooks were only available to authors? Maybe you just haven't considered how audio fits in with your particular business? 

The myth that I want to crush right now is the idea that audiobooks are ONLY appropriate and beneficial for traditional authors.