Your online business is a bridge from your life as you have it to your life as you see it.
In your new life, you might have the time and money to do EXACTLY what you want to when you want to.
You’ll no longer have to read a restaurant menu from right to left.
Your assets will finally grow beyond pizza coupons.
But that will be then.
For now, you are overwhelmed, underpaid, and just don’t get why all that busy-ness in your business hasn’t gotten you much closer to the life you wish you had.
And you are not alone.
That’s how I opened my Why Traffic Generation Café Doesn’t Make As Much Money As It Should post published about 2 years ago.
In that post, I set to find out why I don’t make much money from my business endeavors (and encouraged you to do the same) and how to turn it around.
…2 years later, I STILL don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!…
Actually, now thinking about it… I am not in the same place I was 2 years ago.
All this time, I’ve been learning one valuable lesson: if I were to make money from Traffic Generation Café, I need to stop running from anything that actually makes money.
I have to go where the puck goes.
Might sound like a no-brainer to you… but then again, how much do YOU make from your blog?
How Much Money Can a Blogger Earn?
There lives a myth among bloggers/wanna-be bloggers:
There’s a terrible secret about this blogging-for-a-living dream. It’s that very few people actually achieve it. For all the hoopla I read and hear about “how to get to $100,000 a month” it can sometimes seem like you’re a moron if you aren’t pulling down at least a measly $250,000 US per year from your blog.
Sounds familiar? It does to me.
Reality check: how
much little do most bloggers actually make?
I started my research with some stats from Glassdoor, a recruiting site that also publishes salary reports across various markets and professions.
What does Glassdoor say an average professional blogger (i.e. writing for an established company/publication) earns?
Fine, let’s broaden our search a bit and search for a ‘writer’ vs a ‘blogger’.
I live in San Francisco Bay area and let me tell you: $60,000 is not NEARLY enough to consider a living in this neck of the woods.
And what about bloggers who set out to make a living off their own blogs?
Numbers weren’t easy to come by, but the results of 3 surveys below give us a decent idea.
1. Women’s Blogging Industry & Business Annual Report (2015)
This is the most recent report published at iBlogMagazine based on surveying “thousands of women bloggers in over 25 blogging niches.”
It found that most bloggers are making… less than $2,500 a year from their blogs.
2. Blogging Stats 2012 – Blogging.org
Blogging.org surveyed 1,000 bloggers, both men and women, and learned in regards to how much survey respondents made from blogging:
- a whooping 81% never made $100 from blogging;
- 9% make enough to sustain their personal lifestyle blogging 4-6 hours a day;
- only 8% make enough to support a family;
- and 2% make $150K+ blogging 1-2 hours a day… from exotic locations.
3. ProBlogger Survey – 2009
For a number of years, ProBlogger had run an annual poll quizzing its readers on how much money they make from blogging.
Here are the results of the last one:
- 37% of bloggers make no money from their blogs.
out of remaining 63%,
- 70% make less than $500 a month and 30% make $500 or more.
4. IgniteSpot Blogconomy [infographic] – 2013
I’ll give you one more:
What do all these stats say?
Yes, of course, much of this data might be… imperfect, to say the least, but the trend is clear.
Most bloggers don’t make any/much money from their blogs.
All these depressing numbers got me thinking…
I KNOW it’s entirely possible to make a full-time income from Traffic Generation Café. No question about it.
And I’ve known ‘where the puck was going‘ for quite some time now.
Creating Your Own Product/Online Course
In that same Why Traffic Generation Café Doesn’t Make As Much Money As It Should post, I wrote:
The mere idea of spending hours, days, weeks putting together a product that might be outdated by the time it’s actually released or be a complete flop makes me cringe.
…So, launching my own products is off my income stream list, no matter how profitable it could be.
Oh boy… I sound so juvenile!
THAT’S why I am STILL not making that much money – I wrote off the one thing my Readers are prepared to pay me for: sharing the wealth of my traffic generation knowledge in a convenient package – an online course.
Look around, and you’ll find nearly all “bloggers” who make a decent income have books, courses, a side career as a keynote speaker, or even software. That’s how they make money. Their blog is just the “freebie” they give away to attract customers or clients.
~ Jon Morrow, SmartBlogger.com
And here’s what Neal Schaffer, owner of MaximizeSocialBusiness.com, told me:
I think the people making the most money are the ones producing product – some do by affiliate marketing, but it’s a lesser risk, lower return task that makes it hard to make lots of $$$ unless you have a huge platform or lots of time. 😉
My Sad Tale of (Nearly) Creating an Online Course
It was November 2015.
I decided I was finally ‘going to make it.’
Actually that’s not entirely true. The inspiration came from my friend Kurt Frankenberg, the owner of Shoestring101.com.
As usual, I was complaining to him about not making enough money.
Kurt was very polite. He listened patiently. Then he finally said… “Ana, your head is filled with knowledge that I and many other folks would pay a lot of money for. Why don’t you stop complaining and create a course?”
Actually, Kurt is waaaay too polite to say that to me. I am sure he was a lot more diplomatic when he said it, but the gist was the same.
He told me to do what I’d known I needed to do for a while…
I needed to grow up. *I* was the only thing standing between me and a happy bank account.
The depth of Kurt’s insight went far beyond a mere ‘just create a course!’ suggestion.
Oh no… he also told me HOW I should do it.
And I’ve NEVER heard anything like that before.
Kurt suggested that I FIRST should make money from my course and THEN go ahead and create it.
Turned out I heard him right. Here’s what he wanted me to do:
- announce I was going to create a traffic generation course;
- presell the course to my readers’
- then once I see enough interest (and have enough dough to prove it), I’ll lock myself in a cave and create the actual course.
Not only that, but Kurt told me he’s done it in the past. He walked the walk when creating a paid product for another business of his. And it worked!
I was inspired.
I figured going about it this way would FORCE me to create an online course, which was exactly the kind of ‘incentive’ I needed.
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Reality check.
Truth is I run Traffic Generation Café on a very part-time basis.
My primary job is – jobs are, I should say –
- …live-in maid;
- …resident chef;
- …general contractor;
- …a few other ‘odds and ends’.
Besides that, when I DO find the time to work on my
business hobby, I find myself playing too much of a whack-a-mole game, like…
- writing blog posts that don’t make any money
- researching/writing my Weekly Marketing Skinnies
- catching up with blog comments, emails, various social media accounts…
…hold on, I think I am getting an anxiety attack just thinking about it…
And the worst thing is… I never actually catch up. No such thing.
Now… add creating an online course to that turmoil!…
Chances are this is your reality as well, dear Reader.
So you know I mean it when I say to you ‘I know what you are going through.’
Oh yes, creating my online course… Whatever happened to it?
I followed Kurt’s advice.
I announced to my email Subscribers the creation of my future traffic generation course – Trafficology Blueprint.
It was beautiful… the excitement, the enthusiasm… the encouragement!
So many of you wanted to help!
- Ian Belanger, the designer behind Traffic Generation Café, got on board to design the new site.
- MaAnna Stephenson set up the membership side of it.
- Kurt Frankenberg recorded an intro video for the home page.
- Daniel Futerman created an awesome video intro.
- Many of YOU worked to help me create an outline of the future course.
Bon voyage, Trafficology Blueprint!…
Unfortunately, an iceberg was just around the corner waiting for this Titanic of an online course.
Even though I worked hard on creating the first Module of the new course, Content Catapult (all about repurposing your existing content – something I am very passionate about), I quickly realized I had to put everything else on hold while working on that.
That didn’t go very well.
My type A personality doesn’t let me ‘let go of other things’ easily.
Anxiety was mounting.
And the fact that I made such a big deal about this course creation was… just weighing oh so heavily on me.
Good thing I didn’t actually accept any money from my eager future Students… or maybe I should have! Nah… I am glad I didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t just drop Trafficology Blueprint altogether.
I continued working on it. Unfortunately, I continued to polish what had already been created instead of focusing on the next Modules.
Good thing I’ve got type A personality as a scapegoat! ’twasn’t me… it’s my type A personality to blame!…
It got so bad that I stopped talking to you, my dear Readers, about Trafficology Blueprint altogether.I stopped responding to your emails about the course.
I had nothing to say but to say that I had no idea whether my online course would ever see the light of day.
I was embarrassed. Still am. And I am still not checking my emails for Trafficology Blueprint account.
And that’s the story of my first attempt to create an online course.
Now I have a good reason to tell myself ‘I told you so! You should just stick with affiliate marketing… Or better yet… maybe you should sell Traffic Generation Café altogether! That might your first and only chance to make money off it…’
I need more coffee and Kleenex…
So now what?
As it often happens in my life, God opens a window when I close a door. He’s good to me that way.
The window was my friend Danny Iny who was working on his next online course – Course Builders Laboratory (CBLab.)
The RIGHT Way to Create a Course [the Epiphany]
Remember what Kurt Frankenberg told me before I started working on my online course?
Presell your course. Let your future Students tell you exactly what they want to learn from you. THEN create it!
Kurt was right on the money. Too bad I had to learn from an intermittent failure just how true it was…
But you know what?… Most people who have a successful course today most likely have one or more failed courses in the past.
Danny Iny has built Course Builder’s Laboratory so that you and I don’t have to learn from our own failure.
The traditional way to create a course would be come up with a brilliant idea, spend hundreds of hours creating the product, find out if anyone actually wants to buy it (by trying to sell it.)
Course Builder’s Laboratory teaches you the exact opposite.
Instead of building your entire product before you make a sale, you’re going to sell your pilot course before you even start building it.
Course Builder’s Laboratory will give you their proven process of doing that, plus a coach from Danny’s team to help you every step of the way.
PLUS, instead of building a course in isolation, you will be building it in collaboration and partnership with your audience.
Hmmm… I could definitely use that kind of help…
Don’t get me wrong: you’ll still have to put the time and the work required to create your course, but… you’ll be doing it KNOWING you are working on a future hit.
- with Write Like Freddy, it took Danny only 60 hours of work to get to his first dollar, and he made about $5,000 BEFORE the program was officially launched.
- With the Audience Business Masterclass, it took Danny 30 hours to get to that first dollar, and he made $79,000(!!!) BEFORE the course was officially launched.
- And with Course Builder’s Laboratory? Only about 20 hours till the first dollar in and $100,000 before the official launch.
Music to my ears…
Danny was kind enough to let me peek into his Course Builder’s Laboratory.
As I was looking around, I had a few objectives in mind:
- Can Course Builder’s Laboratory REALLY do for me what I couldn’t do on my own – help me not just start, but FINISH Trafficology Blueprint?
- Could it do the same for you, dear Reader – you who are sitting on the sidelines thinking is creating a course something you should be doing as well?
- How can I turn this into an opportunity you and me could benefit from?
So far I’ve got one huge disappointment from Course Builder’s Laboratory… it won’t actually BUILD the course for me… Dang!….
That aside, I am really excited what it can do for me and you. REALLY excited.
So…. I thought it might be nice to hold a training webinar just for Traffic Generation Café Readers (hey, that’s YOU!) to teach you the step-by-step approach to creating and selling an online course even if you have no idea where to start.
In 60 days, you will make your first sales.
(sorry about the bold font; I REALLY didn’t want all the skimmers to miss that part)
During the training, you’ll learn how to come up with an idea for an online course and then pre-sell it BEFORE you ever create it.
Then, once you know it will make money, you can build and launch a minimum viable version of your first course – a “pilot course” – that goes out to your early buyers.
At the end of the training, you’ll have everything you need to create and sell your first course.
Does that sound promising?
I thought so as well.
I even got someone better than Danny Iny himself to speak at the webinar – someone who had already used the process to create her first online course.
The event is called “60 Days to Build and Sell Your First Course”, and will be led by someone who’s achieved course-building success using the exact same process she’ll teach you on the call: Diane Holmes from Mirasee (formerly Firepole Marketing).
60 Days to Build and Sell Your First Course
Whether free or paid, Danny Iny’s team has never put up anything less than the absolute best material.
I know that this FREE online training will be no different.
Save your spot: How to Create and Sell Your First Course in 60 Days
Here’s what you’ll learn during the training:
>>> Why the “information product” industry is about to go bust, and how you can succeed and thrive instead.
>>> What hit shows like Seinfeld can teach you about rapidly launching profitable courses.
>>> How to narrow your expertise down to a “minimum viable offer” that people want… and will happily PAY YOU for!
>>> Why creating fancy videos or investing in expensive membership technologies can actually *hurt* your chances of succeeding with your course.
>>> An honest answer to the question, “How much can I expect to earn from my course launch?”
>>> What top marketers have learned from Ivy-league behavioral science research about the best way to sell courses.
>>> The TWO pricing levers that you can pull to charge premium prices and create great experiences for your students, while still launching as quickly as possible.
>>> The *only* 3 things you absolutely need to successfully launch your course.
>>> A simple (but counterintuitive) exercise for finding your niche and initial offer – even if you have no idea where to start.
>>> The “pre-sell email campaign” strategy for selling your course before you build it.
>>> How to get joint venture partners to promote you, even if you’re just getting started and nobody knows who you are.
>>> How to sell coaching services while launching your pilot, to multiply the scale of your results.
>>> The specialized sales script that you can use to enroll students on the phone, without being the least bit salesy or pushy.
…And a whole lot more!
This value-packed training webinar is happening on Tuesday, May 17 at 9 AM Pacific / 12 PM Eastern. It’s free to attend, but space is limited.
Excited? Visit the registration page and reserve your seat!
A word of warning: this material will challenge you in ways you don’t expect.
Forget about locking yourself up in a room with a mountain of takeout, pouring time, money, and effort into something nobody will buy.
You’ll have to work smart rather than hard. You’ll take small but meaningful steps every day that will shape your online course idea into something people will actually buy, and you’ll validate its profitability early on.
And that’s exactly why the approach Diane teaches is so effective!
From a vague concept of a course to your first sales, Diane will talk about how to pull the whole thing off in as little as 60 days or less. When she’s done, you’ll have everything you need to create and sell your first course, as promised.
You’ll be ready to launch, not on some magical day 20 years from now, but 2 months from now!
Go here to register for the event, and let Diane teach you the #1 strategy behind every blockbuster course.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from someone who started right where you are today, and mastered the process of course creation so well that 2 months later, she filled every spot with paying students in her first pilot course.
Diane will teach you how to achieve that same success.
60 Days to Build and Sell Your First Course: Q&A
Those of you who know me (unlucky you? 😉 ) know I don’t take anything lightly.
Not only did I get this awesome training lined up for us, but I also actually talked to Diane this morning (between doing laundry, going grocery shopping, and painting the deck – …and running to Home Depot because I ran out of paint…)
I asked her a few questions to make sure this will be worth our time. (It’s certainly worth our money – the training is free!)
See you there!
37 Intelligent comments · espresso yours below
Rohit Singh says
I think that this is the great way to make money blogging and I have seen may bloggers who are selling their courses online and making handsome money by blogging. Keep up the good work.
Ana Hoffman says
Thanks, Rohit; will do my best.
Vikash Sharma says
This is true that a person can make a living out of blogging but it is not so easy though. Only few of the bloggers actually make decent money. Although it’s not impossible to make money from blogger but It takes hard work, dedication, planning and time to reach on a level where you start earning enough money for your living.
Online course is really a nice idea to make good money
Overall, a nice article and thank you for your time sharing it with us.
Ana Hoffman says
Agree 100 percent, Vikash. Many have false hopes that making money online is a piece of cake. Nowhere close to the truth.
Thanks for coming by!
Ravi sharma says
Thanks ANA for sharing useful tips to sell online courses.
Really Very Informative Post.
Regards From Ravi
Ana Hoffman says
You are so very welcome, Ravi.
Richard Sturgeon says
Interesting article. You’re right! Blogging is not an easy business, full of fish hooks and hidden land mines.
Here’s one: I’ve been in this business 10 years and remember a Traffic product that was big at one time called ‘Trafficology’. It was by Matt Gill of Trafficology.com and still is. Looks like he’s releasing Trafficology 2 soon, so I don’t see how you could ever make a product called that. Is that the real reason your ‘Trafficology’ course didn’t make it?
Ana Hoffman says
Hmmm… never heard of Matt Gill of Trafficology.com, Richard.
And yes, I absolutely can release a product with a similar name. We are not necessarily competing for the same eyes – I’ve built a reputation of delivering value to my readers and subscribers and I bet they’ll trust my product a lot more than that of someone they’ve never heard.
I never ended up finishing/releasing my course, that’s why it ‘didn’t make it’. 😉
Atul Singh says
I think creating online courses is the easiest way to make money from your blog. It is also way better than showing ads on your blog.
Creating online courses is not that much hard as you have shown in this guide.
Loved your guide Ana. I mm also thinking about creating an online course and this guide will come in handy when doing so.
Thanks for it.
Ana Hoffman says
Running ads is really not the best choice for most bloggers, Atul. Too much comes down to sheer numbers of traffic!
Thanks for coming by.
Dominik Piecha says
60 days seems to be nothing comparing to possibility of earn not just a cash but better brand’s image – thank you for this superb guide 🙂
Ana Hoffman says
Neil Sheth says
Hey Ana – can’t believe I missed this post, I like the way you talk so openly. There’s not enough of this online. Looking at your schedule, very impressed with how you’ve had any time to fit in TGC, so congratulations on getting this far! It’s very inspiring.
Trafficology sounds brilliant and I do hope you finish it. If you’d like an outside pair of eyes and feedback on your material or just some motivation, give me a shout.
Looks like I’ve missed the webinar, is there a replay? I’m in the process of narrowing my audience for a new blog I’m still thinking about, which will run along side doing digital marketing for clients so this sounds up my street.
Ana Hoffman says
Hey, Neil – you know by now why it took me so long to catch up with comments! 😉
Amazingly enough, honesty is a lot easier to deliver than fluff… for me anyway. And thank you. For the compliment and your generous offer.
I do hope I’ll get back to Trafficology Blueprint soon. For now, just trying to catch up after a lengthy absence.
The course is currently closed, but it’ll be open again. I’ll keep you updated.
Peter Mead says
Hi Ana, Nice Article! I like it how you said 60 days. You are very honest here, and you don’t try to fool people into thinking how easy it is, not like a lot of other pages that are claiming just how quick and easy it is, and that you can make one overnight.
Ana Hoffman says
Much appreciated, Peter.
Thanks for coming by and apologize for being so tardy responding.
Joshua Nyamache says
Actually this reminds me of the advice I got from The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Don’t wait to create the entire product before you make a sale.
Let customers guide on what they want instead of trying to sell them what they don’t want.
I agree with you on this. Most bloggers who make a decent income are offering an online course.
Ana Hoffman says
Thanks, Joshua. Now if only I could get off my butt… or stopped doing anything else in life! 😉 I’ll figure it out… Have to!
Julie Holberg says
Hey Anna… wonderfully written article. I could feel the pain and the frustration in your words.(been there done that) It is beyond frustrating to be so close, yet so far away from the success.
I will share a secret with you… I have not met a truly successful business person who has not stumbled along the way. It is an important step on the road to success. Life lessons… I have had plenty and would not trade them for anything. I have been an entrepreneur for 25+ years. I was at the top of my industry (Home Furnishings) top consultant, on the cover of retail magazines, featured in articles, worked with many of the top 100 Home furnishing retailers and Manufacturers for years… never advertised my services… all word of mouth. I was knocking down mid 6 figures annually… Then the economy began a noticeable downturn in 2007. The surprise in all of that was not the downturn… it was the effect technology began having on the industry… by 2012 technology seemed to be on a fast-forward path and ultimately bit me in the butt that year.
Through all of this, There is one thing I know for sure that hasn’t changed… no matter what you decide to do, be it online or offline, “You are the product!” Whether you are selling a particular widget, affiliate marketing, designing a course, blogging or whatever… You may find some fresh ideas here. http://michaelhyatt.com/ I stumbled upon this via Amazon books. It is the closest thing I have found regarding what I would like to do. When I grow up, I want to be this. ( I am now growing a new direction quickly.) I will also try to attend the webinar you are recommending. Will let you know what I think.
Personally, I think you will be fine. You are a great product already… the missing element is monetizing your assets. 🙂 Good luck. If you need a sounding board or anything, do not hesitate to ask. Julie
Ana Hoffman says
That was one heck of an encouraging comment, Julie – THANK YOU!
I only wish I had dug it out from the backlog of comments (that’s what happens when you take a break!!!) sooner… but then again, it’s always a great time to be lifted up, right?
People buy into US first and foremost; you are so right. And I do need to take the time to read some of Michael’s stuff, thanks for bringing him up.
Definitely enjoyed getting to know you a bit better; thanks for taking your time to share your background. Now I look forward to seeing you around social media and at Traffic Generation Café all the more!
Adam Joshua Clarke says
I have been looking into creating my own online course and I decided to try and come up with a course that gives participants projects and assignments that ultimately lead to more practice and better content creation. Here’s one interesting fact is I decided to make it free so that when people graduate starting at the first level they will get a dofollow link from me listing them in the program for the level they have achieved so far. I’ve heard a lot about “what counts as paying for a dofollow link” and I’ve even seen some content mastery courses that don’t offer dofollow links to their graduates even though their listed and so are their sites.
I just think it might be a lot of work to do just to be listed as a reference. May as well earn some link juice for having done it. That’s my thought anyways.
My advice, offer step by step levels with rewards you can muster up for having gotten there. Deals on products that you sell, services and advice, or even special techniques. This might be a really good motivator as an idea for people.
Thanks Ana I reserved my spot, I expect it still gives great advice even if I want my program to be free. 🙂
Ana Hoffman says
That’s definitely an interesting idea, Adam – something to keep in mind for the future!
Appreciate you taking your time to leave the comment; so sorry it took me so long to get to it!!!
MaAnna Stephenson says
So glad to hear you’re focus has returned to creating a course, Ana!
I see a lot of folks make the mistake of focusing only on the course material, and then on what plugin they can use that will be easy for them to set up. Rarely do they take time to think about getting and keeping members.
That’s where you are already miles ahead. You’ve built a large and loyal following ready to buy from you.
I’ve been running my own member sites for years. But, because it’s a numbers game, I tried one of the big online course houses. I learned a LOT about how they work, course creation, and the reason minimally viable courses work. I also learned about how their pricing games and restrictions were not a good fit for me.
However, I also learned how to improve my own courses and new ways to make libraries of smaller courses that are a good fit for me.
Looking forward to learning even more in Diane’s webinar.
I also appreciated your candor and research about how little most bloggers actually make, despite all their work, and how tough it is to make headway when it can’t be a full time job. From doing so many site audits for mommy/lifestyle/craft bloggers, I’ve gained a lot of i sight into why they struggle.
While creating an online course is not the next, best way for them to break through that income barrier, I think it is a perfect fit for some. And learning about them can open a lot of creative ideas for developing other info products that are a good fit.
Ana Hoffman says
MaAnna – in my eyes, you’ve always been the one to admire when it comes down to building income streams, finding what works and what doesn’t, and sticking with the more profitable ones.
Thanks so much for all your encouragement and practical help along the way; I do hope I’ll put it all to good use soon enough!
Edmund Pelgen says
Hi Ana, I totally agree that education is key in this space. I’d be interested though in your thoughts on getting people to take action and implement. I know simply from interacting with many small business owners and business people who are working in their businesses that they are time poor, struggle to implement, and many simply never take action. I know that’s not supposed to be “our problem” as educators but if people don’t/won’t take action then doesn’t that make them less likely to pay and participate. Would love your insight.
Ana Hoffman says
That’s a great question, Edmund.
I think Danny Iny got it right – people don’t want more ‘educational products’, they want coaching products, where someone can help them stay on track and actually get through a course and start putting what they’ve learned into practice.
Thanks for being so patient with me, while I was catching up after a long break!
Thanks so much, Ana, for having me on the Traffic Generation Cafe!! It was great talking with you about course creation and busting all those myths out there. 🙂
Looking forward to Tuesday’s webinar: “60 Days to Build + Sell Your First Course.” The last 30 minutes I’m going to share 4 launch strategies to fill your course with paying students…. and they actually work. Ha. I know that’s the sticking point, right? “Will it work for you?” The answer is…
Ana Hoffman says
Absolutely look forward to it, Diane – and thanks so much for taking your time to respond to the questions!
Donna Merrill says
What a wonderful article, even though I could feel the angst through your ups and downs in the blogosphere.
I’m excited for you and all the others who will be on the “60 Days” journey.
I’ve actually created many info courses over the last 2 years, mostly video tutorials. My first was truly the hardest… over 7 hours of videos, multiple modules etc. But I learned so much from it. Like… a “course” can be a 1 hour video.
Things like… It doesn’t have to be “War and Peace”. In fact, when it gets to marketing, people WANT and info course because they want… the info. And guess what I found out? They’d rather get the info in 1 hour than 7. Plus, who ever really goes through all 7 hours? (not me, haha)
I also learned what you mentioned, that your course is best when it’s developed by your students. In my case, since I do coaching, my clients tell me what they want, what their pain points are, where they struggle the most, how I’ve helped them along.
Guess what… those are the gems that become one course after another after another.
In fact, I have several courses on creating courses and the first thing I tell people is to create a bad course, but do it within a strict timeframe… like 2 weeks. even 2 hours!
Completing the course is the most important part. You can always backtrack and spiff it up, and you should. But have a completed opus that needs perfecting, not a “perfect” one that never gets done.
Hey, once you get the hang of this, it’s not nearly the nightmare people think it is. In fact, it’s fun.
Oh yea, you don’t make money from blogging… but your blog is one of the greatest assets you have to launch your money making enterprises, like coaching, like info products.
I loved the article, Ana, I know it was so much from the heart and so much effort putting together all that you did, so I just want to say thank you and get out there and create many, many courses for people to learn traffic generation. They need your help 🙂
Ana Hoffman says
You said something so very incredibly helpful, Donna, and hit the nail in the head as far as my main problem with course creating is – perfection and going overboard with it.
I love your idea of putting together a topical non-“War and Peace” course within a quick timeframe. I should try that! Duh!…
The thing is that I build Traffic Generation Café on explaining things in bullet-point style. Simple. Quick. No need to use 2,000 words if you can say it in 500.
Yet, when it comes down to actually charging money for something, my brain insists on making sure every detail is addressed. I understand it’s counter-productive – for both myself and my future students. Yet understanding it and doing it… well, I haven’t quite gotten there yet. lol
I do appreciate you stopping by and sharing what you’ve learned from ‘ve been there, ‘ve done that, Donna… I’ll keep in mind those pearls of wisdom when I go back to my course – I think I’ve got what I need to stop starting it and actually finish it this time! 😉
Kurt Frankenberg says
It’s so exciting to read that you’re picking up the baton again for Trafficology Blueprint. And Danny’s proven template will help you get it completed in record time. Can I take a sec and say something to your awesome Readers?
**Folks, Traffic Generation Café is an A-list blog that DOES make money… don’t get Ana wrong… but she did share with me her numbers versus her traffic once and I was shocked.
She’s an internet STAR and I’m, well… not… and yet it was revealed in a private conversation that I’m earning more online. The reason? She disclosed it in today’s blog post: not having her OWN product. She simply passes along affiliate links and while that does okay… it’s the tip of the iceberg and many bloggers are coming to realize that.
With the huge volume of traffic generated by, um, Traffic GENERATION Café, Ana provides soooooo much value for everyone, myself included, about one specialty: getting lots of just the right people to your site. But the INCOME generation is not so high. Simply because her only monetization is the tools page, and so many of you already have a number of these tools because you’re serious about content marketing.
Whenever I go to pick up tools, I come here first. One, to get the skinny with no punches pulled; what do I really need and is it the best? Two, I make a point to see that Ana gets her commish. She only teaches and endorses techniques and tools that have brought her success. And I have learned soooo much at her feet.
What about you, dear Reader? Are you struggling because your only monetization is affiliate links? If YOU have a product to sell or a course to teach, this class of Danny Iny’s looks like just the ticket.
I’ve already made a number of online courses that I sell and yet I just grabbed a front row seat to the webinar because it could always be done better or more easily. So I’ll encourage you good-lookin’ TGC readers to attend that webinar too.
BUT..! It’s true that I told Ana that her loyal rabid fans, myself included, would gladly pay for what’s inside HER head… to get more and more and more of just the right people in front of our products and courses instead of our affiliate links.
So after you’re done creating YOUR online course, making your interests and hobbies pay you instead of the other way around, urge Her Royal Trafficness to finish her own course!
Encourage Ana to disclose the secrets that took her blog from unknown to under 12K Alexa ranking in eight months… how she got 243,000 hits on ONE SlideShare post… how she gets dozens, even hundreds of comments, shares and buttloads of targeted TRAFFIC within hours of pressing “publish”… and how you can do even better and in less time because of the traffic-generating wisdom she’s got bottled up in that pretty little noggin. ***
Whew! Back to my comment to you, Ana… one of the keys to your immense popularity and the wide readership of Traffic Generation Café is your transparency. Thanks for sharing what really, really works… as well as what really isn’t working well enough. It’s clear; affiliate marketing can earn a respectable amount, but what really makes it rain is having your own product.
I know I’m not the only one that rabidly reads when you drop the knowledge-bombs here, and being sure to get my tools from the tools page whenever I can to make sure YOU get the commish and credit. But, WOW is it gonna be awesome when you start sharing Trafficology Blueprint. Just the preview you’ve given me is astounding, and I’ve already used it with great success. Let’s get ‘er done!
Thank you, and Keep Stepping,
Ana Hoffman says
Kurt – I am BLESSED to have you as my friend and chief cheerleader. Blessed. You saw in me what I never did – possibilities… opportunities… future victories. THANK YOU.
And thank you for the incredible endorsement in your comment; I am truly touched.
I am keeping this short – need to get off before I start crying…
Love your reply to Ana, and I think you’re talking about so many of us deal with… the EFFORT to monetize… that doesn’t get us where we wish it would.
Been there. Got my PhD. 😉
In fact, in Tuesday’s webinar, I’ll mention just one of my failures…. Because it helps to know that past failure happens. Not monetizing happens. And then we go on and succeed. 😉
That moment when you move from failure to success is a beautiful thing.
Daniel Futerman says
It was a pleasure creating that intro for you even though Trafficology didn’t turn out the way you hoped for. But I’m excited to hear that while that door may have closed, another window has opened. We all have failures of some sort, but the smart people are those who know how to make the most of those experiences and grow stronger for next time.
“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” Morihei Ueshiba
p.s. signed up for the webinar 😉
Ana Hoffman says
I am very grateful you were so willing to help me, Daniel – truly grateful.
And I am not done with Trafficology Blueprint just yet. 😉 Do hope, as I work through CBLab course, I’ll find a way to make it work.
See you at the webinar!
Wow Ana, I’m so glad I found you today, while searching for reviews on a certain product and platform. So many people who have commented on this thread are right: you are transparent and that makes you relatable, trustworthy, and successful. Both now and in the future. I am looking forward to your Trafficology Blueprint, and I just found you.
So with all respect, identification, hope, and kindness, I wonder if sometimes we don’t have to ask ourselves, “Am I hiding? Why am I hiding, what am I afraid of? I mean, we apparently think we are getting a payoff by having things the way they are. By not letting some things go and trust someone else to handle them? I mean, success (more of it), seems to be staring in us in the face, expectantly, wide-eyed saying, “What are you waiting for? Are you ready?” I agree with you, it’s all between our ears :-). Feel the fear and do it anyway. Believe you deserve success and that you have something valuable to offer, that people will even pay for!
Hire someone to clean your house, someone to do your yard, paint your deck, shop for your groceries. Even for a little while. Even once. Here in the DFW Metroplex of Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX, each one of those things costs $25-$30/hr. I mean, when’s the last time you blew/dropped $100? How valuable is having these things done for you in light of what it will give you? It’ll save your sanity and give you: time. Time to write this course or anything else you need to do, like work on you: believe you’re worth it, visualize your success, taking time to notice the obstacles that come up in your mind as you visualize, make positive intention statements, rest, pray, do something you enjoy, create a schedule that is as non-rigid as you need it to be, exercise and be active (but not driven like a cow on a cattle drive), work time, and having a few hours’ window in the evening when your family is home. I think you may be more stressed than you realized, keeping up with everything.
Maybe you need to create that space to let you breathe. It’s not all about work, in every form we can find. That doesn’t prove our worth; we’re more than that. If it makes you happy, do it! I understand needing more variety than sitting at the computer all day and night. But by all means the universe is not going to come crashing down if you don’t keep your house spotless and company-ready for awhile. Nor if you don’t even feel guilty about it 🙂 I found that, believe it or not, someone can clean my house and do my yard beautifully and to my satisfaction. I mean, they do it all the time; they do it for a LIVING; of course they’d be good at it! And I earn MY living in a different way 😉 It’s all good! This is about monetizing your time in the best way possible, available to you. All you have to do is trade time for one thing, for time on another thing. This course is going to give you time, and money. Over and over, Which is going to give you freedom. Believe you deserve success. You’ve earned it.
And I’ll bet that where you live, “Amazon Prime NOW” is available also. You can order nearly anything you need and have it delivered to your house within 2 hours of the time you ordered, for a recommended, relatively small tip plus the cost of your items. The bit more that you pay for the items plus the tip, more than pays for itself in time (and gas), because time is money. You can make better use of the time you drive to and from the store, grab your items, load/unload your items from your cart and car, stand in line — to do whatever else you need. I use it often for household and paper goods, dog food; have ordered clothing and had a birthday gift delivered to my son’s address due to my working overtime outside of home.
Go ahead and have people pre-pay for your course; maybe it’ll keep you motivated to not let anything stand in your way 😉 I have some resources I could share with you via e-mail if you’d like. Not my content, and I’m not trying to promote anyone or anything; just helpful stuff I came across this last week after quitting a job (a week ago, which I had for 4 years) that was stressing and exhausting me to the max. And which I quit in order to create the space I needed to even search for something else to do, much less the things I WANTED to get to/create/monetize. It was time, for sure. Anyway, kudos to you, cheering you on; you can do it! Sorry so long (and hopefully not preachy, just passionate about people’s success and freedom). Hope it helps, somehow, someone (cue music ;-)~
Ana Hoffman says
Love so many things you said, Pam!
First and foremost, love it that you, too, think I am wonderful. See, we have something in common right off the bat. 😉
Loved “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
“Success (more of it), seems to be staring in us in the face.”
“The universe is not going to come crashing down if you don’t keep your house spotless and company-ready for awhile.” – something I have to remind myself of EVERY DAY.
I order just about everything off Amazon Prime – you are right, such a seemingly simply thing, yet makes such an incredible difference on time saved.
And WOW, Dallas is that expensive?! $25-30/hour sounds like SF Bay area prices…
Once you get my response to your comment via email, feel free to connect; I’d love that!
Thanks so much for taking your time to write such an incredible comment; thoroughly enjoyed reading it. ?