100 Days of Working Out Loud.
My self-imposed challenge to publish for 100 days straight.
Ran from 17 January 2022 to 10 May 2022

Tanzania, 2007

of 100

The anatomy of an online course

I’m in the process of developing an online course called Email Marketing 101. The course is designed to help total beginners (and the technically challenged) get started with email marketing.

I’m going to skip over why I think every solopreneur needs to do email marketing (perhaps another entry), and look at what goes into a course like this.

The promise of online courses

All of us know that online courses are a great way to build passive income. Develop the course once, then put effort into marketing and hopefully you get lots of people to sign up over a long period of time.

But it’s quite an eye-opener to look at all the stuff that goes into building a course like this.

What goes into an online course

First, there’s the course itself. This particular course has two main components:

  • video lessons where I show how to do stuff
  • a set of checklists to follow along and do it yourself

I have five “recipes” in the course. Each recipe requires a number of video lessons and of course the attendant checklist. So this is a fair amount of work in itself.

But then there’s all the stuff to support marketing and selling the course:

  • a sales page
  • a lead magnet to get people to express their interest
  • an email sequence to follow up on the lead magnet and get people to buy
  • a purchase follow-up sequence to help them get the most from the course
  • a bonus product to make the purchase more enticing.

So in addition to the course, there are five more things I have to develop to market and sell the course.

The good news is that once I have all of this developed, selling the course is largely automatic. But I will still have to do the marketing to make the world aware this exists, and that opens up another can of worms - how do you market this?

The marketing bits

I’m going to market the course in the following ways:

  • articles about email marketing (on my blog, cross-posted to Medium)
  • live talks in various places to introduce people to email marketing
  • posts on LinkedIn (though I don’t know yet know how well this is going to work)

For the time being, I’m not doing any social media, and that’s just fine.

Where I am today

As of today, here’s where I am with the all of the components of this course:

  1. Course: completing 3 of 5 recipes, so two to go
  2. Sales page: partially developed
  3. Lead magnet: An introduction to Email Marketing (I call it a primer, that name may change) - mostly developed, but needs to be prettified
  4. Lead magnet follow-up sequence: to do
  5. Purchase follow-up sequence: to do
  6. Bonus product: to do

The challenge of course is to get all of this and not skimp on my other commitments.

Getting it done

For now, I’m focused totally on getting the course itself developed. I already have some people implementing the recipes I’ve developed, and their feedback has been invaluable in tuning the course content.

All of the other stuff needs to be done, but I know if I start doing the “butterfly” thing (jumping from one bit to another) I will slow down.

So a total focus on one thing - the content - which I should be able to get done in the next week or so.