How to create, market & sell online courses

5 Steps for Choosing a Profitable Online Course Topic

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 2 of 26

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First up, let's talk about the five steps real briefly, and then we'll dive into a bit more detail in each. So first up is kind of creating a nice big long list of things you could, and you want to teach. Then it's looking if you've got an existing audience. You may or may not have an audience already. Then it's looking at how popular that course is. There's some methods of working out that. Then it's checking how profitable that course is, that's the one you came for. And then there's a way of just deciding a method that I've got to decide to make some final choices. So let's step through all of these now in a lot more detail. 

So step number one is the big list. All the big list is, just listing out every single thing, that you think you could teach, or want to teach, a good idea to teach. And if you're brand new, just all your skill-sets, all the things you think you might want to teach. Everything, just get in a nice big long list, don't worry. I find it's really useful because it kind of gets it off my plate, like I see things, I'm like, "Oh, that would be good course." See these things, and then I have all these ideas, and I've I just created a nice long list, I keep adding to it over time. And yeah, just build it out. 

Once you've got a big list though, it's not all that useful, so we need some sort of way of organizing it. I'll share with you my method, the kind of A1 method. I'm not sure if I made this up, or copied somebody else. I'm not sure, but basically it's a way of going through, and just adding a letter to the beginning, either A, B, C, D, or E, and then adding a number after that, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. So I use those numbers and letters. And basically I go through every course, and I say, this one is an A1. And A1 would be something that I think, as a gut feeling, is an A. It's like, "Man, this is half as good, I want to do this one," just a gut feeling. Then after it is the number, so in this case it's a 1. It means it's quick and easy to do, it's going to take me a couple of days, to kind of outline it and get it going. Yours might be shorter, your A1s might be longer. But that's it, a good gut feel reaction. 

And then, I think it's going to be quick to do, in a, say an A4, would be something that I think is really good, but it's going to take me a couple of weeks to make, kind of full-time. This is using my methods, yours might take longer or shorter. But if I'm looking at something like, one of my A1s is my Photoshop course. It's super popular, it's a bit dense. There's lots of people doing it, but I feel like there's room for my course. And it's going to be a 4, because it's going to take a long time to make, because Photoshop is quite a big product. 

Now if it was something like Adobe XD, which is something I've made a course on, I think it's an A, because it's super awesome, and new, and people want to learn it, and there's not much competition out there. But it's going to be like an A3 or an A2, because the product's just not that complex. So I know that I'm just going to run out of things to talk about. It's going to probably for me be a-- like I cut my courses into nice little short sections. It's probably only going to be about 20 or 30 videos, whereas I know, Photoshop, it's going to probably be 200. I'll probably break that into two courses, but I guess that's the idea. How good you think it is, and how long it's going to take. 

Basically you start with A1. I'll show you one of my lists, just so you've got an idea. So go through, number them all. Then just kind of reorganize them, so all A1s are at the top, and A2s, and A3s. I'll show you a little screen-cast here of kind of my running list. So this is my list, it's just my new ideas course list. It's in a Google Doc, it can be a Word doc. It's not very flash as a tool. But I just go through, list all my courses, then number them like this. So this is my current existing one. The ones that are grayed out are ones that I've already done, and completed. Let's say these are the kind of ones that I've thought I should do, recently, I just kind of add them to the bottom of the list. 

Let's say now it's time I finished my last course. And now it's time to decide on the next one. So let's say we're going to add this one to the list, so I look at it, and I go, my gut feeling says, you my friend are B. Based on no real science other than I think it's new, which is awesome, it's in an area, UX design, which is really popular, but it is the small fry of the group, in my humble opinion. So I'm like, it's pretty good, it's not up there with my As, but it's definitely something I should look at pretty soon. Then I add how long it's going to take me. I feel like this one's like, maybe a 2, maybe a 3, I'm halfway in between those ones. And I base that purely on how long I think it's going to take me. Always takes longer. But Invision Studio is a new product. It's not going to have a huge amount of features, I presume. I use a lot of competing products to this one. So I understand the language, so that's not going to be a big jump for me, but I'm going to have to go through, and really study the tool, and use it for a couple of projects. So it's going to be a bit of time getting this one going. 

So there's my B3, I might just grab him, and I go, you, my friend, cut, are, yeah, you're in the B3s. And I go through all these new ones, and then basically when I'm doing this, well I read through my last ones, because sometimes, I don't know, now I'm like, Adobe Spark, I'm thinking, you're-- it's done a big jump for me. I'm thinking, it's awesome, but it's really easy to teach yourself. So I'm thinking, maybe the course isn't that, you know, it's not going to go high up on my list. So I'm going to put it down with the C2s. And I just kind of rejig this, and this gives me kind of a, at least some sort of order to go, let's do these ones first. 

Like the A1s often have a low value in terms of, they're quick, they're easy, but often there's lot of competitors, but they're easy to do, they're quick to do, they often aren't as profitable, we'll do profitable later in the course, but I do them, because they'll only take me less than a week, or a couple of days. And then I pick off a couple of big, like A3s. So my next A3 looks like it's going to be one of these two. So it's going to take me a reasonable amount of time, but it's in my high priority, it's going to take me probably two weeks to do. I do have A4s and A5s, I kind of cut this list down because my list was super messy. I'm trying to impress you with my clean list. Often there's lots, a bunch of notes under here that only makes sense to me. I kind of have all these scribbling, so I just tidied it up to look nice. 

And that my friend is step one. Get a big long brain dump of the list. Then get them in some sort of order. So now we can take, say all of the As, and do the next part of the test, and go, "Do I have an audience for them?" Then I can say how popular it is. Rather than just guessing I can check online. Then work out how profitable, and then they might end up winning. They too may become dark gray because I've done them. Let's move on to the next step. 

Step number two, do you have an existing audience? Now avoid this one at your peril. Ask me how I know. For a long time, especially the beginning, I had like, my big long list of courses, and I was trying all sorts of things. Even though my audience was only small. Just the areas that I was involved with. I knew some people in the industry, it was all in the kind of like, graphic/UI web design area, that's my kind of scene. So I ignored that, and I did a Microsoft Excel course, and how to start a business online, and SEO, and all sorts of stuff. It wasn't until later on, slowly over time, it's about three years on now, since I kind of started this online training thing, and I now know like, if I go back to past Dan, and explain, you know stick to your knitting, stick to the audience you already have, it's so much easier to sell to, or at least identify with the audience you already have. 

If you're brand new and nobody knows who you are, and you want to surprise them with this new course, that's okay too, but look to see what communities you're already part of, or Facebook groups, or if you don't have any of that, then sure, you can pick a new direction, but if you're involved somewhere, stick to that area because it has a two-fold kind of helpfulness. One is that, A, you've got one person that you can reach out, and say, "I've got a new course, can you give me a review?" It's better than zero people. But also that, as time goes on, you ask any trainer that's doing well, it's so much easier now, like three years on, selling courses, because my audience is built up, and it's in the same field. It's all in this kind of like creative IT field. 

So when I make a new course, it doesn't instantly sell, but even if it's a terrible course it still sells, not okay, but there's always some sales, because I have an audience, they know my other courses, they like what I've done in those other courses, so they're willing to take a risk on this new course. So check your audience, do you have an audience? Then kind of make sure, like if you do have an audience, circle those courses on your list, and say, "Let's just do these ones", and let's exclude these other kind of, I don't know, outlier courses for the moment. Let's stick to kind of our area of expertise, or at least where our audience lives.

So let's say you have an audience, it might just be, you've got a couple of Twitter followers, or some Instagram followers, ask them. Ask them what they would like to see. You might curate it, so you might say, "I'm looking to do these, potentially these five courses, what do you think?" And it's amazing, often you get stuff, like, "Oh, yeah." Like people will give you responses, and you're like, "That's a reasonable response, I was expecting that", but sometimes you get some oddball ones, you're like, "Actually, that's a real good idea." So that's a good thing. 

The other thing is that, if you get a bit of a-- you might just be overwhelmed, like, I've been avoiding doing a Photoshop course for a long time. I just looked, there's so much other good stuff out there, and I'm like, "Can I really compete?" "It's a saturated market, should I even do it?" So I've kind of left it late, even though everyone said you should do a Photoshop course, and it's just released, and it's doing amazingly, and I'm like, "Geez, I should have done this like two years ago." But I ignored them, and used my own silly advice. My internal head said, don't do it. Ask your audience, and, I guess a little bit measured, but do what they want, because the cool thing about it is that, once I started asking people, "Should I do this Photoshop course", I do it-- you don't have to do this, but what I do is, I actually make a short video. It's just like a screen-cast, very simple, just a voice-over. And I just show examples, not even my examples, of what I'm looking to do for a course, like this is the kind of vibe, it might just be verbal. 

You might use Pinterest just to kind of show what you're doing. And I send-- I make a little Youtube video to say, "What do you think, audience?" And you share it wherever you need to. And often I'll get a couple of things. One is, they'll tell me which one they like, but also they'll tell me things that I might be missing. I even share an outline of courses that I'm potentially going to do, and ask people to fill in any blanks. So I get maybe a bit hard core about asking what course I should have. You can do something, don't get overwhelmed. It might just be a text. Pick A, B, or C, which course do you think I should do, and why? So asking your audience what you should do is a super good thing to do. So how popular is the idea that you've got actually. 

So I'm going to throw you three little tests. Keyword test, testing on market places, there's ways of checking how popular a course is. Then on those same market places, checking to see what competition there is, and the quality of it, and whether you think you can fit in. So we'll cover those three steps now in a bit more detail, but basically it's so that, like I have assumptions, I might be like, "Okay, we've got three courses that I want to do next, potentially." This one here, super popular, super popular, not so popular. And I'll do a test, and I realize like, "Option number one wasn't as popular as I thought." So it's just a good way to kind of test your assumptions. It's quick, it's easy to do. But also know that this kind of popularity is only going to give you data on courses that are already popular. So if you've got an idea for this, like brand new, niche training course that you want to make, go ahead and ignore this, but at least, just see what kind of traffic out there might be for your course. 

I was looking at, I was just looking there, I was trying to find stuff that was maybe, not very popular, but was still doing well, and selling well as a course, and I found some Tomahawk fighting training courses doing really well. How to make a hipster surf logo. Really kind of niche stuff that you won't find much data through keyword research. So use this as a kind of a test to-- it just helps along this process of deciding what course to do. It's quick, it's easy, we'll jump on the screen to do it now. 

So let's start with the testing, like the volume of searches per month that you have through something like Google. So what we're doing here, it's I picked this one because it gives pretty good results, and there's no login. Just super quick and easy to use. There's another couple that I really like. One's called Moz, they call it Keyword Explorer. But you need to sign in, and you only get 10 per month, of searches, unless you've got the Pro account. Adwords is another one. Adwords is called the Keyword Planner, they all do a similar sort of job. Keyword Planner is the most hassle to get signed up. You just sign up with Adwords. You don't have to pay for Adwords, but you can use the Keyword Planner once you've signed up. You just click on this little, what's that, spanner? And go to the one that says Keyword Planner. But let's use this one because it's quick and easy. 

So it's going to paste in all the potential courses. Let's say I'm looking to do one of these Adobe courses next. I'm not sure which one, but I'd like you to help me. Let's click 'Submit'. You can see, there's a clear popularity winner, Photoshop course. It is by far, this is monthly searches through Google. So 320 people in the US were searching for this specific word per month, versus say Premier Pro, which is 10. So it can just be a nice little thing to say, "Actually, I realize, Photoshop is way more popular than any of other products that I'm potentially going to do." You'll have to play around with the language, I've used the word 'course', but it might be 'Photoshop training', maybe 'learn Photoshop'. So play around with a few different phrases, as well as the topics, to get a sense of what you might call the course, as well as what course is potentially more popular. 

The next thing you can do for testing the popularity is to actually check on the market places that potentially might resell them for you. Even if you've decided you're not going to sell your course on something like Udemy or a Skillshare. It's a really good place to test the popularity of a topic. So sign up for Udemy, you can see it up here. You don't have to have a course yet, just sign up get into this 'Instructor Dashboard'. And this little tab here is pretty magic, click on 'Marketplace Insights'. And without even entering a topic it tells you down here, these are the promising topics that they would like courses for. So Past Lives, I don't know what Docker Swarm is. I know what Aviation is. SAP Accounting, kind of know what that is, don't know what that is. 

So you might get here, and go, "Man, I am so going to teach a course about past lives." Something you're passionate about, and what Udemy have said is like, we've got an average demand, but low courses. What I'd be looking for is high demand, low courses, but that's fine. It's just a really useful tool to go in and check what do Udemy want, what are they missing, what are people looking for that they don't have a good course on yet? 

So what I'm going to do though, I'm going to click 'x' on this Past Lives. I'm actually just going to type in, let's say, 'InDesign'. There it is there. And in terms of an InDesign course, because it was one of my topics, there is a high student demand already, which is good, there's a higher amount of courses which is there. So just gives you an idea of like, demand versus supply. Come down a little bit further and you can start to see, like what part of the year people are searching for. InDesign, I guess is going to be kind of all year round. You might be looking at something a lot more kind of topical, so some useful search volume trends in here that might be useful for you. What I find as well, really useful down here as 'Other topics of interest'. Just gives you things that, people that are searching for InDesign, in the scene, these are other things, and Color Theory is one-- you might have seen it on my list, because I reckon I can make a good Color Theory course. And if you look at it as a topic - if this page ever loads - it says, this topic is a great opportunity, high demand, low amount of courses. So I find this Market Insight super useful. 

So run all of your topics through, and just see. Photoshop versus Illustrator versus InDesign versus Premiere Pro. What's the supply versus demand like. Let's say Udemy is not your scene, or not where your people live. I find Skillshare, for my courses, are where my peaks live. And what I find useful is, say I've got a course, say one's about, let's have a look, so I'm generally in the creative zone, this is my world, but let's say I'm going to do either a UX course, I'm going to click on UX/UI. You can see this has a 150,000 followers of this topic. When people sign up to Skillshare, they kind of have to tell Skillshare, like this is what I'm into. So this many people have followed this topic. You can see, hey, one of my courses, one of my courses, one of my courses. I've done a few UX courses. It's 150,000 people, but let's say I want a-- it's competing with say something more in the general graphic design, say it's Indesign. You can see a lot more people are looking, or at least identified themselves as Graphic Designers. 

So it's not science, it's just an interesting thing to think, "Okay, if Skillshare is my people, and where they live", more people are looking for graphic design courses here then UI and UX courses. And I've found that absolutely to be true. So my graphic design courses do a lot better here on Skillshare, than my UX or UI courses do. Now we've used Skillshare here, and Udemy, they're quite big players in the scene. You might be doing something different, so Craftsy might be your world. ?? might be what you're doing. You might check, there's lots of places to go and see, what's popular in those areas, and what people are looking for. Each little place has their own hacks. But I do find Udemy, probably the most specific about what they want, and like giving you an idea of demand. 

So the last thing to kind of check the popularity is to check what competing courses are out there. And see how yours kind of stacks up. So what I like to do is, in Chrome, go to 'File, 'New', 'Incognito window'. Just means it's not going to be-- often when you do searches from a regular window, it will remember the last thing you searched, and gives you results based on your search history. So this one here, using incognito, just gives you a clean slate. So let's just type up here-- well we can go to Google, let's just go to Let's have a look for Premiere Pro course. Can't spell Premiere Pro. "Did you mean?" I did. What I do is I ignore the ads, anything that says ads, and just go down here, and just start to see, I'll click through a few of these links to see, is there other courses out there, first of all. So am I playing in a crowded room? And if so, of this crowded room, how do I feel like I can make a course. Am I going to add more value to say the Top-10 results here, if I got it to appear on Google? Or, is my course just going to be lost in the wash? 

Doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, but it's just a nice way of checking, like I've done courses where I assume that my course is going to be a little bit worse than everyone else's, because I'm intermediate at it, and I reckon I could add value, but there's probably going to be better courses. But then I go through and I check some of these, and I'm like, "Man, my course would actually hold up pretty well." I'm not saying that about Premiere Pro here, because Phil Ebiner is here, Phil Ebiner is awesome. But it's just a good search to do. Now you do it within Google, you also do it within the market places. So if I go to, so I'm not logged in, I'm using incognito again. And what do I want to learn? I want to learn InDesign. Click 'Return', and just see what courses are available. 

The cool thing about using Udemy to check is that they have a rating system. You might find that there are lots of courses here, but they're not getting good ratings, so you can see the ratings here, you can see my smiley. I like to say InDesign, because I like to see myself appear. But you might decide, you know, you might do a course, and you might look at them, and you're like, "Actually the ratings are really low." So you might think, "Okay, so there's lots of courses but the ratings are really low." "So how can I make my course rate better?" Or, "I think I can add value to this topic." And will rate high, more highly than the other ones. So that can be super helpful. 

For me, sometimes I go into one, and I'm like, "Man, there's lot of courses." Like my Illustrator course, I love making the Illustrator course, I did it, but there are already really good courses that are doing really well. Like Martin's here, his is a super awesome course. Mine is rating, where is mine, it's down here, my course. Because there are the courses that are rating really well, they deliver an amazing result to the audience. So it can just be helpful to go, "This topic is stuffed, full of awesome courses, with really high ratings." I might use the other topic, that might be stuffed full of courses that have a lot lower ratings. Same thing on Skillshare. I jump in there, I type in the course topic that I'm looking to teach, and just see what courses are showing up first. Skillshare decided that these are the best results, and how do I compare? Does it have good ratings, is it well produced, do I think I can add value? 

So that's it for popularity. Throw a few courses into the Popularity Test Matrix. Remember, just doing a simple keyword search. Then checking something like Udemy insights, and then in Google or in Udemy, checking what kind of courses are in there already. Can I compete, can I add value? And hopefully that will give you a better understanding of what course you might pick next. 

Step number four, profitability. So profitability, If you are looking for working out what kind of money you might get, like it's obviously not absolute science, but I find three kind of ways of working it out that have proven to be reasonably close in terms of what you're actually in. So Udemy have a really good system, using their insights. You probably caught a glimpse of that earlier on. It's the first one, and probably the clearest, like this is how much you might earn. The other one is a basic calculation you can do, if you've got an email list. There's a kind of a tried-and-true calculation. And then there is, looking at the lifetime value of a student. And that needs to be kind of factored in as well. 

So let's jump in to look at Udemy insights first. Now, remember, you sign in as an instructor, and you click on this tab up here that says 'Marketplace Insights'. Now this is going to give you a reasonably accurate kind of income average. Especially if you're going to actually sell your courses on this market place. Now I sell my courses on my own site, hosted by instructorHQ. You might be using Teachable or Thinkific. But I also sell my courses here on Udemy. This is going to give me a reasonably accurate estimate on what I might earn. So I've typed in InDesign here, and down the bottom here you can see, the median monthly revenue for all the courses is about $56. So you can look at that and go, "Is this course going to be worth like 700 US dollars per year for me to make?" "How long before it's outdated?" And do I think I can get close to this top monthly revenue? 

Now the cool thing about this top monthly revenue is that's actually what I'm earning, I'm the top selling course. So that's what I'm earning from my InDesign course. When I first looked at this before my course, before I realized there was like potentially a space at the top for me, it was like at about $2900 monthly, and I still was like, "Man, that's awesome, I want part of that." But now as my courses have been in there, they're doing a little bit better than the last ones were, so it's pushed this top monthly revenue on. So when you are looking at it, and say, it's a really kind of a new area, and the top monthly is low, It might be just because you haven't arrived yet. But what you can do is you can go through and say, so Median Monthly and the Top Revenue, and just compare the different courses, so that's my InDesign, this is me searching for Photoshop, you can see the monthly revenue is lower, because there's so much more courses out there, but the top revenue is a lot higher. This is not me, my course is actually just finished, and I'm going to release it. And I'd love to be anywhere near the top of this. 

So do some basic calculations, take the median, times it by 12. Take what you think you might get, what you aspire to be, and times that by 12. What can you get for a monthly return on these different courses? It's surprising sometimes as well, like I did the Illustrator one, and it's high up, like around eight grand a month for the top revenue, which I felt, not surprising now that I know, but when I was first looking at doing the courses, do InDesign or Illustrator, I did Illustrator because it had a lot more upside, and I was happy enough to make either of the courses. What you'll also find is-- I was typing in Photoshop here, and watch, I started typing, 'Photoshop', and Udemy says, well what about Photoshop Retouching, I click on that, and that specific kind of sub-genre of Photoshop, it didn't appear. 'Photoshop Retouching', click on it properly, there he is down here. 

You can see, higher monthly median, but the top revenue is a lot lower. So now you might double back to the popularity, and just Google, and search in these market places, what courses are available, do I think I can do better? And maybe raise this revenue. Because the cool thing about Photoshop Retouching, is that it's a smaller part of the larger Photoshop course. So for me it might be easier to make a course that takes a week to make, rather than the full Photoshop one, which took me like three weeks. And if I'm honest, probably four. But I want some of this. Doesn't have to be the top, but some of it would be nice. So that's probably the easiest way to kind of calculate any sort of revenue on a topic. I'm using quite software heavy ones. You might be in more soft skills. You can type them in, there's lots of options in here, you can type in, and it will give you what the revenue results are. 

Let's look at the other way to calculate potential profit. So another way to work out what you potentially might earn from your effort from a course is a method a lot of people use in terms of converting your email list that you might already have into paid customers. Obviously this only works if you have an email list. I do, I have a quite a big email list of 13-- well big, I think it's big. 13000 people I have on my email list, I use MailChimp to store them all, and send them notifications of my new courses. You might have only 1,000 true fans, or two true fans, there might be your mum, and your nan. They are the first people to like my Facebook posts, every time. You might have heard from other people, like, "You need to build your email list", and you're just like, "I'm not sure why." This will hopefully show you how it can work. 

Like once you've got an audience that likes what you're doing, you can do a bit of math here, see what you might be able to earn from those new courses. So 13,000 people have got my emails, the problem with my emails is that it's not a warm list, I want to say. I've got lots of lead magnets, they call them, where people, like say you do some of my free YouTube videos, I have a place where you can come and download the exercise files or a cheat sheet, but it's kind of an email gateway, you love them, right? You get there and you're like, "I want my email address." And so that later on, I can say, "Hey, I got this course that's in that same sort of zone of the cheat sheet you downloaded." So I've got my email list, it's big, but it's watered down. So the conversion rate, how many of these people will actually convert into paid customers? If you haven't done this before, any sort of email marketing, it's sad. People say, between 1-3% will convert, or at least that's what I've heard from people that are doing a lot better than me. That's not been my experience. I have a conversion rate of maybe half a percent, which is not cool. So mine's-- there's the decimal places for half a percent. If you're doing one, you type it in there, 2, 3. But mine is 0.5, half a percent. And I know because I've done it, and I've checked it, that's why I have those many people. About that many people actually buy the course. 

You put in the price of your course. Most of my courses end up being about 10 US dollars. If you want to buy them from the various places I sell them. So, total; you can do this on paper and a calculator, I'm going to do it, I'm doing it in Excel. You can do it in Google Sheets, or Mac has numbers, anyone. So up here in my little formula window, I'm going to add equals '='. It gets my little formula going, and I want to say, you times you. You can kind of see at the top here, times is the asterisk '*'. So this B6 times my conversion rate, just going to hit 'Return' here. So that's 65 people of this 13,000 actually buy the course. Now all I need to do is, I'm going to click in here. I want these people, I'm going to put it in brackets. So I want this total, which is my 65 people, I want to times that by the price of my course. 

That my friends, is about 650 bucks. And I've found that to be true. I'll make a new course, I send it out to my emails, sixty five people buy it at ten bucks a pop, and their email makes me $650. Now I'm in a specific sort of world with my kinds of courses. They're quite commoditized, so that $10 works for me. And in other areas people have really good, like say you only have 1000 people on your list, but let's say you do have that magical 3% conversion rate, pretty high. And your prices for your course though are $1000. You've got webinars involved, and all sorts of other things going on, so you can kind of see, you can enter different details and decide now, whether it's going to be worth it for you at that price point, with that amount of people. 

This is the magic one that you won't know until maybe after your first email in your first course. But if I was you I'd guess low, and be surprised at it being high. I hear people in podcasts that are trainers, and they are doing this prices at $1000. They've got a really high conversion rate. And they're making like half a million. I don't know how many emails you need to be half a million. Another zero there, what do you get? You're close to it. So these numbers are attainable by people that aren't me. I find the $650 mark is probably really realistic. I need to work where they'd be testing my emails, to make sure I've got the right language, and maybe pricing it differently to earn different income. But one thing with mine - that's why I've got these done here, - is that I have a monthly subscription. So my course that I host on my own site through instructorHQ, I have-- my courses are about $10 per month. So that's 650. I'm actually going to undo and go back to how I had it. 

So that's going to be my monthly total. This will be my annual one, so I'll take that total, times it by 12. So that's where my courses start doing well, over the distance. They last about two years before the software needs to be redone and updated. And once you start getting into multiple courses, like I have about 20 at the moment, like I'm not earning multiples of 20 of this. Because some courses just don't do that well, but it does get up there. And the other note down here is 'Relaunching'. So we talked about some of the unicorns, where they-- you know, they've got 10,000 people on their list. They're selling their courses for $1000 or $200, just something a lot higher than my little $10. What they often do is they'll have like two launches per year. So they're gathering email addresses all the time, and they are sending out an email every couple of weeks, or every couple of months. So your $650 can add up if you're sending out an email every two weeks. Or you've got some good lead magnets that are drawing people in, and getting the email addresses. It might be through a Facebook group. There's kind of math holds true, not just for emails but for, say an audience. You find your audience conversion rate, and then you work on prices. And it can give you some basic math to work from at least. 

Let's look at the last part of profitability. Let's jump to real Dan. All right, real me again. One thing to consider when you are, the last thing to consider when you are testing the viability of a course, or profitability, especially when you're thinking, you're right at the beginning, and you're like, "Is this thing for me?" "Is it going to be worth giving up my job, or my freelancing?" There's a lot of work involved. The big thing to consider, and include in your math is the lifetime value of a student, and what happens, kind of further on, after you've made your second or third course. What you'll find is, if you ask any trainer that's been doing it for a little while, you'll find-- they'll tell you that it becomes easier and easier. And it's because, like say, some of my first courses that I ever made, some of my Dreamweaver ones that I made, they just didn't do very well, like the first month I made $4, then zero dollars, and zero dollars, then four, then twelve, then zero again. It's just, that was a terrible course. Not bad, maybe it's not a bad course, but it didn't find the people. But I made a couple of other courses after that, and the cool thing about it is that, say people come to one of my newer courses that maybe just had better keywords or just ranked better on a website, out of my control, the cool thing about it is that people tend to, like if you look now at some of my sales, say some of my sales on Udemy, you'll see that Jane has bought this course, and then when she finishes that course, you can see that she's bought three other ones, because she liked that first one. And that poor little Dreamweaver course I made at the beginning gets a sale. And I made that three years ago now. 

So it ends up-- the more courses you make, the more you sell of your older courses as well. So the lifetime value, like I figured out, my lifetime value for a student roughly is about $54. We talked about kind of gathering-- finding one person to buy your course, I found, on an average though I make about $54 off that person. I need quite a few people to make a regular income, but it does become easier and easier as we go along. So what am I rambling about? I just know that it does get easier, and not to get discouraged by your very first course. Get to your third or fourth, decide, I'm going to do five courses, and if they're still not doing well then I'm out. Online trainings either not for me, or my topic's too niche. But don't just quit it after the first one, or not get started, because you can't make the numbers work. 

Let's get on to the next step. Step number five, how to make your final decision? So you've got to the end here, and let's say that you've still got a few to pick from. You might have already, in the earlier stages decided, like that is the one. Fits my audience, it's popular, and it's profitable. Job done; here's a big one at the top. But let's say that you have got, say three still. You run them all through the test, and you're still not sure. Especially when you're brand new to this, know that you just pick three anyway. Don't pick one that you're going to do, pick the next three you're going to do. Know that the first one you're going to do though is probably going to be, the quality, the flow, like everything's not going to be as good as your third one. You're going to get better and better at it. 

My early ones was, a bad microphone, sound like I was talking in a toilet. I um'ed and ah'ed all the way through it, I still um and ah through, but I'm definitely a lot more confident than I am now. So my-- you know, my third course was always better than my first course. So I guess, what I'm trying to say is that, just put them in an order to do, rather than which one-- excluding one and doing another one, you're just going to do all three. And as you know, it's that body of work that I think will probably, you'll find the right audience, the right tone, and the quality will probably come up as well. So yeah, don't just pick one, pick a bunch of them, put them in an order. Say I'm going to do these ones because this one's quicker, and seems to be more popular, but now I'm going to do this one, because it takes longer, but it seems to be less, less competition in this one. That's how I do it anyway. 

So I hope you found these tips useful. It's how-- it's the technique that I go through every time. Like this is a big long video, but it takes me an hour to go through my lists, test the productivity and profitability. Productivity? Popularity. And yeah, end up at a place where I think what my next course can be. Knowing that there's going to be a course after, and if this one fails, the next one might lift it up, or might just do better by itself. So yeah, I hope you found these tips useful. 

Give a thumbs up. Also, this channel here, I just do lots of these types of content, helping people get started with online courses. So, subscribe to the channel if you haven't already. Another useful thing is joining our Facebook group. So if you look for 'instructorHQ online course creators club', like we call it, something like that, you'll find it. Ask to join, and it's a place where I get to answer these questions, kind of by text if you've got them. And for some of them I turn them into videos like this, kind of, I guess, a bit more detailed, for helping people. I understand that they're getting started. 

Other things that are useful. There is a check list. So if you're a new instructor, and you want to-- there's a bunch of steps to kind of getting started, through from, like this video here, about getting right at the beginning, is it going to be profitable? Through to how to name it, how to edit it, how to distribute it. How do you social media, all that sort of stuff. So if you go to, there'll be a downloadable PDF version for you there, you can download, to help you going.

What else am I going to talk about? Before I go, Bishop, the last thing. So, if you go to Bishop is basically all of my earnings, what I earn from courses, how I do it different months, how I kind of started, the kind of progression. The profitable ones, not so-- I share it all. Mainly just so-- like I remember, when I was starting off, when a few people shared what they were up to, and what they were earning, I was so looking for that kind of detail, and nobody was sharing, so I feel like it's my turn to help people that are getting started, just to see what course is doing well for me, my tactics. Yeah, go to Bishop, and you'll be able to see what I'm earning over the different months.

So that is end of the video. Anything else at the end, Dan? Nope, I think that's it. Give me a thumbs up. All right, bye.