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Teaching Sells: This Entrepreneur Makes $3M/Year Helping People Use His Brother’s Software

Written by Glen Allsopp | +1,208 this month
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June 17, 2022

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Almost 10 years ago, Brian Clark of Copyblogger fame launched an internet marketing program called Teaching Sells.

I was still a teenager at the time and recall that I couldn’t justify the cost – I think it was around $297 a month for three months – but I did pick up every free PDF that Brian gave away to promote it.

A large portion of the training was focused on an SEO blogger named Aaron Wall, who had turned his blog readers into raving fans paying him $50 to $100 per month for access to his private forum on the same topic.

While it was around, Aaron made an estimated $50,000/m from the forum.

Though I never got full access to the Teaching Sells course, the premise was clear: Earn the trust of your audience by giving away most of your knowledge for free, and then charge for it all to be packaged nicely in one place, often with additional insights.

It’s a formula that worked very well 10 years ago, and still works incredibly well today.

While you may doubt your own ability to teach something of value to others, the success stories we have to share today could just change your mind.

The $3M/Year Solution to Professional Marketers’ Problems

I’ve been building websites for 11 years now and if there is one concept that has been drilled into me from day one it’s this: Build a list.

Collect the email addresses of people who visit your website so you can share content with them on a regular basis and continue to drive traffic back to your site.

Some of the most popular solutions for building and managing your email list include MailChimp, Aweber and ConvertKit.

There’s also a more “serious” player in town, called Infusionsoft.

The things you can do with Infusionsoft – like segmenting your audience based on those who only watched 20% of a video you sent – are typically aimed at full-time marketers who want to squeeze every last penny from their promotions.

The downside to Infusionsoft’s unparalleled options is that it’s incredibly difficult to use.

After you join the service you literally have to go through hours of one-on-one training with a staff member just to learn how to do things that are intuitive in other platforms.

It may surprise you that a SaaS tool with such a steep learning curve has tens of thousands of active customers, but keep in mind that if there’s more revenue to be made from an email list, Infusionsoft users are getting their money’s worth.

The company was founded in 2001 by brothers Scott and Eric Martineau and Clate Mask.

Brad, another Martineau sibling, not only saw how well Infusionsoft was doing but also saw the struggles that many customers were having.

After having recently been laid off, he started his own company called SixthDivision.com, aimed at helping people get the most out of the software.

are-you-ready

With no fewer than five former Infusionsoft employees on-board, they were well poised to follow the premise of Teaching Sells: Offer insights on how to do something that people (typically) can’t find elsewhere.

Today, companies around the world pay up to $14,997 for a two-day coaching session at their head office.

Other services they offer, starting with the cheapest first, include:

  • Premier membership (mostly ‘tagging’ tools for Infusionsoft): $97/m
  • The Academy step-by-step training: $3,998
  • The Mini-Makeover half day custom implementation: $4,497
  • The Makeover two day custom implementation: $14,997
  • The Elite 100 on-going dedicated coaching: $1,997/month ($23,964/year)

In an interview with Mixergy, Brad says the company is generating more than $3M per year in revenue, the majority of which is profit.

Brad didn’t have to go and create some of the world’s most complex email marketing software in order to build a successful business. He simply helped people learn how to use what was already out there.

As you’ll learn from our following examples, there’s a lot of money to be made doing the same not only for software, but in almost every field imaginable.

$13,000 in eBook Sales in Just 3 Days

If you havenโ€™t heard of Sketchup before, itโ€™s best described as 3D modelling software you can use to design your next DIY project, your dream kitchen, or even the new mall for a city.

As with most technical software, there’s a learning curve to get the most out of it, and Matt Donley saw an opportunity to capitalise on that.

Initially planned as a side project, he created MasterSketchup.com
to teach people how to use the program. Matt had no idea that he would soon be able to quit his job as a carpenter and work on the website full-time.

mastersketchup

Similar to Brad who taught Infusionsoft, Matt found a popular piece of software that people were struggling to use and gave away free advice on how to get started with it.

After initially making money with Google AdSense, Matt created an eBook which was designed to help users maximise their Sketchup abilities. There was evidently demand for this as Matt made over $13,000 in eBook sales within the first three days of launch.

Ted Forbes Teaches Photography to 760,000 Subscribers

You may have noticed on the gaps.com homepage that there’s a testimonial from a man named Ted Forbes.

A few years ago I had a chat with Ted on Skype and gave him some advice on the projects he was working on. Most notably about how to grow an audience around what he loves: Photography.

Not long after, Ted sent me a very kind email, which I have permission to share.

ted-forbes

Of course, I don’t take any credit for Ted’s success. As far as I recall, I simply reminded him of the massive potential there is online, and to stay focused on the project he’s most passionate about.

It turns out that passion was teaching people about all aspects of photography.

Today his YouTube subscriber count sits at 760,000, which is 496,000 higher than just a few years ago.

If you’re interested in photography, there isn’t a channel I would recommend more.

Teaching Excel Generates $1M Per Year for this Webmaster

Our next case study started as a personal blog, but after finding a gap in the market and a hungry audience to go with it, that personal blog now consistently generates 7-figures per year, helping people to learn the ins and outs of Microsoft Excel.

Seriously.

As a business analyst, founder Purna previously got to know the workings and frustrations of Excel on a daily basis.

After โ€˜masteringโ€™ the platform through books, online articles and watching others work, he shared every little tip and trick he was learning on his blog, Chandoo.org.

chandoo

After initially launching a 50 page PDF teaching Excel formulas priced at just $5, the amount of content on the site has grown considerably and the current key to Purnaโ€™s success is his program, Excel School.

It includes a combination of Excel video lessons, workbooks and online classes. To access the course, students are paying from $97 for the basic package, up to $447 for full access.

Every single month up to 100 new students are going through his training, helping to bring his total income to six-figures each month.

To show that Purna isn’t the only one showing signs of success in this space, this go skills Excel Course has received more than 2,100 reviews from previous customers.

The course initially charged just $12/month for their lessons, and it’s likely they had 10x the number of customers than the amount that left a review. Though, worst case scenario, if those that left a review were the only customers they had, and only stayed for one single month, theyโ€™d have still generated $23,652.

With that in mind, we suspect this course has generated at the very least a solid six-figures of income.

It’s also worth noting that the pricing of the go skills course has recently increased to $35/month, or an annual charge of around $199. So once again, their recurring revenue figures could be really impressive from this one course alone.

Similarly, Trump Excel, a community for Excel enthusiasts, are generating $4,500/month in revenue. Whilst this doesn’t reach the same heights as Chandoo.org, it’s promising to know that there is room for more than one business in this space.

Making $35,000/Year Teaching JavaScript

Programmer Derick Bailey was very specific about what he wanted to teach and who he wanted to teach it for. He created a website which offered screencasts on him personally programming in Node.js and JavaScript, specifically for back-end developers.

His site, aptly named WatchMeCode.net, offers his students access to various eBooks, industry interviews and follow-along videos.

He offers 189 screencasts at a price of $19 per month or has an “all access membership” with additional interviews and downloads for $197 per year.

watch-me-code

While the $35,000 per year he’s making is smaller than some other examples here, you really can’t put a price on getting to do what you love full-time.

Teaching Coding to Over 50,000 Students

Sticking with same theme as above, Coding Ninjas was founded in India in 2016 to bridge the knowledge gap between colleges and real world industries.

The Coding Ninjas course modules cover various elements of coding including web development, programming, and data science.

To date they’ve taught over 50,000 students and subsequently built a team of more than 150 employees.

Coding Ninjas Course

Prior to receiving $5.2M in funding in February 2020, the business was achieving more than $2M annual revenue.

With a lot more course elements and events planned for release, I can see no reason why these revenue figures won’t continue to rise further.

Over $2M in Revenue Teaching Evernote

Brett Kelly first began using Evernote to store various documents – from letting arrangements to family photographs – online. Thanks to Evernote, he had years worth of access to all of his important information on his mobile, tablet or PC.

Brett was surprised when he realised that every brand new user of Evernote is greeted with a blank screen after installation, so he decided to do something about it.

He says, โ€œI made the manual that should have come with Evernote.โ€

He decided to share his own story of how he was using and benefiting from Evernote and created a program called Evernote Essentials to act as a guide for fellow users.

evernote-essentials

In the first two days of launching Evernote Essentials, Brett generated over $10,000 in revenue.

With a basic plan priced at $29 and a premium plan at $99, Brett has since attracted over 85,000 customers to his training.

If we’re extremely conservative and assume every customer chose the cheapest plan, that alone is over $2 million in sales.

As a funny titbit, the course was so popular that Evernote themselves asked him to write some of their documentation. Brett has since moved to working for Evernote full-time, which is why his previous training materials are no longer accessible.

The Site for Librarians Which Made $2,000 in its First Month

Jocelyn Sams is a librarian who had been tasked with creating lesson plans that adhered to specific American education standards.

After struggling to find resources to help her, Jocelyn put the work in herself and began to share her lesson plans with others.

The end result, a full-fledged resource for school librarians at ElementaryLibrarian.com, generated $2,000 in sales in its very first month.

librarian

With all due respect, Elementary Librarian is a very simple website, showing that if you have value to offer, your design or platform does not need to be complex.

Rather than librarians spending their time creating lesson plans themselves, Jocelyn provides a full yearโ€™s worth of pre-planned lessons which adhere to the required US education standards.

Members have the option to subscribe for $49 per month or pay $439 for the year. Two years after launching, the site now reaches around 30,000 visitors per month.

An impressive number when you remember it’s only targeting librarians.

The ACT Prep Company: $4.4m in Revenue and #241 on the Inc 5,000

Being English, I was not too familiar with the ACT but it seems they are similar to what we call SAT’s in Europe.

One company who knows them better than anyone else are MasteryPrep.com. They help students to increase their ACT scores through the use of online resources, practice exams and workbooks.

Generating hundreds of thousands of dollars per month, they’ve quickly grown to be one of the biggest companies in the space.

masteryprep

The understanding of what it takes to score higher on these exams has provided a business that not only helps students and teachers alike, but also generates incredible revenue.

While other examples we’ve shared are typically built by individuals or small teams, I wanted to share this example to show that things don’t have to stay that way.

MasteryPrep has quickly grown into a huge company with published books and created connections with schools where their experts go into to classroom to help students with their “offline bootcamp”.

They’ve also gone on to receive $6.9 million in funding, with the latest $2.7 million round arriving as recently as October 2019.

This shows, that like us, investors can foresee this business continuing to grow from strength to strength.

Teaching Financial Analyst Training to Over 1M Students

When it comes to training as a financial analyst, it would appear that there are three main career paths which include financial modeling, commercial banking, and capital markets.

One company that knows this only too well are CFI. They’ve created a very successful business by teaching these various disciplines through online courses.

Launched in 2016, CFI have since gone onto to become one of the worlds top providers of online financial modeling and valuation courses.

To date, their programs and certifications have been delivered to more than 1 million students across various institutes. These include banking, accounting, and investment firms, as well as universities.

CFI Financial Modeling Courses

The company has created more than 100 courses to date, and these are available to businesses and individuals through various pricing tiers.

The price for access to the basic training starts at $564/year for individuals, rising to $924/year for full access. There are also business access options, however those prices are only available upon enquiry.

The growth over the last five years that CFI have had in terms of the number of successful students is incredibly impressive, and has no doubt brought in a very healthy revenue figure for the business.

This is just another example of how you can teach a very niche topic, but still reach a huge audience.

The Coaching Site Reaching 400,000 Landlords Per Month

In 2013 Lucas Hall bought his first rental property and started documenting what he was learning as a first-time landlord. He noted down the steps he was taking with the intention of improving his processes as he went.

This eventually led to the creation of Landlordology.com.

landlord-site

The site was later acquired by Cozy Services, no doubt earning Lucas a nice pay day, and he is still tasked with the opportunity to market and grow the site. Since then, Cozy has been purchased again by the CoStar Group who have moved Landlordology to their Apartments.com blog.

Prior to this, Lucas found that by writing great content for others to follow, the number of visitors to his site continued to gradually increase. ย In fact 97% of his traffic was completely organic.

As he said in an interview,

โ€œI was competing with some of the largest companies out there, even legal websites that were giving legitimate legal advice. I wasnโ€™t a lawyer or an attorney. I was just a landlord sharing my experiences, but people loved it.โ€

By focusing on information which was missing from the resources already out there – namely up to date state laws and regulations – the site has since become the go-to resource online for landlords, reaching almost 450,000 monthly visitors.

Deanna Jump Made Over $1M Creating Lesson Plans for Teachers

For many teachers, creating lesson plans is something they have to do in their own time. It’s no surprise then that a resource providing ready-made plans for others to use has grown to become extremely popular.

TeachersPayTeachers.com was set up in 2006 to allow teachers to sell their lesson plans to others, saving the buyers both time and effort.

Typical lesson plans hover around the $4 mark, but some go up as far as $514.

Deanna Jump is one such teacher who began sharing her lesson plans on the site. In her first year, she made around $300. As the site (and Deanna’s lessons) grew in popularity however, her sales skyrocketed and in the following year she generated over $1,000,000.

teachers-pay-teachers

Deanna now has over 98,000 teachers following her on the site. To put that into perspective, most of the โ€˜featuredโ€™ teachers on the site have less than 1,000 followers.

On the back of her success she went on to create her own site at DeannaJump.com. The site showcases classroom designs and activity suggestions, whilst also selling bundles of lesson plans.

With her personal site reaching up to 45,000 visitors per month it’s impressive to see what she was able to do thanks to a single platform.

The Former Architect Making $1,000/m Giving Advice for the LEED Exam

If you follow a few marketing blogs online then you may very well know the story of Pat Flynn and his website, the Green Exam Academy.

Pat passed the LEED exam after graduating with a B.A. in Architecture from the University of California Berkeley.

He created the niche site to help others who were going through the same struggles as he was and shared what worked for him in terms of study guides and practice exams.

green-exam

Though revenues vary month to month, Pat is very open about his income figures. In December of 2016 the site made $930.12. In December of the year prior, Green Exam Academy pulled in $1,114.

December numbers are often low for Pat, with November 2016 revenues being $500 higher than December and November 2015 revenues being $766 higher than the following month.

The Best-Selling Author Who Asked to be Taught

If a New York Times best-selling author talks about a product he would buy if it existed, there’s probably a good gap in the market to take advantage of.

That’s what happened when Joseph Michael, a self-confessed “tech-geek kind of guy”, read an article by author Michael Hyatt.

A reader had commented on their struggles using the word-processing tool Scrivener, which Michael had talked about, and Michael replied โ€œIf there was a course on Scrivener, I would buy it today!โ€

Struggling with Scrivener himself and trying to learn everything about the software, Joseph created the info-product LearnScrivenerFast.com.

learn-scrivener

Pricing options range from $127 to $297 to get access to the training.

It turns out that Michael did indeed buy the product, as you’ll see from his testimonial on the sales page.

Reaching 90,000 Visitors Per Month Teaching…AirBnB?

Software and exams aside, the potential angles you can take with this ‘teaching sells’ model are virtually limitless.

That’s proven by our next example, which reaches 90,000 visitors per month helping landlords get the most out of AirBnB.

The concept behind LearnAirbnb.com is really smart, especially with the ever changing regulations by states and cities that hosts need to keep on top of.

airbnb

As you likely know, Airbnb is a popular home and apartment rental service around the world. It’s currently available in over 190 cities and is a practical way for people to earn money on their extra living space.

LearnAirbnb founders, Jim Breeze and Symon He, saw an opportunity to educate hosts on how to get the most out of the revenue source.

Although the niche here is laser targeted, they’re surprisingly not the only resource for this type of information.

AirbnbSecrets.com is another site offering a course on Airbnb hosting and have created a $197 training course which they advertise to their 20,000 monthly visitors.

This is half the story…

For every success story we feature, we highlight gaps in the market which reveal additional opportunities to be successful. Many are possible by simply changing the industry (or location) to focus on while others look at how to profit from other traffic sources or monetisation options.

While other Gaps strategy reports focus on other niches to enter, we’re not going to make any concrete suggestions here. If you don’t have knowledge about a specific industry or any interest to learn more about it, you aren’t likely going to build much of a resource that visitors can get value from.

That being said, we do have a few ‘gaps in the market’ that we think someone could great a great resource for if you’re interested in learning more.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to build some full-fledged “ultimate resource” and go at this full-time.

The great thing about this opportunity is that it’s something you can build up slowly on the side while gradually adding more content and getting more traffic from search.

A respectable side-income is more than attainable for the average person with some insights to share (or the inclination to go and learn things they don’t already know).

If you would like how to know how we would tackle this Teaching Sells opportunity, along with a few Gaps we think others could capitalise, then please read on.

this is what we’re known for

Gaps in the Teaching Space

Below this box is the text we’re famous for, but out of respect for you, we do have a disclaimer in place.

We spend dozens of hours preparing these reports and coming up with opportunities you can capitalise on, but we also don’t want to put your life-savings into an idea just because we wrote about it.

For that reason, we have an $8.88 request: Please don’t spend more than that testing out an idea (it’s the cost of a .com on Namecheap) to see if it has legs and makes sense for your business.

We’ve made many successful predictions and even ran our own case study, but we’ve also invested time and money into ideas that didn’t pay off. We’re not directly making money from this report, but still want to be respectful of your own finances.

Strategy: Teaching, then Selling

If I was going to tackle this teaching strategy angle myself, I would likely focus on something I either currently have skills with, or I’m interested to learn more about.

For instance, I’ve been playing a lot with the Twitter ad platform in recent weeks and it’s something I could see myself writing about and giving advice to others on.

There’s also the benefit that there aren’t really any blogs focused solely on Twitter marketing. There are plenty that write about the subject as a whole, but none that cover it alone.

If you don’t have any interests you could currently see yourself teaching, then I would suggest looking towards the future, and what people are going to be needing help with.

One potential gap in the market is a niche site for the Nintendo Switch.

In two months millions of people are going to get their hands on Nintendo’s newest console device (which is also portable) and you can be sure many of them will be going online looking for tips, tutorials and game reviews.

Setting up a site right now won’t result in much traffic, but the idea is that you would have a site in place ready to capitalise on the millions of search queries that people around the world are going to be entering into Google.

That’s just one example. Other markets to watch include:

  • New marketing software
  • New technologies (like 3D pens, which are huge right now)
  • New games
  • New Kickstarter success stories

The last example is something I’ve taught people about before and had a lot of success with.

The theory is quite simple. You find a popular Kickstarter project that thousands of people have backed and then you create a site around the product, ready to give advice and thoughts on it when it eventually ships.

The trick is to find something with lots of backers, as you know they’re going to be heading to Google as soon as the product comes out.

Let’s take FlowHive as an example.

It’s a product aimed to help you have “honey on tap” by keeping your own colony of bees. It did extremely well on IndieGogo, raising $13.2m from 38,000 backers.

flow-hive

If you look at the comments, you can see a lot of the buyers were completely new to bee keeping. Actually, almost all of them are.

That means that before the product arrives and most certainly when it arrives, these people are going to be looking for advice on keeping bees and everything that entails.

Looking at the Google Trends graph we can see that search traffic continued, and even started to increase, well after the ‘hype’ of the product launch.

flowhive

If you see potential with this angle then make a note to regularly monitor Kickstarter and IndieGogo to see what the popular products are that you have an interest in which you could make a site about.

Whether you have something in mind already that you would like to teach or you’re waiting for an opportunity, there is a question you have to ask…

Is there an audience?

Before creating a new resource you need to consider whether there is actually a need for what it is that you’re looking to create.

The best place to start with market research is honestly just heading on over to Google and seeing what already exists.

Look through forums to see what popular discussions are. Check blogs to see what people comment on. Notice what kind of sites exist, or whether people are more inclined to create podcasts or Youtube videos about a topic, rather than a standalone site.

Just take your time and see what is currently out there and what people are responding to.

As I’ve written a few times in Gaps strategy reports, seeing someone has already done something is not always a bad sign (i.e. competition) and not finding someone who has created the same ‘solution’ is not always a bad sign.

There is always room for more sites in big markets and new markets don’t always have someone who has found an opportunity and started to capitalise on it.

Creating your site

When it comes to actually building the site, keep in mind that what you have to say is more important than the design of the site you say it on.

Stick to the proven basics by building a site that is clean and easy to navigate. Don’t spend days or even weeks worrying about making something stunning.

If you are a stickler for design like I am, then at least wait until your site is getting traffic.

Chandoo.org, the site for people who wish to learn Excel, and Elementary Librarian.com are both simple but functional sites.

WordPress seems to be the platform of choice for the majority of the 13 case studies we highlighted and it’s the same platform we use here at Gaps. It’s also free.

Don’t worry about what your site looks like until you start getting traffic.

Marketing your resource

How you market your site is really going to depend on the audience you’re trying to serve.

Evernote Essentials was primarily promoted through YouTube.

Deanna Jump utilised the audience of an existing platform to earn her 7-figures.

Chandoo’s Excel site gets most of its traffic from Google.

If your niche is relevant enough, you could start out by creating some courses for sites like Udemy and Skillshare. You can give them away for free or charge people for the knowledge you have to offer.

I have courses on there which have been viewed by thousands of people without any promotion on my part. The platforms simply attract so many people that they do the marketing for you.

Where relevant, look to reach out to various influencers and existing sites in the same niche. Leave comments on their site, connect with them via social media and or even send them a friendly email.

When Jocelyn started EL, here’s what she said she did regarding traffic.

โ€œI would look up the number one site in Google for the terms that I was wanting to target and I would comment on there or sometimes it would be a Wiki and I could add my site to the Wiki and so that’s some of the things that I did to build that traffic in the very beginning.โ€

Also consider on which mediums your potential audience will be based. Elementary Librarian saw that they had a largely female audience. Jocelyn picked attractive images and used those to share things and promote the page via Pinterest.

This was a smart marketing ploy as Pinterest suited her audience and there was a lot of free content to give away.

Once you have a clearer idea of where people are through your initial research, you’ll have a better idea of which marketing tactics to focus on.

When you’re starting out, don’t worry about how you’re going to monetise the site.

If there’s an audience of people who want to learn something, there will also be an audience who are willing to pay to learn that something.

There’s no point putting all of your time and energy into creating a membership course and then later realising that your audience would have preferred videos over text, or audio files they can take on the go.

Based on feedback for your free advice you’re also going to learn which sub-topics of your niche people are most interested in, so you can create something that directly addresses that problem.

The most obvious form of selling that we see on these sites is creating a membership resource. These are very easy to put together using (again) WordPress and the various plugins available for it.

P.S. Clicking the heart button below to lets us know what types of success stories and opportunities you would like to see more of. Thank you for reading!

We’re a bootstrapped team of three, trying to create some of the best “niche opportunities” content on the internet. Clicking the heart tells us what you enjoy reading. Sharing is so appreciated (and always noticed) that we often discuss tweets and FB mentions internally. – Glen Allsopp

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    29 comments
    1. Hi Glen,

      The above advice is great in theory (and thank you – really enjoy your newsletters!), but perhaps unrealistic in practice. What I mean is that sure, you can create a site targeting the Nintendo Switch, but what level of work are you going to have to put in to compete with the sites that will automatically start writing about the same topic, once the product is out there (and even beforehand). Same goes for Kickstarter projects, but to a lesser extent maybe.

      Take the Switch as an example. Check out the first page of search results on Google.com for ‘Nintendo Switch’, and you will see PC Advisor, Cnet, Tech Radar, Nintendo themselves, the Mirror and Express newspapers, IGN, Time.com (!), The Verge…and the same sites pop up on long tail searches too (checking the ‘people also searched for’) queries at the bottom of search results.

      So while it all sounds very plausible in theory, the practice for anyone who tries may be quite different.

      1. Three words.

        Long tail phrases.

        It’s absolutely unrealistic to target “Nintendo Switch”. Those aren’t the searches you’d want to target anyway – waaaaay to broad.

        Instead you’d want to be looking at things like “Nintendo Switch XYZ Game Walkthrough”, or “Nintendo Switch Hints & Tips” or “Nintendo Switch Battery Duration” etc etc etc

          1. Jeff and Glen,

            Sure, but I did mention long tail phrases too ๐Ÿ™‚ Still fairly dominated by the big guys. Google ‘Nintendo Switch Battery Duration’ and you’ll see iMore, Endgadget, Metro, Cnet and Venturebeat (twice!).

            1. Hi Anton– I’ve always been surprised how in practice you’ll get a lot more longtail traffic than you ever would have hoped for based on tools/research you do beforehand.

              This is true especially if the topic is broad, but even if it isn’t, I learned long ago looking thru my Analytics that queries of 3 to 7 words I’d never target overtly will sustain a site and make my efforts worthwhile. Besides, if you’re smart about niche selection and monetization you don’t necessarily need loads of traffic at the top of your funnel, right?

    2. Thanks for sharing the tips in this gap.

      I totally agree with the “tutorial site model” you are recommending in this gaps post. From personal experience, i noticed that one of the most visited posts on my blog is on WhatsApp for business. http://spokentwice.com/whatsappforbusiness/

      The post has a lot of interest and i expect that when WhatsApp eventually opens for business/enterprise uses, a WhatsApp tutorial blog will be a big win

      Thanks for always sharing deep stuffs.

    3. In terms of Udemy. Is there a way of collecting the data of the people that signed up to your list? Or do you do this as a way of generating income and building your brand?

      By the way, the level of content on this site is through the roof. Reminds me of when I first found Pat Flynnes site all those years ago…

      1. No, all you get from Udemy is an email saying so and so signed up but no email address. I started on udemy 3 years ago and have 12 courses and 37K students and you used to be able to cross promote new courses but sadly like everything, over time things get tightened up.

        Its still a great platform as it has traffic you simply wouldn’t get starting out on your own but not as good as it was.

      2. Udemy keep their customers’ emails to themselves, Chris, but there are many ways to collect data about them as well as directing them back to your site and getting them to sign up to your list. I’ve been posting courses on Udemy for 3 years now and I’ve 80,000 students on there. I can (effectively) email them through Udemy’s announcement system 6 times a month, and I can litter my courses with references to my site and the last video can direct them to a squeeze page. Udemy’s rules of what you can and can’t do in terms of lead generation are constantly changing so it’s best to check first.

        However, what I think Glen was saying (I was on a plane when I was listening) is that Udemy and Skillshare are great places to validate your course ideas. I would definitely go along with that. It’s very easy to upload a course to these platforms and you don’t have to worry about video storage and delivery, shopping cart, etc. I would advise you to use Udemy as your bargain basement platform, like YouTube, don’t put your best stuff there or the comprehensive course, save that for your site.

        But Udemy boasts over 10,000,000 users so I still think they’re worth investigating. I wouldn’t rule any platform out. But, again, as Glen says, the most important things are your own site which gives out great free stuff, and your email list. So don’t do Udemy instead of those two thing (obvious, but bears repeating).

        HTH

    4. Two things: To me the biggest example in this sector is Lynda.com. Not only was it first purchased for several $B by LinkedIn, but it was then part of an even larger acquisition by Microsoft.

      E-Learning is necessary because our school system only teaches the past and that past is based on tech and processes which are no longer vaild or useful. Our unemployment numbers prove the point better than I could. a tremendous resource-people-all out of work because they lack current skills and *most importantly, the ability to teach themselves new ones.*

      The thing that really frustrates me is that some of the new “teachers” don’t seem to realize what market they are actually in. If I sign up to buy a product, and that product offers insight into a particular process, then the person offering the product has the potential for a lifetime customer with just that one sale. But alot of them seem more interested in short-term profits and what I’ve cme to think of as “smash-and-grab” marketing. Their csv is terrible, their contact via email is awful and they don’t seem to believe that any of us have any business spending our own money. We should just hand them our walllets…simply because they asked. But that’s actually called “robbery” not “education,” although the US taxpayer may disagree ๐Ÿ™‚

    5. Great post and tips (as always) – thank you very much for all the work you are doing here, guys!

      Just curious: which platform Deanna Jump used to attract her audience?

    6. I have an ebook in mind that I would be able to write well and stand behind. It would squarely fall into the “seduction” genre. But I know that long before I even write the ebook, I would be better off starting a blog on the topic and building traffic there.

      I can write blog posts fine. But all the other tools and skills I need to learn seem overwhelming. There doesn’t seem to be a logical order, like you either tackle all at once or not at all. And I know this is something other would-be blogger/marketers feel too.

      Thoughts? (Bonus: I want to do everything anonymously.)

      1. Hey Roland,

        At least in that industry anonymity or at least using a pen name is fairly common so no issues there.

        The right question to ask is “How can I help 1,000 people” rather than “How can I get 1,000 people to come to my site”

        It will lead you to seek out places where your target audience are most active and then get involved in those areas.

        I always just start with one traffic platform (like Facebook or Twitter or Youtube or Pinterest) and try to get the most out of it, then go from there.

    7. Glen, Thanks for opening my mind to new ideas and the Evernote Essential (have been looking for something similar). I have a question

      1. Is it necessary its around software and products?

      1. As Glen explained (he is the expert), it does not necessary have to be about products or software even though that will be great. He shared the example of Landlordology which I think is a service driven angle. I actually know someone using a similar approach to “sell” legal services to startups.

        Hope it helps, Adebayo.

    8. Great podcast, Glen. Online training is certainly huge. I know many people who’ve done extremely well from it, both using Udemy and their own sites. Udemy’s speciality is career’s skills so people teach coding skills, design skills, Excel, SEO, all sorts of stuff.

      And in the wider scheme of things, it never fails to amaze me what people teach online (yoga, iPhone photography, cooking, etc.) and they can do very well from it if their content is good.

    9. Glen, I am sure it would be no surprise to you that like lot of others, I absolutely adore your excellent case studies. I have been involved in the services industry for long, but I am getting more and more interested in products and now that I am thinking of launching my first course, I was lucky enough (thanks partly to our common friend Azzam) to have seen this case study.
      I am going to go forward with what I know best. Wish me luck and keep up the great work ๐Ÿ™‚

    10. Thanks Glen for another great post with plenty of detail. Each post gets me thinking about new business ideas. The problem is always choosing the one to go with. This particular one though falls right into something I’ve already been playing around with.

      My company provides SEO and other online marketing services to businesses so I’m in a lot of SEO groups on FB. I see lots of people asking very basic questions about how to get started, what should be their first step, how do I …? kind of questions. As I’ve learned throughout the years I’ve started creating step-by-step checklists that I can easily teach people working with me with. So my thought with this is to sell these checklists (that include detail on how and why to do something). They could all be in a course together or could be made available separately. Some checklists could be: Google Business Setup, Citation Creation, IFTTT for Content Distribution, etc. Other SEOs like giving “hints” at what they’re doing, or new techniques they’ve found, but never give away any real good advice. So, I figured why not help out the new SEOers out there or maybe sell this directly to business owners that want to do their own SEO.

      I would love to get everyone’s feedback on this. This is my first time talking about this in public so I haven’t received feedback from anyone yet ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks!

      1. Hey Chad,

        Thanks for the comment and glad you’re enjoying Gaps!

        SEO, as you know, is a very popular topic so there will always be people looking for answers.

        As it’s popular, there’s a ton of websites which offer guides and advice. There are probably more marketing and SEO blogs than any other category I would assume.

        That means the question here isn’t “is there a market?” or “do people want help?”

        It’s “Can I stand out from the crowd and get noticed in this busy space?”

        If the answer is yes, then go for it ๐Ÿ™‚

    11. Mark Cuban wrote on his blogmaverick site about his early start in business. One of the things that stood out to me in that article is how he read the manuals for software being used by customers and learned it so well he could consult them. Look where it got him. Always a market for this. Awesome post!

    12. Great, informative podcast Glen. Similar to others who have commented, it very much for the business idea juices flowing. However, I am drawn to your podcasts (including Viper Chill) in particular because of my professional interest in SEO, SEM, site building, and other saturated niches. For those reasons, the Kickstarter idea was GOLDEN.

      I LOOK forward to the next podcast – thanks for all you do!

    13. Thanks for a great article! I noticed that none of your articles have a date on it, it would be nice to see if I am reading a recently posted article or a dated one.

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