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How Content Creators Can Also Start Online Course Empires

  • 9 min read

Let a real-life online course creator inspire you to take the bull by the horns, and create your first course in 2023.

If you’re a content creator looking to expand your online presence and increase your income streams, becoming an online course instructor could be a great option for you.

Online courses have exploded in popularity over the past few years, and there’s never been a better time to get in on the action.

Let’s explore some of the key benefits of creating online courses and offer tips on how to get started.

Social Proof: content creator and online course instructor

I run a business together with my husband and business partner Patrick God called SCM.

My husband Patrick God started his online course journey way back in 2016 by teaching programming and web development on Udemy.

Back then it was a small project on the side that grew to a sustainable income of $6,000 each month.

Patrick God overview earnings 2016 to 2023

The big jump to this number happened in 2022.

Last summer, with over 80,000 students, he crossed the $100,000 revenue mark on Udemy, one of our course platforms:

Total revenue last summer 2023: $100,000+

For 2023, he’s confident in growing this business even further.

Besides running multiple cohort-based online courses last year, I also hosted “The Online Course Lab” together with my business partner Patrick.

It was a meta course about finally creating your own online course.

This year my hubby and I created a BootCamp which made more than $10,000 in the pre-launch phase.

I don’t share this to brag. I share these insights so that you can see what’s possible — with focus and dedication.

Adding an online course to your creator's business is definitely worth it.

Next, I would like to tell you the biggest advantages I see.

The 3 biggest benefits of creating an online course as a content creator

1 — Make a bigger impact and feel satisfied

First and foremost, creating online courses allows you to share your expertise with a wider audience.

As a content creator, you likely have a wealth of knowledge on a particular topic that your followers are interested in. By creating an online course, you can dive deeper into that topic and provide your audience with more value than ever before.

2 — Satisfy your followers and win new ones

Not only will your followers appreciate the additional insights and information, but you’ll also attract new audiences who are interested in learning from you.

3 — Creating online courses can also be incredibly lucrative

The online learning industry is projected to reach almost $400 billion by 2026.

That’s a massive market. As a course creator, you have the opportunity to tap into it. With the right strategy and marketing, you could earn a significant income from your online courses.

4 — More freedom and playing a bigger game

Adding a new income stream to your creator business can get you one step closer to breaking free from the golden handcuffs and the next promotion.

It can bring you closer to your goal to unbossing and leading yourself, finally stepping into what your full potential is and playing a bigger game.

Your first online course is the first step in building an online course empire that can help you to leave your 9–5 hamster wheel.

How to get started?

So, how do you get started as an online course instructor?

1 — Choose a topic that you’re passionate about

The first step is to choose a topic that you’re passionate about and have expertise in.

Consider what your followers are most interested in learning from you, and how you can provide value in a way that sets your course apart from others in the market.

Reach out to your followers and subscribers and ask them:

  • What would you like to learn?
  • What are the specific questions that you would need to be answered?

My motto: DID —no matter how many other creators are out there teaching about your topic, do it differently.

From there, you’ll need to decide on a format for your course — will it be a video series, a written guide, or a combination of both?

In our online courses, we offer both: video series and a written guide.

Additionally, we also offer cohort-based courses where people can connect with other like-minded creators as well as courses with a community such as a Slack, Discord channel, or a built-in community as on Thinkific.

2Chose the right platform

Thinkific, Skillshare, Udemy, Podia, Teachable, and Kajabi are notable online course platforms. I’d also add Gumroad where you can sell any digital product and service you want and which is highly hyped at the moment.

We’re using Thinkific, Skillshare, Udemy, Podia, and Teachable for our online courses.

Udemy for instance is the Amazon for online courses. There’s high competition but the platform is also marketing your courses.

On Teachable, you can create your own website. No other courses will be shown to your audience. The downside as a busy creator: you will have to do the marketing for your course. There is no discovery feature like in a marketplace.

3 — Choose the type of online course and price it

Choosing a price is a critical step and depends on the type of online course you’re offering

Please keep in mind there are no black-and-white rules.

The below-mentioned three-course types as well as course durations, and price ranges are just a benchmark for you.

Starter Course

You can start with a “Starter Course”. It teaches the basics of a topic you love and are passionate about.

Duration of the video content: 1–5 hours

Price point: $100-$300

Example 1:

Patrick God’s .NET 7 Web API & Entity Framework Jumpstart course on Udemy is a starter course

Example 2:

Medium Kickstarter BootCamp 2022 on Podia, Kristina God

Last year I hosted a “Medium Kickstarter Bootcamp” where I helped new writers learn the basics about Medium and kickstart their writing. Since it was cohort-based we also had weekly Zoom calls.

Spotlight Course

If you want to share more insights on a specific topic, you can create a “Spotlight Course”. This course typically promises a special outcome.

Duration of the video content: 2–12 hours

Price point: $300-$500


Kristina and Patrick God and their meta course: The Online Course Lab on Podia

The Online Course Lab was a program I hosted with my hubby last autumn.

It takes the myths out of creating online courses and we teach the exact system to get from zero to your first course sale.

Signature Course

Last but not least the crème de la crème. A Signature Course. In this class, you share laser-focused premium content with your students.

Duration of the video content: 5–20 hours

Price point: $500-$2,000+

Example: will start in about a month on Thinkific (closed but you can get on the waitlist)

This spring, my hubby will offer a special BootCamp for software developers which helps them get a job in the industry, climb the ladder, or change positions.

My tip for you: Start with a “Starter Course”. Gather all the feedback you can get, understand your audience’s needs and desires, and then move on and create your first “Signature Course”.

4 — Marketing your course to your audience

Once you have your course content planned out, it’s time to start marketing it to your audience.

Use your existing social media platforms such as Twitter, Medium, TikTok, and YouTube as well as your email list to promote your course.

You could also consider collaborating with other content creators and asking them to become your affiliates to promote your course to their followers.

As far as our business is concerned, I am the marketing expert who pulls all the strings together.

Early on, we focused on growing our email list(s). That’s why our email list pays off the most. It’s the most valuable asset in our business.

A few weeks back, we did a pre-launch for a BootCamp on Thinkific and already made more than $10,000 in the pre-launch phase.

Take the bull by the horn and start

Try creating your own course as well. People may want to learn what you take for granted.

Becoming an online course instructor is an excellent way for content creators to expand their online presence and increase their income streams.

The cool part is most online courses (except cohorts) generate mainly passive income.

This means the work, I’ve done in the past continues to generate revenue month after month without me doing anything.

With the right topic, format, and marketing strategy, you could create a highly successful and meaningful course that not only benefits your followers but also generates significant revenue for you.

So don’t be afraid to make the plunge and start creating your online course empire this year!

Learn more in this video on Kristina’s new YouTube channel:

Kristina God is a Top Writer on Medium. Besides being a full-stack marketer and manager, she is the co-founder of SCM and owns a 5-figure online business together with her business partner.

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