Make Money Selling Online Courses & Membership Sites

RichardBy Richard
| 3 minutes read

We’re talking a members-only multimedia-driven website here.  Straight up I have to say, this is a looooot of work.  I’ve done it and it nearly killed me.

For the course I pumped out 200,000+ words (waaaaaay more than was necessary in hindsight), countless hours of video and audio, and 15+ resources to go with it (think checklists, templates etc).

But the result is insane…charge $200+, enjoy a money back rate of about 1% (people just freaking love videos and practical resources!) and ¼ of the content created is used for SEO, which means the marketing side of things was done whilst creating the product.  Perfect.

If you have a niche you know back to front, building a comprehensive course on it is THE way to go.

It may take 5 times longer than an ebook to create, but you can also charge about 10 times more.

Oh and if you’re really smart you’ll structure it such that you can charge a monthly fee of say $20-$50, for things like updates, new resources, member’s only forums, exclusive Q&A / mentoring etc.  Automated recurring income is the high we’re all chasing online!

I created the entire members-only website for my niche using WordPress + Wishlist member – it took about 2 weeks, and that includes the time it took to learn the technicalities of it all.  Too easy!

A big lesson I learned from the success of my membership site for career hunters is that you can make really good money (ie $2000+ a month) with a super niche that only gets okay traffic (ie 500-1000 visitors a week).

So unlike other passive income ideas, eg blog + adsense, here you can really open yourself up to the idea of making money teaching people something super specific and niched, eg how to breed freaking daschunds!  Love it.

P.S. one of the most important decisions is of course, what do you create an online course or membership site on?  This is where picking a market with enough demand is crucial.

The only objective way to measure demand is 1) to make sure enough people are searching for your course topic / ideas AND 2) make sure they’re willing to pay for it.

When I’m looking for new course topics I use Long Tail Pro to find niches that very few others are in, but are getting a lot of searches – and this is so important given how saturated most course topics are!

And to see if people are willing to buy the course I setup fake sales pages with LeadPages.  I explain that idea more in my email series, which you can sign up for below.

Another thing I do with LeadPages is A/B split testing to determine the optimal price to charge for my course.  For example…

I might decide to A/B split test the pricing of a new course on management consulting interviews (using LeadPages inbuilt A/B split testing feature of course).

Testing $47 v $197.

Extreme split testing to decide maximum profitability for pricing.

Couple days later I check in and see $197 is converting at 5% and $47 staying strong around 10%.

Boom, I’ve just realized we could premium price this puppy, the market would buy and our profit is double what it would have been if we opted for the higher converting, but lower priced $47 offer.

LeadPages.  I really do heart you.