How to Make $1,000 Per Month Selling Online Courses

July 11, 2021

Programmatic SEO, my first online course ever, has made $15,000 in its lifetime since I launched it on Jan 26.

Before creating an online course, I only knew how to make $$ by building and selling software. Every other way to make money online was a black box to me.

In 2021, I learnt how you can make $000s from online courses.

So I wrote a post to tell you HOW you can do it too.

Why $1,000 per month?

• Small but sizeable goal

• Difficult, but easy enough to achieve

All in all, it's a great starting point for anyone.

Once you get to $1,000/mo, figuring out the path to $10,000/mo is easier (hint: it's doing more of what works).

What should I make an online course about?

That's probably the first question to pop in your head.

And the answer is - it can be about ANYTHING, as long as

  1. You know your stuff
  2. There's people who care about that stuff

So the next question is 👇

What do people care about?

No guessing. We're going to perform a simple analysis of the Most Popular Courses on Teachable to see what people are paying for.

What do you infer from the screenshot? Take a moment.

Email Marketing Magic by Pat Flynn

People want to know how to make (more) money.

This could be to climb through the ranks at their job, or more likely to grow their business and earn more revenue.

How to Crush It on Twitter by David Perell

People want to learn how to build an audience.

This could be for their entrepreneurial pursuit (eventually sell products to this audience) or just to become internet famous and figure out $$$ later.

The Habits Academy by James Clear

People want to become better versions of themselves.

There's another similar course in Teachable's Top 10 - 'Design Better Habits' by Tiago Forte.

The UX Portfolio Formula™ & Job Interview System by Sarah Doody

People want to advance their careers or perhaps switch career tracks, gain more respectable job positions, earn more high-paying roles.

They all have audiences

You might have noticed that all these folks have a sizeable audience on Twitter. But Twitter isn't the only place an audience can be built.

Jay Clouse (Podcast like Pros) and Christian Peverelli (The No-Code Startup) have sizeable audiences on LinkedIn, they blog and create videos on other publications a lot.

Does it have to be an online course?

Nope. Everything I said and am going to say can be applied to any digital info product.

You can make

• Ebooks like Arvid Kahl (Zero to Sold)

• Notion products like Janel (NewsletterOS)

• Paid newsletters like Lenny Rachitsky (LennysNewsletter)

Is having an audience a pre-requisite?

I launched Programmatic SEO when I had 3,000 followers, and I've written extensively about everything that worked well behind the scenes that allowed me to have a successful course launch.

Kenneth Cassel had a similar-sized audience when he launched Vim.so. His course went on to make $15,000 in ~2 months.

Having an audience gives you a disproportionate advantage.

You don't need 100k followers.

Follower count shouldn't be your measure of success.

Instead, make your goal to build an audience of 1,000 people.

Build an audience where your would-be customers hang out.

Twitter isn't the only place to build an audience.

• LinkedIn

• IG Reels

• TikTok

• Substack

• Medium

• YouTube

• SEO

Go (where your audience hangs out) * (where you might shine).

How do I get my first 1,000 audience on Twitter?

First, figure out whose lives you want to add value to.

In my case, it's aspiring entrepreneurs trying to achieve financial independence via the internet.

Second, figure out what these people care about and want to learn, and add value.

In my case, they want to know how to build an online business, or build a weekend side-hustle that may eventually free them of their jobs.

Hence, this post.

Third, build credibility.

Daniel Vassalo has an incredible course on growing your Twitter audience. My biggest takeaway was where he talked about credibility, or rather.

"Why should people trust you?"

What should I tweet about?

Value x Credibility.

• Share real-world experiences you have had as threads or solo-tweets compressing a lot of info

• Talk about the goals of your audience and how they might achieve them

• Talk about your goals and why others should care about them

• Engage with people who already have a large following of the audience that you want to serve. Quote tweet, reply, always be adding value.

Here's an extensive list of things to tweet about.

Another wave that has taken over Twitter is to #buildinpublic

How to do that? Short answer:

• Do interesting things

• Share learnings, failures, and in-between transparently

Long answer: This guide to Building in Public.

Alright Preetam, thanks for the story. Where's my $1,000/mo?

If you noticed, I spent the entire post talking about inputs.

Instead of saying something nice to read (dopamine-hit) like:

"Sell only 1 copy of a $29 course per day and you'll make $1000/mo"

I told you the HOW.

My course Programmatic SEO earns $1,000/mo passively.

Granted, there's perhaps better earning potential and slightly more work involved in building a cohort-based course. However, I'm more than happy about how the course has performed for me.

I don't actively promote the course, yet enough people discover my profile each month and my existing audience helps spread the word.

1. Focus on inputs over outputs.

Because inputs are the only thing that's within your control.

Bonus: If you focus on the inputs and nail them, the outcome is inevitable.

2. Be in it for the long-term.

If you want short-term profits and gains, take photos with your "lambos".

3. Give society what it wants, and it'll give you what you want.

What are you waiting for?

Get started today.

Just do it.

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