So, you may not know this, but the first paid online course launch I ever did (about 2.5 years ago) was to an email list of only 71 people. For a total of $1350. And some recurring revenue of about $1000 per month after that. And guess what? I ran exactly zero high-pressure webinars (or webinars at all) for my launch, and I sent zero pesky emails, just emails filled with value and information.
It was a crazy time. In which I had no idea what I was doing, but I desperately wanted to get my valuable, organized information out to more people at once—more people than I was able to reach through 1-on-1 coaching and small in-person workshops.
“But, what’s up on this case study though?” You may be wondering.
It’s funny. I was having a conversation with one of my best friends not too long ago—a friend who was definitely around me all the time when I was launching this first product—and they had absolutely, 100%, no idea that my email list had only 71 people on it when I first released this course. And then, they told me it actually inspired them a ton.
That meant so much to me. And also made me realize that the few Periscope broadcasts I’ve shared this in before are not enough to really help and (hopefully) inspire others. I knew I had to make a case study out of it.
And so I did. I made two versions even. A shorter one that you can consume as a podcast and cheat sheet and a longer one that you will be able to watch as a workshop in the near future. For now, may I please introduce you to the audio version.
You can catch it as a podcast episode here (it’s even downloadable). And you can download the accompanying cheat sheet here. Or, you can read below for some of what I cover in a Q+A style. It’s not the whole episode and all the tips, but if you’re short on time or only want to read, the cheat sheet or summary below is for you.
So, some of the main highlights of what I cover are in this episode are:
- What it means to “scale” a product. (Hint: Scalability does not mean passive income.)
- How I built my (super small) audience before my launch.
- How I decided on the topic of my first course.
- What exactly my first course consisted of.
- How much (if any) money I had to spend to make the course.
- How I picked the price for my first course.
- How long the course took to make and if it was finished when I launched. (Hint: No. It wasn’t.)
- How I promoted the course and which promotion efforts gave the best results.
- How much (net) money the course brought in.
- What % of my total list purchased.
- What I did after my launch.
- And more.
Let’s talk for a moment here. It was like this: I was having a cold and snowy Thanksgiving last year (#TruthBeTold I forget what we’re supposed to be celebrating on most holidays, so I typically just work and eat more food than normal on these days) when my Internet friend emailed me.
She’d read one of my Blog Income Reports and was debating whether she should start sharing hers. I encouraged her to do so because I really think they can be inspiring, and helpful, and such great learning tools, and . . . then she told me how much she’d made that month.
Here was my immediate thought process, in the order my thoughts occurred. And don’t worry, the true inner dialogue is included below:
- This woman is a superstar.
- Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang Gina, you’ll never make over $20,000 in a month. (Also, I sounded like Martin, from the show named Martin, when I said this in my head.)
- Okay, okay, maybe one day I can make that much. But it’s like seven years out. And hopefully by then I’ll have convinced people to call me by my favorite nickname: Regick. (I blame this one on my love for Chronicles of Riddick, and I blame my love for that on . . . daaaaang Gina . . . there’s just no excuse for that.)
- Wait, why does it have to take me seven years? Sidenote: Buy the domain name byRegick.com to see if people will start calling me by my nickname.
- Hmm, what if I can do it sooner than seven years? No, no, silly Regick, that’s only for other people, not you.
- But hmm, what if I CAN do it sooner? You’re sounding like a crazy person Regick, but I like it.
- Know what? I can do it sooner.
And something crazy happened. byRegick, or byRegina, whatever you want to call it, made over $22K in December 2014 (and note: the report below is about January 2015). Not because I’m the most genius blogger (I’m just not), not because I had 20 million people visit my site (would that break the Internet?) . . . no, I reached that income goal because honestly, for the first time ever I believed and knew it was possible for a normal person like me. Knowing that my Internet friend, who is normal like us, could reach that level, made me acknowledge the possibility of it in my own life.
Why am I saying all of this? Because I really, really want you to read this report below and know that your goals are possible. The mere act of believing, in essence, gives us permission to go for our goals. It’s important to reach for them, not only for yourself and your family, but because your achievements will give other people “permission” in their own lives.
On Facebook the other day, I asked you if you liked seeing income reports from bloggers, and so many wonderful people said “Heck yes.”
I asked this question because amazing bloggers like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income inspire me with their reports, which is why I started these back in April of 2014. People like Pat have always felt somewhat unreal to me, but they truly are totally normal, real-life people. So, here is the income report of another totally real-life person, who would take you salsa dancing, rock climbing, or tequila drinking if you were in Austin right now.
Oh, and, P.S. >> Since I live in Austin, Texas, I feel I should be honest with you. We like to embellish and dramatize when it comes to weather conditions. It was probably actually 75 degrees Fahrenheit on the cold + snowy Thanksgiving I referenced above (with .2 drops of rain). And no, I don’t know what that is in Celsius; sorry, we the people of America don’t have logical units of measurement.
I used to work 70 – 80 hours per week. Managing a shoe store. And the money was excellent. But it was a bit hectic. I was 23 and in school and had a full-time job, yet I was trying to build a business at the same time. I took breaks to go to class. I didn’t even have enough time to do my homework or study (which was a problem for a person who nerdily enjoyed school as much as I did), and I certainly didn’t have enough time to spend the money I made on anything other than rent. My friends thought I had the best life ever. I thought I had it great. How any of us drew these conclusions, I will never know . . . oh wait, that’s right, I was naive and didn’t understand the whole money-life tradeoff thing.
If the hours worked, and the personal satisfaction felt in your work leave much to be desired, then no amount of money makes it okay. I didn’t really want my life to consist of 15 minute naps in the stockroom of my shoe store. No. I wanted to be one of those really cool + mystical people who had figured out how to make an income doing what they loved.
I believed it was possible, but at the same time, I kinda didn’t believe it. My head said, “Yeah, someone like you can do it. It’s a logically possible thing,” but my heart and my fear said, “But, can someone like you, the actual you you, really do that?” That one ridiculous thought held me down for a long time. Just in case you’ve only ever heard this from scammy marketers and not “real people,” I want to tell you: Someone like you, the actual you, can make a living doing things you love. And rejoice, because if you have to put in the ridiculous hours to make it happen, they will be for you and your family and your legacy.
So, welcome to one of my blog income reports where I talk about money in real terms in the hopes that it will help. If you are trying to build an income, I hope that it will seem more possible. If you already make money online, I hope the tips help, and if you’ve far surpassed these tips, I hope that by you merely reading (or commenting), some of your mojo will rub off on us.
Remember that time a long, long time ago [slash three days ago] that I asked you to consider whether or not your creative flex might be hurting your brand? I asked that because I can now say from both observation and experience, when you’re able to truly focus on what matters, your blog’s traffic (and perhaps income) will grow.
So today, I’m back with the second installment of the new series >>> Blog Income + Traffic Reports
As I said last month, one of the most asked questions of all time that I hear is, “How do you make money blogging?” or “How can I monetize my blog?” >>> This series aims to answer that question (with lots of facts, figures, and specifics) as well as share tips that can help you grow your traffic and increase your blogging income. It’s not easy work, but it’s fun and rewarding work.
The Income + Traffic Report: A New Series
One of the most asked questions of all time that I hear is: “How do you make money blogging?” or “How can you make money online or through your website?”
It’s understandable that people love this question and this concept. “Is it even possible?” people ask. “But it can only make a few dollars per month, right? Nothing you can live off of.” Wrong. In another post, I shared an infographic of how much some bloggers make each month, and whereas I don’t make anything near that yet, I wanted to begin sharing how I do make money through my blog so others can be inspired to try, if it’s something they’re interested in.
So my new series of Income + Traffic Reports will be brutally honest and will discuss actual stats and dollar amounts. If this offends you, you may want to skip over these posts. I know money can be an uncomfortable topic. Our society is very closed-mouth on how much we make … it’s rude to inquire about salary. But I’ll be honest, I sometimes wonder how much certain professions/jobs make, and I know others probably wonder too. That’s why I’m starting this column. You will see behind the scenes of how I make decisions and make money through my blog.
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