How to Create an Epic Email Course as an Opt-in (And do you want a free bootcamp?)

How to create an epic email course from scratch and use it as an opt-in for your email list.
Soooo, let’s take a deep dive into how to create an email course (correction: an epic email course) that you can use as an opt-in for your email list to grow it wildly and to impress your savvy audience.

And yo, the first thing to note, is that there’s a 3-day online bootcamp this weekend (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) that is free for you, complete with live video, worksheets, guest appearances by Kory Woodard, and more . . . all focused on helping you create an epic email course (planning, content, design, promotion, etc.). I’ll tell you more about it at the end of this post, but you can also hop over to EmailCourseBootcamp.com and RSVP for it. It will only be available over the weened and for a short replay time after that.

A free bootcamp on creating your first/next email course as an opt-in for your email list.


Okay, let’s get started with the 18 steps of creating an epic email course that people go insane for.

Really, Regina? 18 steps. Are they truly necessary?

Yes, my email ninja friend, they are. We don’t make weak email courses around here. Stick with me, and I think you’ll have several solid ideas and clear steps to make them happen.

1. Pick a topic.

There are so many legitimate ways to generate great ideas for what you want to communicate through an information product. I shared 15 of my top ways in this free Infopreneur Workshop (and 15-page workbook) recently—they came from the 25 ways I go over in Infopreneur Ninja.

Let’s get into seven of the most actionable idea-generating categories.

For Freelancers:

1. Teach the beginning.
As a freelancer who works on individual projects with clients, you probably have a lot of pre-work, or work you do towards the beginning of your project that can be translated into an information product of some sort—and in this case, perhaps an email course.

For example: When I was freelancing (creating WordPress websites for people), I quickly learned that people needed way more definition and information about their brand and purpose before they started on a website project. In order to save their time, their money, and my time + sanity, people needed so much more clarity at the beginning of a project.

Legit. So, I created a questionnaire, then a workbook, then a little brand discovery process that all my clients went through before really getting started on their project. That workbook was the first digital file I sold (clients got it for free though). It still sells right here. Anyone not willing to go through that process was someone I had to direct elsewhere.

What is it that you need your clients to know, do, discover, create, or understand before they start working with you? What would make your job simpler? Why not create the process as a free email course? You can hit us with videos, worksheets, whatever you want to in an email course. #Epic #MindBlown

Your clients will feel indebted to you since you will be the one who brought such [fun, clarity, organization, direction, etc.] to their very important project.

2. Teach the end.
Can you guess where we’re going here? Create an email course (or perhaps another type of product) that teaches:

  • how to maintain the products you create (ex: best ways to maintain your WordPress website)
  • how to grow what you make (ex: now that you have a website, how do you get traffic to it?)
  • how to get the full benefit out of what you create (ex: now that you have a brand identity, where can you use it? how do you integrate it into your existing platforms? etc.)

3. Show them how to do what you do.
So, if you’re considering creating an email course, chances are you’ve done something epic that you can teach others about, such as:

  • starting a business
  • getting your first few clients
  • letting go of fear and publishing your art portfolio online for the world to see
  • etc.

What have you done in your freelance business that other people ask you about? How about a simple email course or challenge to help them out with it?


Wait. Are the ideas flowing? If so, you may want these completely free worksheets to accompany this blog post as you work through it. You don’t have to sign up for my email list or anything. Just click and download.

Email course planning worksheets

For Coaches:
4. Structure the madness.
So here’s the reality: the steps required to accomplish ________ (whatever you coach on) are simply not that apparent and are truly overwhelming for some of us. Here’s the other deal: you don’t have enough time to coach tons of people through similar processes individually. There’s a cap on how many clients you can take on.

BUT. There’s not a cap on how many people can benefit from your email course (or other product) that structures the madness for them and takes them through some of the same processes that you would take them through one-on-one.

Bring order and clarity to the process that your potential clients and audience members really want/need to go through. #TheyWillLoveYouForIt

For Anyone:
5. One-step wonder.
Yep. Kinda like a one-hit wonder. Except, nothing like it at all. A one-step wonder is an information product (such as an email course or tutorial series) that helps your audience with one simple step. It appeals to your audience because that one simple step is something they’ve been wanting to learn or get past.

Examples: “Learn how to set up your website’s email list sign up form.” “How to set up your new Mac laptop.” “How to configure XYZ plugin in WordPress.”

What’s one step that people want to take that you’re willing to teach for free? What’s a step that could be part of a larger series? What’s a step that could be part of a paid course?

6. Key results.
Have you achieved some key results that you can teach the methods behind? For example, I noted the specific actions I took when I was growing to my first 100 email list subscribers, then my first 1,000, then my first 10,000 friends and beyond. Teaching those methods, though the results will vary, is exactly what I do in my Audience-Building Ninja course. And though I haven’t taken it, I’m sure that teaching actual methods is what my buddy Kory does in her email course too.

Can you think of any key results you can boil down to an email course?

7. Current content.
Sure would be nice if there was a whole blog post on expanding a blog post/series into a book that could also be used to help us expand it into a free email course that we offer as opt-ins to our email lists. Yes?

The 3 Keys to Creating a Successful Info Product

How to Create Info Products
A few days ago I was in Baltimore speaking at an epically useful conference called Blogalicious. So many amazing people were there, it’s almost unfair. And I promise, this post will be about how to create info products, but please just let me share what got me here.

Two of my favorite people (okay, that’s cheating, they’re my sisters) also spoke at Blogalicious. We all attended each other’s seminars and had an amazing time. Check out Mattie of Mattieologie.com in the middle picture below on the left, and Maya of MayaElious.com on the right.

Blogalicious-2015-in-Baltimore

At the end of one of my sessions, Mattie posed a great question to get us all thinking.

Can anyone with information they’re passionate about (and truly knowledgeable on) create an info product?

And my answer was “YES.”

Why? Because I have an IRL friend who runs a chess website that makes a few thousand per month. He teaches people the basics of chess as well as complex moves (or whatever they’re called–I’m not epic at chess) in a membership site. I also have a friend who teaches people how to downsize to a camper and make a true home out of it. She too makes thousands per month from this one course.

In my personal experience, I happen to like talking about freelancing, coaching, and infopreneurship, because other than two briefly successful cleaning and t-shirt businesses back in the day, these three areas are the ones I’ve been able to build profitable businesses from. Whereas I rarely freelance or coach anymore, I still love teaching on how to get started and grow in those areas as well as how to get into creating info products and establishing your empire. I’m deeply in love with creating eProducts and teaching others how to monetize their information.

Today I want to share the three keys to creating a successful info product, my list of both common and uncommon info products, as well as an invitation to join a free 5-lesson email course on infopreneurship that starts soon.


Step 1: Pick a Clear + Helpful Teaching Topic

It’s important to pick something clear. What do I mean by this? Your topic needs to be:

  • One that you can explain.
  • One that you can describe the benefits of.
  • One that you know you can be helpful with.
  • One that you feel confident hopping into a Q+A session on.
  • One that you know you can present in a way that helps others really grasp it.

The key is that you will have to position your product. Positioning is about giving your product a distinct place in the market. If your info product doesn’t stand out from the countless other options, you’re making your job as the primary marketer and instructor/creator much harder.

You can position your product as:

  • the ultimate guide to ______
  • an authoritative niche guide to ______
  • the low-cost resource for ______
  • the luxury experience in learning ______
  • the most interactive and community-centered guide to ______
  • etc.

It just has to have a recognizable position. When trying to figure out what position your eProduct will have, consider:

  • what your audience doesn’t need any more of
  • what your audience is not used to seeing
  • how your audience processes new information in your industry (skeptically, excitedly, etc.)
  • the information your audience is currently lacking on your topic
  • the other resources and guides your audience has likely purchased

Think about it right now. Does the product you’re considering creating have a unique position or advantage in your market? What additional features or reconfiguring might help it get there?

The simplest and most noticeable ways to position a product away from its competition are (1) playing with how much it costs, (2) changing how comprehensive or niche it is, and (3) being purposeful about the experience it creates for your customers.

What are the brands with the most distinct positions in your mind?

  • Apple? They position themselves as higher-priced (which is meant to communicate higher value) with a luxury experience (everything from the packaging to the stores in which they’re products are sold is all “ooh” and “aww” worthy).
  • Wal-Mart? They position themselves as the low-cost leader in home and grocery needs with an extensive inventory. They don’t advertise the durability and quality of their items as much as a more luxury or higher-priced brand like Nordstrom would do.

You get the point!


Step 2: Pick the Type of Info Product (That Best Fits Your Audience and Your Information)

What to Do When You Have “Too Many” Topics to Blog About or Teach

What to do when you have tons of topics you're passionate about and want to blog about or teach
One question that I’ve probably heard hundreds of times is: “What should I do if I have too many topics that I’m passionate about and want to blog about or teach?”

I’ve struggled with this. A lot. And I know several other people who have as well. So today, for my new ongoing series called Epic Office Hours, we are addressing this topic–specifically, I’m answering a question submitted by Sarah who feels seriously serious about writing on a handful of different categories for her blog.

I feel somewhat qualified to answer this question, because I come from a background of 12 different businesses, 100+ domain names, and 72 notebooks full of ideas. What I’ve come to realize is things play out two ways:

(1) Sometimes we’re only passionate about our ideas in theory–it’s like that guy/gal you have a crush on that you don’t even know. It builds and builds and you attribute all these extra qualities to the person or imagine y’all’s wedding, before you’ve even said 10 words. If you’d had more than one convo with the person you’d soon find out they’re not for you.

(2) You’re building ideas up in your head, and they’re actually a good fit for you, but you spend so much time building them up (instead of acting on them), that by the time you start to think about launching them, you have a new idea to move on to or life has “gotten in the way.”

No more of that, y’all. If you’re struggling with the 5-topic or 5-idea syndrome, check out the video below for my take on it. P.S. My answer is not the common answer I hear to this question, so you might kinda dislike it, but try to stick with me.

You are only passionate about something in theory, until you invest in it and build it.

P.S. Thank you for this question, Sarah. And if you have a question you want to end up on Epic Office Hours, my friend, you can head over to the contact page to submit it.

Blog Post Photo: Lee Avison

How to Write a Creative Action Plan You’ll Actually Follow

Let's make a creative action plan you'll actually follow
By no means am I all “death to the business plan!” or anything dramatic like that; I just realize that many of us feel overwhelmed by blog business plans and freelance business plans. Sometimes, we just want an action plan that tells us what to do and when to do it in the simplest format possible.

I get that. I love business plans, but I also love action and simplicity. So today, as a part of my blog series on going independent and transitioning to working for yourself full time, I’m bringing you action and simplicity. We’re going to make your Creative Action Plan by asking 10 simple questions and discussing lots of fun options/answers you can go with. Can I get a “Wooo hooo, planning is the best, and I really love Regina today for making me plan” . . . ? Huh? Can I get that one more time with a little more feeling? Thank you. Oh, and if you want to check out the first post in the series, that covers freeing up more time + money for your creative business, then yo, I support that idea.

What is a Creative Action Plan again?

I’m glad you asked. A Creative Action Plan (CAP) is a document that you add to and access regularly that contains action items in 10 key areas of your business so that you always have steps you can take to move forward.

Have you ever been sitting around and found yourself wondering what you should be doing to grow your business, or how to get more of your audience to buy from you, or how to streamline your processes? I think that most of us can come up with awesome ideas in these areas, we just need a little nudge, inspiration, and jostling of the creativity.

So, let’s get started. And yes, I have some worksheets for you. I’ve made this into a multi-sheet series if you choose to download it and follow along. You don’t have to hand over your email address or pay for it. And no, I know what you’re thinking to yourself right now, but please allow to me correct that thought . . . you don’t have to name your second-born child after me to get the download for free. Though if you choose to do the right thing, I want you to know that I’m open to her middle name being Regina; it doesn’t have to be her first name. I’m cool like that. You’re welcome.

Also, to be honest, I do recommend eventually making your CAP into a digital document (maybe Google Docs?) that you can access and change at any time. I know some of us creative types like pen and paper, or like to brainstorm first, so please feel free to use the worksheets below with the questions and ideas below below.

Creative Action Plan Worksheets: Develop a strong "business plan" that you can actually follow

What to Send to Your Email List and How to Create Wow

What to send out to your email list and how to create wow with opt-in gifts.
If you’re like any Internet human ever, you’ve probably wondered about what to send to your email list. So, as a part of Episode 3 of The Independent Podcast (which is currently in a series on how to start a profitable business for $50), we’re exploring what you can send to your email list, how and why to “up your email game” and create wow, the types of things you can send out as free email gifts, encouraging email list signups, building a coming soon page, and more.

P.S. The episode comes with worksheets (naturally).
P.P.S. My two favorite blogging courses, Zero to Blog and Blog to Profit, are open again at a special price for a limited time!
Join us?

Zero to Blog is open again! Blog to Profit is open again!


Episode 3


. . . and if you missed Episode 1 + 2, you can check them out below or on this nifty podcast page that includes all the worksheets as well.

Photo (c): Aila Images of Stocksy.com

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