Why Teaching People How to Make Money Online Isn’t For Everyone

Monetize Your List

Creating online courses about how to make money is one of the biggest trends going around the blog world. I’ve seen it everywhere.

It happens after a blogger has had a successful online course launch and instead of figuring out how to use that success to better serve their audience, they decide to create another online course about how they created their successful course.

I just don’t believe teaching people how to make money is the end all be all of blogging. While it’s a great route to go, you can still be a successful blogger without creating an online course or writing a book teaching people to know how to do what you do.

There are so many online courses by bloggers out there on how to make money – how to blog, how to create social media campaigns, how to…whatever. But you don’t have to go down that road just because everyone else is.

Teaching people online

Now, I totally get why you want to do this. I did. I wrote Authority which is everything I know about self-publishing and online business. But when I finished the book, I just went back to teaching design. You see, you have to find that balance.

I have a huge amount of respect for Brennan Dunn from DoubleYourFreelancing.com. Over all the years I’ve known Brennan he’s become one of the best marketers I know. You know how many online courses he’s put out on how to create a blog or how to do online marketing? ZERO.

how to be successful and not teach people how to make money online
You don't have to teach people how to make money online to be a successful blogger.

Now we’ve done our fair share of workshops and we’ve had a fantastic time doing that. But he hasn’t made teaching people how to make money online a core aspect of his business, and I really respect that.

I’ve seen him time and time again come up with a great strategy or a system for implementation, and then instead of creating an online around it, he decides to write a blog post (which matches my philosophy of teach everything you know). He puts it out there because it’s useful to people, but he hasn’t gone out and made an online course about being a blogger or building an audience.

I have a huge amount of respect for that. He’s staying true to his core mission of helping freelancers build a better business and not being distracted by whatever is shiny at the time or whatever will build fame.

Teaching people to make money online can be great!

Now with all that said, if you really do want to pursue teaching people how to make money online, here are a couple thoughts:

  1. Teaching people how to make money online is a noble career as long as it matches your core values. Most other things you could teach would be a proxy to making money. Whether it’s design, freelancing, or marketing, it’s just a proxy for helping people earn more money. It’s not a bad skill to teach in and of itself. And I highly recommend that if you want to do it, to give it try. But please make sure it falls inline with your core values and you’re not just doing it because everyone else is. There are so many online courses about teaching people how to make money with online course already out there.
  2. Don’t worry if it’s too crowded. Any field you want to go into is going to be overcrowded. I remember way back in the day when I wanted to get into WordPress themes, I saw two successful theme companies and I remember thinking there’s no more room in the market. So at that, I immediately stopped pursuing this avenue. Who knows if I would have had the dedication to be successful, but turns out I was totally wrong about here being no room. There have been so many more theme companies pop up (Rainmaker, Elegant Themes, Thrive Themes, just to name a few) and build great business that drive a lot of revenue.
  3. You’re not late to the market. Your unique spin hasn’t been seen yet. While you may think that your topic has all been taught before, know that if you put your own personality in it, you can bring something new and unique to the table. It’s not about saying something that’s never been said before. It’s about saying it in a unique way that will resonate with your audience. And if all the info is already out there, that’s fine. Find your own angle and you’ll be good to go.

    Take the fitness world for example. Pretty much everything there is to know about fitness has already been said. People are just putting their own spin on it.
    For example, look at Steve Kamb and Nerd Fitness.

    Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness found his niche in fitness
    Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness found his niche in the wide world of fitness blogging.

    He’s built an amazing community of over 250,000 email subscribers. He hosts Camp Nerd Fitness, and has written books and courses all because he took his unique angle – his love of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and all things nerdy – and put fit into the fitness world. And you know what’s amazing? I talk to people huge into the fitness world all the time who have never heard of Nerd Fitness. It just goes to show that the Internet is HUGE and there is room for everyone.

Stay true to your core focus

When it comes down to it, I believe it’s about staying true to who you are as blogger and business owner. If you have legitimate value to provide, absolutely go and create that online course. Go after your unique angle even if it’s just teaching people how to make money.

Nathan Barry

In previous careers Nathan has been a designer, author, and blogger. After learning the power of email marketing he gave up a successful blogging career to build ConvertKit. Outside of work Nathan spends his time playing soccer, woodworking, and chasing after his two little boys.

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