Horkey HandBook Blog

Launching an Email Course Update (6 Months in)

<30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success has been out for six months now!

It’s like any other big milestone – some days it feels like I launched it forever ago and other days it seems like just yesterday. All in all it’s been a smashing success (by my standards, the only of which are important;-).

Since I pride myself in being open, honest and transparent, I thought I’d take this opportunity to reflect and measure my results. Are you ready for an email course update?

Why I Launched It

If you’re new here, it’s possible you don’t know my full story yet. The (very) short version is that I sold my almost decade old financial planning practice at the end of 2014 to freelance full-time after I built up a successful writing, virtual assistant and coaching business.

Due to my early success of going from $0 to $4,000 in less than six months (while working full-time and being a mother to two toddlers), I decided to write a course about my experience. I had taken notes along the way (so I didn’t live out the definition of insanity) and when I reflected on them, I had a blueprint of sorts to help other aspiring freelance writers launch their own successful business.

So nearly every day in November, 2014, I wrote at least one lesson of the 30 day email course. It covers everything from finding jobs and pitching clients to tracking your income and diversifying your business (all based on my experience).

I put it on the market for sale in December, 2014 for $30. I revised the entire course in January and increased the price to $47 in February, 2015. I also launched an affiliate program for the course in February.

Here are some great posts to catch you up if you’re interested in learning more about launching your own product or affiliate program (in order of when they were published):

How It’s Been Doing (the Numbers)

Total Sales (through 6/3/15, which is exactly six months): 163

By month:

  • December: 23
  • January: 27
  • February: 11
  • March: 49
  • April: 16
  • May: 31
  • June (so far): 6

On average, that’s 27 per month or almost one per day. I had declared a (long-term) goal of reaching two per day on average. We’re halfway there!

Affiliate Program Update

March was by far my best month in sales. I had run an affiliate contest, which I think helped. I also have one going for this month, with almost double the amount of affiliates, so hopefully we’ll see some good results again.

Here are my affiliate sales numbers (remember the program launched in February):

February: 2 (of 11)

March: 21 (of 49)

April: 7 (of 16)

May: 12 (of 31)

June: 3 (of 6 so far)

Feel free to read the affiliate program post above for full details, but my current affiliate payout is 40% (meaning I keep 60% and I pay for the PayPal fees). On a full-priced course, that amounts to $18.80 per sale in commission to the affiliate. If you’re interested in becoming an affiliate, click here.

I currently have 32 affiliates (this includes me and my web and marketing guys – we needed to test the process). Out of the 32, nine have made at least one sale in the last four months. Of the nine, only three have made multiple sales.

So far the 80/20 rule is true (i.e. 80% of sales are coming from 20% of affiliates). In hindsight, I’m glad that I launched an affiliate program. It’s one thing to promote yourself and your product. It’s a whole other ballgame when you have others that believe in it spreading the word.

Do I Dare Raise the Price?

I’ve been toying with raising the price again. I’ve never had someone ask for a refund (I don’t have a refund policy due to the low price, but would be happy to return someone’s money if they weren’t satisfied) and everyone I’ve talked to re: the value vs. the price, thinks it’s under-priced.

But it’s always been my goal to pay it forward and share what I’ve learned in a budget-friendly manner (former financial advisor, remember?). So that’s kept me from doing it so far.

On the other hand, if I did raise it, it would mean a bigger spread (and incentive) for affiliates…I’m torn! By the way, when I say “raise the price,” I mean by like $20 or something. For those of you that have taken it, do you want to chime in in the comments?

What’s Next?

I’m really excited about my next product/course, which I believe is going to be a four-week masterclass. My (back of the napkin calculations) inkling is to price it at ~$250 and have it include both new material and group coaching for that time. Probably a weekly call and email lessons/homework delivered every other day (M/W/F), which would be 12 total lessons.

I think it’ll be geared towards freelancers in general or specifically to freelance writers again to help them level up their current enterprise. My thought is that it’s something I’ll offer once or twice per year for that finite period (a month) and it’ll be best suited for individuals that would love to do coaching ongoing, but aren’t sure about it or can’t quite afford it.

By giving it a finite price and period of time, people can allocate their time/budgetary resources accordingly and ideally see an almost immediate ROI (return on investment) for both in their business.

Would you take it?

In Conclusion

I launched my first and only product six months ago in the form of my self-paced 30 day email course for aspiring writers for the web. IMO it’s done very well. The sales numbers aren’t crazy high, but it’s been a great (passive) supplement to my freelancing income, adding between $500-2,500 per month to my gross income.

My affiliate program continues to pay off and I love partnering with other bloggers to promote a product that we both believe in. I’m continuing to think about what’s next and am excited about launching a masterclass later this year.

I’m glad I took the advice when someone suggested I launch a product! It’s paid off in spades – the best part being the new relationships I’ve built with other freelancers.

Would you take the masterclass? Why or why not? BE HONEST!

Gina Horkey

Gina Horkey

FOUNDER & CO-OWNER

Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s the founder of Horkey HandBook and loves helping others find or become a kickass virtual assistant. Gina’s background includes making a living as a professional writer, an online business marketing consultant and a decade of experience in the financial services industry.