Launching an Email Course – 1 Year and $36,000 Later!

This post may contain affiliate links.

On December 4th, 2015 I celebrated the one year anniversary of 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success.

A lot has changed in the last year!

And even though I questioned my qualifications of writing and launching a course so early on (less than a year into my own journey), I’m so glad that I did.

I’ve been able to prove over and over again that not only do I know what I’m talking about, but that I can successfully teach others how to build a successful freelance writing business too.

Here’s just one example:

And since I pride myself in being open, honest and transparent, I thought I’d take this opportunity to reflect and measure my results over the last 12 months. Who’s ready for an email course update?

Some Background

After experiencing early success (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 to share my experience.

I had taken notes along the way and upon reflection, I saw that I had a blueprint of sorts that could help other aspiring freelance writers launch a successful business. So nearly every day in November, 2014 I wrote at least one lesson of the 30 day email course.

30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success covers everything from finding jobs and pitching clients to tracking your income and diversifying your business.

I initially put it on the market on December 4, 2014 for $30.

I’ve since revised and updated the course twice in 2015 – once in January and again in June. In both instances I added additional content and resources, and increased the price.

In February the price rose to $47 and in July, I tiered it out to three levels:

  1. Starter: $59
  2. Growth: $99
  3. Rockstar $199

(These are the current tiers and pricing.)

A Few Timeline Highlights:

I launched an affiliate program for the course in February, 2015 with a 40% payout. It was one of the best things I could have done!

And then in June of this year, I launched the private Facebook group associated with the writing course. This has proven to be an active and thriving community, but more importantly a hugely valuable resource and supportive place for everyone involved. (Y’all make me so proud!)

Lastly, on November 2, 2015, I launched my second course: 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success. With a growing platform and email list, it was a smashing success.

If you’re interested in learning more about launching your own product or affiliate program, I’ve written a few posts on the subject.

In order of publication:

This post will be a recap of my products business as a whole – including both 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success and 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success.

A Sales and Affiliate Program Update

Gina YTD Course Sales

Total Sales: 639

On average, that’s 53 per month or almost two per day. I remember talking to my friend Jonathon about my sales goals for the course – two per day was the goal I set for myself almost a year ago. I’m happy to say it looks like I’m pretty much there!

Total Affiliate Sales: 252 (or 39%)

I currently have 80 affiliates (up from 32 at the six month mark). So far the 80/20 rule holds true – i.e. 80% of sales are coming from 20% of affiliates.

Again, my current affiliate payout is 40% (meaning I keep 60%, but pay for the PayPal fees out of my pocket). If you’re interested in becoming an affiliate, sign up here.

6 Things I’ve Learned in the Last 12 Months

1. Sharing what I know helps people.

Hundreds of people have gone through both courses and are starting or growing successful freelance businesses in part, because of my material.

Of course, it’s also due to a lot of hustle and hard work on their end. By the way, I’ve found the most successful seem to be the most engaged – in the material, the Facebook community and online.

2. Having an affiliate program is a no-brainer.

With roughly 40% of sales coming from affiliates, an affiliate program makes a ton of sense!

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.

3. Being generous is the way to go.

I’ve always operated my freelance business in a mindset of abundance, rather than scarcity. I.e. there are enough clients to go around for all of us freelance writers. There are enough potential students to go around for any of the other freelance writing courses that exist.

And when it comes to my affiliates, I figure without them I wouldn’t have made that sale, so I want to compensate them accordingly. (Thanks for being so awesome guys!)

4. Continue to increase the value you offer.

I’m always trying to learn and grow.

And I want to take what I’m learning and teach others how to do things better or easier too. That’s why it’s my goal to continue to expand the material, offer more tools and resources to students and to the public in general through my blog.

5. Launching to an audience makes a huge difference.

I launched the VA course to a much larger email list and platform than the writing course.

And it made a big difference. If you’re considering launching a product or course, put up a waitlist page (i.e. “Coming soon, register to be on the of the first to know…“) and start growing an email list ASAP.

6. Relationships are so much more valuable than money.

I often say that the best part about launching a course has been the amazing people I’ve met and gotten to know online. It’s common for me to sub out work to my community, partner on projects with them and provide support to help their businesses to grow.

Plus, there are a bunch of other people that get what I’m doing and where I’m trying to go. It’s kind of a big deal when those closest to me don’t really get it! 😉

So, What’s Next?

Last Friday I launched my first free email course. It’s a 5-day (and 5-lesson) drip-fed email course to help people get started freelance writing.

The goal is to offer a ton of value, knock people’s socks off with the free content and hopefully increase conversions to the full course. It’s a strategy many other successful webpreneurs use and I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner!

And all I had to do was take an epic blog post I already had on my site and rewrite/expand it to suit the purposes of the project. Not to brag – but – it’s pretty good!

You might remember I launched another product recently, the VA MatchMaking Service. I’m a natural business matchmaker anyway, I know there’s a huge demand for qualified VAs (which I just so happen to have an audience of) and I travel in circles with successful entrepreneurs that need help to scale, so the matchmaking service seemed like the perfect solution to the marketplace’s needs.

In addition to making both courses more valuable for the students, it’s my goal in 2016 to take the matchmaking service as far as I can. I’m excited about tackling this super huge goal and seeing where it takes my business.

Have you ever thought about launching your course? If yes, what would (or will) it be about?

22 thoughts on “Launching an Email Course – 1 Year and $36,000 Later!”

  1. Great share, Gina.
    Love the tips.

    I remember when Gina was just starting out, and it’s been an amazing year watching her progress and grow. Subscribe to her stuff and follow her advice. She DID it, and you can too!

  2. Hi Gina,

    Congrats on your success! It’s always inspiring to read other people’s accounts of how they got where they are and your story is definitely something to aspire to. I do have a plan for an affiliate program and want to write an e-book alongside it. With your advice and how you have been able to make it work for you….it’ll definitely have to happen.
    Thanks for sharing all these honest insights! May 2016 be even better in every sense.

  3. Thank you for sharing, Gina.

    I have been thinking about doing my own course, but I have no idea where to start. I am going to work on reading the entries about how to get started. I may do a small one of 15 days to get my feet wet, but maybe I can get myself going to a 30-day course. I am excited to see what I can do in 2016!

  4. I’ll be making a longer course on balancing both a growing business and a growing family that springs off the freebie course I launched recently.

    As a mom to seven, it’s what I know and I feel like I have valuable information that could really help others.

    I really enjoyed reading your post–congratulations on your success! And thanks so much for all the tips that help others follow along a similar path.

  5. That’s a great report Gina. It’s awesome to see how something as seemingly small as 2 sales a day can add up to so much by the end of the year. It’s also great encouragement to the rest of us that you were able to keep working on it throughout the year. It doesn’t have to start perfect.

  6. I’ve been watching your stuff for the past 6 months and the quality is excellent, you are immensely generous in sharing information, and open to the marketplace which is rare but exceptionally valuable. Am going to take a peak at the VA Matchmaking service (fantastic idea) and see if I can find a fit for what I do. Thanks Gina will be keep track through 2016.

  7. What perfect timing because creating e-courses is going to be my focus for 2016! This blog post is now bookmarked because there are so many good nuggets in it. Thank you Gina! I’m curious as to which platform you host your courses on? I’m looking into Udemy but I’ve also heard good things about Simplero and Skillshare.

  8. This is an awesome space and the information gathered here is invaluable. I am embarking on a freelance writing career and I am also beginning a tutoring business for people with literacy problems. I would like to know how to do a course that is related to reading and comprehension skills.

    • Hey Marcia – thanks for your feedback! That would be a great topic for a course. I’ve been toying with writing a course teaching people how to write a course… might need to happen in 2016! 🙂

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