How to Build an Online Course (part 1)

Thinking of creating an online course? Discover 3 big benefits you'll experience + how to create the right course for you.

🌲 Welcome to Passive Profits! The mission here is to help current & aspiring founders win back time & freedom by productizing your expertise into offers you build once and sell forever.

An online courses is one of the most viable digital products you can create to grow your audience and income.

And if you’re a founder like me, who loathes traditional sales, online courses will feel much more at home.

Curious about building an online course? Today’s post is for you then.

You’ll learn:

  1. 3 benefits of building your online course

  2. Which online course you should build

  3. How to build your online course (covered in part 2)

Here we go!

3 benefits of building your online course

You’re a busy business owner. You hustle all day long, fulfilling client work. You try to find moments in between (or over nights and weekends) to grow your business.

You’re exhausted.

You say things like, “I wish I could spend less time selling the work and more time doing the work.”

Been there.

I want to help you break out of that merry-go-round, and I believe that outsourcing some of your growth to a digital product like an online course is the lever you’ve been looking to pull.

But you may not yet be convinced it’s worth your time.

Maybe you need a push… some evidence that the investment will be worth it. That the juice will be worth the squeeze. I get that.

Let me tee up some proof for you by highlighting three major benefits you’ll experience by building your online course.

1. You become a trusted authority

When you teach the topics that your business serves, you showcase your expertise.

Just like writing a book, teaching helps your prospective clients see you as a veritable source. They get to know your style, while learning something meaningful and valuable. That earns you their trust. And with trust, you move to the top of their list for future projects; or you become their top recommendation to others.

Teaching, therefore, is a way to market and sell that’s 100% built on trust.

And I don’t know about you, but that approach feels much better to me than paying some lead-gen company to robo-dial 10,000 scraped contacts. Gross.

2. You earn evergreen income

As a digital product, you’ll invest time upfront to build your online course. When you build the right course (more on that below), you’ll earn passive, evergreen revenue for years to come.

That kind of leverage is hard to pass up, especially when compared to unleveraged work that requires you to trade your time for money.

Now, you may be thinking (or may have heard) that the market is already flooded with online courses. There’s definitely some truth to that. Just the same, mannnnyyyy of those courses are complete dog shit.

More importantly, what’s also true is that the online education market is only growing.

According to a worldwide report by Statista:

  • The Online Education market is estimated to hit $185B USD in 2024 😳

  • The annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2028) will be 8.61%, resulting in a projected market volume of $257B USD by 2028 🤯

The online education market (worldwide)

Other than 2020, when we experienced the largest spike in online education, now is as good a time as ever to build your course.

Yes, it will take some work.

But this post (and next week’s) will break down the process, give you a plan to execute, and help you 3x your time-to-market, while avoiding common pitfalls.

Also, yes, learning how to teach is a skill you’ll need to hone.

The best way to hone those skills? It’s like anything else you’ve done in life — do it (create your first course), learn, improve, repeat.

I had all of these same hesitations when getting started. But imagine, shipping your course in a month or two from now. One day, you wake up to see this in your inbox:

What it looks like to earn “Inbox Income”

😍 Nothing quite like making money while you sleep. Gives me goosebumps. The good kind.

Passive income is real, my friend!

You just gotta stop making excuses why now isn’t the right time. Or why you’re not qualified. Stop feeding into your own lies and begin.

Which leads me to the third and final benefit you’ll gain by building your online course…

3. You develop mastery

I don’t care how many times you’ve fulfilled your service or framework. Until you teach others how to do it, you’ll never be a true Jedi.

When you teach others, all of your blind spots are exposed.

You discover scenarios where your services and methods don’t work… well or at all.

You hear questions from students that you never considered.

You’re forced to create lessons and resources that even a beginner can use.

As you fill in those gaps and answer those questions, your mastery on the subject expands. The deeper your mastery, the more others trust you.

You have more stories to tell and more context to share. You become a category of one — the go-to source!

When you’re at the top, sales not only come to you, but you earn the right to charge a premium over the competitor who fulfills the service the same way they always have.

And the linchpin that makes all of this possible?

  • The earned trust?..

  • The evergreen income?..

  • The acquired mastery?..

It’s creating the RIGHT course for you, your business, and your market.

Let me show you how to do that.

Which online course YOU should build

Let’s get real, O’neil. [repeat aloud in Ted Lasso voice]

It’s entirely possible you spend time creating a course that sucks.

It’s equally possible you build a course that nobody needs.

That’s why, right now, we’re going to talk about choosing the right course for you to launch.

Good news: It’s dead simple (not easy).

If you follow the method I lay out below, you’ll not only build a successful course, but a course that:

  1. You’re already capable of teaching

  2. Upsells premium services

  3. Your market needs

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