2019 Top 5 Course Creator Interviews & Statistics

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Are you looking to take your online course from good to great? Learn from the pros with the top 5 course creator interviews from 2019.

2019 was the first year we started conducting interviews with successful online course creators. We began in August and conducted 30 interviews that year.

We’ve reviewed the 30 interviews from 2019 and round up only those with the most motivating, inspiring, and enlightening snippets of advice. That way, if you’re short on time, you can get a shortcut to the top 5 interviews.

Whether you’re just starting out as an online course creator or are a seasoned expert, we think you’ll find some fresh insights that will bring new perspectives and creative approaches to your mission.

Get ready to dig into our selection of 2019’s best course creator interviews …

1. How Shayna & Adam Pond Built Online Courses for ModelTeaching.com that are as Effective as Live Training

ModelTeaching.com All Courses

‘At a Glance’ Stats of Shayna & Adam’s Business:

  • Industry: Career and Professional
  • Course Topic: Teacher Training
  • Interesting Stats: 30% growth/month
  • Traffic Strategy: Content marketing and SEO
  • Revenue: Unknown

Summary of Shayna & Adam’s Full Interview:

  • Shayna Pond and her husband Adam Pond created ModelTeaching.com, which provides professional development courses to teachers and other educators.
  • Courses provide a holistic support structure with resources for the classroom, an action plan based on the course content, and follow-up support for implementation.
  • The platform was born from their school support services that provided strategic feedback and tutoring to teachers in struggling schools.
  • Each course focuses on a specific theme or strategy, divided into sections with visuals, graphics, and resources supporting an implementation plan.
  • Courses are several years in the making, following a standardized format with the final editing of all components.
  • The initial launch used pay-per-click advertising to test keywords and optimize website search results.
  • Lead magnets include blog posts and free resources linked from various sites; promotions associated with blog articles direct conversations to specific courses; teacher certification information offered and a referral program for discounts/rewards.

–> Read more of Shayna and Adam’s interview

2. How Marc-Andre Seguin Earns Mid-6 Figures/Year Teaching Jazz Guitar Lessons

Marc Andre Video Sample 2

‘At a Glance’ Stats of Marc-Andre’s Business:

  • Industry: Music
  • Course Topic: Jazz Guitar Lessons
  • Revenue Stats: Mid-Six Figures/Year
  • Traffic Strategy: SEO, YouTube, and Organic social media
  • Revenue: 6-figures per year

Summary of Marc-Andre’s Full Interview:

  • Marc-Andre Seguin founded JazzGuitarLessons.net, an online platform that teaches jazz guitar to approximately 45 to 65-year-old males, primarily in the U.S., Australia, and Europe.
  • The courses eliminate overwhelm by providing a step-by-step, easy-to-follow program that eliminates the need for nine books and DVDs.
  • Initially, the platform was a blog where visitors could access free content and video lessons. Once private students started paying from around the world, Seguin began creating courses to monetize his audience.
  • The courses are full videos with sheet music downloads, totaling over $4,500 if purchased a la carte, but offered at a discounted rate with bonuses when accessed through membership.
  • The biggest challenge was Seguin’s doubts about the success of his first course offered for $50 that received few purchases. He turned it around by creating a series of progression courses and running monthly promotions with discounts on new launches.
  • Lead magnets include free PDF sheet music associated with each blog post to attract customers. At the same time, traffic is mainly directed through SEO practices and social media posts such as “Marc,” personifying the brand itself.

–> Read more of Marc-Andre’s interview

3. How Lee Wilson Used 20 Years of Career Experience to Create a Rewarding $30K/Month Online Course Business

Lee Wilson Headshot

‘At a Glance’ Stats of Lee’s Business:

  • Industry: Health and Wellness
  • Course Topic: Relationship Recovery
  • Revenue Stats: $30K/month
  • Traffic Strategy: Content marketing, YouTube, Organic social media
  • Revenue: 6-figures per year

Summary of Lee’s Full Interview:

  • Lee Wilson, a.k.a. Coach Lee, runs myexbackcoach.com and provides relationship advice to those seeking to reunite with an ex-partner after a breakup or separation.
  • His main course is the Emergency Breakup Kit, which offers clear directions and precise steps. The course helps people understand their ex’s mindset.
  • After nearly twenty years in the marriage coaching business, he built an audience of readers and viewers through YouTube videos and articles on his site; this aided his course launch and subsequent sales.
  • His traffic strategy is based primarily on YouTube videos and blog articles related to the same topic; captions can help expand this audience further by making the video more accessible for those unable to watch with sound and pulling the attention from search engines such as Google.

–> Read more of Lee Wilson’s interview

4. Resit Gulec Shares How He Started a Project Management Training Empire

Master of Project Video Sample 2

‘At a Glance’ Stats of Resit’s Business:

  • Industry: Career and Professional
  • Course Topic: Professional certification training
  • Impressive Stats: Trained 100,000+ professionals
  • Traffic Strategy: Content marketing and SEO
  • Revenue: 6-figures per year

Summary of Resit’s Full Interview:

  • Resit Gulec started Master of Project Academy in 2012 to prepare professionals for certification exams, with courses across PMP®, CAPM®, PMI-ACP®, Prince2, Agile, and more.
  • The academy has helped over 100,000 professionals from 180 countries pass their certifications, with a first-attempt pass rate of 99.6%.
  • The courses are designed and taught by industry experts to help students understand how to pass the exam and apply what they’ve learned in the real world.
  • The idea for the business came after Resit worked on Turkey’s most significant online education platform and began giving lectures at Ozyegin University.
  • It took three months to lecture to create the course, while Traffic is driven mainly through content creation using 1-2 blog posts per month and shared via social media (10k+ followers).

–> Read more of Resit Gulec’s interview

5. How David Wallimann Earns an Average of $40,000/Month Teaching What He Loves

Screenshot of David Wallimann Video Promo

‘At a Glance’ Stats of David’s Business:

  • Industry: Music
  • Course Topic: Electric guitar lessons
  • Interesting Stats: $40,000/month
  • Traffic Strategy: YouTube
  • Revenue: 6-figures per year

Summary of David’s Full Interview:

  • David Wallimann runs guitarplayback.com, a website offering courses for people wanting to learn and improve their electric guitar skills.
  • There are over 40 courses, taught mainly by David himself, and include topics such as Melodic Formula, Applied Theory, and Chord Scales.
  • The most significant benefit of the courses is they offer practical ways to implement music theory to help students express themselves musically.
  • David started teaching guitar at 17 in his local community and extended his reach on YouTube by offering pre-recorded video lessons.
  • Courses are video-based with supplemental content for scale diagrams/guitar tabs; course lengths range from 2.5 hours (8 videos) – though each course length varies depending on its content.
  • Launching a new course usually entails advertising it through email lists established via providing free supplemental content from YouTube videos.
  • The main traffic strategy is YouTube to keep viewer watch time as long as possible.

–> Read more of David Walliman’s interview

In addition to the top 5 interviews, here are a few statistics from our 2019 interviews.

2019 Revenue Breakdown

In 2019, revenue breakdowns for successful course creators revealed exciting insights. While approximately 1,000 dollars per year was earned by only one interviewee, five individuals reported earning around 10,000 dollars annually.

Six course creators earned five-figure salaries, while eight earned six-figure salaries, representing the highest number of earners in this group. Only one person reported earning seven figures yearly for their course creation efforts. We only interviewed a total of 30 course creators in 2019, so trending toward higher earners means we are finding successful course creators.

Custom pie chart showing the 2019 course creator revenues from our interviews.

2019 Industry Breakdown

After conducting interviews with several successful course creators, we have gathered information about the 2019 industry breakdowns. According to our findings, the business and marketing industry seems to have the highest demand regarding courses offered.  The career industry came in a close second with seven courses created, indicating the importance of professional development.

Interestingly, five courses were created in the art industry, followed by the health and languages industries, with three each. This data highlights the importance of creativity and self-improvement to individuals, whether pursuing a passion or improving communication skills.

Additionally, it seems that the finance and software industries were not as heavily represented, possibly indicating a lack of demand or need for upskilling in these areas.

Custom pie chart showing the 2019 course creator industries.

2019 Online Course Platform Breakdown

As the demand for online education continues to grow, the number of course platforms available to creators has also increased. Our analysis of successful course creator interviews reveals that in 2019, Teachable and Thinkific held the top spots with 7 and 8 mentions, respectively. Kajabi followed closely with four mentions.

#1
10
Thinkific

Thinkific is the most popular online course platform. 24% of the successful course creators interviewed use Thinkific

#2
9.5
Kajabi

Kajabi comes in at a close second place. Twenty-three percent of course creators interviewed Kajabi

#3
9.1
Teachable

Teachable comes in third place. It's used by 20% of the course creators in the dataset. 

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These platforms offer a variety of essential features, such as course creation, payment processing, and customer management. Other platforms with a single mention include Ruzuku, WP Courseware, and Membermouse.

Some creators opt for custom platforms and even incorporate communication tools like Skype. Seeing how these top online course platforms evolve to keep up with demand will be exciting as the online education market expands.

Custom pie chart showing the 2019 online course platforms used by the course creators we interviewed.

Conclusion

After looking at our picks for the top five course creators from 2019, it’s clear that there are multiple lessons to be learned from their successful stories. Whether it was learning to become media savvy, having an exceptional product to offer, or simply letting your enthusiasm and passion for education drive you forwards–these interviews showcase individuals who have made impressive leaps in the course-creation world with remarkable results. Look at some of the interviews we’ve provided—you’re sure to learn something new that could make this year your finest as a course creator yet. Good luck!

Lisa Parmley
Lisa Parmley

Lisa Parmley is the founder of coursemethod.com. After gaining a Master's degree in Biology, she worked in research for about 7 years.

Lisa decided to start her own training company in 2001, helping people pass a professional exam. In that time, she created online courses as well as books, DVD's, CD's, and testing software. That course has earned multiple 7-figures throughout the years.

She created SEO and authority site building training around 2007 which went on to earn well into the 6-figure mark.

She has 21+ years of experience in the trenches doing both creating and selling online courses. Download her 7-figure Online Course Success Blueprint here.

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