- Who: Caitlin Pyle
- Website: proofreadanywhere.com and workathomeschool.com
- Course Topic: Earning money by proofreading
- Interesting Stats: $2 million a year + 8 team members
Who are you and what courses have you created?
My name is Caitlin Pyle, and I started Proofread Anywhere back in 2014. I help proofreaders earn extra income from anywhere in the world… even if you’re starting from scratch!
I have two different courses: Transcript Proofreading, which teaches students how to proofread legal transcripts for court reporters. My second course is General Proofreading for those who want to learn how to proofread, but not necessarily only transcripts.
I also started Work-At-Home School, an online learning program that teaches a variety of skills from masters in their field. Students can determine what work-at-home career they see themselves in, dive deep into learning those skills, learn how to market themselves, and eventually work from home.
What market do your online courses serve?
My customers range from college students, stay-at-home moms, retirees, to men and women who are looking for the freedom to work while traveling. This could also include anyone who is tired of working the 9-to-5 grind, wants to work for themselves, or has a passion that they want to turn into a business, but they’re not sure how to do it.
What’s the biggest benefit of taking your courses?
FREEDOM! I mean that. But to gain that freedom, students will learn new skills that they can then use from home without having to sell products to their friends or stuff envelopes.
How did you get into the market?
I started out proofreading by helping fellow students when I was studying abroad in Germany. I had no idea I could make money without having to go to a physical building or have an actual boss. But I was able to be my own boss and I loved it!
At the time I didn't know that I could make a full-time income with it. So when I came back home to the states, I got back into my usual routine of finding a job, hating it, and finding something new until that job wore off. I have a lot of respect for those who can work desk jobs because I know it’s not for me!
In 2012, I started proofreading transcripts for court reporters from home. One client became two, two became even more. As a proofreader, I made up to $4,000 a month. Soon enough, people started asking me how I was able to proofread from home and be successful, so I wrote a little eBook to lead people through the process.
The popularity of it grew and people wanted even more detail, so in 2014 I started proofreadanywhere.com as a blog, which eventually became what it is today!
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
When people keep asking you for more knowledge on the subject, you know you’re going in the right direction and you have found your ideal market. Turning my blog into the course was really just the next logical step.
Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?
Absolutely! In fact, I paid for less than two years on my domain because I was so certain it wouldn’t take off. I had quit so many things in the past, I figured this wouldn’t be any different. Turns out I was wrong.
If so what made you turn it around and do it anyway?
Well, I already had my site, so I gave it a shot. Luckily it took off before I had the chance to truly listen to those doubts and act on them. The momentum of the course wouldn’t allow me to quit 😉
What are your online courses like?
My courses are a combination of all mediums. Transcript Proofreading is primarily text-based with quizzes after every few modules. Students have to score at least a certain grade in order to continue with the course. It ends with a final exam.
General Proofreading, in its most recent updated form, has both videos and text in every module as well as a quiz after each module. Students aren’t required to “pass” each quiz, but it will give them a good idea of where they stand and if they should continue or go back and review material. Those who have enrolled in our Plus membership can take a final exam also.
Work-At-Home School is essentially a portal for many other courses so they are all different in content and in form.
How long did it take you to create your first course?
When I first launched, I was the one creating my website, the copy, the blog posts… everything. I spent nearly 16 hours a day every day to create my business. Because it was already going as a blog and evolved from there, it is difficult to say how long it truly took to get going.
Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).
I launched my course to about nine people — that’s all that was on my email list at the time. Luckily that’s all it took to get someone to bite!
Do you have a lead magnet?
I do offer lead magnets! I have a free workshop for both courses:
Both help bring in a lot of traffic. People need to feel confident that if they take my courses they will be successful and these workshops do that for them.
What's the traffic strategy that works best for you?
We use quite a few different methods. We run ads on Pinterest, Facebook, and a few other places. This helps us to reach new customers that might not know about us otherwise.
I also email customers pretty frequently with helpful information. Reaching out to our soon-to-be new students is so important in attracting and retaining our customers. It gives us a chance to bond with them and let them know we care about them.
We have a good amount of traffic that comes from the Proofread Anywhere blog. It’s been up for a few years now and we’ve worked really hard to make sure it has quality content that will help our readers.
Finally, we use affiliates to get the word out there about Proofread Anywhere and how it’s helping people succeed.
Most of our traffic comes through paid ads and our affiliates.
What online course platform are you using?
I use WordPress.com for my Transcript Proofreading course and Work-At-Home School, and then Kajabi for my General Proofreading course.
Do you like it?
I like them both very much! I haven’t seen any reason to change them.
Are there any features you wish it had?
I wish Kajabi had a function that limited the number of times someone could take a quiz after a module in one of our courses. Currently (at least to my knowledge) you can't limit the number of times someone takes a quiz only how much of a percentage they need to get correct in order to move forward.
What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?
WordPress was an obvious choice for our main website because it's open-source and versatile. It's also one of the most common and most powerful website platforms for content available and I was able to control the look and feel of it with ease (and help from others).
For our courses, we decided to switch to Kajabi for our best selling course because it's a very robust and well-known learning platform. We were having a lot of issues with the platform we switched from and it was causing a lot of problems in the company and a lot more support tickets than we should have been getting. The support for Kajabi is also excellent. Since we have moved over we have had much fewer problems with student fulfillment or login issues, so it was a good decision.
What other tools do you use to run your online course business?
I use a number of tools but here are the ones that either I or my team use each week:
- ConvertKit: We use this for one email list. For the other email list, we use Infusionsoft.
- Clickfunnels: We use this for our funnels (of course) and the affiliate program for my General Proofreading course.
I picked these three because they’ve each been vital to my business along the way. I started with my blog on WordPress and built my email list — using something like ConvertKit, AWeber, or MailChimp are so useful when building your email list.
Clickfunnels has allowed me to easily build my evergreen funnel so that I can sell on autopilot.
What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?
- The Big Leap: this helped me break past my barriers.
- Launch by Jeff Walker: This book is one I look back at every time I’m preparing to launch. His explanation of the Launch process is really smart.
- Success Principles: If you want to run a successful business, this is a must-read!
Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?
Lol! Many! How long have you got?
Everything in the company goes through testing and optimization.Any mistakes my team and I make are learning opportunities that help us grow and create a stronger product and help more people. - Caitlin Pyle Click To Tweet
The biggest mistake I have made when it comes to my company is putting someone on the title of the company that shouldn't have been there. That was a huge lesson learned.
Please share some idea of revenue.
I am happy to report that we have a $2 million a year turn over on Proofread Anywhere!
Please tell us a little about what the money you've earned from your course has done for you.
My business started with me working 16-hour days on my blog and today I’m semi-retired while my team of 8 runs much of the day-to-day. I love having the freedom to still help people without having to work all the time. In fact, I now work because I want to, not because I have to.
What has creating your course done for you personally?
Creating my course gives me peace of mind that no matter how I feel sometimes, I’ve made a difference in many people’s lives. Nobody’s ever bored asking me how I make a living, either — that helps at parties, ha!
Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?
Oh, I have a ton of success stories! I wouldn’t even know where to start, so you can check them out on the site.
What advice do you have for people just starting out?The biggest thing I could share is to get out of your own head and focus on who you are helping instead of your own problems. - Caitlin Pyle Click To Tweet
I know it’s kind of difficult if you’re drowning, so the first thing would be to stop drowning and then focus on solving problems.
You can read more about my journey from working for someone else to building my own company in my book Work At Home.
I’m actually giving it away for free — I just ask you cover shipping and handling.