How Dan Padavona Built His Amazon Ads Course to Bring in $25K/Month

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  • Who: Dan Padavona
  • Website:
  • Course Topic: Amazon Ad Training
  • Interesting Stats: Added more than 100 subscribers to my list overnight

Who are you and what course have you created?

I’m Dan Padavona, a 55-year-old writer of dark thrillers, as well as a six-figure self-published author and entrepreneur.

My course is Amazon Ads Liftoff.

When I first started writing thrillers, I had no following, no loyal readership. I literally started from zero. I knew that my best chance for building a readership was to advertise. After experimenting with Google, Bookbub, and Facebook, I found massive success advertising with Amazon. Their system allowed me to get very granular, targeting authors who fit my style.

As a result, I increased my earnings by a thousandfold in less than three years.

What market does your online course serve?

My course serves independent authors who understand the value of Amazon advertising, but haven’t learned all the tricks and secrets for turning a profit. I like to say I advertise for free, because I have a positive ROI on all my evergreen marketing on Amazon.

What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?

The number one benefit my course provides is statistical evidence that my system works. Many instructors say their way works best, but I actually tested different advertisement and keyword match types and providing hard statistics that showed which were most effective.

Because of this, anyone who takes my course comes away with confidence that, if they follow my instructions, they will give their advertisements the best chance to succeed on Amazon.

How did you get into the market?

I entered the market after reading three books on Amazon advertising which I found misleading and filled with unfounded logic. These books were causing authors like me to lose money.

Having been in the trenches and tested a variety of strategies, I knew I could help self-published authors sell their books at a profit. And that’s the key: helping people.

If you go into business looking to make money, you will fail. Whenever I create a book or course, the first thing I ask myself is how I can help others reach their goals. - Dan Padavona Click To Tweet

Dan Padavona's site

Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?

An online course gave me the best chance to reach struggling writers. I love digital platforms because they allow anyone to sign up and start learning immediately. They don’t need to wait for a DVD to arrive in the mail.

Better yet, an online course allows students to reach me anytime they have a question or need advice.

Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?

My greatest concern was I wouldn’t be able to compete with better financed, well-established course creators. I’m not a terrible looking dude, but I’m not a young Kevin Bacon either. Would I look okay on camera without expensive equipment and lighting?

If so what made you turn it around and do it anyway?

I had a drive to get the truth about advertising out to the authors who needed my advice. I never gave up.

What’s your online course like?

Amazon Ads Liftoff utilizes introductory videos for each module, followed by a combination of PowerPoint slides and screen-captured video. I decided against quizzes and opted for summaries at the end of each module to ensure students mastered the concepts.

How long did it take you to create your course?

Thanks to all great digital course creation tools available, the course creation process was faster and easier than I’d expected. I estimate it took about an hour per module to build the necessary slides, plus another hour to record the videos. In total, creating the course probably took me 15 to 20 hours.

Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).

I was fortunate to have several interested students lined up and waiting for me to release the course. Getting those first few sales was easy, as I was already a known commodity in the self-publishing world. The next sales were much more difficult and required me to build the online presence of my website.

Do you have a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a must. I actually have two – one that teaches several advanced Amazon advertising strategies, and another which helps self-published authors release their books and get those first sales. My lead magnets consist of five automated emails. On days three, four, and five, I introduce my course and explain how it can help my newsletter subscriber to sell more books.

The lead magnets and automation sequences sell far more courses than my store does. - Dan Padavona Click To Tweet

That’s because it’s important to warm up a prospective client before asking for the sale.

Dan Padavona's site

What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?

There is no substitute for content marketing. I feel most comfortable writing articles, though you’ll catch me on YouTube now and then.

I optimize my articles for search engines, but I don’t go overboard. A few mentions of the targeted keyword are all it takes to get Google’s attention. Most importantly, I focus on providing valuable information in every article.

What online course platform are you using?

After much deliberation, I settled on Kajabi.

Do you like it?

I really enjoy working with the platform. Kajabi handles everything from my mailing list to transactions and hosting. I’m not a techie, so I appreciate that I only need to focus on my content.

Are there any features you wish it had?

I wish Kajabi handled domain naming and it didn’t require me to go to third party. Considering they handle the backend hosting, I’m unsure why they require a third-party domain site if you want custom branding.

What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?

Having built multiple websites with WordPress, I knew its limitations and didn’t want to drown in a sea of plugins to make a functional ecommerce website. That’s why I chose to go in a different direction. Kajabi gave me all the tools I needed; no plugins required.

What other tools do you use to run your online course business?

I lean heavily on PowerPoint for slide creation and video recording. I also use my iPhone, a ring light, and the Sony Vegas editing suite to create videos outside of PowerPoint. Vegas exports videos to high-quality, compact MP4 files, which I upload to Kajabi when I create my course modules.

What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?

“How to Get Paid for What You Know” by Graham Cochrane is the perfect book for course creators. If you want to learn the basics of SEO, I recommend “3 Months to No. 1” by Will Coombe.

Course creation can be daunting, so it’s imperative that you have a good mindset before beginning the process. There are so many terrific self-development books that I’ve read. It’s difficult to list just a few.

But I suggest starting with “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins, “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” by Dr. Joseph Murphy, and “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. Read all three and see which one most resonates with you. That will inform further reading.

The bottom line: Never stop learning.

Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?

The biggest mistake I made was not including a money-back guarantee when I first published my course. - Dan Padavona Click To Tweet

I was afraid people would take advantage of my offer, watch the course, then ask for their money back.

And yes, a few people have “cheated the system”, but my sales increased markedly after I offered a guarantee. Trust people and put your money where your mouth is. If you create terrific courses, almost no one will ask for their money back.

Dan Padavona's site

Please share some idea of revenue.

I don’t do launches because I prefer my courses provide evergreen income every day of the year. Between book and course sales, I bring in about $25,000 per month on average. Since I value content marketing over traditional advertising, I keep most of that revenue as income.

My goal is to eclipse $60,000 per month by October 2025.

Please tell us a little about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.

Selling books and teaching others how to do the same allowed me to retire over three years ahead of time from my career with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Now I control my destiny. Using earnings from the last three years, we are building a house in my favorite Finger Lakes city, Ithaca, NY, and will move in next summer.

I no longer need to worry about taking budget vacations. My wife and I travel whenever we want to.

This new business is truly a blessing.

In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?

I’ve added more than 100 subscribers to my list overnight on multiple occasions. The best way to accomplish this is to make contacts in the industry and partner with other course creators. For instance, I’ve partnered with authors who were selling writing courses but lacked an Amazon advertising course. By marketing to each other’s lists, we provided value to our newsletter subscribers.

If you don’t have industry contacts, you can absolutely add 100 subscribers overnight using Facebook advertising. There is a learning curve to Facebook advertising, so start small and experiment with targeting. Once you find an advertisement that works, double down and build your list.

What has creating your course done for you personally?

The greatest joy I receive from course creation is knowing I helped someone further his or her writing career.

I’m a living, breathing example that a good Amazon advertising strategy can take an author from ground zero to the top of their genre in a short amount of time. It’s wonderful to give authors hope. That moment when the lightbulb goes on and something clicks is special. It makes everything I do worthwhile.

Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?

One person wrote me to say they doubled their book sales in less than a month because of my course. That same person grew their sales by tenfold the following month.

Another client pushed their book into the top-25 on the Amazon crime thriller chart, which is highly competitive. I happened to be cruising the charts one day, saw their book, and smiled. A few short months ago, they’d given up hope of ranking that book. Now it was selling every day and generating life-changing income.

That’s a wonderful feeling for a teacher.

What advice do you have for people just starting out?

There are no shortcuts or free lunches. If you want a digital platform that showcases your course, takes care of the transactions while you sleep, and signs people up to your email list, you won’t find what you desire with free WordPress plugins. I pay $200 to Kajabi every month and consider that money well spent. If I’d “gone cheap” and tried to build everything on a typical blog platform, I’d still be pulling my hair out to make everything work.

Also, content marketing is difficult and takes time, whether you write articles, publish videos, or host a podcast. And no, you can’t push a button and expect AI to do everything for you.

Plan on spending a few hours every week creating content. Be patient. It’s rare to see an article or video take off overnight. - Dan Padavona Click To Tweet

Sometimes, months pass before the content gets real traction. That’s okay. Keep creating in the meantime and good things will come to you.

Learn more about Dan Padavona of

Lisa Parmley
Lisa Parmley

Lisa Parmley is the founder of After gaining a Master's degree, she worked in research for about seven years. She started a training company in 2001, offering a course helping people pass a professional exam. That course has earned multiple 7 figures. She created SEO and authority site building training around 2007 which went on to earn well into the 6-figure mark.

She has 22+ years of experience in the trenches creating and selling online courses. Get help starting and growing your online course business here.

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