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- Who: Heather Ritchie
- Website: writerslifeforyou.com
- Course Topic: Content Planning
- Interesting Stats: 5 to 20 sales of the course/month
Who are you and what course have you created?
I am a Certified Content Marketing Strategist, SEO content writer, and blogger. I have created several courses, but Content Planning 101 is my signature course (and favorite!)
What market does your online course serve?
I work with female content creators to help make the content creation process less stressful and overwhelming so they don’t feel like all they do is create content. I believe in showing up as your authentic self and want others to feel comfortable doing that too. I think content marketing is vital for any online business. It is the true way for people to connect with the ideal avatar and audience. Many content creators feel like they are constantly trying to feed the content monster, making them feel like a hamster on a wheel, and I want to make content creation easier for them.
My signature course, Content Planning 101, teaches content creators how to plan a year’s worth of content in two days or less. It combines everything I learned in 6+ years of writing content for my clients and myself. As a creative, planning was never really my thing, but now I swear by it, and content planning makes it much easier to create engaging, high-quality content that connects with your audience.
What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?
The most significant benefit is they can learn from my years of experience, including the mistakes I made, so that they can avoid them. Plus, they get a Trello content planning system to help them create a flexible content plan that works with their brain and business. While we all wish we were mindreaders, we’re not, so a flexible content plan allows them to change when unexpected things happen.
How did you get into the market?
I remember the struggles I faced as a content creator, and then systemizing my business and getting organized took it to a whole new level. I wanted to share everything I learned that made my life much easier as a content creator. Now I get much more done with what little time I have. The feeling is so freeing, and I want other people to experience that too.
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
I started creating courses to move away from services, and I was a police officer and general instructor who taught other officers for a long time, so I love teaching. I also have used courses to grow my business. Taking courses is one of my favorite ways to learn.
Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?
I think all course creators worry or doubt themselves when creating and launching a course, even experienced course creators. I know I certainly worried; plus, it was a new format where I taught the training live first and then converted it into a full-blown course. Some of the worries I had included:
- What if no one buys?
- What if someone does and they hate it.
- What if they give me bad feedback?
But I was determined that people needed this course, and no matter what it took, I would get it out to the world. I’ve also learned to look at launches differently too. There’s no such thing as failure if you learn from it. One of my favorite quotes is by Thomas Edison, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
What’s your online course like?
Content Planning 101 has videos, templates, worksheets, a Trello board, and other resources. There are different types of videos. Some are live-action, where students watch over my shoulders, while others are presentation style.
How long did it take you to create your course?
The nice thing about this process where you teach it live is that it takes less than ten days, including creating presentation resources and promotion. But turning it into a full course involved working on it off and on for several more weeks.
Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).
So, I’m a planner, but I learned this process from a mentor who incentivized us that she would promote our live trainings to her whole list. Otherwise, I would never have done such a tight turnaround. But it worked! However, there were SO MANY offers that I only got one sale from her list. The majority came from mine. I made more sales after that through tripwires, upsells, and after I turned it into a course.
I’m getting ready to do the full launch as a full course for the first time at the end of April.
Do you have a lead magnet?
I have a few lead magnets that get me tripwire sales and lead up to it. It’s working well enough that I will be turning it into an evergreen offer running in the background and doing live launches. All my offers and many of my opt-ins are tightly niched, which helps.
What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?I am in many summits and bundles, so I have a steady stream of monthly email subscribers. That has been the best traffic source for me. - Heather Ritchie Click To Tweet
I also use SEO and social media, but SEO is a long game. I grow my followers on social media regularly but make fewer sales than I do with my email list unless they are opting in through the resources at my bio link. These are all strategies that I started a while back but have refined over time.
What online course platform are you using?
I use Thrivecart Learn + because I use Thrivecart for my sales pages and checkouts. Before that, I used Teachable, but Thrivecart has saved me thousands in monthly fees that Teachable would have cost me.
Do you like it?
I love it, especially since it saves me money. It was a little clunky initially but has improved over time. Plus, my email service provider, Convertkit, directly integrates with it, so it’s easy to add takes and add students to email sequences: hands down, it’s one of the best course ecosystems out there.
Are there any features you wish it had?
I wish it had better options for housing a membership with courses, but it is workable, and I use a membership platform that I got an AppSumo deal on that many people have started using. So, it all works great.
What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?
Pricing was huge because, with Thrivecart, you pay a lifetime deal and never pay again. It was one of the best investments in my business I ever made. The features are great. Creating high-quality sales pages and automatically adding students to my courses is easy.
What other tools do you use to run your online course business?
I also use Heartbeat, Convertkit, Canva (for design), Elementor, and WordPress.
What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?
Oh wow, there are so many! Suzi and John Whitford of Start a Mom Blog and Freedom by Number have a great course on creating courses called Course by Number.
Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?
A past mistake I’ve made is not researching an offer well enough. I am also not as good with beta testing or preselling as I would like to be. Coming from law enforcement, I had no clue how to run an online business. It has been a steep learning curve, for sure!All my success has come from years of trial and error, taking courses and using other resources, as well as learning from my mistakes and refining my processes. - Heather Ritchie Click To Tweet
Please share some idea of revenue.
I’ve been selling anywhere from five to 20 sales of this course per month, depending on what is going on while I test the sales funnel. But I have not done an actual full launch yet, so I expect much more as I further refine things.
Please tell us a little about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.
It’s allowed me to work less on client work as each week, I make more and more course and digital product sales. In turn, that will let me make more courses and digital products and help more people.
In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?
One of the reasons I knew this course would be popular is that I contributed it to a bundle at the end of December. As a result, I got 738 email subscribers in 30 days for people signing up for it.
What has creating your course done for you personally?
Creating this course has solidified that I’ve refined my process of finding and validating course ideas, and I inspect that; as a result, I will be making a lot more money from my courses in the future. I love helping people, and this course will help me do that.
Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?
I’ve had people tell me that this course was a game-changer for their content creation process. It has helped them reduce the overwhelm of content creation and helped them plan their content easily. You can see some of the testimonials on the sales page.
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
Make sure you do good market research. Seriously, it’s a step you can’t miss.And never give up. If your first course isn’t successful. Use data to see where you went wrong. - Heather Ritchie Click To Tweet
Maybe people didn’t buy because it wasn’t the right offer, and maybe market research can help. But surveying your email list to see why they didn’t buy will give you actionable data. There are many reasons people don’t buy. It could be the price or that your offer was off a bit.