Creating Multiple Streams of Income Through Blogging and Course Creation
By Jena Kroeker
During uncertain times, one thing is certain — the importance of creating multiple streams of income for your freelance business.
In a previous Freelance University blog post, we discussed the challenge of maintaining a consistent income throughout the year. For example, projects may be inconsistent or technology may change, causing services to become obsolete. Clients’ businesses can also be affected by the economic climate, creating a dry spell for you. Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we know of many freelancers who have experienced this challenge as some clients shut down their brick and mortar businesses.
But other clients have thrived by adapting to an online environment. And in this midst of this development, the consumption of online content has grown, in particular, blogs and online courses.
According to Coral Ouellette in her article, “Ultimate List of Blogging Statistics and Facts (Updated for 2021),” about 409 million people view over 20 billion pages each month. At the same time, marketers are 13 times more likely to have a positive ROI when they prioritize blogging.
And when it comes to online courses, an article titled “9 steps to sell courses online: The complete guide” reports, “the e-learning market is expected to be worth $325 billion by 2025.” As global e-learning and course consumption increase dramatically during the pandemic, many experts expect that trend to continue. Some top reasons why people purchase online courses are to become “certified in a subject to boost their career opportunities” or “to gain knowledge for a career change or when first starting a career.”
So, despite the challenges, the future is bright for online content. In this blog post, we’ll focus on blogging and course creation as two growing income streams that go hand in hand.
Blogging as an Income Stream
As the article above states, websites with a blog have “434% more indexed pages,” and “businesses that blog experience twice as much email traffic as businesses who don’t.” Consequently, companies owe it to themselves to invest in blogging.
And many different types of clients require blogging services. Some are skillful writers who lack time to blog as their business responsibilities increase. Others don’t enjoy blogging and would rather spend time doing other content marketing activities. And some have great ideas and topics in mind, but struggle with writing. You can provide welcome relief for all these clients through your services while at the same time creating multiple streams of income for yourself.
For example, the writing I do for the Freelance University blog (this article you’re reading right now), is a service I offer as part of my freelance business. As FreeU’s resident blogger, I research the topic I’m given and craft a blog post that’s educating and informative for our audience, while at the same time conforming to SEO guidelines.
And the beauty of blogging is how it’s a natural step toward online course creation. In an article titled “Why All Bloggers Should Create an Online Course,” Morgan Timm recommends repurposing blog content you’ve already created by using it as scripts or outlines for course videos:
“This is one of the main reasons that we see bloggers being able to create online courses so quickly. One of the most time-consuming parts of creating an online course is the researching and scripting, and many bloggers have already done that through creating blog posts.”
If you already have a blog, this strategy can boost your earning potential in your own business. It’s also a powerful service to offer clients by repurposing their blog content into courses. Then, once the courses have been launched, blogging can be used as a channel for promoting them.
So, let’s focus now on how you can create a stream of income through online course creation.
Creating Multiple Streams of Income with Online Courses
1. Creating Courses for Clients
As mentioned above, the growth of online course consumption shows no signs of stopping. In Freelance University’s Online Course Creation and Management certification, FreeU co-founder and instructor Craig Cannings lists niches that urgently need help with courses. During the pandemic, we’ve seen demand from these niches skyrocket:
• Conference or seminar speakers who are no longer able to hold in-person events
• Coaches who can no longer meet with people one on one or in groups
• Authors whose book tours and in-person promotional activities have been cancelled
• Hobby-based businesses whose products are in greater demand because of people spending more time at home.
The Online Course Creation and Management certification provides skills in creating an effective online course strategy, designing a course outline and plan, developing video-based modules and resources, setting up your course technology, and managing and updating courses. Mastering these skills goes a long way toward creating multiple streams of income for your business.
Four Course Services to Offer
Online courses are a lucrative niche with four key areas to specialize in. As Craig explains In the FreeU certification, you can offer clients these important services:
Course Strategy and Planning
• Help clients define their course niche, select their course creation model, profile and research their target student audience, and determine their big why, goals, and strategic plans.
Course and Curriculum Design
• Help clients define learning outcomes, create course plan and curriculum outline, create student PDF workbooks and resources, create course slide decks, and define their teaching style and persona.
Course Platform Set-up and Support
• Help clients build their school using learning management programs like Thinkific, set up all related tech integrations (e.g. email program, payment gateways, and Google analytics), and upload all course materials and landing pages.
• Help clients set up digital marketing funnels, coordinate their online course launch, set up landing pages (squeeze and sales pages), set up Facebook Ads, build content marketing channels, manage social media, and research and recruit affiliate and content partners.
The skills involved in these services can also be applied to creating multiple streams of income in your own business with your own courses.
2. Creating Your Own Courses
Another advantage of online courses is they can boost your credibility when you share them on learning platforms like Skillshare and Udemy. In an article titled “8 Ways to Make Money as a Content Creator,” Dante Nicholas says, “Becoming a teacher on an online learning platform can help increase your profile as a thought leader, which will help you to build life-long, engaged followers across your channels.”
And not only that, in his article “How to create and launch your first online course,” Kieran Tie makes this powerful assertion:
“For freelancers, a well-crafted online course can help you step off the client treadmill and control your own time. For bloggers, they’re an ideal opportunity to change your audiences’ lives and turn your blog into a consistent moneymaker. And for budding entrepreneurs, they’re the best way to start growing a side income and break free from the 9-to-5 grind.”
He also stresses that “online courses are a great way to generate passive income for your business.” You may find that as time goes on, you’ll reach capacity and find it harder to add new clients. Creating multiple streams of income that involve passive income like online course sales lets you earn revenue when you’re not at your desk.
Selecting a New Income Stream
If you’re interested in blogging or online course creation but lack the skills, seek training and resources where you can upgrade and master your niche. These service areas won’t disappear anytime soon, so they’re worth exploring to diversify your income.
If you’re overwhelmed by the possibilities, spend time brainstorming and thinking about your options. As we discuss in our previous blog post, you can select a new income stream by examining these factors:
• Marketing skills you already possess
• Services you enjoy doing
• Services that are in demand by your target audience
• Percentage of your income that should be passive vs. active
• How much time you can devote to launching a new income stream
• Whether you can launch this new income stream on your own or need to hire a team.
And now we’d love to hear your insights. Do you see an opportunity to add blogging or online course creation services to your business? If you already offer services like these, do you see a way to expand your offerings? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!