How a Free Video Course can Market Your Website
Let’s face it. We all like free stuff. As someone who is in business you know that this is one way to market your site. And one of the best things for free online is a course. That’s because we all love to learn. In this post, we’re going to discuss how creating a free video course and maybe even providing a certificate can help boost your traffic and your income.
People surfing the internet are always looking for something. Whether it’s entertainment or building their knowledge, people surf online with a purpose. We often don’t realize that we have a purpose in surfing either. Subconsciously we have a drive to learn or to be entertained.
I’ve said in other posts that we as bloggers need to offer true value to our readers in order to become successful and offering a video course is no different. Readers want excellent value if they are about to take their time to take a course. Video courses can take several hours to complete and your student will want to feel that they have achieved something worthwhile.
In general people on the internet love multimedia. Look at YouTube. Some videos are put together poorly, have hokey introductions and follow no system that makes a great video. Yet they get tons of views.
Why is this? It’s because the message they are giving is more important than the production quality. Hopefully, your goal and my goal is to produce a valuable message and have good production value. While some genres can produce poor-quality video, it’s important for you that if you want to be considered tops in your field, you need to produce good quality video. We’ll discuss that further on in the post
I like watching woodworking videos. I spend more time watching woodworking videos than actually doing any woodworking. The people in the video know their craft but many don’t know video production. It’s more like having a conversation with them in their shop. They market their site with these videos, intentionally or unintentionally they are doing what it takes to get their message out there.
The takeaway from these videos is that I got useful information that could I can use in my own shop. The information ranges from how to produce an entire kitchen to a few time-saving tips on how to make a straighter board.
Often, these woodworkers will direct you back to their site where they have more tips and many more videos. There is often an email signup form as well. Now some of these woodworkers are better at marketing than others quite obviously. In some cases, you’ll get a flood of emails and tire quickly of that person’s marketing efforts and in other cases, you’ll never hear from that person again. Just today I got an email from a woodworker who decided to send an email after a 6-month hiatus from posting. He doesn’t even realize that he lost a good deal of income by not staying in touch with his readers.
The point that I am making here, however, is that someone created an educational video and actually convinced me that I should go to their website because there is something worthwhile there for me. Consciously or not the woodworkers in the videos courses that I watch were marketing to me to go back to their website.
These woodworkers are craftsman first and marketers second. They truly understand their craft and they were excited about it. They wanted to share their information and they gave all of it freely right in the YouTube video.
Remember this when marketing your products. Be excited by what you do. Offer your knowledge and people will want to go back to your website. That’s whether you offer a video on YouTube or through another course marketing site like Udemy.
How Can a Course Help My Marketing?
Your course should relate to your products and services that you offer. Isn’t it more powerful to offer something for free and useful rather than saying “Buy my stuff?” Of course. If you offer to help people who are in need of your product you will be more likely to be top of mind when a purchasing decision is made.
By offering a great course on a subject you also solidify your position as an expert in your field. When all is equal between you and a competitor the person offering the most value is not necessarily the winner. Where the purchase involves more than a few dollars, trust will be a major factor in the decision.
Trust is not based on just one factor but if you obviously know what you are talking about and are giving good and valuable information to your buyer to make an informed decision you will check a few boxes in your prospect’s decision making brain.
I like to use the example of Jim and Ricky from Income School. Have you seen their YouTube Channel? Every day they produce exceptional content and give away their knowledge for free. Much of this could be sold but they have something even better behind the curtain on their website.
The advice is sound, easy to follow and logical. They tell you a little about themselves and their background and they have the proof of income. They show in their videos how their sites start off slowly and then after a few months of slow growth something happens with Google and the number of views starts increasing at a rapid rate.
They can show you this time and time again on all of the websites they own. Their formula is so successful they have hired a team of writers (called their Creator Studio) that are producing new content for new sites.
The moral of their story is that they freely give 110% of the information you need for free and then if you’re as impressed as most normal people would be you want to purchase the step by step school that will take you on a building adventure to get your website not only off the ground but earning a substantial income.
How do I make money from giving it all away for free?
Eventually you will not be giving it all away for free but initially, I recommend doing that because you are still building your audience. While you were still increasing your audience size and your website visits and page views you can make money through a number of different ways.
Let’s start with affiliate products. This is one of your first sales methods should be to sell quality products where you can get paid a commission. Some affiliate products will pay as much as 100% of the sale. Remember, the idea of an expert is to sell quality and not any product that you can find that pays a commission. You’re in the process of building trust and do not break that trust by promoting something that will eventually tarnish your image and your brand.
Once you have established a decent reader base you will be able to start selling some of your products that you might have given away for free in the past. If you do this, I recommend you update your products and add more useful information to them so people who have taken your free version of your course in the past are still tempted to take your paid version.
Your paid version of your courses should become an even deeper program with more value for your clients. Remember you have gained the respect of people who have taken your online courses and you want to continue to have your students think of you in high regard.
You want to keep those five-star reviews coming in even after you start charging for your courses.
You can also bundle your free online courses into a master course and start charging money for it once you’ve established yourself.
Once your website starts regularly hitting 30,000 to 50000 page views per month you can start investigating native ads. Native ads are the ads that look like articles on your website. Ads can lead to $100 to $2,000 a month extra revenue. Some native advertising companies will admit you with just 30,000 page views per month and some companies will require 100,000 page views per month.
Some native advertising companies are, Outbrain, Triple Lift, Tabula, and Traffic Planet. Payment is usually done per 1000 views and the numbers can vary greatly depending on your niche and the advertisers involved. I’ll be coming up with an in-depth article a native advertising shortly.
Hopefully, you’re building an email list right from day one with your website. Your email list is the lifeblood of your website. If you treat your email list with respect you can make a good income just from the list alone.
How Do I Produce An Online Course?
To produce a quality course that people will want to complete and give you good reviews, it’s important to understand the basics of the principles of adult learning.
Adults need information that has relevance to their life in real time. Adults generally do not learn something for the future as you would in college but they have a need to know something immediately.
Adults need to know why they are being taught. Sometimes even small things may seem irrelevant to adult Learners and it’s important that you take the time to explain why someone is learning a certain task. Since adults are driven by the final outcome we may not understand how some of the finer details are important to producing quality results.
Adult learning is self-directed and has to include experiences, adults need to be in control of their learning.
You should have an idea about how popular the course will be. Since you were working in a niche that you know and love you should have an idea about the demand of your course. It’s important that you don’t waste a lot of time on an idea that nobody wants or appreciates. Do keyword research about your topic to see if it will have adequate popularity.
At the beginning of your course you should state your learning outcomes. Learning outcomes need to be compelling to help sell your course and give your students an idea of what they can expect by the end of the course. When realistic to do so try to use words like master or expert in your learning outcome.
A sample learning outcome:
By the end of this course you will master the techniques needed to cut precise joinery to produce a beautiful heirloom jewelry box.
Camtasia or Movavi
When producing your course consider using Camtasia Studio or Movavi. Camtasia studio is probably the best video editing software for creators who produce videos for training on Udemy or YouTube. If has an excellent interface that is easy to use and has several animations.
With Camtasia you can add quizzes which work well when producing courses.
You can add a separate audio track and quite possibly your audio track could be used for a podcast!
You can combine Camtasia as an add-on with MS PowerPoint. This will allow you to incorporate a slide show into your training as we often see done on YouTube.
With these two tools alone you can produce videos for YouTube, your actual course video, and podcasts that you can distribute through iTunes.
Camtasia has a number of videos to assist you in learning how to use their product and they are all excellent. The videos are available to everyone so you have an opportunity to view the product before purchasing.
How Can I Market My Online Course?
For the purposes of this article I’m going to assume that you have 0 subscribers on your email list I’m at your web presence is just starting out. I’m also going to assume that you are working on a very limited budget and cannot afford large amounts of advertising.
That means social media will be how you market your product.
I have seen several people use Pinterest to produce thousands of web page views per month. Pinterest is a visual medium so it’s important to have photographs or infographics about your course.
If you are not good at producing graphics go to fiverr.com and hire someone to produce several infographics that you can use on Pinterest. Using the woodworking example from earlier in this post you may have an infographic. It shows different wood types and how they affect your project. If you are running a cooking course you might have an infographic on the essential spices that every kitchen needs.
When using Pinterest you should also consider using Rich Pins where you include metadata and more information on the post itself. Rich pins can be set up in Pinterest business to show off products, recipes, articles, and apps.
YouTube is a powerful marketing channel that will get you a ton of page views on your website if you concentrate on giving good value on your YouTube channel.
With YouTube, you can produce videos of 5 to 15 minutes in length where you explain what your course is about and give a few tips. Create your own YouTube channel for your courses and populate that channel with dozens a videos relating to different courses that you are offering.
The main goal for being on YouTube is to show that you are credible with good information to offer and create a link back to your website where people can find your course. When posting your videos make sure you use lots of key words starting with the keywords you wish to rank for.
You can also direct people from your Pinterest posts and other social media posts to your YouTube channel which will increase the number of views that you get. By increasing the number of views you get by driving traffic to your videos, YouTube will start to rank you higher in their system and your videos may start showing up on the suggested videos column.
The time you spend producing YouTube videos to build your credibility will be well worth it in the long run and can rival any money that you would put into advertising.
Once you hit 4000 hours of viewing time and 1000 subscribers you can monetize your videos with YouTube ads too. This will be an additional revenue stream for you. While 4000 hours may seem like a lot of time, don’t forget that there are 1.3 billion YouTube users and 4000 hours and 1000 subscribers is very attainable.
Quora is a question-and-answer social media site. A user poses a question and then several people will try and answer that question. Quora results often rank highly in Google and for that reason, you should be posting answers on Quora.
I would suggest that you create a question and then write a comprehensive answer to the question. Have a friend of yours pose your question on Quora and then immediately go in and answer the question with your comprehensive answer. For instance you could ask your friend to pose the question “What are the essential spices in any kitchen?” You could post an answer to your question and have a link to your website or your YouTube videos.
By writing your article so you can excerpt a few paragraphs to answer the question you can speed things up dramatically.
The person posing the question gets to pick the best answer.
This technique can be used over and over again until you have hundreds of questions and answers in Quora.
While not considered social media podcasts are great way for people to listen to your course when they are not in front of a computer. Many people can listen to a podcast in their car or even on headphones in their office.
As you are recording podcasts it’s important to put your website address or your YouTube channel in your intro and outro. Many podcasters also take a break during their podcast for their own commercial message. Just remember that in today’s listening environment people do not tolerate long messages. Try to keep your commercial message length to 5 seconds to 15 seconds and no more.
When posting to twitter remember to post often, use hashtags and incorporate photographs or graphics into your Twitter posts.
If you have your YouTube channel setup you can direct your audience to your YouTube channel or your website.
Your website should be using a plugin like Rank Math to increase the odds in your favor of getting a higher rank in Google. Adequate content and time will get you there but there is nothing wrong with helping the process along by optimizing your website.
Optimizing your site, posts, graphics and videos should become second nature to you and Rank Math will help you get there by showing what you need to do. Remember though, an empty website has nothing to optimize and nothing for Google to find. A website with many, many posts and multimedia has a very good chance of being found and ranked than a website with just a few posts or just a sales page.
I recently saw a YouTube video where a website owner spent $4000 on buying 200 posts and by the end of a 12 month period was getting $15,000 in monthly revenue. The goal in telling you this is not to go out and spend money to buy posts, but to demonstrate that a website with enough quality articles will produce traffic and that traffic can be monetized.
We all like free things. The internet, however, is full of offers that sound good but that don’t deliver. My personal belief is that we are in a new age online, where even the best information available can often be found for free.
By demonstrating your knowledge, you become an expert and a leader in your field. People trust experts and are more likely to buy a product from someone who is an expert.
Without providing adequate information to people who visit your YouTube channel or your website you will never be considered an expert.
When you are new to internet marketing remember these points can give your knowledge freely. In a short time, after you have established yourself in a field, you will be able to charge for your information.
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