Are you overwhelmed with all the planning, work, and decisions you need to make when you are thinking about creating your first online course? Learn from seasoned course creators on what worked, what didn’t work, and what they recommend for others creating their first course.

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Next up in the first course launch experience series is Chelsea Clarke, founder at HerPaperRoute.

Also in the series: Sally Miller, Cate Rosales, Elna Cain, and Megan Johnson.

Chelsea Clarke picture

Who is Chelsea Clarke?

Chelsea has been a Marketing Strategist and blogger for over 10 years.

She founded HerPaperRoute as a way to inspire other women to believe in their business idea and show you that you can do this.

She provides free and paid marketing training on HerPaperRoute in an attempt to support entrepreneurs learn about making money and marketing their business.

Let’s hear from Chelsea about her first course launch experience:

How did you come up with your course idea? 

The first course I created was Be Your Own Blog Boss (which I still update every month, today!).

I created that course because I saw so much information circulating online about affiliate marketing and blogging that was wrong!

I had been working in marketing for over a decade and earning a living from blogging for some time, and I knew that my affiliate marketing strategy worked.

So I wanted to share it with other people, help others earn a living from their blog, and hopefully cut through the noise of all the bad advice that was out there.

9000 students later, and I’m happy to say it has!

Did you have a plan in place before you started creating your course content? 

Haha, I think I planned for one day, before I got to work writing the content and shooting videos!

My planning stage was just writing out ideas onto paper. I had so many things that I wanted to put into that first course (it’s actually a huge course that covers a lot more than affiliate marketing), and I just wanted to get it out there into the world.

I like to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. When I have an idea, I just go for it.

Which platform did you choose to host your course? Why? Was it a good decision? 

It really doesn’t matter which platform you use. As long as it gives you the ability to sell your course and keep track of your students, you’re good.

You can even host your school on your own website, using an LMS theme. I’ve actually done that, as well as used Teachable.

I just switched to Podia!

I explain more about my experiences using the different platforms and detail why one may or may not be right for you in How To Create An Online Course

Learn about other online course creation platforms here.

How did you market your first course? 

To my list of course!

Your email list is going to be the best way to market and sell your course. I also market my courses on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and with Google ads. But my email list trumps all those combined.   

What did you learn from your first-course launch? What worked and didn’t work? 

Going through my first course launch, I learned a lot.

But I think the thing that stood out to me the most was during the early-bird sale. I A/B tested, by promoting 2 different sales during the early-bird launch week. One offered a % off, and the other offered an actual dollar amount off.

The dollar amount off made the sale price more expensive than the % off offer, yet people were WAY more inclined to buy it. I learned that people would rather buy something that was a specific $ off offer, than something that was a % off offer – even if it means they have to pay more. Go figure!

What have you changed based on your experience? 

I’ve improved my tech, from when I started. I now use a professional microphone (instead of just talking into my laptop’s mic!).

Do you have any tools, resources, or equipment you recommend for creating courses? 

Get a good quality microphone, record your videos in 4k, and export the videos in as high-quality as you can.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, but just do what you can. The most important thing is the actual content you put out. 

Do you have any advice for others who are considering creating their first course? 

Just do it! Don’t get swamped in research mode, and ignore any voice in your head telling you you can’t. Because you CAN. Just start. Everything else will fall into place. 

Want more insight for your course? Check out the experiences of other course creators:

Insights on creating your first online course with Chelsea Clarke

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