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{Why might a product-based business owner also consider creating and selling an e-course? Today’s post, which comes from the lovely Sara Funduk, explores just that. Enjoy! –Stephanie}

Learning something through an e-course can be a great experience. The flexibility allows you to learn at your own pace and on your own time, and interacting directly with the course creator and other participants can be a lot of fun.

Maybe you’ve already taken an e-course or two, but have you ever thought of teaching one yourself? Here are three reasons why I think you should.

1. Create A Solid New Income Stream

If you’re a handmade business owner, you probably use many different avenues to get your wares seen. You might have an online shop, and you may deal with boutiques, fulfill wholesale orders, and sell in person at craft shows. Teaching an e-course could be a way for you to earn income from another stream.

It might not be something you’ve thought about before, but your creative skills are in demand.

This doesn’t mean you have to give away all your secrets – just share some of your knowledge. There are many people out there who would love to learn just a fraction of what you know!

It takes dedication, seemingly endless trial and error, and countless hours of practice to learn a craft, but creative professionals still seem to undervalue their skills. Realize that your experience in itself is valuable, not just your product.

2. Build Deep Connections

Interacting with the followers of your blog or shop via e-mail, social media and in person can be a lot of fun. And there’s no better feeling than getting a glowing review from a customer.

But if you want to know the fastest way to turn casual followers into fans, just teach them something!

During an e-course, participants will not only get to know you better, you’ll get to know them. Going through the experience of an e-course can turn a one-time customer into a fan for life. And, who knows, maybe you’ll want to expand into even more courses later.

3. Expand Your Reach (i.e. The Internet is Huge)

I’m sure you already know this from your experience selling online, but the internet is big… like really big.

E-Commerce, by allowing you the chance of getting in front of so many people, has made being a small business owner more viable than ever. Similarly, teaching an e-course allows you to reach so many more people than teaching a course in a physical location would. So teaching is a more ideal way to earn extra income than ever before.

You’re not limited by the population of your city or the convenience of the course time. There’s no concern for geography or time zones and it will literally open your course up to the world. Teaching an e-course exposes you and your work to even more people, and that’s always a good thing.

How To Get Started

So what do you think, is Sara right? Is creating and selling an e-course something you can see yourself expanding into? Let us know in the comments!

On the other hand, if you’re just not sure HOW to create an e-course, let me break down what I know real quick.

The most important thing is that you’re teaching a very specific outcome. For instance, how to sew a knit top, or how to create 10 different edible leaves and flowers to garnish cakes and pastries. Make it as tangible as you possibly can, pointing out all of the very specific things your potential participant can expect to learn.

Second item to keep in mind is the medium. You can create an e-course using video, audio, and/or text with images. You can stick to one or you can mix them all up together. But don’t be intimidated by any of these if you’ve never worked with them before. There’s more free tutorials online than you could ever get around to!

Next, you’ll want to decide whether your e-course will be live or evergreen. An evergreen e-course is one that’s always open, that anyone can join at any time. A live e-course is one that’s only open during a particular window of time once up to several times a year.

Finally, an important part of building your e-course will be deciding exactly how you’re going to package and sell it. For instance, you could follow the steps in my previous series, A ‘For Dummies’ Guide To Accepting Credit Cards From Your Own Website, to sell your e-course directly from your own blog or website. But if you want a truly fuss free, failproof solution for your first e-course– with no monthly fees– I recommend you check out Sara’s brand new site, CourseCraft. I kicked the tires, and I can tell you it looks pretty solid. (If you decide to try it yourself, definitely come back and let us know your thoughts as well!)

Sara is a Canadian blogger, maker-of-things and also the co-creator of CourseCraft – a simple way to create and sell e-courses. In her free time she likes to go for bike rides, rearrange furniture and pet kitties.

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