This might seem a big dodgy to some people, but when you think about it, it makes sense.
The instructions on how to do something are often similar, regardless of who is teaching the process.
For example, you could have ten internet marketers all teaching how to maximize your Facebook advertising dollar, and the information in all 10 courses is likely to be somewhat similar, even though the courses were made by 10 completely different people.
Mark (not his real name) buys “how to” books on Kindle and then uses the content to create paid courses. The books he chooses are usually the kind that teaches how to turn a hobby into an income. “How to Make Money with Crochet” and “How to Make Money Golfing” could be two examples.
Mark looks for BIG, detailed books of 200 pages or more because he needs lots of material to build a course. If he can find two or three books on the subject, all the better because he can glean tidbits from each.
He learns the material inside and out, creates an outline for his course, and then records videos for each chapter of his outline. He talks about the topic in great length with lots of detail and examples. Then he gets the recordings transcribed and offers the whole thing as a drip-fed course.
The trick here is Mark is able to absorb a lot of information, make it his own and then teach it to others. This takes some practice and skill, and no doubt it’s easier for some than for others.
But by using this model a person could also rewrite the content found in the books and then simply have a professional read the content into audio files. I suggest using a professional, because when most of us read we don’t sound natural, which can be a real turn-off for listeners.
The point is to create a course that is valuable and drip feed it over a fixed period of months, charging a monthly subscription fee for a set period of time.
Mark lets prospects know up front that this is a 6month, 9 month or 12 month course because this increases subscriber retention significantly. He also tested making the memberships open ended with new information added as long as a person remained a member, but found the fixed term resulted in fewer members dropping out and a bigger bottom line.
He gets his new members from advertisements in magazines and online newsletters and websites. His favorite method for attracting members is to team up with list owners and give them a percentage of the income.
Something I found really interesting is that because he is creating these courses in hobby niches, he is able to pay less than the standard 50% to his affiliates. Many of the list owners he approaches are thrilled to receive 30%, namely because they’re not all that familiar with how to monetize their lists.
But this will depend on the niche and the list owner. Niches like golf and dog training seem to have savvier list owners than say, knitting and woodworking.
His ads always use a variation of this theme: “Turn your hobby into your full-time job.” He says that regardless of the niche, this theme brings in the buyers and gets the vast majority to stay with the course until the end.
His websites and prospecting emails are cookie-cutter, meaning they easily adapt from one niche to the next by simply changing the key words, phrases, testimonials and stories.
He has 9 of these membership sites right now with plans to add at least 3 more. And the majority of his time (about 10 hours a week) is spent placing ads and striking JV deals to get more members.
He charges from $9 to $19 a month for the memberships, and he’s making well over $5000 a month doing this.