Online "course" starting to get traction, wondering what best to do next

I have a blog,, that’s been getting pretty good traffic. Since mid-2014 it’s gotten about 4000-5000 visits a month, and the last couple months have been around 6000.

I had been at a loss as to how to monetize the blog and then at MicroConf 2016 a couple people suggested offering courses. I thought it was a great idea so that’s my plan.

One important component is building the list. In the couple months that followed MicroConf I had a hard time figuring out an opt-in that would convert above half a percent. I tried a number of things and was kind of at a loss as to how I could add people to my list at a reasonable rate.

Then, about a week and a half ago, I decided on a whim to offer a webinar, not because I thought it would help the business, but as practice for a totally unrelated presentation I had to do soon. I gave the webinar the imaginative title of “Free Angular 2 Webinar”. To my surprise, on short notice and with a horribly bad sales page, 24 people signed up for the webinar. More people were even signing up for the webinar after it ended. So I guess I found a lead magnet people respond to.

This got the gears turning in my head. If 24 people signed up for my Angular 2 webinar, I bet at least one of those people would be interested in buying some sort of product from me. In fact, one of the attendees told me straight up, “If you had had an Angular 2 book, I would have bought it today.” I don’t think I want to write a book yet, but I do think I want to offer something.

But I might be getting ahead of myself to think about paid products already. Maybe let’s focus on the wide end of the funnel (the webinar) for at least a little bit, then once the wide end is performing satisfactorily, turn my attention to the next funnel step.

I happened to check out the Copy Hackers site today for the first time in a long time because I know my copywriting skills need work, and I came across a very interesting page on their site. I can very easily imagine that page with the copywriting stuff replaced with Angular/Rails stuff, and that’s my webinar sales page. And also maybe I don’t call it a webinar, I call it a course. For starters the course is just a webinar but I build it up as I go.

So I have a bunch of ideas dancing around in my head and I think a lot of them are good ideas. What I want to make sure I do is to execute these ideas in a smart way rather than just mindlessly implementing random crap without a specific outcome I’m working toward.

Just thinking out loud, I think what I want is a funnel that works like this:

  1. You find by googling some Angular/Rails issue you’re having
  2. You sign up for my free “course” (which is currently just a webinar) and get added to my email list, and of course take the course
  3. You’re offered my yet-to-exist paid course(s)

I’m already all set on step 1. I think what I want to do now is get step 2 working reasonably well before I invest time into step 3.

So I guess my questions would be:

  1. Does my overall plan seem to be a good idea? If not, what should I do instead?
  2. What would you recommend as a path from where I am now to having step 2 working nicely?


Just offer the webinar. Dont wait for X subscribers. You will get a chance to talk to people, see where they struggle at. Do it 2-3 times, and you will see what troubles people the most. And that’s your first infoproduct.

@shantnu Roger that. Thanks.