Chris Bibey on Offering Online Courses

You know how I personally feel about broadening horizons as freelance writers--that you need to diversify to really find the best overall business practices for yourself. There are many ways you can diversify your work and income streams. We've talked about releasing e-books. We've talked about launching blogs. Another option is to offer online courses. Since that is something I've never pursued personally, I asked Chris Bibey of ChrisBlogging to come by and share his thoughts on the matter. Chris runs a successful freelance writing course, and here he shares his experiences, how he got started, why he enjoys it, and how you can get started in online courses too. Below is Chris' guest post for AFW's readers. Enjoy!

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Since opening my freelance writing course to the “public” I have had the pleasure of working with many aspiring writers. The idea of starting my own course came from the daily emails I receive from individuals who want to break into the industry. Although I still love answering emails, it is exciting to get to know each and every member on a more personal level.

Here are three reasons why I decided to start my freelance writing course, and what it has done for me in terms of benefits:

  1. Teach others. This was my number one concern from the get-go. As noted above, I receive regular emails from aspiring freelance writers. By offering a course showing others how to break into the industry, I have had the chance to work one-on-one with quite a few individuals. Even though everybody gets something different out of the course, it is my goal to ensure that every member is in a better place upon completion.
  2. As you know, multiple streams of income are essential to achieving big time success online. Even though I earn a good living through freelance writing, my course allows me to pick up additional income each month. And of course, gaining new members is easy because of my freelance writing blog and successful career. In other words, all of my income streams tie together in some way, shape, or form.
  3. Working at home as a freelance writer means that I don’t have the chance to communicate with many people. Fortunately, my course allows me to talk with other like minded professionals via email, instant messenger, and phone on a regular basis. Since I love talking about freelance writing and related subjects it is fun for me to communicate with members of my course.

"I want to start my own course!" This is something that a lot of people have said to me in the past, and I am sure to hear it again soon enough. If you want to start your own course, follow these tips:

  1. Find something you are passionate about. I chose the freelance writing niche because I love writing, can talk about it for hours on end, and am established within the industry. No matter what, make sure you get involved with a subject you are passionate about. This will help to ensure long term success.
  2. Leverage your current situation. One of the main reasons my freelance writing course has become so popular is that I have a “built in audience” via my blog, ChrisBlogging.com. By using my blog as a platform I have been able to bring in new members month in and month out. Do you have a popular blog or website that you can leverage?
  3. Don’t do it for the money, but make sure you price it right! Sure, I enjoy making money from my freelance writing course but it is not the main reason for offering it. I have received countless emails from friends in the industry telling me that $100/month for all that I offer is entirely too low. I agree that charging more would be more than possible, but I prefer to keep the course affordable for everybody. Make sure you don’t set your price too high. If you do, it will be difficult to gain traction.

I hope this information shows why I decided to start my freelance writing course, as well as how you can do the same thing with your topic of choice.

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This post was written by Chris Bibey of ChrisBlogging.com.

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Chris is a full-time freelance writer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He specializes in web content, sales copy, and many other forms of writing. Chris has two books in print, as well as hundreds of articles in local and nationwide publications.

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