Time for a brother brag!
As I have been starting my blog, my bother Ezra has been launching an online business of his own. Ezra is a college student studying to become a social studies teacher. My brother is very affable and I know he will make a great public school teacher. However, he isn’t ready to take a vow of poverty quite yet.
Ezra has used his teaching skills to launch an online course!
I recently sat down with Ezra and interviewed him (it was awkwardly formal!) about how he used YouTube to launch a paid online course
Ezra got the idea for his business a year ago during an elective entrepreneurship class. The professor counseled the students to not bet their live savings on risky ventures. Instead, seek out entrepreneurial opportunities with little or no risk.
On his college campus, Ezra works part time in the library teaching students how to use computer software. He came up with the idea to use his skills to build an online course teaching the basics of a Photoshop alternative software called Affinity. The business was virtually no risk because Ezra already had the knowledge and tools to build the course.
Still, there was the risk of time. Ezra didn’t want to spend dozens of hours making a course if nobody would buy it. He needed to find out if people were really interested in learning Affinity software.
The YouTube Test
Ezra decided to start making short YouTube tutorials on Affinity. Each video focused on one particular Affinity skill and was under 10 minutes in length.
People started watching Ezra’s videos. When they saw he was posting new videos on a consistent basis they subscribed to his channel. Ezra made a point to respond to every comment that was left on his videos.
In his first 6 months on YouTube Ezra got over 5,000 subscribers. The channel is still exploding with almost 1,000 new subscribers per month. There was definitely an untapped market for people that wanted to learn Affinity!
Ezra started putting ads on his YouTube videos. With 5,000 subscribers Ezra is currently making about $100 a month from his YouTube videos. Nice lunch money, but Ezra knew if he wanted to start making serious money he would have to create his own product.
Launching His Course
Once Ezra had determined that there was a demand for tutorials on Affinity, he decided to create an online course! He used the comments on his YouTube videos as feedback and began developing a comprehensive beginners course.
Ezra decided to launch his new course on Udemy. One of the nice things about Udemy is that there is no startup cost! Anybody can sign up and become an instructor. Udemy hosts your content at no charge and only takes a cut of your profit when you make a sale.
Additionally, Ezra took advantage of Udemy’s free courses on creating an online course that sells. He reports the content Udemy teaches is highly valuable in creating and marketing any digital product.
Because Ezra had already built an audience on his YouTube channel, he was able to start making course sales almost immediately. Now, Ezra markets his paid course in all his new YouTube videos. In his first month, Ezra got 75 paid customers to his course and made over $600! He continues to see those numbers rise as he begins to branch out in his marketing.
Building on Success
With his $100 a month from YouTube and his $600 a month from Udemy, you can see Ezra is already making a decent amount of money from a venture that is only 6 months old. This feat is especially impressive when you consider that he goes to school full-time, works part-time, and launched this whole business for virtually $0.
So what’s next for Ezra? He plans on building a larger and more comprehensive course for intermediate Affinity users. His new course will have a bigger price tag and be hosted on Teachable so he doesn’t have to share a cut with Udemy.
Additionally, he plans to branch out into auxiliary products like Addinity macros. Macros are pre-programmed processes that can automatically perform complex tasks. There are other people online that are making thousands of dollars a month selling macros for other programs. Ezra thinks he can tap into that same market for Affinity
As Ezra continues to build his audience and product line, it’s easy to imagine his online income matching or exceeding his income from being a social studies teacher.
As his brother, I can attest that Ezra is a smart and driven dude. However, I don’t think he will mind me saying that he is also extremely normal. His process of building a following on YouTube and then selling them an online product is a simple plan that anybody can follow.
Check out his website and drop him a line if you need any advice.