If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? My friend, Mark Jackson did just that, making extra money online with his travel consulting side business. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, and then move on and create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals. Eventually you could spin this into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make their dream trip a reality.
I don’t point all of this out to burst anyone’s bubble, but rather because I have been an entrepreneur for long enough now (more than two decades) that I have learned that it pays to be a realist. The heart of any good business strategy is truly understanding and correctly diagnosing your situation, and the above facts are critical for anyone hoping to succeed at selling online courses.
On many of these platforms you do have the opportunity for students to leave reviews. We all know the power of reviews due to sites like Amazon. Reviews are extremely powerful and provide social proof that helps in driving more sales and profits. But to get good reviews don’t overthink things. Number one, focus on creating the highest quality and valuable content that you can on your topic. Then next you can prompt students at various points throughout the course to take action and leave a positive review or rating if they have enjoyed the content inside, to help encourage others to enroll. You can also incentivize them in some way in exchange for a review, like sending them a content upgrade or free report, video or interview. That’s really all I’ve ever done. Keep it simple.
Now this would usually be considered a risky or "blackhat" link building method that could get your websites penalized by Google. However, we aren't building the links directly to your main "money websites," we are building the links to your support layer of websites! This includes article directories, web 2.0 properties, and mini blogs that you've already created (taught in the prior lessons).
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