Side Hustle Spark 196: Online course tips from 31 creators

Thought I would follow up on yesterday’s post…

No matter that this was published in 2017, these tips from Smart Passive Income are still valuable.

NOTE: I found some contradiction between those who advise diving in with passion and building vs. validating first.

Maybe the solution is: Put some of that passion into your ‘pre-building’ promotion. [sales pages, lead pages, social media posts].

You might even repurpose some of that same content. Hey, just a thought.

Here are a few favorites…

1. Whatever topic you have in mind right now, make it 5 times smaller. The biggest mistake is to think you have to cover everything in one step. – Kerstin, Fluent Language School

2. Find one person and walk them through your exact process of the course you’re considering creating.  – Jeff Rose, The Online Advisor Growth Formula

3. Stop reading about it. Taking action is the best teacher! …The more I studied, the more overwhelmed I became. I finally stopped worrying about it… – David Wallimann, Guitar Playback

4. The number one tip I would give to course creators is start building your list immediately.
– Fleur Ottaway, Venture Digital: Get Results from Your Facebook Ads

5. Do not prepare an online course for selling. Create an online course for what you love to do and then sell it. You will earn a lot if you tell a topic that you love to do. – Resit, Master of Project Academy

Many thanks to Pat Flynn and SPI for mining a wealth of advice and expertise.

Side Hustle Spark 195: Online Course Tips (

Slacker that I am, I hadn’t checked back with StartupNation in a long while. As expected, I’d missed plenty.

The info in Dylan Ogline’s post may be old hat to some of you, but I’m thinking there are still folks out there who could use a few basic guidelines, along with this link to 7 Steps to Validate Your Idea for a Profitable Online Course .

A few more highlights from this post:

  • “…it’s a heck of a lot easier to create—and sell—a course on that topic than it is if you’re throwing a course together just because you can.”
  • “…you’re going to be up against powerhouse course creators and learning platforms like Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning and more…make sure you’re creating a tangible, results-driven course.”
  • “you need to be willing to try and fail as fast as humanly possible…That means you need to sell your course idea before you’ve even built it…Create a sales page that demonstrates a clear value and start putting it out there…”

Side Hustle Spark 141: MasterClass Trailers

I’ve been spending lots of time checking out MasterClass’s greatly expanded offerings since my wife bought me a James Patterson writing course.
One of my discoveries–its targeted sets of topic-based videos.

This link takes you to trailers for their business-themed courses. Lots of thought-provoking stuff.

Here also is the link to MasterClass Live on YouTube. Excellent free knowledge being shared by the experts.

I was going to post this here and at my inventwithwords site next week, but I’m going to squeeze this in today to promote their 2-for-1 annual membership offer through Nov. 30. (Nope, not getting any $$ for doing this. Just wanted to pass this along. I’m inches away from ordering myself, as it opens me up to gift my friend with free year of all their courses.)

Side Hustle Spark 127: Create a podcast for an audience of one: You

Stay with me on this…

First, it’s probably nothing new. But…

I was thinking about my previous post— Sonia Simone’s 101 Conversion Strategies.

Great list with applicable ideas for all levels of entrepreneurs.

Something worth carrying around in one form or another.

So, today, I’ll use Audacity or GarageBand to record myself reading the list.


  • I’ll play back that mp3 at convenient times [walking, yard work, decluttering].
  • Its repeated reminders of effective strategies will accumulate over time and across different projects.
  • I’ll be doing the same with other favorite posts or passages from books.

Give it a shot.

Side Hustle Spark 126: 101 Conversion Strategies (Copyblogger)

sales conversion strategy ideas word cloud

Sonia Simone of Copyblogger really outdid herself with this Nov. 2 post.

This is another one of those ‘course within a blog post’ items. So much to consider.

101 Ways to Make More Sales Online

Here’s a sampling of some of her more intriguing ideas/reminders…

— “Test two headlines. When you find a winner, run it against a new headline. Keep eliminating second-best. Google Ads is a quick and efficient way to do this.”

— “Now that you’ve identified your fundamental human need, how can that be expressed in an emotion-based headline?

This one really captured my attention…

— “If you have a dog, use a photo of you with your dog instead. There’s something about a dog that lowers nearly everyone’s defenses.”

Have a great Monday.

I couldn’t resist…

Side Hustle Spark 112: Rebel Boss Summit

This looks very interesting if you have the time to drop in.

The Rebel Boss Virtual Summit.

Lots of sessions. The listing is here.

OCTOBER 19 – 22, 2020

The free entrance entitles you to live coverage, no replays.

All-Access Pass is $47. Power Pack is $97

Details here.

Prices Increase When Timer Runs Out. As of this writing, I have 18 minutes to opt-in before prices rise.

Okay, my time ran out…The prices did increase from $47 to $77 for the All-Access Pass and $97 to $127 for the Power Pack.

A reminder: I’m not affiliated with the Summit. Just passing along info and opportunities.

**A thought: I know some folks who use their screen recording software to record the sessions for later viewing. Again, just a thought.

Some of the bonuses offered IF you upgrade to the Power Pack:


So, if you have a little loose cash and some time on your hands, it would seem you could easily earn back the price of admission with a few of the sessions and bonuses tailored to your needs. OR, like me, just show up and watch, take notes…

**Another thought…would be interesting to set up a Zoom session with some others and ‘attend together’ on another screen.

Side Hustle Spark 102: Freebie email course (Meera Kothand)

Here is a link to Meera Kothand’s free Email Lists for Newbies.

She has churned out helpful (and affordable) books: But I’m Not An Expert, The One-Hour Content Plan, and 300 Email Marketing Tips, among others. (not affiliate links)

For more resources, spend time at her website. (Future posts will most likely point you to some of those same items.)

Suggestion 74: Today’s freebie from

A free auditable course named Creativity and Entrepreneurship.

Here is the blurb: “Learn skills and listen to examples from world-renown entrepreneurs and innovators as they discuss the parallels between the creative and entrepreneurial journeys — and why entrepreneurship, much like music or creativity, is something we all possess.”

“The course approaches entrepreneurship as a creative process, a fundamental human instinct that we all possess and can unlock. Creativity & Entrepreneurship applies concepts from the creative and musical creation process, such as observing, prototyping, iterating and embracing failure, as a means of guiding you through the concept of thinking like a startup. You will develop the basic mindset, knowledge, and insights required to pursue an entrepreneurial career, whether as the steward of your own career or as the founder of a new business in any field.”

Signing up is free at

Note: I’m not sure their parallels between entrepreneurs and musicians will connect with all those who sign up, but it’s worth a shot.

Who has time to take a course?

Let’s think…how can you get some value from an online course when you’re so busy with other list items?

A few ideas:

  • Run the lectures in the background while working on other tasks or exercising at home.
  • Pick and choose from the syllabus below.
  • Run ten minutes of the course while having your morning coffee.

Here is the syllabus:

Lesson 1: INSPIRATION: The Entrepreneurial Mindset

  • What is Entrepreneurship after all?
  • Why musicians are natural entrepreneurs
  • 5 Skills of Successful Innovators
  • Seeing What Others Don’t/Learn to Observe

Lesson 2: CREATION: Team Building and Product Development

  • Connecting with your Intentions
  • Process of Reduction
  • Falling in love with a Problem
  • Prototyping
  • Iteration


  • Understanding your Customer
  • Building a Team
  • Developing your Brand
  • Presenting

Lesson 4: REJUVINATION: The Inner Game of Entrepreneurship

  • Coping with Failure
  • The Art of Relationship Building/Developing a Network
  • Learn to Replenish
  • Panos’ This much I know is True

I hope this helps.

Let me know what else you would like me
to dig up for you.