Had my first $500 looking to scale up...looking for some advice

27 replies
Hey, so I just wanted to say that I had my first $500/month during this current month. It's only 12/18 today, so I still have 13 more days to go in the month.

My website has been live and monetized since March, 2017.

I am in the guitar lessons business.

Here are my monthly stats that my website has brought in every month since March:

3/2017 - $114.65
4/2017 - $116.12
5/2017 - $62.08
6/2017 - $143.61
7/2017 - $176.54
8/2017 - $171.70
9/2017 - $338.53
10/2017 - $108.34
11/2017 - $209.08
12/2017 - $522.75 (and the month's not over!)

My model is simply that I have a website with a lot of free content on it (videos and blog posts), and I have 3 ways of receiving money:

1.) My $47 course which is lifetime access to my "members only section"
2.) My $9 ebook
3.) A donations button

According to my Google Analytics plugin, I'm getting about 150 - 200 "sessions" per day.

All of my traffic is free and primarily comes from YouTube videos and when I share a post on Reddit.

I have about 6500 YouTube subscribers.

I have an email list with about 150 people on it.

My Thoughts on "Scaling Up"

I think I'm going to start promoting my course through Facebook ads.

My plan is to create a 3-part course which can only be accessed once they give me their email address.

The 3 parts of the course are going to be very good and offer a ton of value, which hopefully is going to hook them enough to continue to learn from me.

I'm thinking that I will offer the 3 parts either all at once, and then give them the option to "continue learning" by purchasing access to the members area. OR I will span the free 3 parts of the course over 3 separate emails (maybe 1 per day or every other day), and then pitch the sale on the fourth day.

I think I have a good course since I've sold about 30 copies so far, and no one has asked for a refund. I've gotten a lot of compliments on the course as well!

My eBook is pretty good too (according to the 40 people that bought it).

Thoughts of Putting my Course on the Clickbank Market

I'm still trying to figure out how the best way to do this would be. My "course" is access to a members-only area of my site. It's way too much content to offer as a download; there's almost 1000 videos in the course.

The course has several links that link to free lessons on the site. Therefore, I'm not exactly sure how I'd go about making it into a "product" that I could have affiliates sell for me on Clickbank...

Would I replicate the course, and maybe just put it onto a new domain? Maybe the entire new "website" would simply be a sales page that shows the first 3 parts of the course for free (as I was talking about above), and then there would be a "buy now" button that somehow leads them back over to my main site so they can register there.

See, I don't think affiliates would want to direct people over to a site that has hundreds of free videos, but then also has a course for sale. I need to somehow create a "product" that results in people becoming members of my main website. I'm not quite sure how to do that though.

Main Goals

- My longterm goal is to make $3000/month.

- I want to have at least one month in my lifetime where I make $10K in one month

- I want to have a $1000 day at least once

I think this is very doable, but I still think I need a lot of guidance as to how to proceed.

Thanks a lot!
#$500 #advice #scale #uplooking
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    one thing I might add would be some content upgrades to get more people on your list. Maybe some guitar tab to go along with one of your free lessons. Then have a good sequence selling either your membership $47.00 or your ebook $9.00

    al
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  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    Use paid traffic and build your list.

    Create something that is more expensive than $47.

    You say you provide the course through a membership site. Create an upgrade with a monthly fee and add additional lessons each month.
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  • Profile picture of the author robofx
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    • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
      Originally Posted by robofx View Post

      **** you, mate and the roo you rode in on.
      Blasting an unspecified person is one thing but going after a defenseless roo crosses the line.


      Brent
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    I'll throw in a suggestion, Bkelly301.

    Focus on YouTube.

    You have a YouTube audience, you have the ideal business for YouTube, and you know enough to grow 6,500 subs.

    1. Consistent video publishing.
    2. Collect your audience.
    3. Syndicate videos (external).

    - Tom
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    • Profile picture of the author Bkelly301
      Originally Posted by Tom Addams View Post

      I'll throw in a suggestion, Bkelly301.

      Focus on YouTube.

      You have a YouTube audience, you have the ideal business for YouTube, and you know enough to grow 6,500 subs.

      1. Consistent video publishing.
      2. Collect your audience.
      3. Syndicate videos (external).

      - Tom
      Ya my plan was to continue to go the free traffic route via YouTube. But I was thinking more along the lines of paid traffic as well. I'm a complete newbie when it comes to paid traffic though (and I'm very careful about who I will buy a course from).
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      • Profile picture of the author anayb
        If I were you, my sole focus would be growing my YouTube audience to at least 100,000 subs no matter how many great videos I have had to produce to attain that level. Your current subs base isn't too much, although its a great start. Now, steadily add more videos to your channel because it's working. Remember, little is more in biz. Don't bid your time by trying to exploring all other traffic avenues now. Master just one traffic source in-and-out so that you can outsource the rest like emails, media buying, ppc and solo ads more confidently. Build an efficient system where you don't have to learn/work on each and every aspect of marketing. Delegation works better than micromanaging, especially when you want to scale. Hope, it helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mabu Map
    Do more video bro

    You gonna make it great with that method
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Couple of suggestions...

    If you go the FB route, pull out some 10-15 second highlights to use in a compilation on your landing page. Using an image that looked like a video with a play button on it was touted as a good way to get clicks, but I just read an article saying FB was going to start penalizing such ads as deceptive. Check the current TOS to make sure.

    As far as productizing for CB, why not go the "greatest hits" route? Pull out however many of your most popular lessons and put them on a seperate domain as a standalone product. Use the main membership as the upsell (and you may want to test a higher price point with 1,000+ videos). Lifetime access to that much content for a smallish one-time fee is crazy. You should be looking for some kind of monthly subscription.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bkelly301
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      Couple of suggestions...

      If you go the FB route, pull out some 10-15 second highlights to use in a compilation on your landing page. Using an image that looked like a video with a play button on it was touted as a good way to get clicks, but I just read an article saying FB was going to start penalizing such ads as deceptive. Check the current TOS to make sure.

      As far as productizing for CB, why not go the "greatest hits" route? Pull out however many of your most popular lessons and put them on a seperate domain as a standalone product. Use the main membership as the upsell (and you may want to test a higher price point with 1,000+ videos). Lifetime access to that much content for a smallish one-time fee is crazy. You should be looking for some kind of monthly subscription.
      The thing about the 1000 videos is that it seems like a lot, but really it's just 25 "sections" or "topics". The way that I have designed the course is that there needs to be that many videos.

      As a consumer myself of similar information, I don't feel that my course is worthy yet of a monthly membership. It might potentially have a value of $97 or $147 even...but it's not at the monthly membership levels yet.

      Once I'm up to about 50 sections or so, I will likely switch to a recurring membership model.

      However, I've still only sold about 30 total copies of access to the course at the $47 price....and that was over the course of about 8 months.

      I do feel like I'm overdelivering for $47, but it would be adequately priced at $97 in my honest opinion.

      My mind is exploding with ideas right now...This is my first $500+ month, so I'm all excited haha!

      I just wish I knew more about IM then I do. I guess there's only one way to learn though!
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  • Profile picture of the author st0nec0ld
    Whoa! Seriously, that's good to hear! Never expected a guitar lesson niche would be that profitable. Anyway, keep it up dude! I suggest you do more videos, and engage on other videos too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by Bkelly301 View Post

    I still think I need a lot of guidance as to how to proceed.

    One thing that no one has mentioned that you might consider . . .

    A joint venture or endorsed mailing. It will open up your product/business to a new audience of prospects. Do you keep tabs on the large list owners, product owners, competitors and influencers in your niche? Getting an authority endorsement would help your new business immensely.

    Congratulations on your success to date - keep at it. Sometimes getting traction in a new business is tough; but if you stay focused and are persistent, good things will happen for you.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Brindamour
    Bkelly301,

    First of all congratulations!

    Most people quit before they get those results!

    One recommendation that I have, is that you capture more email addresses. You should have a free giveaway that you can give people in exchange for their email address. One of the biggest mistakes a lot of "newbies" make is not capturing a email address. This way you will be able to market to you clients via email.

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author seethesun
      Along this line, a giveway of a few course memberships would be a good draw and should attract the right crowd, rather than only freebie hunters.

      Plus, giving away a few course memberships cost you nothing, but you may generate tons of leads. I'm not sure of the software off the top of my head, but there are platforms for that purpose where on the thank you page it encourages them to share the giveaway through social in exchange for X number of additional entries.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Nice, glad to see someone sharing their results.

    OK so next concept is "laddering". This is you providing a path of increasing value for customers to buy. This way they interact with you more. You can get this idea explained for free...I recommend Justin Devonshire's group on Facebook. Free training in there on how to structure it all.

    This line: "I have 3 ways of receiving money" shows that you have the basic idea. Think of a sheet of paper with pinholes in it. The size of the pinhole is the amount of money you allow yourself to receive. The bigger the hole, the more money...but YOU set the size of the hole!

    There's a big factor called Money Tolerance that will block you from making the hole any bigger than a certain point and we could get into a big discussion of that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bkelly301
    Thanks for all the tips and suggestions everyone...much appreciated!

    Jason, I got your PM, and I checked out your blog post/video...I really liked it. Thanks for that!
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    If you think $97 is an adequate price, test it. With "just" 25 sections and over 1,000 videos, it's a remarkable resource. You wouldn't be the first one to make more sales by raising the price on something.

    What if you made a monthly membership of $9.95/mo. If someone stays 5 months (reasonable since you're still adding content), you about break even. With month 6, you make extra profits.

    Riffing on something Steve B mentioned (see what I did there), you might not need to go the traditional affiliate/CB route. Is it possible to JV with guitar sellers, offering your course to everyone who buys a guitar. Either a decent discount for a one time sale, or a 3 month trial membership for a subscription model. It's a high enough value add for the seller that you may not need to give them a commission. You wouldn't have to limit this to online guitar sellers, either.

    Another possibility would be allowing the seller to give away your ebook as a bonus for buying a new guitar. Make it a custom version with an offer for your main product. Costs you nothing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bkelly301
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      If you think $97 is an adequate price, test it. With "just" 25 sections and over 1,000 videos, it's a remarkable resource. You wouldn't be the first one to make more sales by raising the price on something.

      What if you made a monthly membership of $9.95/mo. If someone stays 5 months (reasonable since you're still adding content), you about break even. With month 6, you make extra profits.

      Riffing on something Steve B mentioned (see what I did there), you might not need to go the traditional affiliate/CB route. Is it possible to JV with guitar sellers, offering your course to everyone who buys a guitar. Either a decent discount for a one time sale, or a 3 month trial membership for a subscription model. It's a high enough value add for the seller that you may not need to give them a commission. You wouldn't have to limit this to online guitar sellers, either.

      Another possibility would be allowing the seller to give away your ebook as a bonus for buying a new guitar. Make it a custom version with an offer for your main product. Costs you nothing.
      These are great suggestions. Thanks a lot!

      I have some testing (and researching) to do. I'm determined!
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  • Profile picture of the author ymd
    Hey, i want to start on a guitar lesson niche but I don't know, if it's worth it or not. I'm a guitarist and I don't have my own lessons. I'll just try it first with affiliate. And I've seen many of them. They don't give a good percentage per sale !!
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  • Profile picture of the author Bkelly301
    I want to experiment with different price points and simple sales funnels. And then I want to play around with some Facebook Ads.

    I wondering though...is it worth it to have the ad lead directly to my course sales page rather then creating a funnel which first offers a freebie in exchange for the opt-in?

    I want to keep things simple, and I know that creating the list is the most important thing. However, people that pay for the course become members of my website, and I have their email address. The membership plugin that I use allows me to send broadcast messages to them as well. People that register for my site also get the offer to opt-in to Aweber, but they don't also go for that. However, I can still message all of my members at once using the Membership plugin.

    Essentially anyone who buys the course is on "my list" as a buyer. However, they just may or may not be on my Aweber list.

    So I'm wondering if it's worth doing my FB Ad testing by using ads that take them directly to my sales page instead of the whole "download this freebie", and then sell to them via. an autoresponder?
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Bkelly301 View Post

      I want to experiment with different price points and simple sales funnels. And then I want to play around with some Facebook Ads.

      I wondering though...is it worth it to have the ad lead directly to my course sales page rather then creating a funnel which first offers a freebie in exchange for the opt-in?

      [snip]

      So I'm wondering if it's worth doing my FB Ad testing by using ads that take them directly to my sales page instead of the whole "download this freebie", and then sell to them via. an autoresponder?
      Will your plugin do timed trials? As in "get the course to try for ten days before we charge your card"? Or do "get access for ten days for $7.95 - if you decide to stay, we'll credit it towards your purchase"?

      Gives you a very simple tripwire offer.
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      • Profile picture of the author Bkelly301
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        Will your plugin do timed trials? As in "get the course to try for ten days before we charge your card"? Or do "get access for ten days for $7.95 - if you decide to stay, we'll credit it towards your purchase"?

        Gives you a very simple tripwire offer.
        This is a great idea!

        The plugin that I'm using is Wishlist Member, which is great (I have no basis of comparison to other membership software though). However, I don't think that their "list" service is all that great. It allows me send out a broadcast email to all members, but that's it. Aweber has a lot more functionality to it.

        I'm wondering if I can use my eBook as the "tripwire" though (I never heard that term before until I just looked it up ) to get them to simultaneously become a buyer AND join my list...and then have the course be my "core offer".

        If I were to do things this way, do have any recommended services or shopping carts that would allow me to set up a funnel like this.

        Currently I'm using PayPal standard for check out for my $47 course lifetime membership.

        I'm using E-Junkie to auto-deliver my $9 eBook.

        I guess I could have them opt-in first through Aweber, and then the first email they receive would be the "50% off" link to the eBook.

        My head is spinning with all this marketing stuff now!
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  • Profile picture of the author dsimms
    would like to throw in my two cents...
    It seems already you offer plenty of content,
    and you are just giving it away, hope your current
    clients appreciate that, however, listen, what you
    have to sell does not apply to every street walker....
    your target is only limited to those wanting to
    learn to play a new instrument...

    There are a couple of high end clickbank creators on WF,
    and charge from $5-$7k, and this will get a full CB site
    setup around your niche, you also need to think ahead...
    If I had this on CB, then I would charge $47 with a 75%
    commission on introduction content, then add downsells
    and upsells at a higher price point. Your army of affiliates
    promoting your site will get the word out, you will make
    25% of that, but your real $$$ would be on downsells/upsells...

    If there is no competition on CB, then hell ya...
    You just may end up riding the wave all the way to the bank...

    at this point, it seems you are into content creation, however, content
    creation is not going to get you where you need to be. Once you have
    your CB site ready or not, then you need to use FB ads, and target
    your audience, however, be careful, if you do not know much
    about FB ads, then find an expert on upwork that can help you out...
    and this will start to separate you from the men from the boys
    that are still playing with content marketing; having good
    content is good, but having FB bring in quick traffic to
    pass through your CB funnel would be even better....

    or try FB ads before getting into CB and see how it goes...
    if your tests are positive, then it would be a good indication
    you got something, and I already think you got something...
    you just need to upgrade from content to getting traffic...

    good luck...

    ps. I think it is great that you are riding on free traffic, and obviously
    it is working for you, but I think you could do 25x-100x better....
    and this is where CB and FB ads could make you a ton of money...

    p.s.s and do not be cheap about this or attempt to setup your own
    half assed CB, you want a professional to do this! they know
    their shit, and you wont regret it later in case you do something
    wrong, and you end up getting your CB account banned....
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Originally Posted by Bkelly301 View Post

    Hey, so I just wanted to say that I had my first $500/month during this current month. It's only 12/18 today, so I still have 13 more days to go in the month.

    My website has been live and monetized since March, 2017.
    Man you doing hella good. I would start expanding into paid advertising for your $47 course. Either suck in some free leads from PPC, or make them pay a small fee ($1 or so) to qualify themselves.... then promote the $47 course. If the sales copy is good this will work - and make sure the email content is good, and that you keep producing new videos that keeps them learning.... and that boosts your credibility in the niche. This is important for multiple sales from your customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by Bkelly301 View Post

    My website has been live and monetized since March, 2017.
    First of all F-ing good for you bro! I know you have been working on this for even longer..and you have stuck with it... seriously f-ing good for you!

    I love the fact you have goals.. I love the fact you have a plan. I love the fact you are pluging away and getting it done.

    Keep your eyes on the goals... and follow through, it will happen!

    Best of Luck
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  • Profile picture of the author seofreetips
    Capture email address and provide an upgrade on your course..
    You can also focus on Youtube as you have 6500 subs there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel1000
    The 3 parts of the course are going to be very good and offer a ton of value, which hopefully is going to hook them enough to continue to learn from me.
    Are you trying to use the precourse to sell or to educate?

    Here's a common misconception, the three part course, does deliver value. I agree. Its main job is to sell. For that, you need to paint the picture of where they are now and where they'll be after taking your course.

    You do that by talking about past students, highlighting certain things they'll learn, and dropping tidbits of lessons that'll solve a small problem. You do have to actively sell in the video.

    I know, scary.

    Also, if your course is great like you say then I suggest you raise the prices until you get kick back. You probably have a lot of room to play between your current price and just under $200.

    $200 is generally the upper price ceiling people will pay for something on a whim. Your messaging has to be spot on though.

    Also, ask your current customers what the most important aspects of the course and why they loved it so much. You can use that to improve your marketing messages.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nwarrenfb3224
    definitely grow your youtube following you have the perfect biz for it. then use your $9 report as a lead magnet and build a sales funnel and use the $47 course as an upsell and another upsell after that for a monthly membership to get recurring payments going. keep building your email lists and create more products to market to them
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