About 5 years ago I decided to get serious in starting an online business teaching music. I wasn't sure how I was going to make money, but I knew that I wanted to deal in digital products and set it up so that I could get paid "passively" (work hours separate from income).
Here is a brief summary of the milestones that I have reached. Use this as inspiration if you are still new.
- For the first year I struggled to force myself to keep going, but I pushed through
- By the 2nd year I had been making some sporadic sales on my course that I made and steadily growing my audience. My monthly income was steadily growing, but still not exceeding $1K per month.
- In my 3rd year I found out that I was having a kid. I had $10K to my name, and I either had to go back to working a full time job again or go "all in" with the internet business. I decided to take a chance, so I paid a coach $5K for 30 days of internet marketing training.
- The coach taught me the importance of building the email list. At that point I had already been collecting emails in a half-assed manner, and I really didn't understand the value in "the list", but I listened and did it anyway. Collecting emails, setting up an auto-responder sequence and learning about the "one page, one goal" mantra took me to the point where I was clearing at least $1K per month on a regular basis. Sales started to become a regular thing.
- Towards the middle and end of year 3, I was making around $2K to $3K per month
- By year 4 I had internalized everything that I was taught by the coach, and I had refined my skills. I reached several milestones in this year, including the $10K in one month milestone...I had a successful YouTube video (amongst the hundreds of others that I had previously made) that seemed to propel me to the next level. After making that video, I cleared $10K for 3 months in a row
- At the end of year 4 and into year 5, the income dropped a bit, but it stabilized around the $5K per month point. Clearing $5K per month had become a regular occurrence (my initial goal when starting out was just to hit $3K per month consistently!)
- In year 5 I had decided to finally turn on monetization of my YouTube channel. I had a nice subscriber base of around 60K, which was steadily growing. In the first month I made a couple hundred bucks in ad revenue (on top of the steady sales of my course)
- By year 5 I had also learned that people LOVE sales. I had a buyers list and a prospect list. On holidays I would run sales where I offered a 20% discount...this would predictably result in tons of sales. Making $2K in a day or 2 was fairly normal while a sale was running.
- In the middle of year 5, my YouTube ad revenue had gotten to the point where it was clearing $2K per month. I had also raised the price of my product from $59 to $69. This small price increase had caused sales to go UP.
- For the last 3 months, I have been making about 6 sales per day on average ($69 x 6 sales per day isn't too bad!). My YouTube ad revenue also continues to increase as long as I keep putting out new content. Last month I cleared $15K for the first time
- Just today I released my first new product, which I was scared to promote to my audience. My concern was that they would be mad at me for trying to sell to them AGAIN. They love the fact that I offer so much value for such a low cost, so I was afraid to try and resell to them. I decided to try anyway. Well, in just 1 day I had made around $1K in sales of my new $49 course
- I currently have 2 digital courses, priced at $49 and $69 which have both proven to sell very well. I also have 2 eBooks priced at $19 each, which also sell. I then have the YouTube ad revenue which is steadily increasing each month. $10K per month does not seem like a big deal to me anymore.
I've dabbled with paid advertising, but I haven't had much success with it. Therefore 99% of what I have done so far has been through "free" traffic sources.
The first 2 years were the toughest. I was doing a ton of work for little money, but I pushed through. I'm glad that I did!
Plans for the near future:
- Start a patreon page so I can get a recurring revenue stream into the business. Sure I could do this on my own site, but people seem more inclined to take on recurring payments when it's on patreon.
- Start a 2nd business where I coach people to do what I do. I will charge around $2K to $3K per month at first.
My favorite blogger Steve Pavlina always said to stick with a business idea for at least 5 years because that is when you will really start to see the fruits of your labor. He was 100% right!
I just figured that I'd share my story with you all since this forum has been so helpful to me along the way!!