How to Use Quora to Become an Expert and Sell your Online Course

This is a part of a multi-post series How to Growth Hack your Online Course and Make Money?

Building authority is crucial when selling your online course. Along with creating creating great content, you’ll also find it very advantageous to position yourself as an expert by answering questions on Quora. If done effectively, you will also get the added benefit of attracting additional traffic from Quora to your course.

I’ve actually been able to do this effectively by becoming the Most Viewed Writer  in the Daily Deal and Group Buying topics.

Screenshot 2016-09-05 09.51.45.png

7 Step Execution Plan:

  1. Search keywords for your Online Course’s topic
  2. Start answering some easy questions even if others have already answered them. Offer small bits of info and continue with more robust answers using your blog
  3. Add these topics to your Bio
  4. Add a link to your course in your Bio and update your title to Expert in “X”
  5. Take some of the larger themes or ideas from your course and create short blog posts with links to your course
  6. Take those blog posts and start adding links to appropriate answers to Quora questions
  7. You’ll start noticing the same question on Quora. Create a blog post answering those questions with small bits of content from your course.

Positioning yourself as an expert will help generate traffic and add authority to your Online course.

Like most marketing campaigns, it usually takes a few tries and a good “mix” of channels to get enough momentum to make a good amount of money.

Leave a comment or find me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Would love to talk about what growth hacks you’ve used or if you’ve found success trying this one.

If you missed the first part in this series, learn more about Distribution: How to use Daily Deal Sites to Promote your Online Course?

Marketing Tools and Resources

How to use Daily Deal Sites to Promote your Online Course?

How to use Daily Deal Sites to Promote your Online Course?

Daily Deal sites are a great distribution network to leverage. Sites like slickdeals and techbargains have have huge followings and get tons organic traffic of value-focus people who are looking to buy something. They also already SEO optimized, and actively work on acquiring new users who can also be your new users.

Their users are value-focused, so for best results offer a coupon for 15-20% off. If you absolutely cannot lower price even for testing purposes offer extra content or bundle a few of your courses if you have them together and offer a coupon for that.

7 Step Execution Plan:

  1. Check out my list of the Biggest Daily Deal and Coupon sites in the US
  2. Look for a “submit a deal” link
    1. Usually located at the top navigation bar or scroll down to the footer
  3. Submit your deal
    1. Think really hard about how you  position the deal. What you write will probably be copy and pasted when your deal is posted
    2. Write out your ideal Title, keywords and description as you would want customers to see it
    3. Let them know how long the sale is for (ideally 1-2 weeks)
    4. Be personable and describe why your deal is a good deal for the sites customers
    5. Remember that these deal editors are reading a ton of other submissions everyday so be short and effective
    6. Use unique codes per site you are submitting for and keep a master list
  4. Follow up
    1. If it’s been a day and it hasn’t been posted. Follow up and ask if there’s any questions that you might answer because you’re sure that your course would benefit their readers
  5. Check the comments section
    1. If there’s a comments section, check if anyone has questions
    2. Commenting directly will help get people who are on the fence right over if they think they can ask you questions and get answers fast
  6. Submit to as many sites as possible
  7. Review performance
    1. You should be able to optimize copy and images, as well as prioritize more time on sites that give you the most leads or sales going forward

Remember that unlike other distribution channels needs constant work. It’s not a set it and forget it type of hack. Checking for comments and constantly submitting “new” deals for your course will help get your deal more traffic from the below deal sites.

The Biggest Daily Deal and Coupon sites in the US

Daily Deal:

  • slickdeals.net
  • fatwallet.com
  • dealnews.com
  • bensbargains.com
  • techbargains.com
  • dealmoon.com
  • offers.com
  • 1sale.com
  • bradsdeals.com
  • deals.woot.com
  • stacksocial.com
  • deals.kinja.com
  • wirecutter.com
  • hotukdeals.com
  • dealtrend.com
  • hotdeals.com

Coupon/Cashback:

  • ebates.com
  • befrugal
  • topcashback.com
  • savings.com
  • retailmenot
  • shopathome.com
  • promocodes.com
  • coupons.com
  • goodsearch.com
  • goodsearch.com/goodshop

Retail/marketplace

  • groupon.com
  • tanga.com
  • yugster.com
  • dailysteals.com
  • deals.ebay.com
  • woot.com
  • meh.com
  • flash.newegg.com
  • amazon gold box

I hope this helps find the best distribution channel for your online course. Like most marketing campaigns, it usually takes a few tries and a good “mix” of channels to get enough momentum to make a good amount of money.

Leave a comment or find me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Would love to talk about what growth hacks you’ve used or if you’ve found success trying this one.

No Cost Affiliate Marketing Hacks

Marketing Tools and Resources

How to Growth Hack your Online Course and Make Money?

How to Growth Hack your Online Course and Make Money?

E-Learning and online courses have become the newest ways for young and experienced entrepreneurs to make incremental income or in some instances make enough money to live without any other side hustles.

But how did they do it? A lot of them were very very early and had built reputations and huge followings around their personal brand. How can the rest of us make selling online courses a solid source of additional income? I’m going to use what I’ve learned marketing and selling physical goods and subscription-based services to growth hack your marketing plan for your Online Course. It doesn’t matter if you use udemy, teachable, fedora, or any other platform. Though you should probably be on all of them if possible!

Up next in distribution: How to use Daily Deal Sites to Promote your Online Course?

Or jump head to “Build Authority: Use Quora to become an expert

Marketing Growth Hack: Strategic Partnerships

For new startups everything is about two things traffic and distribution. If you can supercharge these two then your growth can be exponential.

A lot of startups and products use PR for #1 traffic. They weave a great story about their product or what they hope their startup can do for the masses. It’s all about hype and can rely heavily on perception. If you’re a first time, this can be really hard to create.

Enter partnerships, which implies something that should be mutually beneficial, which can both drive traffic and be a terrific distribution channel. Organic growth can take forever, but you can supercharge traffic by leveraging a partnership. Vero highlights some big hitting partnerships like between Unbounce and Kissmetric, as well as Stripe and Squarespace, but those are seriously long term partnerships with tons of integration.What I’m suggesting is Affiliate partnerships that also include Content partnerships like native ads.

Good affiliates can send great qualified leads to the top of the funnel. Though you do have the pay for partnerships like this, usually it’s based on completing an action like actually buying your product so at least it’s all performance based marketing. You only pay when that affiliate actually converts a user and now you have a distribution network. Here’s some info on how to start a No Cost Affiliate Campaign.

On the flip side, you can also reach out to blogs who might be interested in posting an article about you in exchange for getting paid to do it AKA native advertising. Usually it’s a combo of a fee to post the article and some payment on each conversion. This can be tough since it’s not as focused of an audience, but what you get in return is a high ranking domain with links back to your site plus content so it’s a double-dip.

 

Master Pricing Strategy: Why Product Bundles are Essential to Marketers

The Honest Company is a great startup example of how a marketing team has mastered product bundles at checkout. In fact, it was the diaper and wipe bundles that enabled Jessica Alba to build a 1 billion dollar business

These are the diapers that gave The Honest Company its start and indeed still account for a large proportion of sales: About 75% of revenues still comes from online commerce, and the majority of that is from the company’s $79.95 monthly bundles of diapers and wipes – Forbes

Go visit their site and try to put something in your cart and you’ll see what we’re talking about. They do an amazing job highlighting the perceived value and savings of bundles:

2016-04-13 21.38.04.png 2016-04-13 21.37.10.png

Brands have been bundling for decades but not all of them are able to communicate the opportunity to increase value and savings as well as the Honest Company as above. They also have them on subscription that is a valuable source of recurring revenue. Bundles they are really the gift that keep giving. They increase average order value and help vendors save on shipping costs.

To summarize, every good marketer should develop product bundling into their lifecycle strategy for these reasons:

  • Create additional value combining
  • Introduce new higher price points
  • Diversification of deals and promotions
  • Create exclusive offers for partner promotions – affiliate, big box, daily deal

By combining multiple products you’ve increased the perceived value of your bundle significantly. You can then increase the price to the consumer, which is really helpful if  you’re trying to produce larger margins for a new channel. Bundles can also help introduce or gain exposure for lesser known products in your lineup.

Turn Affiliates into Micro-Influencers with Ninja Outreach

Why “micro-influencers”? 

“Our research shows that real life influencers who are passionate about what they are recommending have significantly more buying conversations, and consumers are more likely to act on their recommendations,” – Marketing Dive

They aren’t celebrities, and they may not have millions of followers, but they’re considered authentic and knowledgeable individuals who are trusted sources of reviews.

According to the Marketing Dive, 82% of survey respondents said they were highly likely to follow a micro-influencers’ recommendation.

What’s Ninja Outreach?

Ninja Outreach is my new favorite hack. It’s a great lead gen and discovery tool. You can search any keyword to find blogs and influencers. Then, once you’re down prospecting, you can easily download all your leads  with all their info like name, site, domain authority and contact info as a csv.

Sign up for Ninja Outreach now and get a 14-day free trial here

Earlier, I did a post on “No Cost Affiliate Marketing“. This is an extension on that idea. You can use Ninja Outreach to find micro-influencers who might be willing to write a review and promote your product or service. Then, you can use their app to start an email campaign to recruit them to help market your product.

They have a great tutorial here.

Is this the End for Ad Tech Firms?

Is this the End for Ad Tech Firms?

60% of programmatic spending goes to ad tech firms and vendors, and only 40% makes it to the publisher actually serving the ad bought programmatically. – Marketing Dive

Recently, I read this article on Expedia’s open criticism of the massive cost inefficiencies of programmatic ads where only 40 cents on the dollar was actually being spent on serving ads for acquisition. Roughly 60 cents was going to the middleman, ad tech firms and vendors.

Now let’s back this train up and explain why this is a huge issues for Expedia. Expedia is a massive affiliate machine. They aggregate travel deals from all over the web, some direct from actual hotels and airlines, and some deals from their distributors, but Expedia doesn’t actually own any of the products. What they have built is one if the easiest trip planners ever where you can bundle air tickets, hotel reservations, and car rentals for the best price guaranteed. They also have strong presence both with content and reviews.

Now back to the economics. Because Expedia doesn’t own any of the products they are actually selling, they have to share their small rev share with Ad Tech Firms where less than half of their spend is used to actually promote their deals! It’s due to this inefficiency that Expedia and probably tons of other brands will never commit more than a portion of their marketing budget. In fact, probably any brand with the resources will take this in-house. The more brands do this, the more obsolete tech firms will become. Ad tech firms will have to start targeting smaller companies and startups without resources and probably smaller budgets. Inevitably, a marketplace will open to disrupt this relationship even more.

Take aways:

  • Ad tech firms only actually use 40% of a brand’s budget on programmatic spending. 60% goes direct into their pockets
  • Shocked Expedia, a huge company hasn’t taken this in-house, where they can control spending themselves  More companies will start moving towards in-house capabilities
  • Ad tech firms will either need to become more efficient, ,more transparency and show that they are battling fraud if they want to stay relevant
  • This is a good opportunity for marketplace disruption
  • Read more about Affiliate Marketing
  • Read more at The Marketing Dive