I’ve been listening to a few podcasts lately and keep hearing a similar message: “Outsource the development of your website and get it done for pennies.”
These podcasts are typically aimed at entrepreneurs, or “wantrepreneurs”, who want to sell digital products and programs on the internet in the hope of achieving “passive” income, (which doesn’t exist – I’ll explain why in another post), so they can sit on a beach or travel the world with their kids while money rolls into their bank account on autopilot.
These podcasts, along with numerous other marketing and business advisors I’ve heard speak on this topic in the last few years, seem to paint in very broad brush strokes about the promise of selling information products online without any technical knowledge. There are generally two options: host your own website and set up protected content only available to paying customers, or use a paid hosted solution to handle all the technical stuff for you (kind of like paying for your online accounting software versus using free spreadsheets and doing all the technical calculations yourself).
With over 6 years experience of actually selling information products and programs on the internet, I thought I’d post my 13 Step Checklist to Outsourcing Your Online Course Development so you can rest easy, sip your Gin and Tonic and watch the sunset on the beach.
This checklist works on the assumption that you already have your product or program made (if you need help check out this awesome course from Brendon Burchard), your videos hosted on a premium hosting service like Vimeo Pro or Wistia, your downloadable resources and worksheets hosted with the correct file permissions on Amazon S3, your VIP testimonials in place and your award winning sales page copy written. I will also assume that you’ve been through the rigorous process of finding a great developer on oDesk or Elance. Of course you don’t need all of this, but you probably won’t make any money if you don’t have these boxes ticked.
So now it’s time to get your website set up so you can send out your emails and start making sales. This checklist is designed to help you brief your developer. Ready? Here we go.
- Register your domain name with a domain registrar
- Setup a hosting account with a good WordPress host (affiliate link)
- Point your domain nameservers to the IP address of your new host
- Install WordPress on your new hosting server
- Install your WordPress theme designed to sell and deliver online courses (affiliate link)
- Setup the website menu structure, including login and logout links for students
- Add pages to deliver your course modules
- Add your training videos to each page and make sure they are tablet and mobile friendly (MP4 files should do the trick)
- Add your downloadable resources to each page
- Protect the course pages so they are only available to paying students with a WordPress membership plugin
- Setup the free training pages (these are the free videos you give away to entice prospects to buy your course)
- Add your videos to free training pages and make sure they are tablet and mobile friendly
- Protect the free training pages so they are released daily after a prospect signs up for the free training (this can usually be achieved by adding a “free” membership level in your WordPress membership plugin and the “drip feeding” the content based on when somebody joins)
- Setup the “opt-in” page for students to sign up for the free training
- Setup the sales page as the last “free” training page
- Add your sales video, written sales copy, testimonials and “Add to Cart” button to the sales page
- Connect the “Add to Cart” button to a payment gateway to process payments (PayPal for ease of use)
- Test, test and test the entire funnel
Easy huh? Now you should be kicking back on the beach while raving fans from all over the world put money in your bank account.
Good luck with that.
Leave me a comment below and tell me the #1 challenge you have in getting your product or program up for sale on the interwebs. I'll do my best to answer any questions sans sarcasm.