How I Created A $5K/Month Online Course About Blogging

Start An Online Courses Business
About The Company
Coming Up With The Idea
Building The Product
Launching The Business
Growing The Business
Revenue + Financials
Lessons Learned
Recommended Tools
Books & Resources
Advice For Founders
$5,000
revenue/mo
1
Founders
0
Employees
product
Let's Reach Success
from The Netherlands
started March 2013
$5,000
revenue/mo
1
Founders
0
Employees
131K
alexa rank
14.5K
followers
market size
$200B
avg revenue (monthly)
$121K
starting costs
$7.18K
gross margin
75%
time to build
5 months
growth channels
Email marketing, SEO (blog posts, organic traffic from search engines)
business model
E-Commerce
best tools
WordPress, Facebook, Google Analytics
time investment
Side project
Discover what tools Lidiya reccommends to grow your business!
email
payments
analytics
blog
design
affiliate
education
Discover what books Lidiya reccommends to grow your business!
Listen to the audio version of this story!

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

I’m Lidiya, a full-time blogger, course creator, and the founder of Let’s Reach Success. With the content I publish on the blog and the courses I create, I help people start a side hustle and earn passive income so they can pay off debt, quit their job and live their best life.

The blog started as a hobby but over the years, it turned into a 5-figure recession-proof online business, and I now help others achieve the same as I believe financial independence is possible, and earning income online is the quickest way to get there.

My signature program - Financial Freedom Through Blogging - is the formula for starting a blog, growing it to 100K page views and $5,000/month, and living life on your terms. Inside it, you’ll find answers to all your questions about becoming a full-time blogger, behind-the-scenes content, real ways to make money and build blog traffic, a ton of video tutorials, how-to guides, and bonuses.

how-i-created-a-5k-month-online-course-about-blogging

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Back in 2013, I had already discovered my passion - personal development - and had realized writing is the best way to express myself. So I combined these and started a self-improvement blog.

Starting the blog was the best decision and not giving up on it over the years (even when no traffic or money was coming in) was what helped me move forward.

It was first just a hobby and I knew nothing about blogging. Over the years, after publishing a ton of content, gaining traffic, learning about SEO, email marketing, social media, and all the ways to monetize a blog, it became a real business.

I had no expertise in the niche or experience as a blogger, but that’s why this business model is great for anyone who wants to share their message online, build something on their own, and earn an income from it.

Choosing the right niche is important but you can always change direction later on. That’s what I did. I now cover topics like Blogging, Finance, Business, and Lifestyle Design because these are the things I’m working on and teaching. But back then, it was personal development.

I didn’t earn directly from the blog in the first years because I wasn’t taking it seriously or expanding my knowledge. It was freelance writing that allowed me to make my first money online and improve my writing skills. At the same time though, I was working on growing the blog and building my portfolio as a writer and began monetizing my platform.

Once that earned me enough (thought sponsored content, ads, affiliate marketing, and selling digital products), I was able to leave freelance writing behind and do blogging full-time.

how-i-created-a-5k-month-online-course-about-blogging

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

I was inspired to become an online course creator because I had been taking courses from other bloggers and saw what a great way of teaching and learning that is. So it made sense to gather my knowledge on 1 topic and make a course.

The topic was clear - starting, growing, and monetizing a blog. I first thought of the name of the product (which later became my signature course) - Financial Freedom Through Blogging. It clearly states the result people can achieve (being financially free) and how that will happen (by launching a blog).

I then outlined the modules - that’s always work in progress and it’s fine to change things later on. Now, for example, almost 2 years after launching the course (and after having launched other similar products), I’m updating it all.

I knew which platform I wanted to use - Teachable. The interface is great and I was already familiar with it. So I signed up for them and began adding modules and lectures, editing the content, and organizing it in the best way possible.

A digital product like that takes a lot of time, which is why I suggest you first start with something easier like an eBook or a toolkit. You also want to make sure the course is on something you’re already sort of an expert in as it will contain a lot of tips and steps. The point is to truly walk people through a process and help them achieve a certain result.

I invested a lot of time in creating Financial Freedom Through Blogging. The costs were only the Teachable fee, which I pay annually now.

Describe the process of launching the business.

I decided to promote my course in the most natural way possible, which is by talking about the process of creating it in my income reports, mentioning it to my email list (as my audience is already interested in the things I work on and how I grow my business), and adding promo graphics and links to the sales page to different places on the blog. I also included it in my welcome email series, which is something every new subscriber automatically receives, and over a week, I share my story with them, provide a lot of value through freebies and content on the blog, and tell them about my product.

I waited too long to take my email list to the next level, create digital products, and start treating my blog as a business.

I’ve also put in a lot of time into the course sales page and every element on it speaks directly to the ideal student.

how-i-created-a-5k-month-online-course-about-blogging

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Since having my signature program, I changed many other things about my blogging business. For a start, I made sure I attract only the right people to my email list by creating new freebies related to the topics of my products.

I’m constantly updating my email series, learning more about email marketing, and nurturing the relationship with my subscribers through weekly emails.

Creating other courses helps too. You need to have more than 1 offer. And if your main one is more expensive (as it is in my case), you need cheaper ones so you can serve the rest of your audience too.

That’s why I created other products:

  • $1K Blogger - this course is for the person who has a full-time job and is okay with it, but simply wants to earn something on the side, preferably from a project they enjoy. I show them how to do not only that (by starting and growing a blog in a niche they’re passionate about) but also setting systems so they can earn passive income from that website for the rest of your life.
  • Blog Planner Printables
  • The Life Planner Kit - a printable planner bundle to organize your whole life.
  • Next Level Productivity - a course on productivity.

I also have 3 free courses and they are a big part of my blogging business:

Thousands of students have enrolled in them and love the content, and they get familiar with what else I can offer them, get on my email list, and learn about my paid courses and programs.

Blogging is a never-ending learning process and you must enjoy every part of it.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Today, my regular blogging tasks include sending a weekly newsletter, publishing new content (guest posts, sponsored posts, or my articles), updating old blog posts and optimizing them better, creating new freebies to grow my email list, sharing content on Pinterest (it’s the main social media channel I rely on), publishing monthly income reports and distributing them, interviewing bloggers, partnering with new people, taking courses myself to learn about important aspects of business such as email marketing, branding, and digital products.

Currently, I’m updating all content in Financial Freedom Through Blogging and will be adding one more module, after which the price will increase. I’m also creating a new digital product (a smaller one that will be ideal for a tripwire offer).

The biggest percentage of my monthly income now comes from advertising and sponsored content, but my long-term plan is to grow my income from affiliate marketing and digital products (thus earning mostly passively). I want to serve my audience in the best way I can and recommending products I’ve tried and creating more of my products seems to be the best investment of my time as a blogger.

A big part of my brand is to openly share my earnings and expenses (here’s one of my last income reports, for example), as well as my traffic and email list growth and what I do to grow the business.

I once took a Pinterest course, then applied everything I learned and was able to grow my Pinterest traffic by 778% in 2 months, so I immediately shared my results and process with my audience.

Pinterest is now my second biggest source of traffic (after Google). Here’s how page views look like for the last year:

how-i-created-a-5k-month-online-course-about-blogging

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Some mistakes I made are that I waited too long to take my email list to the next level, create digital products, and start treating my blog as a business. I first needed to develop the right mindset, follow other bloggers’ journeys and see their progress, take courses to learn what’s happening behind the scenes of a blogging business, etc.

I had to learn how to charge more for sponsored posts, how to create content that gets attention and traffic and starts using the right tools (that includes investing in a better hosting provider and email marketing service, signing up for a platform like Teachable, a stock photo subscription, a premium WordPress theme, and more).

Starting the blog was the best decision and not giving up on it over the years (even when no traffic or money was coming in) was what helped me move forward.

Over time, I build useful and profitable skills such as copywriting, marketing, creating visuals and designing my site better, partnering with other bloggers, documenting my journey and using my story to teach others how to do the same, forming relationships with my readers and students, and so much more.

Blogging is a never-ending learning process and you must enjoy every part of it.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

I have a WordPress blog hosted with WPX Hosting. I sell my courses through Teachable. My email marketing provider is ConvertKit. These are the main tools and the biggest expenses I have every year.

Also, I rely on Google Analytics, Google Keyword Planner, and Google Search Console to analyze my traffic and top content and optimize my site better.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Some of the books that once inspired me to pursue lifestyle design are The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss and Crush It! by Gary Vee.

Podcasts I now listen to include Online Marketing Made Easy by Amy Porterfield, Design Your Dream Life by Natalie Bason, The Life Coach School Podcast by Brooke Castillo, Noah Kagan Presents, and HerPaperRoute Podcast by Chelsea Clarke.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

I see many people struggling with the very first step - starting a blog. They have many limiting beliefs stopping them from launching such as thinking they aren’t ready, they don’t know what their niche is, they don’t have the experience, or capital, or else.

But all that doesn’t matter. Your blog will grow together with you but it’s important to start it today. The technical part shouldn’t scare you. You can check out how to start a blog guide for a quick, step-by-step process on starting a blog that can make you money.

For those who aren’t sure what their side hustle can be, here’s a list of 67 business ideas you can start to earn an extra $1000/month.

There’s a lot you can be doing online and in your free time to make an extra income but it’s important to give something a try as soon as possible. Your first side hustle doesn’t need to be a success. But you will learn so much from actually taking action that once you find the right business model for you, it will all be worth it.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

-  
Lidiya Kesarovska,   Founder of Let's Reach Success

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