How I Still Grew My Online Learning Business After Nixing All Ad Spend

Muhammad al andalusi
Andalus Institute
from Barcelona, Spain
started February 2019
alexa rank
market size
starting costs
gross margin
time to build
270 days
average product price
growth channels
Advertising on social media
business model
best tools
ActiveCampaign, Google Drive, Zoom
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
39 Pros & Cons
5 Tips
Discover what tools Muhammad reccommends to grow your business!
Discover what books Muhammad reccommends to grow your business!
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Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

I’m Muhammad Al Andalusi, I am 28 years old, I was born in Barcelona, Spain.

I am a polyglot and speak 5 languages fluently, Spanish, Catalan, French, Arabic, and English.

My father is Senegalese and my mother is Spanish, and I am the founder of Andalus Institute.

Andalus Institute is an online language learning institution founded in 2019 to get students from zero to fluency in Arabic with an average study period time of 24 months.

Beginning of 2019 I launched the institute intending to make $1,000 per month and within 6 months unexpectedly we felt overwhelmed by the immense high demand, which led us to cross 6 figures in revenue and since then we've averaged $25.000 - $30.000 per month in revenue.

How it started, July 2018:


How it’s going in 2022:


Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?

In 2021 I intended to move to Saudi Arabia which is the dream of every Muslim, to be close to the most sacred cities, so, I stayed in Makkah for 6 months.


Unfortunately, the people who promised me a residency card ended up not fulfilling their agreement which caused me to leave the country a little after the month of Ramadan 2021.

I lost around $20.000, which was the fee agreed on with those people plus around $50.000 in expenses etc.

However, throughout those 6 months I stayed in Saudi Arabia, I hired a full-time editor for about two months and a student who finished the program the year before, and with the help of my team and those two hires I re-recorded all my Arabic course and enhanced the video quality and many different things on the platform.

That led me to launch the Arabic Like An Arab 2.0 which was the same program and same concept but enhanced, with more lessons, etc.

Arabic Like An Arab 1.0:



Arabic Like An Arab 2.0:



We also created exercise books and things like that for students to practice even more and get better results:


That was such a milestone for the business and through that launch, we managed to get a lot of students to record video reviews which gave our business even more social proof, let alone the case studies of students who learned Arabic through us, like the case of this student.

Apart from that we crossed the 1,000 students mark and we stopped running paid advertisements surprisingly enough that didn’t hurt the monthly revenue, and profits are higher now.

I was struggling to keep up with the day-to-day income-producing activities, so I started to train my team to do them as well so I can outsource that to them.

I am sure the ads we used to run are paying off now since we’re getting most leads from long-term followers through our email list and YouTube channel, so we will probably start running paid advertisements again soon to broaden up our following.

What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?

We were struggling to make sales through our automated webinar, so we went back to closing sales on the phone and that worked wonders.

Try and monetize your passion, you will then love your business and it won’t feel like work.

Apart from this, I was struggling with the key tasks to do to get steady monthly sales, so, so far I realized that those are:

  • Posting on my YouTube channel
  • Emailing my email list 3 times per week
  • Closing sales on the phone not through an automated webinar

I was struggling to keep up with the day-to-day income-producing activities, so I started to train my team to do them as well so I can outsource that to them.

What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

I’ve learned that it’s better to focus on one thing and do it well than just do a bunch of things and be average.

I closed my Instagram account to see if we were going to make the same amount of sales for a whole month and realized that we made the same amount of sales and more.

I’ve realized that YouTube it’s better than Instagram for my business model because the lifespan of a piece of content is longer than on Instagram, Instagram doesn’t recommend your stuff after 2 weeks of having posted that.

So, I will put more effort into YouTube as an organic platform and for lead generation.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

Upcoming year I will launch new products for Andalus Institute students plus a new product for the public which will be a course/mastermind on how to create your “Five figures per month course” for those people who know Arabic or have memorized the Quran or have some sort of knowledge.

We hope to bump up monthly revenue to $100.000.

That’s in terms of the business, as for me I need to learn more about crypto investing and real state so I can diversify my money into different investments and get some monthly cash flow going so I can step back and do what I love which is seeking and studying Islamic knowledge.

What’s the best thing you read in the last year?

I downloaded an App named: Headway.

Which is an app that summarizes audiobooks for you in all fields, and I have been listening and relistening to self-improvement books, investments, emotional intelligence, business, skills, etc.

I found the app useful.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

Focus on one thing and constantly enhance your product by collecting data and tweaking aspects of your business based on that data.

Remember that you will encounter hardship, so be ready for when it hits and remember that is a matter of time, the most successful businesses are the ones that have been around for long and managed to overcome those hardships with the mentality of always making their product better and better.

Try and monetize your passion, you will then love your business and it won’t feel like work.

Remember that the grass is not greener on the other side, but is greener where you water it, so don’t jump from business model to business model once you see someone else doing well in another business model but remember that what you see in his success it didn't happen from one day to another, yet it was the big reaction caused by very small constant reactions he has been doing for a long time.

Failure can’t cope with consistency.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Yes, one position I want to fill is a full-time video editor/branding manager/creative manager.

I don’t even know if that exists lol

But is someone who first of all understands my niche or at least is good at learning about a particular market.

Someone that knows how to edit videos and use photoshop so he could edit our videos across our social media platforms and create enticing thumbnails and social media content.

There are a lot of video editors but it’s hard to find someone that understands how to edit to retain someone’s attention and how to edit to persuade someone.

One person that I admire that does this like a pro is Logan Paul’s editor Hillier Smith

He has a YouTube channel and he edits with intent and an objective, not just to make the video look nice, but to retain the person’s attention and to deliver the story intended behind every video.

A brand that I admire and have a very good editor/brand manager that makes the thumbnails etc is Al Madrasatu Al Umariyyah on Youtube and they’re as well in my niche which is the Muslim Community

I pray for someone who can do all of this for me and it would remove a big pain off me plus it would push me to create more content, knowing that I have someone who I can throw raw footage and he converts it into amazing pieces of content.

Where can we go to learn more?

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

Muhammad al andalusi, Founder of Andalus Institute
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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