June 5th, 2018 WordPress

Many people who want to start an online course business intend to bootstrap the venture, but sometimes that will cost you more money than hiring someone to help.

It is a scenario I have come across many times before:

  • Someone has a great idea for a course because they are an expert in their field
  • They then get a WordPress site through one of the many hosting options
  • They purchase a WordPress theme
  • They spend weeks on end fiddling with the theme options
  • They scrap the theme and purchase another one
  • They add plugins to the site for things like contact forms, social sharing buttons, and pop-ups
  • They run into conflicts and have to raise a support ticket with different parties
  • They become frustrated and ask for refunds on any premium plugin purchased
  • New plugins are purchased
  • Process repeats itself over-and-over and nothing gets done

Call it what you want. Whether it’s classic “shiny object syndrome”, unlucky, disorganized, or misguided, the end result is always the same. These people who want to create a course and sell it (or even give it away) are no further along than they were months before when they decided to start the project.

Just because you are an expert in one field doesn’t mean you will be good in another.

This is the harsh truth that is rarely said today: being good at something doesn’t imply success in other areas.

Case in point: I am really knowledgeable about e-learning industry. It has been my reality for my entire professional career. I write on the subject, give presentations, and run a product business in the space. It’s my thing.

I am not so good at fixing something that is wrong with my car. I can recognize that something is wrong. I go to YouTube to research the issue a bit to see if I am able to pinpoint the cause, but in the end it isn’t something I would choose to fix myself because there is a high probability that I would either make it worse, break something else, and ultimately waste my time.

This is the same truth with setting up the technical components for your online course business.

Don’t obsess on the Business Model.

I find that there as obsession on the business model rather than the business product.

Your ultimate goal is to get something out there that people can start purchasing. If they purchase it, you make money. If you make money, you can reinvest to add functionality or features to your online course business that make sense given the audience. Later. After your content has been proven (the most important part of any business).

I think people shy away from hiring someone because they feel like it will be spending thousands of dollars. That might be true depending on what you think you need. My point though is that you don’t need a lot to get started. And getting started is the most important part of the journey in online courses.

Finding help is easier than you think.

First, I would recommend against hiring someone you know. Don’t hire your niece or nephew. That will be frustrating for everyone and create an odd dynamic. You can find people in a variety of ways.

The most obvious is to use a platform like UpWork to post your project and receive bids. Note that many of the bids will be from overseas workers which is great in terms of being budget friendly but isn’t always ideal. Instead of jumping straight to UpWork, I would recommend posting the project to Codeable. This will (at the very least) give you a ballpark of what your project’s cost.

You can then choose to work with the folks at Codeable, or search for your own freelancer. One great place to find someone is through Facebook. Join WordPress Facebook groups to find general freelancers, or product specific groups to find experts in a particular industry. By way of example, if you are using LearnDash for your WordPress learning management system then you could join our Facebook Group to network with others. There you will run into a good number of people who are freelancers that specialize in LearnDash implementations.

Let someone else do the “techy” stuff so you can get to market quicker.

In the end, if you bring someone in to help you set everything up then you will get to market quicker and this can give you a competitive advantage. If you are new to WordPress and time is a priority for your project then you should definitely find someone to help you. Otherwise you risk wasting both time and money – and no one likes to do that.

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

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