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Marketing Strategy for Ecourses: Three Fast and Simple Ways to Find a Topic and Market

By Catherine Franz
Posted Wednesday, September 1, 2004

One of the fastest ways to attract more subscribers for your mailing list is to collect names by giving away ecourses.

I taught a teleprogram on ecourses for months, yet I found many people understood the concept, how-tos, and very few completed any. At first, I thought I was a lousy instructor. Everyone seemed to wanted to write the "perfect ecourse on the perfect topic" that will create miracles in their business, in their life. This is like asking to write a Pulitzer Prize winning book on the first try.

Ecourses are a great way to build your visibility; increase others trust in you, and to build you up as an "expert." During this process, it is important "learn by doing." Write free ecourses to (1) prove to yourself that you can do it, (2) move past the learning curve, (3) and get something out on your web site that will attract more people to you and let them know that you have the wisdom for what you are selling (product or service).

The number one issue that kept emerging from attendees was topic selection. What should I write about? Darn, even that question scares the pants off me when I hear it. It is so, so, so...overwhelming. It is as if I am taking all my 50 years and trying to snag one tiny insey piece to create a whole course on that people are going to judge me on. Phew, I want to go back to bed now and hide under the covers and I have written hundreds of them, can't imagine what it would do to someone who hasn't even done one yet.

Okay, dust off those mites; take a couple of deep breaths. Now, no cheating, take the breaths and let's begin by asking a different questions so we don't get overwhelmed. A question that lead us to a list of possible topics for consideration.

Finding the Topic Possibilities

There are several immediate places to start your list of title possibilities. First, what are you learning now? Keep track of the steps and what you are learning. Write up each step afterwards. How does it fit into your business or what you sell? Is there an angle that does? You will be surprised what appears when you set the universal laws of energy in the right direction.

Second, what do you already know how to do? Can you narrow it down to a 10 step or less process? Be very specific. Choose a small segment. Real small. Tiny bite size piece. It is easier to move outward with a topic and then barrel it down after you begin.

Create a list of many or just one or two, it doesn't matter. You can only begin with one anyway. Don't be concerned about choosing the best one. Just choose one and run with that one for the learning experience.

Now that you choose a topic, how does it mesh with what you want to attract to your business? Brainstorm with someone else to pull the two together.

Are there any topics that cover any fad that is on the Internet currently? If yes, send that one to the top of the list.

If you don't know what you are selling, then you have a different challenge. One that isn't covered in this topic. If you have been experience this challenge for some time, you have two choices: (1) get some outside expert help. (2) Choose that you don't really want to solve this because you will then have to start -- no more excuses. Realize that either choice is costing you at least $1,000 a day in revenue, energy or both. Don't choose to mull it over for another year, decide to let it go or get it done and move on.

Third, make a list of your "pet peeves." What gets you angry? What do you wish people wouldn't do? What do you want people to "get" or "get sooner?"

One of my pet peeves is a teacher telling students how hard something is going to be for them "before" the student starts. It sets up their failure; it sets it up to be hard. I do not believe any teacher has the right to say what is hard for someone else. It just might be easy for them. This pet peeve didn't come out until I started attending many writing conferences throughout the United States. Every single author kept telling other writers how hard writing is. When I talked with many successful and to be successful writers, they told me they always found writing easy not hard.

Yours could be "people changing lanes without signaling." A challenging one to connect with you and your expertise. I did this as an ecourse and sold it to AAA for their web site use. They used it for a whole year on their web site. There are branch offs to these, like, "How to stay in the NOW while you are driving," or "How to stay present when driving."

If you don't know what your pet peeves are, ask your spouse, your friends, your coach. I bet they know yours.

Three Ways to Market Ecourses

1. Add to your web site and ezine.
2. Submit to every online newsletter (ezine) you can find. Do a search on to generate a list of sites that will allow you to submit your link.
3. In your e-mail software, create a signature with the announcement for this ecourse.


Complete one course a week if you are aggressive until you have ten. Draft, edit two or three times, and have it professionally edited. Write a marketing paragraph and your signature lines. After ten, you will begin to see topic possibilities everywhere and you will have the techniques and system fairly down pat. After 10, pick one or two days a month and just write ecourses. Then begin seeing topics and creating ecourses that you can sell. Now you can start creating residual revenue. Write and market, write and market, and keep on going. You can do this for a year and have 50 or 60 of them done. Then you can skip writing any for the next year or two and focus in on another marketing tactic.

Another strategy is to hire someone else to write them for you and you focus on the marketing only. On the other hand, you write and have someone else market. The more you can leverage to other people's time, the money and success you will have.

Internet marketing and making money online is serious business, just like any business in the "real" world. Just like any business, you have to put forth an effort in order to succeed. You need to invest time and money. It never ceases to amaze me how some people relentlessly expect to succeed without making an investment of any kind.

Go ahead, give it an honest try. I believe it will work for YOU if you work with it! Let me know about your success.

About the Author
Catherine Franz is a marketing industry veteran, a Certified Business Coach, Certified Teleclass Leader and Trainer, speaker, author. Subscribe to her award winning daily marketing ezine, Light Bulb Moment at (


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