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[Making Of… #15] Retiring to the Bahamas

The Making Of An Online Course Part 15

In 2021 I made a new course, From WordPress To Webflow. This post is one of a series of behind-the-scenes emails I wrote as I went along, exclusively for my email list (start here).

About those 3 key big decisions I mentioned: let’s have a couple of examples.

It was way back in mid 2017, in the days when I only wore a face mask if using power tools (i.e. never).

I’d tentatively started to think about making my very first online course.

I was teaching this brand new thing called Elementor.

It was the bee’s knees, the gnat’s whiskers, the cat’s pyjamas, the dog’s… ok, you get the idea.

Translation: people really liked it and wanted to learn more about it.

I’d been asked many times already at this point, “Make a course on how to use Elementor, please”.

And if it wasn’t for my old friends Mr Fear and Mrs Procrastination paying an extended visit at the time, I’d have probably already made that course and retired to the Bahamas on the proceeds (ok, a fella can dream).

But something was bothering me.

I admit, a lot of this was due to my old aforementioned friends trying to throw me off this new uncomfortable path, back to the cozy safety of my comfort zone.

They mean well.

But it also bothered me that there already was a ton of “how to use Elementor” training out there, even by that point.

Elementor had their own education channel, and there were at least 5 established YouTubers with large audiences merrily cranking out tutorials on an at-least weekly basis.

Who’d want to pay me for a course on it?

So fast forward a bit, maybe a few weeks. Still no course being made, much to even my own irritation.

But… I’d already spent lots of time by this point building an audience and email list. I (constantly) asked them questions and paid careful attention to the questions they were asking too.

And from that I realised I could – and should – drill down a bit on this Elementor course idea. By doing so, I was going to serve them better and make online training no-one else was making.

You see, all this paying attention and listening (ok, and procrastinating, to be fair), made me realise that it wasn’t really Elementor as such that people were struggling with.

A certain kind of non-coder had excitedly jumped on this brand new web design tool that promised them the ability to make websites WITH EASE! DRAG AND DROP! YOU DON’T EVEN NEED TO TURN YOUR COMPUTER ON!

(Ok, I made that last one up.)

And there was a load of training on using Elementor out there already – for free.

So why the Dickens were they still struggling to make websites?

I realised it was because Elementor is, of course, just a plugin within the wider WordPress ecosystem. And they didn’t really understand how that ecosystem worked – not really. Certainly not enough to confidently crank out full websites for demanding clients, no matter how easy it was to create lovely page designs.

Upshot: they didn’t have a workflow for working with the WordPress ecosystem, to get the most out of the new shiny drag-n-drop thing.

Bingo.

Although, nothing earth-shattering or astoundingly original! Just a different way of looking at the “how to use XYZ” course idea, framing it in a different way.

That course ultimately became No Stress WordPress. It did teach “how to use Elementor”, but…

It was:

  1. For a specific target audience.
  2. With a specific problem.
  3. And with a specific promised result.

Much easier to decide what to include in the course, much easier to sell, and it got great results for students, who told lots of other people about it.

Though I’m still waiting to retire to the Bahamas.

Ok, so next time – seeing as this is an email series on the making of the current course I’m working on (haven’t forgotten!) – I’ll share the similar decisions I made before starting to make this new Webflow course.

And then…

I’ll be digging into some of the behind the scenes of actually making the course itself.

I’m in full swing with all that, and it’s going great! (well, apart from nearly crying yesterday after I realised a mistake I’d made 10 lessons previously… … but I’ll tell you about that some other time).