There is a $100-billion-dollar industry growing every day right under your nose: Online education.
And no, that $100 billion1 isn’t going solely to online universities and other online degree programs. Today, consumers are spending big bucks online to learn everything from how to take better photos with their smartphones to how to invest smartly on Wall Street.
The people and businesses who sell these types of courses needn’t be college professors. They are not necessarily geniuses and prodigies of the Jobs and Zuckerberg brand, either. They are everyday people, executives, and business owners; subject matter experts who have experience and knowledge to share. They are people just like you who have learned to leverage their expertise through content monetization, also known as Knowledge As a Service (KaaS), to earn huge profits by successfully selling content online.
See Who’s Earning Top Dollar Selling Content Online
There are virtually endless profitable KaaS destinations on the web, but consider this small sample of subjects, niches and formats:
- Kim Ki-hoon, the $4 Million Teacher: This South Korean English teacher makes over $4 million a year, not from the lectures he gives at the private school where he works 60 hours per week, but from online lessons. Students can purchase the video lessons for $4 per hour, and they can also purchase textbooks and workbooks for supplemental support and skill reinforcement. Ki-hoon employs nearly 30 people to help ensure his students always have access to new information and resources and are continually able to grow their skills2.
- Project Life Mastery: Entrepreneurial coach Stefan James built a blog where he initially gave advice for free, and then shifted to a one-on-one coaching model. After realizing that he could only manage a finite number of clients, he began selling information online so that interested entrepreneurs could access his knowledge from anywhere, at any time, at their own pace. He makes $70,000 per month from online and offline coaching and classes and is able to travel extensively since revenue is no longer exclusively tied to his time.
- Master Class Money: Plenty of people want to invest in the stock market, but the risk is high. Master Class Money is aimed at young people with little or no investment experience. Taught by a Millennial for Millennials, the 12-month module-based class, (priced at $379), teaches users how to get started in investing, develop passive income and grow wealth safely over time, even if they only have $1,000 to invest on day one.
- A Beautiful Mess: Sisters Elise and Emma ran a struggling lifestyle blog for many years, before turning their site into a profitable business. They now offer classes on everything from turning your own solo business around to crafting and Photoshop. Individual classes are priced anywhere from $39 to $75. They also offer monthly product-by-mail subscription services.
- The Million Dollar Math Teacher: Rob Percival is a math teacher with a love for web design and development. When he created his first coding course, he sold only one class to one individual for $199. After experimenting with some free offers and implementing a strategy, the money started to roll in. Today, his classes have taught 125,000 paying students, adding a handsome $1 million to Percival’s pockets3.
- Dance Studio Owner: This subscription-based service teaches dance studio owners how to run a profitable business. The website’s success from simple, effective online classes caught the eye of Revolution Dance, a major dance apparel company, and in 2013, Revolution purchased Dance Studio Owner for an undisclosed sum4.
This cross-section of KaaS in action demonstrates the endless opportunities alive on the internet. From extremely niche subjects with limited audiences like doll collectors and dance studio owners to subjects with mass appeal like investing and crafting, regular people with subject matter expertise are turning their knowledge into dollars.
Though it sounds simple, KaaS is not an “if you build it they will come,” passive revenue stream. A great deal of work and strategy goes into launching, maintaining and growing a profitable knowledge base. You must understand your goals, have a deep understanding of your key stakeholders, and of course, you must be able to package and deploy your knowledge.
The intersection of these three pillars – goals, stakeholders and knowledge – is where the plan for your Content Monetization Portal lies. It’s at this interaction where you can create a service that resonates deeply with your audience; one that will be shared and will become a highly referred service that can gain traction in the marketplace. With the right plan in place, and the right team supporting you, you can take your experience and knowledge and sell it across the country and around the world.