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Home How I Created a Money-Making Side Hustle in 29 Days | by Michelle Loucadoux, MBA | May, 2021

How I Created a Money-Making Side Hustle in 29 Days | by Michelle Loucadoux, MBA | May, 2021

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The exact steps I took to add a new revenue stream to my life

Image credit: 7713Photography.

Research and Markets forecasts that the online education market will grow exponentially in the coming few years. It says, “[the] online education market will reach … $350 billion by 2025, globally due to the introduction of flexible learning technologies in the corporate and education sectors.”

There is one thing I know more about than anything else on this planet (other than, perhaps, reality television). That is dance. I was a professional dancer for much of my life and I have remained in the dance education industry until today. Being in the dance industry for over 30 years has helped me become a veritable expert on dancers.

  • Reality television
  • Self-improvement
  • Musical theatre
  • Writing
  • Mental health
  • Fitness

After I chose three different combinations of skills and knowledge I possessed, I researched each of the pairs. First, there didn’t seem to be a lot of interest in learning how to write about dance. Second, there are a lot of fitness writers. Like, a lot. I chalked that market up to be practically saturated. Then, I searched for dance and mental health. The following article was one of the first on Google.

There are so many websites that offer a landing place for virtual course creators to house their ideas. I did a good amount of research before choosing the platform Teachable to help me house my course on mental wellness for dancers. Each of the many virtual education websites is best for different types of courses.

  • Do I want to sell the course to my personal contacts or do I want the course hosting platform to help me sell it?
  • How much am I willing to pay per month for course hosting?
  • What features do I want for my course (i.e. video capability, coaching features, plays well with other apps, etc.)?

I knew I wanted to create a mental wellness course for dancers, but I needed to create a structure. Because I spent many years in the higher education industry, I have created at least 20 different fully realized semester-long courses. Here’s the process I used to decide what topics I want to cover and how to divide them.

  1. List the topics you want to cover. I like to think of topics as chapters in a book. If you plan to teach a five-day course on, say, desk calendar making, you might want to cover different types of desk calendars, creating your calendar design, proofing your calendar, and printing your calendar. Great! There’s your course outline! For my course, we decided that we would do an introduction to the importance of mental wellness and then we would tackle the topics of self-talk and body image.
  2. Slot your topics into your course’s allotted time. Next, you can take the topics you want to cover and distribute them among the time you will be offering the course. For our course, we decided to spend one month on each of our three topics. But you can do pretty much anything you want. For instance, if you’re teaching the aforementioned desk calendar-making course, you can spend the first day of your course doing an introduction to desk calendars, and then you spend one day each on the remaining four topics.
  3. Set a structure within each of your course segments. It’s important that your students know what to expect, so the best way to do this is to set a structure within each of your course segments. For my course, we begin with education on the topic, we then do exercises for application into the students’ lives, we move to a virtual group discussion on the topic, and we finish with an industry panel on the topic. You could choose anything, though. Video>research>quiz, demonstration>practice>presentation. Whatever works for your course works as long as it is uniform from segment to segment.
  4. Do your research. If you’re teaching a course to begin with, you’re setting yourself up as an authority on the topic. However, it is always helpful to include research from well-respected sources within your industry. Even if you do think you know things, it’s always helpful to get a quote or to cite a source to back up your information. Research validates your ideas and it also makes your students feel safe and comfortable that they’re learning accurate information.
  5. Make your course. The last thing to do is to make your course! As you decided in point four, your course could be offered in various forms. You could employ a written form, an audio form, a series of videos, or anything else that you can dream up (that your course hosting site will allow). You can also combine some of these elements as well. Once you have your structure, feel free to create your course in a way that will be most memorable to your students. It’s your course, after all!
Screenshot: Author

This is the step very few people enjoy. It’s also the most important part of the money-making side hustle process. If you create an amazing course and nobody knows about it, you’re that proverbial tree lying quietly alone in the forest. Marketing your course is crucial. The good news is, there are so many ways to market your products nowadays that there is likely a path you might not hate.

  • Purchase a series of targeted ads like Facebook ads. (These are much more targeted than you might expect.)
  • Send out a prompt to your email list or contacts to check out your course.
  • Hire a group of affiliates to sell your course for you. (Our new affiliates will be receiving 15% of the profits from the courses they sell.)
  • Contact bloggers or journalists to write about your course in their publications.
  • Be a guest on a podcast or YouTube series that relates to your course.

My course is just getting started, but I am beyond thrilled with where it is going. So thrilled, in fact, that I wanted to share every little detail of its creation with you. The online course creation market is growing at an exciting rate and I was thrilled to get in the game with the course I created. And if I can create an online course in less than a month, I truly believe anyone can.

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