Unless you have a huge social following or booming email list, it’s going to take some strategic planning to get eyes on your online course. Your course has the potential to generate passive income and provide value to the vegan community, but only if they can actually find it. What you need is a solid marketing plan.
That doesn’t mean you need to be an expert marketer or invest thousands into online ads. But having a few marketing tricks up your sleeve will enable you to reach your target audience and increase traffic to your online course.
One of the best places to start is with guest blogging.
What is guest blogging?
An online blog is a great way to show your audience that you’re an expert in your field, build trust and boost SEO. But building authority on your own blog takes time. Luckily, there are online publications and thought-leaders that have already put in the reps and have an established following on their blogs.
Many online media outlets and influential blogs will allow others to publish on their site as long as the content is aligned with their niche. You can’t just post anywhere you want and will have to research to see who accepts guest posts in your industry. But by choosing publications effectively, you can hugely increase targeted traffic to your online course.
Whether this is your first online course or fifth, here are some ways that guest blogging will contribute to its success.
1. Leverage an active, targeted audience
Your ideal audience is hanging out online and consuming content daily, you just need to get in front of them. By publishing guest posts on already established blogs, you can leverage the high-quality traffic that the blog has already built over time. If you choose aligned publications, then the people reading articles on the blog will be the same people interested in your online course. For example, if your course is on regenerative yoga, posting a guest blog on a weight-lifting blog won’t be effective. But posting on a yoga blog or a women’s wellness blog will help you reach your target audience.
These guest posts will help you build an online presence in your industry and niche. An engaged and active community will start to recognise your name, your brand, and what you have to offer. Even if you’re investing in ads and posting on your own blog, if you’re not reaching an active, targeted audience, then your course won’t sell.
Each time that you contribute a guest post to an online publication, you are building links. While you won’t usually get paid for your post, the payment is the links you can include to your online course. There are a few reasons why this is beneficial. If someone reads your blog post and is interested in what you have to offer, then they can click through on your embedded links. You can sprinkle these throughout the blog post itself, plus include them at the end, like a call to action. Most media outlets will also let you submit a bio, include links to your website, social media and directly to your course.
Not only will these links drive interested students to your course, but they will also get more people onto your website, social media profiles and email list. Some of them may not be ready to buy your course straight away, but this gives you the opportunity to continue engaging with them and show them how your online programme provides value.
On the more technical side, link-building is great for search engine optimisation. The more people that click your links, the higher your website (or your course hosting website) will rank in the search engine algorithm. The higher you rank, the easier it will be for your target audience to find you.
3. Establish yourself as a thought-leader
If you had the choice to purchase a course on vegan nutrition from a certified nutritionist with 15 years of experience or a random person with no nutrition background, we can bet you’d go with the first option. People want to invest in people they trust, especially when it comes to education. You need to show your audience why you’re the expert in your niche and what you have to offer them before they will purchase from you.
By writing high-quality, valuable articles for established blogs and publications, you will show their readership that you know a thing or two about your course topic. This helps build their trust, increase their interest in your online class, and ultimately leads to more conversions.
4. Grow your online presence
Since your course is online, it’s important that you establish a solid online presence. Creating a bank of quality content on your onsite blog and building a following on social media can take time, but guest blogging can help support your growth. Every time that you publish an article, you’re increasing your visibility. Whether or not the readers purchase your course, they are consuming your content. They are clicking links to your social profiles, and as long as you are also posting valuable, engaging content there, then you’ll get some more followers out of it!
Before you start contributing to other blogs, it’s worth taking some time to optimise your online presence. If you’re going to be directing readers to your course, website, and social media, you want to make sure that you’re happy with how you’re presenting yourself.
What should you write about in your guest posts?
It’s worth noting that guest posts should not be sales pitches. Of course, you are using them as a way to plug your online course, but you should incorporate them naturally into the flow of your article. The main point of these guest posts is to showcase your expertise and provide value, which will intrigue readers and encourage them to click through on your links.
You’re also not giving away all the information that is in your course. Think of it more as a teaser or an introduction to the topic. And most of all, just be genuine and relatable. You know that your course is valuable, and your guest posts will help you reach an audience that will benefit from it.