The Fastest Way to Create an Online Course From Your Book
Wondering how do you turn your book into an online course? Or, maybe you’re thinking about writing a book that leads into your online course?
I’ve been creating a new free training on how to write ebooks that lead your ideal clients into your courses and coaching. A book is a powerful tool in your business when you know how to make it work for you.
Nancy Hillis is a student of mine who first launched a successful online course with us in our Create 6-Figure Courses program. She then made her dream of launching a bestselling book a reality by building on the concepts she teaches in her course. Her book attracts her ideal audience for her course and the automated funnel leads her readers from the book to her course.
Let’s explore how you can quickly take your book and convert it into an online course or write a book that helps you find students for your online course.
The best way to monetize your book is to add an online course as a logical next step for your reader. It’s a powerful way to help your readers go deeper into applying the content you’re sharing in your book. And, big one — it is the best way to monetize your book.
How to Monetize Your Book…Even If It Is Free
I have written three non-fiction books. My first book was published with a small publishing house and my second with a large publishing firm. My most recent book was self-published and also happens to be free.
Here’s the crazy thing: my self-published FREE book was by far the most profitable book that I’ve ever launched.
Your return on your book does not come from the sale of the book. It comes from how you serve your readers after they purchase your book. My free book has generated multiples of the combined revenue of my two previous books.If you want your book to build your business, you have to design a learning experience around the concepts you teach in your book. Click To Tweet
Get Clear On the Goal of Your Book
Let’s start by exploring your goals for your book.
Do you want to:
- Establish yourself as a thought leader?
- Help your people get results?
- Grow your audience?
- Create a bigger impact through your work by helping your readers to apply what you are sharing in your book?
- Monetize your book as an entry point to doing deeper work with you in your courses, coaching, or other offers?
- Attract the right audience for your existing online course or higher level offers?
If you said yes to any or all of the above, including an online course as a way for your readers to implement what they learn in your book can help you make this happen faster.
Let’s talk about how you can do this if you either already have a book or you want to write a book that leads into your existing online course.
How to Turn Your Book into an Online Course
Step One: Focus on the Problem You Will Help Solve
People buy books and online courses for the same reason: they want an answer to a problem.
What is the problem you are solving in your book?
For instance, think about your reader. Your reader opens your book and they are “here” firmly entrenched in their current reality. They want to get “there,” some desired future state where you make pain points go away, and dreams come true.
Where does your reader want to go?
What do you want to equip your reader to do by the end of the book?
An online course can help your reader get there faster because you can guide them in implementing the concepts you are teaching in the book.
If you’re not sure of how much overlap should exist between your book and your online course or how to make your ideas actionable, here are some things to think about:
- Think about the last time you read a great book. Did you make notes around key concepts that you wanted to apply?
- Go through your book and make notes of where your reader will be practicing what you are teaching.
Step Two: Outline Your Course Content
If you are like most non-fiction writers, you are moving your reader through a process in your book. You can typically see that process outlined in the table of contents of your book.
Review your chapters and identify the steps your reader will move through to apply what you are teaching.
When you think about your online course as a companion resource to support the implementation of what you are sharing in your book, it becomes easier to see what to include in your course.
For each step outlined in your book, you can have a corresponding module in your course that helps people implement what you are teaching in the book.
There are many ways you can support the learning process through tools, exercises, and community support:
- Reflective exercises
- QA Calls
- Accountability challenges
- Implementation sessions
I’ve helped many authors do this even when they couldn’t easily see the steps in their table of contents.
The great news is you likely don’t need to create any new content. You can simply focus on animating what you’re already sharing in your book.
How to Turn Your Online Course into a Book
Now let’s flip this around. What if you want to create a book that leads into your online course?
The very first thing you will need to do is decide on the goal of your book. You can revisit the goals listed at the beginning of this article. Once you are clear on your goal, you can use this as a filter for the content you will provide in your online course.
When you have an online course before writing a book, you have an advantage. You already know how you are going to monetize your book.
One short, powerful ebook can make a huge difference in attracting students into your course.
Step One: Focus on the Problem You Will Help Solve With Your Book
If you created your course in our Create 6-Figure Courses community, you designed your course working backward from solving a problem for your audience. You can write your book with the intent to lead prospects into your course. Or, you can choose to write a book as a next-level support tool for your course students.
Review the steps you outlined in your Course Content Storyboard.
For example, if you are writing an ebook to attract leads for your course, think about the questions your prospective students are asking related to your course topic.
Step Two: Outline Your Book Content
Think about the places your audience gets stuck:
- Are there beliefs that are holding them back?
- Are they making it too complicated?
- Do they struggle to find the time?
- Do they believe they don’t have the resources or “what it takes” to get results?
Sharing stories in the form of case studies, client success stories, and your own personal experiences can help your students move into action.
Having a course and a book together is a really powerful way to help your people implement, and it is a great way to monetize the work you’re putting into in creating your book or online course.
Next steps: If you’re looking to dive deep into creating an online course from your book, our Create 6-Figure Courses Virtual Bootcamp will walk you through the exact steps to outlining your content, creating each module, and launching it into the world. You can learn more by clicking here.
I wrote and self-published, You Are So Much More – a women’s holistic guide to peace, passion and purpose. The book provides over 10 holistic practices, tips and techniques. The course would be a great way to engage the reader and to provide the reader with support to reaching goals. I did consider creating a course, but have found myself being sidelined. Plus I always want to provide more tips and practices. A thought would be that the course could point them to other mini-courses for more support and guidance.
Hi Kelly! I think a companion course to your book that fosters implementation and accountability would be great. If you want more insight on how to do this, I’m leading a new free live webinar on June 17th. You can learn more and join in here >> https://www.jeanineblackwell.com/batw
I would love to “see” you there!
This is EXACTLY what I need! I am writing Chapter 8 of my book today ? It’s awesome that I can have this book and give it away for free to get leads for my online course which I plan to create once I create it ? One question, would the course go much deeper than the book? Or would you save that for a deepee level group coaching option?
Hi Trish! So nice to connect here! It’s really up to you – you could have the course be a complete companion to your book, select one chapter of your book and deep dive into it in the course, or have the course be an extension of the book. The options are endless! If you want more clarity around which direction to go, I’m leading a new free live webinar on June 17th. You can learn more and join in here >> https://www.jeanineblackwell.com/batw
Yes my book is coming out soon I want open my course and membership I try to create my email list little help!
Great, Carla. The key is to really intentionally think about how one connects with the other. A common mistake is to not put in the right content or to put in too much. And, “too much” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a short ebook. I have one that is 170-pages…and, has been a huge tipping point for many great clients. See you on the webinar 🙂 The link is above at the bottom of the post, fyi.
I have created my course, The Five Step Results-Driven Process To Rebuilding Your New Life After Divorce.(niche 50+) I am still working in the Launch Lab.
Creating a book as a way to get clients/customers was in the back of my mind as a great way to do this. I have done a little research and see that those who are successful in reaching their goal what it may be seem to offer something of real value for free–many times see a paid shipping and handling sort of offer.
BUT for someone like me starting out in this realm, I think what you suggest is a perfect way to begin. I already have written a few short books–one for children and one for applying your six mental muscles to create a positive mindset to achieve any goal you desire.
And so, even though I am in the middle of figuring out all this technology and learning how to set up the automation, etc.. I could take an hour or so a day to write the book based on the results-driven process.
You are amazing in that you really think deeply on how to help us to achieve our goals which help you to achieve yours. You take us along for the ride and don’t leave us behind once we get onboard–haha
Donna McGoff, Life Transition Coach
Hello Donna, What a lovely message to see first thing this morning. Thank you–we are all on the ride together. I’ll “see” you in the webinar 🙂
Hi Jeanine, Ya’ll know me! I would love to create a book as a course companion, to have bigger reach, or to grow my community, as lead magnet, or all of the above. I know how to “reverse engineer” my course to a book, but why would someone want my course if they get all the info in a book? Would love some guidance from your team.
Nice to “see” you in here!
The key is not to give all your content away in the ebook but give “JUST” enough so it’s a lead into your higher offer (your course). It’s intended to spike curiosity. We are going to cover this in the E-Book Write-a-thon so I’ll help you nail this when we come together. Excited to have you join us!
Hi Jeanine, I self published four craft books on sewing and fabric dyeing five years ago. They have sold steadily since publication but I now think I would like to make some online courses to complement them. Do you think that would be a good idea or are the books maybe too old?
This is a GREAT idea! Having an online course that is a companion to your books is a great way to seamlessly move your customers into deeper work with you. I’m going to be going deeper into this strategy in my new live event. You can see all the details in the link in the bottom of the post.
I have a book that I sell as an ebook/audiobook on my website and because it was a great success I’m about to turn it into a course. Where I get stuck is how to funnel book buyers into my course, because it’s really on the same topic.
Do you have any content about funnels for book > course sales?
First of all, I enjoyed your presentation. I have written my book but am struggling trying to figure out how to “speak” the content for a course. I know I am not to read the chapters, but I don’t quite feel comfortable trying to just wing it. Do you have any suggestions? I’m not afraid to speak, it’s just that I don’t know what to say if I’m not reading the book content directly. Hope this makes sense. Please help! Thank you!
Hi Diane! Yes, definitely have some recommendations for you. First, I would consider creating an outline of the process you will take your potential clients through during the course. What are they achieving? How will they do that? This is the beginning of what we call a Course Content Storyboard, which guides your entire course creation process. Once you have the outline, you will start to create the course components from there. While your course is *based* on your book, it isn’t exactly the same, since it’s considered a deep dive into your content. So you’ll need to do some pre-work, thinking about the process you’ll take your clients through, before you can record your course.
I hope that helps! If you’d like a little more guidance on the course creation process, we have a free webinar you can watch that walks through things to think about before you get started. You can see that here: https://www.jeanineblackwell.com/7sreplay
~Stacy, Team Jeanine