What a week it’s been! I can’t believe we’re already at the last lesson of the first email course this year. Hopefully, you had as much fun reading as I had writing these emails.
This is what we’ve discussed so far this week:
- Why doing email courses can help you succeed at learning skills and adopting new habits.
- Why email courses can help you build an audience for your business.
- Why email courses can cultivate a community and remove you as the bottleneck.
Today, I want to bring things full circle by looking at how creating email courses lets you learn in public and potentially change your life by:
- Shortening the beginner stage
- Making learning projects sustainable
- Helping you find your tribe and learn for a lifetime
Let’s have a look at each reason:
Creating email courses shortens the beginner stage
Yesterday’s lesson ended with how to curate an email course.
Most educational emails I’ve written have been weekly newsletters with curated resources. But because every email had a clear theme and an exercise, I treated them as lessons.
For example, with Stoicism, I saw the power in some of its practices, but I didn’t understand the deeper concepts. That’s why I decided to curate a newsletter about the practical side of the philosophy, sharing what I was reading and experimenting with. The result was a deep understanding of Stoic philosophy, to the point that many exercises have become like mantras that help me through challenging times.
Likewise, creating these email lessons is helping me learn much faster than if I'd only study what makes a great email course.
I’ve especially learned a ton this week thanks to you, my audience. Because I’m putting my work out there, I’m getting feedback from people at all levels of expertise with email (courses). Some of you are marketing experts with decades of experience, and I have the privilege to learn from every interaction.
But apart from learning faster by teaching, there’s another benefit to creating email courses to learn:
Creating email courses makes your learning projects sustainable
If you talk about one topic for long enough, people will want to learn from you.
I always thought I had to be an expert to be able to teach. But as soon as I started to share what I was learning online, people just a few steps behind me began to ask for help and coaching.
In Wednesday’s lesson, we saw how email courses are great for building an audience. And by sharing what you’ve just learned, you can start building your audience right now.
I can tell from experience that nothing is as motivating in learning as feeling you’re in this together. You’ll want to keep going when you get feedback and encouraging messages from people reading your stuff. At least, that’s how it works for me.
But positive messages don’t bring food to the table.
Running this project, I’m racking up a bill of $165 per month. That’s fine to start a (side) business, but it’s a serious chunk of cash if this were just a hobby. I couldn’t justify spending that money (plus several hours per day) on creating email courses if I didn’t have some plan to make money by writing.
Email courses let you do both: chip away at your skill set while monetizing your expertise in some way. Because if you don’t, it’s unlikely you keep creating and publishing long-term.
So, having a sustainable teaching practice is crucial. But personally, I’m more in it for the human connection.
Which brings us to the final reason why creating email courses is so great:
Creating email courses helps you find your tribe and learn from them forever
Every person needs to find their group of people to stay sane in this disconnected world.
Growing up in a small town and a cult, internet communities saved my life. The web was the only place where I could be myself without filters and find others like me.
But finding those people wasn’t easy.
When I got active on the web, most people hung out in newsgroups, IRC, and even text-based dungeons accessed via a terminal window (telnet). Social networks barely existed, so finding your tribe was brutal.
But email was always a constant. I’d read posts from forums and newsgroups delivered to my inbox. And I’d put out what I learned, building on previous messages — much like a blog or an email course. It’s how I made internet friends for life.
If you freely share what you know, your people will find you. I’d dare say that almost everything I know, I know because of people online. And email is the way to connect and stay in touch.
So, invest in cultivating the communities you’re a part of, and you’ll be able to keep learning forever.
That’s it for this week! A dozen reasons why email courses are great for learning, building an audience, and making a living online.
As I write this, the word counter just passed 4,700. That’s the length of a long blog post. But did it feel like a blog post or more like an experience?
I hope reading these emails was a great experience and you’re looking forward to more.
Next week, I’ll share ways (my own and curated) to never run out of content ideas. The techniques and practices I’ll show have helped me ideate, write, and ship more than a million words online.
Your turn, let's learn by writing
The last writing prompt of this week is to help you think about what email course you could create to learn a new skill:
What’s one skill that you want to learn about in public and possibly earn money with?
Please take a moment to reflect on your current skill set and what skill would complement it well. The longer you’ve been wanting to learn it, the better.
Try to find your unique mix of skills to work on in public. With your perspective, you can teach everything you know and make a nice (side) income.
As always, please leave your answer as a comment or reply to this email. In both cases, I’ll respond.
I hope to read from you soon!