A week ago, I alluded to a project I have been working on for the last few months. Today I am excited to unveil it! Before I do, I'll describe the purpose of the project a little more in this post.
If you're short on time, feel free to just scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the first course (we'll be releasing one a week for the next couple months), as well as another example of it in action.
To preface the project, I wanted to write a little about a couple of habits I have developed that I think led me to creating this project.
- Habit #1 : Consumption = Creation - I have always learned by doing. I have a "rule of consumption", which is that if I consume information, I have to act in some way. I came up with this when I was a teenager, and it has really helped me avoid over-consuming. Sometimes the action is just writing what I learned in my journal, but usually it is writing down how I can apply what I learned to my life right now.
- Habit #2 - Break it up into Steps - Anyone who has met me in person, will probably agree that I like to teach, and I teach in a very methodical way. I find it fun to break complex ideas into tiny little building blocks in order to teach them.
Enter Stepify - An Interactive, Step-by-step Platform for Learning by Doing
This project is really just taking what I do naturally and turning it into a platform for teaching and learning.
What Makes Stepify Special?
I think it has a lot of potential as both a course platform as well as a SaaSy tool for bloggers.
As a course platform
- It's interactive. Every step has a valuable exercise. Not some gimmicky quiz - you have the learner enter in data which they interact with throughout the course.
- It's opens up a new way to teach. Have the learner uncover information and then build upon it like Lego - in a step-by-step manner.
- It can react to the user's input. Stepify allows for "Choose your own Adventure" style learning - if you answer x you get a whole new set of lego-building questions than if you answer "y".
- It holds your attention. By having actionable 5 minute steps, and some gamification, you really get into the zone and stay focused. Built in timers also keep you engaged.
- It tracks your progress (and lack thereof). Built in tracking tells the instructor where users are falling off or struggling. Depending on how the course is built, it can also track improvement on repetitive tasks. The feedback loop is instant, and filled with sexy data.
As a SaaSy tool for bloggers
Basically I see this as creating little mini-courses as lead magnets on your site, or as outreach magnets on external sites.
- It converts. I'm excited to prove this, but the very nature of getting the learner into answer mode, and giving them really valuable reasons to provide an email address (you won't lose your progress and you get your answers emailed to you), should result in conversion rates over 10x the average.
- It can track and segment users. You can ask qualifying questions and make your list much more targeted.
- It can be used to drive traffic. We are currently testing this and have high hopes for the ability to create interactive guides out of other blogger's content, and embed them into their blogs (more on this as results come in). The blogger that publishes the guide can now track the impact of their content, as well as get all the above benefits to build and segment their own list - it's a win/win.
I am currently unsure as to which of the two directions I will take, but I know I will choose one and not both. I want to use the next 2-3 months to get feedback and results from our partners as well as NHU, and then make my decision.
NoHatU - The First 100% Free Stepify Course on Starting an Online Business
The title says it all. The goal is to release a new free course every week for the next 6-10 weeks.
I want to turn it into the Codecademy for entrepreneurship, and really disrupt the space. The first course is titled: "Start Now! An interactive guide to starting your next online business".
It guides you through the thought process of identifying and starting your next business. Whether it's your first online business, or you're a seasoned SEO looking into starting something new.
By the end of the course you'll have found an online niche that is aligned with your strengths. It will be large enough to meet your financial goals, even after you've segmented exactly which customers in the niche you're targeting.
Finally, you'll have found and bought a great .com domain name for under $10.
All this for free, and it should take you about an hour to go through (though you may want to go through certain paths more than once).
As mentioned this will be the first free course of many. The courses will be progressive.
The entire curriculum will show you how to create a digital product, pre-sell it, create a funnel with high visitor values and get tons of free traffic from it (mainly through outreach).
Enough to get you a 5 figure/mo online business that creates value.
Next week's course will be on understanding your customer - creating a persona, finding problems, creating offers targeted to solving those problems, and (optionally) validating those offers through Facebook advertising.
Please leave a comment with feedback!
I'd consider it a personal favor if you leave your feedback on how to make the course better. Whether it's the platform itself or its the actual course material, all suggestions are welcomed.
This is a beta launch and feedback is necessary! So please leave a comment here as to what you liked and disliked about the platform and about the 1st course.
Also, I realize that this first course it not really for everyone, so I've added in a link to another small path on creating an about page. I know a lot of people do not make the most of their about page, so I figured it may help some readers.