Courses in Online Marketing–How to Create Your Own Self-Study Marketing Course

Creating a course in online marketing is an extremely beneficial investment in yourself, especially in this information age where learning is literally accessible under the reach of your fingers.

Years ago, upon earning my Bachelor of Arts in English/Creative Writing, my college guidance counselor told me I was a good candidate for graduate school.

Since then, I have wanted to go back to school and get my Master’s Degree. But time and money were not there. I had other duties as a wife and mother.

And then I started my home business. With so many resources available on the Internet, I realized I didn’t need to take formal classes.

I could make my own course of study. After all, education is a life-long journey. The credentials don’t matter in the long run, especially as an online at-home business owner.

What matters is that I apply what I learn on a daily basis.

So that’s why a couple of years ago I started my self-paced study on Internet marketing. I made a plan to study each day and to apply what I learned immediately in my own business.

The result? I am becoming recognized as an expert and attracting clients to my graphic design services business like never before!

How did I do it? Here are some ideas to get you started:

1) Ask yourself this crucial question: what does success look for YOU? Not anyone else. What is it that you want to accomplish in your life and business? The next 10 years? Five years? One year? Six months?

One of the most valuable insights I got from studying online was learning to make decisions from where I want to be instead of where I am now.

Keeping the end in mind will help you create a vision for your life and business, which will in turn help you decide on what and how to study.

2) Analyze what kind of learner you are. Do you learn best in an analytical, step by step method? Do you learn best by studying what truly interests you? Do you process information better by hearing or seeing or doing?

As a homeschooling mother to a special needs child, I have learned the value of this knowledge of learning style for both teacher and student. This is crucial information as I choose and develop my son’s curriculum and has at times prompted me to throw out everything I have and create my own curriculum more suited to his learning styles and challenges.

3) Find the people in your field you admire most and want to be like. Make sure they are truly successful at what they do. You don’t want the blind leading the blind! Invest in yourself by buying one course to start with.

Many online marketing gurus have packages with several different learning styles in mind. The first one I bought was from Ali Brown, her Online Success Blueprint, which included a workbook, CDs, and DVDs. This gave me a birds-eye view of what I needed to do to accomplish my online business goals.

Other coaches offer continuity programs through email. This is a very effective way to study. They break it down into weekly assignments, which forces you to immediately apply what you’re learning to your business. Taking one of these continuity programs is how I learned to create my own online course based on my particular area of expertise–branding.

Be careful of information overload, though. Once you start taking courses from “gurus,” you will be inundated with offers. In the online marketing world, this becomes like candy. “Oh, the next best thing that will bring me success,” you think. Don’t look for magic pills that will make all your dreams come true in one easy shot. Actually, lifelong learning and life success is a journey of hard work. But it is a journey abounding in rewards, both personally and professionally.

After you take your first course, drill down. What area of learning do you need to pursue in order to reach your goals, both short term and long term? Master one skill at a time and put everything you learn into practice immediately.

4) Find a business coach or mastermind group. This is an extremely important step! After you have gotten your feet wet, join a coaching organization. Find a mentor who will help you step by step. Be involved in a mastermind group.

I have never heard of a successful online marketer who didn’t invest in themselves through one on one coaching and mentoring. There are many ways to get involved to fit any budget. I started with Ali Brown’s lowest mentorship circle, which consists of monthly teleseminars. Now I am part of a coaching group called Internet Marketing, Mentoring and Coaching Center and I have mentors who are constantly cheering me on. I could not have gotten a vision for my marketing plan without them. In fact, I wouldn’t even be writing this content without this coaching program! My involvement with iMMaCC has given me incredible focus and direction that I lacked before.

Facebook groups are also a great source for this. I have found tremendous support there, not just professionally, but personally. Take advantage of social media, not just to be a sponge of new information, but to be an authentic voice in a community. This is a very rewarding activity when you can give and take with like-minded people.

5) Develop a local Dream Team. Nothing beats face to face time. Period. No matter how sophisticated technology gets, personal interaction with other human beings is the best, most effective means of learning.

Recently, I met with a fellow homeschooling mother who is in the same position I am–we must get our businesses contributing to our families or we will be having to look into getting jobs in the marketing place. Not a great option when number one there are no jobs and number two we have children with special needs that require our full-time care!

So we decided to get together once a month to help each other toward our goals. We will barter services. We are both committed to seeing the success of the other person.

This is going to be a huge motivation. In a few weeks when we meet for the first time, you bet I’m going to want to report my progress to her! And I’m going to want to impart my knowledge to her as well. Teaching others what I learned increases exponentially my own course of study!

6) Get in the habit of learning on a daily basis. Instead of watching tv, watch DVDs on your chosen course of study. Listen to podcasts while you clean. Take audio CDs in your car. Read one chapter a day. Integrate it into your daily life instead of thinking, “Oh I’ll get to it after I…” You won’t! Do it now while you’re doing the ordinary tasks of life. Then use your learning to guide you in your business activity.

So there you have it in a nutshell. How to create your own course of study. Whether you want to study online marketing, writing, design, or fine arts, this method will help you reach new heights in your life and beyond!

Ready to start a mentorship program? Introducing my new Brand Identity Mentoring Program!

There are several levels to choose from that will fit your budget, including a webinar course, one one mentoring, brand development, and identity collateral design and printing.

Class starts September 14 so reserve your spot today! Space is limited!


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  1. Great list, Dana! I’m a big fan of self-learning. I firmly believe you don’t ever need to stop educating yourself. Creating a structured program for it is a awesome idea. I have tons of stuff on my hard drive that would be great to use, too!
    Sherrie Koretke recently posted..Crafting a “New-Paradigm” BusinessMy Profile

  2. Great post, Dana! I am a serial learner and am currently developing a program, a self-study. These tips are an excellent guide. Thanks!
    Julie Henderson recently posted..The Law of GratitudeMy Profile

    • Dana says:

      Thanks, Julie! It’s so much fun to be a serial learner! Our lives are never dull! Many blessings to you as you develop your self-study program!

  3. Hi Dana,

    I love the bits of advice about visualizing success and learning daily.

    Seeing the goal helps you be the goal. Visualizing attracts to you the ideas, people and circumstances to make dreams, realities. Awesome practice.

    Learning daily and putting the knowledge into action makes you a leader. Leaders never stop learning. Always picking up new stuff, always tweaking, always implementing. Learners pass the rest of the world by.

    Thanks for sharing your powerful insight!

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..A Quick and Simple Facebook Marketing Tip to Boost BusinessMy Profile

    • Dana says:

      Thanks, Ryan! Your comment means more than words can say! They are confirmation to me that I’m on the track and give me motivation to keep learning!

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