Courses vs Memberships

Have you been wanting to create a digital product, but you're not sure if you should create a membership, a course, a mastermind, a tiny offer, an ebook, a mini course, you name it. You're like, I don't know which one to do. Well, don't worry. I have your back. Because over the last five years, I grew an online digital product business to $2 million per year in a small, weird niche. And I still remember being super overwhelmed and really struggling with, you know, all the different options out there and like which digital products should I actually create. I was really, really overwhelmed by all the options. The people who had memberships told me memberships were the best. So people who had courses, so many courses were the best people who had masterminds to help me mastermind was the best. And yeah, I totally feel you. So yeah, I totally feel you and don't worry, you, you can stop stressing because by the end of this article, you will know exactly which type of product is best for you and your specific situation.

Well, I got you friend, by the end of this article, you're going to know exactly which type of digital product is best for you and your business based on who you are in the specific situation that you're in. Hey there, if we have not met before, my name is Molly Kaiser. I am an online course expert who helps people just like you turn their passion into a profitable online course that they can kickstart that's profitable from day one. And I put out articles just like this every Tuesday. So if you want to learn more about online courses or you like this topic, go ahead, join the profitable creator fam hit that subscribe button. So you can get notified of new articles. And if you like this topic, and so far, you like this article, go ahead and hit that like or thumbs up. And that would really help me out.

So again, totally have been in the situation that you're in. So I'm going to cover number one, what is a membership, the pros and the cons of it. What is a mastermind, the pros and the cons of that, and what is an online course, the pros and the cons of that. So let's take it way back to the beginning of my journey with the digital online product space. The very, very first thing I created, I believe was a lighting e-book for photographers. This is back in 2013 ish. I believe so. I created an ebook and I would say the pros of eBooks is that it is pretty quick and simple to make. You can make them in Canva. And it's simply just your information on a page. But the downfall is people. I don't know that eBooks are really super popular anymore. I don't see a lot of people selling them, especially in my space in the multiple spaces I've been in, but also, you know, you really can't charge a lot for an ebook and that makes it really hard to scale and create a profitable business out of that.

I prefer actually to use an ebook is like a freebie to help you build your email list. So that's kind of the, the pros and cons of that. And after eBooks, I decided to try an online course and I have now done multiple online courses in multiple different niches. I've been in the photography niche, the boudoir photography niche, the low carb niche, the internet marketing niche, and now the courses niche. And I can tell you that all those niches that I've been in, I was able to create and grow very profitable, lucrative online courses. I would say the pro of an online course is you can build it once and it's all recorded videos of yourself. So you're not directly trading your time for money. Like you are with coaching, with coaching, you have to continue to get more clients. You have to schedule those clients, which takes a lot of time per week.

And then people are rescheduling. They're canceling their, this, that, and the other. You're literally pretty much running. You know, you're doing customer service, you're managing these people, right? And then you have to repeat yourself over and over and really continue to give that information. People are paying to meet directly with you. So if you're sick or on vacation or whatever that is, that can put a damper on your business as well. Again, with online courses, you know, you are recording all of your information so that people can pay for that. They get a log in to that information that they can access at any time. So for me, I always give on instant and lifetime access to our courses, which our students really like. So if they want to start it a month from now or a year from now, or if they want to start it now and come back to it a year from now, they can certainly do that.

And the great thing about courses is that you can charge a premium, you know, you can charge anywhere from two 97 to 1997. And so that allows you to really scale that business and build a lucrative business around that that is also not trading your time for money. So that allows you to have, you know, the budget for say Facebook ads, which would allow you to eventually scale that business. The other cool thing is you can have an unlimited amount of customers, which means you can help with an unlimited amount of people with your idea. So for me many of you might not know this, but I actually started out as a photographer. I had a very successful multi six-figure, a photography studio. And I started out by coaching other photographers. They would come to my studio, I would share my knowledge with them for the day they would pay me and then they would leave with that knowledge.

And it was great. But I was like, I don't have the time for this. I don't know how I'm going to juggle coaching with my already successful already service-based business. Right. And I thought I'm just really repeating myself over and over and over. So why don't I take this information, package it into an online course that I can sell over and over and over without more of my time, you know, I can make sales and help people while I'm sleeping while I'm sick, while I'm on vacation. You know, my business is not really directly dependent on me specifically. So after creating courses I, you know, I had a lot of people come to me and they were like, Molly, you should really create a membership. Memberships are great. It's a great way to get, continual passive income. So I thought, what the heck, I'm going to try this out.

I'm going to create a membership. So I believe it was it was one 99 for the year, or like $39 a month. Something like that. It was similar to that. And, you know, I did have a really great offer with that. And I got a lot of people to sign up with that, but it just, first of all, it's, it's again, a lower price point $39 a month. So it became very hard to scale. It wasn't very lucrative. It took up a lot of my time. So even though I wasn't doing coaching I still had to do things every single month to keep people in the membership. So with courses, it's like they buy, they have the course, they do the course, that's it. Right. Well with memberships, it's like people buy one month and then every single month they're like, they, they assess like, well, should I keep paying for this membership?

Is this worth it? And in order for them to say, yes, this is worth it. You, as the membership creator need to keep creating more content hosting, coaching calls be in the Facebook group, build an active community. So it's, I believe personally it's a lot more work for a lot less money. And also I believe that every membership I've ever taken it's very overwhelming. Okay. So have you ever bought a membership and you log in and there's just stuff everywhere, whereas courses, it's a roadmap you're like, this is the result I'm going to get you, you log in, you watch each video, you do the homework, you get the result. With a membership. It's like, you know, they log in and it can be a whole bunch of different stuff on a different topic. So I'm not saying memberships are bad. I'm just saying for me personally, in the lifestyle, I want, I want to have something that's passive income, something that doesn't take up a lot of my time.

I want to be able to enjoy life, you know go out bike riding or, you know, work on my business during the hours that I want. Right. So that's kind of the pros and cons of that. And I'll admit I've never actually had actually, no, I have had my own mastermind. I totally forgot because it was a hybrid. So I'll explain. The next thing I did was a mastermind. So we actually charged quite a bit of money for this. It was $2,000 a month and they got access to a program and they also, we did like three meetups a year in person. And I would say the downside to a mastermind is it is a lot of work. It takes months and months and months just to plan one event. You know, and then if some people can't make it, they're like really bummed that, that date and time doesn't work for them.

And you're also you know, scheduling like dealing with all these different schedules and you know, what if a pandemic comes and you can't have your mastermind anymore, and then everyone cancels and they won't pay like events is like a whole thing, right? So I would say only do a mastermind if you're just like insanely passionate about it, because it's just a lot of work. It is fun, but it is a lot of work and it is not, it's not nearly as lucrative as online courses. Again, you are trading your time for money. I've also been in masterminds myself and the leaders never ended up running those masterminds for more than a couple of years because they quickly realized that their time is better spent elsewhere and that there needed to be in that mastermind to make that money. So they're really going back to trading their time for money.

So that's the pros and cons of memberships masterminds online courses. Well I guess I didn't specifically go over all courses, so I'll do that. But I also shared about eBooks. Now I have shared a lot about the pros of online courses. Okay. So that's the pros and cons of memberships, masterminds and eBooks. And now I want to talk about the pros and cons specifically for courses. Now I know I've brought up courses while I talked about the memberships, masterminds and eBooks, but after six years in the business, I actually have come full swing around to just focusing on one online course. So you guys can see it. You know, I've done memberships, masterminds, eBooks, you name it, I've done it. And I have comes full swing back to online courses. And it's simply because it is the best. It is the best way to share your knowledge online.

It is the most lucrative. You can make the biggest impact on the world. You can reach the most people with your online course, which is very, very fulfilling. And it's just a really great way for you to create a business that truly can give you that passive income, because you're recording that course once and people can buy it over and over and over again. And yes, your time is needed to actually build the business and bring in leads and generate sales. But your time is not directly needed for the information right for the product. So that's actually why I've come full swing back to focusing specifically on online courses. Not only is it lucrative, not only is it fulfilling, but it really gives me the lifestyle that I want. So if you are somebody who wants, you know, a passive income lifestyle, if you want to travel, if you want a bike ride, if you want to set your own schedule, I really cannot recommend online courses more. So there you have it that lays out the pros and cons of many, many different types of online products and why I personally love online courses the most comment below, let me know, which is your favorite online product.

There's no right or wrong. This is just my opinion. Of course. I'd love to see what you guys have to say. And if you've read this article and you're like, okay, I'm sold. I want to do an online course, but you're wondering like, what should my topic be? How should I price it? How could I get a following? How can I sell the course? How can I build my curriculum and all those things. I have great news for you. I am hosting a free online workshop and all you gotta do is opt in for free, save your seat and you can tune in. So here's how you can opt in for that free online workshop. Just go to And here, it's going to take you to a page where you can sign up for the class. The class is called how to turn your passion into an online course.




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