Back in January 2017 I built a course with my old business partner Charles Floate (https://charlesfloate.co.uk/) called On-Page Mastery.

Around 250 people bought the course, and even though there was only around 6 hours of content, people loved it.

We intended to add more content to the course, but our main business, our SEO Agency really took off and we got too busy.

So this year the idea was to release a 2nd version that would be gifted to the version 1 members, and sold to whoever else happened to be interested.

On-Page Mastery V2

I sold my half of the agency to Charles back in May, as part of that he gave me the course, so I did my notice and started working on the 2nd version of the course right away.

I spent around 2 months working on the 2nd version of the course, versus one week that I spent doing the first version.

The second version mixed in tactics, resources and the actual processes/philosophy I’ve used to build sites that rank for very very little money, never suffering a penalty in six years. The same ideas I used with Charles to run an agency where the only staff were me and him, and where we made £150,000 revenue in the first year.

To say that I was giving a lot away would be a massive understatement, yet I knew that the majority of people wouldn’t “get it”. That’s no disrespect, but the reality is that I do things differently and a lot of my views are contrarian in nature.

Simply, if it wasn’t for releasing the first version of the course and feeling bad that we never updated it – I never would of done the 2nd version.  Nonetheless I promised it, and one thing I’m actually really proud of is that I follow through with what I say I’m going to do.

Why I Won’t Be Selling A Course EVER AGAIN

Lesson 1:

During the build up to selling the course, a number of people purchased the first version in order to try and get access to version 2. I think the first person that did it I actually let them get away with it, but it became a trend, and so I just started refunding them.

via GIPHY

It made me laugh, because it’s the kind of thing you learn to expect in life from people. But in the end it just became a pain in the ass, obviously the 2nd version was being given to people who purchased the original course when it launched.

It had been over a year since the release of the course, and over a year since someone purchased it. That’s because after the launch, courses tend to sell very little. When you’re not promoting it they basically sell nothing at all.

Lesson 2:

I launched the course, emailing all of the first version members with an email basically stating that if they wanted V2 to shoot me an email before X date.

I gave them just over a week to do that, plenty of time to simply respond to an email right?

Apparently not. I had people emailing me well after the date, and I expect that trend will continue. When people were polite I set up the access for them regardless, but it’s now got to the point where it’s unfair for people that got offered something for free,  that they are in no way owed, to expect me to spend the rest of my career granting access to a course that they didn’t even buy.

via GIPHY

One guy actually sent me an email with my original email included, stating he didn’t know that there was a deadline… Just wow. It’s in the email you received, that you’ve sent on to me and if you didn’t know there was a deadline why are you addressing it? Come on, Spock would be disgusted.

“With my V1 Purchase”

^ With my V1 purchase? Hold up pal, when you bought V1 there was no promise of future courses for free. The entitlement stinks almost as bad as your weak rationale.

Lesson 3:

I knew there would be people sharing the course, piracy is unavoidable and almost pointless to try and fight beyond the basics.

I setup some IP Limitations, but because of things like 4G you can’t really limit that to a singular IP these days.

I actually had a few people buy the course, then message me saying they were sharing the account with their friends. That’s kind of fine with me, but it was the fact they didn’t think they were doing anything wrong to the point that they weren’t even trying to hide it.

The point of this lesson is that people simply don’t value your time enough to actually invest in something that’s been made affordable enough for anyone making an income online to afford.

Lesson 4:

Assholes. Simply there are a lot of assholes out there who after I released the course were complaining about things that others had said about the course that I never had.

Bro do you realize how stupid that is? You can’t complain about something I never said just because someone else said it. That’s not my problem. You wouldn’t go to Apple and complain because your buddy Derek said his iPhone gets 80 hours of battery life. That’d simply be your fault for not doing any research.

Lesson 5:

Refund warriors. These guys always exist out there, they’re cheap. I offered a guarantee on my course that invited these sorts in, but also genuinely protects decent people.

So I don’t regret doing it, but it wastes my time, and I know now that you’re cheap and if anyone ever asks about you I’m going to share my experience with you. That’s how reputation works, so saving yourself a few hundred by screwing people around is going to cost you a lot more in the long-run.

That’s because these people never just do it to one person, the karmic seeds are sown and you’ll lose a lot more money in the long-run by doing this.

You can spot a refund warrior a mile away by their ‘reasons’, they’re basically the business version of the “can I speak to the manager moms”.

Dudes your reasons are weak, just like your mindset. The only reason I’m refunding you is because like I said, karma is a bitch.

What This Experience Taught Me:

I learned a lot from this experience, and that’s basically that being nice doesn’t work in this industry.

I mean we all know it doesn’t work in life, but you’d think that in an industry where there are so many bad excuses for human beings trying to get every last cent out of you that they can, that you’d reciprocate and not be an entitled douche when someone does try to be good about things.

Ultimately that’s why I’ll never make another course, because while yes I’m a blunt SOB, I’m not going to abandon my morals. With the morals I have people will always seek to take advantage.

Instead I’d rather just work on my sites which not only makes more sense from a business point of view, but now makes more sense from the perspective of what’s good for me personally.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Lessons Learned: Why I Won’t Sell Another Course Again

  1. Hey Daniel,

    I’m sorry that it ended like this for yourself.

    I think you maybe undervalued the course which I totally understand as you were trying to make it as affordable as you could to everyone which I honour you for, but unfortunately, it probably attracted alot of the wrong crowd.

    I did buy the course myself and found it ace. I genuinely have learned lots from it and wanted to thank you for putting the time and effort into it, it’s got me hooked on trying to improve my on-page game.

    If you ever did decide to release a premium style course in the future, I would certainly be up for purchasing it. Cheers again and keep publishing awesome content!

    Jonny

  2. Sucks dude. But ya, not surprised. Happy to be one of the customers who bought it and didn’t give you a headache. Thanks for putting in the work to make us the course.

  3. Hey man, sorry to hear about your experience. Your course is easily the most legit on page course out there so it’s a shame everyone put you off future releases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This