It was almost midnight in Brisbane, Australia.

This night was the culmination of three months – or really two years – of preparation.

I was about to click SEND on an email to my newsletter announcing the opening of my first product.

This was MY product. 100% made by Yaro.

I was 27 years old. I wasn’t a teacher or a coach. I’d never studied education.

I never called myself a writer or dreamed of being one.

Yet, here I was about sell a course full of words written and spoken by me.

Nervous, But Excited

I was nervous, but excited.

I expected to get some kind of result. I felt confident I’d make sales.

How many sales? Hard to know.

I’d loved every moment preparing for my course launch and was eager to learn from action, so there was no such thing as a ‘bad outcome’ in my mind.

Here’s what I’d done during the three months leading up to this moment…

  • Woke up every day for 40 days in a row and wrote at least 1,000 words before I did anything else that day to create my first ever free report, The Blog Profits Blueprint
  • The Blueprint was the key free content, along with emails and blog posts I’d written to give away during the ‘pre-launch’ phase of my course launch
  • Recruited about 40 affiliates, other bloggers, email marketers and content creators, who were going to promote my course launch (earning 50% commissions for any sales they refer)
  • Installed and tested an affiliate tracking system, which linked up to my shopping cart for taking payments (along with Paypal) and a membership system powered by WordPress for delivering my course
  • Hired help for graphic design, an affiliate manager, website tech support and an email manager/customer support person, all contractors

And this was just the previous three months!

None of this would work if I hadn’t spent the previous two years consistently building up my audience…

Two Years Of Work For One Moment

When I was 25 I started my blog.

I wrote blog posts for a year, then learned about email marketing and added a newsletter.

Now I was writing blog posts AND email newsletters.

On top of this I was contributing to forums, writing guest posts on other blogs, conducting podcast interviews, getting interviewed myself and having behind-the-scenes conversations with many content creators.

Occasionally I’d do something a little bit more significant that would boost my exposure.

For example, one time I bought another person’s blog for $2,000 and wrote a blog post explaining why I did this.

Other blogs wrote about the event and people talked about it on forums.

This resulted in more people discovering me, plus I increased my audience by adding the subscribers from the blog I purchased.

Buying a blog today is not something new, but back then it was a minor news event in my community of bloggers.

All of this work resulted in the key ingredient I needed for success selling my own product – an audience.

Within two years I’d attracted 5,000 subscribers.

That might sound like nothing, but back then 5,000 people was a lot for a blog or newsletter.

Even today you can do a lot with a well-focused niche audience of 5,000 people on an email list.

It was enough that I felt ready to launch my course…

400 Customers

I won’t go into the full breakdown of my launch campaign now.

(If you want more detail there’s a 34 minute ‘Launch Breakdown’ training inside the Laptop Lifestyle Academy.)

After two years of audience building, three months of launch prep and the two week launch itself, I was done.

The result?

400 paying customers and an additional 10,000 email subscribers.

The email subscribers largely came from the affiliates who promoted my Blog Profits Blueprint.

I was VERY happy with this result, but the work really was about to begin.

You see… my course didn’t actually exist yet.

I’d done my launch knowing that only lesson one would be available when they signed up.

From that point forward I’d have to create a new lesson every week to stay ahead of my paying customers.

My life was about to get even busier!

The Ups And Downs Of A Successful Product

People don’t tell you this, but once you get customers is when the real work begins.

Every day I had customer support questions, students asking for feedback, and people requesting refunds.

After the emotional high of the launch, I was tired.

I had my team helping me, but much of the content creation and the coaching itself was up to me.

The money and the growth made it worthwhile, but it didn’t take long to realize there were major problems.

The big issue was cancellations.

I was getting refund requests EVERY DAY.

I was losing 30 customers a month, almost 10% of my entire customer base.

Plus since my course was ‘closed’ I didn’t have any new customers coming in to replace the ones leaving.

You’re probably thinking – why so many refunds?

Honestly at first I didn’t know why.

Then I realized the problem…

I’d set up my course to have NO END DATE.

It wasn’t 6 months or 6 weeks or 6 days.

It was just one lesson a week for as long as you wanted to keep paying for it.

This was a deliberate plan to keep people paying a monthly subscription.

But with no ending in sight, people who felt any sense of doubt or who were not keeping up with the lessons, cancelled.

I had a hunch though, something I could do to fix this problem with just one change…

Double The Price, With An Ending

I announced to my customers that my course would end at 27 lessons and surprised them with 5 bonus advanced lessons.

It was hard work, but I was done after 32 weeks of lesson creation.

What next you ask?

My new plan was simple.

Go back to my email list, which was now above 20,000 subscribers, and run my launch again.

This time though, my course was going to be 6 months long and I was doubling the price.

How did it go?


I can’t tell you how good it felt to conduct a launch with the same launch materials selling a course I’d already created.

There was far less work to do and I was making double the money per customer.

Life was good.

Unfortunately nothing lasts forever.

I sold this course for three years before I retired it.

Why? — I had to.

My course became outdated.

I was teaching techniques involving platforms that were no longer the leaders. Some would disappear completely.

There was a lesson to be learned in that.

A course needs to either be a dynamic entity, with updates as the industry changes…

OR, you can do what I did.

2.0 Course And Make It Evergreen!

Five years later after that first launch of my course, I sat down to plan version 2.0.

This time my course would be in video.

It would NOT focus on changing platforms or temporary techniques.

I’d cover evergreen concepts that could be applied to any platform.

It would also be only 6 weeks long (attention spans were shrinking and shrinking!).

I would also double the price… again!

For the new 2.0 course launch, I did the following:

  • I recruited more affiliates and created a detailed ‘affiliate portal’ website to present the timeline, prizes and track the top 10 affiliate standings
  • Wrote a brand new Blueprint 2.0, an even longer and more graphically detailed free report
  • Created a special graph to outline my core teaching concept – The Blog Sales Funnel
  • Went to a studio and recorded myself presenting on a clear white background to create four videos — three training videos + a long form sales video
  • Hired a copywriter to write a long form sales page to sell the course, and worked with a designer to lay it all out

This was A LOT OF WORK, but it felt next level.

I would use these materials again and again over the next five years to keep selling my course, so it was well worth the effort to produce so much valuable training and give it away for free.

Like with the first version of my course, I didn’t have most of the new 2.0 course ready when it launched.

I’d recorded the first video training module and some bonuses to be ready at launch.

The remaining modules I would create each week, plus do coaching calls and additional content.

It was stressful to meet the deadline each week, but it was all over in less than two months.

This time I was confident in my ability to teach.

I had a much deeper track record and previous students as success stories.

This gave me more advanced concepts to deliver and stories to share.

The 2.0 version of my course would also have the biggest price tag.

I was going to market with a $2,000 offer.

I would never have believed this price was possible when I first started selling my own products.

So, how did the 2.0 launch go?

Solid Results, Yet Disappointed

It goes to show how much you can change when it comes to your own expectations.

During my first product launch, to make $100,000 would have blown my mind.

With the 2.0 version, $100,000 was the bear minimum result I expected.

By the end of the launch I’d made $150,000.

A good result, but if I’m being honest, it was below my expectations.

By this point I’d seen many people sell over a million dollars worth of a course from one launch.

In the end the 2.0 version of my course did sell over a million, but it was in LIFETIME sales.

I’m clearly grateful now in hindsight but during this launch I felt less than satisfied.

On the plus side, my refunds stayed low, and there wasn’t much to ‘fix’ after the launch was over.

10 Years Of Course Sales

I started building my audience in 2005.

I sold my first course in 2007.

I created the 2.0 version in 2013.

In between these two courses I also created two other big courses, one with a friend Gideon Shalwick.

After the 2.0 course I also went on to create many more smaller courses to teach other concepts.

These all went into my most recent product, a membership called the Laptop Lifestyle Academy.

Eventually my courses also migrated into the Academy. They are no longer for sale individually.

Everything is now in the one place, the Laptop Lifestyle Academy.

It’s the only thing I still have for sale, and it includes everything I ever created.

All my best training on everything I know about selling education is in there.

Much of it was created to be evergreen, so while platforms and technology change, the marketing concepts I taught haven’t.

Sometimes I go back into the Academy myself and re-watch some of my training videos.

I do this to re-educate myself.

Over time you forget what you once knew.

Thankfully, because I taught most of what worked for me, I have my own ‘library’ to look back on.

My voice is also easy to understand when listening to 2xSpeed, a feature I always use when studying!

The End

This newsletter is a little longer than usual because I wanted share this particular story from start to finish.

I hope you can see that there is an evolution to the process of selling your own products.

Not everything works how you expect it to.

The main lessons I can pass on having lived this is to focus on what your audience wants and don’t stop sharing your best ideas and stories.

If you love the teaching industry, the internet makes today a ‘golden era’.

You can reach anyone around the world, earn a great living, and work from your laptop anywhere you have wifi access.

All you have to do is commit to sharing and keep improving.

Good luck!

Laptop Lifestyle Academy
Yaro’s Blog and Podcast