Why Online Courses and Digital Products are Essential for Success

This post may contain affiliate links so I earn a commission. Please read my disclosure for more info.

In a world overflowing with information, online courses, and digital products have become powerful products.

These aren’t just passing trends; they offer a unique opportunity to share your knowledge, establish yourself as an expert, and create additional income streams.

So, whether you’re a seasoned business owner, a solopreneur just starting, or an educator with a passion for teaching,  venturing into the world of online courses and digital products can be a game-changer for you.

I’ll tell you about the pros and cons, but first, I want to start with my own story about online courses.

I love podcasting. I have 3 podcasts!

  • The Doug Show – about marketing, SEO, and side hustles.
  • Mile High FI Podcast – about personal finance and financial independence.
  • A new, yet to launch SEO show (coming in Mar/Apr 2024)

I talk about podcasting all the time, and people know I have podcasts.

Many people are interested in starting a podcast, so my friends refer their friends who might start one to talk to me.

I happily and enthusiastically share tips and give advice, often spending 1-2 hours helping people out.

A funny thing happens, though…

People get started and come back and ask questions — sometimes things that we’ve already covered.

So I ask: “Did you use that microphone I suggested? Did you follow my advice…?”

They say, “No. I actually found a random YouTube video and followed that advice…”


At that point, I realized that I had wasted my time. They didn’t follow my advice, and they didn’t value my advice.

The bigger sin: They don’t value my time at all…

Unfortunately, people do not value free advice.

I started getting requests a couple of times per week. Now, I have a problem with time management because so many people want to “pick my brain” for an hour in exchange for a $5 coffee.

For me, creating a course and workshop on podcasting is a way to protect my time.

Paying money helps people value the advice I give them. If they don’t take it, that’s okay with me, but at least I got paid for my time.

And over the years, I’ve created several courses so I know some of the other more obvious pros and cons.

Income & Diverisifation

Unlike traditional methods like affiliate marketing or ad revenue, which can be subject to fluctuating commissions and external forces, online courses empower you to take control.

You tap into a high-profit margin model by creating content once and selling it repeatedly.

Digital products have minimal fees compared to physical products burdened by manufacturing, storage, and overhead costs.

Imagine the peace of mind that comes with a recurring income stream, independent of external factors and requiring minimal ongoing effort.

Furthermore, online courses act as a hedge against uncertainty. Diversifying your income with an independent source, separate from affiliate marketing or ad revenue with their potential for sudden shifts, provides a crucial safety net.

Think of it this way: with affiliate marketing, you’re building on someone else’s land, subject to their rules and changes.

An online course, on the other hand, is your own property.

You control the content, pricing, and delivery, creating a stable foundation for your income. This diversification goes beyond just protection; it allows you to explore different revenue streams.

You can offer a free introductory course alongside a premium option, attracting a wider audience and building a robust and sustainable income model.


There’s a hidden gem in creating online courses: it deepens your own expertise.

As the saying goes, “To teach is to learn twice.” 

Developing a course compels you to organize your knowledge, identify areas where your understanding might be shaky, and refine your ability to explain complex topics clearly.

Imagine a martial artist meticulously practicing a form. Teaching those movements to a student forces them to break down the mechanics, identify areas for improvement, and articulate the underlying principles.

Creating an online course offers a similar intellectual workout, solidifying your grasp of the subject matter and transforming you into a more confident expert.

This newfound mastery isn’t just for your benefit; it fosters trust with your students and positions you as a credible authority, potentially leading to exciting opportunities like speaking engagements or collaborations.

In essence, online courses offer a rewarding journey of intellectual growth alongside the path to financial gain.

I personally use Kajabi for my courses and all marketing (email, funnels, lead magnets, etc…).

I’ve been using them for years and HIGHLY recommend Kajabi. I’m an affiliate, so I might get a commission if you sign up.

You can even host podcasts and live coaching sessions and communities at Kajabi.

Check Out Kajabi

Authority & Credibility

Online courses offer a powerful platform to establish yourself as a recognized authority and thought leader in your field.

Developing a well-structured course allows you to showcase your in-depth understanding of the subject matter.

The meticulous process of crafting content, anticipating student challenges, and presenting information clearly positions you as an expert with valuable insights to share.

This expertise builds credibility with your students in every lesson.

The impact extends far beyond the course itself. Students who appreciate your knowledge become powerful advocates, leaving glowing testimonials and reviews that act as social proof for potential students.

Imagine the impact of a student publicly praising your course and commending your teaching style.

These endorsements become a beacon of trust, attracting new students and solidifying your reputation as a reliable source of knowledge.

The authority you build through online courses can unlock exciting opportunities. Event organizers might seek you out as a speaker, podcasts could invite you to share your expertise with a broader audience, and collaborations with other experts could arise.

This increased visibility benefits your career and allows you to reach a wider audience and make a more significant impact.

(Near) Infinite Scalability

Online courses and digital products shine in their ability to transcend the limitations of time and reach.

Unlike one-on-one interactions, which can quickly become time-consuming and restrict your impact, online courses boast inherent scalability.

Imagine teaching a single guitar lesson compared to creating an online course that simultaneously educates hundreds or even thousands.

This allows you to “help more people and grow your income.”

The beauty lies in the fact that you create the content once, and it can continue to educate a global audience for years to come.

This scalability extends beyond just numbers. Students can learn independently, revisit specific modules for clarification, and customize their learning journey.

As an instructor, you’re freed from the constraints of a rigid schedule, allowing you to focus on crafting high-quality content and fostering a vibrant online community.

With online courses, you can scale your impact and empower a global audience to learn and grow on their terms.


Online courses and digital products offer a revolutionary path to designing a lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

Unlike traditional models that confine you to a specific location or a rigid schedule, these digital assets empower you to break free. The beauty lies in their ability to generate income passively.

Once created, your course can continue to educate and inspire students, even while you’re off exploring the world, pursuing hobbies, or spending quality time with loved ones.

This flexibility allows you to trade the traditional work model for a life that aligns with your values and aspirations. Imagine traveling the globe, starting a side hustle, or simply enjoying a better work-life balance – online courses can make it a reality.

In conclusion, we believe creating online courses and digital products transcends simple income generation; it’s an investment in your expertise and a springboard to a fulfilling future.

The development process strengthens your understanding of the subject, while the finished product establishes you as a trusted authority. This newfound credibility can open doors to exciting collaborations and opportunities.

However, the advantages extend beyond professional gains. Online courses offer the freedom and flexibility to design your ideal lifestyle. Imagine earning income without being tied to a location or schedule.

This empowers you to pursue passions, travel the world, or achieve a better work-life balance.

If you have the knowledge to share and a passion for teaching, consider creating an online course.

It might just be the key to unlocking a future filled with growth, freedom, and the opportunity to positively impact the world.

As we’ve explored, the benefits of online courses and digital products are undeniable.

Embrace this digital world and empower yourself to reach new heights, share your knowledge, and make a lasting impact. The journey to success with online courses awaits!

Get my exclusive Templates & Systems for free when you join my newsletter.


Featured or Mentioned on

The Doug Show is where I’ll talk to other marketers and experts, share success stories, talk about making the leap from corporate worker bee to entrepreneur.

Subscribe here: Apple PodcastsSpotify

Or go straight to the Website

Check out my YouTube Channel
  • Success Stories from readers like you.
  • Tutorials and How-Tos.
  • Real Life as an Entrepreneur after Corporate Life.