July 11, 2018

Monetize Me: "Teach Yourself Anything"

OK, here's the landing page: http://www.teachyourselfanything.online/

It's basically a content aggregator to help people teach themselves something. So how does one monetize this? Ideas so far:

  • Affiliate links: resources that link to Amazon (i.e. books) would be affiliate links. Obviously there has to be a lot of traffic for this to make any money.

  • Advertising: a sponsored resource at the top of pertinent topics. A perfect example is Brilliant.org, which is doing an aggressive advertising run for their original educational content. The "Quantum Mechanics" topic page would have a resource right at the top for their "Quantum Objects" course. This would obviously apply to all the other online courses and similar businesses.

But is that it? I've been scratching my head for some kind of premium offering. Clearly self-education is really valuable—I myself paid for a Brilliant subscription! But Brilliant is offering original, high-quality content. I'm offering aggregated and curated content. If I were to offer a subscription service, it's not clear what that would buy you.

Thoughts, opinions, criticism? Thanks all!


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    A few things immediately jump out at me.

    • "Teach yourself anything" is way too broad. I don't remember who said it but someone said 'market to everyone and sell to no one'. If you are trying something similar to Brilliant.org, you know they target math and science. You need to niche your offering down, maybe way down, maybe down to 1 subject, in order to get traction. "Teach me NLP or Teach me Cryptotrading" might be considerations.

    • I don't get the curation part. Curation is certainly all the rage right now, but exactly how are you curating? Are you saying you have the ability to curate resources for ANY given topic? You might want to possibly re-think that. If you are thinking sponsorship = curation, I'm not sure that will fly either. The used car salesman is really not the best person to ask which car should I buy. His objectives are not aligned with mine.

    • The sponsorship idea might be ok in terms of generating revenue, but if you are going to ask sponsors to pay money to be on your site, then you need to have traffic first. A lot.

    • If you really are set at going broad with "anything", then I think you might want to offer something a little different - not 'resources' like books and such, but more like a framework for learning anything. I'm pretty sure there is a market for "teach me how to learn".

    Hope this is helpful.

    Good luck!


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      Hi, thank you! Very helpful.

      • Yes, the breadth is potentially a problem, but the idea is that it's a way to aggregate and rate resources for any topic, so that each topic page becomes a 'home' for teaching yourself that topic. I agree that a focussed site for just one topic would be in some ways easier to market, but I believe there's value in a general-purpose system.

      • Curation as in user-created 'playlists' (curricula)—like, "Here's how I successfully taught myself _____". You could see how many people follow/like/etc. it as an indicator of its value (I mean, broadly speaking)

      • A framework for learning anything really hits the nail on the head. I'm going to do some more thinking about this, because I like the idea of more structure, even possibly a social network kind of situation for tracking and sharing your progress, etc..

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    I love to teach myself languages and it always comes down to finding resources that let me get out-sized returns for the effort I put in. It's tricky finding them all but the magic of it is being able to identify what's a good resource. Thinking back there are many things people recommended that I was not interested in using as a resource. Hmm... I think different types of resources suit different learning objectives as well. Like do you want to go deep on a topic and develop real expertise or do you just want to grasp the overall concepts at a high level?

    Just some random thoughts.

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      Right, different objectives and learning styles is definitely an interesting question. Part of the idea is that user-created curricula (like playlists of resources) would end up diverging in many different, interesting ways. So a person could create a curriculum for learning the broad outlines of {topic} and another could create one for going truly in-depth on it.

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        Yeah, would be neat if that emerged.