If you’re new here, be sure to read the first posts in this Becoming a Work-At-Home Mom series here.
My “brilliant” idea back in 2006 to start a website with quick and frugal ebooks and money-saving tips fell pretty much flat on its face. The website design was atrocious because I didn’t know the first thing about designing a site from scratch (I only have a basic knowledge of HTML — enough to make very minor tweaks, not design a site from the ground up!) and I ran out of time to invest into bettering it because my husband got a job in another city and we ended up having to move in less than a month’s time.
Between moving, pregnancy, being a wife and mom and running my blog and other business, life was full and my initial “grandiose” idea got shoved to the back burner.
But it wasn’t just because all of those things that I didn’t continue on with SimplyCentsible.com, the main reason I stopped trying to build it up was because no one really seemed interested and there was little to no traffic to it after I put in hours of work and promoted it rather heavily. I decided maybe there just really wasn’t that much interest out there on frugality. Or maybe I just wasn’t the person to be talking about it. So I dropped the idea and went back to blogging as usual.
However, around that time, I did happen to mention our (at that time) $35-per-week grocery budget sort of off-hand in one of my posts. Little did I dream the kind of interest that wold conjure up! People started delurking and emailing to ask, “How on earth do you feed your family for $35 per week?” Since I had been using coupons for over six years at that point, I had kind of forgotten that most people spent significantly more on groceries!
But as the barrage of questions began coming, I realized that our grocery budget was apparently way, way low compared with most of the rest of society. So I started answering the questions by doing a blog series on my personal blog on “Supermarket Savings.”
That blog series exploded into something I never could have imagined: people started telling their friends, who told their friends, who told their friends. Before I knew it, my little blog was getting around 5,000 visitors per day — and people were begging for more help with lowering their grocery budget and reducing their overall expenses.
I tweaked and expanded the Supermarket Savings series into an ebook and it sold incredibly well. I mentally gave a big sigh of relief that it was finished! I figured the questions and emails would now die down as the ebook pretty much covered all the basic details on using coupons, playing the drugstore game and getting the most bang for your buck at the grocery store.
Well, the questions didn’t stop. In fact, the emails started pouring in from people who were brand-new to couponing and had no idea where to start. Again and again, I realized that they just wanted someone to hold their hand and walk them through step-by-step how to drastically cut their grocery budget.
They needed more than just the basics; they needed very detailed specifics on how to work the deals. The thought of setting up a blog to share these details and specifics still hadn’t crossed my mind yet, but I did decide to teach an online course called “Supermarket Savings 101.” There was nothing out there like it from everything I researched and, based upon the response and emails I was receiving, there was a huge need for this.
So, two weeks after Kaitlynn was born, I opened up registration for the online class. My plan was to teach a small number of participants the materials in my Supermarket Savings ebook at a more in-depth level. There would be different audio lessons, handouts, free ebooks on frugal living and a forum for participants to interact. In addition, there would be assignments every week which the class members had to complete and turn in which I would give feedback on.
My hope was that I would use the materials from this pilot class to create a downloadable ecourse to sell. I knew that having the real-time feedback and questions would be invaluable in helping me to craft a course which could benefit the most people.
I set the class registration price at $17.95 for the two-week class and announced it on my blog. I’d never done something this ambitious before and my goal was to get 20 registrations. I figured that would be a good number to work with to provide enough differing backgrounds and areas of the country to cover a lot of the potential questions and situations people are in.
I was a little blown away when I ended up with over 70 registrants for the online class! I was very thrilled, but it was also a bit daunting because I had a great turn out of participants, but now I had to figure out what I was going to teach and how I was going to teach it — and how I was going to try and give feedback to 70 different class participants. I was hoping I wasn’t setting myself up for another disastrous failure!
…to be continued next Saturday