Episode 013 – Ashley Danyew on Creating and Marketing Online Courses

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Ashley’s own journey as a church musician led her to start a blog and create resources for others who have found themselves in similar roles.

Last year she began to monetize her blog by creating and launching two online courses. In our conversation, Ashley shares tons of practical advice on the steps she went through to validate, create, and market her courses.

Full show notes available at musicstudiostartup.com/episode013


  • Ashley recognized there weren’t enough resources for church musicians. After enjoying an online course herself, she chose to use this flexible teaching method to share her ideas with others.
  • She chose a course model that was manageable for her – 4 weeks long, 45 min/week. At the time she wasn’t sure what kind of response the class would receive, but she decided to create it anyway.
  • Ashley created a “validation group” of individuals who had utilized her resources and connected with her in some way. She gave them a survey to gauge interest in the course and gather their opinions prior to releasing the content to the public.  
  • Pricing is hard! Ashley priced her courses comparable to other courses that had a similar structure and amount of materials. She researched classes offered in her area, and considered what the average church music director (her target audience) would be willing or able to pay. She offered discounts to nearly all participants the first time around, but has since been able to establish a firm price.
  • Course creation varies in time and difficulty, and the technology component can be especially challenging if you’re learning it for the first time. Ashley’s initial approach was to use the technology she had to create content and to share through a password-protected page on her existing website. Since her first course launch, she switched to an online course platform that required a financial investment, but has been a significant time-saver and allowed her to produce higher quality content.
  • When marketing, Ashley recognized who her audience was and what type of course launch approach would work for them. This wasn’t necessarily what was successful for other course creators, but it has allowed for organic growth to take place.
  • Ashley believes starting a project is the hardest, but it is worth it. Risk and failure are simply a part of the creative process and can be very valuable learning experiences. If you’re considering creating an online course, take her advice: decide if you’re passionate about a topic that you feel would be valuable to others and go for it!


Elle & Company – Lauren Hooker Adobe Illustrator class


Book: Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley

Connect with Ashley

Website: ashleydanyew.com

Facebook: Ashley Danyew Blog

Instagram: Ashley Danyew

Twitter: Ashley Danyew

Pinterest: Ashley Danyew


The Nice Teacher’s Guide to Tough Conversations (or, how to enforce your studio policy and still be a nice person 🙂 )

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018 at 1pm (Eastern)

Register here: musicstudiostartup.com/webinar

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