Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
HOW DOES IT ALL WORK? It’s very easy to set you up as an Academy Of Mine member and to get you started selling your courses online. When you sign up, you get the following things:
1. Your own branded website: We will provide you with a fully hosted sample/demo E-Course website which already has all the components like Landing Page, Course offerings etc ready. You will then take this and customize it to your needs. Your website does not have to look like everyone else’s and we ensure that you have all the tools at your disposal to create your own brand. See the demo website here
2. Course Creation and LMS platform: We provide you a fully integrated and scalable Course Creation and LMS platform out of the box. It includes features such as ability to create unlimited courses with option to have paid and free chapters/units, timed quizzes, assignments, certificates , badges etc. Students can take your courses, interact with other members via forums and discussions.
3. Live Lectures: We also provide live lecture features including live chat, screensharing, whiteboarding. This comes as part of the “Monster Course” package or as an add-on cost to your existing subscription.
4. E-Commerce capability: You can sell your courses with ease using our e-commerce platform that integrates with your courses and lets you sell them. You can take credit cards & Paypal for your paid courses.
5. Powerful E-Course marketing software: Our platform (called “mission control”) will show you exactly where you are in the marketing and visibility “race” in your niche. We provide 30 marketing tools to help you grow your online ECourse company. Some of these tools include ability to research keywords, who your competitors are, what terms people are searching online for related to your business etc. You can really optimize your site with the help of these tools and get meaningful visitors who will have a high probability of conversion.
5. Access to hours of Training Materials: Learn how to use our platform and optimize your site for enrollments and sales by going through our comprehensive educational tutorials aimed at teaching eCourse sellers how to succeed selling courses online. We have spent hours creating these tutorials for our clients so that they have all the necessary knowledge to start building,selling and marketing their courses.
After you sign up you’ll be redirected to our “new member page”. This page will ask you basic questions about the course you plan on offering. For example we’ll ask for your domain name (you can register your domain through us at no cost), course name, type of course, what your financial expectations for your course are and so on. Once we have this information from you we’ll set up your site architecture, security settings, eCommerce, course website and student backend. The site will be populated with temporary content to get you started. We’ll then walk you through the process of branding your site and student backend to fit your needs. To learn more about how it all works watch our audio walk-through below.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SETUP?
Once you sign-up we can generally have you up and running within 24 hours. However, you’ll be responsible for populating your site with your course content which can take some time. If your course is already developed it shouldn’t take you too long. It will just be a matter of copying and pasting your course content to the right pages. However, if you’re still in the online course development stage it might take you longer to get up and running. However, when you’re ready to go “live” with your site you can simply add “enroll now” buttons and students will be able to start signing up right away.
As a general rule of thumb you should put aside 2 weeks to develop your course front-end, 2 weeks to upload your course content and configure your student backend and then at least 4-12 weeks to focus on optimizing for “head” and “long tail” search terms to help you drive traffic to your site.
Remember, we’re not a “turn key” “out of the box” solution. We offer an “all-in-one” platform to help you build an entire eCourse business online with a long term growth approach. Our system is easy to get use to (we provide countless hours of training videos) but the system is quite complex because we want your platform to be customized to meet your needs as well as be powerful!
So if you’re looking for a turn-key solution, we’re not for you. If you’re looking to make money overnight solution, we’re not for you. If having to work a LOT on your E-Course company doesn’t appeal to you, we’re not for you. There are other options available to you, but we’re not it.
That being said, we are the best option for entrepreneurial minded educators who want to spend the time working to build a high quality eLearning company for the long run.
I LIKE WHAT I SEE BUT WILL YOU BUILD MY SITE FOR ME. I AM NOT TECHNICAL ?
Yes and No. Most of our clients are not very tech savvy but with the help of our Training Videos and FAQs/How-Tos, they are able to put together a decent site with all the features explained earlier. We are a Software-As-A-Service (SAAS) company and our goal is to provide a consistent Product to all our clients. So the answer is: it depends on what kind of help you need from us. Understandably, you want to have a great looking site with your own brand. Through our support system, we help you customize your site to your needs but we cannot do everything for you. We want you to do the heavy lifting while we provide you the necessary support. If you sign up, we pay extra attention to you in the first couple of months where you really need help and we ensure that you have everything you need to build your site.
WHO ARE YOUR CLIENTS ?
Great question. Our clients are entrepreneurs in the E-Learning industry. Ideally, they are already running E-Courses in some format or are looking to get started building a business where they manage their own brand, sell E-Courses and do aggressive marketing. They are looking to make thousands of dollars per month and build a brand within their own niche. You can create any kind of E-Course and sell/market it through our platform. But the key is that you want to run it as YOUR business which means putting in long hours specially at the beginning. We give you the tools to do it of course and support you in ensuring that you are ready.
But we also cater to quite a few organizations including Non-Profits etc that need to provide Internal training to their employees. Our setup works flexibly where you can use it to create Internal Training Portals for your organization without necessarily using the e-commerce module to charge for courses.
HOW MUCH CAN I MAKE RUNNING MY BUSINESS ON ACADEMY OF MINE ?
Depends on how much work you put in it. We have clients making thousands of dollars per month. But be advised that there is a initial period where you will be working very hard in setting up the site. Think of it as your business. It takes time to setup a business. In fact, we take pride in the fact that our ideal clients are entrepreneurs themselves who are willing to put in their blood and sweat and build a great E-Course/Training company of their own. The sky is the limit, really.
CAN I SELL THINGS OTHER THAN COURSES/TRAINING/LEARNING MATERIALS ON YOUR PLATFORM ?
Unfortunately, No. We take pride in being exclusively focused on E-Learning. You can however sell E-books as long as they are related to learning.
CAN I SELL TO BUSINESSES INSTEAD OF INDIVIDUALS WHERE THOSE BUSINESSES COULD HAVE THEIR OWN STUDENTS ?
Yes you can. You could sell a bulk license to the business and then get their own students/users added to the courses individually. For example, Business ABC Inc. has 50 employees that they want to train using your courses. You could sell the entire package to one representative from ABC Inc. who could then get the individuals to be added to the course.
HOW DO I GET PAID ?
Once your course is up and running you’ll be able to accept payments through credit card and PayPal. You keep 100% of your income and the money goes to your payment processor straight away. Of course, you need to take care of any taxes, payment gateway fee etc on your own.
WHAT LANGUAGES ARE YOUR SERVICES OFFERED IN?
Our entire E-Course platform (front end, backend, hosting and marketing platform) is primarily written in English. Therefore we usually have clients who sell eCourses in English. However ,we have just started a beta program for Spanish, French and German where we have onboarded a few clients on our platform
HOW DOES PAYMENT WORK ON THE PLATFORM ?
We integrate with a number of Payment Gateways including Stripe, Paypal, Authorize.Net, PayuLatam, EWay, PayFast, Peach Payments and others.
Your students can be anywhere from the world as long as they use a valid Credit Card or Paypal. However, you as our client must be from one of the following countries due to Payment restrictions:
– North America (United States and Canada)
– Asia (Malaysia, India)
– Africa (South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, Nigeria)
– Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Portugal, Columbia)
If you are from a country that is not listed above, it does not mean that you cannot be our client. But we do need to look at it on a case by case basis and we are working diligently to add payment support for rest of the world. You should definitely talk to us if you have any questions about this.
ARE YOU SCORM / TIN CAN COMPATIBLE?
Not 100%. That being said, it’s more a technical compliance issue as we believe that standardization shouldn’t come at the cost of innovation. So if an innovative part of our system isn’t SCORM compatible, we prioritize the innovative element, not the element designed around standardization. However, our system works with all web based applications. So you can embed flash, video, text and interactive elements and students can engage with those elements from old and new computers alike. Also we do support embedding Articulate storylines or Adobe Captivate in the courses even though we are not fully SCORM compliant.
CAN I OFFER MONTHLY OR YEARLY SUBSCRIPTIONS TO MY STUDENTS?
Yes. Not only that, you can have multiple courses where some courses can be subscriptions while others can just be one time payments. So our E-Commerce offering is very flexible. We even offer Tiered Subscriptions where you can have a package of courses offered within the tiers.
WHAT KIND OF MATERIALS CAN I UPLOAD IN COURSES?
Your courses can be made of text/html, PDF, videos, Articulate Storylines etc. You can also emded videos from video providers such as Vimeo, Wistia.
DO YOU OFFER VIDEO HOSTING OR I NEED TO GET MY OWN?
To be honest, we tried to provide video hosting. But after a lot of experimentation, we came to the conclusion that clients should get their own video hosting accounts. The thing is that Video Hosting is very hard to do and it is a business by itself. Managing bandwidth, analytics etc is a lot of work and better left to companies who do it for a living. We highly recommend getting accounts with Vimeo (their Vimeo pro plan is brilliant for only $17/Month).
We have no affiliation with any video hosting company however. You are free to choose any but we recommend Vimeo Pro plan and you can check them out at https://vimeo.com/pro. Ask us for other recommendations if you are not sure. We will discuss your needs and recommend you the right service.
Hosting your videos with these third party provider offers the following advantages:
– Fully secure private videos to host for your courses. No one can download them if you don’t want them to ( even your students).
– Option to make videos public for marketing and landing pages
– Full Analytics capability including number of video plays, percentage played etc
All you need to do is to generate the Embed Code from the hosting provider for the video and add it to your courses etc. on Academy of Mine platform. We will teach you how to do all that of course.
IS THE COURSE CONTENT PROTECTED?
To the extent that items can be protected on the internet, Yes, your course content will be protected. Not only that, but you’ll be able to monitor your account for any suspicious activity from your admin dashboard. If students are giving out their login information to multiple people you’ll be able to see this activity easily from your dashboard.
If you upload copyrighted materials such as images, the access is fully restricted only to members that are approved to take your courses. We also make sure that your videos cannot be downloaded even by your students.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Membership costs between $199 to $449 USD / month. See our pricing plans here.
ARE THERE ANY CONTRACTS? WHAT IF I WANT TO LEAVE?
No there are no contracts. You can leave anytime. However, you will not be able to bring your SSL certificate, hosting, premium licenses or marketing dashboard with you. When you sign up for our service you will get access to things that we buy for our members (like SSL certificates, optimized hosting, licenses for themes, social plugins etc). These belong only to our clients. So if you decide to leave us you’ll need to buy new licenses and set everything up on your own. Some parts of your site won’t work until you reactivate those license keys (like the live chat room, eCommerce subscriptions, product vendors, affiliate software etc).
If you do want to leave us but take all our custom codebase and data with you somewhere else to self install/manage, we can offer that for a one time fee. Note that this fee does not include professional services fee in case you want us to install it somewhere for you. Also once you leave us, we cannot provide ongoing support unless you are a paid monthly client.
DO YOU OFFER A REFUND?
Yes, if you’re not happy with our service within the first 30 days we offer a full refund for that month. After 30 days, there is no refund.
CAN I UPGRADE / DOWNGRADE ANYTIME?
Yes! Upgrading or downgrading is very easy. Just ask us and we’ll be able to do this for you. And your site won’t suffer any downtime.
CAN STUDENTS ENROLL FOR MY COURSES DIRECTLY FROM MY WEBSITE?
Yes! Students will always stay on your website when they enroll for your course. Students will stay on www.yoursite.com/checkout and all payment processing happens on our state of the art secure servers.
DO I GET TO USE MY OWN DOMAIN ?
Yes. Your site will be on www.yoursamplesite.com (fully white-labeled). In fact, we prefer you bring your own domain which then makes it very easy to point that domain to our servers for hosting. We can however register a domain for you as well if that is what you want.
I ALREADY HAVE A SITE WITH EXISTING DATA. CAN I INTEGRATE MY EXISTING SITE WITH YOUR PLATFORM ?
Yes! No problem. We will set you up on a subdomain within your existing domain. For example, if you own mysamplesite.com, then we would set you up on something like academy.mysamplesite.com etc. This way, you get to keep your existing site AND also able to utilize academy of mine platform
DOES ACADEMY OF MINE TAKE A CUT OF ENROLLMENTS?
No. You keep 100% of your earnings. All you pay us is the monthly subscription except any transaction cost to the credit card provider etc.
WILL MY SITE WORK ON MOBILE, TABLETS & SMARTPHONES?
Yes! Your site will be responsive which means it will work on all devices including desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE HOST MY SITE WILL BE ON AND YOUR UP-TIME GUARANTEE?
Your site will be on one of our dedicated servers with other client’s sites (mind you, not many other sites). It’s like a hybrid system between shared and dedicated. Our dedicated servers are very powerful and really fast. We always make sure we have lots of “headroom” so you never have to worry about downtime or outages. Not only we have super fast servers, we also make it faster by putting your site on our Content Delivery Network account. We take our up-time very seriously.
MY SITE IS ON A CONTENT DELIVERY NETWORK (CDN)? WHAT’S THAT?
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers around the world that we store the static elements of your website on. When a visitor goes to your website they will be served your website from the server that is closest to them. For example, if a visitor visits your eLearning site from NYC then the static parts of your site (images, code) will be pulled from the server in NYC. However, if a visitor is visiting from London they will be served your site from one of the servers in Europe. This has a massive impact on page load times and Google and other search engines favor fast loading pages in their organic search results, which not only means better browsing experience for your users but also more enrollment income for eCourse sellers.
WHERE IS ACADEMY OF MINE LOCATED ?
We are based out of United States with distributed team members based in Canada and India.
IS ACADEMY OF MINE A BIG COMPANY?
No! We’re small and want to stay that way. We don’t want to be a popular “lowest common denominator” option. We’re kind of an old-fashioned, yet modern, company. We could be much cheaper by cutting costs (cheaper hosting, lower quality software etc). We never want to compete on price alone (although we do try to keep our fees as low as possible). However, our focus is on building the highest quality platform to help eCourse sellers sell their courses online which at the same time ensures students get the most out of their eLearning experience.
WHAT IS YOUR SUPPORT MODEL ?
We use a Support Ticket system and we try and respond within 12 hours on average but usually much faster (sometimes within minutes too). It depends on the nature of the support question. We usually do not offer phone support at this time as we are a small team but our ticketing system is setup efficiently. But if there is a very critical issue and you really need us on the phone, we will get on the phone with you. Being small is an advantage because you will never hear from a Robot. There is always a Real person behind every ticket and we try and resolve your issues with priority. Not to mention that your tickets are looked at by the people who built this platform. So you talk to the decision makers and not “ticket reps”. We really want to make our customers happy by trying to provide a great personalized customer support experience. We mean it.