So I was doing some keyword research the other day and came across an interesting phrase. Is it possible to teach martial arts online? My first impression was no because surely, it’s going to be a difficult process without a one-to-one contact. But as it turns out, I was wrong. What used to be a traditional approach, is now a growing market in the online world.
Let me show you what I mean.
People Want to Learn New Skills
The internet has provided an easier route to acquire new skills and due to the number of increasing resources, people naturally go online when they need more information about martial arts. Interestingly, search engines like Google have a way of capturing the data that reflect this activity.
For example, when I enter a query like “how…karate kicks”, it will suggest related terms that other people are searching for online. Look at the skill variations that people want to achieve in terms of their karate kicks.
Now, if you scroll all the way down to the result page, there is more term variation to help the users propagate their search. Here, we can see that people want to know more about the step-by-step, moves for self-defense and also practicing at home. Clearly, it’s not just about reading information. People actually want to learn more about martial arts techniques through the online space.
People Want to Shop at Their Convenience
Another business side of the niche is the gear section which is basically products used for training or tournaments. You may not have noticed, but there are many places that sell these gears online, from Amazon to specific stores like MMA Warehouse.
With eCommerce, people can research products in detail, shop whenever they want and take advantage of free shipping offers to buy more.
What Does This Means to You
Anyone with a background in martial arts – trainers, studio owners, instructors or even enthusiast – should consider sharing their skills online. Your knowledge is very much needed to fill the gap and your familiarity with training gears can guide people to purchase the right products for their own use.
Building an online presence, outside of a classroom setting, will help you gain more audience, more students and most importantly, add a supplement income stream to your current profession. I am guessing that the last one is the most intriguing part, so let’s see what are the ways that you can start.
Common Teaching Platforms
You may already be familiar with some of these platforms, but there are pros and cons to consider before you decide to use them.
YouTube is a popular search engine as well as a social network. It has more than 1.3 billion users and more than half of their total views come from mobile devices. There are multiple ways to earn from videos and one of them is through placing advertisements.
The Pros – YouTube can offer a huge source of traffic and it doesn’t charge users for creating channels or uploading videos.
The Cons – Since it’s accessible to anyone, the competition is very tough. You can’t just upload a video and expect to see traffic immediately. A quick search for “learn martial arts for beginners” yield over 3 million video results so it looks like a lot of people are ahead of you already.
While it’s not impossible to rank on YouTube, you need to have some understanding of keyword research and how to implement it on the video listing. Only when you increase the page views, then it would make sense to earn from advertising revenue.
Until then, there’s nothing much to convert from your videos and people could just watch them for free without taking any action that can give you monetary benefits.
Udemy is another popular learning platform that serves over 20 million students worldwide. It runs on a revenue-sharing model, which means, when someone purchases a course, the profit is split between Udemy and the instructors at a varying percentage.
The Pros – Udemy is a good traffic source for teachers because people are ready to pay in order to learn something in an organized manner. Just like YouTube, it’s free to create and host a course on the platform and you can publish as many free or paid courses as you like.
The Cons – Not everyone likes the idea of revenue sharing. The lowest is the Paid User Acquisition Channel where Udemy partner with affiliates to advertise your course. In this scenario, you get 25% of the total sales. The second is organic traffic where students discover and purchase your course from the marketplace. In this case, you make 50%.
The highest revenue sharing that benefits you is actually 97%, but you’ll need to do most of the promotion yourself which means getting students to use a special coupon before they can sign up for the course.
3) Your Personal Website
Also known as a blog, not many beginners are aware that they can actually teach something from their own website. It actually provides a good foundation to start any type of online business.
The Pros – You are in full control of creating whatever content that you want people to see. You can use it to embed YouTube videos, promote your Udemy course (and earn 97% revenue sharing) or better yet, sell it through your own site and keep 100% of the profit.
At the same time, you can also promote training gears through affiliate programs. With a blog, you can write reviews to show how certain products can help or can’t help people with their training. If it’s something that is highly recommendable, readers will purchase online through your affiliate links and you’ll earn commissions from the sales as a result.
Earlier, I mentioned that there are more online places selling martial arts products. The good news is, most of them come with affiliate programs too. Here’s the list.
- Sports Master Athletics International (SMAI), Australia – 3% commission
- Amazon – 4.5% (via Amazon Associate program)
- MMA Warehouse – 10%
- Budovideos – 10%
- Century Martial Arts – 5% Zen Planner – $100 per referral
- MMA Conditioning Association – 30%
- Elite Boxing – 15%
- Rev Gear – 10%
- Zoob Bear – 10-15%
The Cons – As a beginner, getting traffic to a new website isn’t something that can be achieved over a short period of time, especially if you are relying on organic visitors from the search engines. It takes a bit of a learning curve, diligent keyword research and a lot of (textual, not just video) content creation to rank on Google.
However, having your own website beats the other two platforms for the long term because it helps to target your audience at the keyword level. You don’t have to squirm in a crowded marketplace and your students/customers can engage more effectively in what you want to teach them.
Having said that, it’s only fair that I show you how to set up a website with WordPress so keep reading on.
How to Build a Website Using WordPress
I love using WordPress and I think if you are serious about making something profitable online from any type of skills, the features that come with this publishing platform will not let you down. Firstly, you need to identify with what type of martial arts sub-niche to get into as in what type of style/techniques that you are best at. Is it karate, mixed martial arts or kickboxing?
You need to set this from the beginning so that the readers know what to expect when they arrive on your website. This is called niche selection and it will guide you to write a focused content and get more readers to convert (as in buying products from you).
The second step is to come up with a domain name that reflects the type of niche that you are in. You could call it getbetterkaratekicks.com or randykickboxingstudio.com. I always like going for a dot com because it’s more common and easier to remember. Most of the time, it costs less than $15 and if you purchase at SiteRubix, you can get your domain (plus privacy and email) for $13.99 per year.
Lastly, you just need to link the domain to a WordPress hosting using a one-click installation and your brand new website should be live within minutes. It’s that simple and next, we’ll see how to make your site functional.
How to Get Website Traffic
One advantage of using WordPress is the blogging feature, which means you can create as many contents as you like to promote your niche. Remember the search terms that we discovered earlier on Google?
We’ll be using them as the foundation of your content, but instead of using something that is overly popular, we are going to implement keywords that are low in competition. Reason being, as a new site owner, it will be easier for your content to get ranking and traffic in this manner.
Jaaxy is a keyword tool that I like to use for discovering this type of keywords so I thought it would be helpful to provide you a list of topics that you can work on immediately.
- MMA training workouts for beginners
- where to buy karate uniforms
- proper way to tie a taekwondo belt
- what is a judo flip
- kickboxing gloves for women
- online Muay Thai training
- female martial arts chest protector
- how to learn karate in 5 minutes
- how to learn martial arts on your own
- karate moves step by step
Taking Martial Arts to The Next Level
At the point of writing this article, I found out that Karate has just been included in the sports program of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This is a significant change to how martial arts are viewed globally, from an ancient discipline perspective to a modern sports arena.
Following the news, karate practitioners are expected to triple worldwide and I am pretty sure that its online popularity will also surge as these events draw nearer. And that’s just in the karate niche alone. Similar trends could be taking place in other areas and they could present you with a lot of opportunities to teach martial arts online.
So use the techniques that I’ve just thought – find your niche, build a website and share what you know best. Soon, you’ll be having your own audience and students from all over the world. I hope you have found good value in this article and if you like to start something exciting online with your skills, please visit my recommended training platform for more information.
Have questions/thoughts about this topic? Feel free to leave them in the comment space below.