Your 1-Hour Business Audit (& How to Make More Course Sales)

Today I have something quick and easy to share with you but which can be so eye-opening that it can change the direction of your business in 1 hour. Let’s call it a business audit – a review of the key areas of your business. 

Tune in the episode below (or scroll down to read the post) and learn how to audit your business, gain valuable insights, make more course sales and serve your email list better.

Business Audit Questions

Blog Traffic

  • What drives the most traffic to my website?
  • How can I double that?
  • From the things I’m doing and the platforms I’m on, what doesn’t lead to any significant traffic?
  • How to change it or stop it?

Email List Growth

  • What brings subscribers the most?
  • How can I double that?
  • From the things I’m doing, what doesn’t lead to any list growth?
  • How to change it or stop it?

Email List Engagement

  • What emails get opened and clicked the most?
  • How can I write more of them?
  • What emails don’t lead to any engagement?
  • How to change that?

Course Sales

  • What drives sales?
  • How to double down on that?
  • Which of my current activities don’t lead to any sales?
  • How to change them or stop them?


  • What episodes get the most downloads?
  • How to create more of that?
  • Where are downloads coming from?


I’ll share a few questions with you that I asked myself recently. The whole business audit took me around an hour and a half. I suggest you invest at least an hour in this to really make sure you dive into the numbers, do some thinking and can come up with actionable steps.

This will be about numbers. If you aren’t a big fan of them, I totally get it. I’d much rather create content for my business all the time and not think about numbers, but to make them grow, we also gotta analyze them first.

The goal of the audit you’re about to perform it to show you why you aren’t seeing the results you want in the key areas of your business.

This is best done once a quarter. Also have a plan on how to follow through on the action items you write during it. It’s easy to review everything now, uncover valuable insights, see what’s working and what isn’t, only to leave it behind in a few days and go back to your old way of doing business. The one that obviously wasn’t giving you the results you want.

So maybe it’s gonna be to turn the action steps from it into a plan for the next 3 months, add them to your calendar, write them down in your actual to-do list, and do a monthly review to see if you’re on track.

In the show notes, I’ll include the questions for the business audit so you can quickly access them and get to action. I suggest you answer those right after listening to the episode or later today while this is still fresh in your mind.

What to Review

The areas I reviewed are the ones that are key in my business, but yours can be different.

I’ll now cover Blog Traffic, Email List Growth and Email List Engagement – 2 on email marketing, that’s how important it is. Then I’ll move onto Course Sales and the Podcast.

Maybe for you there’s client work, a YouTube channel or influencer marketing.

I don’t think you should include the growth of 1 social media channel as a separate category because there are already questions that will help you figure out if that platform leads to growing your main channels or to a significant percentage of your sales and revenue.

You might be attached to something like Instagram or TikTok or Facebook, but this audit can help you see that your time is simply wasted there. And you can try yet another strategy to get more followers, make your videos viral or get more engagement on your posts, only to end up at the same place a few months from now when you review your business again. 

This is just an example of how something that plays a big role in your day to day business activities now might actually be slowing everything down, distracting you from where your focus should be going. That’s the case for me and that’s why social media isn’t on my agenda anymore.

But of course it can work for you, you might be making sales there, finding clients, and seeing a lot of engagement. If that’s the case, and if you love it and wanna stay there, include that as a category in your business audit. Now let me share the questions.

First I reviewed Blog Traffic.

Question #1: What drives the most traffic to my website?

#2: How can I double that?

For me that was organic traffic first, as usual, and I saw the top performing pages again. Then direct traffic and finally social media traffic, but 98% of that is from Pinterest.

So, what makes sense to double down on that is to:

  • Put opt-in forms on the pages with most traffic.
  • Update those pages.
  • Share them in a newsletter because chances are most of the people on my list have never seen them.
  • Pin those top pages more often.
  • Focus on Pinterest more – it might be to learn more about its current trends, create a new simple strategy, and implement it daily/weekly.

Question #3: From the things I’m doing and the platforms I’m on, what doesn’t lead to any significant traffic?

#4: How to change it or stop it?

For me those platforms are Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. And any time spent on them simply doesn’t bring any results so I might as well ditch them once and for all.

Moving onto the next section: Email List Growth.

The questions here are almost the same. 

  • What brings subscribers the most?
  • How can I double that?
  • From the things I’m doing, what doesn’t lead to any list growth?
  • How to change it or stop it?

The main way I bring subscribers to my list is through participating in bundles with other course creators, and from opt-in forms on my blog. So I can have more collaborations like that and drive more traffic to the site.

I also need to figure out how to track the sources that subscribers are coming from better. Email marketing tools only show so much stats. There’s a way to do it through Google Analytics by creating a campaign but I haven’t tried that yet.

Category #3 of your business audit is Email List Engagement.

Business Launch Checklist: 8 Steps to Launching Your New Business

That’s different from email list growth and your email list in general is so important that it deserves 2 separate categories in your review.

The questions here are:

  • What emails get opened and clicked the most? – Meaning, what are the top performing newsletters? You can see that easily inside your email marketing dashboard.
  • How can I write more of them?
  • What emails don’t lead to any engagement?
  • How to change that?

So I sat down and went through the top performing newsletters from the last 3 years as that’s when I switched to ConvertKit. That’s the provider I’m using and that’s also when I began taking my email list more seriously.

This was the first time I reviewed all my email campaigns at once and I noticed some things.

For example, 2 years ago my click through rate + overall emails engagement was higher. Then I was teaching mostly blogging, sharing income reports and interviews with bloggers.

I also noticed how much my people love free stuff, they engage the most with the emails about new freebies. Even updating an old one and sharing it with them in a newsletter lead to the highest engagement. 

So I have 2 options here: to offer more of that, or to decide to stop attracting freebie seekers and change my messaging.

I also concluded that a section in the email with just a few recent or even not so recent articles leads to more clicks. I give them more resources to check out.

In the PS, it’s worth linking to another freebie or something they might have missed. This leads to more clicks in the campaign. 

Most people in my audience are aspiring bloggers who wanna make money, but that makes sense. I wasn’t always working with course creators and teaching that business model.

Also, I was reminded that people want to see what’s going on behind the scenes of my business. They loved it when I was publishing detailed income reports or sharing my goals or any progress I see in different areas of life.

Once you analyze this, you can also decide what emails to write more of. It’s as simple as doing more of what worked.

When I was trying to figure out what emails didn’t perform well, this came up:

  • Subject lines with promos – I can do something else instead and add the promo as a section inside the email.
  • Too general subject lines – People want specifics (numbers, my process, transformations, etc).
  • Results-oriented subject lines + content perform better.
  • Sending interviews with course creators or topics for a course business doesn’t lead to engagement as most people in the audience are bloggers. So I need better segmentation. 

I also decided I can have a minimum open rate and click through rate to go for with every newsletter and consider a success only those at or above that level.

When setting your goals, keep in mind that the average open rate is a bit above 20%. And the click through rate across all industries is between 2%-3%. So if you already have those numbers, you’re doing well.

Don’t be hard on yourself. You can still aim at increasing them, of course, higher engagement is always on top of our list. But don’t go for unrealistic targets as they might just not be possible in any industry. 

Moving onto the next category of the business audit. 

Course Sales

Ask yourself: 

  • What drives sales?
  • How to double down on that?
  • Which of my current activities don’t lead to any sales?
  • How to change them or stop them?

For me, sales come mostly from launches of new products. That’s because it’s the first time my audience hears about it, I have a pre-launch period where I warm them up, and I’m super excited about the program as it’s the first time I’m releasing it. It’s a totally different story when that’s the second or third launch of the same product. 

You can exhaust your audience with promotions, especially if you don’t personalize the experience and segment them. 

You can’t keep releasing the same product to the same people without keeping things exciting, adding value, sharing different aspects of the transformation that product provides and so on.

In launch emails, I tag those who clicked the link as they are the most interested ones and I send more emails to them. 

I also give an option to unsubscribe from that promotion while still staying on my list. That means those people don’t wanna hear about this product anymore. And I can remove them from the next emails that are part of this campaign.

So, how can I see more results knowing that most of my sales come from launching new products and I can’t just keep creating new ones?

Here’s an idea: I can release previous products with discount only to those that haven’t been exposed to them. That means people who joined my list after the official first launch of that course and who haven’t heard about it at all but who might find it valuable.

Now this will be easier to execute than an actual official launch because it doesn’t involve social media or anything on the website or the podcast, it’s just emails. I can use the same email copy I did for the first launch because I did my best when creating those emails.

So there’s no new marketing material to prepare, no content, the discount code and links can be the same, I just need to reactivate the same coupon code.

I just make some changes to the email promo series, decide on the dates, add the tasks to my to-do list and can start sending the emails.

But what you gotta be careful about is to really only send it to people who might be interested in that offer.

>> Need help with launching your course? Check out my signature program for course creators Bold Business School.

I’m doing that right now and the people I exclude from that promotion are: 

  • those who signed up before the first launch of the product
  • those who joined a course bundle I participated in that gave them access to this exact course (and that’s why I tag students of different courses inside my email marketing tool so I don’t bother them again for the same offer)
  • people who are currently going through your welcome email series if they just signed up because then it’s too early to promote anything to them.

There are definitely things to watch out for here but this might mean you run multiple behind the scenes promos of your existing evergreen offers, make more sales, increase your revenue every quarter, and make sure everyone on your list hears about the product that might help them the most. 

Another thing I found out is that simply mentioning my courses in a newsletter or on Instagram doesn’t bring any sales. So I might as well stop it and focus on those behind the scenes launches that require almost no time and effort.

I also want to plan the launches for next year. Based on how much my email list is growing, I can launch existing courses to the new audience every quarter, in-between other big things. The rest of the email list won’t even know. So that’s something new I’ll be doing in 2023.

The final section of the business audit is the podcast.

If you don’t have one, obviously you can skip it or add another category, something else that’s a big part of your business.

To review your podcast growth though, you can answer the following questions:

  • What episodes get the most downloads?
  • How to create more of them?
  • Where are downloads coming from?

You can see the stats and reports from your podcast hosting platform and then make decisions based on that.

One little tip I have for you is this: For every episode idea ask yourself: ‘Is that something people want to listen to, or is it something you just feel like covering?’

Too often we end up creating the content we want or like but it’s not what our people want so it doesn’t lead to engagement.

Okay, so the questions from the business audit are in the show notes and you can get started right away. But don’t rush it, dedicate an hour to it and see the priceless insights that you’ll gain, and create an action plan based on that.