Back in 2006 I was just about to finish my first instructional book called Beginner Guitar Method Book 1. I spent a year writing this book and putting it together. During this time I was teaching about 40 students private lessons a week, playing random random gigs on the weekends, and packing CD’s into mailers at a packing facility M-F.
All day Saturday and Sunday I would work on writing my Beginner Guitar Method. I had never put together anything like this before, so it took a really long time to get it finished.
When this book was done back in November of 2006, I bought the domain name LearningGuitarNow.com. I created a very minimal website where I could sell my beginner book. The website was not that great, and I spent a lot time learning how to put one together as I didn’t know anything about creating websites back then.
In fact, I had only started using a computer regularly back in January of 2006. So it was very obvious that I had a lot of learning to do!
Learning Guitar Now actually debuted in November of 2006, and I only sold one book to a friend of mine. I wouldn’t sell another book again until almost a year and a half later.
I also had a book signing at Musician’s Warehouse ( where I taught private guitar lessons) the day after Thanksgiving in 2006. I thought this would be a great opportunity to get my foot in the door to sell some books.
I was dead wrong.
Only about three people purchased a book that day, and I sat there behind a table with 100 books all by myself like a complete failure in my mind.
I considered the book and the website a complete failure and decided to never make any more instructional material ever again.
I decided then and there that I would start a studio business to record bands in addition to teaching private students, and playing live shows to make my living.
In the summer of 2007, I had a change of heart and decided to give this website and instructional material one more shot.
But this time I was going to do it right. I figured there must be some reason why nobody came to the website or bought any books.
I quickly learned that I was going to have to dive headfirst into learning as much as I could about marketing, selling, and creating products that I could sell.
Also, this time I decided I would create videos instead of books since YouTube was becoming popular and video cameras were getting fairly cheap.
A Time To Learn
In July of 2007, I deleted all the recording podcasts I was listening to and decided to only listen to podcasts and audiobooks about marketing and selling. Since I was still packing CDs at my part-time job, I would listen to these marketing materials on my iPod while I was working there about 6 hours per day.
I was also driving about 45 minutes to get to the CD packing facility, so that was another chance to listen to the material on the way there and on the way back almost every day.
I filled my mind during these hours with Dave Ramsey, Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, and many others about how to run a business, sell products online, and start making a living with your ideas. I dreamed that one day I would be able to run this business full time.
After about 6 months of listening to this material, I graduated from what Zig Ziglar calls “Automobile University”. I highly recommend attending!!!!
In December 2007 after a quick Google search, I found Solas Web Design. I contacted them immediately and talked with Miriam on the phone about all the ideas I had about creating this guitar learning website. She was great and I hired them to develop Learning Guitar Now while I proceeded to write blog posts for the first 2 months of 2008.
In late February of 2008, I launched my first product, Slide Guitar Method 1 Open E Tuning and made $100 in sales the first day the store launched. This was a miraculous day! It seemed all the hard work was going to pay off!
One week later, Gibson contacted me and asked me if I would allow them to put some of my free YouTube videos on their site. This was unbelievable! Then 6 months later Apple featured me in their newsletter for top Video Podcasts in 2008. I immediately got 4,000 new subscribers that day! Unbelievable!!
Learning Guitar Now is my only form of income and my lessons have been watched by millions of people all over the world. It’s completely amazing how far this has come and I’m eternally grateful that I have this chance to pursue this dream of helping others play the blues.
I will continue to keep improving the videos and making new lessons that I feel need to be made. Thanks for making a dream a reality. You can learn more about me here.
– John W. Tuggle