Have You Ever Thought About Creating Your Own Online Courses?
Almost a year ago now I decided to teach my first online course. I now have multiple courses on several different platforms and we are adding new courses every single week right now. My current goal is to add at least two new courses each week to Udemy and at least one to our own training center (Teachable) per week as well – at least through the end of July. At that point, I will reassess and set new goals for the next 90 days for course production.
With every new course added the overall income rises a little more, and that makes me very excited about teaching online. After the initial work of creating the course and uploading it, there really is very little needed to be done to maintain it after that. You do need to check your courses daily (I check them at least twice a day) just to make sure there are no issues, and to see if any students have any questions or comments that need to be responded to. Otherwise, it’s all pretty much automatic.
My own story is that I have years of experience in training people in a variety of different topics and in different industries too – but all my previous training experience was face to face eyeball to eyeball either one on one or in small groups of three or four to groups of twenty-four to fifty on a regular basis. I also have some experience giving presentations to groups well over one hundred people.
Yet I had absolutely no clue how to go about teaching courses online – even though I have taken many courses online over several years including real estate, insurance, and multiple college classes too. So my wife Abbie and I started researching and learning what would be needed to launch our own online training business.
What I found was Udemy.
Udemy turned out to be a great platform to start with, and stay with too – and it has allowed us to build courses and learn more as we go with each new course we launch. So we started learning the fundamental skills needed to put together basic courses. Some of the information came from Udemy’s own tutorials – other information was gained by taking Udemy courses from other instructors. Some were great, a few were terrible and most were middle of the road in quality and overall usefulness to us – but there was something learned from every single one of them.
So we put together our first course and launched it.
Before long we had our first students! We have been slow at times, and much faster at other times, in gaining new students. Now we gain hundreds of new students with the launch of each new course on average – though they may be spread out among all of our courses. We are still learning strategies and methods of gaining more students – but so far we have not paid for any ads. That’s not saying we won’t, as I do think paid advertising can play a role – it’s just right now we have a methodical strategy that seems to be working – and so long as it is we will keep our focus on doing what we are doing.
We Now Have a Proven System of Producing Courses Quickly and Efficiently
In the beginning, there was a lot of head scratching and some trial and error along with a lot of reading, watching videos and searching for information on the technical aspects of course creation.
So do we know everything about how to do it all now?
Of course not… but we know a heck of a lot more now than we did when we first started!
Even now though, we are still actively learning and improving our processes as we continue with each new course too. We get better and we learn as we launch more and more courses.
What I would like for you to know is that YOU can start developing and teaching your very own online courses too!
Even better you can learn from all the lessons we have already learned for you – and that can save you a lot of time and effort and may help you become successful as an online instructor much faster too.
If you would like to take any of our courses you can find them each listed under the Courses tab on our site at www.ldsewell.com or for our Udemy courses you can take a look under my profile on Udemy and see every course we currently have active.
New Course Coming Soon!
Before the end of next week, we will be releasing our new course on how to create your own courses systematically on any platform – and this will be a Udemy course, yet the methods and systems can be used to create courses on ANY platform just as methodically. I will probably do another post after its released and live with a direct link to the course itself but you can always either sign up for email updates or check Udemy next week toward the end of the week – say Friday or so – and it should be live by then.
In the meantime here are a few key things to consider;
- Choose Marketable Topics – You may love some obscure subject and want to choose it to teach but if there is no market you will have no paying students. You have to learn how to research topics that sell and then choose something that you know now or that you can research and learn enough about to create a course on. That’s what you need to teach if you want to earn money from it. Otherwise, it is going to be tough if not outright impossible to make any money – even if your course is great. How do I know this? Besides from research we know it from personal experience – we chose Trucking – since it is one of my core areas of specialized knowledge and experience. Even though trucking itself is a HUGE industry – online trucking courses are not. In fact, when we started there were literally only a few other trucking courses on Udemy at all and none of those instructors had more than one course, as I recall anyway. Even then one of them didn’t have even a single student! We now have many trucking courses and quite a few students – and since I do have other business objectives relating to trucking consulting and training I would have still taught the trucking courses anyway – yet maybe not as our first courses. Just something for you to be aware of. People want what they want and you have to figure out what that is if you want to have very many sales.
- Plan – You first need an idea. What will you teach? Then you need a basic plan. How many sections, and how many lectures in each section? Video or talking head, voice over slides, written content, quizzes etc. Generally how wide in scope and how deep do you want to go, and be careful not to get too carried away and try to cover too much in one course.
- Learn How to Outline – If you develop and use your own outline using a template approach you will find it becomes very simple and easy to outline each new course after you have a few under your belt.
- Produce – This is where the rubber meets the road. Record all your lectures, edit and upload them, write all your descriptions, sales copy and set your price.
- Tailor to the Platform – Some platforms are excellent for the numbers of students they provide exposure to, and can be great marketplaces – such as Udemy. However, they may also only command prices up to a certain price point – and you will not get more than that amount no matter what you do. If you design and build a $500.00 course that takes you months of hard work to produce and then launch it, only to find you can only get $10.00 or less – maybe even $5.00 or LESS for it, then you will realize you have wasted months and months that you could have used to create multiple smaller courses that are more suited to the needs and desires of the specific platform and that would sell well there. I’m just saying you need to do a comparative market review and analysis and make sure you are not preparing the wrong course for the wrong audience. Otherwise, you may have difficulty getting a single student and you will be rolling around on the floor crying.
- QA Your Course! – Check every lecture after it is live and make sure it is working correctly. Hey, computers are funny things…sometimes they hiccup out part of your lecture.
- Repeat and Make More – You may be gifted and get lucky and be an instant success – but don’t count on it. I have watched numerous instructors take that approach and when they got few if any students and made little to no money – they took their marbles and went home and never produced another course. The reality is that you will probably need MANY courses to start making significant money. That is even more true if you do not have some very highly demanded and very technical expertise that there are plenty of people willing to pay for – like certain computer skills for example. If you are that guy or gal – then congratulations and enjoy it. But for all the rest of us it will take multiple courses – maybe upwards of 75 or more (I’m NOT there yet but working on it with a vengeance!) and simply stated the more courses you create the more money you make. The same with books, eBooks, and many other things too – so know that going in, it probably will take a lot of courses.
Feel free to check out our Udemy courses too.
In our new course, we will share what we have learned so far – and the difference between our first course, production wise, and our current course production is night and day. It really is a fun, easy and relatively simple process when you have the right systems in place to help you!