Always a little slow to the party, I realized of late that my discovery of monetizing online content through course development is not a particularly new phenomenon. Through research, I found that smart online marketers have been selling their knowledge and skills for years, to a generation whose thirst for information seems unquenchable.
Udemy is probably up there as one of the most authoritative course websites of today that offers over 55,000 courses to a massive audience. To create a course on Udemy, the premise is simple; sign up and create a class with the use of Udemy resources, and once live on the website, tap into your network to market it. You make some income on every purchase of the course, but it is not just about the money, right? Well ultimately it is for most, but the path to which course creation leads to is more fruitful than just the course itself. This article looks at the whys and how’s of course creation but also zones in on the reasons why maybe you shouldn’t attempt to enter the world of online education. For the most part, though, we give it thumbs up, but we’ve got to give you all the facts up front and let you make your own educated decision; sounds like you are about to take a course just by reading this.
Why create an online education package?
Presumably, you are developing a course because you are an expert in a field. In the case of Udemy, the different course verticals are extremely far reaching, with business, design, photography, and music providing a snapshot of the veritable feast of offerings. For some, the object of developing their educational tool may be to promote their primary business offering, website or shop front service. For example, you might choose to install a hello bar or something similar on your site to promote your course. The result of this is two-fold; on the one hand, this advertising is improving your SEO ranking thus generating more people to your website. Perhaps someone searches for a course like your course offering and they stumble upon your site. Through their search for something else, they have found you, and this discovery has the potential for increased page views and hopefully a conversion by purchasing the course. Further, the fact that you have created your class is damn impressive in its right, so it aids in cementing you as an “expert” in your area. Win Win!
Nutting out the reasons why you are creating an online course is imperative. Here are a couple of driving factors that have led you to put your professor hat on –
- Complimenting your already established business
- Providing the primary stream of income for you
Each factor is going to affect the level of investment that you put into your course. Considerations for everything including price point and volume of sales are required to make it viable. Do some online research into similar online learning experiences to get a benchmark charge. While people love a bargain, cheap education is the exception. Do not try to undercut other similar class offerings, as you be eliminated by potential students who are willing to spend money for what they believe to be a superior educational experience.
How to begin?
Further, you need to consider the tools that you are going to embed into your learning; you weren’t just thinking of typing up lots of notes, were you?
Spend some time examining the resources that are currently available online. Aside from notes which let’s face it, are arduous at the best of times, more progressive learning styles are being tapped into now. Lessons delivered through video give the student a more virtual reality feel, and enables them to feel connected and therefore more immersed in the learning experience. Such immersion adds to the tangibility that they feel to their education, therefore giving it more authority. Creating videos is simple enough hey? Nope, is the simple answer for that. Sure, you can grab a camera and start shooting some tutorials, but remember that your resources reflect on your course quality, so amateurs need to take a breath and think about the viability of video creation themselves. Screencasts might be a more suitable option for video virgins, as it engages the actual computer screen and some good sitting still skills from your end if you factor in a webcam. Udemy and other platforms such as Teachable do provide you with some tools to create materials, but you’ve got to have some creative talents to begin with.
Now it’s time to examine the reason why a person should give course creation a miss, and this is if they are not an absolute expert in their field. There is a slew of options for study available, with duplications in many areas of theory. You need to have a subject that people want to know about and that you are delivering uniquely.
From a freelance perspective, I think developing courses online is the way forward. The workforce is moving to a more casual style model, with people choosing flexibility over finance. Remote working methods are quickly gaining traction, and as a result, people are searching for quick fix sources of knowledge to make their entrepreneurial aspirations a reality. Now is the time to enter the online education market, but be warned that it is a slow burn. You need to be ready to invest your time and energy into this project as there is a lot of work involved. But get it right, and you have a never-ending revenue stream earning you big bucks in the background.