First and foremost, Happy New Year! It is a brand new, clean slate for anyone looking to achieve their biggest and lofty goals, such as getting back in shape or maybe learning a new musical instrument.
It doesn’t really matter what your goals are. The main thing is that you try to stick to them because we can have a laundry list of all the things we want to do, and then, a couple of week or months into the new year and we’re into our old habits.
In this post, I want to talk about the goal of building your first online course. If you’ve clicked on this post, chances are, you may have thought of it at some point.
For myself, over the past couple of years, I’ve been building content platforms and a couple of online courses of my own. As of recently, I’ve been doing a lot of work in the Udemy space and trying to put more courses on the Udemy marketplace.
Check out my Udemy courses here
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Why did I choose to put my online course on Udemy?
If you’re looking to build your first course, it allows you to take advantage of a marketplace. Udemy itself will promote courses to their audience. So, you don’t have to be a marketing professional to sell your courses because that’s going to be handled for you by Udemy.
Some people may say, “Hey, why am I doing that? Why don’t I just sell courses on my own?”
Well, unless you’re a marketing professional, it can be very frustrating to go that route. So, this is really the best recommended approach that I can think of personally.
I used to do a lot of niche Kindle publishing. I can say that it has helped me learn a lot more about marketing by utilizing a marketplace because Kindle is a marketplace similar to how Udemy is. Amazon promotes books on the Kindle platform similar to how Udemy promotes courses on their course platform.
Now, what does that mean?
So, somebody’s typing in on the screen in Udemy.com. They’re searching for a particular skill or topic to learn. They’re going to get search results back, which your course might be a part of. Udemy also promotes a lot on social media, like on Facebook and on people’s feeds. So, they’re doing a lot of the advertising for you.
Now, how can you crush it in 2018?
How can you create your first online course?
Creating online courses is a great supplemental way to make money. I work as a full-time IT professional doing project management, automation, and production support. For me, creating online courses is a nice thing to do when you have a skill set or something that you can share that can benefit other people. The worse thing you can do is to bottle that up inside you and not share it with the world in some way.
Now, if you’re looking to build a course in 2018, the goal is for you to get that out as quickly as possible and start getting feedback. With so many different things online, it can be very, very, very distracting to get focused and to actually create something. You tend have something called analysis-paralysis.
What can you do to avoid it?
Start by creating a mind map for your online course
Anytime I create a course, I first like to do a mind map. Right now, I’m working on a course called WordPress Made Easy – Build, Plan, Launch Your Website for Your Personal Brand in 1 Hour. This is my mind map for it.
I really am a big proponent of mind maps because they allow you to think very organically. Everybody thinks differently, but mind maps give you a flexible canvas for you to map out your ideas.
I like to utilize mind maps for the initial draft of my outline so that I can identify where are some break points in my course that I might want to reconsider. When I do that, I’m using Mindmeister and from there, I actually take all the tasks and put them in Meistertask. All these are free software, by the way. I put the tasks in a task manager or project management app, so that I can track the progress of how I’m outlining and recording the whole entire course from start to finish.
Now for the outline, since I use a Mac, I use Keynote. I take these high-level items and outline them and put them in my task manager. I then create one master outline. After I do that, I then create little slides to break the topics down by module. I can then utilize these master slides when I decide I’m ready to finally record the course and shoot the videos.
Some things to avoid…
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in the past was creating the modules and recording the videos without creating a master outline.
I would create a lesson and record the video. Then, I would go on and try to create the outline for the next module and there will be some overlap or things weren’t cohesive. What I end up doing was wasting time recording and creating the modules because I would then need to go back to fix them. I either needed to omit some content or to add something else.
So, make sure that you are planning your outline properly before you proceed with anything else. If you don’t, you can definitely lose time. It’s not very efficient. Plan first, then build. Batch tasks and record your videos later.
This goes with anything that you are doing online. Make sure that you’re planning properly.
If you’re building a website, you want to make sure that you’re planning your pages. If you’re doing blog posts or YouTube videos, you want to make sure you’re planning by doing your research. Plan your content before you hit the record button or typing and publishing your blog post.
Now, that was just a quick overview on how to get your course up and online in 2018. Get it up there and get it out. Get some feedback on how you can improve. This is a long-term game. But if you’ve set it as a goal in 2018, then I congratulate you. That is one huge step in positioning yourself as an expert for your field or niche.
Again, happy new year. I wish you the best on your goals for this year, especially if you’re looking to build that online course. Stay healthy, stay strong.