Why create an online course?

So, I’ve just finished creating my first online course. Called Step-by-Step WordPress: Basics and Beyond, it’s a training product aimed at creatives or small business owners who want to learn more about WordPress than just blogging. It covers all aspects, from installing and setting up WordPress, to designing, coding and troubleshooting.

Pulling it all together was a LOT more work than I expected it to be, but I’m so pleased with the result!

In this blog, I thought I’d share with you some of the reasons I created the course, and some things I learned along the way.

Read on to the end for a limited-time launch discount!

Why should I instruct an online course?

Teaching is a great way to add an element to your business that can leverage your time. Because you can reach many students at once, you can compile a wealth of knowledge and information in one place, then benefit each time someone signs up. Students work through the material at their own pace, so there is a minimal amount of face time that you will have to invest. It’s a lot of work up-front, but if the course is good quality and you market and support it well, that time is potentially a great investment.

Aren’t I taking away potential business by teaching people how to do it themselves?

Well yes, this is definitely a consideration. But for me, I was getting snowed under with work requests from people that were really things they could do themselves. By empowering people to make those changes themselves, I could focus on the more challenging aspects of their websites.

Also, even if people don’t want to do it themselves, they will at least be more educated about what the problem is and what might be involved to fix it, so when they come to me for help we can be much more efficient. By sharing knowledge, you are also building trust with your audience, and that can only be a good thing!

Why should I use Udemy?

You could teach the course in various ways. Udemy just happens to be a great platform with all the features I wanted – the ability to post curriculum in many different forms, and an area for students to ask questions.

How should I price my course?

It’s a marketplace, so look at what others are charging for courses of similar topic and length. Udemy allows you to create discount coupons, so if you want to run competitions or drum up more interest in your course, it’s easy to do.

Lessons learned

I definitely learned a few lessons while developing and marketing my WordPress course! Here are some of them…

  1. Survey potential customers first. I have an email database of people who have signed up at my website for my Using WordPress guide. Before I started creating the course, I wasn’t sure what form the product should take. So I sent out a survey to my list using Survey Monkey. The survey asked people about their preferential learning styles, their feedback on the free guide downloaded from my website, and more. As an incentive to complete the survey, I offered a 50% discount on the training product once it was ready. Doing a survey was a great way to find out what people needed, so I could create the course with them in mind.
  2. People favour a wide variety of learning styles. A big takeaway from the survey I did was that everybody has a different way that they prefer to learn. Some people like to read, others like video tutorials. Try to cater for this. In my case, this was a huge benefit of working with Udemy. It allows for course content in a variety of different mediums.
  3. Video tutorials and screencasts are very time-consuming to produce. A lot of my course is explanatory about the way WordPress, and websites generally, work. As such, I only created six screencasts to show how to do specific things step-by-step. To record and edit these screencasts was incredibly time-consuming, so be prepared for this.
  4. A lot of people I surveyed said that the option to ask questions of the instructor is of huge importance. This is especially the case when dealing with websites, as everyone’s site can be set up differently and need different advice. Udemy offers a question and answer component, which also allows other students to answer questions. I love this idea, as it fosters a community at the same time. Answering questions does mean more work for you, as you will need to continually monitor the course. But it offers a lot more value for your participants, and therefore potentially more business for you!

In the end, I would definitely recommend teaching an online course. It offers a wonderful opportunity to connect with your clients with a different dynamic. And who knows – you might just learn something from them, too!

Have you ever instructed an online course? If so, please share your experience in the comments!

SPECIAL LAUNCH OFFER

Enrol in the “Step-by-Step WordPress: Basics and Beyond” course before the end of October and receive a 25% discount!

Simply follow this link to find out more about the course and sign up, or go to the course page and sign up with the code GRASSROOTS25.

Here’s a review of the course from Mel of the Grassroots team:

I recommend this course for anyone who has a WordPress website.  Through articles and videos it clearly explains the key parts of WordPress and how to use them. And it even includes documents to download for tracking your key user information.

The name of the course says it all. Whether you need to add new articles to your blog, want to create a website from scratch, or something in between, the course steps you through WordPress basics and beyond.

By showing you how to do things yourself, it will save you paying hundreds of dollars (if not more) to a WordPress designer/developer.