I decided to give it a try a while back and create a course. I had recently taught myself how to create a website/blog.
I said to myself, maybe I can make a cool course. So I started…
After you finish, leave a comment. I would love to hear your experience with online courses or suggestions on other ninja tactics.
Why Create an Online Course?
Passive Income is a great thing. You put in some work upfront and you can reap the benefits later. I enjoy traveling and imagined getting 50 payment notifications while in Thailand somewhere.
I also wanted to establish my self as some kind of authority. If you build one good product then you can command the attention of people to buy more products. One thing that Neville Madora does on his blog. So creating an online course is a great method to get this accomplished.
Many people man forget about this, but learning is always the plus for taking on something unfamiliar. Your increase your mental capacity by learning something new. Just think of it like this. If you learn how to cook, you indirectly learn a ton about food, how to prep it, how to serve it, best way to cook it. You also learn other the place that food is from.
How Did I do it?
First thing I did before creating an online course, was validate if people wanted it. Looking back at it, I could have validated it WAY better but you live and learn. I did a facebook poll on my fan page and asked “What would you spend $ on to Learn? (A Video course from start to finish). If you want to validate your business in a weekend, sign up for the Anti – Wantrepreneur Toolkit.
After I validated the idea, I got to brainstorming. The task was to was create a mindmap of my entire course. I made it in MindNode Pro. Get the lite version or cough up the money to buy the pro version if you want it look pretty like mine :-). You can use any mind mapping program.
Here is what the course looked like as a mindmap. And It only took me 15 mins to think up. I added more while recording the course videos.
I wanted to make sure the online course was sound. So I didn’t go into the filming first. I wrote the ebook. Writing the ebook made it easier to explain. I was able to explain each each topic in the course and memorize the flow better by writing it down first.
The Ebook served as a guideline and lead magnet for the course. I wanted to fill this to the brim with FREE VALUABLE content. So I did something crazy. I put EVERYTHING from the course in the ebook.
“So Eugene, how do you make money if you give away all your information in an Ebook?”
First I put my affiliate links all in the Ebook. This made sure anyone that was leaching or just wanted the free ebook would still be paying me indirectly.
The second step was to make the consumption method different. People will read an ebook… But people love and want to watch videos. Hooked!
So I took all my screen shots and wrote the ebook in Microsoft word. It took me about a week to complete everything including formatting and grammar. I exported it as a PDF and viola… Ebook done.
Filming & Editing
With the ebook I essentially outlined the course. So filming was pretty straight forward. Here is a list of all the things I used for the recording (some of the links are affiliate links. If you click and buy I will get commission).
- iPhone 4S (for the videos of me)
- Camtasia Studio (for recording my screen & editing)
- Blue Snowball Blogging Mic - Best mic for the price. Great quality.
That’s all I used. You can use $1,000 cameras and super expensive software, but what if no cares what you are selling? They care what you are teaching and if the content is valuable.
Editing took me the longest because I was nervous on camera. I had to do a lot of editing of filler words like “um” and “you know what i’m saying”. So write a script, it will save you time! I spent about 20 hours editing video (I didn’t know what the hell I was doing).
Website Set Up
I orginialy set up the site on Godaddy and I teach the beginning part of the course (Domain & Hosting set up) using Godaddy. But now I recommend using Bluehost for your domain and hosting. Why? Because it literally takes only 4 mins to install the hosting. If you think I’m bs’ing, watch as I purchase a domain, set up the hosting and install a theme in under 4 mins.
There were a couple plugins I used to make the online course functional.
- Custom Page Menus- This plugin allows you to make sub-menus in the tool bar. I listed the course modules in the sidebar for easy navigation
- JW Player Plugin for WordPress- This allows you to host the videos on your site. The videos I recorded weren’t that long but I didn’t want them on YouTube. JW is this is the best option
- Login With Ajax- Make a simple login box in the side bar. When people logged into the course they see their profile pic and log in notification
- s2Member® Framework - S2 allows me to make the site a membership site. This plugin in pretty easy to use. but make sure you go through ALL the videos if this is your first time using it
- Twitter Follow Button for WordPress - Adds a simple “follow us on twitter” button
- wpsc Support Tickets - create simple support tickets so people can contact you with questions
- WP Show IDs - See your post and page IDs for exclusion/inclusion rules with s2 Members
Here is a screen shot of my plugin dashboard.
Here is how some of them look on the actual site [click to enlarge]
The theme I used: Humble Premium theme from ThemeForest – I picked this theme because it had good structure and didn’t allow me to get caught up in a million configurations. Pick whatever theme you want.
The animation video
I wanted this to be high production. So I got an account at GoAnimate and created the video below. This took me 10 hours to do over 3 days. High production but not needed when I look back at it. This video is still pretty awesome, and yes that is me doing the voice over.
Everything is Done Now What? How much $ Did I make?
So everything is done and I have my course. I had to test all the transactions Now what do I do? At the time I didn’t know what to do. It was a project that I worked on after my 9-5 job, and it gave me purpose.
Time to pub it and make money. So I told all my friends about it and set up ads on Facebook. I then went to forums to talk about it, and emailed a bunch of people. I even gave some people free access just for the purposes of getting them to tell their friends. That brought in a bunch of sales (around 20 but at a discounted price of $29) In the first week!. I then put all that back into the ads. Then I made some more sales.
I planned to get the course into a highschool in Florida. Lol. My pitch was horrible. “I know you teach web design, but this course will be great for your students.” That deal fell off.
After this, I got a new job in South East Asia and put this on the pack burner along with TheCguard. No I am reviving it and creating a couple other niche course that teach very specific THINGS.
What could I have done different?
- Market Research – I should have did keyword research. Tools like Market Samurai and word of been great there to know what keywords
- Pubbing – I should have drove traffic to the site via ad words.
- Advertising – More forum talks, back linking.
- Other Platforms – Udemy would have been a good place to launch first. For multiple reasons. Exposure, traffic, they will host it on other sites if it’s good. I would have niched the course down to small business . Woo Sensei is also another good platform for creating course. I haven’t used it yet but the reviews are great.
- AFFILIATES: If have a bomb ass course and it makes money. Set up an Affiliate program. Some of the best stuff comes from no name people. If it is content and provides great value people will definitely promote it to their list. 50% of 100k is WAY better than 100% of 5k. Use Clickbank or Ejunkie to promote your stuff.
How am I using the online course now?
I still offer the course. If you are interested, but since you are reading this you can get it for the preorder price go here and get it for $37.
I will make a new course soon, but something that is waaaaay more niche and super beneficial.
Hope this post inspires you to create an awesome course.
- Brainstorm the idea
- Validate the idea
- Research keywords using a tool like Market Samurai
- Mindnode the Idea
- Create the lead magnet (Ebook) using the Mindnode
- Record the videos
- Edit the Videos
- Buy domain and hosting with Blue Host
- Upload Videos
- Set Up Memberships
- Pub site via facebook ads, google ads
- Put the course on udemy or another platform like sensei
- Get affiliates and other people to sell for you
Leave a comment below. I would love to hear your experience with online courses or suggestions on other platforms.