In this blog post, I want to share with you how you can turn your knowledge and experience into money as a freelancer or consultant, by creating courses in Udemy. I have been teaching in Udemy since 2016 and I have 9 courses in total. This has now created enough monthly revenue to pay for my rent even if I can't only rely only on that income because it fluctuates a lot. I will give you some tips on how you can achieve this or even better.
Firstly, it is not easy to prepare an online course. It takes time, it is difficult and you should be ready for the effort. I've met many people who started but left in the middle because of the time it requires. However, it pays off.
Here are the 5 steps you need to follow
1. Decide the topic you will teach
The decision mainly depends on your experience and knowledge but there are other elements as well. You need to assess yourself and choose a topic that you've proven success; certifications, achievements, customer references. There are 3 types of bestsellers in Udemy;
Topics that targets everyone, such as stress relief techniques, pilates for beginners etc.
Topics that help people to pass certification tests, such as AWS Solution Architect, PRINCE 2 project management
Topics that help people to gain skills to get a new job, such as Photoshop design, How to create websites
If you want to target everyone, you should check the popularity of your topic in Google Trends.
If you want to target people that want to pass a certification test, you must hold that certification and even more. You also need to add practice tests to your course.
Udemy also provides you a tool to check for the popularity of the topic you are planning to teach. The only drawback of this tool is the limited number of topics. You can only assess the popularity of a topic if that topic is already opened in Udemy. When I added my first course on "Behavioural Economics", this wasn't a topic in Udemy. I had to rely on my business instincts. It is now a bestseller course in Udemy. So, if your topic isn't there, it is not necessarily a bad thing.
2. Decide on your teaching style
In this part, I will share with you the options in creating a video course. It will start with the highest earning potential one to the less revenue generating one. However, the effort required is a lot more for the ones that have more revenue potential.
If you have the time and the tools, the best earning courses are the ones that you speak live in front of a camera with side notes shown as a small slide in the corner of the screen. This needs professional video recording, teaching in a lively way without losing your audience. Also, a lot of video editing to add the slide notes.
If you are up for the video but with less professional way of presenting it, you can put the slides on the screen with only your face speaking in the corner of the screen. Because they will only see your face, this will make it a lot easier to present the lecture.
If you don't have the time, you can basically turn your slides into a video and do a voice over. This is the least appreciated style because the audience would want human interaction, not only a voice over. However, this requires a lot less time compared to the ones above. I preferfed this method and accepted a lower income per course. However, this enabled me to produce many more courses. If you will put your bets on only 1 or 2 courses, I wouldn't suggest this method.
3. Prepare your curriculum and landing page
You should avoid leaving this task to the last. While creating your curriculum and landing page, you will find out the things that you might miss or things that will appeal your audience. If you leave this to last or progressively create your curriculum, you will have to re-edit and re-record your lectures over and over again.
3. Creating your videos
Creating videos involves a lot of effort and I will not teach how to make videos here. I will only touch upon a few things that might fail your lectures.
Avoid long sentences. Remember that this is an online course, students will not be able to follow if you have long sentences.
Use a clear, easy to understand language. You will (hopefully) have an international audience. Make sure your language is easy to understand.
Give a lot of examples. Your students will not be able to ask direct questions while listening, make sure you have enough examples during explaining things.
Leave gaps. Don't talk like a rifle from start to end. Leave gaps between switching topics so that the students have a few seconds to digest what you've explained.
Not too short, not too long. Don't make lectures less than 2 minutes in order to increase the number of lectures, it is not appreciated. Don't make lectures more than 8 minutes, students will lose focus.
Add quizzes. It brings back the focus and gives students the confidence that they are learning.
Leave the course free for the first 2 weeks. If not, create as many free vouchers as you can. You need to reach 500 students asap. Paid students always check how many people preferred your course and how many ratings you have. After achieving 500, you can then select the right price tier.
5. Keeping up to date
If you leave your course unattended, your ratings will go down, so will your revenue. You have to add articles and new lectures as the topic evolves and the industry progresses.
I hope this helps and please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions related with Udemy courses.
You can access my courses from the links below.
Agile Leadership and New Generation Leaders
Kanban Practitioner and Using Scrum with Kanban
GDPR and CIPP/E Certification
Agile Transformation and Scaled Agile
Scrum Master Certification
Product Owner Certification
Behavioral Economics and Neuromarketing