Where to find help creating online courses

An issue that frequently comes up with Learning Revolution subscribers as well as with clients in my consulting business: where to find help creating online courses.

Image of help wanted green road sign

It’s an important because one of the main reasons course entrepreneurs get bogged down and don’t achieve the success the could is because they just don’t have the time themselves to create courses.

And, even if they have staff or contract help, these often aren’t people who have the skills necessary for developing online courses.

So, what to do?

You can, of course, try posting contract jobs on big sites like LinkedIn. Or on more niche sites like the eLearning Guild, but my experience is that you are likely to get flooded with resumes from either over-qualified or under-qualified people, many of whom really want a permanent position.

While there is no magic button for finding the right help – finding good contractors or employees is always a challenge – here are some other possibilities that will increase your chances of finding the right fit at a reasonable price. [Read more…]

Everything is a production event

It’s a simple but powerful rule to embrace when you are in the learning business.

Whenever you have a knowledge or learning experience to share with the world, consider the multiple ways in which you can reuse and repurpose that content whether as part of learning and education products you create or as free content you provide to demonstrate value.

With this rule in mind, starting with video is usually the best way to go, whether that means putting yourself in front of a camera, or recording a Webinar or Google Hangout session.

Once you have video you can: [Read more…]

Benefits of blogging. Or, is your blog the asset it should be?

Image of word cloud with blog largest - benefits of blogging

The benefits of blogging are huge.

If I had to name the three things I’ve done over the years that have enabled me to break free from working for others and create an income and lifestyle based on my own terms, consistently building e-mail lists and speaking – whether at conferences or via digital channels – would be number two and three on the list.

But number one – by a long shot – would be blogging.

That may go against what you hear in other places. Blogging just isn’t as trendy as it once was, and truth be told, I don’t spend quite as much time on it as I once did (more on that in the future). But when I reflect on what has fueled the success I’ve had to date, it’s clear to me that nothing else has been as big a factor.

There are at least three huge benefits of blogging.

1. Blogging Develops and Showcases Your Expertise

The first is that if you blog consistently and do it reasonably well, you will build a body of work that showcases your expertise.

The market for online courses and other knowledge and learning products increases daily. If you expect prospects to fork over money in exchange for your expertise, then you need to demonstrate your expertise clearly and work to elevate it over time. A blog is one of the easiest, most straightforward ways to do this.

Writing blog posts helps you to develop and focus your expertise and figure out which parts of what you know are most valuable to your prospective audience (through Google Analytics, comments on your posts, and tracking which posts gets shared the most, just to name the most obvious options).

The feedback you get as a result of effective blogging is invaluable for ensuring that you ultimately develop the right offerings for monetizing your expertise.

As a bonus, the content you develop for blog posts can very often become content that you use in other offerings, including courses and books.

In fact, I encourage you to think strategically about blogging as a way to create larger offerings. Create an editorial calendar that is essentially an outline for your course lessons or book chapters and use it to guide your blogging over the course of weeks or months. By the time you are done, you will have made a huge leap toward creating your course or book, and you will have valuable content posted on the Web that will help bring people to you.

Which leads to my next point.

2. Blogging Gets You Found In Search Engines

Building a body of high quality content is also your ticket into getting found on Google and other search engines.

You can spend all sorts of time trying to figure out the latest and tricks for search engine optimization, but the one factor that has remained consistent over many years is high quality content. Write content that people find value and publish through a highly optimized distribution platform like a blog, and you will be found.

There is a good chance, for example, that you got to the Learning Revolution site originally because you found this post – which drives thousands of unique visits per month – through a search engine. (This entire site, by the way, is built on WordPress – the world’s most popular blogging platform – using StudioPress.)

Now, in most cases, simply publishing a blog post isn’t going to drive huge amounts of traffic to you over night. It will take time, and along the way you will need to pick up some basic knowledge about topics like search engine optimization. But if you keep at it, you will build a major asset for your business, one that will help make it sustainable by driving search traffic to you over time.

3. Blogging Puts You In Control

And that leads me to my final point: your blog is a powerful point of conversion, one you totally own and control.

This is a key reason I don’t advocate betting too many of your chips on platforms like Udemy. They can be valuable parts of your marketing mix, but you really need a home base where you call the shots – including how you price your course – and control all of your valuable data – like customer e-mail addresses. That way, no matter what course platform you use – or switch to in the future – you won’t lose any of the valuable Web presence you have built up over time and that is critical to long-term, sustainable online business.

A blog-based Web site, built on a platform like WordPress (free, open-sourced software), is almost always your best bet, whether you are looking for e-mail sign-ups, social shares, or e-commerce sales. WordPress, in particular, is very flexible and offers any number of plug-ins to help you accomplish just about anything. Really, it is a full-blown content management system, but at its core, it has some of the best blogging capabilities available.

Upping Your Blogging Game

One of the inspirations for writing this post was that I noticed that Darren Rowse over at Problogger had launched a “new incarnation” of his 31 Days to a Better Blog challenge. 31 Days to a Better Blog is completely free (though Darren does also offer a related paid product) and there’s no telling how many people it has helped. I remember following along way back in … hmm, 2007? … when I was building my first blog, Mission to Learn. No one knows blogging like Darren.

(The “new incarnation,” by the way, is that 31 Days is now being delivered as a podcast, one of my favorite channels for content.)

I encourage you to check out the 31 Day challenge podcast.

Jeff

Photo Copyright: pixelsaway / 123RF Stock Photo

Are you ready for the podcasting revolution?

 

podcasts-as-business-education

I’ve been singing the praises of podcasting for years. (See, for example, 5 Reasons to Embrace the Lowly Podcast from way back in 2009) and even suggested a couple of years ago that we were on the verge of a podcasting revolution. In the meantime, interest in podcasts has continued to accelerate and listenership is growing rapidly. Jay Baer has done an excellent job of illustrating why in the infographic below.

[Read more…]

The Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox – Create Online Education Products Today!

Essential Tools for Creating and Selling Online Education Products

Do you want to create and sell online courses or other online education products? Captivate and convert your audience with compelling educational content marketing? Then you won’t want to miss out on The Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox.

The toolbox is a free eBook I put together to accompany the full-fledged book Leading the Learning Revolution. It’s packed with a run down of all the tools you need to establish a home base and create a wide variety of educational content for your training and education business,content marketing efforts, or both. Here’s the table of contents:

  • Introduction
  • So, Let’s Get Started
  • Create and Manage a Home Base
  • Produce and Deliver Video
  • Record a Screencast
  • Produce and Deliver Audio
  • Create Images with Impact
  • Host a Webinar or Webcast
  • Sweat the Details on Documents
  • Tools for the Advanced Revolutionary
    • Rapid Course Creation Tools
    • Learning Management Systems
    • Some Hosted LMS Options
  • Sourcing and Outsourcing
  • Quick Wrap-Up and Feedback

To get it, just visit the Tools page for the download link. No e-mail or other info is required.