Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox – Completely New and Free Edition

Shortly after Leading the Learning Revolution was published, I also published a free eBook to compliment it: The Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox. That was a while ago, and the original eBook has gotten pretty dated, so I haven’t tended to promote it much lately.

No longer: there is now a brand new, massively-updated version of The Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox that you can (currently) download for free (as in no $$ or e-mail address required).

The eBook is 33-pages long and covers the range of tools you need to develop and deliver online courses as well as many of the tools you will need for marketing them effectively. It is, IMHO, an indispensable resource to have on hand as you grow your online course business. Here’s what the Toolbox covers:

  • Introduction
  • Create and Manage a Home Base Web site
    • Wonderful WordPress
    • Other Home Base Options
  • Online Course Platforms
  • Course Authoring Tools
  • Produce and Deliver Videos
    • Video Equipment
    • Video Editing
    • Video Hosting
  • Record a Screencast
    • Hosting
  • Produce and Deliver Audio
  • Create Images with Impact
  • Host a Webinar or Webcast
  • Sweat the Details on Documents
  • Sourcing and Outsourcing
  • Quick Wrap-Up and Feedback

Like I said, this thing covers all of the essentials for creating and delivering online courses.

For at least the next 30 days I am going to make it available for free and without requiring e-mail sign-up, but I reserve the right to change my mind about both after 30 days. So, be sure to go ahead and download the Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox now.

As always, just hit reply with any questions or comments.

Best regards,


P.S. – If you have not yet checked out ReviewMyLMS, I encourage you to have a look at that as well. Leave a review and you get access to the dozens of other online course platform reviews that have started rolling in. If you haven’t yet used a platform, there’s an option to subscribe.

The 5 Essential Steps to Authoring Your Online Course (Case Study)

In this case study, Nasos Papadopoulos, founder of MetaLearn, walks through the process he used successfully for authoring an online course: Make Me a MetaLearner.

The prospect of authoring an online course can seem daunting when you’ve never done it before.

Do you script the whole thing or improvise some of it?

How long should the course be and how many videos do you need?

What material should you include and what should you leave out?

And how should you structure it so that students will achieve their goals?

The process of authoring and producing my first course, Make Me A MetaLearner, was a great learning experience for me.

As a university lecturer I’ve spent plenty of time preparing lessons and delivering them to students, but authoring an online course is a completely different ball game.

Creating my course helped me find my own answers to all the questions above and more…and it taught me a lot about what making high quality online education involves.

Looking back, I can see that a big part of the process could be broken down into five main steps, which I had to figure out by trial and error.

These steps will work for you whether you’re a beginner who’s writing your first course, or an experienced online educator who’s done it plenty of times before.

Here are the 5 steps for authoring your online online course that will take the guesswork out of the process and have you ready to record in no time. [Read more…]

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.


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