Why Creating Online Courses Can be a Great Side Hustle

A lot of people these days look for new ways they can make money online, whether it’s as a side venture to make a bit of extra cash, or even as a new way to make a living. Creating online courses is one option that can allow you to not only make some money by selling your courses on eLearning platforms but can also help you to grow your presence as an expert in your field. This can be helpful in other aspects of your work.

Here, we look at how eLearning courses are created, and how you can think about getting started in creating your own.

What Types of Things Do People Want Courses About?

Courses about all kinds of things can perform well on online learning sites, though typically people tend to do better with tutorial type courses that help the viewer achieve a specific goal or gain a specific skill. Courses can be fairly short, where the goal is very specific and the information can be provided quite quickly, for instance, how to achieve a specific thing with a specific piece of software, or they can be long and in-depth if they offer steps towards a larger goal or broader skill, such as ‘How to Draw Animals’ or ‘How to Play the Ukulele’. The aim is to provide enough content to satisfy the question the user buying the course wants to learn the answer to, and to do it in an appropriate amount of detail, and not to pad things out. You will find courses of all different lengths can perform well if they do this.

Choosing what to Make Courses About

If you have an area of expertise in mind, whether it’s your profession or hobby, a tool you are proficient in using, or anything else you can show other people how to do, you should then think about how to break that field of interest into different courses. You may find that you get more traction by having a variety of courses available on more specific things. For instance, if you are an illustrator, ‘How to Draw Facial Expressions’, ‘How to Draw Cars’, ‘How to Draw Backgrounds for Comics’, ‘How to Design Clothes for Characters’ and so on will work well, rather than just ‘How to Draw’, but you can also have people who will want to follow all of your courses to keep expanding what they can do in that field. Once you have some good course ideas, you can start to write and produce your courses.

How eLearning Courses Are Made

Online courses are typically presented as videos, though the type of video will depend a lot on what you are teaching people how to do. Introductions are usually presented to the camera, as people typically want to get to know the instructor, but the tutorial modules may be live video footage of you doing or making something, or maybe screen capture footage if you are teaching something software related. Courses are almost always scripted, as this gives more of an air of structure and professionalism, rather than the more casual and friendly style of YouTube tutorials. However, if you are an experienced teacher who is going to be making courses based on lessons you have already given a lot of times in person, you may be able to present it in a professional way without a full script.

Supplementary Materials and Exercises

Not all courses need to have extra materials that the people who buy the course can work on, but for many subjects, you may also want to prepare some exercises people can try or to give them access to files you used in the videos to try to recreate what you did themselves. For instance, if you were doing a course about music production where you showed people how to use samples in a track, you may include the samples you used so people can follow the steps you did with them. While you are planning your course, as well as scripting the lessons and deciding what you’ll show on screen, you should also figure out if you need to prepare anything like this to go with your course.

Online courses are more popular than ever right now with lots of people wanting to use time stuck at home during the pandemic productively and to gain new skills. If you have some skills you think other people would like to learn, then why not consider becoming an online course creator?

What Next?

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