Getting Started With Online Courses

By Flylee17 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Flylee17 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
Creating and teaching online courses is a great way to boost your platform, and find new audiences. There are many indie authors and authorpreneurs, who teach classes such as how to write stories or market books.

Two big platforms, if you don’t want to host your own courses, are Udemy and Skillshare. There are many, many articles about people who have had major financial success with these platforms. One example is John Azzi and Eliot Arntz, who once taught 18,000 students and earned $250,000 in two months. Another example is a Udemy instructor who earned $13,477 in one week back in 2012 (by reaching out to popular blogs in the same niche and offering a holiday promotion).

You could also potentially host your course yourself. Ramit Sethi wrote an in-depth post on Tim Ferris’ blog about having a $5 million-week. It started with a blog and grew into multiple products, including courses. Key points include being selective about who you serve, and having students for life.

The next step is to create content for your course. Skillshare offers a great step-by-step guide on planning and producing your course, and what resources to include. Udemy also started hosting conferences to share insights. I attended the conference last year, and wrote up 10 things I learned, which includes finding your audience, engaging your students, and planning a PR campaign.

Speaking of PR campaigns, after you’ve created your content, you’re going to want to market your course. Life-long Learner shared a playbook for marketing a course. Steps include getting a few reviews early, giving away the course for free in the beginning, and collecting leads for your email list.

For some inspiration on what your online course could look like, check out Online Pastry Training Centre. This site offers multiple online courses and interactive classes, and has an engaged following, all for a niche topic.

Last, if you want more resources, see my post, “Becoming an Authorpreneur: Resources for Creating and Selling Online Courses.”


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