Short Online Courses: How To Sell Your Skills With Video
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Short Online Courses: How To Sell Your Skills With Video

Learn how to turn your expertise into income with short, easy-to-create online courses -- all without being on camera!
4.4 (18 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,205 students enrolled
Created by Nathan Meunier
Last updated 1/2016
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  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Identify your sellable skills and how they align with your passions
  • Brainstorm course ideas that will sell
  • Test the market to gauge your audience
  • Laser focusing on a unique, sellable angle for your course
  • Craft a killer course outline around your best ideas
  • Write a script (and ebook) for your course in a fast, easy way
  • Record and edit your audio narration
  • Create AMAZING quality videos without being on camera
  • Price your course to sell
  • Setup and launch a pre-order for your first short course
  • Start making money before your first course is even completed
View Curriculum
  • Purchase or have access to a podcast quality microphone (for audio recording)

"I love what Nathan has put together, especially in the outlining section. This alone is worth the cost of the course. This really helped me to do a much better job on creating my courses. Two thumbs up!" - Student review

"If you want to take a course on "how to make courses" but don't want to spend several hundred dollars, this is a great alternative to help you get your feet wet and get started making money right away. Highly recommended!" - Student review

"If you ever plan on generating an income through Udemy, be sure and grab this course. It is worth every penny." - Student review

Do you want to earn easy income from your skills and passions?

Everyone is skilled at something. We all have passions, professions, and hobbies we're good at. What you might not realize is just how EASY it is to turn your expertise into a sellable short online course that people will be eager to buy!

Let's change that.

What will you learn?

In this course, I'm going to walk you through the step-by-step process of identifying your sellable skills and turning them into top-notch online video courses on a shoestring budget.

You'll go from brainstorming, testing, and fine-tuning your sellable ideas for short courses to creating killer outlines and quickly writing simple scripts for your course. Then I'll show you how to record and edit your course audio, create slick looking visual slides, and put all of this together into polished videos. Finally, we'll cover pricing your course, setting up a pre-order, and then actually selling your course online.

Bonus: I'll teach you how to do all of this without having to be on camera! Woo!

Oh, and the other cool thing? I've created this entire course using the EXACT processes, strategies, and tips I'm about to teach you! So you this very course is just one example of what you can create using this simple system.

Who is this course for?

Anyone who has a skill or area of expertise that's valuable to an audience. Here are just a few examples:

  • Self-published authors seeking to help others learn how to market their books or turn text on a screen into a polished ebook
  • Podcasters who want to transform their show content and guest interview insights into a monetized income stream
  • Game developers or coders who are adept at a specific platform platform and can create tutorials for others to follow
  • Business professionals with insider knowledge on how to get ahead in their industry
  • Creative crafters who want to share knitting/crochet patterns and tips
  • Home cooks who want to share their best recipes and tip tutorials
  • YOU NAME IT! If you have a skill, this course will show you how to sell it as a short online course!

Also: anyone who is curious about learning a new skill, then turning that knowledge into a sellable online course!

Course structure

This course will walk you through the natural flow of coming up with great sellable course ideas and then building and selling your first courses. While you can take the whole course first before you begin working on your own courses, I've included additional Action Step videos at key points in the course to help you start taking action on the information you're learning as you go.

Taking action on what you learn is CRITICAL to getting your courses completed and live so you can continue making more amazing course products. You can either stop and take those exercises as you go, or come back and revisit them when you're ready to start creating your course. Either way, be sure to put what you learn into motion! Let's do this!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is designed to help creative individuals identify what they're good at and turn their skills into short, sellable online courses. Anyone with a skill, whether you're a writer, a marketer, a home cook, a game developer, a business person, a hobbyist or beyond can easily build a short course.
  • Note: while much of the software covered is free and available for both Mac and PC, the video editing walkthroughs in this course focus on Windows Movie Maker. You can apply the same editing concepts using any program on Mac, but if you're a Mac user just be forewarned that the initial course does not include a video editing walkthrough using Mac software.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 40 Lectures Collapse All 40 Lectures 03:47:14
Let's Get Started Building Your Short Online Course!
2 Lectures 03:17

This welcome lecture will give you a good sense of what we're going to cover in this course and why you should get started making short online video courses today!

Preview 01:37

This your chance to tell us all about yourself and connect with other students! Go ahead and post a short introduction in the Discussions tab! :)

Introduce Yourself! Tell us about YOU! ->
Identifying Your Expertise
11 Lectures 44:09

In this lesson, we'll cover identifying your skills and getting those initial bits of inspiration that will become the seeds for your first online course. This will help get you your brain churning about all the cool courses you could potentially create!

Preview 05:49

Ah, our first action step! Here's where you'll start the process of brainstorming and roughing out all of your ideas so you can start piecing together the first elements for your course.

Action Step: Brainstorm a big list of ideas

A great idea is one thing, but will your ideas product a course that will actually sell? Here's where we cover testing the market, identifying your target audience, and taking the time to make sure you've got a solid, sellable idea before you dive in.

Testing your ideas and gauging your audience

In this action step, you'll research the market, see what kind of competition is already out there, and gain invaluable insights to help you decide on where to focus with your first course.

Action Step: Gather research and get feedback

In this lesson we'll deep dive into how to fine-tune your course ideas and find a unique angle that'll make your course more interesting and appealing to your target audience.

Finding your unique angle

In this action step, you'll narrow your focus and settle on a working title and topic for your course.

Action Step: Pick your course title and narrow your focus

In this lesson, I talk about the variety of different types of content you can include in your course, ranging form PDF documents and bonus resources to audio and video. We cover the benefits of each content type, and why it's good to offer content options for several different types of learners.

Deciding on your course format

In this action step, you'll pick the types of content you want to include in your course. Also, we briefly talk about about taking your course content and spreading across different platforms and formats to cross promote your material.

Action Step: Content types - Pick your format and approach

Outlining your course ahead of time will make the scripting process go super fast! I created the 17,000 word script for the first 2/3 of this course in only three days! This lesson digs deep into the benefits of outlining, and it'll show you a simple system for creating a great course outline that'll help speed up your creation process.

Outlining your course

Here's where you're actually start putting together your course outline.

Action Step: Go ahead and outline your course

Enjoying the course so far? It'd be awesome if you could take a moment to leave a review to let everyone know what you think of the course!

Section One Wrap-Up
Building Your Course
16 Lectures 01:22:51

Before we dive into course production steps, I talk about the workflow you'll use for building out your course. It also talk about how you'll create a rough PDF script (for an ebook), audio MP3 files (for bonus audio), and the finalized video files.

Preview 02:40

In this lesson, I cover writing the scripts for your course, including tips and tricks to speed the process along. I also talk about editing, and why having a polished written script isn't as critical as having it read/sound good.

Creating scripts for each short lesson

Here where you'll sit down and start writing out the scripts for your entire course (or chunks of it at a time, if you prefer).

Action Step: Start writing your scripts

Creating a short line course doesn't have to be costly. In this lesson, I talk about creating high quality content on a shoestring budget and with minimal gear. The one thing you'll need to invest in is a high quality microphone, but you can get one of those very affordable. The rest you can do with free software.

Quality recording hardware on a tight budget

This lesson covers the exact software I use and gives you a few recommendations for free or cheap alternatives. Most of this course was recorded with freeware or older software that was on my PC already. Score!

Free software for audio, video, and image creation

In this screen capture lesson, I walk you through the process of setting up Audacity on your PC/Mac, configuring your mic and headphones, and then doing a test recording.

Recording your lesson audio

In this lesson, I cover some simple, effective tips that will help you improve your audio quality and produce great audio, which is critical for video courses. In fact, having high quality audio is often MORE important than your visual slides. Seriously.

6 tips for getting great audio recordings

Here's where you'll take what you learned in the previous video, and then start recording your first lesson to get a feel for the process. You can always go back and redo it when you go to build out your full course, but I recommend you at least give it a shot and then use the audio to create a test video later on in the course.

Action Step: Record audio for your first lesson

In this longer screen capture lesson, I show you they step-by-step process I use to edit my audio in Audacity and make it top-notch! Hang in there...this is a long one. But it's very important!

Editing your audio

In this action step, you'll be prompted to take your raw audio recording and go through the steps to edit into a polished .WAV file.

Action Step: Edit your first lesson audio

This lesson will give you tips on how to create great slides, along with some recommendations on different programs you can use. I personally used PowerPoint to create the simple slides for this course, but you can easily use any free program to do something similar. We also talk about visual design and how to use your slides most effectively.

Creating visual slides for your videos

This action step will have you creating slides for your first lesson.

Action Step: Create slides for your first lesson

For my own courses, I prefer to create a PowerPoint slideshow for each lesson, then actually take video screen grabs of each frame. This makes the video editing process much faster and easier to handle, but it's not necessary if you prefer to manually drop in slide images. So this is a highly recommended but optional step.

Recording video of your PowerPoint slides

Welcome to where the magic happens! This epic lesson walks you through how to edit your audio and visual slides together in Movie Maker (PC). I show you two methods: 1) how to drop in and manipulate image slides and 2) how to drop in video grab of your slides and then put it all together and export. While this lesson specifically walks through the process using free software that's PC-only, you can watch what I do an easily replicate the core editing process using any program. The specific steps and commands may be different, but the core concepts of how to put it all together and edit it definitely apply. Good luck!

Editing it all together into video (two ways)

This action step prompts you to take what you've created so far and edit it all together into your first polished and finalized video course lesson! Let's do this! Woo!

Action Step: Create your first lesson video

How's it going? Still hanging in there? Here's a short wrap-up and transition for the next segment. If you're enjoying the course, I'd really appreciate a quick review! :)

Section Two Wrap-Up
Selling Your Course
9 Lectures 42:57

In this lesson, I talk about the benefits and differences between selling your course on Gumroad vs. Udemy. I personally love both platforms for different reasons. To keep things simple and give you an easier start to test the waters, the rest of this course primarily focuses on showing you how to setup and sell your course via Gumroad, though some of it applies more generally. I also recommend you eventually put your courses on Udemy, once you've launched them and get a feel for things, though that process is currently beyond the scope of this course.

Preview 03:29

This screen cap lesson walks you through the process of initially setting up a product page for sale in Gumroad.

Setting up your course in Gumroad

Canva is a great free program for creating promo images for your courses. In this video, I actually walk you through creating a quick (and fairly goofy) sample course image for your Gumroad product page.

Creating a cover image in Canva

What should you know about writing course descriptions that sell? I cover that with a few tips in this lesson.

5 tips for writing course descriptions that sell

If you're not quite sure where to start with your course description, this lesson will give you a very simple and effective formula to follow to help you get started!

A quick course description formula

How much should you charge for your course? What are some handy pricing tips and strategies? This lesson digs into all of that good stuff.

Pricing your course

This lesson walks you through a few final steps you'll want to tackle in order to set your course pre-order live on Gumroad, so you can start selling your course -- even if it's not done yet!

Setting your course pre-order live on Gumroad

In this lesson, I show you how to setup discount coupons and then give you a cool ninja trick for making your discounts auto-apply and look even more enticing to prospective customers!

How to use Gumroad discounts and create promo codes

Thanks for taking the course! If you've enjoyed it, please consider leaving a review! Also, don't forget to participate in the discussions, and if you wind up creating a cool course using this system, please get in touch! I'd love to promote your course and do some video case studies! Thanks!!!

Conclusion and THANKS (Also, I want to hear from you)!
Bonus Materials
2 Lectures 00:00

For your reference, and to serve as an example, I've included a PDF of the entire script for this course. It's the raw, unedited script I used to create the videos. I've included it here in its draft form. Feel free to download it an use it as a reference, but please do not distribute the doc or use it in any other way. Cheers!

The full (unedited) rough script for this course
53 pages

Sample PowerPoint slide template
1 page
About the Instructor
Nathan Meunier
4.0 Average rating
40 Reviews
1,448 Students
2 Courses
Freelance Writer, Indie Author, Creative Entrepreneur

Nathan Meunier is an award-winning journalist, successful freelance writer, part-time game developer, indie author, and creative entrepreneur. His writing work has appeared in more than 40+ print and online publications over the past 12 years, ranging from Forbes, Mac|Life, and Macworld to Nintendo Power, IGN, GameSpot, and beyond.

He's the author of Kindle bestseller Write Short Kindle Books: A Self-Publishing Manifesto for Non-Fiction Authors, along with seven additional books (and many more in the pipeline).

Nathan is also the co-founder of Touchfight Games, and the creator of several game dev projects, both with his studio and as a solo creator.

He's fiercely independent, has a strong DIY attitude, is passionate about learning and creating new things, and loves helping others find the path to achieving their professional and creative goals.