N.B I still can’t tell you how to be a spy, If you want to learn more about being a spy see the film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. If you have already seen it, read some Bond.

*A teacher of fun things. Not maths. Not academics.
Tomar is cosmic. My photography skills are not.
How?

If you really like the idea of becoming a teacher but fear that you’re not ‘classically educated enough’. Fear no more. As long as you have a great passion and knowledge about something, let’s face it, it can be anything*, you can become an online teacher. Being an online teacher can be a great way to share your skills, help others and of course, earn some money. There are a few options open to potential online teachers, I will look into others in more detail over the next few weeks but today I am going to focus on setting up your own online course.
*Literally anything, I’d wager that if you look hard enough you could find someone willing to pay you to teach them how to pick their nose more efficiently**.
**Probably not though.

The first thing you need, like everything else in life, is an idea. You might want to do a bit of research here, it’s a completely fruitless idea trying to sell a course no one cares about. Just because you really enjoy the history of paper manufacturing in Portugal from 1873 onwards, it doesn’t mean anyone else will*. You should aim to create something that people will find useful to know and potentially help them in life. People might be more willing to part with their money if it helps them accumulate more**. You can research any topics or trends you think might be worth a shot by having a quick lurk around any forums your potential learners might be a part of. If you can get a better understanding of your target audience you can make alterations to your course that you think will help. Once you have your course in mind have a quick look to see how many other people are offering things similar to you. If the market is saturated you’re going to struggle to make an impression unless you are offering something different. Once you know what you are up against it may help you to make your course a bit more specialised, I saw someone advertising a course in dungeons and dragons lessons the other day. If it would only have been dungeons and dragons for beginners, I may have given it a whirl***. Anyway, the point is everyone is offering a standard course in something, you need to make an extra effort to get people involved with yours.
*By all means give it a go if you think it’s a subject people should know about or are rich enough to not care if no-one takes your course. Ever.
**Except for the people who just want to learn something new and fun, like phlebotomy. Or sewing.
***I wouldn’t, I don’t trust that many dice in one game.

When you have your course idea and have researched all there is to research about it you are almost ready to write it! After you’ve planned it. You need to decide what type of people are aiming to attract and what they are going to get out of the course. It is much more likely to pique people’s interests if they can see themselves as a ‘target student’. You don’t need to be mean and say:

‘This course is for people who don’t have a clue about the things that I do. I can make you better. Me! I’ll do it! Myself!’

Instead, try:

‘This course is designed to help complete beginners learn the exciting art of {insert your exciting art here}. Together we will build your skills in an interesting way.’

Or something like that but not as awful.

Now you have them on the hook you need to strike with your course goals and reel them in, make sure your goals are realistic. Don’t say that you guarantee to make millionaires of people overnight. Unless you can. Keep them simple, achievable and true.

Now you can write the course. If you have no idea on how to do this, you’re in luck, there are courses designed to help you learn how to design a course. The best part about it is that they are free! Everyone’s winning today. You can watch the courses at this link. To be fair that link pretty much covers everything else you will ever need to know about creating online courses. Er. I’ll skip ahead to the next part.

Once your course is up and running you need to attract your students. Obviously depending on which course provider you use this may differ slightly. A good place to start is by setting up your own website, you may have more than one course to offer and a website is a good way to increase knowledge of your products and to utilise SEO to help direct people to you. It’s not an incredibly easy or fun job to do but if you do it right it makes a big difference. Alongside your website, you should go through all the big social media sites. You know the ones. Make your presence felt, encourage past students to leave reviews and get your courses known throughout the land. Or internet.

What do I need skill wise?

You need to be pretty amazing at whatever it is you are aiming to teach. No one will want a lesson from someone who only knows the basics and can’t help them progress past an average level. The skills needed to create individual courses will obviously vary depending on what you want to teach but they will all need at least some basic knowledge of recording and filming. Nothing dramatic, it’s basically just going to be you sat in front of a camera talking or knitting. effectively all you need to know is how to press record and stop. There are very useful guides on the websites listed below to help you with the process.

What do I need hardware wise?

Obviously, it is important for you, your seller and your students that these recordings are of a high-quality standard. Therefore it’s important to know of any minimal requirements you may need to meet before you start recording. It would be quite soul-destroying spending an age recording your videos only to find out you recorded in 480p when you need to be in 720p.

Thankfully, most modern smartphones will meet this spec and any microphones you may need to purchase are incredibly well priced. Most of, if not all of the ‘big boy’ course sellers will come with tutorials and templates to help make your job easier and let you know exactly what you need before you get going.

As well as your recording device you’ll need a laptop or equivalent an internet connection and maybe a desk to sit at.

Where do I find work?

You can upload and sell your courses on reputable websites such as thinkrific, vedamo, teachable, academyofmine and udemy.

The sites all offer various levels of support and cost different amounts from free to not free depending on what you are after. If none of those suit you there is a wealth of other options for you to choose from.

Personally, I like the look of udemy. This isn’t an affiliate link, I just think they offer a pretty good service and lots of help and support for budding teachers.

What can I earn?

Your courses can cost anything from $? – $? It depends on what platform you use to sell them from. Therefore it’s pretty difficult to speculate on what you can earn. If you sell 10 courses a month at $30 you earn $300. I’ll assume you can do your own math from now on. Obviously, you’ll be aiming to sell as many courses as possible and if you can do that at a fair price you should make more than enough to live the life of a pure digital nomad.

How well does it suit the Digital Nomad lifestyle?

Quite well I’d say. If you can build up a few courses to sell before you set off on your travels or can churn a couple out alongside other gainful employment whilst you get started it’s possible to live like this for a while. You aren’t tied to any strict work schedule, you can create your courses anywhere and have the added bonus of being able to scour the world in search of inspiration. You may find that you have to come up with fresh and modern courses every month or so and dedicate some hard work to advertising yourself but, hey. It’s better than working in a supermarket, a cinema, an old people’s home, a circuit board factory or a betting shop*.
*No offence, I just hated doing them all.

PS.

There is a fantastic guide to creating your online course that the fine people of Udemy have put together. It basically tells you everything that you’ve just read but in a better way. As I didn’t find the guide until near the end of this piece I refuse to admit that I have just wasted mine and your time. You can read their more thorough guide to setting up your own online course here.

 

Author: Thomas Rogers

Thomas Rogers a.k.a twig boy.

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