In the last five blog articles writers could find lots of ideas how to use your writing craft outside of creating 300-page novels: writing short stories, writing for magazines, or selling foreign rights of their manuscripts. But there are more possibilities to make money with your writing talent and knowledge you acquired in the past! Creating and selling online courses is number one.
Teaching What You Know, Using Your Writing Talent
During the last several years I facilitated and taught in a lot of publishing and book marketing workshops. It is a great pleasure to meet so many writers from aspiring to multi-book authors. Working with participants on a personal level gives a lot of insight into their craft and creative thinking and often turns out in long friendships. However, after some years the traveling to other provinces and states, and staying in hotels it got a bit weary. I cut back on these engagements and turned to consulting via phone and Skype.
A friend, who offers web coding classes on Udemy encouraged me to bring my publishing and book marketing training online. Right now I am preparing my content to offer it online. I don’t need to travel anymore – no booking of students, classrooms, hotel accommodation and I don’t have to sit at my phone/computer at a certain time to have one-on-one consultations. Once courses are prepared and video sessions are created, they can be offered online for the next couple of years.
Every Writer Can Teach Online Classes!
No matter if you write non-fiction or novels… The topic of your course doesn’t even need to be about writing. You might be an expert in crafts, cooking, accounting or real estate (many writers have a day job). It all needs to be nicely written up in a teaching concept and voila: Your online class is almost prepared. If you ever watched clumsy (to use a nice word) YouTube videos, and have tried a dozen of them until you finally found one that explained a great solution to your question, you know what I am talking about: preparing your course professionally is important. And if it is in video form, the spoken word needs to be clear and slowly articulated, so that readers do not have to “rewind” several times to understand what you said.
Fiction and Non-Fiction
If you write non-fiction and use the topics of your books, you just need to split your chapters apart and set them up for an online course. Fiction Writers can use their research of locations, characters, landscapes or events. You have to do research for your novel anyway, why not use the material you gather and create several classes that you can offer – always mentioning your book.
Teach something of value for students – which is “by chance” part of your research, such as travel tips to the location of your book’s plot, museums, festivals or public transportation that are mentioned in your book.
- A writer of romance, situated in a Western ambiance, could for sample teach how to learn wrangling horses or how to find guest ranches.
- As a writer of historical novels, you might create a history class, explaining the way of life in a certain period, recipes or interior decoration and art of the 19th-century world.
- If you write crime thrillers, why not set a class that explains criminal investigation, weapons, psychological reasons behind crimes, details about the police work, and profiling.
- Writers of business thrillers could offer an article what hedge funds are, how banks and mortgage companies are working, or portrait some business schemes which small investors should avoid.
As a writer you know how to write, just learn how to write online course content. Book several courses in your field of interest and see how they are set up. Reading reviews of courses offered will also bring insights of what to look out for. Some of the classes are even free or start at $15. Don’t forget to shoot or purchase several stunning photos to use in your course material!
Knowledge You Can Utilize
It’s no surprise online courses are the next big thing when it comes to working from home by making money online. Lifelong learning is now going online! it might not be your book that brings you the revenue – it’s your knowledge that you can utilize. Teach what you know or what you love on the largest online learning platforms. The open learning movement has made the opportunity to teach students from all over the world from your home office. You set up your course once, and earn from it for years – while sleeping, writing or traveling the world.
More Course Ideas:
- How to Plan and Outline Novels
- Free Resource Tools: Turn Speech To Text With Just One Click
- CreateSpace Printing: Self-publishing Books on Amazon
- Endless Nonfiction Book Ideas
- How To Self-Publish a Book on Kindle
- Story – The Key to Writing a Best-Selling Book
- Blogging to Create an Author Platform
- How to Set Up a Book Page on Facebook
- How to Self-Edit Your Manuscript Before Sending it to an Editor
Find Your Audience First
Ankur Nagpal, the owner of Teachable says “the first step to a successful online course: find the audience! No matter the idea you have for an online course in terms of subject matter, it’s not a good idea to spend a lot of time creating it only to discover that nobody wants to buy it. Instead, you need to find out if there is a real audience that wants to learn the subject you want to teach. Given the reach of the internet that’s no longer a difficult thing to do.”
In the overall lifespan of the internet, online courses are still relatively new. All kinds of simple approaches to instruction can still make the grade: screen capture software – slide decks with voice over – standing at a whiteboard drawing doodles – all of these and more are very popular ways for instructors to create and disseminate the information they have to share.
Authors, who are just normal people, have made upwards of five figures in just a month while launching their courses. You might have read books or blog articles, written by Seth Godin, Marie Forleo, or Noah Kagan: they are selling courses at online platforms.
Teach at Teachable
They explain on their website: Your skills and experiences are unique and valuable. Easily build a great course website, share your knowledge, and be rewarded for it. Create engaging multimedia lectures. Add video, image, text, audio, and PDF files. Easily import content directly from Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive.
Build a beautiful website. You can work with your existing website or create new pages on Teachable, all with our intuitive drag-and-drop builder. Your course website is fully responsive, so students can view your content from computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Easily draft, customize, and launch new course pages with a powerful page editor. Use our domain or connect your own. Every Teachable plan includes unlimited video and course content bandwidth. Upload as many courses, videos, PDFs, etc. as you like. Modify the language used in any part of your site to support international audiences.
Promote Your Classes
Blog: Demonstrate authority in your field, provide insights, and share updates with your students using a built-in blog managed right from your school admin.
Leverage a wide variety of built-in marketing tools to grow your business, such as coupons and promotions, advanced pricing options, affiliate programs, and customizable sales pages, or use email newsletter services like MailChimp, AWeber, etc.
Every time a user purchases a course, course bundle, or subscription, we collect a transaction fee according to your pricing plan. Higher-priced monthly plans have lower transaction fees. If you are on our Free, Basic, Professional or High Volume plans and are using the Teachable payment gateway, we also charge a standard payment processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 for paid courses.
Partner With Udemy
One of the well-known course platforms is Udemy, a global marketplace for learning and teaching online at over 45,000 courses, taught by expert instructors. Udemy handles all customer service, payment processing, and hosting fees, all at no cost to you! Shared Success: Keep 97% of the revenue when you promote your course (3% is kept for payment processing fee) or 50% when Udemy promotes it.
As a Udemy instructor, you receive the following benefits:
- Hosting for your video, audio, and other course files
- Technical support for your students
- Refund and payment processing
- A/B tested and optimized course landing pages
- Access to your course on a mobile app
- Well-designed and developed learning environment for your students
- Course Announcements and Promotional Emails to communicate with your students
Read more: https://teach.udemy.com/course-creation/
More Platforms Where You Can Teach:
However, you don’t need necessarily a platform to sell your online courses. Just like with books you can offer them from your own website. Using the professional plugin Zippy Courses. If you want to create online courses seamlessly, you need software that both protects your content and integrates with your favorite email and payment providers.
Last But Not Least: Amazon
Not really an online course platform, but one can certainly earn money when uploading a professional set-up video course on AVD. USA-TODAY wrote: “Amazon has taken on YouTube by offering another venue where anyone can post videos and get paid for it. But the e-tailer has made the process much more cumbersome than its main rival.
Amazon Video Direct allows creators to upload their own videos for “tens of millions” of members of Amazon’s Prime Video service to watch. Creators on Amazon Video Direct can also get monthly revenue from posting videos there. The problem is a process that may be OK for a staffed film studio but is much more difficult for amateurs, even the YouTube “pros. Amazon has very specific photo requests: it needs files as “key art,” that need to be presented in 1200×1600 pixels and 1920×1080 pixels format. If you don’t have Adobe Photoshop or another imaging program, you’ll need it. You’ll need to add in info about the cast and crew, even if it’s just you talking to the camera. Another rule is that you must have captions on the video.”
Amazon says it wants “professional produced videos,” with the idea that your video would join polished products in the Prime Video offering. Content creators are paid $0.15 an hour for US viewers, or 55% of the sale price for a short-term rental.” More about the standard royalty payments here.
Good marketing creates value even as it sells. And it builds relationships; it builds authority and trust. Doing that isn’t easy, and it takes time. Mindset is more important than technical capabilities. A lot of people are worried about mastering the technologies for creating an online education business. But there is plenty of research to establish that this sort of “growth” mindset is a big predictor of success.
The first step is to create SOMETHING – a short course using basic authoring tools focusing on an area of knowledge you know something about. Waiting until you’re the Expert of Experts and have a professional production studio and a team of Instructional Designers ready to help create your 12 hours masterclass is a great way to never get anything done.