Note: I now use Teachable to host my online courses. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
AskPat 123 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 123 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today.
Today's sponsor is
Rodney: Hey Pat it's Rodney calling from Sydney, Australia. I have a question about online courses. I want to start getting into creating online courses so I can develop that passive income on that side of my business. And I was just wondering whether it was better to use a platform such as Udemy or something like that, or to create your own webpage and host the course on this possibly, with Wishlist or something like that. Any other tips you could give me for creating courses would be great. Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Rodney, thank you so much for your question. It's a fantastic question because creating an online course is a fantastic way to generate an income. You put in the hard work up front, you create something of value, something people can learn from, they walk through step by step, something they can consume, either at their own pace or your pace, however the course may be structured. And it's something that's up there that can potentially be sold over and over again to different people. And honestly, if you put in the hard work and it provides value and people can see that, you can make great money with your online courses. I've had a number of online courses do very well in the past. I know a lot of people who make a lot of money just from producing online courses for their audience.
One resource I will give you if you'd like to learn more—and actually this person has a course on creating great online courses, and I know a lot of people who have taken his course. David Siteman Garland from TheRisetoTheTop.com. He has his own product out there, and you don't need to get a product to create online courses, there are ways to do it—and Rodney you asked about the different platforms on how to do it and I'm going to go over that in just a second—but he is a great resource nonetheless on creating online courses for an online audience. So I'd definitely go through David Siteman Garland. Again, that's at TheRisetoTheTop.com. Also a great friend of mine.
Now, is it better to create your own site for your online course or use a platform like Udemy? Now there's a lot of pros and cons to both but I think let's start with Udemy. Udemy was something I was very interested in in the past and it's a great platform. What I love about Udemy is if you have content in your head and you can create decent videos that take this content in your head and share it, but you're a little technologically challenged in terms of website, or you might be starting from scratch and not have an audience at all, Udemy might be a great option for you.
Udemy is a platform, for those of you who don't know, that has the ability for you to just simply upload those videos, and it creates the course for you in terms of, “Here's module for lesson one. Here's module or lesson two. Here are the worksheets that go along with it and anything else you want to upload along with each of the different parts of your course.” They have their own marketplace so you would be able to be on a site where there's potentially millions of other people looking for courses related to whatever it is that you have to work on, instead of creating your own site and it just being a site that nobody knows about yet unless you have an audience already, like I said. That's the benefit of using Udemy. There's cross-promotion between courses as well. You can get rated and ranked and you can get more publicity and visualization on platforms where there are people, if you have your Udemy account. However, that being said, you are on somebody else's platform. And if you were to build a business on anybody else's platform, not just online courses, but for anything, that's something to worry about. Because at any time, especially if it's putting food on the table for you and putting that roof over your head, if you put too much control in other businesses, they could at any point just, for whatever reason, just delete you from their resources or take you out of their lists for whatever reason, and that's stuff you can't control.
For example, I know a lot of people who used to be very successful App Store—and this is iPhone applications—App Store developers, and you know they were doing apps that all of a sudden Apple just didn't like one day, and they just took them off. Killed their entire business. And so when . . . Like I said if you put too much into these third-party companies, it could be detrimental in the long run. And of course there's a lot of people who are doing really well on Udemy, but we don't know how long Udemy is going to be around. I hope they're around for a very long time, it's a great platform. I have learned a lot myself going through courses on Udemy. But again, that's probably the biggest thing. You know, it's always scary to rely on one particular company to do things for you. But like I said, if you couldn't do it on your own, then Udemy would be a great at least starting point for you in terms of A, building an audience but also B, just having a platform to deliver content in a way that they have. They've created the systems in place to teach and so all you have to do is provide the content. And that's what's really cool. Of course there is some sharing of profits as well that goes along with that. But that should be the last thing you should be worrying about in terms of using a third-party company like Udemy. And there's a lot of other ones out there as well, but Udemy we'll just use for this example.
Now there is something to be said for creating your own stuff. Well one, it's your own stuff and you have total control over it, you have total control over marketing of it, how it looks, the experience that your audience has, going through it. Being able to up sell or down sell products to people down the line, who are customers already. The ability to just do anything you want. The customization options are endless when you have your own course online on your own website. Using tools like WP Wishlist which is a great one from Stu McLaren. He's one of the co-founders, I know him very well. We've spoken together at conferences and he puts a lot of care and effort into WP Wishlist. There's a lot of other programs out there. Infusionsoft has their own sort of third, membership sort of thing that goes along with it to create a membership site. There's MemberMouse.com, there's AMember.com. There's a lot of them; there's a lot of them out there that will help you create your own online course. But, it's not going to be quite as easy out of the box. You're going to have to do a lot of work and perhaps work with a developer to make it the way you want it to be. Which is why like I said before, Udemy might be quicker and easier, but to sort of wrap this all up, that doesn't mean you can't do both. You can have, for example, your own core online course. Your flagship online course on your own site. And perhaps do an introductory course on Udemy. Or have a version that is specific for the other site and a version on your own site as well. There's no reason why you can't do that.
I know a lot of people who use Udemy as a way to introduce themselves to where there is no audience. And then when people take their introductory course sometimes it's free. Sometimes it's just paid through a minimal payment. Sometimes it's a lot to pay to be introduced to somebody for the first time. But they might have content that you resonate with and a lot of times they say, “Hey if you'd like more information from me, if you'd like to be upgraded to the advanced course, if you'd like to get consulting with me, if you'd like coaching: Here's my website.” You could use both and cross-promote both and use one for the other.
So Rodney, I hope that answers your question and I'm sorry I don't know much about what exactly it is that you're doing. But I think there's a lot of options for you. And I think you could potentially do both, but I would definitely . . . I think the best case scenario if you have the resources in place, it would be to create your own. Then you can use advertising to drive traffic to it. You could even use Udemy introductory courses to drive traffic through it and to your own stuff. Because again, you want that control. You want it to be yours and of course, you'd have most of the profit if it's on your own site.
Again, that customer experience and that experience through the course is going to be the most important thing. And there are a lot of advanced tools that go along with creating online courses. Infusionsoft, and there's also Vera, which is an awesome resource that I just found that my team and I are exploring. Vera is a tool that allows you to create action-based emails. So for example, if a person completes one particular part of the course, or a particular action in one of your courses, you can have it trigger an email that gets sent out saying, “Hey congrats on finishing this one and here's a link to the next one,” for example. Or it could even be like, “Hey I haven't seen you log in for two weeks. What's up? Here's where you left off.” Those types of things. A lot of really cool things in the advanced stages, if you have your own site for your online course. Which in Udemy, you get to a specific point where you can't have that kind of control anymore. So Rodney, I hope that answers your question. Thank you so much for it; an AskPat teeshirt is going to be headed your way.
For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. Again, thank you to today's sponsor, which is ZipRecruiter.com. Something that you could use to save a ton of time if you're looking to hire anybody to help you out in your small business. Instead of going to every single job board out there and advertising on all of them, just use ZipRecruiter. Just one stop for posting that job description on 50 plus of the top job sites at once. And they'll even highlight the best candidates for you. So again, ZipRecruiter.com. You can try it for free by going to ZipRecruiter.com/pat.
And today's quote of the day comes from Winston Churchill. And that is, “If you're going through hell, keep going.” Seriously: Keep going. Cheers, thanks so much, and I'll see you the next episode of AskPat.
Try ZipRecruiter for free and post your job to over 200 job sites with a single submission.