This is a question many instructors or soon-to-be instructors ask themselves at some point, and the answer might not be very obvious.
As many experienced instructors would probably tell you, a course might never be complete. If you want your course to stay relevant, you will need to keep improving it over time, but I will focus mostly on the second part of the question here.
The decision of when to publish can have big consequences: If you publish too soon, when the course and/or you are not really “ready”, you might risk wasting the opportunity that having a just-published course represents.
The first 90 days of your course are very important.
If your course is well received by the market and you do your part to promote it correctly, it will start getting students and reviews, and eventually earning some badges that would make it more appealing to potential students. Also, the Udemy system will probably give your course a boost in searches and would make it more discoverable, which would, in turn, bring you more students, starting a virtuous cycle that could put your course on the path to success.
If, on the other hand, you publish a course of poor quality, with noticeable errors or missing content, it might get some students, but also some bad reviews, and that could be the beginning of the end for a new course from a new instructor, not because it is not possible to bring it back to life, but because most people will probably feel frustrated and will lose interest in devoting more time to something that appears to be a total failure.
But publishing too late is also dangerous.
If you keep repeating or re-doing things because you find very small mistakes or are never satisfied with what you have created, you might end up never actually publishing your course.
Also, if you delay it too much, someone else might get ahead of you, publishing a course that covers the same topic, in a very similar manner, thus, taking advantage of an opportunity that could have been yours.
So, in light of this, here are some ideas of the things I would make sure to have covered before hitting the publish button (in no specific order). Nothing more, and nothing less.
Is there something else you would add? Or maybe, there is something you would remove from this list?
Any additional suggestions or recommendations?
Great post @CarlosDeLeon with some fantastic pointers!
I somehow always forget to select the free preview videos and do it when I get a notification that Udemy has done it automatically..... I'll remember next time!
What a great post full of tips @CarlosDeLeon
I think when we are a new instructor and we set out on the course creation process we all set out to make the "perfect" course. I certainly did. These days I produce the best 30-40 mins of course content before releasing. Then I always have more sections to add within the first 30 days ( I don't always achieve this). When I was new I found the course creation process almost stopped me from creating a course. I'm also a great procrastinator. So my process of creating the small complete course has enabled me to get courses live. The small course though must be a complete course! My mantra is "done is better than perfect" or courses are always "a work in progress".
This is a really, really useful list! I've recently (over the last couple of days) had my first course published, and I've learned a metric tonne of things during the process of putting it out.
Luckily I'd done nearly all of those (aside from the Bonus Lecture, but I suppose that's something I should pull together for my next course, so they can cross promote each other.
Thanks for the list