My Story to $30K Revenue: How I launch 4-Hour courses in a Week

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My Story to $30K Revenue: How I launch 4-Hour courses in a Week

BEFORE YOU READ: DO NOT COPY OTHER COURSES.

 

- Rather, look at competitor / similar courses as inspiration and always think of a differentiator you want to build in your course. Copying and Pasting will not get you anywhere on Udemy. As Michael mentioned, genuinely building trust is the ONLY way.

- MY GOAL with this post is to show you how you can automate some of the "mechanical" work with AI, further exploring tools i used to go from 4 weeks to a week.

- I have no Intention to Disparage any instructor or their methods - please take any "learning" from this if you possibly can (as instructors)

- You cannot succeed until you really know what you're teaching (i've spent years in AI and Product Management) to being able to create courses faster. There is no short cut, but if this post can help you - i'd be glad.

 

I started creating courses in January, 2023. I had no experience prior to this creating online courses. Over the last 9 months, this has been a stable $2k / month for me and I want talk about my story and how I did it. Firstly, Revenue screenshot: — October revenue is still unaccounted for — but it’s going to be 3k based on enrolments and previous trends.

 

goyashy_0-1698824469215.png

 

My courses & Time taken

 

My first course — It was a disaster. Recorded with a laptop microphone, the 2 hour course was on a trending AI Topic, died in 2 months. Took me 3 weeks to build it.

 

My second course — Master Generative AI (Extension of previous course but taught everything in AI), took me 4 weeks to build, makes me the most amount of money, and has a lot of students

 

My Third course — Prompt Engineering — took me 2 weeks to build, a lot of students, but dying after 3 months

 

My Fourth course — AI & SEO (recently launched) — picking up slowly, took me 2 weeks to build

 

My Fifth and 6th courses are on AI Product Management & Digital Marketing and were built a week, primarily because i leveraged and learned a lot from my previous courses

 

 

My Profile on Udemy

 

Notice how i went from 3 weeks to 4 days for launching courses.

Firstly, i’m a hard believer of launching MVP and iterating over time. I don’t spend all my energy building perfect courses, I build a bare bone MVP and keep adding content.

How do you get to 1 course a week, provided you decide to do this full time?

 

A course has 6 stages of creation:

- Ideation — what you want to build, mostly go with your passion and the knowledge you have curve is shorter — 10%

 

- Research — What kind of courses exist, which ones are top rated and why — 20%

 

- Creation — Recording content and creating videos / assignments / notes / cover images / texts — 35%

 

- Editing Content — 30%

 

- Initial launch — 5%

(% indicates how long each step took me initially)

Break-down of each of these steps:

- Ideation — you figure out what kind of course you want to build, this one is relatively easy but super important. You need to choose a niche that is less competitive (AI SEO is one such niche) but has decent audience for making money. It could be a electric guitar, setting up a grocery shop, so on. As long as it’s not competitive, do it

 

- Research — Once you figure what you want to build, start looking at a couple of places for inspiration and understand whether the market exists for this type of content. This could be just looking at the course marketplace to see other courses exist, Reddit posts, blogs, Groups and so on, as long as there are people looking for it, you bet you can make money

 

- Creation — this is what takes a lot of my time. I’m going to show you how i significantly reduced my time in here.

  • Curriculum — research other courses / starting from scratch is not ideal because other courses already have invested time to refine the curriculum so makes sense to use that as a starting point
  • How to automate: Use the best rated course and use ChatGPT to generate a similar course structure, add notes on additional lectures example — i teach about “BLUE” electric guitars, it takes almost no time to get to starting point
  • Script + Slides creation — Once you have curriculum, putting together script can be a nightmare, but this is essential. instead of building an entire script, put down bullet notes.
  • Use ChatGPT to take each chapter and then create bullet notes to talk about — copy these notes in a doc to refer later
  • Leverage these bullets to create slides on Canva — takes 1 min per slide — so 40 minutes overall for a 40 Page PPT
  • Cover Image / Description — All of this optimized content can created using ChatGPT — invest very little time here, but ensure you have keywords optimised in the course
  • Course recording — This it the major heavy-lifting but you will have to do this. I use OBS to record content, it’s free and open source and gets the job done, initial learning curve is 15 minutes

 

THIS is by far my most time taking part, initially, it was the editing but i automated it, let me show you how.

 

- Editing — I’m proud to have automated this bit. But let me talk about the initial struggle first:

  • Basic Edits: Initially I used Primere Pro to edit my videos. This step took a lot of time, even more than creating that video, because in order to make course video optimised, I would trim silent parts, which would be a night mare.

 

  • Now I’m leveraging AI tools like Snapy to auto edit using their video silence remover feature. It’s a boon.

 

  • It may come as a surprise but I spend no time editing my video. It’s all ready within a few minutes. The only effort is uploading it.

 

- Initial Launch — Takes me literally an 30 mins to launch my course. I publish it on Marketplaces like Udemy, they take care of all the marketing, while I keep creating courses. Most of the revenue is market place based, you get 100% of the revenue coming from your own marketing links. They take a cut for their marketing based revenue.

 

I don’t know who will benefit from this. But I hope I can help someone who is looking to productise their knowledge. All the best!

 

35 Replies

Yep agreed - i clarified, this above. It's not good to use AS IS. But it can help you get to a starting point. Regardless, your course will sound terrible if you don't know what you're teaching, you need to know the in and out of your subject to make substantial impact. The idea is not to encourage people to copy paste courses, rather to automate some bits of manual work that's done while creating the course. 

40 slides?? My courses typically require over 700 slides. Some are closer to 1500 slides.  

Congrats on reaching this income with your courses!

 

I really like your explanation of the % of time it takes for each step (showing that researching the topic/competition/etc is a very important step, you should not just jump into recording).

 

Now I will agree with the others, that in the mid-long term I don't see so much value from this way of creating courses. Also, I'm sure this won't work for a lot of niches, here you are kind of using the AI-trend which is exploding right now, so if I were you I wouldn't underestimate the "luck" factor.

 

To me this is a quick win, that will last a bit, but I don't think you can create a sustainable income from this. And the trust that Michael is talking about - 100% agree with this. I also don't give any free coupon or do any ad. When I launch a course I know I have an audience that buys because they just like the way I teach.

 

Taking the time (which means - weeks), to teach something you are an expert in (which means - years of practice/work) is for me the only real way to build a solid following and income base over the long term.

 

But, well, in the end, you're earning money (which a lot of instructors don't) - so good for you, while it lasts 🙂

 

Thanks for the feedback. I agree with a lot of your points. And acknowledge the fact that you "will" have to build the community + invest time to get to a point where you build meaningful courses. My entire goal with this post was to help people improve the way they currently create courses (if in anyway I can) - clearly not to disparage instructors on their methods of creating courses. Again, thanks for writing back - means a lot! 

People take years to specialize in just 1 subject. How can anyone keep creating new courses?

Thanks for sharing great insights of quick course creation!

Congrats! Looks like you're killing it!

Excelentes recomendaciones. Creo que el mercado en Inglés es más volumen de estudiantes que en español. En lo particular se me ha hecho bastante difícil escalar mis cursos. Gracias por tus recomendaciones sobretodo en el ámbito de automatizar en estos tiempos y hacer los cursos más fluidos y sin complicaciones, haciendo uso de la IA, es de gran ayuda no solo para nosotros los instructores sino para el estudiante, más la experiencia como humanos que podemos agregar. Felicidades y que sigas cosechando muchos éxitos. 

Congrats on developing such an efficient method, Yash. Thank you for sharing. Best wishes to you.

Goyashy

I share some of the concerns expressed by other instructors about the use of AI but I think I understand how you are using it.

My main concern is with your overall business model.  From your description, you are relying on one earlier course for most of your income with most of the others having "died" within three months.  Does this mean you are going to be on this treadmill of creating a new course every few days just to sustain your revenues?  Is there not some benefit in taking more time to craft and create a course that will have a more long-lasting benefits to learners?

While I do not expect to be creating courses at your rate, I do intend to publish more material in 2024 so your experience is helpful - but I won't be using AI to generate material!

Thank you for sharing this.

AI is like a necessary evil now. And it seems to be taking over in every aspect of our lifes. Just hope it does not lead us into our own self-made doom.😊

 

Although, If I want to be sincere here, I can not but to say this:

 

I have been trying to do so many things, especially the ones I see people display on there piece of work, manually (from scratch by myself), but now I know better -- with AI, I can do many things easily and with fun even in no time, if one has good base/background in his or her career/discipline , I don't think you have anything to be afraid of, at least for now. AI is polishing things up, it would be wise to flow with the tide and leverage to as much as you can.

 

Yes, no doubt, it is going to take away jobs from many, but at the same time, it is still creating jobs for many too. It would be too pathetic to be on the pathetic people's side later, because AI is taking over. It is highly accepted by the public. If any instructor is not seriously digging into knowing how to enhance his or her talent with those modern tools out there, you might feel cheated later. It would be like you've been depriving yourself.

 


I will advise us to just jump-start, and take a dive into seeing what could be easily improved using the right tools, "You are as crude as your tools" they say. I can only continue to try and see how much I can automate and make things better, no need to reinvent the wheel, "If it's working, why work against it?"  says my dad in those days.

(MDN)
Oracle DBA, APEX Developer & Intructor/Freelancer.

Thank you for the detailed guide.

Nice to read your story.

Thank you very much... All your experience will help me a lot to do great courses in the days to come...My prayerful wishes to you...

Your story is great! Thank you very much for sharing it!

May I ask you a question? As you said, in the first video you used a laptop microphone.
And which one do you use now, of course, if it's not a secret? Or, maybe, you use a noise cancelling neural network? Or both of them? Can you give me an advice, please? The fact is that I've just launched my first course with echo. And I'm finding how to get rid of this in my next courses


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