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?
See the full discussion here.