The most successful instructors spend time planning their course before they record it. Our instructors will tell you how they do it below!
I wanted to share what my workflow is to create my courses on Udemy as efficiently as possible.
I always keep a notepad of course ideas, some of these I think are better ideas than others. I get ideas from student feedback and questions and from ideas I just have perhaps from things that came to my mind while creating other courses etc. When I think this with a few courses I will write them on separate pages and bulletpoint what I think are the main points the course would need to cover.
From this, often one or two ideas stand out as already being formed in my mind. At this stage I will start marketing and sharing that I am putting together a new course and start sharing about what the course will be about and ask what people would like to see in the course etc...
With the idea I plan on turning into a course, I will create a PowerPoint of the whole course. Usually each slide will be a lecture, but there are times when this isn't the case, for example, in a parenting course I could have a slide of ways of managing challenging behaviour of children/teens, and each bulletpoint will be a lecture, so I may have a lecture on consistancy, a lecture on consequences, etc.
The PowerPoint isn't being done specifically to be used on screen in the course, but to let me know what I will be covering throughout the course. When I look through the PowerPoint I can then see whether it looks like everything I want to cover is covered.
I then record all of the lectures back to back. I do this because I want consistancy, I want to look the same in each lecture and know that the sound and light etc is all the same in each video. I use the same environment and set up for all my videos, but there can always be subtle variations, like perhaps between videos I've filmed something else and shifted the white balance or some other camera setting, or for some reason an automatic setting is slightly different, or maybe between videos I've been out in the sun and now have a tan, etc., or maybe I was more or less shaved, or had longer or shorter hair.
So, once I get to the filming stage I make sure to do it all back to back. I plan each slide as being about 5-10 minutes in length, and then assume it will take 20 minutes per slide to record so that I account for mistakes etc. Normally it doesn't take much longer than the length the lecture is supposed to be. I also factor in 15-30 minutes for every hour of recording of needing to take a break.
I don't edit anything or do any other tasks while recording, I get all the recording done and then drop all the video onto my computer to edit and process the videos. I do this back to back. I don't have software that can bulk process videos, but I read here in the Udemy Community a couple of months ago about software which can do that. This would make a big difference to my time and workflow, so is something I will look into.
While videos are processing and I can't do any editing at that time, I go to Canva to design a thumbnail for the course and start creating the Udemy part of the course, working on the course description etc, in all the times when videos are processing. I also continue to share on Facebook etc that I am working on the course and that it will be coming soon.
While videos are processing I work on other things like workbooks etc and adding any quizzes or anything else not related directly to the video lectures to Udemy.
I don't upload the videos to Udemy until all the videos have been processed. I name each video with a number at the beginning of the title so that I know where it fits in the course and when I do upload it, I use the bulk uploading to add all the videos at once to Udemy and then can easily find each one by listing them in title order.
I then create all the lectures on Udemy one at a time adding in the relevant video for each video.
Once I have submitted the course for review I start working on a blog post to promote the course and on Facebook posts and Tweets etc, and a Udemy promotional announcement that I can send out once the course has been reviewed.
After the course is live I share it on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and my blog and send out a promotional announcement. About two weeks later I send out another promotional announcement and over the first few weeks I post often with related posts that can link to my new course, I also share with people who might be good to help promote the course further.
Creating the Udemy course isn't the end of the story. I follow this up by taking the PowerPoint, placing it into Word and turning each slide heading into a chapter heading for a book and each bulletpoint becomes something that will be covered within that chapter and over the few months after creating the course I write a book on that topic which can be made available as an eboook and/or a paperback book, I then do PR to promote the book in local and national press and promote that I have an eCourse on the topic available etc and do speaking engagements and run short courses off the back of the book where I then also mention that I have an online course available.
So this is my workflow of how I approach creating my Udemy courses in a way I find most efficient. I would be curious to hear others workflows and whether you have any great tips which can help streamline workload or to easily create additional income with the content you have created for Udemy?
Thank you for sharing, lots of great info!
Here's my workflow, some of it similar to you, some different:
- Research: I look up all the resources I will be using and asking the students to download (mostly free PDFs from the FAA).
- Course design: this includes organizing all the info into chapters. I don't cut into lectures until much later in the process. I then create the slides and animations that I use as guidance during the course. This is the most time-consuming part of the course. I usually don't record until that's all ready.
- Recording: I usually record no more than 2-3 hours a day in a row. There's a bit of setup (using a checklist) to make sure I don't forget anything. I record from 4 sources: audio, 2 cameras, and slides on the screen. They all record their own audio as well for synching purposes later. Once the recording is done, I upload everything to my computer and create proxies with FCPX. I use this time to get my next recording session setup by creating the slides that go on the teleprompter. It's all automated with a workflow. I've eliminated the need for any batteries by purchasing external power for both my cameras and for my recording device. This saves a bit of time in the process.
- Editing: I record in the morning and edit in the afternoon. I'm fresher in the morning so I make fewer mistakes while recording. Once my proxies are set, I set up all my angles in FCPX to use MultiCam functionality. This is mostly automated and I follow a checklist to make sure I did everything correctly. Then I watch the entire course at 2x speed while making my camera angle cuts. This is where I decide what becomes a lecture. I base it on topic and on how long the video is. I try to keep my videos to less than 6 min, which happens to almost always be one topic. The reason I keep them short is because my courses have LOTS of information that need to be understood and memorized. This allows students to go back to only one topic later on. Many have commented on how much they like this (never had a complaint that videos were too short). Between setting up angles and editing, I can edit 2-3 hours in about 3-4 hours.
- Exporting: It's getting to be late in the day by now, so I export all my videos to a Dropbox folder. I can then stop for the day. The computer will export everything directly to Dropbox, which is then uploaded during the night. The following day, while my proxies are getting created, I usually import those videos in Udemy and create the course structure.
- Rinse and repeat: I do this for as many days as necessary to get all the chapters recorded. Sometimes I can do several chapters in a day if they are shorter. By the end of the process, I don't have to wait for any import or wait to set up lectures in Udemy.
- Submit course to Udemy: I always seem to finish courses on Fridays. Sometimes, even if the course is not fully done on Friday, I still submit it because I know Udemy won't review it until Monday. It gives me time over the weekend to finish it. I create the course image somewhere in the process when I feel creative, it's never at the same time for each course.
- Marketing: announcements, facebook posts, emails, etc...
I hope this helps someone!
Great post @Hypnodan
I've always been curious about others workflows so hopefully there will be some good responses and we can learn from each other. Here's how mine works.....
Like you I have a list of courses that I add to as new ideas come along (I think it's about 27 courses long at the moment). I select the course I'm going to do based on a few things - Udemy Insights, Feedback from students and my FB Group, time I have to get it complete which decides if I'm going to do a longer or shorter course.
Then the real flow begins.....
1 - Mindmap the course - I use pad and pen to do this as it works better for me than an IT based Mindmap solution.
2 - Write out the course sections and get them into the right order.
3 - Add the lecture listings to the relevant sections and add this info into the new course on Udemy.
4 - Create all the workbooks.
5 - Record the videos as per the lecture listing.
6 - I edit all my videos on my IPad and then transfer them across to the laptop to be uploaded, this means I can continue to edit videos while others are uploading. I upload everything to Google Drive and then transfer across to Udemy using the Bulk Uploader.
7 - While the videos are processing in Udemy I write the Landing Page and add the course image and promo video.
8 - Once all videos have processed I add them to the relevant lecture and add all additional resources.
9 - Then it's hit the Submit button and start the marketing process when it is released.
Then..... I'm on to the next one!
I have 3 rules that shape my entire work:
- Do any recording the latest I can in the process. I can always change scripts and artefacts easily, but editing a video to fix errors takes a lot of time.
- Outline the fundamentals and be "agile" on the advanced topics. Every subject has some fundamentals which tend to have a lot of dependencies and I need to set the order of those topics right, since the beginning. Then, advanced topics usually depend on fundamentals but rarely on other advanced topics. So, the order on advanced topics is less important and I can decide it as I go along. Think about chemistry as an example: the atoms, electrons and protons are some sorts of fundamentals and you depend on that for almost any other advanced topics.
- Use separation and build videos using "lego-blocks" so that you can easily replace blocks. I try to keep things separate in my videos: I have a file for audio, one for video, a script etc. And every video is recorded with separate "audio takes" and so on. If I want to change a single word that I misspelt I can easily do that, without recording again the entire video.
I use the following flow/process to kick-start & run any new course:
8.Continued Course Updation
Research: I do the homework first by looking at articles, blogs and insights from a variety of sources. I then approach SME's who presently are working on the topic and seek their inputs and insights.
My Insights: I then note down my own experiences, scenarios, real-life impressions etc
Folders: I create one folder where I save all of the materials, PDF documents, YouTube links, word docs etc
PowerPoint: Once i have good material, i then start off with the first few slides. I tend to complete the design of each slide completely with images, graphics etc, and parallelly prepare my script for each of the slides.
Video: Once i have few slides ready along with script I tend to start recording, i record post lunch for couple of hours. I also prepare the Udemy course landing page, target students writeup, course messages etc. As and when the videos are done i upload them on curriculum, hence in the evening i have few sections up on Udemy
Marketing: I plan in such a way that once i have 5 sections up and course approval, i start sharing the discount/free coupons within my network for initial feedback. I use FaceBook groups extensively and also upload the promo videos on YouTube, Reddit & LinkedIn.
Collaboration: On my LinkedIn i recommend top udemy instructors to my network & friends, this also helps in collaboration & networking with the best of Udemy instructors.
Continued Course Updation: I look at feedback: good/bad/ugly with an open mind and decide to change/amend course topics. Most of the times the feedback is genuine and sometimes too direct, but i use my discretion in terms of which one's to take seriously and which one's to ignore.
Market Insights: Since my area is Human Capital Management which keeps the HR folks on their toes with lot of updates/new theories etc - I keep an eye on international magazines, websites, leader talks and recommend resources to my participants to keep them abreast of latest research/happenings.