So let’s say, over the years, you’ve developed some ninja skills turning Photoshop files into a website design. You’ve used and honed this skill over and over, working as a consultant for clients, and making decent money in the process. Can teach this skill to others? What if you can make some money at this while you sleep, while you work on other projects, while you’re on vacation – truly passive income? So, of course, you can. You can make a video course and put it for sale online.
Video courses have been around since the invention of the VCR (I think). Late night infomercials used to sell tapes on how to do real estate investing. Now in the Internet age, anyone can create a video from home, using any HD camera they have handy, and sell that online as training.
As of September 2014, there are 18,000 courses available (for free and for sale) on Udemy.com. I’ve reviewed the platform from the student’s perspective here, and given plenty of examples of courses I like on that platform. Anyone can sign up to be an instructor, as long as your course meets the quality standards, it can be sold on their platform. There are tons of resources to help you create your course, including an active Facebook Group, Udemy’s own video course on how to create a course, instructor support resources, and various tools to help you find your topic, write the outline, and get you into the groove of course creation.
By the same vein, since anyone can join, the competition there is fierce, and many courses are given away for free just for the exposure. Even courses you see for sale can be had for free with coupons from the course creator.
Skillshare is an interesting platform as previously reviewed here. They have succeeded at recruiting some high profile instructors like Gary Vaynerchuck and |Seth Godin. Skillshare requires instructors to apply to join their platform, so they are a little more selective in who they let onto their site.
3. Creative Live
Creative Live has taken another unique approach to online learning. They usually structure their training as live in-person events that are live-streamed to the Internet for free. This means that most training is during business hours, and often spans multiple days in a row. If you are not able to watch the training as it’s being streamed, or if you do watch it and want to keep a copy of to go over later, they will then charge you for access. Creative Live is more like a seminar that you get to watch from the comfort of your office chair. If you miss it, you have to pay to get access.
Creative Live also gets some high profile speakers, like Tim Ferriss, Ramit Sethi and Michael Port. Of course, you need to contact them if you want to be featured as an instructor, which means they will pre-qualify you. The fact that these are taught live in a studio also precludes the traditional “from home” and “prerecorded” aspects of teaching. You’ll need to be a pretty engaging speaker to work well in front of a studio audience and live to thousands online.
4. Digital Tutors
Another company that has a mixture of their own employees conducting the training, as well as “guest instructors”. You can contact them with a proposal to have your idea considered for a course.
5. Your Own Site
It’s great to have a marketplace to sell your courses, but for maximum control (and 100% of the profits), you can choose to create your own membership site to sell your course from. No need to apply. Your challenge with this becomes marketing your offering, but you can always pay for ads on Google Adsense, Twitter, and Facebook to attract people, just like any e-commerce marketing effort.