Publishing A Course Using Skillshare
How I Published My First Online Course Using Skillshare
I’d been thinking about developing online courses for a while. I even went so far as to draft a couple of courses. I just never finished them. I couldn’t decide what I wanted the topics to be. At first, I thought that courses on legal topics would be good since I’m an attorney. I started a course on contracts, and I already had tons of legal material from workshops that I’d already taught. But none of them really inspired me, which is probably part of the reason I never finished them. As the end of another year approached, I decided to go all in. Of course, I needed to decide what types of courses I would offer, which was a bit challenging. But what was more challenging was trying to determine which online platform was the best for me.
Initially, I looked mostly at Thinkific, Udemy, and Teachable. They were at the top of the list. When I returned to consider which platform I was actually going to use, I started my search from the beginning. The list was much longer than I anticipated.
Some of the platforms, I’d never heard of. Others were not a good fit. Immediately I crossed the following off the list: LearnWorlds and Blue. Then I reviewed the rest of the platforms, one at a time. I looked at cost, how much work was required for the course, and whether I needed to provide the marketing for the course. Those were the criteria that were most important for me.
Additionally, I wanted a course that I could get done in a timely manner. I wasn’t going to have a lot of time, and in the end, I think I underestimated how much time it would actually take. I used Canva to design the presentation slides. I love the templates that they have available. Then I transferred the almost-completed slides to PowerPoint. Like I said, it took more time than I anticipated. After I transferred the slides to PowerPoint, I added the video and recorded the audio.
I was most interested in a platform that provided value, but didn’t cost me anything upfront. I also didn’t mind a transaction fee version, aka revenue-sharing. However, I was not interested in a platform that required me to pay. Skillshare had a no upfront-cost version. Thinkific used to provide three free courses. However, I don’t think that’s offered any longer. So Skillshare was at the top of the list.
For me, I wanted a micro-course solution. Most people don’t have a lot of time, and I’m one of those people. So, I wanted a course that could give people value regarding a very niche subject. Skillshare’s minimum requirement was at least 10 minutes for the course. Udemy required 30 minutes and at least 5 lectures. My first course was definitely longer than 10 minutes. It included seven lectures, and each lecture had video included. My concern was that I didn’t want to be committed to 30 minutes. I could do it if I wanted to, but I didn’t have to. So again, I leaned toward using Skillshare.
Given that I’m still building my digital following, I needed a platform that already had an audience. Both Udemy and Skillshare provided that model. Although I would be marketing on my current social media platforms, I really wanted to be able to tap into an already-existing community. Some of the other platforms that I was interested in would be great if I had a large email list and a large following on my professional Facebook page. However, my email list is a little under 1,000 subscribers, and so is my professional Facebook page. My Instagram and YouTube following is still at the just-started stage.
Ultimately, based on my criteria, I chose Skillshare. I was not really familiar with it before. But I found that it met most of my needs. I probably only spent about 30 minutes doing the research, and now that I’ve just about wrapped up my first course, I definitely think Skillshare was a good place to start. Of course, with the first course, it takes a while to set up a good production process. For instance, it would be much easier for me to simply use the templates in PowerPoint. That would cut out quite a few steps. However, I find that Canva has the style of templates that I’m looking for. So that’s just going to be additional time and energy that I’m going to have to get used to. The initial slide set up took about four hours. The only things that remained was 1) adding in the video and 2) adding in the voice over. I’m anticipating that between two and three hours for that.
Overall, I’m hoping to add a couple more course before the end of the year. Skillshare only allows you to publish one course each week. I initially thought that this would be a problem, because I was eager to get started. I actually thought that I would have time to do more than one course a week. But after having started on my first course, I realize that I probably won’t be able to do more than one course per week. Therefore, even though there are approximately six weeks left in the year, I probably will not get more than three or four courses published.
Feel free to share your comments, if you’ve already published an online course or if you are considering publishing an online course. I’d love to hear what has or hasn’t worked for you.