Rethinking The Holiday Rush

Udemy Logo

The holidays is always the busiest time of year. Everyone is out and about doing last minute errands and trying to get that last project out the door before going away for the year.

My rush has been a bit different this year. While it still has that normal rush at work trying to get projects out the door, I have a new rush for December. This one is specific to this year and it’s caused me to write one last post before Christmas that I wasn’t planning on writing. I wanted to make the rush just a bit more rushed.

My rush has been my Udemy course I’ve been working on since Thanksgiving. When you sign up for Udemy as an instructor, they give you an offer to publicize your course on their social media accounts if you publish within 30 days.

Looking back at when I signed up and given the pursuit of such a large topic, I did it all wrong. I signed up so the last rush to get my course reviewed and completed is right during the holiday rush. This is how my holiday rush has been flipped upside down. It’s not the normal stuff, I’m not trying to run last minute errands or doing last minute shopping. Instead I’ve been shut into a dark room recording and editing video.
This sounds worse than it is though. It may be overwhelming and exhausting, but it’s a labor of love.

New Tech

I also got a do some playing around with new tech. Not the coolest tech (for me anyway) but nonetheless tech.

My plan was to use the microphone on my iPhone ear-buds. I knew this would present some problems including not the highest quality recording (although it was not too bad).

I ended up splurging and purchasing a Blue Snowball mic which now made me see how much better my recording could sound.

I even rigged up a box with a blanket inside where I put the mic and covered it to reduce echo. It was quite the contraption but worked well considering the alternative of tinny audio.

I also got to go through from beginning to end setting up a new hosting service. I used GoDaddy for this one, which was a good experience, just a bit too many promotions. I will always remain a fan of SiteGround website hosting, though.

I ended up purchasing a year of my website and a new domain for it which is I also have plans to buy a month of PowToons to create some short video promotions and a few of the “lectures” that don’t have visuals.

Udemy Marketplace

I’ve only taken one course on Udemy before becoming an instructor. Taking a course was a pleasant experience. After hearing about the course creation process and reading Ryan Tracey’s experience, I knew I wanted to try it out.

It took me a while to get an idea and I hadn’t even thought about it again shortly after reading Ryan’s post in August 2013.

The day before (or morning of) Thanksgiving I got the idea of helping people create a personal brand website. I want to help people create a website like mine which can be used in conjunction with social media to promote their personal brand.

I’ve been happy with the Udemy tools to create the course. Although Udemy definitely tries to push videos over any other means of instructing. They push it so much that they require that 60% of the material is in video form and at least 30 minutes.

Experience and Exploration

I’m having a great time exploring the Udemy instructor tools. Beyond that, I’m also enjoying exploring all the other technology I’m getting to use.

I’ve had Camtasia for Mac for quite a while but haven’t put it to good use. I’m happy to learn more of the intricacies of it and also use the new iOS recording tools built into it.

It’s also given me the opportunity to play with other new tools like GoDaddy hosting. I had only experienced it with a secure certificate a few years ago.

Another thing I’m looking forward to playing with and getting to know a little bit is PowToons. It looks like a great tool for me to creating some short promotional videos and more intriguing lesson videos.

Beyond that, it’s a great experience being able to collaborate on Twitter with people about the project. Everything I’m creating belongs to me, nothing proprietary so I can share anything I want. I’ll definitely be using it on my portfolio and as experience on my LinkedIn profile. In just a short month I’ve come a long way and done a lot just in my spare time. Here are the steps I went through in creating my course:

  1. Sign up for Udemy as an instructor and introduce myself to the tools.
  2. Form my course idea better, making it unique, and determine who my target audience is.
  3. Create the title of my course that describes it’s purpose.
  4. Write objectives and determine promotional materials I’ll need to create.
  5. Put together the course outline and collaborate in a Google Doc with my Twitter PLN to fine tune it.
  6. Begin scripting each of the videos, I started with about 34 unique topics.
  7. As I scripted I modified the outline more combining and removing topics, I ended up with 24.
  8. Edit the scripts and prepare for recording.
  9. Record each script while going through the setup process.
  10. Edit videos, review them, and publish them to Udemy as I go. This is the step I’m still currently on.
  11. Create videos which don’t have visuals in PowToons.
  12. Once all videos are publish I’ll submit it for review by the Udemy team.
  13. While review is occurring I’ll create promotional materials.
  14. Once the course is approved and published it’s time to begin promoting it and make sure the entire experience is smooth.

View The Outline

It’s been quite a project so far but a lot of fun and I expect the fun won’t end even after I publish my course.

There’s plenty more about the experience to write about so I may revisit after I’m done. I was able to share some of the scripts on Twitter for people to view and I’ve been making my process as clear and transparent as possible.

Being able to be open and transparent about this project has been great. It feels like I don’t have anything to hide and that I can gather feedback from anybody.

Toward’s Completion

I’m coming down to the last week of this project. I still don’t know if I’ll reach the deadline of December 29th but am going to keep going until I reach the day.