So I am in the home stretch you guys. I have created all the slides, all but three of the accompanying how-to guides and have recorded two of the seven videos. I am so close to launching my first email course, Week of Code – A 7 Day Coding Bootcamp for Bloggers. I can’t believe it. I have put so much time and energy into this course and I am so excited to see what you think.
So while I haven’t officially finished, I wanted to share with you 8 things I learned from creating my first course.
1. It is more work than I initially thought.
So I came into this free email course thinking it was going to be a lot of work, but boy did I underestimate it. It was way more work than I originally thought. A ton of little tasks popped up along the way such as having to upload the documents, figuring out how I was going to share and track the documents, learning that the free trial of the screen flow software I was using wouldn’t let me remove the watermark and having to figure out another solution.
I literally planned everything (well what I thought was everything) in Asana.
Even with all my planning, unexpected tasks came up.
The good news is that now I know for the next time around.
2. It takes more time than I initially thought.
I set myself a pretty aggressive deadline. I started working on the course beginning of June and had planned to launch on July 5th. Well seeing as it is July 12th and I have yet to launch, you can see that I missed my self-imposed deadline.
I thought it would be pretty easy since I was turning my already published series into an email course. Well as I went back through what I already created I realized there were some holes and I even added an additional day of content. Since I underestimated the amount of work, it is no surprise that I underestimated the amount of time it would take.
I failed to plan for the unexpected.
On my next course, I will be sure to set a more reasonable deadline realizing that things come up that I don’t plan for.Set a reasonable deadline with time added for the unexpected. Click To Tweet
3. I don’t need to include everything that pops into my head.
I had an original plan for this email course. As I started creating it, new ideas started popping up. I included some but then I realized that it isn’t all necessary.
My course is designed to be a quick introduction to HTML and CSS for bloggers. There is no need to include everything under the sun for a free course. I am providing a tremendous amount of value already. Others have made comments that it sounds more like a paid course than a free course. So I know that I am on the right track of what I was trying to accomplish even without all the extra add-ons. Plus I do not want to overwhelm my audience.
I’ve learned more doesn’t always equal better.
4. There is no need to stress, I just have to do the work.
I spent way too much time stressing over creating this course. Mainly over my self-imposed deadline.
Stressing and over-thinking is such a time suck.
When I just did the work, the task was usually not as hard as I was making it out to be. Plus it felt really good to check off an item on the to-do list.Don't let stress and the thoughts in your head prevent you from moving forward. Click To Tweet
5. It isn’t going to be perfect … and that is okay!
I am going to be honest, recording the trainings is what is taking so long. It is what I was stressing out over the most. I finally started recording this past Saturday. And man was recording nerve-wracking for me. I was able to finish two recordings in one night. I was not happy with the third and am going to re-record.
I did learn that it is not going to be perfect though. So while I am going to re-record my third video, I am not going to spend too much time recording and re-recording because it is not going to be perfect no matter how much I try. But I have come to realize that is completely okay.
Action beats out perfection. Click To Tweet
If I wait for perfection, I will not get it done.
6. Tell other people what I am working on.
When I started telling people what I was working, it felt great to hear that others were excited or that they can’t wait to sign up for the course. It helped me validate my idea as well as provide motivation and public accountability.
I feel this is also creating excitement for the launch.
7. Don’t plan or work on any other big projects during the course creation time.
I, like many of you, blog in addition to having a full-time job. I spend 10 – 10 1/2 hours a day either at work or doing work-related activities such as commuting. So the time I do have after work and on the weekend needs to be spent wisely.
Not only was I trying to complete my free email course, but I was focusing on growing my blog. You can see the goals I have for this month, they are pretty ambitious for my second month of blogging. Now if all I was doing was trying to grow my blog, then it would be no problem. But I am trying to launch a course and exponentially grow my blog at the same time. That was a bad idea on my part.
I need to focus on one project at a time. That way it will get done faster, I won’t be as stressed out and I won’t lose focus.
Now I do not need to stop blogging during this time, but the majority of my time should be spent working on the course. Because the course is meant to help grow my blog in the long run.
8. Think of it as a learning experience.
Creating this course has been a massive learning experience. I still have a lot to learn once I launch the course as well. Look out for another post!
I am making note of what worked, what didn’t work, what I learned and what I would have done differently.
I am taking all of this and putting what I learned into creating my next course.Consider everything you do for your blog as a learning experience. Click To Tweet
Creating my first course has been such a fun experience. It has been so much work but I learned so much and enjoyed (almost) every minute of it. I cannot wait to launch my course and see what you think.
I hope you have learned some things to put toward creating your first course!
Have you made your first course yet?