When you’re able to get your non-fiction book or area of knowledge put into an online course you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to organizing that course for online consumption. And when you do, it’s important that you find a platform that serves you as a partner, not just in a business relationship. Today’s episode of The Self Publishing Formula podcast is a conversation James had with Ankur Nagpal, founder of the online course platform Teachable. The two of them chat about the way Teachable came to be, what makes the platform unique from other online course platforms and how their view of partnership with their instructors makes all the difference. You’ll love the insights you’ll hear in this week’s episode.
The Teachable online learning platform came about almost by accident.
Ankur had created his own online courses and was hosting them on Udemy but was having some issues with the way that platform worked. First off, he didn’t like that he had no access at all to the students who took his course. In that way he wasn’t really building an asset he could use into the future, only dealing with one-off interactions. In his desire to find a new platform that would work in a more cooperative way with instructors he wound up creating his own app. That was the beginnings of Teachable and the start of a successful online learning platform.
The first step to a successful online course: Find the audience.
No matter the idea you have for an online course in terms of subject matter, it’s not a good idea to spend a lot of time creating it only to discover that nobody wants to buy it. Instead you need to find out if there is a real audience that wants to learn the subject you want to teach. Given the reach of the internet that’s no longer a difficult thing to do. In this episode you’re going to hear some great advice about ways you can verify the need for a course before you begin creating it.
Why online courses are not yet in need of professional production.
In the overall lifespan of the internet Ankur believes that online courses are still relatively new. The public is yet to develop expectations of online courses that are on par with television or movie studio productions. That’s a great thing for content creators who are low budget, small business owners because all kinds of simple approaches to instruction can still make the grade: screen capture software – slide decks with voice over – standing at a whiteboard drawing doodles – all of these and more are not only acceptable but very popular ways for instructors to create and disseminate the information they have to share. In this episode you’ll get some ideas about how you could use your computer and smartphone to create your first online course.
Creating a course on Teachable is not the last step – the Teachable team continues to help you.
Ankur and the team at Teachable are committed to building the best technology in existence to fuel online learning. As a result, they’ve committed that they will not get into the business of selling information themselves. Instead they want to provide the training, ongoing tips, and useful instruction for free to those who use their platform. They see it as a primary and powerful way they are able to be true partners with those who use their platform – which only serves to make everyone involved more successful. You can get a free trial of the Teachable platform by listening to this episode, so make sure you take the time to listen and get in on this great deal.
Outline of this great episode
- [0:24] James’ introduction to this episode and the track record of the show thus far.
- [3:18] The reason for today’s episode emphasis on nonfiction writing.
- [4:00] Introduction of today’s guest, Ankur Nagpal.
- [6:30] When Ankur got into online courses and how it happened.
- [8:30] Ankur’s experience in software engineering and how he hired developers.
- [11:43] The Self Publishing Formula’s team experience with Teachable.com & what Ankur sees working in the realm of online courses.
- [14:25] How Teachable helps authors build an audience without worrying about the tech.
- [18:10] The most common type of teaching videos and other options you can use.
- [22:30] What limitations might exist when it comes to online learning?
- [26:00] A free offer from Teachable and how the platform has come to be.
- [28:07] How Teachable compares to Udemy.
- [29:00] How anyone should start building an audience.
- [31:35] How the Teachable team helps its instructors with ongoing training.
- [34:31] The growth of online courses in the future and the Teachable path ahead.
- [36:48] Free resources for SPF listeners from Teachable.com.
- [40:14] The end of the nonfiction mini-series and Mark’s experience with nonfiction.
- 42:50] Preview of next week’s episode on the topic of publicity.
Resources & Links mentioned in this episode
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