I have always leaned toward the teaching side of things, wanting to help people. I have noticed that no matter how much we may enjoy teaching and helping people, it isn’t like one can snap their fingers and the resources are available to make that knowledge available to students.
So, even with the curriculum developed in our heads, on paper, in the blog, there still needs to be a system in which that information can be available to students.
Sure, you can do it with WordPress. Many have done it. I have done it. But, usually, there is an application (more advanced system than one plugin) or a WordPress plugin involved in that interaction. Hey, even though I am a programmer, I still used WordPress plugins when I did it. Notice that I am here writing about other options, so that sort of tells you something (no offense, WordPress).
You are a teacher at heart. But, it would be nice to pay the bills, right? Now, you need to find that eLearning system that is perfect for you to share your curriculum with your students.
I found this website that is really helpful in choosing that perfect system or platform. It is called eLearning Industry and has an entire collection of systems available for you to peruse. You can also access reviews, and of course, the links to the recommended websites offer the learning systems/platforms.
These days, it is really popular to find systems that offer the ability to have webinars and teleconferencing options. I have found that, in my own experience, that students love that option. It is the closest thing to finding a teacher right there for them, in the same room.
So even if you are not planning on using webinars or conferencing for every one of your classes, it is probably advantages to find a teaching platform that allows you to use it when you want to use it.
An easy way to find that list is by visiting eLearning Industry and checking out their list on Learning Management Systems that Support Live Videoconferencing and Webinars. That way, you can have a list in front of you and work down that list to find a system that you want to check out for yourself. You can request quotes or visit the site directly.
Quick note on navigation on the eLearning industry website
This is going to sound like I went off topic, but it will come back full circle… And, if it doesn’t apply to you, you can skip this section J
Do you use an ad blocker plugin on your browser? Ok, you don’t have to answer that, especially to me.
It must be something that people are doing frequently. Many sites have implemented ad blocker checkers and ask you to disable your ad blocker in order to read their content. Ok, I get it. It is a bit of quid pro quo. You allow their ads (so they can make money) and in return, you have access to the content on their site. That seems fair.
The only thing is, I have my ad blocker on all the time and honestly, I don’t think of disabling it unless a site asks me to disable it. I only have it because there are sites that are so extreme on ads that you can’t even get to their content. Believe me, I don’t return to those sites. In the meantime, the ad blocker helps me to simply identify those sites and never return.
Well, I have to say something nice about eLearning Industry. Not only are they one of those sites that over-advertises, but they are nice enough NOT to ask me to disable my ad blocker. The only problem is, the links to their eLearning platforms didn’t work without disabling the ad blocker.
So, make a note that if you are visiting eLearning Industry, to view that list of potential platforms, be sure to turn off any ad blockers so that the links will work for you. And, eLearning Industry is very easy on the visitor. There is really no need to have an ad blocker when visiting their site.
And, by the way, someone who has mastered this and come up with an excellent course (or two) is Ms. Ileane Smith with her YouTube Course (yes, I am an affiliate, but I swear by the course!). She not only provides helpful information in her course but sets an example that could be mimicked in becoming an instructor oneself.
How to make money as an instructor / teacher
While it is understandable that you have a teacher’s heart and you want your students to succeed, in order to do that and devote yourself to your students, you still have to pay bills, right? So, it is logical that you need to make money and why not do so while teaching, as long as you are not taking advantage of your students?
Also, it helps you to pay for your new curriculum system, right? So, here are some options for making money. I’m sure you can come up with others, as well, eh?
- Offer curriculum for free – Some instructors offer their curriculum for free. This is an option. Of course, the word “free” does not inspire a thought of profit, does it? But, it can gain you credibility, traffic, leads (upgrading them to a paid course), and more. So, if you are starting out and you have enough money to cover your costs initially, this may be a good option for you to get your name out there. Just be sure to follow it up with some radio interviews, promotions, and the like. Brag about your skills and you as the instructor!
- Offer your course at full price – This is probably the obvious choice for making money, to charge admission to the course. However, if you are brand new, people may not feel confident that they will get the return on investment (ROI) from the course. So, you may need to consider option 3 or one of the other options, instead. Also, a combination of methods works well.
- Offer your course at an introductory rate – This is a great way to help future students to not feel like they are losing money, but still give your course a shot. Keep the fee lower so that if they are unhappy, they will not feel like they lost a lot of money. Then, as you gain credibility, offer more courses and offer them at full cost. That should help to make up for the reduced rate.
- Offer a trial run with your course, like a reduced rate for two weeks of access to your course. The challenge with this option is that many times students simply forget they have signed up for a course and you are the one left with no upgrade, profit-wise.
- Offer upgrades to the course – Use option 3, above, and then offer upgrades like private tutoring or advanced topics or other courses or special resources. That method may work really well because the courses almost sell themselves, but you have upgrades that you can sell during the teaching, across your site, and in one-on-one emails when the students contact you.
There you have it. You are a teacher and developing the curriculum is not a problem. But you need a learning system/platform and a way to make money. Now you are in business. Go make it happen! (Don’t forget to come and share your success stories with us.)