How to Create a MOOC in 28 Days
Saku Panditharatne dreamed of earning passive income. Learn how she created an online course in neural networks that grossed $10,000 in its first month.
Discuss this article or ask questions of your own for Saku.
just wanted to say thanks for this great content. i'm just kicking around the idea of exploring a course and this provides a really nice roadmap for what i should be thinking about. congrats on your success!
How did you manage to differentiate from the competition? There are free ML MOOCs (on Coursera etc) from high authority teachers. Was that an objection from some potential customers?
The differentiation was that this is less theoretical, easy to understand, and uses video screencasts of code examples.
How big was your social media/medium following when you started?
How much success do you attribute to that sort of free marketing vs paid AdWords?
Hi there - I had around 10k Twitter followers and 3k Medium followers. The sales breakdown was about 50% Twitter, 30% Medium, 10% other free, 10% paid marketing
Oops was trying to edit, accidentally deleted and now can't undelete my comment.
It's good to know how much it took for the marketing effort. Thanks again for sharing your story and the relevant stats!
This comment was deleted 4 months ago.
Thanks for sharing!
How did you market your Indiegogo campaign? What channels did you use besides your Twitter followers?
I published about 20% of the course content as content marketing posts on Medium, which worked extremely well. Another thing that worked was giving the course away free to people with large social media followings. I also tried posting in Facebook and reddit groups but that was less successful.
Was it your first try at selling a course? Did you have to tweak some parts of the course after the launch based on feedback from students?
Yes, this is my first try.
One thing I changed was greater emphasis on the screencasts - that proved to be much more popular than a straight up course.
Hi Saku! Thanks for creating this content. Is there a place where I can see reviews of the MOOC?
Not yet, as not many people have completed it yet. You can check out the draft content here http://boiling-spire-94433.herokuapp.com or a sample screencast here https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=3rWiyUuPlf8
The youtube link you shared takes me to an editing page :(
Cheers! I love the Paper based approach.
I professionally recorded and edited a bunch of videos on best practices for freelance consulting. Right now I give them away for free to subscribers of CodeForCash, but I would love to collaborate with someone to turn them into a MOOC or separate online course. Let me know if you're available!
Would love to. email@example.com
Thanks for sharing and congrats, that's quite some success you have (I created a course myself, it took much longer to produce and doesn't have (yet) those returns). I'd like to ask you two questions. 1) You don't offer any free preview. Is this on purpose? 2) How did you come up with the price? Did you experiment with it?
Hey there. I probably should offer a free preview - I think it would help a lot with sales - though the Teachable class outline does the job right now. I posted the entire draft content of the course on the Indiegogo page as I was running the campaign, and published about 20% of the edited content as content marketing posts. (You can see it here: https://boiling-spire-94433.herokuapp.com/)
I experimented with the price - started at £30-£90 for Kickstarter rewards and ended up settling somewhere in the middle.
I did your course, and personally I did not find it useful. I hope you accept this as constructive criticism. Your course title suggests a very hacker friendly approach to learning this material. So I expected lots of examples and code walk throughs and practical projects. There is very little of that. Each section has a small audio snippet with some diagrams and a paragraph of text.
I even funded your indiegogo campaign because I had a different expectation for the course based on your presentation. I really hope you take the income and invest it back in developing more material that actually goes deep in doing projects with TF and such, and diving into the actual use cases with projects for the various topics you discuss.
How did you build such a large following on Twitter and Medium?
100k of free AWS credits??!! Wow...how did you manage to get that?
I was briefly part of a startup accelerator a few months ago.
Great progress much success. Hey, I'd like to talk to you offline about/regarding the AWS credits via the Accelerator program.
Can I give you an email for an offline discussion??