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How To Create Online Courses

I am in the middle of the creation of my new online course for men in Graham Reid Phoenix.

I thought it might be helpful to those contemplating this route to freedom to understand the process of how to create online courses.

I am not finished yet so I will provide a further update when I am further down the road.

What is the product

It’s called ‘How To Love A Woman’.

It’s for men whose relationships are in crisis or whose relationships seem to constantly fall apart. It’s intended to be beyond dating. It’s about that point were a connection has been made but not yet permanently.

It’s presented online as a course to undertake over 12 weeks. Each weekly session will incorporate a video training session, a worksheet to help think through and analyse your response to the session and an exercise to carry out.

How To Evolve Your Niche

It is critically important to start by deciding on the niche you are going to work in.

This should involve two questions:

  1. What are you passionate about?
  2. What is the need you are satisfying?

A product is not there for you to display your knowledge. it’s there because there is need that people are trying to fill.

People search online because the want an answer to a problem they are experiencing. What is the question that your product is an answer to?

It’s also important that you can provide the answer with passion, involvement and insight.

I am already working in the subject area of men and from traffic on my site I learned that ‘How To Love A Woman‘ is a hot topic, and one that has sufficient pain.

Decide On Your Product And Price Point

There are many different ways of packaging your material, ebook, online course, membership site, blog posts, video series etc. Decide what is most appropriate from the point of view of how will people best absorb your material, how much material is there and how much engagement you want.

You need to decide the price point based on how much you are providing and how much you feel people are willing to pay for it.

I have a lot of material and I want deep engagement so I went for a high price point and a lot of material in a timed online course format. Video is my chosen format because I want engagement and a willingness to sit down, learn and get involved.

Writing Your Material

If you are passionate about your niche and chosen subject you should have no difficulty with this part.

My product started life as a series a 40 blog posts written over 40 days early in 2011. The series was published throughout Lent and was designed as a challenge for men to become better men. The range of content evolved organically as I wrote constantly over 40 days.

If you are unsure of how to evolve your content this is a great way to start. Create a structure to work in and sit down every day for a set period of days.

My structure was:

  • A title which made the challenge clear.
  • Two paragraphs about the subject in general.
  • An appropriate small image.
  • An appropriate quotation.
  • Two paragraphs on and incident in my life that clarifies the subject.
  • A set of four questions to provoke the reader to look at his own response.

I find structure important, you may not.

That material has now been collated into an ebook which I will shortly be publishing.

It was the inspiration behind my product but I felt that it had to be stronger and more direct to answer the pain I had identified. So I went through an iterative cycle of re-structuring and re-writing the material from a series of 40 posts to a series of 12 lessons on the subject. I went through around 5/6 different formats until I felt it was strong and powerful enough.

Creating Your Product

I decided on a format of 30 minute video, worksheet with four pertinent questions and longer exercise each week.

Using Scrivener (a great writing program for a mac) I broke each week into the following sections:

  • Introduction
    Explanation of the session and of the division of that week’s material into three complementary sections.
  • Why
    How does this session answers the needs/questions of the reader.
  • What
    This is the meat of the session with teaching material in each of the three sections.
  • How
    Specific action steps to be taken.
  • What If
    An immediate action step to take.
  • Quotations
    Appropriate quotes to use throughout the material.
  • Personal Story
    To be slotted in somewhere in the material.
  • Worksheet
    4 questions to provoke appropriate responses.
  • Exercise
    A specific action exercise to gain a deeper understanding of a critical aspect of the session.

Using the why, what, how, what if formula is critical if you want to achieve clarity for your readers.

I used scrivener to align the various sessions and ensure there was a flow with no overlap.

Now I am in the middle of the following process:

  • Write each section in note form aiming for around 2,000 to 2,500 words.
  • Record each section on audio aiming for around 30 mins. Speaking it live allows you to embellish the notes and give it immediacy.
  • Send off recording for transcription. I use Elance to find someone to do this.
  • Edit transcription for flow and clarity.
  • Turn edited transcript into a video script indicating where slides will be used and where live video will be used.
  • Create an opening and closing sequence to be used on all videos.
  • Video the slide sequences using Quicktime on my mac along with a decent mic, I use a Samson Meteor..
  • Video the scenes of me speaking using the mac camera and the Meteor.
  • Edit the final video in iMovie11.

This may not be the most sophisticated method but it works, it’s cheap and it’s fast. I also delivers great quality.

Next Steps

There is a lot further to go.

  • Sort out the online presence.
  • Market the product.
  • Arrange Affiliates
  • Plan the Launch
  • Launch!
  • Invest the proceeds!

I’ll look at these steps in a later post when I get there.

Acknowledgments

I would like to acknowledge the help given in this process by:

Chris Howard and his Million Dollar Round Table.

Eben Pagan and his Guru Masterclass product.

UrmilaMedia who provide graphic, editing and conceptual development work.

Without them I would not be nearly as far on as I am.

If you want more information or help with this process go to the contact page and send me a message.

Have fun with your project.

He Is A Rogue … That’s Why He Has The Best Male Blog

Okay, let’s be clear about this, I am a man and I am a blogger. In fact I’ve turned it back on itself — I blog about men! I think I have the best male blog.

Now, some men are rogues. We all know rogues: they are focused, calculating, dedicated, and only want one thing. These are the qualities of a real rogue—and the qualities of a successful blogger.

Look at what Chris Guillebeau, at Art of Non-Conformity, said:

“The reality that I need to work more than I thought has required some sacrifices I did not expect in the beginning, and it took me a while to become comfortable with this.”

Continue reading →

Seven Ages Of Man – What Are They Today?

The Seven Ages of Man is one of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches. It begins with the famous, “All the worlds a stage”.

This conjures up for many of us a fabulous picture of life as an act, where we play our parts behind our masks. This is a potent idea that explains the way people deal with many of the problems they face in life. ?p>

I found that almost the whole of the first half of my life I lived behind a mask. Only when I realised what was happening was I able to change. Once I came out from behind the mask I was able to live an authentic empowered life.

The Seven Ages of Man

But back to Shakespeare and his 7 Ages of Man.

The speech lays out his, humourous, view of a man’s life from the cradle to the grave. Is there any modern equivalent of his ages, are they applicable today? Let’s look at his ages and see if we can find equivalents.

Seven Ages of Man 1 – The Infant

“Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms”

Things have clearly not changed here. I remember this from my own two boys.

Seven Ages of Man 2 – The Whining School-Boy

“With his satchel and shining morning face, creeping like snail unwillingly to school”

Well that was both me and my children, and, I suspect, my father too. If we ever get to school-boys not whining then I think something will be very wrong with our education system!

Seven Ages of Man 3 – The Lover

“Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad made to his mistress’ eyebrow”

I think this has changed a lot. It sounds like sex was either unheard of (yea, right…) of it was kept well hidden. Today lust is far more the issue rather than poetic swooning.

Seven Ages of Man 4 – A Soldier

“Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard, jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon’s mouth”

A ‘pard’ is a leopard. ‘Seeking the bubble reputation’ probably refers to the soldier’s desire for fame based battle record, even when it means he faces death.

I’m sure we can all recognise this man in Iraq or Afghanistan. The nobility of a soldier has always seemed a little thin to me, it clearly was in Shakespeare’s time as well.

Seven Ages of Man 5 – The Justice

“In fair round belly with good capon lin’d, with eyes severe and beard of formal cut, full of wise saws and modern instances”

A ‘good capon lin’d’ refers to a castrated cockerel, suggesting his days of being a lover are over. ‘Wise saws and modern instances’ are up to date examples of wise sayings, suggesting a life of experience.

We jump to older wise man who seems to have lost all speed and passion. His wisdom has deprived him, almost, of life.

Seven Ages of Man 6 – The Lean and Slipper’d Pantaloon

“With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; his youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide for his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice, turning again toward childish treble, pipes and whistles in his sound”

He is completely defined by status and money. He is at the top of the social order. His fear of death makes him try to defy his age, but we all know the foolishness of men with wigs and face lifts. Certain celebrities jump immediately to mind, Donald Trump, for instance, or even Bill Clinton. These men are dangerous because they have everything to lose.

Seven Ages of Man 7 – Second Childishness

“Mere oblivion; sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”

Everything’s gone, he is left as a slobbering old man, deserted by family, dumped in a home. So true of today’s society.

The ages left out? The working man, the father and … What do you think?

To finish let’s look at the whole speech:

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”

(As You Like It – Act II Scene VII – William Shakespeare)