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Both are very common questions and mostly asked by senior developers who are interested in startups and doing a side hustle. There was a time when I advise programmers to create their own blog, not just to learn and improve their understanding of the technology they know, but also to earn money while doing things you love, but time has changed.
Now I advise Programmers and Software Developers to create and sell online courses on Teachable, Udemy, Thinkific, Podia, Skillshare, Kajabi, and other platforms. The reasons are still the same, you learn and earn, but the method has been changed.
A blog is always an excellent way to establish yourself online, but it requires a lot more effort and time to earn something meaningful.
On the other hand, an online course will create an alternative course of income very quickly. I know many people who are making a decent income by creating and selling an online course like my dear friend Eugen Paraschiv, whose Spring Courses have helped many of you to learn Spring Framework better in the past.
He is not alone, a couple of fellow bloggers like Ranga Karnan is also one of the most popular instructors on Udemy and has hundreds of students on the platform. His Spring Boot Microserve courses are one of the best sellers on Udemy.
In short, creating and selling online courses are the best thing a programmer can do to earn money online, learn something valuable, and make an impact on peoples life.
Yeah, you need a bit of passion for teaching, but most of the Programmers are generally good at that because of constant mentoring and training they do on the job.
Now, some of you might be thinking about why I have not created an online course yet. Well, that's on the card sometimes, and I did research a lot about Process and Equipment like which USB Microphone should I buy ( I bought Blue-Yeti Aztec Copper) and which platform should I join like Teachable or Udemy but somehow I didn't get enough time to prepare the course I wanted to teach.
If you guys would love to see me create an online course on Java or any other topic, let me know in comments, and that would probably help me to launch a course soon. Anyway, today is not about me, but you, I want all of my readers who are interested in creating an alternative income stream and have a passion for teaching to develop online courses.
Maybe you're exceptionally knowledgeable about a topic like Java, Python, Programming, Algorithms then you should create a course on that topic and launch it on a platform like Udemy or Teachable. The best part of this strategy is that once you do the initial work of creating the course, you continue to get paid for each new student that enrolls.
Teachable/Thinkific and Udemy are two of my favorite platforms, they're both intuitive and user-friendly. With Teachable or Thinkific, you have more control over your pricing and the look and feel of your course, but you don't get a built-in audience, which is one of the most important things for the success of your course.
Instead, you have to do all the marketing yourself. While Teachable did provide a lot of guidance and tried and tested email templates, which can help you a lot. Eugen's Spring Framework courses are built on Teachable, and so is Heinz Kabutz's Java Concurrency Course and both are very successful.
On the other hand, Udemy has a built-in base of students, but you don't have as much control, and they take most of your revenue because they are selling your course. Ranga has chosen Udemy, and his Spring and Java course is a huge success over there, so Yes, Udemy is also another essential platform.
The good thing is that you are not limited to one of these if you like you can use both of them. Though, I recommend Udemy if you are starting afresh and don't have an online presence and Teachable/Thinkific if you have a blog and some sort of online presence, this will make you sale courses at higher price easier.
Well, creating a course is super easy these days, You can create a course almost free of cost, all you need is an email address, time, knowledge, and passion for doing the teaching.
Both Udemy and Teachable allows you to create your course and provides a lot of tools upload your content like course videos, audio, presentations, images, and text.
Teachable also allows you to customize your school with your brand, colors, logos, etc. They also run Teachable Live Conference where you get to meet successful online course creators and learn from the strategies they have adopted to create awesome online courses.
They also guide you in every step like creating an outline of your course, filming, editing, launch, and delivery. So, you not only create an alternative income stream but also learn a new skill and improve your existing expertise and knowledge by teaching to new students.
Here is a screenshot form Teachable website, which roughly outlines what you need to do to create a successful online course for free:
This is such an awesome thing that I can't recommend it enough. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved, you get money for teaching, but you also improve your programming skill and learn a new skill for creating videos and doing online business. Students learn from your real-life experience and make their careers.
All the best, with your learning and course creation. If you create an online course and need any help from me, I am always ready to help, just drop me a note. I will also help you to promote your classes online, after all, you are my reader and community has given so much love to me. I just try to do my bit.
Update - Teachable is hosting a free online conference for aspiring creators to create their online courses called Teachable Live 2019. I have been waiting for this conference for a long time, it's FREE and great if you want to create an online course, If you want to join for FREE, here is the link to join Teachable Live 2019.
Normally, you'd need to invest upwards of a thousand bucks on a ticket to a three-day conference with a line-up like this one, but Teachable Live is complete free.
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P.S. - This is not just true for Programmers and Software developers, but for anyone who wants to earn some money online. It not only create an alternative source of income for programmers but also makes you happy and brings more energy because you will be doing things which you love and passionate about.