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[Making Of… #16] I Fell In Love

The Making Of An Online Course Part 16

In 2021 I made a new course, From WordPress To Webflow. This post is one of a series of behind-the-scenes emails I wrote as I went along, exclusively for my email list (start here).

Last time, I ran through a couple of real-life examples of where I’ve had to get clear on those 3 key decisions I’ve mentioned a few times now.

So what about those big decisions for the new course I’m making? This email series is meant to be the ‘Making of’ that course after all.

My journey towards deciding to make this new one – From WordPress To Webflow – is a bit of an odd one.

Odd, in that I had no intention of making it at all.

Towards the end of last year, I was limbering up to devote my attention to something entirely different—helping digital freelancers get off the old client-work hamster wheel, by using their tech expertise to make and sell online courses, like I do.

And that’s still on the cards. I’m impatient to get on with that, actually.

But then… Webflow.

Wonderful Webflow.

Just like I had no intention to teach it, I had no intention of using it either.

But, after one too many run-ins with dodgy WP plugin updates (I’ll mention no names), and Elementor turning into a PITA (oops), I was forced to look at alternatives.

Long story short, I fell in love with this beautiful, stable, secure, sane platform… and wanted to tell everyone about it.

I’LL MAKE A COURSE WOO HOOOO!!

And that’s stage #1 of wanting to make a course, right there.

You love the thing/tool/app/idea/skill you work with, and you want to teach the whole world to sing the same song!

I liken it a bit to the 5 stages of grief, if you’ve heard of that? Y’know, denial, anger, bargaining, etc.

Except – thankfully – this is at the other end of the emotional spectrum.

But yeah – I felt it was my duty, really, to at least do my best to help others struggling in the same way I was, to show them the benefits of a different approach to building websites.

But, as you know by now, I had to go a bit deeper than that before cracking open a fresh Screenflow document.

And that meant going to stage 2: Anger.

Ah no, sorry, getting my 5 stages mixed up.

No, I mean…

I knew I had to get clear on those 3 key decisions before deciding to go all out on this thing.

Like:

  1. Who is it for?
  2. What problem are they experiencing?
  3. And what result do they want?

Here’s how I came to those 3 key decisions:

First, no point in making a ‘hey entire world, I’ll teach you Webflow’ course.

One reason for that, is Webflow’s own education is superb.

In fact, the quality of their education is one (of many) reasons I fell for the platform in a big way. It speaks volumes of a software company willing to invest that much effort and time and money in educating their potential and actual users.

Literally no point in replicating their training.

So how to go deeper and differentiate?

I did that by, essentially, looking close to home and scratching my own itch—so to speak… as well as noting how many of my own peers and students seemed to be experiencing similar itchiness around the same time.

(it’s a clumsy metaphor, ok? no-one’s scratching anything, don’t worry)

Specifically, myself and my similarly itchy peers and customers are WordPress users.

And even more specifically, WordPress page builder users, with a website building mindset based on the workflow with those tools.

And many of us are also unhappy WP page builder users. In fact, many of us are pissed off, frankly, with a whole ton of issues with WP and certain page builders. Though that’s a rabbit hole I’ll swerve here, you’ll be pleased to hear.

Also, I was aware that my own first 3 attempts at using Webflow failed, pretty much. It was so alien to my muscle memory experience using WP.

What I wouldn’t have given, at that point, for someone to help me translate the WP mindset to this strange new tool, and give me a valuable shortcut past all that initial struggle. Time is money, after all.

Also…

While there’s plenty of great Webflow training out there – from Webflow themselves and some other notable YouTubers – it all seems to be focused on ‘features’.

And that’s great, of course.

But the “problem” with Webflow is that, because it’s so open-ended and powerful, without a best-practice methodology and workflow you can end up with a best-practice complete mess.

I saw it in all the training I watched.

Random class names, no naming convention or consistency, random typography, random spacing, random layout rules.

In fact, I found any kind of step-by-step methodology, or workflow, almost completely lacking, anywhere.

I understand why Webflow can’t do that in their own training. It’s not their place to dictate a precise recommended workflow for their beautifully open-ended tool… cos it’d be rather against the spirit of that open-endedness, after all.

And yes, there are a few pretty decent ‘Webflow frameworks’ out there already (I’ve tried them all), but they all have issues that I can’t get on with, for various reasons. And again, all without any step-by-step workflow, especially aimed at the WP user mindset.

So I decided to make the training I personally dearly wished existed when I first started using Webflow.

And that’s the gist of how I’ve drilled down to those 3 key decisions:

Who?

WP non-coder page builder users.

Problem

They’re experiencing web development headaches and stress, and spending way too long on website maintenance and fixing bugs. It’s not profitable, and it’s not healthy.

Result

Enjoying a more stable, more enjoyable, stress-free platform.

Rediscovering headache-free, profitable web projects again and getting their web design mojo back.

And they’d appreciate – and pay for – someone to give them a shortcut to a confident, fail-safe, best-practice methodology and workflow, one that doesn’t exist in the currently available training…

As well as a pre-built Webflow ‘starter site’ framework they can use in their own projects for a massive head-start every time.

This sharp focus on serving a specific target audience and solving their specific problems means I don’t have to teach ‘everything about Webflow’ (there are plenty of resources out there already covering every aspect of its features).

And these decisions then inform the course content, the marketing – everything.

And that’s it, pretty much.

Makes sense?

Ok – there’s been a lot of planning and thinking and conceptual stuff so far in this series. Time get real and share a bit of the actual making of the course itself. Cos that’s going great guns.

So I’ll do that next time.