Blog

[Making Of… #2] It’s Not All Bad

The Making Of An Online Course Part 2

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).

In yesterday’s post, I stressed the importance of reflecting on what’s worked well for you before—and what didn’t work so well—to constantly improve your effectiveness as an online teacher.

And with that in mind…

I explained that my last paid training was a bit of an experiment, in a very different format to my usual.

I had a number of hypotheses (or: potential good reasons) to give this longer ‘live series’ format a try.

You never know unless you give new things a shot!

So did it work?

Well, on the one hand, yes—I did have some really great feedback. A good few emails and comments about how the training had given them confidence to build new client projects in Webflow, and how much less stress they were experiencing as a result.

And that’s fantastic, of course.

But for me, overall…. it didn’t work nearly as well I’d hoped. At least, not to my own standards. It’s not a format I’ll repeat, in that exact form anyway.

What I learnt is that the longer live video format is great for coaching and Q&A. It’s the perfect way to directly answer questions and demonstrate your answers live on-screen, as a complement to pre-recorded training.

But I’ve learnt: it’s not an ideal format for learning a complex tech topic.

Three main reasons for this, I think:

1. It’s too long for anyone to stay focused in one sitting.

I thought that a longer live session would be a great way to “go deep” and deliver a ton of content and value quickly and in one go.

I already know our brains only have a small window to take in new short-term information, but I’d somehow wondered if this situation might be different.

I now realise that, yes, a longer live session is generally too much info for people to take in in one sitting. I got the sense of that during the sessions, and heard as much from a few people too.

2. There’s a lack of momentum.

A student can watch a quick 5 minute video and achieve a small ‘win’ quickly… which provides the momentum for another 5 minute video ‘win’… and another… and another…

And before you know it, these short bite-sized chunks have compounded into bigger success and results, with seemingly little effort.

A longer live video format simply doesn’t take advantage of the momentum you get from compounding ‘easy wins’ like this.

3. No chance for me to edit the finished video.

It turns out that video editing when teaching tech stuff is way more important than I thought… for important reasons I’ll cover in the next post.

Having said that…

It wasn’t all bad!

Far from it.

Positives to take away:

First, this format was still a fantastic way to deliver a lot of value in one go—just not for people learning a topic for the first time.

It was also a superb way for me to quickly hone my skill in teaching the Webflow topic effectively.

Plus, I quickly discovered the common questions people have and the areas they get stuck at. This is going to hugely improve any Webflow training and content I make in future.

For this reason, this whole ‘live sessions’ experiment has actually given me an idea for a way I can improve the future course-creation process (which I’ll share another time).

In any case, what I learnt from this experience is hands-down going to make the new course I’m making so much better.

And as a thank you from me, everyone who enrolled in the live series will get a big discount on the new course too.

So after some reflection…

I’ve figured out aspects I don’t want to take with me into the new course. 👎

And it’s also helped me get super clear on the teaching techniques I want to double down on. Check. 👍

So next, I’ll tell you about the 6 core online teaching techniques that I’ve decided I will try* to incorporate into every part of the brand new course I’m making.

* Actually, no. “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”—I think a wise little green fella once said.