My Adventure in Developing A Skillshare Class

Skillshare is a website where you can take video classes on a range of subjects, mostly art and writing related. Although there are some free classes the bulk of them are available for viewing with their membership. I’ve signed up for a trial membership. I got a mail from them about their June VIP Teaching Challenge and decided to apply, saying I’d develop a course on writing poetry, thinking I’d figure out how to create a Skillshare class later.

What’s Involved in Creating a Skillshare Class?

I was selected and now had to develop an entire class in a month. That’s outlining, scripting, shooting, editing and uploading. Whew. Skillshare has a great community in place of fellow students taking the class, who answered each other’s queries faster than Skillshare on how to create a Skillshare class.

Skillshare set weekly goals for us, making the mountain of class development seem climbable. Their frequent mails with useful resources also saved us time we would have otherwise spent researching how tos. Every week, they had goodies like mikes, tripods, etc. for those completing the milestones, which motivated us to keep going.

I spent nights outlining my class, learning more about poetry writing in the process. I decided to use examples from my poems, so that my class would seem more relatable. I created images on Canva, so that my class would look good.

One of my slides in my Skillshare class

Planning My Class

Week 1 we just had to watch the Skillshare class on how to create a Skillshare class (meta, right?) and start a class project planning our class. Being mostly passive, this was immensely doable. To learn something, it’s better to do it rather than watch, so I got some idea about class development from the videos in this class, but I learnt much more when I actually developed my class.

There were prizes for adding an image to your class project, which made us more invested in doing so. Of course, once you put in some effort, you’re keener to complete the task.

Outlining My Skillshare Class

Week 2- we had to outline our class. Skillshare helpfully provided an outline template. I thought of seven topics, so that meant nine videos, including the introduction and conclusion ones. Although they would each be under five minutes, still- nine videos!

Skillshare class

Creating My Introduction Video

Week 3- we had to post our Skillshare Class introduction video on YouTube, so that we could include the link in our class project for fellow students and our mentor to watch it. My husband had a tripod, on which I propped a selfie stick. 

I had scripted my video and spoke extempore, reshooting until I had covered all the points I wanted to cover. I had mentioned a couple of quotes by other poets, so I looked down to my tablet for reference when necessary.

Skillshare asked us to keep the light on our right when shooting, and use natural lighting if possible. That left the bedroom. I propped the tripod on the kids cot, which I’m now using to keep their stuff.

Although Skillshare recommends that we use a mike, I didn’t want to invest in one and decided to go without. I shot the video multiple times to minimize pauses, ums, and background noises like the maid washing clothes in the background.

Editing the video was a challenge. Windows Movie Maker is no longer available. One of the Skillshare mentors in an AMA had mentioned that she used Shotcut and that was also one of the names a fellow student had shared when we were discussing editing software. It was free, so I decided to try it.

I wanted to include my Canva images in my video, but I was initially only able to do them as picture in picture. One of them was randomly flickering in a place I didn’t want it to as well. I was also unable to edit out a long dead air space in the beginning of the video. Still, I shared it to meet the deadline.

Shooting & Editing My Skillshare Class

Week 4 was crunch time. I actually had to shoot the remaining eight videos and reshoot the introduction one. I would script one video at night and shoot it in the morning or the afternoon when the kids were asleep.

Sometimes I had to reshoot if they woke up and cried. I would edit the video at night and script the next one.

I became better at editing, with practice. I was happy I could publish the class within the deadline. If one person signs up with my referral link and I have 30 minutes of watched video time by July 31 2019, I get a year of Skillshare Premium free. 

Marketing My Skillshare Class

Skillshare also pays for referrals. I initially didn’t market my class because I watched other poetry classes on Skillshare and felt they covered similar topics.

Finally, I decided to share my introduction video on social media as I thought the best poetry course I watched on Skillshare was a bit academic, unlike mine. I’m happy to share that I got my first student this week, Danielle Walker! I’ll get paid for the minutes she and future students watch, kickstarting my career as a teacherpreneur! Im already a bookpreneur.

Do check out my course and tell me what you think.

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