Online courses for freelancers

Why teaching online courses can help you grow your freelance business

As a freelancer, you always have a lot of freedom. Freedom to decide about your schedule, clients, partners or projects.

And the freedom to choose how to shape your income.

To add more freedom to your freelance business and diversify your income, you can try your hand at online courses.


Why online courses?

Why would you consider adding online courses to your offer? There are many great reasons to do so. Let’s focus on the key advantages:


To boost your profit

Teaching online courses can help you boost your profit. It’s also an effective method to prepare your business for a slower time or a sudden loss of your regular customers—for example due to health issues or economic crisis.

Once you set up your educational materials, you can reap benefits for as long as your course is online. Obviously, you still need to invest time and effort in marketing or maintenance tasks. But your product is ready for purchase. There’s nothing else you have to do. No need to travel to your customer’s location for a photo shoot, no need to spend long hours in front of the screen to create websites or write marketing copies for your clients, no need to translate long texts. It’s that simple: one product, multiple purchases, more chances to increase your income.


To showcase your skills

When you teach online courses, you eventually position yourself as an expert. Everyone has some skill to share. All you need to do is to present it in an engaging way and make sure others can benefit from your experience. The more courses you offer and the more students you reach, the more chances you have to build an excellent reputation in your industry. The door to endless opportunities suddenly becomes wide open.

Before I created my first online course on website localization nearly 7 years ago, I had never expected this journey would take me so far. Although the course was targeted at translators, I received many requests from other business owners who were planning to localize their websites. Some students asked me for private coaching sessions, and I was contacted by a university in Belgium with a proposal to substitute for their localization lecturer. I accepted this offer without any hesitation and have been teaching there ever since.


To learn and develop

Every time you create a new course, you boost your skills. First, you might by consumed by technical doubts: which equipment to choose, how to create your videos, how to upload your content, how to maintain it. But with the plethora of free tutorials or articles available online (e.g. here) these challenges are fairly easy to solve.

Then you might be wondering how to make sure your materials are top-notch. Even if you consider yourself to be an expert in your field, you may still want to consult other sources, research books or experiment with your ideas. When your course is published, your students may ask you questions you’ve never considered before. So, you research and analyze different scenarios again. And that’s how you grow, develop and maybe even come up with new ideas for more courses.

It’s a rewarding journey that may take you to unexpected places and connect you with inspiring people.


To break the routine

No matter how much you love your business, at some point you will hit the wall. You may dislike your routine, the monotony of working on similar projects for the same customers. Online courses can help you spice up your agenda and find a creative outlet. That’s especially important if you feel stuck with the technical side of your work.

When you create an online course you can never feel bored: from researching your topic, working on the script, shooting videos, editing the content and then promoting your product—every single step is a fascinating adventure.

For me, creating online courses is an opportunity to express my technical skills in a creative way. I enjoy recording and editing my content, probably much more than promoting the course when it’s ready. And once I moved my courses from a well-known platform to my own website, I finally pushed myself to tap into the subtleties of course marketing to take my business to the next level.

But that’s probably a story for another time. ?


Over to you

Do you think you’d make a great online course teacher? What skills would you share?


Dorota helps digital brands infuse their content with a local touch. She is a localization consultant, translator specialized in IT, prompt engineer, and a book author. Dorota teaches online courses on localization, writes for her blog and a Medium publication. She also runs a Small Biz AI, a Substack newsletter for freelancers and small business owners ready to discover handy AI tools.