Posted on March 11th, 2015 by Sara Funduk - 2 comments

This past December, I created my E-Course Advent Calendar. It was a fun little course that revealed one new e-course tip every day for the month of December. Going into it, I had fairly low expectations for the turnout. December is a really busy month for a lot of people and I just wasn't sure how well it would be received. I remember thinking "If I got 100 people to enroll, that would be amazing and I would consider this a complete success." Well, as of today there are 270 enrolled in the advent calendar course with new people joining all the time. It was a lot of fun and a really fantastic experience. Here are 5 things I learned from the whole process.

1. It was hard and I had to push myself to finish.

Real talk: making an e-course is hard work. If you're thinking about creating an e-course, you're probably already familiar with how hard it is to create great content. It's a lot of planning, writing, re-writing, editing, finding/creating images and stress. I had the idea for the advent calendar near the beginning of November and thought "No problem. It's only 31 lessons! And I have so much time." Cut to me several days into December and not even close to finishing. Some of those lessons got written only the night before they were scheduled to publish. But, it was so rewarding. The signups were rolling in, people were really into it and I was getting a ton of positive feedback. I really wanted to create something useful for all the CourseCraft users and it was a great feeling when I finally finished it.

2. Comments and feedback are the fun part.

The comments section was really the heart of this course. It was so fun to see everyone really engaging with me and their fellow participants. In fact, I got so many comments that I had trouble responding to all of them! But I really felt it was an important part of the course to get involved in the conversations everyone was having. That's really the best part about an online course if you ask me. If you want to learn something in isolation, you can read a book on your own. An e-course provides your participants with a chance to interact directly with you, ask questions and give/get feedback.

3. Start promoting early.

Like I mentioned before, I had the idea for the course at the beginning of November. Even though the first lesson wouldn't publish for another month, I started promotion almost right away. I did that for two reasons: 1. I wanted to give everyone enough time to find the course, enroll and be ready for the first day. 2. It was really encouraging to see new people enrolling everyday and it kept me focused on writing. Now, you don't necessarily have to start promotion before you're finished creating your course but it was something that really worked for me. It set a hard deadline and held me accountable to complete it. If I decided to wait til the course was 100% done before telling people about it, I honestly don't know if I would have ever finished.

4. Try to be flexible for latecomers.

Running a course like the advent calendar that had a specific start and end date, you might feel inclined to make the enrollment process a little more rigid too. You could open it up in November (like I did) but then close enrollment on December 1st. Then archive the course right after it's done. (For those of you who don't know: Archiving your course closes access to it.) But if I had done that, I probably would have lost half my participants. There were tons of people still enrolling each day in December and I still get new people joining to this day. At the time of writing this, the most recent enrollment was yesterday. The latecomers are generally a quieter bunch, they ask less questions and just work through the material in their own time. So keeping the course running isn't really that much work. At some point I probably will want to shut it down, but for now I'm leaving it open for the stragglers.

5. It's important to be yourself and have fun.

Writing is something I actually really struggle with. Over the years I've had lots of practice and definitely improved but it still doesn't comes easy to me. One of the hardest things for me to do is to make sure I'm writing in my own voice. I don't ever want to come across as robotic or phoney. If your personality comes through in your writing, people will be so much more receptive. You'll be seen as more approachable and friendly. That's something everyone wants right? I wanted to write as if I was talking to a friend. So for many of the lessons I talked out loud first. I tried to explain the concept in my own words and imagined myself sitting across the table from a good friend. Sometimes I actually sat my husband down and we had a conversation about that day's lesson. It made the writing part so much easier and I think (I hope!) my personality came through.

Posted on February 11th, 2015 by Sara Funduk - 0 comments

We have a couple new features to tell you about today and I'm very excited because a few of these changes have been requested many times by you guys! Let's not waste any time and get right into it because I know you'll want to hear about this.

Customized URLs

Now you can create a custom URL for your course! This can really help to maintain a seamless transition from your website to your e-course. A custom URL will look something like this: https://coursecraft.net/c/yourcoursename Go to the 'share' page of your course to get your custom URL.

Bundled Courses

This is another feature we've heard you ask for many times. It's been in the works for a long time so I'm very happy to finally be able to tell you about it! You'll now have the ability to sell 2 or more courses in a bundle together. So that means you can bundle up your courses and sell them as a package as well as individually. If you're interested in doing this, be sure to check out the help doc. If you've already created more than 1 course, you'll notice a new tab on the dashboard called 'bundled courses'.


Now, with those 2 new features comes a bit of a change in our how our pricing works. We're introducing an upgrade called "Pro".

So what is a Pro Course?

Upgrading your course to Pro will give you some added benefits that a regular course doesn't have. The upgrade costs a one-time payment of $49 and your course will have these perks forever.

  • Unlimited participants
  • Unlimited uploads
  • Set a custom URL (ex: coursecraft.net/c/yourcoursename)
  • Ability to bundle with other Pro courses
  • Free custom branding

The Pro upgrade will definitely give you some pretty cool stuff. We tried to keep the price reasonable because we know what it's like to be a small business owner with a budget. But the amount of money you'll save on custom branding fees can offset the cost of the upgrade in no time! Check out the help doc for detailed info on Pro courses.

Free Usage Limits

You also probably noticed something else. We've put limits on the number of participants and uploads you can have with a non-Pro course. Courses that aren't upgraded will be limited to 100 participants and 1GB of uploads. Don't worry, many of you will never hit those limits and won't have to worry about it. It's more than possible to create a course only using 1GB of uploads. Once you upload your assets (images and videos) we convert them to a web-friendly size and only the final resized version will count towards your 1GB limit. So if you upload a 20MB video and we resize it to 15MB, only 15MB will be counted towards your uploads.

But wait... there's MORE! (my best infomercial impression)

If you already have a course that is over the 100 participant or 1GB limit we've upgraded you for free! So not only does that mean you don't have to worry about the free usage limits, you'll also get those other awesome Pro features.

If all that seems a little confusing to you, don't worry I don't blame ya! It's a lot of changes to throw at you at once. I've created this little graphic that explains the new pricing changes.

Let's speed through a few other improvements we've made. I know you're dying to grab your new custom URL, so let's get this over with!

  1. Improved lesson notification emails - Notification emails for new lessons will be sent in a more timely manner and hopefully reduce some confusion and wait times there.

  2. Renamed 'Private' courses to 'Secret' courses - This has always been a pet peeve of mine. The name 'private' made it seem like a regular course was not private in some way, when that's not true at all! Both require an account, enrollment and are password protected. I think 'secret' describes it better.

  3. Other small bug fixes - As always, we've made some small interface improvements and fixed a few minor bugs.

I know that was a really long post, but we had a lot of new stuff to share with you. I hope you'll continue to provide us with awesome feedback to help us improve CourseCraft. As always, you can ask me questions in the comments or email me directly at sara@coursecraft.net.