How long does it take to make a video online course?

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A bit of context

I created my first online video course called 100 Service Design Principles back in January 2019. This course is basically the video version of the book I published. So I already had all the content, I “just” had to transform it into video. You’ll see with the numbers below why I put within quotation marks the word just.

The course is composed of 100 videos, has a few bots that serve as quizzes, has a student handbook and little exercices.

The numbers

So here the numbers that answer the big question: how long did it take to transform a book in a video course?. It took me a total of 87 hours to create a video version of the content I already had.

Prepare the shooting: about 6 hours

It’s really the first time that I made such a set of videos. I already made a few videos in the past, but never educational videos. So there was a fair amount of time needed to prepare the shooting. What did I do in this time?

A lot of time went into transforming our living room in a shooting space. I made a few prototypes, sitting, standing. With natural light or with lights. All dark or not. With different microphones, etc. I might do

For the curious ones, I wrote another article where I explain how I prototyped and prepared the shooting. It has a few more details and early video tests.

Shooting: about 6 hours

It’s funny to see that shooting the video doesn’t take as much time as I thought. It’s quite fast indeed. For 100 videos of about one minute each it took me just 6 hours. I did that over three days.

I’ve written more details about how to shoot such videos in another article I think. I have to say, that I didn’t think this would take so much time as I wanted something really simple.

Editing videos: about 54 hours

I have to say, editing 100 videos really sucks! It takes a shit load of time and it isn’t really fun. At least you get faster with the time. So, it took me about 54 hours to edit 100 educational videos for my online course.

Planning: about 4 hours

Because there is always a bit of admin and planning in any project. This took me about 4 hours.

Marketing: about 17 hours

I had to build the landing pages, write the sales copy and run a few ads. This took me about 17 hours in total. That feels about right. Creating a good landing page always takes time.

Basically, it took me about 3 weeks

So in short, it took about 3 weeks of my life to make that course happen. Obviously I had a few other tiny projects I was running on the side. But this was my main job for 3 weeks.

Reflexion time

I think that for the next courses, I’ll take less time in the preparation time as I already know how I want to shoot the videos. But for the rest, I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it much faster.

Looking at these numbers gives me really the motivation to track the creation of my different courses better so that you guys can see how much time I invested for each one. Until know I tracked the time I spent for each activity but didn’t split it for each course. So I’ll do that for the new courses. There are already a few ones which are in the building for which I won’t be able to do it. But later in the year I will do it properly from the start.

The online course I created

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All these hours allowed me to create my first online course! And I’m really happy I invested all this time.. This course teaches you principles, tips and tricks to create a better customer and user experience in your services or products. As you are a pretty motivated reader and made it to the end I have a little gift for you. By following this special link you get a 30% discount on the course.

Daniele Catalanotto