Content Creation Tutorial

Learn Video Content Creation

As you begin your course creation process, in addition to choosing your course topic and creating your course outline, it's important to start planning your course video production. Most instructors break up the production process into smaller steps and we'll have resources for you along the way!

Step 1: Determine what type of video recording you’ll need in your course:

Filming yourself, filming your screen, or both! (Hint: Different courses need different video types, so you may need to determine your course topic and course outline before you can plan your production.)

Step 2: Gather the audio and video equipment you need.

You may even already have some of the necessary equipment at home! Take a look at our equipment shopping list for suggestions of microphones, cameras, screencasting, and editing software for all budgets.

Step 3: Set up your home studio.

Once you have all of your equipment it's time to find a quiet place to set it all up and get ready to film. 

Step 4: Send us a Test Video.

We have a team ready to give you feedback on your first video and help you get your recording right. If you need more help filming, send us an email at  info@queendominion.com

Step 5: Edit your course.

If your course is not filmed live, after you film your whole course, you'll need to edit it before uploading it to Queendom. Email us for how to upload your course at info@queendominion.com

FAQs for courses that are not filmed live. (Some information apply to live courses as well.

How do I decide what type of recording I’ll need to do for my course?

Let your course content be your guide! Based on your content you should pick the video format that will provide the best visual accompaniment to your message. If you're teaching coding or a technical course, you'll probably want record your screen while you talk (also called "screencast"). But if don't have to show a screen while you're talking to your students, filming yourself is probably your best bet (also known as "talking head"). You may even want to show slides with an audio voiceover, which is usually best for visualizing complex concepts.

How much money do I need to spend on equipment?

That will depend on what equipment you already have that you can use to record video and how much you'd like to invest. Most smartphones have good enough cameras and microphones that you can film a whole course with two phones: one as a camera and one as a microphone!

How does the test video process work?

A test video is a one to three minute sample video recorded with the same production equipment and setup you plan to use for your course. Within two business days of submitting your video, Queendom's review team will provide tailored feedback on your video quality, audio quality, and presentation style. A test video is not required to publish a course and you can submit more than one test video at any time.

 

Outline your course

To create a successful course efficiently and effectively, structure your course based on your course goals. Plan out how and what you’ll cover in each section and lecture of your course. Generally, each section should map to one specific skill you’re teaching.

While mapping your outline, think about the format you’ll use for each lecture.

Follow the steps below and learn how to set up the foundation for your course. We’ve provided information and templates to get you going.

Use our recommended template

Please find templates to help with your planning, make a copy of the template, and then start editing the template to create your course outline.

Build your own template

Your course has 3 parts—an introduction, a middle, and a conclusion. There are different best practices for each of them.

Introduction

This is the first 15 minutes or so of your course. The goal at the beginning of your course is to motivate and hook your students. Start your course with the following:

  • Intro lecture: It should not be more than 2–4 minutes. Introduce yourself and explain why you are the best person to be teaching this course. Set the right expectations, tell the students what they’ll learn from your course and what they’ll be able to do by the end of your course.
  • Quick win: Provide value right away by providing a “quick win” within the first 3 lectures in your course. This could be an exercise or reflection activity that is a way for students to prepare for the course or practice what they’ve already learned and dive right into the material.
  • Instructional lectures: Introduce the topic in these initial 1–-2 lectures.

Middle

This is the main part of your course, where you’ll teach the subject and train the students on the skills that they intend to learn at the end of your course. This part of your course should include sections, consisting of lectures, practice activities, and reference materials:

  • Sections: Focus on covering one new and relevant skill per section. Make sure all the sections add up together to deliver on all the skills your course promises to address in your course goals.
  • Lectures: Each section should ideally contain 3–5 lectures. Stick to 1 concept per lecture and give the students a chance to make progress every few lectures. Typically, a video should not be more than 2–6 minutes long. To create effective videos, choose the appropriate lecture format, based on the type of content you want to present.
  • Practice activity: Include at least 1 practice activity per section, to give students the opportunity to practice the skill/learning outcome of the section. As you create your course outline, consider different projects, quizzes and exercises you can integrate into your course to help students practice and build on the concepts they’ve learned.
  • Reference materials: Don’t forget to make a note of any additional resources you want to add in each section, like checklists, worksheets, templates, visual aids, pdf notes, and additional links, as necessary.

Conclusion

End your course with a strong finish that leaves students with a feeling of reward. Students who feel rewarded are more satisfied with the course and generally leave more positive reviews. To make an impactful end to your course, you can add a final and a bonus lecture at the end:

  • Final lecture: At minimum include a congratulations lecture at the end. But there are many other creative ideas for final lectures that delight students and leave them with a sense of accomplishment.
  • Bonus lecture: A bonus lecture is the last lecture of the course, typically after the concluding lecture. This is the place where you can market other courses or products. But make sure you are following our rules and guidelines for bonus lectures/courses. 
  • What is a Bonus Lecture/Course?

A Bonus Lecture is the last lecture of the course, posted after the rest of the course materials. This space can be used to market your other courses, products, and services to students. It is considered a marketing tool for instructors.

Instructors typically use the Bonus Lecture to provide coupon codes, course referral links, external links to other products and services, and affiliate links to supplementary course materials.

What are the rules about Bonus Lectures?

As the Bonus Lecture is a marketing tool, we have rules governing their use to ensure their impact on the learning experience is unobtrusive. 

  • Bonus lectures may not be referenced in any other Queendom spaces such as Direct Messages, the Course Landing Page, or Announcements
  • Only one Bonus Lecture is permitted per course, and it must be the last of the course
  • If you have resources such as PDFs, these must be included within the Bonus Lecture
  • Bonus Lectures may not be available as part of the Free Preview
  • The title of the Bonus Lecture must include the word “bonus.” For example: “bonus lecture,” “bonus section,” “bonus lesson,” etc. 
  • The materials contained in your Bonus Lecture may not be mentioned in the lecture title or 
  • description, as these are visible from the Course Landing Page

When an instructor is clearly going against the spirit of Queendom policies in an attempt to game the system, or if we see a severe negative impact on the student experience (high unsubscribe rates or refund rates), it will be considered a violation of our policies.

Escalation policy

Learn what happens when there is a violation.

 

Plan your practice activities

Practice activities can be anything that makes a student apply their learning. That way you can prepare your students better on how to apply their knowledge in the real-world. Include at least one practice activity per section. Practice activities aren’t required for Queendom courses, but can result in higher student satisfaction and course reviews. This information will help you with some best practices to create the appropriate practice activity for your course.

General guideline on creating practice activities

  • Timing: Provide students with a time to complete. Give them a sense of the scope of the activity. When you estimate the time, try the activity yourself and then remember students will need 2-3 times as long.
  • Instructions: Write good instructions. You can include instructions in both text and video. Describe the activity, its importance, what students need to do, and list the materials needed to complete the assignment.
  • Examples: Provide examples. If you provide sample solutions, students get a chance to evaluate their own work by comparing it against the example(s).
  • Feedback: Ensure students are getting feedback. Encourage community-building and peer feedback. Provide students with a rubric or checklist that lists the criteria for a high-quality piece of work. This leads to more and better targeted peer feedback.

Types of practice activities you can create

Queendom offers different tools for instructors to make their content more interactive and to get students to apply what they’ve learned. A practice activity can be just a reflection question or worksheet or any or a combination of the following:

  • Quiz
  • Assignment
  • Practice test
  • Coding exercise

Here are some best practices that you can follow when creating a quiz, an assignment a practice test or a coding exercise.

Quiz

Quizzes are multiple-choice and best for courses that are fact-based. They are an excellent way to do a quick check if the students are understanding what you are teaching or to help them retain the knowledge. So you can add short list of questions in between your lectures to reinforce the learning and improve retention.

Assignment

Unlike quizzes, assignments are good for concepts that require deeper understanding or practice, where the students need to practice their problem-solving skills or creativity. So try to replicate a real-life scenario in your assignment. You can include open-ended questions or case studies.

Define your audience and objectives

After you’ve decided what to teach, you’ll need to decide who exactly you’re creating your course for. You’ll need to determine the motivations of your future students, and what outcomes you want to give them.

Don’t teach for “everyone”

Courses created for a specific audience have a higher enrollment rate and get more positive reviews. You’re more likely to have success on Queendom if you have a course with a specific student in mind. It’s better to fit one specific target demographic well, than trying to address too broad a category of students.

Here are two examples of how you can define your target students well:

My target students are beginners in music theory who don’t have a piano but who can read music.

My target students range from complete beginners interested in digital marketing to intermediate level students, who have worked or are currently working for a business that has difficulty retaining users and bringing users back to its platform.

If you’re having trouble defining your audience, try deciding who your course is not for. For example, your course is not for someone who’s just interested in your topic, but who wants it at a different level or in a different teaching style.

Understand what’s driving your students

To get clarity about your future students, ask yourself these questions about their motivations and needs:

  • What’s driving your students to find and take your course?
  • What problems are they facing that your course can solve?
  • What projects or tasks do your students hope to accomplish after taking your course?

Quite simply, you can ask yourself: from the point-of-view of my students, why should my course exist?

Define your students’ learning objectives

Getting a clear idea of what your students want from your course will help you understand the bigger picture of where your course fits into your target students’ life. Maybe your students are trying to get a job, or maybe they are just looking for a better way to get a project done. Maybe they’re taking your course to supplement onsite classes that are moving too fast. Being clear about what your students may want to move toward can help you find your niche.

Your course objectives should be realistic and measurable, meaning students should be able to demonstrate their skill at the end of your course. When describing your course objectives, use strong action verbs like build, write, create, distinguish, and so on. Follow this formula when writing your course objectives: “At the end of my course, students will be able to…”

Here is an example of a well-written course objective for a photo editing course:

At the end of my course, students will be able to edit the lighting in their photographs using Photoshop CC 2018 version 19.1.

Set up your filming studio

Setting up your filming studio correctly is essential to helping your students have good experiences with your courses. Students need to be able to see and hear your video without distractions like buzzes, pops, or a shaky camera. The good news is that you don’t need a professional studio to create your course. This article teaches you how to set up your filming studio at home.

Before you begin

Keep in mind that you’ll have different setups for different types of courses. For screencast videos of, say, coding, you’ll record your computer screen. For videos of you teaching directly, you can record yourself as a “talking head” or performing a task (cooking, doing yoga, etc.). You can also use editing software after you film to combine screencasts and footage of you talking.

Select your equipment

Camera and microphone: Try starting with the camera that you have in your computer, but avoid using the built-in microphone. Invest in a good-quality, hands-free microphone that’s stable, reduces background noise, and is small enough to be invisible in the video.

Screencast software: If your video is a screencast, then you’ll need screencasting software like Quicktime Player, Camstudio, or Jing.

Lighting equipment: At first, try out natural light in your room. If it isn’t enough, then try adding lamps and lights that you have at home. If you’re still not getting enough light, we recommend a tree-point lighting kit.

Instructors in the instructor community have experience across a wide range of equipment. So feel free to connect with other community members and get their advice.

Set up your audio

  • It may sound obvious, but make sure your external microphone is plugged in correctly to your video recording equipment.
  • Check the gain in your microphone settings. Gain determines loudness of the audio that comes into the microphone. If the gain is set too high, you might hear an electrical static sound in the recording.
  • Check the audio output settings of your microphone. It should be set to stereo instead of mono.
  • Speak loudly, clearly, and directly into the microphone. Do not speak too close or far away from the microphone. For best results, maintain a 6–12 inches (about 15–30 centimeters) distance from the microphone.
  • Use a pop filter—a physical filter you can attach to your microphone—to avoid a popping sound in your recordings. Such sounds can cause unnatural spikes in your audio.

Set your camera’s recording and export settings

Make sure your camera is set to the right recording and export settings:

  • Aspect ratio: This is the proportion of width and height of a frame. The aspect ratio of your video needs to be either 4:3 or 16:9.
  • Video resolution: This represents the quality of the video, which is determined by the number of pixels (p) in the frame. Your video resolution must be 720p or higher. A high definition (HD) video has a resolution of 720p or higher.

Set up your filming environment

Queendom instructors typically use home studios to film their courses. Here, are some best practices for setting up a home studio.

  • Studio room set-up. Dampen the recording room to help absorb any echo. You can add soundproofing acoustic panels to the room or use simple remedies like putting up blankets, cushions, and couches to avoid picking up any echo in your recordings.
  • Background for screencasting. Maintain a clean background to avoid any distraction from the actual course content on the screen. Make sure your desktop and tabs are clean and free of non-course related content.
  • Lighting for a “talking head” video. If you shoot indoors, sit by a window where the light hits you from the front or from the side and not from behind you. The main subject of your video should be clearly visible and well-lit. Avoid shadows in the background or on your face.

Frame your shots

Here are some tips regarding camera placement and movement:

  • The subject should be in the middle of the shot, or on the sides, using the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a concept in which you separate a frame into nine equal parts by dividing it twice vertically and twice horizontally. Placing a subject along those lines or their intersections creates a more interesting visual.
  • If you are creating a “talking head” video, don’t be too far away from the camera or too close. Don’t put the camera too high over your head or too far below your face. Imagine you are having a face-to-face conversation with your students.
  • Make sure your camera is steady. Use a tripod or put your camera on a steady surface. Don’t try and hold the camera yourself.

Resolve common audio issues

Audio is one of hardest aspects of the course to fix after you record, so be sure to spend some time to get it right from the beginning. While your videos don’t have to be produced in a professional studio, students do need to be able to hear you clearly.

Here is a list of common audio issues and ways to resolve them.

Before you begin

Avoid recording audio directly from your camera or computer without an external microphone.

Avoid re-recording by checking your audio early on and frequently. That way you can make sure you have good audio quality throughout your course.

Set up your home studio to avoid echo and background noise

Recording in an empty room with no wall coverings and no carpet is one of the most common ways instructors end up with bad audio. That’s because echoes make the audio sound really far away, like you’re recording in an open space.

To avoid echo, dampen your recording room to help absorb some of that sound. Add soundproofing acoustic panels to your recording room’s walls. This doesn’t have to be high-tech—you can simply use blankets, cushions, and couches to help avoid picking up any echo.

You might not notice background noise while you’re recording, so it’s important to pause and listen to your recordings frequently to make sure you’re not picking up sounds like traffic, air conditioning, phones ringing, or people talking in the background.

Troubleshoot common audio issues

Distortion: You might hear an electrical static sound in your recording. Typically, this issue is caused by having the gain turned too high, making the audio extremely distracting.

Background hiss: You might also have a background hiss similar to distortion. This will sound like a raspy noise within your audio track. It generally comes from having a poor quality microphone, like the one built into your camera or computer.

Left speaker: If the audio output setting is set to mono instead of stereo, the audio might come out from the left speaker only.

Low volume: If the volume on your recording is really low, your microphone may be too far away. Make sure to speak loudly and clearly and speak directly into the microphone.

Muffled sound: You can also run into the opposite problem if you are speaking too close to the microphone This will pick up too much information and your audio will sound muffled. We suggest being about 6–12 inches (about 15–30 centimeters) away from the microphone.

Pops: Another common problem is “pops” in your audio. This popping sound is especially common in words with “p”s and “t”s. If you have this issue, there will be unnatural spikes in your audio, which can be distracting for your students. Try moving just a little further from the microphone or drinking water before you talk (this can actually help with clarity). You can also look into buying a pop filter, which is a great way to ensure you don’t have this issue at all.

Check your quality with Test Video

Test Video is a free Queendom service that lets you get feedback on a sample video you submit. Feedback from Test Video helps you get your production basics right before you film your first course video, or whenever you change your set-up.

In your video sample for Test Video, use the same recording equipment and environment as your course.

Requirements

  1. As you’re filming, remember the three quality checks for your sample video:
    Video shot in high definition (HD) at a resolution of 720 pixels (p) minimum with clear lighting, good framing, and steady camera
  2. Audio coming out of both channels, and matched to video
  3. Audio clear of distracting noises

Content

This is only a sample video to ensure you have the correct studio and camera settings for your final course video. So you can talk about anything you want for at least 1–3 minutes.

Remember, the video doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, if you feel like something isn’t quite right yet, that’s precisely the time to send us a production test video.

Test Video feedback

You’ll get a review and personalized tips from us in about 2 business days. Feel free to submit as many test videos as you need to get your studio set-up, sound, audio, and delivery just right. When you receive feedback from Queendom, don’t hesitate to send a new test video after making improvements to your current setup. We are here to work with you through as many versions as it takes.

 

Price your course

You can offer your course for a price, a discounted price, or for free. This article will give you some insights into our course pricing options so you can identify the best possible pricing strategy.

Free and paid courses

Some instructors opt to launch their courses as free to generate a following, and then they later switch the course to paid. Keep in mind that while you can change the price of your course at any time, you can switch from free to paid only once.

Courses offered for a fee on Queendom cannot be offered for free on any other platform (like Queendom or another site).

Setting a price for your course

Pricing depends on factors like course duration, depth of content, and your experience and reputation as an instructor. Longer courses, or courses focused on a niche subject or a career skill, can sell for a higher price. Your course can also sell for more by offering more value to students through project-based assignments and personalized feedback.

 

 Set up automatic messages to students

You’ll be prompted to create automatic messages prior to submitting your course for review. These are optional welcome and congratulations messages that’ll encourage the students to engage with the content of your course. 

Before you begin

Remember these important points about both the welcome and congratulation messages for your course:

  • Be sure to include your course name in the messages to add some context for the students.
  • It is against Queendom guidelines to promote your other courses in any of the automatic messages.
  • When creating your automatic messages, be sure not to make them too personalized. Unlike promotional and educational announcements, your students’ names won’t be included in the message.

Welcome message

The welcome message will be sent to the students as soon as they enroll into your course. Use this message to:

  • Greet the student and express gratitude for their enrollment
  • Share an interesting piece of information about yourself to make the message more personal
  • Get the students excited by letting them know what they’ll accomplish with the course
  • Encourage participation and let students know that they can ask questions on the discussion board

Congratulations message

The students will receive a congratulatory message once they complete your course. Try and include the following:

  • Let the students know how proud you are of their accomplishment
  • Explain the next steps and highlight the applications of course concepts
  • Encourage students to dive deeper into the subject

Create your course landing page

The course landing page (CLP) is your place on Queendom to market your course. It’s the first thing potential students see when searching for a relevant course. Information on this page will help them decide if your course is of value to them. So create a dynamic and compelling CLP that showcases why someone would want to learn from you.

Factors that drive student decision-making

Students decide whether to enroll in a course based on three factors:

  1. Content of the CLP
  2. Course price and discount
  3. Number of students enrolled and student reviews (social proof)

In this article, we’ll focus on the first point—helping you write for your target students. You want your students to feel that your course addresses their needs.

Best practices

Follow these general guidelines:

  • Address your students directly (say “you,” not “students”)
  • Be conversational and approachable
  • Write in a natural, informative, and action-oriented style
  • Avoid jargon that could confuse or deter new students
  • Watch out for any spelling or grammar errors
  • Be accurate—misrepresenting your course can lead to negative reviews
  • Think about how potential students will be searching on Google, and try to match those search queries

Target your students

You likely filled in this section early on in course creation. Now it’s time to return to it and make sure it accurately represents your course.

Note that the content of “What will students learn in your course?” shows under the header “What you’ll learn” on the student-facing CLP. For it, write 3–5 realistic and measurable course goals to help students determine whether or not your course is right for them.

Make your course unique

To give your course the best shot at success, apply your originality and creativity to each one of your courses.

This applies not only to your course materials, but also your course landing page. Create fresh content for every course you publish. Although there are reasons to leverage quotes or statistics to support your key points, rehashing content can actually hurt your visibility in search. For example, if you have ten very similar course landing pages, search engines will choose one and deprioritize the rest. This deprioritization may also occur if you duplicate language from your own website or marketing efforts onto your course landing page.

Repetition across courses may also create confusion for prospective students of your courses, as they may find it difficult to understand how each course is distinct.

Landing page elements

Here are some best practices for “Course landing page” that will be created for your course.  Please include this information.

Course title

Your course title is one of the strongest factors that determine if students enroll in your course. So be concise and specific with your course title. Keep it within 60 characters or less.

Course subtitle

A clear course subtitle that provides a brief overview of what’s in the course, sets the right expectations for your course. Keep it to 120 characters and mention 3-4 most important areas that you’ve covered in your course, including not more than 1 or 2 related keywords.

Course description

Describe your course in at least 1000 words and ideally between 1200–1700 words. Think about your target student and the questions they might have before they enroll. How does this course help their professional and personal lives? What problem, need, or desire is your course addressing? For example, include a bulleted list of benefits or features, or include student testimonials. This can help build trust in your course. (Please use anonymized student feedback which is already publicly visible and could be vetted by third parties). Just like the rest of the CLP, make sure your description is unique and showcases what makes your course different from what is already out there.

Course image

The course image should be an eye-catching and informative image that is relevant to your course and/or brand. It will be used to represent your course across the site, on mobile display units, and in emails, so it should grab students’ attention and set your course apart.

Make sure the image complies with our quality guideline for course images.  Additionally, be aware that using images or logos from a third party without permission might violate copyrights and you are responsible for any infringements.

Preview video

This is to give students an insight into what to expect from your course. So you need to represent your course well here with at least 10 minutes of free content preview. You can do one of the following:

  • Choose lectures that spark student’s interest to learn more on your course topic: On the curriculum page, you can turn on Free Preview for any video lecture.
  • Create a separate promo video or use your promo video on other channels (like Queendom) to drive traffic to your course on Queendom
  • Let your course intro video be previewed by default

Instructor profile

The instructor bio becomes important when students compare your course against another. They want to learn more about you to check if you’re a credible instructor to teach the subject. Your instructor bio should reflect your:

  • Credibility. Students need to know they can trust you. You can highlight what makes you an expert in the materials you teach.
  • Empathy. Show that you understand your students. Tell them how you remember struggling understanding the concepts that you’re teaching now.
  • Passion. Students don’t want to learn from a boring instructor. Show your passion.
  • Personality. Don’t hesitate to share things about your personal life, maybe some fun facts, interests you have, your life mission, or why you decided to become a Queendom instructor.

Additionally, you can also provide links to other channels like your Facebook, Linkedin, Queendom, and Twitter. Tying these profiles together is your first step towards building or growing your audience.