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November 22, 2013

3 great reasons to create a Pluralsight course

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Like most of you out there, I never sat at my desk in high school or college dreaming of one day becoming a “video training author.” In fact, to this day, when a “non-techie” asks me what I do, I usually struggle to explain it and end up just saying, “I do computer stuff.” If I do say that I create video training, I end up having to explain on what topic, what virtualization is, what VMware is, how exactly I create the videos, what Pluralsight is, how the training is sold, and that, yes, I can do it all from my home office. Even after this lengthy discussion with a non-techie I usually get the response of “mmm, interesting.”

While we may have a way to go with bringing non-techies up to speed on tech and the best way to learn it, people who understand tech, have tried to learn it using traditional methods, and who have tried our flavor of video training “get it.” When I walk around conventions with thousands of people in foreign countries, I’m approached by people I don’t know who say things like:

“Your video training courses have changed my life! Can I take a picture with you to put on my office bulletin board and share on my Facebook page? Everyone I know back home is going to be so jealous that I got to meet you!”

WOW, I love to hear feedback like that!

In fact, I have been told by reliable sources that my most popular video training courses have been pirated and are sold in repackaged discs on the store shelves at DVD stores in Iran. My video training courses were also stolen from the bookstore at VMware’s conference. While I don’t support piracy or theft, I have to admit that if someone is going to work that hard to get your training, they must see tremendous value in it, right?

Why create video training courses?

While it’s nice to be recognized and popular (in some circles) for what you do, you shouldn’t create a video training course because you want to be famous. To be candid, I can’t think of any technology author who became famous outside the world of tech — in the grandest sense of the word “famous.”

There are, however, at least three great reasons to create video training.

You are PASSIONATE – People who are passionate about a topic LOVE IT. They feed on it night and day. They ramble on about it to anyone who will listen (dogs, family members, etc.). They stay up late working on it without any sort of financial compensation. And, most importantly, they LOVE to share their passion with others. They might have thought about writing a book, writing a blog or speaking at their local user group.

Passionate people make GREAT video authors.

You want to EARN – Don’t feel shameful for admitting it, creating video training is a great way to use your extra time to make money. With the Pluralsight royalty model, the more popular your video training course is, the more royalties you will earn.

While I certainly had passion (I had been teaching technology part-time in the classroom and was blogging), I’m not ashamed to admit that, initially, the idea of earning extra money for my knowledge was the major reason that I wanted to create video training. I visualized the vacation I would take my family on or the long-awaited remodeling I would do to the house.

Eager earners (who have passion) make GREAT video authors.

You want to be APPRECIATED – What’s most rewarding is to hear from someone that your training course was eye opening to them, made learning fun, and was instrumental in helping them find a new, higher-paying job that has helped their family. This is when you really FEEL that appreciation and might suddenly think, “Wow, I didn’t realize how many people I am helping by creating this training!” That exact thought goes through my head when I get a Facebook message or email from someone around the world telling me “the video education you created has bettered my life and that of my family, God bless you.”

How many of you out there have passion, want to earn money and want appreciation? I doubt there are too many tech pros out there who wouldn’t raise their hand.

If you’re a passionate and knowledgeable tech pro, and you feel you can make the free time to gather your thoughts on a particular technology topic, go forth and apply to be a Pluralsight author.

About the Author

is a CCIE, vExpert, VCP5, and VCAP-DCA. He has been in the IT industry for 20+ years and is the author of hundreds of articles and videos. He has created over 10 TrainSignal video training courses including the numerous courses that make up the best-selling VMware vSphere video training library.

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