What Price Education?
I was given a url link to a web site that sells an online writing course. You sign up for at least 12 months at $47 a month for the Standard membership and $57 a month for the Premium. That works out at $564 to $684 a year. If the course really does teach what it promises and the student really can then turn that knowledge into an income, that is how it should be. While many people pay for these course, few in fact actually apply the lessons learned and so have no-one to blame for failure or lack of success (the two are different after all) than themselves.
But even if the lessons are valid, the hype that stands in for sales copy is a bit of a worry to my mind. The seller claims an online writer can have a leisurely breakfast, shop at the mall, have lunch with friends, see a movie and have a family dinner, THEN spend just a few hours of an evening writing blogs and voila! Bob’s your uncle and you are making a great living as an online writer. If only it really was that easy. Perhaps for some it is once they have put in the horus and the effort establishing themselves.
The claim is made the student can earn $250 an hour once the course is over and if they apply the lessons learned. The explanation offered is that you can charge $200 for a 200 word article it took you half an hour to write. So the $250 an hour is an average then? You’re saying you can make $250 an hour for several hours a day, several days a week? I’m sure some can but for the vast majority it is not a reachable star and writing ability would have little to do with it.
The reality as I have experienced it is that writing online is not as easy as these vested interest course offerers make out. Finding the client is hard and realistically takes far more time than actually writing anything for him. I need to spend more time finding work than doing it and many of the ‘cute’ amazing solutions these courses offer are nowadays so cliched they simply don’t work.
We all want to be writers and the internet makes it easier to become one and to actually make some money at it. The down side is that it levels the playing field for everyone and so the competition is huge. The good news is the internet is infinite and ever expanding and there will always be enough to go around. The flash Harry’s will grab some of the spotlight but good, solid tortoise like performance will bring home the business every time.
There is a market and a demand for instruction in Online Writing. Most CertIII courses are priced around the $500-900 mark and CertIV courses range from $1300 to $2600 and more at the pricier of the private colleges. Compared to say $600 for a course that is not recognized by the Australian Qualifications Framework and VETAB across Australia and New Zealand and even accepted in the UK, EU and USA and Canada… it is surely false economy not to invest a little more.
I think an adult education course should achieve two main objectives. First it should actually train and secondly it needs to capable of assisting in earning an income. This means it must be recognized and hopefully sought after by employers.