Recently, a lot of people prefer novel types of quality content to read online, especially as regards learning new skills, and one way you can quench this desire while making money at the same time is to create an online course and sell it.
You are perceived to be an authority in your field when you impart knowledge and expertise through an online course, and you can gather a community of like-minded individuals around your business, and broaden your reach – interestingly’ you can do all these from the comfort of your home.
In this article, we will because a step-by-step guide on how you can create an online course. It boils down to selecting the right topic to designing a website for the course, and making revenue – below are all you need to know:
How you can create an online course
01. Select the appropriate subject matter
It is totally your responsibility to choose a topic, and it can be on just about anything – from baking tips to graphic design. In as much as you have limitless options, the ability to choose the correct subject matter determines whether an online course will be successful or not.
Below are the major criteria you should consider when accessing your online course’s topic to know whether it appeals to both you and your audience:
Make sure you choose a topic you desire to teach:
When choosing a topic, let it be one that you either have a wealth of knowledge in the subject area or that you are ready to invest in learning it completely, and this translates to being passionate about the subject.
At this point, you should critically think about what it is that you do best, what topic you would want to explore, and what people seek your advice on. The answers to this question will guide you in choosing a topic
Choose a topic that others want to learn:
After the first step, the next thing you should do is to identify your audience and the demand for the topic at hand. You can find out by asking a group of friends who seem to be your existing audience what they think of the subject you had in mind and if they are willing to learn it. You can still achieve this via sharing polls or online forms for your audience to fill out, making a short tutorial, and watch the response, and so on.
Furthermore, you can carry out some online research into your topic and if you see other online courses about the same subject matter, it is a good sign because it shows that you have competitors which means that people find the topic relevant and useful to them.
What this does is to assist you in having a clear target audience in mind thereby knowing what to expect, the type of content that they can relate to, and what their level of expertise is as at that time, this information will help you get equipped for creating and marketing the course.
02. The second step is to test your idea
It takes a lot of time and hard work to create an online course therefore it is expedient that you, first of all, run a test before you kick-off, this will permit you to have some sort of assurance that this online business idea is one that will eventually pay off down the line, therefore, your efforts are not a waste.
For you to achieve this, you can make use of a landing page builder, create a page for your intended online course, add a short description of the course talking about what people can expect to learn, and paint attention-grabbing imagery to mirror the concept further.
Do not forget to include call-to-action buttons (CTAs) to invite visitors to freely sign up at no cost for your upcoming online course, or pre-purchase it to secure a spot in your class. When you are done with this and promoting on different platforms such as social media, go through the data you collected and see if you have a lot of attendees and if the feedback is encouraging.
03. The third step is to extensively research the topic
This is the time to dive deeper into the topic you want to teach irrespective of if you are a professional in your field or are looking forward to learning it from start to finish, you have to have a vast knowledge of the topic.
During the process of learning, make sure that you study beyond what course attendees will easily find on search results, find a wide variety of various sources on the topic ranging from literature to competitor classes and webinars. Carry out keyword research to know the type of questions people are looking to find answers on the topic.
Do not neglect any subcategories within your niche, for instance, if you are teaching a course about how to take care of your indoor plants, normally, you will cover fundamental things like water and natural light. But if you wish to provide counted value, you have to search for ways to broaden the scope of your course such as including the types of air-purifying plants.
04. The fourth step is to write a course outline
This is the point where you start developing the curriculum for your online course. Write down on a piece of paper, the various lessons you intend to teach online and within each lesson, distribute it into the major topics you want to cover. Make sure you do it logically, let your ideas evolve naturally, and flow from one to the other, thereby ensuring a smooth and confusion-free learning process.
Let us still take the indoor plant care from the past section, for instance, maybe you want your students to have the ability to classify the plants they have at home, and be able to also detect signs of pests or disease in the next.
Below is an illustration of an online course outline for an indoor plant care class, therefore, feel free to use this example as a template for designing yours:
Lesson #1: How to water plants
Lesson objective: Students are expected to learn how much, and how often, to water their plants.
–The importance of watering;
-The dangers of overwatering;
– Various types of plants and the watering they need;
– Soil – a sign of dehydration or overhydration.
Do not make the mistake of not adding an introduction and a conclusion to your entire course, and also in each individual lesson. You can also lay emphasis which is a good assistance in learning processes.
In addition to this, think of including assignments and activities as part of your course curriculum, this way, the just acquired knowledge will sink in.
05. The fifth step is to create the course content
You may have previously put together content about your topic through a written blog post, a YouTube channel in which you’ve discussed similar themes, or hosted a podcast if you already have professional experience on the topic. To save time, we advise that you go back to these materials, restructure existing content into your online course if need be because it will help you get started easily.
You can now create the actual content for your online course on the basis of the materials you’ve put together. Aside from using videos, just like most people do, you can still make use of slides, audio recordings, written content, or a combination of a few types of media.
06. The sixth step is to bring your course online
If your course content is ready then you are good to go, it is time to create the platform to bring it all together. For those who have an existing professional website, you can include your online course as a section there If not, you can as well create a new website for the sole aim of this.
Wix Video allows you to advertise videos, interact with visitors and make money from your content, so, if you are thinking about how to make a Wix website, take a look at these designer-made online education website templates, they can help you get started.
07. The seventh step is to sell your online course
To carry out this seventh step, you have four various options for selling your online course, and this depends on your needs and business plan:
The first option is Individual lessons for rent or purchase: You can permit users to rent or buy your online course on the basis of a video-by-video. This way, users can go back to rewatch the content at all times thereby enjoying unrestricted streaming of the lesson they’ve bought. It is left for you to decide if you want to permit viewers to either download or directly watch the video on your site.
The second option is Channel subscription: This has to do with paying a monthly fee, this will enable users to have access to all of the paid videos within a channel.
The third option is Paid plans: This entails setting up various payment options thereby offering your students to either pay everything at once or follow a payment plan. This way, you have control over everything beginning from the type of plan, to what is in it, how long it will last, and lots more. Make sure it is clearly stated or displayed on your site for clients to select from and buy.
The fourth option is one-on-one real-time lessons: Students can be taught in a personalized 1:1 setting during live lessons. Through this means, students are given the opportunity to ask you questions and learn in a way that is suitable and meets their specific learning level. Those interested in the course can easily book a spot with you with the help of online scheduling software.
Aside from your paid lessons, make sure you offer a little preview of your course for free so that students can catch a glimpse of what your course entails and know what to expect, and this will, in turn, encourage them to sign up for the paid classes.
In addition to this, you can go the extra mile to create a live Q&A session at the introductory part of the course, and invite users to join free of charge while generating interest.
How you can price your online course
The next question that may be ravaging your mind is how you can set the rates and prices for your course. We have listed below some ways that will guide you in determining your course fees:
- The first is competitor prices: We know that there is no static price, in fact, the price is dependent on how much of an expert the instructor is, however, you have to start by doing a quick audit to know the average course price on your topic.
- Creation time: You should put into consideration how long it took you to create the course, there should be a balance between the time you invested and the profits you gained.
- Course value: The amount of value the user will gain from taking the course should be put into consideration also, ask yourself if it is possible for them to make an income from this course after learning it because the more the student can justify taking the course financially, the more you can charge a higher price.
08. The eight-step is to market your content
Now it is time to promote and get people to register for the course that you have spent so much creative energy and valuable time in putting them together get those course registrations. In doing this, you can make use of both free promotions and paid marketing types. You can as well design a logo that will make your course look the part -professional and stand out.
We recommend some of the most popular and effective ways to market your course below:
- Email marketing: An important and effective way to market a course is by sending email marketing campaigns, early-bird promotions, and discounts inclusive.
- Social media: Advertise your course on social media and in important groups such as LinkedIn because you can find people who have a professional mindset already so it takes little effort to convince them.
- Paid ads: Google Search Ads, as well as Banner AdsRun, are some of the paid ads you can run.
- Blog posts: Another marketing strategy is to create a blog where you can write about your course to improve your SEO and display your knowledge.
- YouTube and promo videos: You can kick-start a YouTube channel and commence video promotions for your course.
- Referrals and reviews: If you do well, referrals won’t be hard to get, you can as well get positive testimonials from your past students.
- Influencers: Look for industry influencers who meet your audience niche especially and partner with them.
- Affiliate programs: Affiliate marketing is another tool that can be utilized by working with ambassadors who can spread words about the course on your behalf.
- Webinar: Another way is to get people excited about all they will be learning from you by hosting a webinar.
- Corporate with instructors: You can work closely with other instructors, this way, you can explore each other’s network/ audience or co-teach a lesson.
- Go multilingual: Your course can be translated into various languages thereby enabling it to be understood by a wider international market.
09. The ninth step is to gather feedback
Since we have lately moved to conducting more of our business and learning online, it should be easy to make data-driven decisions, explore rich analytics and improve our reach to hear the voices of our customers.
It is wise for you to utilize the digital opportunities you have to enhance your curriculum by asking for feedback when it comes to your online course. If you work on the feedback you receive, it will have an effect on your course, and students will have a better experience, refer you, or join workshops or learning opportunities you may offer in the future.
For you to get feedback, you have to create surveys by utilizing a form builder inquiring about the experience of students, suggestions for improvement, and if there was anything else they hoped to get from the course but didn’t get.
10. The tenth step is to cultivate a learning community
Online education is should be a continuous process, this is why it is important that you foster a community of learners around your course, this way their level of experience will be improved greatly and this will in no small measure contribute to the success of your course generally.
Another reason why this is relevant is that they can assist each other by discussing their learning process and asking any questions they may have in the nearest future in an active online community.
This is also a great platform for sharing news concerning upcoming courses or other opportunities that might be relevant to them.
Below are some of the options we came up with for fostering an active learning community and they are:
- A Members Area: This permits registered or paying users to have access to numerous premium content ranging from chat to blogs, and forums.
- An online forum: Integrating an online forum as part of your website will permit users to support the growth and learning process of one another.
- Social media groups: Private social media groups like Facebook groups or a Twitter list can be created for learners to participate in.
- Online communication platforms: Online learning platforms like Slack or Discord can be utilized in a learning community.
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