Online courses are the future of learning. While offline books may still be a viable way to learn something, online courses are more appealing and they will gradually become more in demand.
If you are wondering how to create and sell a compelling online course then this is the right place for you.
Creating online courses takes a lot of time and effort but it can return with a lot of profit to you. However, you have to implement certain things to make sure you are narrow down the chances of getting failed when creating and selling an online course.
Why Should I Create an Online Course?
The most obvious reason why you should create an online course is to earn revenue. An income source that can provide a good lively hood solely with an online course is a successful business.
However, selling an online course have more benefits than just making you earn money. Online courses also work as customer acquisition where the online courses are the one that helps build an audience that has the potential to purchase a product of a certain company.
A great example of an online course for customer acquisition is Hootsuite. It is a social media management software where you get access to free courses in its Hootsuite academy. There is a high chance that many of those who decided to take those courses will a paying customers of other paid tools available in Hootsuite.
Online Courses for customer higher lifetime value. This is where business teaches or guides a customer who has purchased a product that takes some learning to use it. The guide is usually in the form of a course.
The learning curve takes time and companies do not want their customers to get confused and go for another product.
You can learn almost anything on the internet for free and creating an online course is not only about teaching the course to your students. It has to ensure that the courses which are paid have something special that has the ability to improve people’s lives in one way or another.
Making successful and impactful online courses are a follow up of tried and tested steps that are mentioned in this article.
How to Create and Sell Online Courses in 6 Easy Steps
Creating and selling online courses requires you to take action on these steps which are mentioned below.
1. Identify Your Course Topic
Since you are already at this article, you must have a topic broadly in your mind. Even if you don’t, you don’t have to bite your nail and be stressed.
We are here to help you identify your course topic and help you break it down into various steps and measures you can take in order to choose the right course topic.
We all know that your course topic should be the one that your audience wants to see and enjoy. The audience is the target and it is highly crucial to understand your audience and what type of topic they are looking for. If you happen to find out that information, you need to stick to that topic.
It is fairly easy to narrow down to a specific topic if you already have an audience. There are multiple ways to identify what topic is the one your audience wants.
You can use emails to take surveys from your target audiences and see what they have to think about the topics you have on your mind. You can use helpful tools like Typeform for this purpose.
Another beneficial way of identifying your course topic is the use of social media platforms. Create polls of your topics on Facebook and Instagram and the clear cut winner of those pills will be your course topic.
These are a good way to identify the course topic that you want to sell.
2. Validate Your Online Course
Creating online courses have been a highly beneficial business over a physical course in the form of books in recent years. This is why many publishers and course providers are leaning towards the online market.
But the one fear that comes along with selling an online course is that there is no guarantee that the course will be successful and create a significant margin of profit.
So it is important to validate online courses so that the course can be launched without any fear of failure and losing a good chunk of money.
How do you validate your online course? Well, for starters, you can ask your audience by performing a full-fledged survey.
Surveys to validate online courses can include direct questions about what topic they are interested in or would they be willing to spend any said reasonable amount of money for the course.
You can also ask and get feedback from your audience via social media platforms which seems more engaging than doing surveys via email.
You can also pre-sell your course in the form of a sales page or a one-page description where your audience gets to access things before the official launch. Paying customers are a great motivation to complete the course and sell it with full ambition.
Launching pilot courses are also a viable way of validating your online course. You can offer additional side course that normally does not appear on your normal course and people who are willing to buy the pilot courses will also get discounts.
3. Creating Your Course Content
Online Courses mainly consists of the person who is teaching the course and a computer screen if the course requires sharing computer screens.
There are hundreds of types of online courses that you can create and all of them will require you the same sets of equipment and tools.
The first tool is that you need something to record yourself and your voice. A good camera and a microphone are necessary to make an online course. You can even use a built-in webcam and microphone on your laptop if it is good enough.
If the online course that you sell require screen sharing then a software tool like Screenflow can come in handy as it is one of the best tools for screen sharing.
Comprehensive planning is needed to create a decent to the absolute amazing course. You have to structure the content of your course and plan out everything in scripts or make write out the points that you have to cover.
Create milestones for students who take your course. These milestones can be determined as the chapters in your online course. When completing a chapter, your student should feel some sort of achievement and acknowledge what they have learnt.
Make your content engaging and educational because many people who purchase online courses never get to finish the course. This is because of the lack of engaging content in the course.
4. Choose Your Platform
Now that you have created a very compelling and engaging online course you need to choose a platform where you would distribute it. There are a handful of options to choose from. So let’s take a look at them one by one.
Self Hosting platforms like WordPress allow or perhaps limit users to sell their course by managing a rented server. WordPress is a popular content management system where you get thousands of plugins and themes to create an e-learning website.
You can run ads on these sites with the help of a paid web hosting service. However, there is a high chance of website crashes if there is a sudden spike in your website.
If you do not have proficient technical knowledge of creating a website and are afraid that you lose lots of audience because of uncertain spikes then there are other options as well.
(ii) Standalone Platforms
Standalone platforms are one of the best and commonly used platforms for selling online courses.
These platforms are pre-made to build e-learning websites. There are easy payment options where the payment system is already built-in and all you have to do is to set the price of your course.
The interface is user friendly and students can easily get used to it. The drag and drop feature allows the owner to create a sales page, designs and branding easily without having to code out anything.
Platforms like Learn words, Thinkific and Teachable are some of the best standalone platforms where you can sell your online course.
(iii) Online Course Marketplace
Skillshare, Udemy and Coursera are dominating in Online Course Marketplace in recent times.
It is probably the most popular form of online course selling platform. The only task that takes the most effort in the online course marketplace is creating the course itself. They provide services and tools that take care of everything. From setting up the course in the platform to making a payment system, it is all set up by these platforms themselves.
Setting up everything for the course provider also comes at a cost. Also, the course owner has to agree with terms and conditions on how the platform operates.
(iv) All-in-One Online Course Platforms
All-in-one platforms are web-based e-learning platforms where valuable information and educational content are distributed to people who purchase them.
Courses available on these platforms are provided by consultants, writers, coaches, teachers and speakers etc.
There are two great all-in-one platforms that we recommend and these are Kajabi and Podia. They help you create an amazing and attractive e-learning website seamlessly with the help of intuitive features provided by them.
There are multiple forms of price structures that you can set according to the type, of course, you are selling. It can be a one-time payment, multiple payments, fees or subscription-based.
5. Decide on Your Pricing
Your pricing holds a lot of value and marketing of your course without you even realizing it.
Selling at a low price will not always result in the most profit and sometimes you should thrive to decide the pricing that gets you the most revenue. On the other hand, higher price tends to have more perceived value from audiences.
Selling online courses are about having a loyal audience that pays for your course no matter what you decide to price your courses.
You can also find the sweet spot for your pricing by changing the prices and seeing what happens to the number of sales. You can check out different price points and sometimes it is the best option to decide on your pricing.
6. Marketing Your Course
Marketing Your course is just as important as creating it. After publishing your course, it is majorly up to your marketing how well your course will perform.
There are many ways you can market your course such as organic traffic from search engines, running ads, social media, and affiliate marketing.
If you have the budget, you can even hire agencies that have the expertise in digital marketing and help your course as many audiences as possible.
Create an Online Course FAQs
Go through these FAQs to clear further doubts:
It depends on the type, of course, you are creating. A mini-course which consists of 4-5 videos takes around a week. A full-fledged course with multiple modules will take eight weeks or more to make.
It is not difficult to create a successful online course if you vigorously apply what you have read in this article.