Online education is growing exponentially. No wonder why it’s a business model most business owners are developing, and if you haven’t, you’ll learn how to create and sell an online course in this post.
Here are some stats:
- The number of online learning users is expected to reach 57 million by 2027 (Source: PROSPERITYFORAMERICA)
- 2 out of every 5 Fortune 500 companies take advantage of E-learning (Source: FINDSTACK.COM)
- 70% of students agree that online classes are better than traditional classroom settings (Source: UNIVERSITY OF THE POTOMAC)
- The corporate e-learning industry is expected to be worth nearly $50 billion by 2026 (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
- Global E-learning Market to reach USD $457.8 billion by 2026 (Source: REPORTLINKER.COM)
Table of Contents
What’s an online course
An online course is a type of educational program that is delivered over the internet, usually through a learning management system (LMS) or a dedicated course platform.
Online courses can be an effective way to learn new skills or knowledge, particularly for people who are unable to attend traditional classroom-based courses due to geographic or scheduling constraints. They offer flexibility and convenience, allowing students to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule, while also offering opportunities for interaction with instructors and other students through online forums or virtual classrooms.
- Online courses can be taken by anyone with internet access, from anywhere in the world,
- They typically involve a mix of self-paced learning activities, such as reading materials, watching videos, and completing assignments or quizzes.
- They can cover a wide range of subjects and skill levels, from introductory courses to advanced courses.
- Some online courses are offered for free, while others require payment or a subscription fee.
- Online courses can be designed for individuals or groups and can be offered by universities, colleges, businesses, or independent instructors.
- Many online courses offer certificates or other forms of recognition upon completion, which can be useful for professional development or to showcase skills to potential employers.
Types of Online Courses
There are many different types of online courses that cater to a variety of subjects, skills, and learning styles. Here are some of the most common types of online courses:
1) Self-paced courses
Self-paced courses allow students to work through course materials at their own pace and on their own schedule, without any fixed deadlines. These courses are ideal for students who prefer a more flexible learning experience and have other commitments that may affect their study time.
2) Live online courses
Live online courses offer real-time instruction and interaction with instructors and other students through videoconferencing or other online communication tools. These courses can provide a more immersive and engaging learning experience, but require students to attend classes at scheduled times.
3) Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
MOOCs are free, open-access courses that are available to anyone with an internet connection. They are typically self-paced and offer a wide range of subjects and skill levels.
4) Certificate courses
Certificate courses are short-term online courses that offer a certificate upon completion. They are typically focused on a specific subject or skill and can be a good option for professionals looking to enhance their skills or knowledge in a particular area.
5) Degree programs
Many universities and colleges offer online degree programs, which allow students to earn a degree entirely online. These programs offer a more structured and rigorous learning experience and can be a good option for students who cannot attend traditional campus-based programs.
6) Hybrid courses
Hybrid courses combine online learning with traditional classroom-based instruction. They typically involve a combination of online coursework and in-person meetings or classes, allowing students to benefit from both modes of instruction.
How To Create An Online Course
Creating an online course can be a rewarding and effective way to share your expertise, build your brand, and generate income.
Here are the steps you should take to create an online course:
Step # 1 – Choose a topic
Select a topic that you are knowledgeable and passionate about. Consider your audience and what they are interested in learning.
Step # 2 – Define your learning objectives
Determine what you want your students to achieve after completing the course. This will help you structure your course content and activities.
Step # 3 – Plan your content
Create an outline of your course content, including lectures, videos, readings, quizzes, and assignments. Use multimedia tools to create engaging and interactive content.
Step # 4 – Choose a course platform
Select an online course platform that fits your needs and budget. Popular platforms include Teachable, Thinkific, Udemy, Kajabi, and Coursera.
Step # 5 – Create your course
Use your course platform to build and upload your course content, including videos, lectures, quizzes, and assignments. Make sure your course is easy to navigate and visually appealing.
Step # 6 – Set your pricing and marketing strategy
Determine how much you will charge for your course and how you will promote it. Consider offering discounts, free trials, or referral bonuses to attract new students.
Step # 7 – Launch and promote your course
Once your course is complete, launch it and promote it through social media, email marketing, and other channels. Monitor your progress and adjust your marketing strategy as needed.
Step # 8 – Gather feedback and improve
Listen to feedback from your students and use it to improve your course content and delivery. Continuously update and improve your course to keep it relevant and engaging.
Creating an online course takes time, effort, and planning, but can be a rewarding way to share your expertise and build your brand.
Tools To Create An Online Course
Creating an online course requires a combination of tools for different aspects of the process.
Keep in mind that before choosing the tools, you should consider your specific needs and budget, as well as the features and support offered by each tool. If they have freemium packages, try them first.
Here are some of the tools that can help you create an online course:
- Course creation platforms
Platforms like Teachable, Thinkific, Learnworlds, and Kajabi offer course creation tools that allow you to build and manage your course. These platforms provide a range of features such as course hosting, student management, payment processing, and course customization.
- Video creation tools
Videos are a key component of online courses. Tools like Camtasia, ScreenFlow, and OBS Studio allow you to create and edit video content for your course. These tools offer features like screen recording, video editing, and audio recording.
- PowerPoint or Keynote
PowerPoint and Keynote are useful tools for creating presentation slides.
- LMS plugins for WordPress
If you’re using WordPress to host your course, you can use Learning Management System (LMS) plugins such as LearnDash, LifterLMS, and WP Courseware to create and manage your course.
- Content creation tools
Tools like Canva, Piktochart, and Adobe Spark allow you to create visual content like infographics, images, and social media posts to promote your course.
- Audio tools
If you’re creating a podcast or audio content for your course, tools like Audacity, GarageBand, and Hindenburg can help you record and edit your audio files.
- Learning content management systems (LCMS)
An LCMS like Xyleme allows you to create, manage, and deliver learning content across different platforms and devices.
How To Sell Your Online Course
Selling an online course can be challenging without a plan. Here are some strategies on how to sell your online course:
- Increase the value: You can increase the value by including bonuses.
- Build an email list: Start by building an email list of potential customers who are interested in your course topic. Offer a lead magnet such as a free e-book or checklist to attract signups.
- Use social media: Use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to promote your course. Create engaging content related to your course topic and use targeted ads to reach your ideal audience.
- Collaborate with influencers: Partner with influencers in your niche to promote your course to their followers. This can help you reach a wider audience and build credibility.
Related content: Influencer Marketing: A Complete Guide
- Use paid advertising: Consider using paid advertising channels like Google Ads, Facebook or Instagram Ads, or LinkedIn Ads to reach your target audience. Use highly targeted keywords and demographics to ensure your ads are seen by the right people.
- Offer a free trial or demo: Offer a free trial or demo of your course to potential customers. This allows them to test your course and see the value before they commit to a purchase.
- Create a referral program: Create a referral program that rewards customers who refer others to your course. This can help you generate more sales through word-of-mouth marketing.
- Use testimonials and reviews: Use testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers to promote your course. This social proof can help build trust and credibility with potential customers.
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Creating and selling an online course takes time and effort, but with a solid marketing plan and persistence, you can reach your target audience and generate sales.