How To Create A Successful Online Course
Selling an online course is how most bloggers and influencers are making a living online. The rest chose to start an e-commerce store instead.
Both have advantages, however, e-commerce comes with its own set of headaches such as returns, damaged goods, shipping issues, and more.
Meanwhile, when you sell an online course, everything is digital, so delivery is instant.
Plus, it is accessible everywhere, so you can reach customers in places that are hard to ship to. Not to mention how easy returns are with a simple click of a button.
Additionally, marketing trend analyzers see no signs of the online course world stopping any time soon, in fact, it is currently expected to expand significantly each year.
So if you’re thinking that it’s too late to create your own online course, it’s not.
It is just the beginning.
If you are in need of some inspiration, take a look at the courses that we offer here at LadyBossBlogger.
1. Focus On A Specific Topic
Obviously, you can’t create an online course without choosing a topic.
If you have ever received comments or requests for topics of blog posts from your readers, you could turn them into a detailed online course.
While you want it to be a topic you have lots of knowledge on, you also want to make sure there is a demand for the content. Otherwise, no one will buy it, and you’ll have put in time and effort for no success.
No one wants to take a dull or boring course.
So, once you decide on a topic, make sure you see if it will be well received.
You can use a site like Buzzsumo to see potential interest in your chosen topic, or you can ask for input directly from your readers.
Some other ways to involve your followers include:
- Creating a poll on your Instagram story
- Asking for opinions in the comments
- Sending out a preview to your email subscribers
All in all, your best topic choice is something you are passionate about and know well.
This allows you to use your own personal experience to create an exclusive learning opportunity that your loyal followers will want to become a part of.
Just remember, the course needs to be detailed because potential customers won’t want to pay money for information they could likely find somewhere else on the internet for free.
2. Develop The Curriculum
This is where research on what information your target audience wants or needs can come in handy.
Learning what they want allows you to shape the content of your course. This way you can know what you should include or leave out.
Beginning And End
Begin by designing a clear start and end. By the end of the course, people want to gain something.
Therefore, make sure the course has direction and provides new information. You don’t want to be repetitive and lead your student in circles.
Plus, a poorly designed course will result in negative reviews that will likely stop others from buying your course.
If at first, you don’t know how you want to guide your student from the beginning to the end, that’s okay.
Having a solid idea of where the course opens and closes will tell you what information you will want to include to get your students there.
Also, knowing what your students will get out of the course allows you to establish a title and brief description to entice your followers to purchase it.
Be sure to highlight how it will benefit them, particularly by what they can gain or learn.
Developing the structure of your online course requires you to sort through all the information you have decided to include.
You’ll want to group together similar themes and ideas and separate different lessons into chapters or modules.
Then you can have each section focus on a different skill that they will learn once they complete the lesson.
Within each lesson, make sure you break the text down into smaller chunks with headings and subheadings, so it is easier to follow along with.
Additionally, put an emphasis on tasks that the student can do themselves to put the information they learn into practice.
You can present all the information you want on the topic, but if you don’t have a way for them to try it out, it will go in one ear and out the other.
People want to take courses to learn how they can apply the lessons in their own lives, not just learn how much information you have in your brain on the subject.
3. Spice Up The Visuals
Similar to blog posts, you do not want your course to contain only text. Students need visuals to break up the text and understand what they are reading.
Plus, some people are visual learners.
Images and videos also hold a reader’s focus better, which makes them more likely to continue working through the course.
If they finish the course and see results, they will likely leave positive feedback and encourage others to try it as well.
While you want to provide as much detailed information as possible on the topic, you also don’t want to overload your student.
4. Produce The Online Course
Your next step after determining your content is deciding how you want to produce it for consumption.
Some useful websites that can help you do so are:
You also have to decide how you want to present your lessons within your course. There are three common categories to chose from—text, video and image, screencasting.
This method of producing is similar to lectures. A whole lot of information all at once.
It contains only text and can sometimes be overwhelming for a student to read and work their way through.
Since this is the simplest way you can do it, it also makes it the least exciting.
Styling your course this way could also cause potential students to stop taking it and request a refund.
To keep up the retention of students on your courses, you are better off using text combined with other features such as videos and images.
Video And Image
Videos offer another way to capture and maintain the attention of your student.
You can include relevant videos to supplement your text. However, you could also film and edit videos of yourself explaining the content.
These types of courses make it easier for the student to follow along and feel connected to you and the information they are learning.
This connection can be useful for future interactions with you and your site.
This final option is still a form of video, but this time it features your computer screen.
If your content focuses more on online subjects, this might be your best option. It provides you the opportunity to show exactly what you are talking about as you explain and guide your student through it.
5. Market Your Course
Making sure your content was desired and relevant is the very first step in marketing your online course. If you did that while designing, you are already one step ahead.
However, marketing continues long after you finish producing the course.
A common misconception is that all you have to do is create a course and then it will sell.
Well, we wish this was true, but it isn’t.
It can take months or even years to develop an active following that will buy your course.
But that’s okay, now comes the fun part.
One way to draw attention to your course is by telling an interesting story about how the information helped you overcome an obstacle or accomplish a goal.
Other ways you can raise awareness for your course include:
- Sharing customer reviews and results
- Making it well-known on your blog
- Designing infographics
- Posting it across your social accounts
If you want to create an online course but are concerned about the outcome, don’t be afraid to start small.
You should get a feel for the process and interest of your readers or followers before you dedicate time to make it perfect.
If you start by choosing your topic and designing the curriculum, the rest will begin to fit into place.
Additional articles you might be interested in:
- The Best E-Commerce Guide: How To Create SEO Friendly Content
- 12 Most Profitable Niches For Making Money Online
- How To Discover And Engage Your Target Audience
- 31 Ideas On What To Post On Your Instagram Stories
- How To Get Your First Email Subscribers In 20 Days Or Less
- How To Use Social Media Marketing To Promote Your Business
Katelyn Beery is a blogging intern at LadyBossBlogger.com. She majors in writing at Ithaca College and hopes to pursue a career in either technical or professional writing. She can usually be found cleaning, listening to music, or gazing at clouds.