From budgeting essentials to copywriting to cake decorating; online courses seem to be popping up everywhere these days. No matter what the topic is, chances are you can find an online course about it. Technology has made it easier to share information and transfer knowledge quickly to many people in various locations.
If you’ve ever taken an online course, you may be thinking, “hey, I can do that.” You may be an excellent writer, great with spreadsheets or be an expert at applying make-up. There’s a course out there for just about anything and if you have a skill, then you can teach an online course. Even if you’re not an expert, you can do research to delve deeper and share that knowledge to help others.
The demand to learn new skills is high. The increase in layoffs seen in 2020 helped to drive that need and in some cases also created the need for a complete career shift. So, why not hone in on a skill of your own AND learn how to create an online course. If you’re thinking this sounds crazy and there is no way that you’re an authority on anything – think again! Here is a short list of ideas and some tips on how you can start and create an online course of your very own.
HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE TIP #1: CHOOSE CONTENT WISELY
Do your research. See what is trending and hot. Make sure it’s content that people are interested in learning about and make sure you possess knowledge. If you’re passionate about the content, have charisma and possess the desire to learn more, then you are one step closer to convincing people to take your online course and learn from you.
HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE TIP #2: HAVE A PLAN
Map out what you want to teach, what you want your students to learn and exactly how you’re going to get there. Just like a teacher you need a lesson plan. You want to make sure it’s smooth and polished. You may need to do several practice runs to make sure your online course is engaging. Getting feedback from test students is also important so you can adjust the course as needed.
HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE TIP #3: IDENTIFY COSTS
Once you have a course outline, you’ll need to make sure it’s viable to create financially. Creating an online course can be as simple as using your smart phone and uploading the video to YouTube. But, if you need equipment like cameras, special lighting, or advanced software or computer hardware, then that needs to be factored into the budget. Marketing costs to promote your online course as well as hosting a website, payment platform or hiring additional personnel are also a factor. The key is to keep it simple and not get so complex with your online course that you talk yourself out of it before you even get started.
HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE TIP #4: BECOME AN EXPERT
Make sure you’re an expert or poise yourself as an expert to create credibility and establish your authority. Continual learning will help you become an expert and sharing that knowledge with people who simply don’t have time to do the research on their own will help you reap the benefits.
Go above and beyond. Anyone can search the Internet for the topic. Give them anecdotes, something special, personal experiences – anything that makes you endearing and goes beyond a typical keyword search. Find your niche and always look for information and ways to morph your course to create additional content. Always reiterate what they’ve learned on how your online course has been helpful.
HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE TIP #5: CREATE YOUR COURSE
You want your online course to look professional and that may require more than talking to your iPhone. If your video is not perfect, then you may need to edit. There are many free editing software sights available like iMovie, Lightworks, Wix Video Maker and more that can help you cut unnecessary pauses or break-up your video into shorter, digestible segments. These applications can also help to add titles, captions or music to help captivate your audience.
HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE TIP #6: FIGURE OUT TECHNOLOGY
You may be filled with knowledge and have an idea for a course all mapped out, but actually creating the course and getting it online can be one of the biggest challenges. This seems like the hard part for many of us and often blocks us from ever beginning. The key is just to start. Keep it simple and be willing to ask for help if tech is not the skill you’re teaching.
Identify your goals for delivery of your online course. Do you create a YouTube video, podcast or website that links to your online course? Assess your equipment needs – do you need a high-tech microphone, video camera, or could it be as simple as using your iPhone. What about other special equipment like tripods, special lighting, and background aesthetics? No one wants to see your messy living room in the background. Depending on your content and the number of online courses you plan to create, do you need a studio or need to consult a professional company to work out the technical details? You can use a site such as Podia to create your course.
HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE TIP #7: PROMOTE THE HECK OUT OF IT
Utilizing social media platforms to promote your online course is a quick way to reach and connect with your target audience and spread the word. Create email campaigns to help promote your online course and to provide important updates and reminders. A separate website or landing page can help to capture leads. Until the course goes live or until you take it offline, promotion should always be top of mind. Continue to remind attendees that the course is available and make finding the link to join the course easy. Offer incentives to spread the word, sign up for future classes or to enter drawings to win free products and services.
HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE TIP #8: SELL YOUR COURSE
Once people know about your online course and are excited about taking it, they need to know specifics, like how to sign up and how to pay if it’s not a free course. There are several different platforms, setups and payment options to consider. A quick Internet search will bring back a sea of information about various platforms like stand alone, all-in-one, video platforms and affiliate programs and payment options like PayPal, Venmo or channel subscriptions. This is the part of online courses that can make your head spin, but don’t let the information overwhelm you and stop you from achieving your dreams.
HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE TIP #8: CREATE A STRONG NETWORK
Build a rapport with your students and create an online environment that fosters a community and a forum to share ideas, answer questions and generate content for future courses. Social media is a great way to not only promote your online course, but it allows you to continue the conversation beyond the course. Stay in touch and stay connected through social media posts, newsletters, blogs, and continue to provide helpful tidbits of information. Ask for feedback to find out what you could do better next time and find out what people want to learn about next. Create a network of support that works for you and helps to keep spreading the word.
HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE TIP #9: FIND SPONSORS TO SUPPORT YOUR ONLINE COURSE
Finding reputable sponsors that you can mention or promote during your online course gives credibility. Obtaining sponsorship dollars can also allow you to offer your online course free of charge. The ability to offer free online courses allows you to reach more people which in turn allows you to get more sponsors and creates a nice circle of life for any online course.
HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE TIP #10: MEASURE SUCCESS
Like any venture in life, you need to measure results to determine if it was successful, needs improvement or was a complete disaster. Collecting data helps to identify how well you did and allows you to ask questions like – How many people signed up? What were your engagement rates? What type of feedback did you receive? Is there interest in future online courses? Data is key and the answers to these questions will help you measure success and determine your path to create more online courses in the future.
HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE BONUS TIP: KNOW WHEN TO CALL FOR HELP
Creating an online course just takes one idea and determination. It may seem complicated, but it’s completely doable. I know because I was just like you and completely overwhelmed by the process, but I am happy and proud to say that I just launched The Ultimate & FREE Copywriting From Scratch Master Course. So, believe me when I tell you that you can do it too, and I can help you! My name is Michael Giannulis and one of my missions in life is to help business owners and entrepreneurs achieve their goals and multiply success. I’d love to learn more about you and your online course ideas. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get started on creating YOUR online course today!