People go online for a variety of reasons, including entertainment and socializing. But the Internet is also used to find information and learn new things. Not sure how to use a new piece of software? There is probably a video tutorial on YouTube. Want to know what you can make for dinner with the three ingredients you have in your fridge? Check Pinterest for a recipe.
While some people have done this by creating a blog or writing books, an online course is another method of selling what you know. Online learning is expected to reach more than $240 billion by 2021, according to Global Industry Analysts. Many people don’t think they know enough about a topic to teach it, but the truth is, you don’t have to be an expert to create and sell an online course.
The topics you can cover are vast including art or photography, personal development, music, gardening, cooking, marketing, technology, language, and more. Many people have made thousands of dollars a month with online courses teaching things like guitar, how to use specific software, or how to bake bread. Before you dive in and start creating your own online course, it helps to look at the pros and cons to see if this is the right avenue for you to pursue.
Additionally, due to continually advancing technology, many of the tools and equipment needed to create a course are very simple to use, with professional-quality results. You can create courses to sell as an addition to your existing business. For example, if you’re a blogger, you can offer a course that delves deeper into something specific in your blog’s topic area.
Creating and selling online courses can offer you a passive income stream. You only have to create a course once, and then you can sell it over and over. Additionally, because your course is online, you can have students from all over the world, in any time zone, without any additional effort.
You can give them a small amount of information or teach them a basic-level service, and then direct them to your other paid offerings if they want more of what you have to offer. Quality online courses usually offer students a variety of content delivery methods such as text and video, which can take time to create.
When designing your online course, you’ll need to choose an online service to host your finished product. An ideal choice is USmarty.
It’s worth putting the time into keyword and trend research to focus on what’s trending now and what people want to buy. It can be a challenge to correctly price your course to maximize your income while still making it affordable for students. This part takes some trial and error and also involves looking at comparable online courses and getting an estimate of the market’s going rate vs.
If you’re ready to delve into the world of online teaching, follow the steps below. Make a list of things you know about. Perhaps it’s something your friends and family ask you for help on. Maybe it’s a skill related to your job (i.e., how to use Evernote or how to be productive working at home).
Many people might want to know about your topic, but the question is; are they willing to pay to learn it? Before you invest time in your course, research who the best buyer for it would be, and whether or not they’re ready, willing and able to buy it. If you’ve determined there is a market willing to buy your course, the next step is in determining what you’ll put in the course.
A course isn’t like a blog post, which often just skims the surface. To help organize your course, think in terms of modules and lessons. A module would be the overall subtopic, with the lessons providing the details of that subject. For example, if you have a course on starting a home business, you might have a module on business plans.
The trick is in determining what format is best for what you’re trying to teach. In some cases, you might offer two methods for one lesson. For example, if you were teaching a course on how to use Quickbooks, you might have both a step-by-step text instruction and a video tutorial on how to install and set up the software.
Consider creating a logo or a color theme that appears in all lesson content. Proofread your text lessons and watch your videos to make sure there are no errors or glitches. For the most control, create a website to host and deliver your lesson. There are membership site scripts and WordPress plugins that can help you set up a system for selling and delivering your course.
Pay from these sites varies. For example, USmarty’s instructor pay depends on how the sale was generated (through its marketplace, an affiliate, or directly from you). The benefit to these resources is that you simply upload your course and the sites take care of selling it to their members/market, including payment processing.
Plus, you’re competing with other course providers, which can mean the need to reduce the price of your course to compete. A final option is a service such as Teachable or Ruzuku, both of which offer some of the benefits of self-hosted with the ease and speed of USmarty. These options have easy creation and upload like the course service marketplaces, but you can add your own domain, and customize your school like in self-hosted options.
Most integrate with PayPal, or you can use their payment service. Most of the above options don’t require exclusivity so that you can sell your course on more than one platform. Even so, be sure to read the terms of service before offering your course on multiple platforms. Once you’ve picked your platform, upload your course.
It will help you create your unique brand. Regardless of your platform, you need to promote your course. Even using a service like USmarty, in which students can find you by perusing the USmarty marketplace, you want to do your own marketing. Every few months or so, check that your course information is current and relevant.
Don’t forget to check and fix any broken links to resources. There’s no rule that you have to stick with one course. If there are other courses you can teach related to your initial course, create those. You can then refer your students to these other courses. For example, if you offer a course on how to write a mystery, you can add a course on how to publish a book and/or how to market a book.