Have you ever think to create online course? May be you are good at any topic, subject or skill but not sure how to create online course and make money out of that.
In this post I am going to cover benefits of creating online course, how to create online course and how to make money with online course.
The online education industry will go beyond $325 billion by year 2025 as per the recent researches in the field.
Online courses were already popular for quiet some time but during the Covid-19 pandemic situation it has grown inordinately.
This simply shows that there is a huge opportunity for you to make headway as a course creator in your niche.
It may seem like creating online course is very difficult and how to proceed for the same. Don’t worry I am here to help you with this post “How to Create Online Courses and Make Money”.
So keep reading!!
Table of Contents
Benefits of Creating Online Courses
With you online course whether free or paid you can attract new clients and build a list of targeted fans. These days everyone is looking for some course which they can learn at their own pace. Once they are satisfied they will trust you for your products and services and you will have loyal audience which will keep on increasing.
Earn More Money without Investing Time Much Time
Once the course is created you can keep selling them for any period of time. So you just spend time and efforts once to create online course and reap the benefits in the long run. This can be a very good source of passive income.
Global Reach and Impact
With online courses you can reach the global clients. Since there is no boundary to market your online course, provided it’s in a language (specifically English) which most people across the globe understand.
With your online course you can create an impact on so many people. You can change the world, aware the world, teach the world or make understand the topic which you are covering in your online course.
Build a Community of Like Minded People
The people who are interested in your course are like minded people. You can create a community of these people and involve with them in discussions, feedback and exchange of knowledge.
With your online course you can build a community of like minded people and you will get benefit out of that by improving your knowledge, skill and feedback about your course.
Position Yourself as an Authority Leader
If you have put a valuable content in your online course, this will help you to gain a position of authority leader.
For these your course should be like a signature course, it must be able to show your expertise in the subject or niche.
With the help of your online course you can get immediate increase in leads, sales or popularity.
For this you do not need a huge social media following or massive email list. When your content is convincing, people will trust you and definitely would like to buy your products or services.
How To Create Online Course
Choose the Suitable Course Topic
You must choose your online course topic very carefully. It must be the one which your love. You can deliver your best when you are passionate about that subject or topic.
This does not mean that you need to be so perfect to teach in a university or college. Just focus on your skills, talents and real life experiences that you have been through.
There are several profitable niches like Health, Education, Cooking, DIY, Online Marketing, Parenting, Travelling, Technology etc. You just have to think and choose the right topic to create online course.
Access And Ensure Your Course Topic Or Idea Is In Demand
Will you be interested to squander your time and effort in creating a course which has no demand? I am sure you are not.
So next step is to access the demand for the course. For that you need to conduct exhaustive market research to validate the idea.
Many course creators are of opinion that if there is a lot of competition in a particular area, then their course will not be in demand.
But I think this is totally opposite. If there is lot of competition means there is huge demand for that course or idea.
You just have to present that in the most effective and meticulous way.
To be sure about the demand of that particular course idea, you need to ask these three questions:
- Is this the topic which people are talking about?
- Do you find questions all over the web and social media about it?
- Do you see any gap in what you are going to offer and what the competitors are already offering?
Now analyse the answers and if its ‘yes’ for all the three questions and you have some unique proposition which others are not offering, then you must go ahead with the idea and create your online course.
Create Captivating And Convincing Learning Outcomes
You must clearly specify your learning outcomes. Everyone would be interested in buying your online course when they are clear about what they are going to learn.
Don’t assume that since you know the outcome then your potential students will also know what the learning outcomes are.
Your learning outcome should clearly explain what skill they will learn, what new knowledge they will obtain, how they are going to be benefited etc.
Also with the clear learning outcomes you are also ensured that the right students are joining the course. This simply indicates higher completion and satisfaction ratio. Once students are satisfied they will give positive feedback which in turn will give you more sales and lower refund requests.
Prepare and Collect Your Course Content
This is a very vital stage in creating online course. You have sheer volume of content and information in your head, in books, in laptop, in your notebook and so on. Here comes your skill to pick the best content and leave which is irrelevant or don’t contribute towards the learning outcome.
Since you have already done your market research, you are very clear about what the need of the market is and what the gap which you need to fulfill.
Your course content must be aligned to the learning outcome which audience is expecting.
Plan Your Course and Module Structure
Here at this step you have all the course content and now you have to group together the similar or relevant tips, ideas and content into modules.
Also very important step is to put them in order. This order must be in a progressive and logical manner so that they form a perfect sequence of lessons.
Decide the Most Effective Delivery Method
Now the next step comes is to decide the most effective and engaging delivery method for your lessons.
You must well research in advance about learning methodologies, preference etc. This you need to make your training more engaging and effective as possible.
You must also ensure what resources and ability you have to deliver the lessons. Here the different ways to deliver lessons are Videos, Audios, Written Content, Info graphics etc.
Obviously a combination of all delivery methods can be an added advantage. You must focus on applying the best methodologies so that you provide the maximum learning outcome.
In case you are not comfortable with any delivery method, you can work on that to improve the particular skill.
Shooting, Recording And Editing The Videos Of Your Online Course
This is a very important step while creating a course. By now you should have your perfect course layout and content ready with you. Also you know exactly how you are going to deliver your lessons of online course.
This is true that you can deliver your course content in any way depending on your audience’s preference. In this way you will be able to engage them and they will learn the lessons effectively.
However you can use any method but the most effective method which is very popular these days are video delivery.
Here also you can go for any option like:
- Talking Head: In this method you shot yourself on camera, while delivering lessons.
- Green Screen Talking Head: In this method you use green background behind you while recording. While editing you can use anything behind you like animations, banner, still image, power point slides etc.
- Screen casting: In this delivery method when you are recording your computer screen. Here you can choose to include a webcam type video of yourself on the top of this.
Now comes the editing of videos. This also you can learn and do if yourself or get it done by freelancers.
While editing you can cut, edit, replace your green screen, and add logos, text, pop-ups, fix your sound, save them as mp4. Once all these done you need to upload them to your online learning system.
You must be thinking of what equipment you will need to record these videos?
Don’t worry, you don’t need to make huge expenses in buying them.
With these few basic equipment below you can start video recording.
A laptop with good specification is a must. You need it to record videos with webcam, sharing screen recording, editing and uploading the course. I personally use a high end IBM Thinkpad machine with good specification so that I can work smoothly.
To start with you can use your existing laptop or computer if its not bothering you. In case you want to go for a better one, always go for business machine.
A good webcam is much needed when you are recording your course videos. If you want to record from a distance working live, with a noise free excellent sound clarity you must go for a external webcam. I personally use Logitech and extremely satisfied with the quality of picture and sound both.
Tripod is most basic and important accessory which every video creator must have. I use Digitek DTR 550LW Lightweight Tripod
This is compatible with most video cameras, digital cameras, still cameras, GoPro devices, Smartphone adapters and scopes. Earlier I had a local tripod which didn’t last much and since then I am using this I can say that it is the best.
When you are shooting the main concern is proper lighting. In the absence of right lighting your video quality will be very poor. So for better video quality you need to invest some amount in a ring light, that will serve your purpose. When I am shooting videos I don’t use any expensive lighting system, I just use DIGITEK 18 inch Professional LED Ring Light.
Well, it depends on you if you want to change the background so you need to use green screen, else it is needed. In my case depending upon the type of video I am shooting like tutorial, YouTube, course videos etc. I experiment with different backgrounds so I use Green Backdrop Chroma Key Screen Background. Also to mention that this comes with the stand, so you can easily shift and set it.
If you are not using webcam and shooting with Mobile Camera you will need a good lapel mic. Your sound quality will improve and the background noise will be minimized. I tried many mics but finally I settled with Boya Omnidirectional Lavalier Condenser Microphone. In case you are not sure which one to go for, trust me you will not regret after using this mic.
Here my suggestion is that you check the quality of your video with the resources you have, if you don’t actually need any of these accessories, you should do without them. Once you start earning money with your course, you can invest in the accessories for your next courses.
Host Your Online Course
Now your course is ready, but where to host them to make it available online.
There are three major ways to do the same which are as below:
Learning Management Systems
Learning management system is like your own academy. You can link this to your website and brand it as your own platform. This is the most preferable and best way and makes online course creation simple, easy and fast. There are popular platforms like Teachable, Thinkific etc. But I prefer Thinkific and host all my courses here only.
Online Course Marketplace
An online course marketplace is a platform for online education that connects teachers with the students/learners. There are several platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, Simplilearn, Udacity etc. You can select any which you feel best.
I also have some courses on Udemy which you can check here.
On your own website through plugins or software
There are few LMS plugins and themes available, with the use of them you can host the course on your own website. But here you get limited functionality, of course this is my opinion. You can yourself explore to know more.
Set Price for your Online Course
You need to be very clear about what is your business model and where your online course fit into it. To make it clear, you must think on:
- Whether this course is just going to be a free lead magnet for you main product or service?
- Will it be your primary income stream?
- Is it just an additional income stream for you?
Based on this you should design your course. Also you must make a proper analysis about the courses from competitors. What they are charging and what they are offering? You must deliver more value than them and in a very interesting way. When you are better you can price your course slightly better.
Don’t under-price your course else that will make your course less valuable that your competitors.
Launch Your Course with Online Marketing
By now you have your course ready and everything is completed. But the real work begins now.
Just by uploading the course will not fetch you any income. You need to launch your course and follow an ongoing marketing strategy to promote and enroll learners.
There you can work on different ways to attract more enrollments in your online course.
- You can run early bird discount promotions.
- You can do content marketing and sell your online courses.
- By running paid ads.
- Can use your list to market (if any)
- You can also market by running affiliate program.
- By using social media platforms
There are many other ways to market and promote your online course, you just need to find out and work for it.
How To Make Money With Online Course
Charge Upfront Course Fees
The most common and easiest way is to charge a fees for the course. It is like you are paying fees for your education. One time fees or charge for the online course is most convenient. It is always better to charge one time fees rather than charging a recurring payment that never ends.
Free Course with Paid Certification
This is also a way to make money from your online course. Coursera was the first to earn with this model over $1 million in their first year. In this model you provide all the valuable content or course for free.
Now you must want to know than how it can generate money, the below points can explain this:
- Build Trust:The learners can signup for your course for free. In this way they will get valuable content for free and it builds trust.
- Building Email List:The people who are interested in learning will be ready to provide their email Id. So you can build a list of valid mail ids and later on you can promote your other courses which may be paid.
- Certification:Since certification has professional value and people will pay for easily. When you course is such which provide benefits than you can charge for certification and people will be ready for that.
- Charge a Subscription
There are few niches or courses like music lessons, private tutoring, yoga etc. for which people will be hesitant to pay upfront. Here you can charge subscription fees monthly, yearly or whatever mode suitable for your course.
Sell for Fee and Create Funnel
One very popular and effective way is to sell your online course for free which is usually a basic course and not a detailed one. With this you can create a funnel for something else like the main course or related products or services.
At the end I would like to say that if you have any skill that you want to share with others you must create your online course. Even if you want to create a passive source of income you must create online courses.
I hope in this article you have learnt benefits of online course, how to create online course and how to make money by selling online course.
You can start with some simple courses first than based on the feedback you can create advanced courses.
I would like you to watch my complete YouTube series on Create Online Courses here.
I have also some online courses and the most popular one is Digital Marketing Specialist Program. In case you or any of your friend is interested in learning Digital Marketing in a very systematic and easy way (in Hindi) can refer this course.
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Gaurav is an IT Professional with 17+ years experience, a blogger, entrepreneur, digital marketing expert and trainer. He is founder of InfoTalks and on a mission to help startups, businesses and individuals to grow online to earn money online. You can follow him via his social handles.