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Digitization has led to the revolution of learning and teaching. From the furthermost corners of the world, access to information is easy. The world, with technological advancements, has come closer.
Learning is no more confined to a room or textbooks. You can explore the various content formats to learn your desired course. Online platforms also help in conducting lectures.
You can find online courses for any and everything. Online courses range from software development to learning culinary arts. The online platforms assist edupreneurs' needs to start an online course.
Just like students aspiring to learn a skill, a teacher is also benefited from this forum as they can reach a global audience with their content and expertise. Online courses are a medium to enhance the experience of learning.
Today we will be discussing the different aspects of an online course and a walkthrough of 10 steps on how to create an online course to sell.
Let’s get started!
Importance of Online Courses
Before we get into how to create an online course, let’s just take a look at the important aspects of online courses that make it stand out in the mode of education.
How To Create An Online Course
- Choose A Topic/Subject
- Classify Your Target Audience
- Conduct Research
- Create An Outline
- Choose An Online Platform
- Plan Out Your Modules and Lectures
- Host Your Online Course
- Create Your Online School
- Monetize your Course
- Marketing Your Course
Choose A Topic/Subject
Having established the significance of online courses let’s get started on how to create an online training course from scratch.
To start any task, it is important to work on the ideation of the subject. Here, we need to analyse the subject matter we should create our online course. Choosing a topic is not all that simple. For instance, to start an online course on how to play the guitar, you need to possess the knowledge and create a course accordingly.
Hence, the base of selecting a topic is analysing your strengths as a course creator and branching it out into sections. The second core aspect of choosing a topic is understanding how prevalent the topic is in the market.
For instance, if your strength lies in finance, in the current trends you should create a course on ‘how to analyse the stock market’ or ‘beginner’s guide to cryptocurrency.
Classify Your Target Audience
Upon selecting your topic, it is imperative that you classify your target audience. Target audience refers to a section of the masses for whom the product is made.
For instance, if you create a course titled beginners’ guide to video editing, it will attract the section of the audience that either knows the basics of video editing or are new to the concept.
This course won’t entice video editors but the people who aspire to be one.
Hence, you need to bifurcate your audience and create content accordingly. If we take the same example as above, you can create your course structure in the division of three;
You can merge the content as well. This way the reach will increase and you can create in-depth courses.
Once you have selected a topic and your target audience, you need to perform background research for the same because you are definitely not the first person to create an online course on your selected topic.
Hence, you need to get familiarised with the content that is already available and try to find an alternative to enhance that information through examples or visual mediums.
You need to provide an upskilling value with your online course, as in, adding the factor that makes your course structure a better option than the ones present on the internet. To achieve this goal, you need to strengthen your knowledge base.
Create An Outline
Now you have completed the brainstorming section of how to create an online course, let’s get started with the primary elements of creating a course. Before we start gathering information and adding content, it is imperative that you create a structure for your content.
The following steps can help you build an outline for your course;
This is the basic approach to creating an outline for an online course. You can explore and experiment with the steps to provide more clarity and ease for the audience.
Choose An Online Platform
Once you have the basic outline of what you are going to be sharing information about, you need to select an online course platform.
These platforms help you in planning, creating, selling and managing your course content and audience at large.
These online course platforms can be diversified in services as some of them offer CRM, CMS and LMS services which we will be discussed ahead. Choosing the best alternative as a course creator can be tricky but the features that you need to focus on are;
Choosing the online platform to publish your course is a pivotal decision as an edupreneur and as a course creator. You can select your platform from a wide range of online course builders like Kajabi, Podia, Teachable and even WordPress. Along with these you also have Learning Management Systems (LMS) like EdApp and Schoology.
Hence, we would like for you to get a better idea of how to create an online course with our in-depth analysis of the 10 Best Online Course Platforms in 2023.
Plan Out Your Modules and Lectures
Upon creating an outline for your course, you can now start focusing on the content you will be providing for your audience.
Modules and lectures are the primary divisions of a course wherein a module is a collection of lectures.
For instance, if you are creating a course on how to write a novel, your first module will be ‘Select/Pick A Genre’ and in that module, you will have chapters like ‘Types Of Genres’ and then describe and give examples for each of the genres. Then move on to the next module ‘Creating A Setting’ wherein you can add chapters like ‘Mood of the Story’ and others.
Here, you need to plan each and every lecture to its core. With online course building software, you can create lectures with various multimedia where the audience is more engaged with the content.
For instance, you can shuffle between video lectures and textual content. You can also add course materials to your lectures.
Course Materials are attachments to your lectures that can be utilised as practice material for skills or as reference content. These documents help the students in understanding the course subject better.
Course materials can be attached in the form of worksheets and workbooks, PDFs, questionnaires and guidelines, instructor guides, charts, presentations and other textual information.
You can use tools like Dynalist to create the content outline for your course.
A lot of platforms like, also provide live streaming to connect with your audience in a more seamless and engaging way.
This is how you can plan out your modules and lectures for your course.
Host Your Online Course
Upon completing all the above steps, you will have a well-structured course with you. You can now host this course on online platforms for the students to observe and join.
For this, you will need a domain to host your course.
A domain is like an online address that can be used to locate a website or a digital space on the internet. Domains can be created for sales pages, websites, online courses and others that are somewhere down the line interlinked.
Your online course will be hosted on your own site/domain. Online platforms also provide a feature of hosting under their name or a marketplace.
Therefore, the three ways of hosting your online course on the internet are;
There are a lot of online course platforms that offer free hosting with assistance on how to create an online course for free. You can check out our Thinkific review to understand the concept of free/web-hosting in detail.
Create Your Online School
Once you have hosted your first course in the marketplace, you would want to expand your radius and create more courses for your mentees as there are new developments every day.
To achieve the goal of creating a library of courses you need to create a digital space. This space will be an archive of information for anyone who is discovering your course for the first time and wants to know more about your brand. The best way to manage content is by creating a website.
Websites offer the platform to sell and manage content. In terms of an online course, your website will be your online school where you can admit a number of students and allot them their desired courses. You can also factor in these steps for the quest on how to create an online course with WordPress and then integrate/plugin the course with your website.
A website alone won’t suffice as a complete package for creating an online school and hence, you need the assistance of services like;
The above features enhance the efficiency of an online course creators as they can manage their content in one place.
Creating an online course is the first step, once you do you have to organize your students, content, affiliates (if any), sell and monetise your course. An online school requires detailed attention to all the aspects of how to create an online course and how to sell and manage an online course.
All this requires external tools but there are online course builders that provide an all-in-one platform for their creators so that they can create a streamlined work system. You can get further information about a unified online course platform from our Podia Review here.
Monetise Your Course
The creation of a product indirectly implies expectations of profitable returns. Anyone who is creating an online course will want their students to pay a certain amount or subscribe to their sessions as an exchange for an online course. This is referred to as monetizing your product.
There are various ways to monetise your online course and we will provide an overview of them all for you to choose from. Following are the few ways to monetise your course upon learning how to create an online course;
Building An Email List
Create a list of potential customers through advertising and post-clicks and then cross-sell the course based on their interests.
You can sell your courses on the market platforms such as Skillshare, Udemy, Shaw Academy and others. However, there are restrictions on creating a brand and you need to share a proportion of your profits.
You can create a group or bundle of similar or interrelated courses and sell them at an optimum price to attract the attention of a potential consumer.
This strategy is used by MyCaptain where they provide course bundles of 5-6 inter-linked courses titled ‘Writer’s Choice’ or ‘Business Skills’.
The best way to allure the consumers is to give them a reward that they can add as an achievement.
Certification courses are created just like the regular courses but they provide a certificate of completion at the end which can be an eye candy for the students.
You can monetise your online course by providing membership-based content. Memberships are like subscriptions where you pay for premium content such as expert advice, guidelines, final projects, among others.
These can be a great way to build a community of students as well. To understand and explore the membership site concept refer to our article on 10 Best Membership Site Platforms in 2023.
Marketing Your Course
The final step in the saga of how to create an online course is selling your courses and attracting customers. Marketing your course can be a tricky task as there are many competitors in the market which can lead to distractions for the consumers.
We will be guiding you through the different methods of marketing and promoting your online courses without having to learn the complex algorithms or spend large amounts on promotions.
Following are some of the ways to promote your course;
You can promote and add links to your course on your social media handles, podcasts and YouTube channels. This will create engagement with your existing subscribers and attract new ones.
Create A Free Course
It goes without saying that anything that is offered free will attract attention and as a course creator you can utilise this to your advantage. Create short courses or mini-courses and sell them for free on marketplaces like Skillshare and Udemy to attract organic traffic.
Just like free items, products that are at discounts are also highly desirable to the public. Hence, you can offer discounted rates for course bundles or individual courses on festivals and other prominent occasions.
Promotion and Ads
You can optimise Facebook and Google Ads to promote your courses on social media intervals and YouTube ads at the start of the videos. This may differ in rates.
You can build communities on Facebook, Discord, Spotify Podcast and Twitch to market promote your brand, digital products like online courses and memberships and course materials.
Along with these, you can also check out our Kartra Review where we discuss the marketing and sales solutions and automation for digital products like online courses and memberships.
With that, we conclude our process of how to create an online course within 10 steps. You can now plan, create and sell your course on the internet and spread your knowledge and expertise around the globe!