In this digital generation, learning or teaching has become a matter of few clicks as many resources and platforms are available online.
If you are great at something like writing, marketing, coding, or anything that enthusiasts and professionals look forward to learning, it’s high time you must seize the opportunity and teach others.
It helps both the learners and you.
And who knows, you might build a sound brand out of your niche and get paid really well in the process!
If it does not give you that kick, let me show you some actual data that you would find fascinating.
The e-learning market surpassed $200 billion in the previous year (2019), and now is it expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 8% at a global scale between 2020-2026 to reach $375 billion, says this report.
Does that wake that tutor inside you?
However, (yes, this word has to come) because simply having expertise at your skills or teaching is not entirely enough. It is the first and the biggest requirement, but you need a handful of online teaching essentials next.
So, if you are interested in venturing into the e-learning space, the good news is you can get started really quickly as there are lots of platforms, tools, and resources available around.
And that’s exactly what I’ll be discussing in this article.
What are the elements of an online course?
Online courses have become new-age learning methods, especially in the post-COVID world. And why not! It has disrupted our lives in all areas, including studies.
But the show has to go on, you know.
That’s why more and more people are adopting online courses, which has become not just an option but a necessity.
In fact, online courses are similar to that of universities and colleges, except that you get more flexibility minus the need to travel. With the advent of new technology and the internet, anyone with skills can create online courses and sell them.
An online course has three main elements:
#1. You or the online course creator 🤟
You are the main driving force who plans to create your online course in a specific niche. It’s where you have sound knowledge and have decided to pass it on to others.
#2. Your audience or students 🧑🎓
Your audience or students are the ones who are going to benefit from your online course. The course must focus them completely by solving their pain-points and polishing their skills.
#3. Online course platform 🧑💻
The link connecting you with your students is the course platform. It’s where you meet with your students to teach, clear their doubts, and guide them towards excellence. The purpose of an online course platform is to host your course and make it available to your students.
How to start?
Now that you have identified the elements, the next things are to start acting on it. To start the process of delving into the e-learning space, here are some points that may help you.
Choose a niche
Choosing a specific niche is the most crucial thing when it comes to creating an online course. Ensure you have chosen an area where you have the expertise and ensure you could provide a strong value proposition.
For this, you must understand the solution you are going to provide is not available easily in free tutorials or YouTube. Additionally, find how strong your audience’s pain-points are and provide an accurate solution that people are craving through your online course.
Build your audience base
Don’t just dedicate your time to creating the course alone; you must also emphasize building your audience. It’s because you can’t target everyone; there must be a certain group of people who may benefit from your offerings.
Find them, and start building your audience base—influence people wherever you have a presence – both online and offline. Make people remember you for your brand in social media, videos, podcasts, books, and nurture them through email lists.
Create a course
When you have a strong brand online, and people trust you, you can start creating your online courses and sell them to your audience.
So, can’t you skip the above two steps and start with the third directly?
The answer is you can.
But if you follow the steps, the chances of getting the return of your investment multiples exponentially. If you already are a known figure and people trust you, it becomes easy to convert them into customers.
To create a high-quality online course, you can take a good platform to host your courses. And to craft the entire course, you can follow these steps:
- Create core modules first to cover the main topics in a proper order
- Break down the modules into lessons
- Prepare workbooks tailored to each module, which must contain interesting exercises.
- Record all your lessons with a good quality camera
- Upload the lessons to your chosen course platform
Market and sell the course
Market your course everywhere. Launch your course online with a strategy that may include a beta launch, webinar sessions, or any other, and start selling.
When your audience has faith in you, and the course is beneficial to them, they won’t find it too hard to take out their credit card.
So, now’s the time we explore some of the best platforms to create an awesome, engaging, and sellable online course.
Build an online course you want, and students love Thinkific (Get 1-month free trial).
It is one of the biggest competitors of Teachable and can positively impact your brand, online courses, and income. Its powerful and all-rounder platform lets you share knowledge, scale your business, and grow your student base.
No matter if you are teaching 10 million students or just 10, Thinkific gives you that confidence to rise and shine with its easy-breezy technology and top-notch support.
It has got everything under a single roof to build, design, market, and support your online course. Build quizzes, upload videos, or organize the entire content easily using a drag & drop builder. You can set pricing, automate content, and schedule lessons to curate a superb learning experience that your student would adore.
Create gorgeous-looking courses and skyrocket your sales with the help of a completely customizable course site designed particularly to sell your courses. Use their stylish themes that suit your brand and the type of courses you want to deliver. Thinkific provides the full set of marketing tools, payment options, and integrations you would require to promote the courses and multiple your fans.
Support your students so that your business keeps on thriving. For this, you can leverage completion tracking, course discussions, automated emails for course progress, and more. Take complete control over your website’s content, design, student data, course pricing, and other information.
Provide world-class learning by automating the onboarding, completion certificates, student messaging, etc. Besides, you can also integrate Thinkific with 1000+ tools. Get started for FREE or get a paid plan starting from $39/month for extended features.
25k+ creators across the globe prefer Podia because it’s the powerhouse of e-learning essentials to build your online courses and sell them to make consistent income. As a result, you can save time, consolidate workflow, and enjoy its flexibility.
It helps you set your site and choose a custom URL. In case you already have a site hosted elsewhere, they offer FREE migration. For your website, you get live support, unlimited hosting, the option to choose from 22 currencies and 11 languages, and integrate it with Facebook, Google Analytics, and more.
Customize the site with logo, colors, rich text, videos, images, testimonials, layout, live previews, etc. that look great across multiple devices like smartphones, tablets, and desktops. Add courses, membership plans, digital downloads, webinars, etc. quickly with a few clicks and get unlimited bandwidth, customers, and products.
Increase conversions through monthly installment options and pre-sell courses. Allow students to access your courses immediately or deliver them section-wise over time. You can include interactive quizzes and pre-launch courses to determine interest and gather email addresses.
Sell eBooks, cheat sheets, PDFs, videos, audios, checklists, etc. without technical difficulties. Offer free resources as a lead magnet to collect more emails.
You can offer 1-click upsells and bundle products the way you like. Increase brand influence with customizable sales pages and email marketing tools like newsletters, drip campaigns, integrations with Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, etc. Improve sales with coupons, embeddable buttons, affiliates, and more.
The pricing starts at $39/month, including a 14-days free trial.
Transform your knowledge into a real business by building your course with Teachable. Over 100,000 creators have already sold their coaching and courses to make millions. The platform allows you to access all the things you need to prepare the courses in minutes and sell them.
Skilled at technology or not, Teachable makes everything easy and stress-free. It offers customization tools so you can curate your content and personalize it the way you wish. You can use its power editor for building engaging courses with multimedia, videos, etc.
Never stress on payments as the platform streamlines the process with clear payouts, taxes, authors, and more. Link your website easily to Teachable by using the custom domain from them. Teachable supports a wide range of integrations for Zapier, Intercom, Olark, Zendesk, and more to simplify the process further.
It also lets you track student insights and sales with their comprehensive dashboards. Enhance productivity by bringing on authors, contributors, and your team members and customize permissions and their roles: Book, onboard, and schedule learning for students, as Teachable integrates with Calendly.
Improve engagement with quizzes and exercises and provide students with certificates post the course completion. You can receive quick feedback using surveys and third-party forms. Teachable accepts payments in over 130 currencies and supports PayPal as well as mobile payments.
You can also accept affiliates and also offer coupons, discounts, memberships, subscriptions, bundles, one-time payments, and more. Features like call hosting, easy-to-build milestones, and one-on-one sessions help you communicate live with your students. With Teachable’s paid plans, you get unlimited courses, video bandwidth, student capacity, and coaching services.
It’s pricing starts at $29/month when billed annually.
Impart knowledge on Skillshare to help those who need it. Their easy class uploading tool lets you publish your courses online after you film them. In case you need any help, they are always there to help you in every step of your journey.
They will also help you build your online presence within and beyond the Skillshare community. Start earning consistent income every month for members who watch your courses. Skillshare, in fact, has helped people generate $100,000 and more in a year.
To help the tutors build great courses, they also offer some resources such as the Teach Challenge and Teacher Handbook.
The intuitive yet affordable platform of TalentLMS is another one you can turn up to move your courses and training online. Getting started with your course is 2x faster, so you can go live and start earning sooner.
No matter what device, connection stability, or OS you have, you can access courses anywhere, anytime, as per the schedule. Host as many as virtual sessions you want and integrate with various video conferencing tools such as Zoom to personalize your training.
Get insights with the help of reports to make better business decisions and understand how the training is going so far. Save your time through automation to manage courses and put all the repetitive activities on autopilot mode.
You can utilize blended learning by mixing instructor-led training with e-learning. Make your courses alive by including badges, levels, rewards, leaderboards, and points. Provide certifications and customize gamification with the help of the Gamification Engine.
The platform supports PayPal and Stripe and lets you offer global coupons, discounts, and subscription payments. It also supports integration with 200+ services, including Shopify, WordPress, Salesforce, and more.
Creating online courses does not have to be complex, time-consuming, expensive, or frustrating. This is why Thrive Themes comes up with Thrive Apprentice to address these pain-points creators face.
It’s a WordPress plugin.
All you need is to follow some simple step-by-step setup method to create a fabulous online course with comprehensive modules, chapters, and lessons. Thrive Apprentice makes the learning environment intuitive and friendly to use, authoritatively professional, and visually engaging for your students.
Showcase your creativity by using images, texts, videos, and other design elements or a combination of them to curate your courses. It also lets you add teaching tools such as tables, styled lists, column layouts, media formats, etc. You can create as many online courses as you want with Thrive Apprentice.
Once you are done with 2+ courses, it shows them on its course selection page. It integrates with SendOwl to transform your course into a premium membership product. Create free courses to attract new subscribers and expand your email list. You get features like a subscriber registration page, access restriction, and a sidebar widget for quick navigation.
Its 1 license pack costs $67 for 1 website, 1-year support, and unlimited updates.
Venture into online teaching with Udemy and make an impact on a global scale. The platform pays you every time someone purchases your training or course. You can collect payments monthly through Payoneer or PayPal.
With Udemy, you can benefit from their active community of global instructors who can help you get through the process of online course creation with ease. It gives you great opportunities as Udemy has 35 million+ students, 400 million enrolments in 180+ countries, and 65+ languages.
You can plan your lessons in Microsoft Excel, Google Doc, or any other tool you prefer. To make things less scary when you first start, Udemy offers you some FREE courses to help you build new courses, including real-world examples and worksheets.
Besides, their curriculum pages, instructor dashboard, and FREE video reviews help you some more. You can create assignments, puzzles, and quizzes as well to increase interaction. Write students a welcome message and answer to their queries with Udemy.
A comprehensive platform for all-round design, teaching, and learning – Pathwright is a great option to reinvent the education world.
Reach students across the globe by creating courses inclusive of media, exercises, assessments, extra notes, certificates, and more. You can also create a remix by snapping together some magic blocks and set some points for students to motivate them.
It includes a learning mode to cast-away distraction, customizable themes, and branding elements like name, catalog, URL, etc. The courses are manageable with mobile, and you can earn more from subscriptions as well. Besides, you have the option to send summary emails weekly or daily to help learners more.
Keep students engaged by discussion prompts, feedback systems, tracking performance, get notified when anyone needs your help, and schedule due-dates and reminders. Pathwright offers one-page checkout, sell cohorts, storefront, pitch pages, and a powerful dashboard.
Start FREE or pay $99/month to enjoy more features.
In the pool of so many LMSs out there, Teachery is on the path to making a difference in the e-learning community. It requires no prior coding skills, installation, or an advanced tech geek. The platform has the right combination of features that helps you create and sell your course.
Create an unlimited number of courses you want and students you can take. Their live course editor is simple and updates things instantly as you make them, so you never have to lose your content. You can also translate the courses into many languages to serve the global audience.
Embed content through different services like:
- video from Wistia, Vimeo, or YouTube;
- audio from Soundcloud;
- images from Dropbox or Google Drive;
- presentations from Slideshare.
You can customize everything from courses, lessons, and payment pages to your sales pages. Collect payments through Stripe to sell courses without any trouble and build payment plans and recurring payments easily. You can integrate Teachery with ConvertKit and Mailchimp to collect emails. Track performance with Google Analytics and GoSquared.
Teachery is available for FREE, or buy a paid plan at $49/month.
Some mistakes to avoid
Creating an online course for first-timers might look daunting. In the process, they end up making some errors that might affect the success of your course.
So, here’s how you can avoid them.
- Avoid making too lengthy videos that are over 20 minutes. You can invest up to 5 minutes for the intro and another 5 minutes to explain a couple of units. And then, you can spend some 10-20 minutes to cover comprehensive information on the lesson.
- Don’t worry too much about perfection. Get in the pool, test the market, and your audience. Make your sample course first and try landing that first customer.
- Don’t forget to test your course. Please share it with family and friends to catch those silly mistakes like missing a video, quiz, buy button, and more.
The E-learning space is expanding rapidly, and if you think you have a skill strong enough to impart it to others, don’t stop yourself. Explore the new you and venture into this space with an online course platform you find the best and start making money.
I also must mention an open-source solution – Moodle, a learning management system. Don’t worry about installing and setup, you can go for a reliable Moodle hosting platform who takes care of everything from the server-side.