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 it is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 8% at a global scale between 2020-2026 to reach $375 billion report.
Does that wake that tutor inside you?
However, (yes, this word has to come) because simply having expertise in 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 have 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 on 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 them. 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
Online Course Marketplaces
It is not difficult to create content in the present world, especially courses. We have many platforms available that allow users to build classes and sell them, such as YouTube. The users can quickly build a community, deep dive into topics, grow business, and earn an income.
The ready-made infrastructure has made it easier for users to create valuable and profitable online courses with online platforms such as Udemy and Skillshare. Apart from these top names in online course marketplaces, several others are making a mark.
OpenSesame partners with top talent development to offer virtual and engaging online learning programs. It provides two basic types of learning programs as course publishers that can distribute courses to all, and another is LMS providers who resell and refer the courses.
Curious.com is an excellent platform for teachers to start their entrepreneurial journey for different platforms. The users can provide exceptional instruction via lessons to the students from anywhere, at any time.
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 Docs, 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 their queries with Udemy.
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.
How about selling courses on your platform?
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.
The following solutions can help you to market and sell your courses on your website.
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.
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.
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, colours, 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 instalment 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.
Create online courses from your website using LearnWorlds – one of the best online course platforms for selling, promoting, and creating online courses. It helps you boost satisfaction, retention, and usage for compliance and professional training.
You can ease employee or customer onboarding for effective training and engage learners with note-taking, interactive ebooks, certificates, video interactions, SCORM, etc. Provide an exceptional experience by including quizzes, tables of contents, and extracted transcripts into your videos.
Build a website for your school which will be fast, super easy, flexible, branded, SEO optimized, and beautiful. In addition, monetize your business by selling your online courses, memberships, promotion, coupons, and more.
Use your domain name and imprint the brand identity to provide a fantastic customer experience. Integrate with marketing and affiliate tools to increase your sales from the available integrations. In-built drag and drop builder allows you to design pages quickly and choose between templates to create high-converting landing pages.
The price for newbies creators is $24/month.
Your online courses deserve something extraordinary. LearnDash provides you the platform so that you create videos to deliver the perfect experience a customer needs. It provides eight types of questions, media, automation sequences, graduation level content, and more via a powerful quizzing engine to engage students.
Allow your students to learn more and more and extend your brand by providing a better learning experience. Splice out content, add gamification, create additional layers for contents, automate notifications, and more to make sure students are growing.
LearnDash gives you complete control while selling your courses. Choose your price models, payment gateway, renewal reminders, and refund protection. You will get every resource to create online courses quickly.
Install WordPress in minutes, upload LearnDash, import demo site, and prepare your site to sell your courses faster. You will also find drip-feed content, engagement triggers, robust user management, and can reward your learners for attracting more sales.
Get one site license with unlimited users and courses at just $159 and avail yourself of a 30-days money-back guarantee.
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.
Its pricing starts at $29/month when billed annually.
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 methods 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.
A comprehensive platform for all-around 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, getting notified when anyone needs your help, and scheduling 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.
Coursify.me offers a path to the teachers to create their content or course and sell it to the audience. It is easy to optimize the learning environment and customize the look according to the requirements. The custom online schools are easy to use.
Users can get started by including all the information about the courses, slogan, name, URL of your academy if any, cover image, logo, select from customizable color schemes, course curriculum structure into lessons or sections, and include additional course information such as testimonials and video presentation.
It is also easy to create a student area with customization of online courses with images, logo, and custom color scheme. It can also include a dashboard to manage and monitor the course progress. Students can optimize learning, ask questions, and follow lessons in a restricted area.
Coursify.me offers several features, such as hosting online courses with backup and redundancy in a reliable and secure environment. The users can customize to provide visual identity and custom domain to choose a friendly address. The modular courses come with lessons and sections to facilitate learning.
One can integrate and import content from YouTube, Dropbox, and Vimeo to sell courses online, where users can receive payment via Stripe and PayPal.
Follow the growth with the charts showing sales numbers and join comment sections as a discussion forum with students. It is responsive with optimized support for tablets, desktops, and mobile. Student management allows them to track the performance and progress of online courses in real-time.
Optimize search engines easily to rank on Google, support for browsers such as Safari, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox. One can custom fields such as collecting registration information using custom questions from students.
Start creating and selling courses online with Learnyst securely with mobile apps or websites. You can make online courses and start with the selling process instantly in minutes. Users can include various content types such as PPTs, PDFs, TINCAN, SCORM, audios, HTML articles, and quizzes.
Along with it, users can conduct and schedule live classes securely to enrolled students who can access the course. It also offers an embedded video content feature that users can easily organize from Vimeo and YouTube.
The online certification makes it an extra plus for the students to succeed in the market. Course creators can use beautiful and customizable templates to increase the quality. The teachers can also offer offline course access with mobile apps to help students.
The super-fast video streaming technology with AWS CDN makes online course access easier. Reach out to your students and build sales funnel with free resources and online courses. The aim is to create an email list and use in-built tools like email marketing, push notification, referral features, and coupon codes to increase conversions.
Conduct live classes to interact with students and purchase courses while monetizing on them. It seamlessly integrates with the best payment solutions such as Instamojo, Razorpay, HDFC, CCAvenue, Paypal, and Stripe with no transaction fees.
It provides variable pricing based on course validity and creates multiple subscription plans to sell them. The course is safe and secure to use that comes with OTP login, screen recording restrictions, Digital Rights Management (DRM) encryption, watch time restrictions, etc.
Ruzuku aims to connect the teachers with the audience using engaging and inspiring content or course. The users can launch an online course to reach out to the students in a more accessible and better way. It allows users to create an engaging course that can hook audiences and build custom solutions quickly.
Overcoming challenges uses can build and run online courses while connecting with students. The teachers can build a community with Ruzuku to build and design the course that can sell itself.
Teachers can refine and build brands to create customized online courses. The technology is easy to use, allowing teachers to compile excellent materials to deliver attractive courses. Experts can build expertise in the market and lead the tribe of discovery and journey.
It supports technology to grow in the market, offering learning opportunities apart from scheduled and live courses. One can thrive overcome complexities to make money by selling courses and being an authentic expert.
Uscreen is an all-in-one platform that allows users to grow their streamlined business with quality videos and other resources. Users can Stream-on-demand videos to showcase content, organize it and upload it with custom filters in categories.
It is easy to monetize while offering students live streaming with a countdown overlay. The experts can also get deep insights with Analytical tools that can help give understanding on performance.
One can launch the video website templates and themes to dazzle the audience without coding. It will help grow the business with automation and built-in marketing tools to supercharge the reach. The aim is to leverage analytics and built-in sales reports tracking success.
One can also retain a knowledge base and use built-in-retention tools to build a scalable, sustainable, and stable business. It is a great way to monetize the course by setting up one-time buys, rentals, and subscriptions accessing live streams and VOD. One can create exclusive experiences for subscribers with same-day setup and transparent pricing. With the help of integrations and tools, users can easily optimize courses to generate profit with marketing and sales funnel.
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 that takes care of everything from the server-side.
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