Creating an online course to educate people is one of the fastest and impactful ways to get your knowledge out to the global marketplace.
In this evergrowing, fast-paced digital world, knowledge is leading all the way-“Making content the king.” To put it in another way, you should brainstorm alternative ideas. And, avoid obscuring the knowledge behind bars.
In the background, there is nothing more impeccable than being able to turn it into a lead generating, impact-creating online course- an essential option for any budding entrepreneur.
In this article, you will find a detailed overview of the significant stages of creating online courses.
While it is worth mentioning, there is no rule to put it in place in a chronological manner. But, the guide provides you with a ‘stratospheric view’ of the significant milestones.
The Perfect Topic
The first consideration here to take into mind is, “You are not teaching at the university level.” And, another key point to remember is, you are extending the skills, talents, or gathered experiences to your audiences.
The course topic you choose should be something you love or PASSIONATE about. In reality, the course topics could be anything. To start with- teaching technology, cooking dishes, teaching to play the flute, or teaching copywriting.
Imagine, you have this incredible topic in your mind about which you want to debut as an online instructor. But, you spent a few weeks researching the topic. And, you found it is only you who have an interest in it. In that case, how would you expect statistics on your analytics dashboard about the sales? A null or zero figure.
So, what is going to be the next step for you?
By all means, here comes the necessity of conducting intensive market research.
Take the help of forums. Without delay, you can refer forums of your niches to dig more about the market value.
Use ‘Quora‘ to brainstorm the hot trending topics revolving around your core topic. Take a look at the snap-shot here.
Given this image, we find that people are interested in learning ‘acoustic or electric guitar.’ To emphasize, this string has demand in the market. To sum up, if you come up with a course of teaching people, “How to learn electric guitar?”, it could be a profitable niche for you.
Additionally, you can look up to google trends or any established keyword tool like SEMrush to comes up with the insights in the market.
Market research should provide you two things
- The demand in the market.
- The competitor’s insight.
Thereupon, you should know – the number of competitors is directly proportional to the higher statistics in the demand curve. However, you should not adapt to a preconceived idea that your topic won’t fly.
With the research, you should focus on three main key points:
- Is there is a buzz among the people on the topic?
- Are people asking or discussing on the topic?
- Identify the gap in what the competitor is offering.
If the answer is ‘YES’ and you have an idea which is the developed form of what is already available, then you have a profitable course idea.
Create Compelling Learning Modules
Equally important, to let know your students about what exactly you are going to offer. Consider creating the learning module with measurable verbs. Explain the learning outcomes clearly. Besides, offer the learners with few ideas about what they can do after learning the skill.
The main focus while carving a learning path is to get the students involved. To put it together, you could make them a checklist of skills they need to have and place them to achieve it- this is your outline.
Check out this brilliant guide on creating an excellent course.
Your outline will evolve as you make the course and add lectures.
This is the stage where you transfer the ocean of knowledge from your head to materialization. This is the most vital stage. To begin with, gather all your research material and combine with the learning modules, and see where your research fits.
This is to say, include the content about which your students are asking.
Module Structure and Course Plan
To start with, title your lectures. Use coschedule for proper optimization of the titles. Keep in mind, the keywords you want to target- mostly the queries of your learners. Take the help of the keyword sheet and optimize the titles accordingly.
Likewise, start grouping similar themes and formats of content like tips, or how-to into separate lectures and induct these lectures in separate modules. Tie up all the modules to complete the course structure.
Lecture Delivery Methods
Now you have to decide the delivery format.
Will you choose video content, audio content, text format?
Do you want to make it more interactive and lively? Will, you consider including practice exercise, quizzes, or other activities?
Make sure your course should ensure a good user experience with visuals and other practical methodologies.
Here are a few tips for colors.
To help you choose suitable colors, here are three great websites:
Choose the right text types…
Consider avoiding decorative and script fonts for your slides. It just makes readability bad. In particular, choose ‘serif’ or ‘sans serif’ fonts.
If you have the budget, then go with premium fonts.
Filming, Recording, Editing
You have outlined the course structure, decided the format, wrote the script or story for your video. Now what?
Here comes the production phase.
Meanwhile, this is the fun part- getting on the camera. To clarify, there are numerous ways of delivering the content.
Up to the present time, people integrate their personal story of what led them to make these videos. They look to find a connection between their previous pain-points to that to their audience and come up with the solution part in the online course.
Furthermore, the practical format of content delivery is video. This could be ‘talking head’ video which is when you are in the shot on camera. Or, you could also have green screen talking videos. Here the background is green, or you could have anything behind you- editing process.
This could be an interactive video, animations, or just a standalone image. You could also configure the power-point slide show with audio content- a classroom feel.
Another prominent method is ‘screen-casting’ which is when you are recording your computer screen- you may choose to integrate a small webcam type video on top corners.
To serve the editing purpose, a piece of software does fine – Camtasia. With this straight away, you can edit your video, fix the sound quality, texts, pop up configuration and many more.
Apart from that, if you are choosing ‘talking head’ videos- consider using good quality microphones, a good DSLR camera, and few accessories to add to the sound quality like tripods.
There are many ways to sell your courses, but the following are two famous ones.
- Using LMS (Learning Management Systems)
Learning Management Systems
These are the platforms where you can deploy your online course modules. Not to mention, it makes the promotion part easier through its global coverage. However, you should be meticulous in choosing a suitable platform compliant to your needs and budget.
Here are a few of the best cloud-based LMS options:
- Hospital & Health Care
- Human Resources
- Information Technology and Services
- Food & Beverages
- Hospital & Health Care
- Information Technology and Services
Special note to WordPress users – Try Thrive Apprentice, an all-in-one WP plugin to create a professional looking course.
Then again, here are your best options:
- Udemy – one of the popular among the tech industry.
- Skillshare – for teaching creative skills
- Teachable – all-in-one features to customize, marketing, analytics, hosting and security
- Podia – sell courses, membership learning or digital download
- Thinkific – more than 36000 creators already using the platform
- Coursera – top technology niche topics like AI, Cloud Computing, etc.
Setting Perfect Price
Above all, even if you are giving away the standalone course, or the course forms an integral part of your business model, you need to plan the prices.
- Are you giving it away as a free lead magnet for your primary product or service?
- Is it the sole income stream?
- Or, is it adding as a branch to your income stream?
At the same time, you will design the format of your course, the marketing methodologies, or your USP about the answers.
With this in mind, you could design the different marketing funnels for your students or followers.
In general, there is no hard rule out there for the pricing models. It solely depends on your USP.
But, to begin with, you should benchmark your assumption with the competing products in the marketplace. Later, you can adjust the range depending on your USP.
The Launching Process
- Will you run early bird discount promotions?
- Will you run ads?
- Do you have a pre-list for marketing?
- Do you consider partnering up with influencers?
- Will you run an affiliate program?
- How will you use social media?
Furthermore, there are limitless wings to marketing strategies for the launch. In detail, make sure you have a 12-15 month marketing plan for your online course.
By all means, the sales of your product are directly proportional to the marketing funnels.
So here you have it- a blueprint of the major milestones in online course creation.
Hopefully, this blueprint gives you a detailed idea of how to implement, or what to expect in the online course creation making procedure.