How To Create Your First Successful Online Course
If Only You Knew How Easy It Was To Create Your First Successful Online Course, You would Have Started Earlier. Create Your First Online Course With Ease.
By Gbenga Ayanfe
What if I Told You That Creating Your First Successful Online Course isn't difficult
In Creating Your First Successful Online Course, lot’s of negative thoughts are spinning around your head when you think about creating an online course:
“I don’t have enough money to start online courses.”
“I am not an expert.”
“What if this doesn’t work?”
“I don’t have the technical skills required.”
But your course, and ultimately the business that you want to create, is somewhere outside of this circle. If you are waiting to have the right mindset down pat before you start building your course, you’ll never get started. Procrastination is a mental block holding you back.
Specify the negative thought you are having. Stuffing it away isn’t the best strategy. It will just build up and explode. You have to acknowledge your feelings so you can replace the negative thought with a positive one.
And don’t think of yourself as a person trying to start your own successful online course business. Think of yourself as a business owner already. Own it. Like it’s already ingrained into who you are as a person.
The truth is besides that no technical skills are required to use a course platform, and you don’t need thousands of dollars to create your first successful online course.
Also, you have to embrace the possibility of failure.
If you let the fear of failure hold you back, you are missing out on your real potential. Failure may be the most significant thing keeping you in your comfort zone. But the thing is. You don’t have to be afraid of failure. Be fearful of not getting back up.
You can learn a valuable lesson through failure that will get you that much closer to your success. That’s another aspect of the CEO mindset you want to develop. The ability to bounce back from failure and try again.
First Things First
First things first. Why should you even create an online course at all? As you’ll see below, it’s not rocket science, but it is quite a commitment.
From simple online lectures to intensive bootcamps, you’ll find courses that charge anywhere from a few hundred dollars to nearly $20,000, depending on the topic. And online courses allow you to pursue any specific topic you can imagine, without asking you to take any prerequisite courses you might not be interested in.
For starters, it’s important to note some radical changes happening in education today. You may traditionally think of learning in the context of a huge lecture hall or the use of face-to-face approach.
But education is increasingly all about online learning. In recent years, we’ve seen a massive surge in online schools (Khan Academy, Edx and so on).
As a potential teacher, as long as you have specialized knowledge in something you know people want to learn about, you can start teaching with some pretty basic tools.
Online School is the New Frontier for Business Owners
You will be happy to hear that online learning goes above and beyond anything that academic teaching could ever provide due to one simple reason – flexibility in learning. You can teach and learn virtually anything, from how to operate an iPhone to how to prepare “jollof rice” and so on. Some of the advantages of Online Course include:
- Flexible Timing and Environment
- Low Cost Compared to Academia
- Numerous Skills to Choose From
- Life-Long Learning
- Huge Passive Revenue Potential for Entrepreneurs
PrimeTech101 Helps You Succeed In Creating Your First Online Course.
7 Important Steps for Creating and Marketing Your First Successful Online Course
Step 1. Define Your Area of Expertise
Before you start creating your first successful online course, you should categorize it accordingly. What is your area of expertise and what makes you a viable teacher for potential students? Do you have extensive background in a certain field and want to share it with the world? Or do you have an exciting new skill in hands and want to put it out there for everyone to learn alongside you?
Don’t jump to conclusions when it comes to the creation of your first online course. You can use some of the platforms we listed above to figure out what category your course would fit the best. Pauline Farris, a writer and blogger for ‘The Word Point’ argued in benefit of online learning:
“I have developed my entire career and life’s work through online learning platforms. In my opinion, this type of learning is necessary for the digital age we live in, especially with occupations such as content management, UX design and programming.”
Putting a label on your course will allow students to find it more quickly and decide easily on whether or not that course is good for them. Make it as easy as possible for people to understand what your course is about, who it is for and what it aims to teach before doing anything else.
Step 2. Outline Your Perfect Student
Who is your perfect candidate when it comes to learning from your first successful online course? Do you want to target college students and young individuals or does your course cater to an older demographic? Are your students required to know something about the field before jumping into the course or will you get them up to speed?
These are also important questions to answer before creating the course you will market and sell down the line. The reason for this is quite simple – you need to know who you want to sell your course to. If you know that up front, it will be much easier to articulate your words, format your writing and decide on the content types in your course.
Step 3. Create an Original, Relevant Course
Your successful course should be: a) original, and b) relevant. These are the most important ingredients to keep in mind before you do anything else. Your argument must be different, fresh and exciting compared to numerous other courses which might have covered your topic previously. It should also be relevant to the target audience you decided to teach with your online course and correspond with their tastes, study preferences and daily habits.
The course should be outlined and broken down into several categories at first. Think of it as writing a college paper and imagine that your first successful online course has an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Name your subheadings according to the flow of the course and start creating individual lessons for each.
Your individual lessons should be titled in a concise and direct manner without poetic vocabulary or unclear information. Make it easy for passing individuals to gleam some info from your course even if they might seem uninterested (at first). Once you have the first draft of your online course ready, you can start marketing it as such across the internet.
Step 4. Create Your Marketing Content (Personal vs. Outsourced)
Some would have you believe that running your own marketing campaign is a mistake. However, the jury is out on whether or not you should outsource your marketing or do it yourself. It all comes down to personal skill, preferences and time available for content creation.
If you are marketing a course about online advertisement, writing or graphic design (to name a few), you can create your own content and market it as such. However, if you don’t have the skills or the time to do it personally, you can outsource it through numerous platforms.
You can hire a freelancer through a prolific platform such as Upwork or Freelancer or go to a local marketing agency and explain your project to them in person. It really does come down to budgetary constraints and whether or not you trust someone else to create marketing content for you.
Step 5. Map Out Your Advertisement & Content Calendar
Like everything in life, advertisement should be done in small steps across several weeks or months. This is where a content calendar comes into play since you will have to plan your marketing tactic accordingly. If you hired a professional to create marketing content for you, you don’t want to spend all of your chips on one game (so to speak).
Instead, create a content calendar in which you will be able to use a new piece of marketing content each day, three days, a week or as long as you have content available. It’s a good idea to always offer fresh content to your audience without relying on recycled advertisement.
This will give people a sense of professionalism in regards to your online course and make it more attractive for them to enroll. Stick to your advertisement calendar and post new content across all of your channels in even intervals. “But what channels?” you might ask. Let’s take a look at the ways you can market your first successful online courses.
Step 6. Identify Potential Publishing Platforms
Each industry and their respective niches have numerous online forums available. You can use these forums to create your personalized account and explain your intents through original posts. Explain to your audience (and the forum admins) that you are an online tutor with an exciting new course for them to try out.
It’s a good idea to offer a freebie while you’re at it and make your first lesson free of charge for potential candidates. This will make it more appealing for people on the forum to take you up on your offer and give the online course a chance.
Social Media Groups
Social media platforms have long overgrown their infancy and offer numerous advertisement opportunities for creative individuals. You can set up shop on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and offer your first successful online course through those pages.
The untapped potential of social media platforms will allow you to reach an incredible number of potential students for your newly-created course. Start posting your marketing materials there and you will undoubtedly find a healthy base of curious candidates.
You might have heard of Reddit as the epicenter of all things interned – and for good reasons. Reddit is a widely-popular social platform with an emphasis on world-wide coverage. Nearly anything you can name has a “Sub-Reddit” dedicated to its fans.
You can quickly and easily market your online course through Reddit and find numerous onlookers interested in what you have to say. Reddit is completely free to use and doesn’t require nearly as much effort to learn how to use as other platforms so it’s a no-brainer even for less tech-savvy users.
YouTube is arguably the most popular video streaming service on the web – and it’s free to use for everyone. You can create promotional materials for YouTube and publish them on the platform under your professional brand or personal name (whichever you choose).
The good thing about YouTube is that its algorithm supports ad revenue generation. This means that you will be eligible for some form of additional revenue through YouTube marketing if you choose to go down this route. However, no one is stopping you from mixing and matching different marketing platforms depending on the type of online course you sell.
Personal Blog and SEO
If you want to market your online course unhindered by any algorithms or rules you should opt for a personal blog. If you own a personal website, the sky is the limit when it comes to how you will market your courses and when you will do it.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help you rank highly in Google and other search engines and ensure your visibility for potential candidates. This can all be done individually, without anyone’s help apart from using tools such as Google Adwords or SEM Rush for SEO.
Online influencers are social media celebrities with large followings. They often work with brands, manufacturers and online content providers on collaborated campaigns. You can contact one or several influencers depending on your industry of choice and ask them for help.
Influencers rarely work for free and you will be required to compensate their time and effort in marketing your online course. However, these individuals do have an influence (pun intended) on their followers and you are bound to get good conversion rates from them.
Lastly, paid advertisement is something you can fall back on if everything else fails. Paid advertisement can be acquired through social media platforms and search engines such as Google among others. You will have to pay for each individual post and for several days or weeks in advance depending on the complexity of your campaign.
It’s good practice to check the previous advertisement tips out before settling for paid ads because they cost a lot more. However, your first successful online course should never suffer due to budgetary constraints, so use your best judgment.
Step 7. Learn and Adjust
You might have wondered why we referred to your online course as “the first draft”. The positive thing about online courses is that you can update, expand and fix them as you go along. Listen to the feedback given by your students and industry professionals who might stumble onto your course.
Offer new insights into your lessons later on to bring back satisfied students. Fix any mistakes that might have crept their way into your published course and don’t settle for anything less than perfection. Treat your online course as a personal project and you will always find new things to learn from it just like your students do.
It can be overwhelming to process everything we mentioned above in one sitting. Now that we have arrived at the end of our comprehensive guide on how to create your first online course, let’s recap what we learned:
- Online learning is the new norm when it comes to personal development and self-education.
- It is much cheaper and more accessible than traditional academia.
- Anyone can create, market and sell online courses provided that they are original, relatable and useful.
- Popular online learning platforms like Udemy, Lynda, and Khan Academy are a great source of inspiration for would-be online course creators. However, you should stay away from these platforms and build your own website instead. Tools like PrimeTech101 allow you to create your own online course website with complete control.
- There are numerous ways to market an online course for free, through different types of content, like blogging and social media. Pick one to start with and master it before you add another.
If you have any aspirations to teach online or to create an online course of your own – you should definitely go for it. Don’t let your potential go to waste because of naysayers or a lack of motivation.
Once you start creating your first lessons, you will be driven to continue working until you have a finished product. The first satisfied students you encounter will make the entire effort worthwhile – not to mention the passive revenue you will make along the way!
– Ref. Margaret Reid
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