Creating an online course from scratch could become a tedious task if you are new to online course creation. For beginners, content creation is the first big step and even more crucial than selling it. If you design a perfect online course then the selling part also becomes easier due to the content quality. You also gain insights into the course’s strengths and weaknesses while designing it, making the selling process easier.
Let’s understand in detail how to create an online course to sell:
How to create an Online Course to sell?
Online course creation is a step-by-step process requiring you to remain vigilant and analytical at every stage. By following a process, you are more likely to avoid making mistakes, especially in the beginning. Let me take you through the steps to create an online course to sell:
Define Objectives of the course
This is the first step when you start creating something new; clear objectives help us direct our efforts to come up with the content that solves the problem.
There are objectives for each course, each module, and each assignment, which define a course’s aims, skills, and outcomes. By assessing objectives, we can determine whether they are effective and measurable.
Course objectives and module objectives describe what is expected of students, and course goals describe what a student should achieve after completing the course.
Each module has its own set of specific objectives, testing the skills learned in that module. Being a course instructor, you should be well aware of all this and present it to the students taking your online course.
Other than learning objectives, you should also come up with your objectives for designing the course. There could be several objectives, like:
To solve students’ problems
To become popular
To earn money
To make this your side hustle
To share your knowledge
You will be able to come up with a perfect go-to-market strategy after defining your objectives.
Come up with a Specific Target Audience
Target market definition helps you in both creating the courses as well as selling them. Start by considering the groups of people likely to take the course to determine the target audience. Several aspects are taken into consideration while coming up with the target audience, like:
As a course creator, you should define all these aspects and understand your target audience.
Decide on the Suitable Hosting Platform
Online courses require a platform to be visible on the web, and people can attend the sessions with ease. A suitable platform is necessary to convey the message in the way you want without any interruptions or glitches.
If someone is looking to offer a free online course, there is nothing better than Youtube. In other cases, there are broadly two options, hosting online workshops on your Website or Going for Online Course Hosting Platforms. Let’s discuss both of the options.
1. Take help of Online Course Hosting Platforms
Online course hosting platforms let you experiment with different tools and resources available at your disposal. There is a support team as well to assist you in the whole process. Generally, these platforms charge a cut from your earnings in return for the services they provide.
Along with the tools, you get access to the audience interested in your course. GoSocial is one such community platform providing creators with the means for efficient communication. You can create online courses, conduct workshops, go for live sessions, do private/group chat, implement discussion forums and a lot more using a single platform.
2. Take complete control and Host on your Own Website
If you want to take complete control of your content without taking the help of any third party, you can host the online course on your website. This option is only valid if you can implement the technical capabilities required for hosting an online platform.
Course hosting platforms help you with tech, but here you have to do everything on your own. Along with hosting, you also have to work on marketing to attract more people.
People who have an existing user base and are technically adept may choose to host on their own websites, otherwise, they may go with the hosting platforms.
Create Content to solve the User’s Problems
Once you decide on the platform and complete some initial steps, you can start creating the content for your online course. The content should be based on the established objectives and the shortlisted target audience to solve the problem of the masses.
Optimum content creation starts with a structure that gets the right content delivered as quickly as possible. You can read our detailed blog on online course structuring to understand the step-by-step online course content creation process.
Creators should keep the content crisp, specific and relevant for the users at every step. You have to maintain the perfect balance of specific and general aspects of the whole exercise.
Start by explaining the basics of content, and then focus on a few key points. The participants will have a difficult time concentrating on a lot in one course.
Come up with a Pricing Strategy to sell more
By the time you finish with the course content, it will be easier to figure out the best price. Creators should always keep a price in mind before starting the online course creation so that the pricing gets clear with time.
It is best to look at the competition with similar courses and prices around that at the beginning. Once you create 3, 4 courses and take user feedback into account, you can alter and put up the best price for your online courses.
Another option is to calculate the value of the entire content based on the effort you put in. This pricing strategy does not mirror the market trends and is not suitable for a new course creator without a loyal user base.
Decide on modes of Promotion to find the Perfect Mix
There are several ways to promote an online course, and options are increasing with the coming time. In the beginning, we identified the target market, now we are going to use it to make an informed decision.
To reach your target market, you must do some research and be aware of all the platforms they use. It could be a single platform or many platforms. Once you shortlist this, you can work on the strategy of promotion.
Major options for Promoting Online Courses:
1. Social media platforms
Social media platforms have an existing audience looking to consume content if they find it relevant. As social media is free and can be used to build connections, creators leverage it to promote their online courses and workshops.
Social media requires you to stay connected with the people and post consistently to show up every day on their feed. Users interact with creators who assist them and know what they are interested in. You can easily sell your online course if you can do that.
Ads provide you with an instant boost when looking to sell an online course. Ads are more visible and highly targeted to reach your audience in a shorter amount of time. Yes, they cost you money but are helpful if you are looking for quick conversions.
You can run ads on Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or go with Google Ads to be visible on multiple websites. Creators should not be dependent on paid promotions alone as they require some loyal user base that doesn’t always come through advertisements.
3. Search Engine Optimization
If you have optimized it according to the standard guidelines, SEO helps you get free organic traffic. SEO is a slow process but gets you a loyal base that remains with you for a longer time.
Build your website(If you don’t have one) and start posting quality content targeting the pain points of your audience. Regular content posting will make the users land on your website, and then you can easily pitch your online course to them.
4. Email marketing
Creators should work on their email list consistently to target the users when the time comes. Email is the most targeted way of reaching your audience as the message gets delivered directly in their mailboxes.
Creators should keep in touch with the audience by sharing industry insights and help everyone grow. This will provide them with an opportunity to pitch an online course related to that subject and turn readers into customers.
As soon as an online course is created and sold to the target audience, creators need to analyze its performance. This analysis will help them come up with better content that will solve the real problems. Along with better content, you will also understand the importance of each marketing channel.
While reviewing, consider user feedback and make the suggested changes to the content. Determine which platforms brought in the most sales along with those that didn’t.
This phase requires you to come up with the reasoning of every data point rather than making decisions based on the traffic. When you gain a better understanding of data, you get a chance to improve and use every marketing platform to its full potential.
The review process is continuous as the data keeps on changing. You gain insight into the users’ reactions, and you can use that in future marketing decisions for online courses.