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How to Create Your First Online Course (And Why You Should)

BySyed Balkhi, Last Modified
May 27, 2019
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> Career

Have you ever thought about creating your own online course?

Online courses are extremely popular today. In fact, e-learning revenue is expected to grow to $325 billion by 2025.

Being a teacher might never have crossed your mind when you started your business or blog, but creating an online course is a great way to present yourself as a leader in your industry. Tons of people online are searching for a way to learn something new or boost their skills, and if you're an expert in something, you could provide that for them.

Plus, launching a premium online course will give you an extra revenue stream for your business or blog – and it's passive income.

Check out these tips for how to create your first online course.

1. Decide what you'll teach.

Before you dive into creating an online course, you have to decide what you'll teach. This choice might seem obvious to some business owners or bloggers. For instance, if you run a gardening blog, the obvious choice would be to create an online course to teach people how to garden. But choosing what you'll teach isn't that simple. A lot of people, when creating their first online course, make the mistake of choosing too broad of a topic. So, instead of creating a course that teaches people how to garden (very broad), create an online course for designing beautiful flower beds.

You also have to consider your audience and what they're interested in, not just what you want to teach. Study your target audience and the visitors to your website. Take a look at what content you already provide and what's the most popular with them. Looking at your blog analytics will help you choose an online course topic that your audience will be excited to sign up for.

2. Choose the medium.

After deciding the topic of your first online course, next you need to choose the medium. The medium is the way you’ll deliver the content to online learners. These are some different media you can choose for your online course:

  • Downloadable PDFs and documents
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Slides

If your online course needs to include a lot of visuals or demonstrations, you may want to choose a medium like video. But you can also insert images into slides or PDFs. If you don't need visuals at all, audio might be a better choice for you. There's no right or wrong answer when choosing a medium. Decide what will work best for you to display your content in the most engaging way, and consider what your audience will enjoy as well.

3. Decide on a platform.

The next step is to decide on a platform. A platform is where you'll present and deliver the material of your online course. There are various different platforms to present your online course, and most of them are pretty easy to manage and don't require any much technical experience at all.

A popular choice is self-hosting the course on your own website. This is a great option because all of the traffic for your online course will come to your own website, so all of your online learners can see everything else you have to offer as well. You also have complete control of your content. You might think you need to be quite tech savvy for this option, but that’s not true. There are many WordPress plugins that make it easy to create an online course on your own website, such as LearnDash and LearnPress.

Another option is an existing online learning platform like Udemy. This platform will take care of all the tech stuff for you, and it already has a large user base. The downside to this option is that the host platform has a lot more control of your content and can even set the price of your online course as it sees fit.

4. Market your online course.

Once you've created your online course and chosen a platform for it, the next step is to wait for people to join right? Wrong. The next step is to market your online course. Many of your regular website visitors may not notice that you have an online course or understand why they would want to take it, so you've got to let them know. First, start an email marketing campaign to promote your online course to your subscribers. Your subscribers are your biggest fans and the people most likely to sign up for your course right away.

Start marketing your online course on social media as well to widen your reach. Promoting your online course on social media will introduce you and your business to a whole new group of people who never knew you existed before. Remember, when marketing your online course, let people know what's in it for them. If you show them how it will benefit them and solve their biggest pain points, they won't hesitate to join.

Creating an online course can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. With these tips for how to create your first online course, you can easily become an expert in your industry – and make extra income while you're at it.

Syed Balkhi
Syed Balkhi
See Syed Balkhi's Profile
Hello, I'm Syed Balkhi, a 27 year old award-winning entrepreneur with a strong 8 figure online business. I was recognized as the top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by the United Nations. I was born in Karachi, Pakistan. At age 12, my family immigrated to the United States. Ever since I can remember, I have been extremely competitive which makes me hustle at everything that I do.
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