Online courses have gained quite decent popularity in the recent times. Not only you can reach a large number of audience with your online course but it also carries a highly rewarding side to it. Gone are the days when you needed to approach people individually, convince them about your skills and worth, and give free demonstration.
Today, you can just make a course on the internet, get people to enroll to it and earn effortlessly. You don’t need to repeat every lecture again and again. Your course will always be on the internet and anyone can watch it. If you need you can make changes to particular lectures or add new ones without affecting the entire course.
So, in this post, I would be telling how you can make your online course, get students for it and earn money through it.
What is an online course?
An online course, by definition, means a digitized version of a course. Instead of providing a course in a physical setting, you can just make video lectures for your course, structure it as you want and they make it available over the internet.
Online courses offer immense flexibility and reach. You may get students not only from your country but also from other nations. Also the monetary benefits are always much more than a normal course. If you are interested in earning through passive sources, you may read our post on ‘8 Best Passive Income Ideas to Earn $5000‘.
Why Online Courses? (Benefits of Online Course)
Okay, so you now know what an online course is. But what are going to get if you make an online course. Afterall, normal courses are just as good, with one to one interaction with the students, a goodwill attached to your courses for being an expert educator, and word of mouth publicity.
Well, let me tell you you get quit all this in online courses as well. But the difference is, you don’t get just this but a lot more. There are numerous benefit of online courses which is discussed below.
1. Better Reach
Online courses provide you a much better reach to the people. More people can access your course without any difficulty. Certain constraints such as time and locational factor are missing in online courses,
People from any part of the world can access your course at any time. Unlike normal classes, the online lectures can be rewinded and viewed unless the concept is cleared
2. Greater Earning Opportunity
Online courses have a much better earning opportunity as compared to the normal courses. You get much more students for your course. Also you can charge a premium amount for your special classes and additional benefits that you offer.
You can give 24*7 support for your students to ask your doubts. Also you may arrange for special online classes every now and then to add a premium touch to your course. Providing additional resources may be another thing to consider.
3. Online Courses offer Flexibility
This point is related to the above two points. Online courses have much greater flexibility. This is a two sided benefit both for the students and for the educator. People may learn at their own pace and this makes online course very attractive for the students.
4. Lower Cost
Creating online courses is very easy and does not need much investment. There is no need of a physical setup, no particular equipment, no additional facilities like desks and washroom, nothing.
What you actually need is just a smartphone or a Laptop/PC to create your course. You can create it in the comfort of your home. This makes the total cost very loss and hence the profit margin increases significantly.
5. One Time Effort
Well, it takes just a one time commitment to create an online course. You create a piece of utility for the people and your work is done. Just sit back and enjoy.
You may have to make some changes as per the changing conditions but these changes are quite small and very rare. Your course will continue to rum for years and you would earn from it.
5 Step Guide to Creating a Successful Online Course
Having discussed the advantages of creating your own online course, you must be thinking how you can make one for yourself and take all the discussed benefits. Well follow this 5 Step guide to make your own online course and not just a course but a successful one.
Step #1: Pick Your Course Topic
An obvious place to start is to select the topic for your course. All the following things will depend on your topic of course. You must chose a topic on which you have expertise and are passionate about. Because if you lack any of these then you won’t be able to produce a good course.
Don’t restrict yourself to a cliche topic. You don’t actually need a professional certificate to make a course on a particular topic. Just take anything you love to do and you are good at doing, it might be teaching a subject like mathematics or science, or teaching some talent which you know such as digital marketing or even cooking or dancing.
To summarize, your topic must be useful for others as well as something you know and love. So, chose it wisely.
2. Structure your Modules and Course Plan
So, you have chosen a topic for your course. Now what you need to do is to give it a proper structure. Gather content for your course, prepare modules and brain maps so that you have properly structured course in place.
Decide how your students would transition from one module to the other. Prepare some tests that would evaluate student’s learning. This is the stage where you now take a look at all of your content and start grouping together your similar themes, tips, and ideas into modules and then ordering the lectures within those modules into the most progressive and logical manner so that they form a flowing sequence of lessons.
3. Chose a Platform for Online Course
Your online course has to be hosted on some platform on the internet for users to access it. Now there are several options available to put your course on the internet.
You can chose to create an online school or a personal website for your course. In this case you would have full freedom, you can charge as you wish, and decide the terms of your course. If you don’t want to build a website of your own, then you can chose any of the existing online course providers.
Some of the best available options include Skillshare, if you aim to provide a course on some vocational topic. Skillshare also pays greatly to the educators and is even free for the students. This means that you are actually not charging your students for anything. Also, as Skillshare already has a user base, it would be easy for you to get started with your online course.
4. Decide the Pricing Model
Make sure you have strategised your pricing model. There are certain factors to be conisdered while fixing a price tag for your online course.
- How much will the students be willing to pay?
- How much are your competitors or people offering the same type of course charging?
- What price will cover all your expenses and even be profitable for your?
Considering all these factors is essential. You won’t want your course to be a flop just because you were charging extremely high or because you could not even cover your expenses that you incurred for preparing the course.
There is no thumb rule or guideline for determining the price to be charged. But as a starting point, my recommendation is to analyze and benchmark your idea against competing products within the marketplace – have a look at what your competitors are charging and what for, then find out how yours can be different and better. When you’ve made yours better, then price yours slightly higher.
5. Focus on Personal Branding
Well, if you have completed all the above steps successfully, congrats!! You have taken your first step. Hopefully you will start earning from your course if yiu have really created something of utility.
But to ensure that you really earn and even grow, you have to focus on personal branding. Personal branding essentially means creating a persona of a brand around yourself. You have to portray yourself as a body of value. For this, you may use social media and other marketing strategies to amplify your presence and your achievements.
Do remember, you must continue to add new people to your course to ensure a steady income and for this you need personal branding.
Building an online course could be the best decision of your life if you follow all the steps mentioned above. It might seem difficult to start but once you take the first step, it would really be a good choice. Focus on creating value and utility for people because that’s what will differentiate you from your competitors. And trust be, if you are not able to segregate and portray your course as something different and useful, no matter what you do or how much you brand yourself, you would not be able to succeed.