This is a step-wise guide to help you understand how to create an Online Course. Also see some useful tips to promote your course:
The advancement of communication and internet technologies has allowed innovative delivery of information and education. The restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated the growth of the e-learning market.
e-learning is a growing industry with great opportunities for earning passive income.
In this guide, you will learn not just how to build an online course, but also how to price and promote your course.
What You Will Learn:
- Create an Online Course
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Recommended Online Course Platform
- Simple Steps to Create an Online Course
Create an Online Course
Global online learning market size by technology (2019 – 2016):
Frequently Asked Questions
Q #1) How can I create an online course for free?
Answer: You can create free online courses using a basic membership plan of online platforms, such as Thikific.
Also Read =>> Popular Online Course Platforms & Websites
Q #2) What software do I need to create an online course?
Answer: Most online e-learning platforms allow you to create courses using a browser. The multi-platform online course creator allows you to create a course without installing any software.
Q #3) Do online courses make money?
Answer: Creating an online course will allow you to become a digital entrepreneur. Building an online course is a profitable business model. The demand for e-learning is rising with improved profit-making potential.
Q #4) How much does it cost to create an online course?
Answer: You can create an online course for anywhere between $100 and $10,000. The main cost will be the labor hired to create online content. The cost will be significantly lower if you create the online courses yourself. You will only have to pay a fee for creating courses using the online learning platform.
Q #5) How long does it take to create an online course?
Answer: Creating an online course can take anywhere between a week to six months or more. You can cut down on the time involved in creating online courses if you hire outside help to create educational content.
Recommended Online Course Platform
Best for Video Lectures from Celebrated Professionals.
Besides creating an online course, if you are itching to learn a new skill or master one you have a passion for, we would recommend you subscribe to Masterclass. Masterclass has over 180 courses in 11 different categories. Each course comes with about 20 video lessons that last an average about 10 minutes.
These bite-sized lessons are thought by celebrated artists, businessmen, writers, scientists, etc. This is perhaps what makes Masterclass so unique and special. You get unlimited access to knowledge being poured to you by successful individuals in the subject of your choosing.
- Over 180 classes offered
- 11 Different Subject Categories
- Cross-Device Compatibility
- Offline Viewing
Price: Individual Plan: 15/month, Duo Plan: $20/month, Family: $23/month (billed annually)
Simple Steps to Create an Online Course
Creating an online course is not difficult.
The following steps will simplify the process of creating an online course:
- Step #1. Find out the market demand
- Step #2. Create your online course
- Step #3. Promote and sell your online course
- Step #4. Select the right format
- Step #5. Price your online courses
- Step #6. Create an online learning group
Step #1: Find Out the Market Demand
Creating an online course is similar to establishing a business. You must find out the market demand to find out the demand for the content. This will allow you to prioritize content creation based on actual demand.
A common mistake is thinking that an online course will be a success if it focuses on topics not covered by others. The fact is, a course will be more likely to succeed if there is a great demand for the topics.
To gauge market demand, you should ask the following questions:
- What questions are people asking the most?
- Is the answer to the question available freely online?
- Will people be willing to pay to access a course covering the topic in detail?
You must create a course of topics about which information is not available online. Also, people should be willing to pay to access the required information.
Google Trends is a great tool for learning about topics that people are searching for online. The online tool allows you to search for topics that people around the world are exploring.
Suppose that you want to research about your interest in an online research course. You should type “online research course” in the search box. You will be presented with the following graph:
You can also compare the interest in different topics over time. Click on the + sign next to Compare and add a search term.
Suppose that you want to compare the interests of people in online research, medical, and yoga courses. If you type the search terms in Google Trends, you will see the following comparison chart:
As you can see in the chart above, most people are interested in an online medical course. The chart shows the interest of people in the US between Jun 7, 2021, and Jun 18, 2022.
Another tool to validate the demand for a course topic is the use of a keyword planner tool. Hoth Google Keyword Planner Tool is a free tool you can use to search for high-impression key terms.
You can enter keywords to find out the number of people searching for information relating to a topic online.
Suppose that you want to know about your interest in the online medical course. You will be presented with the following table that shows the specific keywords related to the topic and the search volume:
As you can see above, most people are interested in a 4-week online medical course on medical billing.
Question and answer sites such as Reddit, Gab Social, and Quora are also great online resources to carry out market research about courses that most people will be interested in.
Your goal should be to find out the gap in the knowledge available freely online. The online market research will allow you to know about topics for which most people will be willing to pay.
Your market research should also include analyzing your competitors. Find out the price and content of the online courses offered by the competitors. This will let you know how you can create a value-added offering that is better than the others.
You should evaluate whether the online courses cater to the general public or a specific group of people. For instance, evaluate whether the existing medical courses address the information requirements of graduate and post-graduate doctoral medical students.
A detailed competitor analysis will let you know about the population segment that is left out and that you can target to meet the demand.
Lastly, you should consider pre-selling your course online. This is a great way to learn about the actual market demand for the course. You can offer discounts to individuals who sign up for the course. In the event there is not a great demand for a particular course, you can offer a refund and search for another topic.
Step #2: Create Your Online Course
Once you have selected a topic you should start creating a course. Many online platforms allow you to create a course online. The best platforms to create online courses include Thinkific, Learnworlds, and Kajabi.
You can easily create online courses using an online course builder platform. Here are the steps to create an online course using the Thinkific platform:
#1) You must first create a Thinkific account. After you have created an account, click on the Settings tab and enter your online school name and other details such as site address and email as shown in the image below.
Note: Basic account allows you to add a custom URL with a Thinkific domain (thinkific.com). If you also want a custom domain for the online course, you must select a Premium account.
#2) Next, you must upload a custom log for the website. Click on the Design Your Site tab and then click on Branding and then upload the logo. The logo must be in PNG or JPG format and be less than 250kb.
You can also upload a Landing page banner image of 1440×400 size that will appear as the background of the web page. In addition, you can change the site colors by clicking on the Site styles tab as shown in the image below.
#3) The next step is to select a theme for the online course. You should click on the Design Your Site and then Theme library.
You can pick from several themes such as Empire, Vogue, and Vision, as shown in the image below.
#4) You should now customize the selected theme by clicking on the Site Builder tab. As you can see in the image below, you can customize the home page, courses, bundles, and default pages. You can select custom images and change the headings of the homepage.
Note: You can upload copyright-free pictures from Pexels.com, Pixabay.com, and Unsplash. Also, you can purchase stock images from sites such as Shutterstock.com.
#5) To add sections, select the Custom Page, and then click on Add custom page. You should add the title for the page and images for the custom pages.
You can add any custom page you like for the online school such as About Us, Contact Us, Pricing, FAQs, and others. You should also add a social proof custom page that contains testimonials of recent graduates.
#6) The next step is to complete the instructor’s profile. Click on Manage Learning Content and then Instructors.
You can add the name, email, title, and bio of each instructor individually or export a CSV list, as shown below.
#7) To receive payments from customers, you must connect to your Stripe or PayPal account. Go to Market & Sell, click on Integrations, and select the E-commerce tab.
Tip: Consider integrating your online course with Convert Kit or MailChimp available in the Email Marketing section of the Integrations tab. This allows you to send emails to check up on your student’s progress and get feedback from them.
#8) The next step is to create content for the online courses. Click on Manage Learning Content and then select the Courses category.
#9) When you click on + New Course, you will be presented with the following templates. Select a template that meets your course objectives.
#10) When you choose Blank, you will be presented with the following screen. Here you can add chapters, type or import lessons, and change the settings for the course. You can also create quizzes, discussions, surveys, and more from this screen.
In the Settings tab, you can make the topic part of a free trial or a pre-requisite for a particular course. You can also select Pricing and After Purchase options for the course.
Once you have finalized the content, preview the course and then publish it online.
Step #3: Promote and Sell Your Online Course
Once you have created a course online, the third important step is to promote and sell the course online.
You can promote your course through social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. In addition, you can promote your course online using digital advertising on search engines.
Depending on the online course, you can sell it to your audience in one of the following four ways:
- Monthly Fee: You can create a channel subscription for your online course. Users will have to pay a monthly fee to access online content. This creates a paywall that separates the free and premium content.
- Purchase Entire Course: Allow individuals to purchase the course online by paying a one-time fee. Users can download the online course once they purchase the course. You can limit the duration during which users can download or allow them unlimited access to the courses.
- Purchase Individual Topics: Let users pay for individual topics as they progress through the course. Users can progress through the course at their own pace, which is convenient and affordable for them.
- Tiered Plans: Create different plans for users. You can create basic, intermediate, and advanced payment plans. The plan can give users different access to topics covered in the online course.
You should consider allowing users to get a preview of the online course. For instance, allow the users to read the topics that will be covered in the course. In addition, allow users to ask about the course content through live chat or email.
Offering discounts is recommended to encourage users to enroll in your course. You should also consider a free Q&A session regarding the online course.
In addition, you can allow users to enroll in a free course that provides basic information available freely online regarding a topic and encourage users to enroll in the paid program for advanced knowledge.
Step #4: Select the Right Format
The next step is to select the format of the online course. You can allow users to download the course online and provide group or individual lessons. The individual format is similar to the traditional classroom setting, where students can ask questions and engage in group activities.
The correct format depends on the time you can commit to the course. This specific learning outcome will also determine the correct format for the course.
Another good idea is to allow users to book a class with you. You can use scheduling software such as Google Calendar to note down live classes. You can have a predetermined number of users in the course for an extra fee.
Step #5: Price Your Online Courses
An important step in creating an online course is pricing the course. You should find out about the rates that competitors charge for similar courses online.
Find out the course content and the price charged by the competitors. Also, research course fees and subscription plans are offered by other content creators.
In addition, assess the costs involved in creating the online course. This will allow you to select a price that is not only competitive but also allows you to recover the resources invested in building the course.
Course unique value is also an important factor in pricing the courses. Find out more about the unique value proposition of the online course.
Students will compare the value offered by your course and the value offered by other courses when selecting a course. That’s why you mustn’t price your courses too high even if it’s unique.
If you want to charge a high price, you must justify it by explaining the value-added features such as one-to-one instructions, online collaboration, and group interaction.
On the other hand, you should also not charge a course too low to attract a lot of customers. Most people will presume that the course is not of high value due to which the price is relatively low. The price you select should strike a balance between value and competitive price.
Step #6: Create an Online Learning Group
Online learning need not be a solitary activity. You can create an online learning group to foster community learning. The online community will result in greater advancement of knowledge and also popularity of your online course.
An online group will allow learners to socialize and share knowledge. They can ask questions and also celebrate with each other. It will contribute to creating a vibrant learning environment that will make your courses popular online.
You must create a section on the online website where users can connect. You can use online communication platforms such as Slack or Discord that lets users connect with each other. The chat software has various features, such as a whiteboard, where users can draw and share ideas.
In addition, users can share screens to create a collaborative learning environment.
You can create social media groups on popular platforms such as Twitter and Facebook where users can interact with each other and share knowledge.
Creating an online course will allow you to earn passive income. You have various options to create and market your course online. In addition, you can make your courses available in different formats, such as downloadable courses or live classes.
Market research is critical when creating an online course. The tips mentioned in this blog post will help you find topics and create online courses that most people will like to subscribe to or buy.
- Time is taken to research this article: It took us about 5 hours to research and write how to create an online course.
- Total tools researched: 10
- Top tools shortlisted: 3