Online courses are everywhere nowadays. Universities and colleges offer students the chance to study online, around their other commitments and from the comfort of their own home. They can even study at a college the other side of the country or in a different country entirely, without ever having to attend in person. You can learn more about the advantages of online study at https://elearningindustry.com/5-advantages-of-online-learning-education-without-leaving-home.
Less formal online education is also growing in popularity. Bloggers offer online courses to share their skills. Professionals offer online courses, consultancy and tutorials to share their knowledge and help others, and there seems to be a course out there helping you to do absolutely anything. You might have even taken a few of these courses yourself. Perhaps to help advance your career, or to take your hobbies to the next level. Some people just enjoy courses just because they like to learn.
Have you ever considered offering a course yourself? If you’ve already got a blog or website of your own, you’ve already got an audience that listens to what you say and a place to add downloads. They consider you to be an authority. They respect your opinion, and they think you are worth their time. This could mean that you’ve got more to offer. Here’s a look at everything that you need to know to help you get started with your own course.
You’ll Need an Idea
The first, and perhaps most important thing that you need is an idea. Something that you know a lot about, and think others want to learn about. You might know loads about something really random and obscure, but ask yourself if other people want to learn about it?
If you have already got a blog, it’s a good idea to stick to your niche. You’ve got an audience already built. Then, it’s just a question of whether or not they are willing to pay for more. If you’ve been blogging for a while, if you’ve got a book out or you’ve written guest posts on other sites, you’re already out there. Your content is available. Have you already shared everything that you know? Your course needs to offer valuable content that your readers can’t already get for free if you are going to ask them to pay for it.
Consider breaking down something that you’ve already talked about, and is popular, into more detail. Give people more of your knowledge, and a deeper understanding of the topic.
Then a Platform
Now, you need to consider how you are going to share your course. Is it going to be available to download from your site? Will there be a secret link that people have to pay to view? Will you host in on another platform like teachable? Or will you sell it in an online shop? You could even start a brand-new website, dedicated to course content. This could be useful if you plan on offering further courses in the future.
There are many different platforms to sell your course from. From a plugin on your current site to a separate shop. Explore your options to find out which suits you, your course and your audience better than the rest.
You’ll Have to Find an Audience
If you’ve already got an audience, you need to build upon it. If you haven’t, you need to get one. Either way, you should try to find ways to let as many people know about your course as possible. Do this by creating some hype on your current site, by guest posting on other sites, with social media and email. Offer sneak peeks of what you’ve got to offer, or even a free short course to show users what they might be getting.
You could run special offers, giving people a discount if they sign up early or if they refer a friend. It’s important to get seen by as many people as possible. You should also remember that once your course is online, it’s out there. You aren’t just selling to this first wave of people. They’ll keep coming in the future, and people could be enrolling on your course for a long time to come. This means that your marketing efforts need to carry on long after your launch.
The Best Courses Have a List of Outcomes
Very few people go into a course with just the vague idea that they’d like to learn something new. Nor do they start with a specific idea of what they want. But, they do have ideas of what they’d like to get out of it. Advertise the outcomes of your course. Tell people what they will be able to do at the end of it. What they’ll have learned, what they will understand and what they will be able to achieve with this knowledge.
Start Collecting Content
Once you’ve got your idea, an audience and some outcomes, it’s time to start collecting content. When it comes to writing a course, you’ll start a little like you would if you were writing a book. They’ll be drafts, lists of things that you want to talk about, breakdowns how to include all of the detail. Write down everything that you know about your topic of choice. Do some research and spend a lot of time learning everything that you don’t already know.
Arrange it into Modules
A good course isn’t just reams and reams of writing. It’s broken down into smaller, easier to digest modules. Take all of your content and break it down into smaller topics. Include tests or assignments in each section.
Try to Add Variety to Your Teaching
You also need to make sure it’s not dull. A good teacher is able to capture their student’s attention, and then hold it even when the course content is robust. In some ways, this is harder to do online when you’re not stood in front of your audience. But, it’s possible. Include videos, use www.biggerbetterbackbeat.com to record audio segments, add pictures and infographics. Break things up with fun projects and pop quizzes. Try to add as much variety as you can.
Add Some Freebies
Adding some simple freebies to your course is a great idea. Printables like schedules, workbooks and plans are easy to attach and helpful to your students. You can also add things like stock photo and font downloads, or any other resources that you use a lot and feel could help others.