Over the past two decades, the concept of online learning gradually expanded on the global front. However, during this pandemic, online education has become an obsolete necessity. With that, the popularity of online courses has gone to another level. How to create and sell online courses is a perfected science by many edupreneurs.
Online courses present a myriad of students’ benefits, starting with the flexibility to study on their terms, be it early in the morning or late at night. Secondly, online courses cost less.
Another advantage is that the documentation is stored safely & securely in the online database, and can be accessed anytime. And, access to expertise.
With online courses booming, it is a grand opportunity for teachers, institutions, including schools and colleges, to bring a good amount of enrollment by offering online courses to their students.
This article is a practical tutorial on how to create online courses. You will also get to know how to sell online courses in India. Here we’re going to cover the following points:
What are Different Online Learning Models?
Online learning is a broad term with a myriad of approaches and instructional environments. Learning about the popular online models for learning will help you choose the best suited model to your niche and audience to create online courses.
Here are the various modules of online learning, find out which model for your online courses will sell:-
1. Asynchronous Online Courses
These are kinds of online purses where the learning doesn’t happen in real-time. The students are given a set of assignments to complete within a timeframe, and then the exam follows for certification.
The learning takes place through online materials such as ebooks, blogs, videos, etc. So, as a result, there is no official class meeting time. These courses are best suited for students with busy schedules and time constraints.
2. Synchronous Online Courses
In this type of module, the teacher and the enrolled students have an online discussion just like a class. Similar to webinars, the interaction happens via text, audio, or video. So, synchronous online courses let students experience real classroom learning from a distance.
3. Hybrid Courses
These courses allow both in-person and online interaction. The students have to attend several online sessions during the semester, and rest is learning takes place through learning materials.
Market Growth of Online Learning in India
The valuation of India’s online learning market is 39 INR billion in 2018, and it is expected to be INR 360.3 billion by 2024, at an expansion rate of 43.85%.
The students of India are realising the ease of studying online, flexibility, and access to quality education, even while being in a remote town in India.
In the times of the COVID-19 outbreak, e-learning in India has an explosive upward curve, which looks promising in the coming years.
The behavior of consumers in second and third-tier cities for distance learning has improved, which has been a key driver for this segment of the education industry.
In a nutshell, we can say, India is headed to a new digital world, where the focus will be on quality skilled-based learning through the online courses, to unlock new doors of opportunities, not just the traditional classroom education which is leading our young segment to nowhere in terms of career prospects.
How to Create and Sell Online Courses – Step-by-Step Process
1. Choose a Topic to Teach
The first and most crucial step to create online courses is to pick a topic. If you are a specialized teacher, then you must choose your subject as the Course topic. On the other hand, institutions can opt for trends in the market, like digital marketing.
But, to create and sell online marketing courses, you need onboard expert Internet marketers to prepare a comprehensive course that offers real value to the students, and actually drives enrollments like crazy.
Choosing an online topic isn’t about what you can teach, instead of more on what you should teach first. You’ve to reason with your prospective students to pay money to take classes.
No one would buy your Course just because they’ll like it. Instead, they’ll purchase it if you are willing to solve their problem.
For instance, small business owners don’t want to invest in professional digital marketing services. It puts a burden on their shoulders so that you can provide exclusive Intermarketing courses for young entrepreneurs.
If you want to solve a problem, you have to be very specific; otherwise, you’ll create an online course for everyone but appeal to no one.
If you appeal to too many people, you are going to motivate no one. Narrow down on what you are targeting to get more enrollments.
Select the right course topic; people will join them and share them.
2. Research and Create an Outline Design for Course
This section of brainstorming is the most integral in your pursuit to create and sell perfect online courses. Creating the outline of an e-learning course involves careful planning and decremental revisions.
You can always speak to your fellow teachers who successfully run online courses, you’ll learn from their strategies, and their honest piece of advice will lay the groundwork for your Course.
You’ll have to mull over several things, starting from the teaching philosophies, teaching methods, course goals, course content, and policies. Pay thought to every aspect. Otherwise, you’ll end up creating any other online course with zero enrollment.
When creating the outline, you’ve to be well aware of the course goals. Know what you want your students to learn & accomplish.
If you’ve decided on the goals, then you’ll understand the topics to include in the Course, which learning method is best, what kinds of assignments needed, and finally, the type of exam that is appropriate.
In the outline, the topics must be defined, and in a logical order. Too much or too less is not the way ahead, maintain a balance when designing the outline.
It is important to do thorough online research to pare down and refine your topic list. The topics are arranged in a variety of manner, including process-oriented, chronological, conceptual, topical, or survey-oriented.
Once you’ve decided on the topics, the outline must be created with the method of teaching, will there be teacher and students discussion sessions? Practical-leaning possible? The answers to these will be a significant help in your quest of creating the right online Course.
Another key aspect of an online course outline is the planning of assignments and exams. The evaluation must go hand-in-hand in line with the course goals. Suppose the Course is related to solving problems.
In that case, the exams must not be recalling all the facts, instead of making sure the students are implementing the methods properly to solve specific problems. Assignments and exams will give your students a fair-idea whether they can achieve their goals or not.
3. Understand Your Potential Audience
You’ll have to understand the audience to create a course. For instance, you are teaching first-year engineering students coding, then the essence of the Course should be scratch learning.
On the other hand, you’re offering a new coding language for a professional programmer; then you’ve to be advanced with the course material. You don’t want to learn the fundamentals. So, you need to identify & understand what your audience wants.
Another example is creating an online Internet marketing course for small business owners. The meat of the Course must be to make them learn practical methods to improve brand awareness, engagement, and revenue-number.
There isn’t a need to teach them the basics; they’re not going to apply for a job in marketing after taking the Course.
4. Hire Writers or Write Yourself Then Send It for Proofreading
Now is the biggest dilemma, whether to hire writers to write yourself. The answer lies in the type of Course, you are offering.
If you are targeting the corporate segment, then the language has to be good, free of typos, and grammatical error-free. In that case, hiring a competent writer is worth an investment.
On the flip side, if the Course is for young students, then your subject knowledge is enough, no need to have writers to create the course content.
But, the only thing is sure that you send the course content to a qualified proofread, they’ll thoroughly analyze your content, make amends, and give advice where you can improve.
If the writer is working on the course content, make sure you communicate with the Course audience. You want the students to understand the topics and not refer to the dictionary most of the time.
Your decision will draw a line between the success and failure of your e-learning course and decide wisely by weighing the pros and cons.
5. Make Your Content Mobile Responsive and Flexible
In the digital epoch, people use various gadgets to access the Internet, and smartphones are merely topping the list.
So, it is vital to create online courses that are responsive to both desktop and mobile applications. There are several perks of making your content responsive. First, the growth in mobile usage has surged.
These days we prefer to pop smartphones out of our pockets to buy something or search for something, rather than looking for laptops. Ensure the course content is adaptable to each screen size, and the view must be consistent.
This will offer great ease of learning to students as they would be able to learn on the way to the office in a metro or even in the park on a breezy morning. Here are some practical tips for developing mobile-friendly e-learning courses:-
Less the clutter, the better it is.
In the mobile view, there is no room for clutter. So, cut the clutter and keep it concise. Don’t make your mobile learners see unnecessary information.
Screen Space is an Essential Commodity.
As land in real estate, wisely use the screen space when you are building a mobile-friendly online course. For instance, the people on mobile e-learning, generally have a slower Internet, so avoid heavy images as the content loads swiftly with no frustrating loading.
Optimize all the media elements in the online Course, right from the learning videos, infographics to images. Don’t forget to compress the large files.
The navigation icons
Opt for a drop-down menu; this will save significantly on your space. This minimizes the space, without sacrificing on the navigability aspect. The icons of navigation have to be clear and easy to tap.
You don’t want the user to zoom in or out to click the navigation tap. Avoid hyperlinks, instead, opt for buttons. The whole idea is that the mobile learners must find it easy to access the course content, with just one finger.
Tiny hyperlinks in large blocks of content will only be going to create big confusion and frustration among mobile learners.
Give your mobile learning proper audio control so that they can easily adjust to the environment.
To make sure your e-learning course is responsive, you’re required to hire professional web designers having expertise in creating responsive online mobile courses.
You must carefully communicate the objective whether you want the content to be solely for mobile users or both desktop and mobile applications.
6. Introduce In-Between and After the Course Assessments
The importance of assignments cannot be overlooked when creating online courses. The online assignments help in behavior changes such as increased concentration, diligence, and attentiveness.
Ensure that the assignments aren’t just about adding workload like schools. Instead, the assignments need to be interactive; give your students something new and different every time.
The in-between and after the course assignments, let you evaluate each student and provide extra care to make sure they gain valuable skills.
The assignment during the initial phase of the e-learning course will motivate the student to pay great attention to what’s been taught. Proactive and interesting assignments will definitely draw-in the attention of the students.
The Course must be planned in a manner that it includes a good amount of assignments, without feeling like a burden. Plus, you’ve to explain to the students why they should take this assignment, and how it is beneficial.
The assignments throughout the Course not only help in the revision of the topics covered but also creates a connection between the courses, thus ensuring leaning at a deeper level.
The evaluation process of the assignment is crucial, be transparent, and let your students have the areas they need to improve.
7. Add Videos, Expert Views, and Statistic With Practicals
To create an effective e-learning program, add videos, statistics, and expert views to the course content. All these are valuable in helping your students to achieve the course learning goals. They make the content unique and perspective, helping your online Course to stand out.
The critical advantage of videos, expert views, and statistics is that it provides visual learning with an uncanny ability to pull the students’ attention.
The real-world illustrations of the content allow students to understand the revenue, which eventually improves the whole learning experience.
Moreover, several studies have suggested that humans tend to learn more when they see and hear things. This especially works in the case of videos, as students would be able to see your emotions and understand the intentions better. This eventually builds trust and makes the Course engaging.
The visual content is versatile; there is so much you can do. There are so many ways you can teach; you can also create videos that can be downloaded and listened to any time. They can listen in the car or while taking a stroll in the morning.
In a nutshell, the videos, statistics, and expert views help your students to engage better and learn more effectively.
The students can connect with the teacher via videos, and the expert views & statistics encourage the student to trust the course content.
8. Create All Digital Formats of Course- Ebooks, Audiobooks, Videos and Webinars
To reach maximum number of audience and make them accessible everywhere you should be creating different digital formats of online courses to sell including ebooks, audiobooks, videos, and webinars.
Ebooks make more sales than e-courses, as students don’t have to wait for weekly lessons. If you launch an ebook course, you’ve the freedom to sell it on Kindle. This is super easy to grow your sales and reach a wider audience.
However, there are certain shortcomings associated with ebooks because it takes time to create, and you probably need to hire professional writers to create an ebook compromising 40 to 50k words.
If this means either spending money on a specialist writer or hours on writing. While there isn’t a need to learn tech skills, but basic design skills to create the ebook cover and template of the cover.
Audio books, today, are a fast-growing, digital format of e-learning that is gaining a lot of popularity. Audio books are less competitive compared to ebooks.
Before, you commence to create and sell an audio book course, here are a couple of things to know:
- The costs associated with producing an audio book.
- Find the right narrator for your audio book.
- The process of creating an audio book.
- How & where to distribute the audio books.
- Marketing your audio books.
With video lectures, your students can access the topics anytime and anywhere, from tablets, laptops, or smartphones. Create videos in a format that works on all browsers & mobile devices.
Videos let students learn wherever they want. Plus, they can learn at an individual pace, which ultimately maximizes the result of e-learning.
The videos are easy to deliver, just upload the videos, and give your students the video links to access them. Further, videos included in the online Course, present your students the opportunity to revise the concept by checking the videos.
Webinars are a cost-effective learning tool to better interact with your students. You can either pre-record the webinar, play the recording during the session, or live webinar.
They can encourage interaction via anonymity. This improves constructive discussions between the teachers and students.
9. Put All the Content Together, Publish And, Choose a Business Model to Sell
Now, we are the final phase of creating online courses. Here, we need to put together content to form a course that you can publish online and draw more enrollments.
You’ll have to create a dedicated landing page so that each visitor turns into your customers. A good landing page must have a proper, crisp heading at the beginning.
The webpage must clearly define the problem your target audience is having, and how it is solved with the Course.
The best approach is explaining the benefits to your potential learner upon joining this Course, because then only people will be motivated to purchase your Course.
As a rule of thumb, the course outline’s important stuff must be at the beginning of the page. The content of the landing page must be short and concise.
Make use of action words such as explore, emerge, discover for improving engagements. You can use tools available online like Knorish to aid you in the process of putting your course together.
Before you hit the publish button, have a proper business model to sell your e-course. You can divide the online courses into multiple packages to sell.
Such as a silver pack with access to course materials or a gold package that offers the teacher online interactive sessions.
And, finally, the premium subscription with exams and proper certification.
10. Market Your Course by Engaging With Your Potential Customer on Different Social Media Channels
Social media, today is a powerful tool to market your online Course. You can start by creating your social media profile on a variety of platforms, which include Facebook, Linkedin, or Twitter.
You can use social media to draw the interest of your prospective audience. Many of your connections may have similar challenges or Interests, thereby improving course enrollments. Moreover, social media serves as a strong word-of-mouth foundation for your Course.
Join Facebook groups as here like-minded people can connect over a variety of topics, and they’ll spread the word about your business. But, keep in mind, you must never be a part of the Course for promoting it.
Be an active participant, ask questions, and offer advice. Only then will you be all to stamp your authority as a subject expert to make people purchase your Course.
Referral programs over social media encourage people to spread a word about your e-learning course. Your students will share their learning experience over the various social media channels if you offer them incentives.
Use the paid ads wisely to attract new customers. At the same time, don’t think you’ll be able to open the floodgates of enrollments. Social media advertising requires a lot of patience and research to bring measurable results.
11. Analyze the Performance, Take Feedback and Improve to Relaunch
Last but not least, continually analyze your online course’s performance, obtain feedback from students, and upgrade the Course for betterment. This is a continuous process, and keep on going no matter how bad reviews you get, just keep on improving.
Do’s and Don’t – Create and Sell Online Courses
Here are the do and don’t of teaching and creating online courses:-
#1 Add Visuals to the Course Content
To increase learner’s engagement, try to add as much visuals as possible, like videos, graphs, etc.
#2 Address Your Target Audience
Trying to create an e-learning course for everyone is a big blunder. You have to make the program for a certain reason and a target audience. Before you put together the course material,take a closer look at the prospective learners.
#3 Create Compelling Learning Outcomes
When laying the groundwork of the course, ensure that you prepare a set of outcomes that you can communicate with your prospective students.
For, a basic photoshop course varies from advanced corel draw course in terms of outcomes. So, understand the outcomes before you set on the journey to promote your course.
Do #4 Market your Course
There are thousands of online courses like yours, to stand out and sell you’ve to do both organic and paid marketing.
#1 Not Creating Actionable Course Content
The content must include examples that encourage your students to practically implement the techniques and tactics they learned. After every topic, have an assignment to submit.
#2 Putting Too Much In One Course
Never put too much in just one course. For instance, if you are creating an SEO beginner program, don’t include complex topics such as Google advertising and AdSense. Stick to the core of the subject, and always remember “A Little Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing”
Don’t3 # Making Sessions Too Lengthy
Avoid lengthy video sessions. Typically, most people have an attention span of 20 to 25 minutes.
Don’t #4 Perceiving Bad Feedback as Negativity
Negative feedback of those who have undergone your course is important. Take all the one or two-star ratings optimistically, and focus on making the course more valuable to your students.
We hope this ultimate guide on creating rapidly selling and successful online courses is helpful to you.
How often should I meet with online students?
There are myriad ways to interact with your online learners, right from brief informal introduction and webinars to discussion forums. While your presence will encourage learners to take the Course actively, it is not necessary to connect with their students regularly.
What is the Best Content Delivery Method?
As discussed earlier, there are several ways you can deliver content to your students. These include audiobooks, ebooks, videos, and webinars; each one has its own set of pros and cons. You have them into account before making the final call.
Do I need Special Skills to Teach Online?
There are no special skills needed for online teaching. You must have a firm grasp of the topic and effective communication skills.