Are you a Teacher or coach looking for some extra income along with your existing workshops or classes? Are you a self-taught expert with amazing skills? Are you passionate about something that you wish to teach others?
If you are, then this post is definitely for you.
With globalization and penetration of internet services, the world has become an oyster for anyone wanting to learn something new. How many times have you been to Quora or YouTube when you wanted to know something or learn something new?
Right from knowing the best courses to learn in 2017, the latest make-up tutorials, learning a new code to DIY bags with your old t-shirts, you will find anything and everything that you seek online. There is hardly any topic on which you won’t find a DIY or an instructional video. This has also given rise to a new generation of entrepreneurs – the self-taught entrepreneurs! And they are extremely enthusiastic about helping others grow, thereby creating more such knowledge rich videos.
This growing trend of sharing and searching for knowledge and information online has created a great opportunity for MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) MOOC are the new way of learning, where you can buy a course and learn it on your computer or mobile or tablets.
Right from individuals to Universities, everybody is making use of these platforms to sell their courses. It is also seen as a way to soft sell their existing brand or build a brand online.
Why Online Courses are Growing?
Students can learn about various topics that interest them, at their pace, and from the comforts of their homes. This is extremely appealing for the students and also for the instructors. Imagine, as an instructor your students are not limited to a certain location, but can be anywhere around the globe!
According to Global Industry Analysts Inc. http://www.strategyr.com/PressMCP-4107.asp online learning is expected to reach more than $241 billion by 2022.
This is a great opportunity for the instructors to make the most of their knowledge. Building your name as an authoritative expert in a particular subject is much easier, as your knowledge and the skill of teaching becomes your brand ambassador.
Another important factor that works in favor of these online courses is that they are affordable. Affordable to the instructor as well as for the student. As there are limited overheads the costs too are limited, while being exposed to a large set of audience.
This is a disruptive idea in the field of education and knowledge sharing.
There are two ways one can go about creating online courses.
Choose a course platform that offers a marketplace to sell the courses created by you or create a course store in your website and sell all your courses from there.
Either the platform offers a marketplace for the course sellers and charges a percentage of every course sold or you can buy the apps that will host the courses and link them to your website.
The online platforms like Udemy help instructors create their courses and then charge a percentage of the course fee, with every sale or platforms like Invanto charge for the apps that the instructor will use to create an online course.
How do I make money by selling online courses?
This is something that most educators find overwhelming. It is like stepping into the unknown and hence many are hesitant to make the first move.
Making an online course means you are taking the first step towards passive income. You need to put efforts to create a great course, something that you are already doing in your offline class. Make an online version of it and sell it to the world!
It is advisable to create a flowchart of the topics that will be covered and the lesson plan. Anyone around the world can pay for your course and learn from it. All on auto-pilot.
Simple tips to help you get that first payout from online course creation
- Make it an addition to existing offerings
- Update regularly
- Use it as part of sales funnel
- Passive Income
- Choose the right platform
- Integrate offline and online promotion
- Drive people to your courses
Let’s go through them one by one…
1. Make it an addition to existing offerings
Your online courses can be an addition to your existing courses too! If you hold workshops or introductory courses offline, you could create detailed courses online and drive these offline leads to your online courses. This way these courses will be an additional resource for people already learning from you.
2. Update regularly
You can even create an updated module in the same course once new things are introduced or create a fresh course which can be an add-on to the existing one.
3. Use it as part of sales funnel
These online courses can be a part of your sales funnel. People who wish to learn about your field, could buy your online course to understand your teaching style and then you could direct them to buy a longer session offline, which could be a 3 month- 6 month program. This is something that educational institutes are interested in as they wish to drive up their student’s intake.
4. Passive Income
These courses can be consumed anytime of the day, and any number of times. So while you sleep your course is making money for you. Unlike regular teaching, you don’t have to be live in front of the students every time someone chooses your course. You could even introduce tests or additional learning assignments to make your course interesting.
5. Choose the right platform
Online course building platforms like Invanto only charge a small fee; hence you keep the wholesale amount and can sell the same course multiple times. This is extremely beneficial as you are not parting away with a percentage of your income every time a course is sold.
6. Integrate offline and online promotion
With platforms like Invanto, you own the storefront and hence you can link it to your existing website, social media or even run paid ads for their promotion and direct offline enquiries or your existing followers to these courses easily. These pages can be easily branded with your content hence it helps create a seamless integration between offline and online offerings.
7. Drive people to your courses
If people are looking for something that your course offers a solution to, direct them to your course. Check out what people are searching for maybe on Quora or your field related forums and communicate with them and establish yourself as the thought leader in that particular niche, while offering your course information.
Important questions that need to be answered before you start making your first course
- Can I create an online course?
- What can I create a course about?
- What tools do I need?
- How long does it take to create an online course?
- How much will I make?
- Should I create courses only around one topic?
- How will my course sell?
- How will others know about my course?
Let’s take a look at each one of them…
1. Can I create an online course?
The short answer is yes! Creating online courses with the help of e-learning platforms is extremely easy. You do not need to be tech savvy for it, nor do you need to learn any coding. Do a bit of research to understand what kind of content is being consumed in your field of expertise.
Create your course around a popular topic, classify them into modules and lessons and you are good to go. If you are a blogger or a YouTube you already know the kind of demand your field of knowledge has. Focus of using that knowledge to create information rich, detailed courses for your audience. These courses could also be the next step about various topics that you already discuss on the blog.
Eg: You could be a YouTuber putting up quick recipes on YouTube that are popular. You could create a course in traditional Christmas recipes and promote the course in your YouTube videos.
2. What can I create a course about?
This is the beauty of online courses. It can be about anything!
You could teach coding, finance or Yoga using the online learning platform. A skill, a technique, an art form, anything that you are passionate about and which has a demand can be a course that you can create. You don’t need to be a qualified teacher or an instructor to create online courses, though being one will be an added advantage, but that is not a prerequisite to create a course.
As a course will be detailed, you need a lot of content as opposed to a blog post or a YouTube video which usually skims through.
For eg : Make your own Horse Tack offers short videos about how to create various Horse gear such as Rope Halters, Rope Bosals etc. This is a perfect example of identifying a niche and creating courses that are most sought after by a particular audience.
3. What tools do I need?
Online learning platforms like Invanto, offer the entire digital infrastructure necessary to create a structured course online. However the videos required for the course needs to be created separately. Normally, using a screencast or a screen recording software, microphone, Webcam and presentation software like PowerPoint is enough for most subjects, however if you plan to do a more complex version with demo’s and conversations, it is better to take the help of a professional team.
For eg: A course about Digital marketing could be done using a screen recording software and a voiceover from you or a voice-over artist, however a course on Yoga or Mindfulness will be highly impactful if those are shot with professional help.
So depending on your niche the expenses and tools related to creating the videos will be different, however the platform fees for creating or selling the courses are the same for all.
4. How long does it take to create an online course?
Actual creation of a course on platforms like Invanto, don’t take more than a couple of hours, however it is essential that you put in some time to structure your course. Once your course topic is fixed, it is better to break it in modules and chapters. Have a clear flow of what all will be covered in the course.
Modules will be the overarching topic like Income from blogging. There will be various chapters or lessons under this module which will cover topics like affiliates, advertising, banner ads, etc. Having such a clear flow even before you start creating a course video will help you have a crisp and focused course.
It is also advisable to keep a script of the lesson to be covered in each video. This way you will not stray from the topic nor will you miss on covering certain points.
5. How much will I make?
Like any field, just creating a great course is not enough, you need to market it or push it to get conversions. Use your existing social media channels to push for your courses, promote it to your past students or people who consider you as a person with immense knowledge in a certain field.
Ask for reviews as reviews help in conversions. On an average, people make anything between $60 to $7000 a month. While having a presence in a marketplace is helpful in exposing your course to people looking for something similar, it also means that you are competing with other instructors and will have to reduce your price to stay competitive, thereby losing on your profit margins.
Another problem with market place approach is that you do not own the marketplace so you cannot control the experience or guide a user. Online advertising also is limited in such cases. It is better to have such courses linked to your website. You can then upsell your courses, focus on user experience and improve conversion rates by guiding the user to the desired courses.
6. Should I create courses only around one topic?
No, you can even create related courses. If you have branded yourself as a social media marketer then you can also talk about SEO. As both are related you could create a course on your core competency that is social media marketing and then create satellite courses related to SEO, paid ads or even affiliate marketing.
As students learning about social media will also be looking for SEO, having it made available by the same course expert will make them more than willing to buy the course.
On the other hand, this will be a great way for you to showcase your knowledge about a particular field, thereby positioning you as a subject matter expert in that particular field.
7. How will my course sell?
One of the most important things to keep in mind is creating content that people are interested in buying. Did you know that few of the most popular courses on Udemy include learning Excel and Photoshop for beginners?
Do a bit of study to understand the demand in your field and the allied fields. Create a detailed course that offers value to the students and then market it.
Yes, whether you host on your website or on a marketplace it is essential that you market your course to your followers, offline users and other contacts. One of the primary reasons for this is the revenue share model in marketplace platforms. If you wish to keep the maximum revenue from the courses then the course needs to be brought by your referral, otherwise you will end with just around 25%-50% of your course fee.
8. How will others know about my course?
Creating a community around your courses help in the long run and will also help make your courses popular. Get your students to discuss topics or questions on Facebook groups or platforms like Disqus. This helps students get a virtual connect and makes your course more engaging. It will also act as a soft sell platform where you can inform them about the next courses that are essential to master the particular field that you are talking about.
Such communities are also a great way to understand what your students are looking for and might even give you future course ideas.
Stop Doubting Your Knowledge
As the internet penetration continues to grow and there is a rise in self-taught creators breaking the internet, the trend of learning online will become even more popular. People will continue to opt for online learning as this knowledge will help them try something new, choose a different career or even progress in the current field.
As subject matter experts, it is time to stop doubting your knowledge and testing it by creating courses to see if people are interested in learning about the topic. It will also require some time and effort from your end, but creating online courses and earning from it is not a scam.
With consistent efforts and focus on creating useful content, you can definitely earn a decent amount of money and build a brand around yourself.
If something is stopping you from start building your first course, please post your question below. We will be happy to assist.
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