Some people are born teachers.
They get joy out of teaching people new subjects, offering them a way to expand their knowledge base.
With universities, colleges, and training programs shuttering doors due to the pandemic, teachers and aspiring students turn to other channels to teach and learn.
Online courses offer a range of learnable skills in every category you can imagine.
If you have specialist knowledge on a specific subject matter, why not create a course?
Building a course sounds like a lot of effort, and many teachers are at a loss if you ask them to create an online course – they don’t know where to start or what to do.
Fortunately, there are innovative course-builders that let you set up any course you want, with any subject matter.
In this post, we’ll unpack everything you need to know about creating and launching your first online course.
1. Do Your Research
If you have specialist knowledge, then some people are willing to pay money to tap your knowledge.
By building an online course, you provide a conduit to teaching students without needing to be physically present in the classroom.
As a result, you can reach thousands, even millions of students, without ever visiting a lecture hall.
However, just because you have the knowledge doesn’t mean it’s in a viable niche.
Before you start building a course, you need to find out if there’s a demand.
Sign up with social platforms and run searches on Facebook and Twitter regarding your subject matter.
Join a few groups, and ask members questions relating to problems they have with your subject matter.
For instance, you could be a whizz in the kitchen, and you might want to start an online cooking course.
To make it successful, you’ll need to include material that people want to see.
By researching social platforms and asking people questions, you uncover the problems people face in the kitchen when learning to cook.
Build your course material around answering these questions with actionable solutions.
2. Choose a Course Platform
After deciding on your course material, it’s time to choose a platform to build your course.
Course-builders are an important part of your strategy.
If you have no design or coding experience – it doesn’t matter.
Course builders come with beautifully designed templates; you can adjust using a drag-and-drop web-builder interface.
You pull your Word documents and data into the templates without the need to alter any code.
This strategy makes it easy to build your course in a few hours.
There are dozens of course-builders available to choose from.
3. Design your Course
Keep these tips in mind when building your course material.
Focus on the Important Stuff
Don’t add fluff to your courses. Keep the material short and to the point.
Provide Results Early
According to studies, the average completion rate for online courses is 4%.
That’s incredibly low.
However, you can improve this ratio by providing students with results early in the course.
By giving them a competition award and feedback at the end of each module, you incentivize the student to move on to the next chapter.
Set Measurable and Achievable Goals
When your student signs up for the course, they should receive a course outline detailing the time it takes to complete the material.
Make sure you segment your information into sections and modules and attach completion goals to your student’s timeline in their dashboard.
Increase Your Retention Rate
When designing your course, make sure you keep it fun and informational.
If the customer enjoys your course, the end goal is to get them to sign up for another one.
The design of your course matters.
Your course-builder should come with free templates you can customize to a unique design.
As mentioned, most course builders come with drag-and-drop tools to make building your course easy.
The content is the most important part of your online course.
If your material doesn’t deliver value to the client, they’ll avoid finishing it, and they might even leave less than stellar reviews.
Create valuable, actionable content that provides real value to your students.
Creating a storyboard for your content helps you create a course that flows well.
If your course jumps around on too many topics, it’s going to confuse your students and distract from the core learnings you want to get across.
Slides or Narration, or both? Using these tools change the dynamic around your course presentation.
We recommend going for a blend of as many media formats as you can, focusing on video wherever possible.
Add Assessments and Quizzes
At the end of each module, drop your students a quick quiz designed to test their comprehension of the material.
Make it fun and interesting, and don’t try to catch anyone out.
This tactic builds confidence in your student, and there’s more chance of them finishing the course material.
4. Make Sure Your Course Is Mobile Compatible
Mobile traffic currently accounts for more than 50% of all internet traffic.
If your course is not compatible with mobile, it’s a big problem.
Many of your students will be reviewing your course material on their mobile devices while commuting or relaxing on the couch.
Dragging a laptop out of their bag or perching on their lap is an inconvenience.
If your course is not mobile compatible, you’re leaving money on the table.
5. Launch and Promote Your Course
After following these tips, your course is ready for launch.
Most course-builders come with tools to help you launch and market your course online.
When promoting your course, utilize strategies like Facebook and Instagram ads to build interest and awareness around your educational offering.
Facebook ads are affordable, with plenty of targetting options to help you find the right audience
Remember to track your students and build your list.
By building a list of customers and interested prospects, you create a database for your business.
In the future, you can cross-sell and up-sell your students to other courses or related products.