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Simplified steps to create and sell online courses

Iman Shakeel

Iman Shakeel

Content Creator at Olive Media

Create and sell online courses

A single solution to all your needs for launching an online academy.

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No matter what you study in life, you always have something to share with the world. Maybe it’s a long-time passion of yours, something you always wanted to teach and answer questions about. Or maybe it’s something you’ve only recently considered, creating content and selling it online.

Either way, you know that if you could just find a way to ignite that spark in you and deliver it to the world, you’d be unstoppable. But it’s always easier said than done, right?

Not anymore.

Today, educators around the world are transforming their passion for teaching into revenue-driving online courses, assembling their knowledge into digital content that changes the lives of their customers.

And that’s the ultimate power of creating online courses: it’s not just that they drive six-figure businesses or help creators to share their knowledge with the world while earning passive income – it’s that they transform lives.

But that’s not what’s stopping you.

What’s stopping you is the sheer volume of information to get through, like:

  • How do you know if your online course will make any money?

  • How do you define the learning objectives for your online course?

  • How do you plan an online course launch with a small list of social media followers?

  • How do you hone in on your niche and find your target audience?

  • Are there any special tools you need for online course creation or marketing?

Irrespective of the topics you teach, the amount of experience you have in creating lecture videos, or whether you’ve carried out a successful marketing campaign, creating an online course can be tricky. Here are a few steps to help you simplify this process:

1. Discover your online course topic: You have a list of potential online course topics that you are good at and can tackle easily. Now let’s choose a suitable idea.

All the course topics will be judged based on two factors:

Passion: How excited are you to work on this? Are you willing to work on this course in the long run? If you hate working on something, the potential profit doesn’t matter, because you’re likely to quit before you even hit the benchmark.

Profit potential: Would people pay money to gain advice on this particular subject area? Another way of thinking about this is “are people ready to spend money to solve this problem, in the form of books, apps, services, etc?”.

Once you have chosen your course idea, it’s time to get to work on building your course.

2. Create an outline for your online course content: Most first-time course creators take the “dump” approach when creating their course outline: put every lesson you can think of on a list, and then use that as an outline to create your course.

This approach is ineffective because it focuses on information rather than results. You don’t need to teach your students everything about a particular topic, just enough for them to achieve the result you promised. 

There’s no limit to how complex you can get with your course outline. However, to get started, use the simple framework below; it will be more than enough to deliver the results your students crave. 

But what is the result you want your students to achieve?

When you begin to build your outline, the answer to the question above goes at the top. Then, your first module* will help your students understand why they will be learning each topic for the rest of the course.

3. Build your online course content: There are two common types of online course videos – screen recordings and talking head videos.

A screen recording video is exactly what it sounds like: a recording of your computer screen. In this type of video, you can record a slide presentation (Google Presentation or PowerPoint).

A talking head video is one where you record yourself speaking to the camera. These can be effective for explaining less technical concepts that don’t require a visual component. The benefit of talking head videos is that the reader gets to see you, which helps them get to know the creator behind the course.

4. Settle on the price for your online course: Pricing is a deep, complex topic, but you don’t have to consider it that way.

What do you want out of your course?

  • Do you want to reach the highest number of people? If you just want to reach as many people as possible (for example: if you’re using the course as a lead generation tool), then offer it for free. You’re more likely to see more sign-ups.

  • Do you want to make the highest total number of sales? Then price your course low enough to make it cheap to purchase. 

Trying to get pricing perfect can be one of the biggest obstacles to the most important part of creating your course: actually selling it!

5. Choose a launch model for your online course: There are two ways that most creators sell their courses – through product launches, or event-based sales that happen during a specific duration (e.g. a week). 

No matter which approach you choose, many of the sales and marketing best practices remain the same. 

6. Sell your course through online marketing: Now that you have created your course and finalized the pricing, it’s time to promote and sell your course through online marketing. This can be done in several ways: through social media campaigns, blog pitches in reputed magazines, attractive lead magnets or even email marketing. 

Does creating and selling your online course sound easy now? Then let’s get started.

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Launch your own branded online academy