How to Create an Online Course - Ultimate Guide for Online Course Creator

How to create online course - intro

Almost everyone has some specific skills or knowledge, like marketing, design, cooking, fitness, or anything else. Thanks to globalization and the internet, you can share this knowledge with people worldwide and earn money by publishing a course and becoming a tutor.

If you think that there is something you’d like to teach other people, but you wonder how to create an online course, this article can be pretty helpful for you. 

I’ve already created a few curses in my career, so you can learn many interesting things from the knowledge I’ve gathered for you in this article. 

We will go through different points like what online courses are the most profitable and in demand, but you’ll also find out how to promote, and sell your content, to earn money.

I hope this article will give you an overview of how you can start with content creation, monetizing your knowledge, and become successful. 

Let’s start!

What online courses are in demand?

When thinking about creating online courses, you need to research to find out what online courses are in demand. Creating an online course that many people want will make it much easier to earn money from sales. During this research, you have to keep in mind what kind of skills you have and what you would like to share in your course.

If you have a list of skills, you need to think of the most popular platforms with online courses like Udemy or Skillshare. There you can find out what are the most popular courses in a given category. It’s also a good idea to check what people are searching for in Google using Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner tools.

Some niches are very popular currently, so let’s list them here, and if you are going to create an online course in one of them, you won’t have to spend time on the research.

Some of the most in-demand niches currently are: 
- technology (programming, security, web development, machine learning)
- marketing (copywriting, social media marketing, video marketing)
- self-development (time management and productivity, leadership, negotiation, influence, mindfulness)
- business (e-commerce, affiliate marketing, PPC advertisements for the business, sales pages)
- beauty (make-up, style, wellness, skincare, haircare)
- video & photo (food photography, portrait photography, videography, video editing, vlogging, Youtube content creation, photo editing)
- languages (popular languages like Spanish, German, Russian, Portuguese)

You can see many topics that you can share knowledge about, but finding a proper niche is not all you need to do to build a successful online course. 

What is the best platform for online courses?

Many people who start their adventure with online courses don’t have their own infrastructure to host online courses, provide a payment system, and make sure only people who paid have access.

Happily, you don’t have to create everything from scratch because some platforms will help you start with your first courses, providing full functionality. Some of the platforms are paid, and some are free, charging just some fee from courses that you sold.

The most popular ones with the biggest traffic are: 

Udemy is more a marketplace than a strict platform to create and sell online courses. It allows the online course creator to build a video course, connected with some interactivity provided as quizzes and some documents that students can download;

Skillshare is another marketplace for video courses, which are much shorter than on Udemy, most classes take about 20-60 minutes, and they are divided into shorter videos. On Skillshare, users are paying a monthly fee for access to all courses on the platform.

Thinkific is the platform to create, sell, and get paid for your online courses. It comes with many features useful for every online course creator, making it easy to create engaging training. It doesn’t charge fees for sold courses, but it is based on monthly subscriptions, starting from $49 monthly. You can try this platform for free with its core features. 

Teachable is another example of the platform to create, host, and sell online courses. It comes with different payment methods, based on a monthly subscription or based on a fee from sold courses. It comes with a custom domain, a very easy setup, a build-in payment system, and even one-on-one sessions.

There are lots of different platforms which are helpful in online course creation, but another way worth considering, especially if you have some coding skills, is creating your own platform where you can create online courses exactly how you’d like to and get all money from the payment.

How to create online course content?

When you decided to create an online course, you selected your niche and even the topic, but what next? How to create online course content and where to really start? 

At this point, you need a good plan. I mean that you need to take a piece of paper or open an excel file and point by point plan what you want to talk about. You should divide the content into sections, like chapters, and then chapters for lessons. 

From my own experience I realized that people really prefer short lessons, then a long ones. That’s why you should create more lessons, but shorter. 

When you have a list of lessons ready, try to add some keywords about what you’ll be talking about in each lesson. Also think about the kind of script, if your course will be a video training.  Well, that’s one more thing you need to consider if your online course will be video type or more written type of course. And how many different interactive activities you’d like to prepare for your students.

Whatever you decide about the course’s form, it’s really important to make it short and perfectly explained.

How do I create online training video?

If you decided to go into a video type, of course, there are several things you need to consider. First of all, you need to gather some basic equipment to start shooting your course. It is nothing complicated, you need a camera or mobile phone, microphone because good audio is the most important part of every video. Also, a tripod would be good to have thing, and basically, that’s it.

When your equipment is ready, you should create a script for every lesson you want to create. But you shouldn’t learn it word by word; it’s rather to help you stay on track and just know what you are talking about.

When you have all from above, choose the stage. It can be your office space or a piece of what wall. It’s important to take care of natural lighting, so you look good on the camera. In case you have video lighting, you don’t need to pay too much attention to natural lighting.

After your course is recorded, there’s a need for some additional editing. You have to check if the audio is good; if not, you need to fix it in post-production. Also, you can cut off some parts with mistakes that happen for everyone.  And voila, your video training is ready! What’s next? 

Where to sell online courses?

When your course is ready, you need to start the sales process. For example, if you have some authority, you have your own blog or Youtube channel or social media profiles with nice reach, you should start by letting your audience know that you actually created a course and when they can buy it.

You can start selling your online course on platforms we talked about earlier, like Udemy, Skillshare, Thinkific, Teachable, Podia, Kajabi, LearnWorlds, and many more you’ll find on the internet. 

Selling through online platforms is easier because there is already some traffic, and the platform promotes you as well. That takes part of your side’s responsibility and still lets you earn money on your content. 

But if you have a big audience, who would like to buy your course, it’s a good idea to build a website, sell the course, and place your videos on Vimeo where you can give access only to the users who paid for that. If you don’t have the skills to create, it’s better to hire a freelancer to help you or use a ready platform.

How to promote my online course?

As an online courses creator, you’d like to maximize your course’s sales and revenue. That’s why the promotion of the new course is very important for you.  As I already mentioned, if you have any kind of audience, blog, Youtube channel, popular Twitter profile, or Instagram account with many followers, those are the places you should start with. 

The next way to promote your online course is to make a giveaway and give some coupon codes with the discount so first users can get your course cheaper.

Another way to promote the course is to create some guest posts that will redirect users to your course. But it shouldn’t be salesy. It should be helpful and bring people value.

The other method to promote the course that you’ve created is creating webinars or workshops that will be interesting and will touch the same subject, but you need to remember that your course has to bring bigger value than the workshop where you can promote it.

You can also create a landing page where you’d gather emails from people and send them some valuable resources, and later you’ll be able to offer them your course as well. 

How to make money with online courses?

You can get money for your courses in many different ways.  Right now, the most popular are one-time payments like on Udemy. People can buy access to your course forever for a certain amount of money. 

The next popular possibility is selling access in time-limits subscriptions, for example, monthly or yearly access. 

If you have your own platform, you can think about different solutions, like offering the course for free and charging for the certifications. People love to have confirmation that they finished courses, so they will very often pay for that.  It’s important to remember that to make your online course profitable, you have to update it every few months or how often it’s necessary to have fresh information. Also, you need to take your students’ feedback and fix what’s seems uncomfortable on not perfect. 

Good reviews on your courses will make them sold, and that’s the easy way to make your piece of content perfect.

What makes online course successful?

To be successful with your online course, you need to think about that from the beginning. When you are looking for a good niche in the first step, you need to know the subject, but people also have to look for that content. 

If you are the best pancake maker, and you’d like to make an online course about making pancakes, but just 5 people are looking for that, it may be very hard to make it successful finally.

When you start planning your content, you should research your competition, check how you can stand out, how your online course can be better, maybe longer, or maybe deeper, or maybe talk about aspects that others are not touching. 

In the next step, you also have to take care of the quality. Your audio just has to be good. Adding subtitles is a good idea as your audience may not be native in the language you speak. The lessons’ length should be good, and lessons should be interesting, entertaining, and valuable. 

Promoting is also the step that you need to do good because even if you create the best online course, if nobody knows, nobody will buy.

There are many factors that consist of your online course’s success, which you need to care about. But the ones above are just must-haves.

Summary

In this article, we went through many aspects of creating an online course. If you are at the point when you’d like to build one, I hope this content will be helpful.

From this article, you could find out about niche research and platforms to sell, host, and promote your online course and methods. Also, you have an overview of planning content and creating video lessons. 

Thank you for reading and good luck with your course,
Anna from Duomly

Anna Danilec

Anna Danilec is graduated in Business Management. She was getting solid experience for years in front-end and back-end development by building software for known IT companies. Her IT expertise is React.JS, Angular, React Native, Flutter, Node.JS, and Nest.JS. In the last years, she was doing business for Duomly, focusing on IT as well as Online Marketing, Design, and Content Creation like Blogging and Youtube. After hours Anna manages her true crime youtube channel, loves sport, sun, and mediterrean cuisine.

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