Recently, we talked about different online businesses you can start with little money. We talked briefly about Creating Information Products. Information products come in different forms. Ebooks, Video Tutorials and even Webinars. These products are sort of like courses and you will be surprised how many people will be willing to pay to get access to your information.
It goes without saying that you already have a topic, idea or niche you will like to sell. Sharing your skills through online courses is one of the best ways to make some major bank right now. Enough talk, let dig in.
Research Your Competition and Audience
No matter how original you think your course idea is, someone out there has probably had a similar thought and may already have launched their course.
You can learn a lot from your competition. If you see someone with a course idea similar to yours, see how they break down their content. Maybe they offer a module you hadn’t thought of! And if you spot things that don’t work so well, you can avoid them in your own course.
More importantly, competition indicates there’s a market out there for that kind of course. If no one else is offering a course idea like yours, it could mean you’re the first to the market, or it could mean there’s no demand.
No course is universally appealing to everyone, and even if a large audience might potentially be interested in your course, you’ll have more success if you deliver a tailored message to a specific audience rather than creating a “one size fits all” course.
By narrowing your audience, you’re more likely to attract your ideal learner. Once you’ve identified who that learner is, find out how to address their needs and interests. You’re unlikely to attract adult learners by offering piano lessons in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, but that may be perfect for kids just getting out of school.
Set up a website and email address for your course
If you want to sell online courses, you’re going to need a website. Fortunately, setting up a website on a platform such as WordPress is quick and efficient, and given the wide range of plugins available to course creators, doing so will save you a lot of headaches down the road
Yep, that’s right. You should begin marketing your course right away. Start a blog, a podcast, a video series—whatever it takes to get the word out there. It will take time to grow interest, so it’s better to begin growing that audience now, rather than put in all the work to launch a course only to have it go nowhere for months.
Choose your delivery method
How are learners going to engage with your course content? Choosing the right Learning Management System (LMS)
can make or break your course. Pick a system that lacks some of the functionality you need or doesn’t give you room to grow and it could limit your ability to deliver the best content.
To avoid this problem, start by identifying the key characteristics
your LMS needs to have in order to fulfil your needs. Then eliminate any options that don’t meet those characteristics. Once you’ve settled on a shortlist, talk to the company and see if you can test or demo their service. Again, doing this early on in the process will help you understand what you can accomplish with your course, and it may give you ideas about how to better create course content.
Run a beta test.
When you are ready to launch your course (or a part of it), it’s time to start testing. This is where your marketing efforts will start to pay off. If you’ve been chronicling the development of your course and attracting interested learners along the way, by now you should have a list of people to contact to find beta testers.
Offer testers an incentive for trying out your course early, such as a few months of the course for free once it does launch or a downloadable ebook. They’re doing you a favour, so it’s only fair to compensate them for their time and effort (and doing so will build goodwill). Running the beta test itself is just like launching your course, only for a limited audience. Remember to leave a channel open for feedback from them. In fact, you should encourage feedbacks.
Set a price and launch your course.
Finally, you’re ready to go. By now you should have a good idea from your competition and your audience research of what a reasonable price for your course should be. All that’s left is to set the price and launch.
With your full course ready to go, now’s the time to start running some online ads. But don’t neglect your content marketing either. Keep building your audience, and over time, the investment you make in your content will pay off.