I’ve made a good few online courses now myself, as well as hung out online with plenty of other course creators. Some are seasoned online tutors, some are professionals in other areas who want to stop exchanging hours for money or maybe add a little passive income to their business.
Making online courses is easier than it has ever been, but there are still plenty of mental barriers that get in your way. Will it be good enough? Am I expert enough? How am I going to get to grips with the technical side? But for me, the biggest mental block I’ve had to deal with is ‘Will it sell?’
My fear was that I’d invest lots of time and effort – and sometimes money, although you can make courses very cheaply – and hardly anyone would buy my course. And I’m sure I’m not alone. So here are some really useful resources to help you be sure your course sells before you set about investing time and energy in making it.
(Click the green links to read the articles)
– 7 Tips on how to create and sell online courses
This article is from Derek Halpern of Social Triggers, who knows a thing or two about selling courses. In fact he’s the owner of membership plugin Zippy Courses. One of the tips I like here is that you shouldn’t worry if your first course doesn’t look that great. Perfectionism can stop many digital products in their tracks. And it’s better to have an imperfect product out there for sale than an near-perfect on stuck on your hard drive.
– Online course ideas: How to know if your topic will sell
Sharyn Sheldon of Content Sparks is a training consultant and provider of customizable marketing content. Just one of the great tips in her article is to have three or five subject ideas and then ask your customers which one they would like to learn about the most. She also makes the distinction between people wanting your course and wanting to PAY for your course.
If you’ve not checked out the Elearning Industry blog yet, do take a look. This post is a useful list of tips on selling courses, including some tools you could use.
– How to create a money-making online course
This Forbes article features Udemy instructor Lili Balfour who share her experience of selling courses. Althiough her experience is of Udemy, there are some good tips for selling courses and building an audience before you begin.
– Test it out with a webinar first
How about a different approach? Run a webinar to test how much demand there is for your course, then if there is a demand, make the full course. Or you could turn the webinar into a course! Here’s how to do that with Camtasia, from Michelle and Lon of LearnCamtasia.com
– Test it out with PLR first
You can speed up the course creation process dramatically using PLR. Even if you want to ultimately create your course yourself, promoting a PLR product will allow you to test the market for that subject before you invest time in creating your own material. Here are my tutorials on how to add your own branding to the PLR you buy and here are my WordPress PLR video tutorials to buy.
So there you have it, lots of great information to give your online course the best possible chance of success before you even create it!
Sue Fleckenstein says
Thanks for these tips Helen. I have often considered about doing a course and not quite sure how to go about it. I like what Sharyn says about the distinction between wanting to actually pay for the course, that can be a hard one to get around for some people.
Sorry for the delay Sue, I only just spotted this comment! I’ve found the process of creating a course isn’t much different from creating a long document or a short book. I outline it and then instead of writing chapters I make a video or two. The first one is always the hardest, after that it gets much easier (always the way, eh?)