If you’ve been looking for a proven method, newbie-friendly method of making money online, while positioning yourself as a thought leader and authority in your market, there’s no better way than by creating an online course.
Online courses are a hot commodity. Thousands of people are exchanging their knowledge for the cost of enrollment every day. In fact, many people are generating 6-figures a year just from their online courses!
It should come as no surprise, right?
Think about how many online courses or guides you’ve personally used over the last year.
Perhaps you were stuck trying to figure out how to use a certain software program, and you found yourself scouring YouTube in search of videos from experts who taught you the best ways to master it quickly and efficiently. This allowed you to minimize the learning curve while uncovering shortcuts and insider tips.
Or, maybe you’ve purchased books and how-to guides that provided a step-by-step action plan to accomplishing a goal, or helped you learn a new skill.
Either way, these are forms of online courses and they’re making their creators a lot of money.
If you have a marketable skill of any kind, you can easily create an online course that will make you money.
Whether you are experienced in graphic design, marketing, blogging, or you know a lot about specific hobbies like crafts, scrapbooking, woodworking or even knitting, there’s an audience waiting to purchase your course!
The need for instruction and in-depth personal guidance has created an amazing opportunity for anyone who is interested in generating a steady income online.
And don’t worry about whether people would be willing to pay for your knowledge or not – you’d be surprised at just how many courses are generating thousands of dollars a month that are in obscure markets or unusual niches.
People have a thirst for knowledge, especially when it comes from someone with personal experience with the topic. Offer that guidance to them and provide a way to avoid a complicated learning curve and they’ll be more than happy to pay you.
Just ask Brett Kelly, who generates thousands of dollars a month selling access to his Evernote Essentials course.
Then there’s Joseph Michael who dominated the self-publishing scene with his Learn Scrivener course that teaches authors how to master the popular word processor.
And there’s another amazing benefit to creating an online course: it’s sustainable, passive income!
Other than updating content from time to time if it becomes outdated, you’ll be able to generate income from your online course with very little effort or maintenance required.
In fact, once you upload your course and launch your program, you can start making money immediately!
So, how can you get started with your own online course?
This special report will show you exactly what you need to do to join the ranks of the pros.
Tools of the Trade
Before we dive into this special report, let’s take a quick look at a few things you’ll need to create the highest-quality course possible.
Don’t worry! You don’t need to purchase a lot of expensive resources before you can create a profitable courses. However, these 3 tools will help you create high-quality, polished courses that people will love.
There are many different microphones on Amazon that will help you create clear, pitch-perfect audio files, but our favorite is the Blue Yeti. It runs for around $100 and is one of the best microphones you’ll find at this price point.
Tip: You should also consider grabbing a pop filter that will help block out background noise when you’re recording.
Here’s one of our favorites: https://www.amazon.com/Microphone-Flexible-Gooseneck-Stabilizing-Earamble/dp/B06WVFRW4H
Screen Recording Software:
When it comes to screen recorders, I highly recommend ScreenFlow if you’re a Mac user. It’s a very intuitive, affordable screen recording program that’s easy to master. You’ll be able to create high-quality videos in a matter of minutes using this one tool.
If you’re on a PC, check out Camtasia available here: https://camtasia-studio.en.softonic.com/
Choosing Your Topic
If you think you don’t know enough about a topic to create an online course that people will be willing to pay money for, think again.
Begin by evaluating your skillset, experiences and personal interests. What do you know a lot about? What books have you read recently? What courses have you personally taken?
Keep in mind that just about any type of course will sell! Look at Felicia Ricci’s course, Belt Your Face Off, that simply teaches people how to sing. It earns her up to $5,000 a month on Udemy!
If you find yourself stuck trying to figure out what topic to start with, consider searching online marketplaces for the top selling books in your niche.
Amazon is a great tool for uncovering hot topics that people are interested in, but you can also scour marketplaces like www.JVZoo.com and www.WarriorPlus.com to keep a pulse on recent digital product launches to generate ideas.
Another easy way to design your own course is by looking at those that are actively selling.
Check out the top course marketplaces like www.Udemy.com, www.Teachable.com and www.Skillshare.com and you’ll be able to quickly nail down dozens of course ideas just by browsing the descriptions and overview of popular courses.
When choosing the topic for your online course, consider:
- What are you most passionate about?
- What do you enjoy doing when you have free time?
- What skills have you learned over the past year?
Remember, everyone is an expert at something!
Quick & Easy Outlining
Outlining your course is very important. It will not only provide you with the groundwork for your training, but it will ensure that you don’t spend too much time on one module and end up overlooking an important step in the process.
When outlining your course, you should begin by breaking down your content into step-by-step action plans (otherwise called modules) and then creating one video (or other content format) for each task.
Begin by thinking about exactly what you want to teach, as well as how many steps are required in order to complete a task.
For example, if you were to teach a lesson that required 6 steps to complete, you could break that down into 6 individual videos that were each 10 minutes long. That would give your students an hour’s worth of content, which could serve as the complete course!
Try to make sure your course is at least one hour long. This might feel like a lot of work, but if you create your outline and break your videos down into 5-10 minute modules, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to do. Doing this will also help you stay focused on guiding your students every step of the way.
If you need help coming up with an outline, turn to Udemy!
Udemy is one of the leading marketplaces online when it comes to selling courses, but it’s also a goldmine of information when researching niche markets and possible digital products.
In fact, Udemy is one of the easiest ways to not only evaluate the profitability of any course topic you’re interested in, but you’ll be able to instantly come up with a complete outline in a matter of minutes.
Here’s how to do it:
The first step is to uncover courses that are actively and currently selling, but that have also been well-received, meaning that people have left positive feedback relating to the course.
You’ll be able to spot these top-selling courses by paying attention to the number of enrolled students, as well as the number of reviews.
The number of students enrolled in the course indicates overall popularity, while the number of reviews (and more importantly, the feedback included in those reviews) will give you an inside look as to the quality of the course, and whether students are happy with their purchase.
Both are important when it comes to helping you create an outline for your own course.
Begin by searching Udemy using relevant keywords pertaining to your niche. Sort by “most reviewed” so you’re able to pinpoint the most popular courses.
You can also search by category.
You’re looking for:
Courses with at least 75 reviews (called ratings on Udemy). Any less than that and you won’t be able to accurately determine the quality of the course.
Keep in mind that many Udemy instructors will give away coupons providing free access in exchange for reviews, so the higher number of reviews, the more accurate your research will be.
Courses that include a variety of lectures. You should pay most attention to courses that include at least 10 lectures (also called modules), as this will give you a detailed breakdown of all that’s included in the material.
You’ll also be able to see how many hours of video training is included with every course. This will give you a good idea as to how thorough the course is.
Number of Students: This information is extremely important because it tells you how many people were willing to pay for the information.
You won’t find the number of enrolled students from the main search page so you’ll have to click on a course that interests you and then look at the top navigation as shown below.
In the example, over 5,000 people have paid for access to this course. This tells you that the demand is there!
Finally, you’ll want to read through the lesson plans so you can get a good idea as to the type of content being offered, and the overall coverage.
This is a great way to create a detailed outline for your own course so when it comes time to writing the lessons (or outsourcing it), you’ll have a plan of action.
So, scroll down until you find the section that outlines the full listing of course content and take notes of everything you find.
Next, you’ll want to identify weaknesses in some of the more popular courses. This means you’ll want to focus on what people are saying they felt was missing in the course.
That way you can create a course that goes above and beyond people’s expectations while delivering an in-depth training program that fulfills buyer expectations.
Creating a best-selling course requires knowing your audience. The better you understand what your average student needs help with, the easier it will be for you to create a solid outline that offers the information they are most interested in.
So, ask yourself: Who will enroll in your course and what are they hoping to learn?
Your course should always focus on a specific skill or experience level as well, such as “Beginner”, “Intermediate” or “Advanced”.
Doing this will ensure that your course offers the information that your students are looking for and can understand, rather than confuse them with information they’re just not ready for.
For example, if you are thinking about creating a course that teaches graphic design, you’d want to target it towards a certain skill level.
Are your students brand new to design and likely haven’t mastered the basics of Photoshop? Then you’d want to create a course geared towards beginners.
Or, are your students somewhat comfortable with the popular design programs and are looking for help with specific design methods that a newbie wouldn’t be ready to master?
If so, you’d want to create a course geared towards intermediate students.
A course that is geared towards a specific skill level will always outsell a training program that attempts to be everything to everyone. People want to learn a specific skill, especially when they’re just starting out. You need to get down to their level so you can create a course tailored towards their most pressing needs.
You’ll also want to create content in a variety of formats, including video, PDF files and “takeaway” material that people can download and refer to at a later date.
People prefer to learn using different methods so someone might prefer to watch video rather than read a module, while others find it easier to absorb information if they can re-read it. Try catering to both audiences by providing both video content and transcripts they can download.
Again, analyze the top-selling courses in your market using websites like SkillShare, Teachable and Udemy, and pay attention to the various content formats that are offered. You’ll save a lot of time when researching what people expect from a course in your market.
Where to Sell Your Course
There are many different marketplaces that offer course creation tools and resources that will help you create your training program quickly and easily, but not all of them operate in the same way.
Let’s look at a few of the more popular options so you can choose which platform works best for you:
If you’re planning to create a video-based course, you’ll want to look at SkillShare. This is also a great place to start because they let you upload individual lessons rather than having to create a full-length course.
Lessons must be 10 minutes or longer, however most videos range from 15-25 minutes long, on average.
Students enroll in the courses that interest them and you’re paid royalties each time someone watches your videos.
Best of all, there’s no approval process, so you can get started right away.
Udemy is one of the top course marketplaces online with over 20 million students enrolled in various programs.
They provide free course design tools that guide you through the entire process of developing, outlining and executing a high-quality product. So, if you’re new to course creation, you’ll find their step-by-step walkthrough guides very helpful.
When it comes to what you can charge for access to your course, Udemy gives you the option of pricing your course anywhere between $20-200 in tiers of 45 (for example, $20, $25, $30, etc.), or you can choose to offer your course for free.
You’ll find more information regarding their price structure here: https://teach.udemy.com/course-creation/price/
Please note that to charge for your course, you’ll need to complete an application to become a Premium Instructor. Udemy has the details on how to do this here: https://support.udemy.com/hc/en-us/articles/229604948-Become-a-premium-instructor-and-charge-for-your-course
Teachable provides you with the ability to fully brand your course, including creating and customizing a complete online school using their easy website building tool. You can then incorporate your design into your main course page, lectures and even sales pages.
When it comes to revenue share, Teachable works a bit differently from other programs by offering membership tiers that cost anywhere from $39-299 per month.
You are charged a 5-10% commission fee per sale, unless you choose to upgrade to a paid membership plan.
You can find out more information here: https://teachable.com/pricing/comparison
WizIQ has been around for more than 10 years and continues to thrive as a centralized community for live classes and popular courses.
WizIQ supports all file formats, so you can create a course that offers a variety of content ranging from video to audio, as well as include quizzes, surveys and tests that serve as auxiliary components.
With this platform, you’re able to create and host courses directly on your own branded website. This is a great option for those who want more flexibility and control over their product.
They also put you in full control over pricing, course content and marketing while providing you with all the tools you need to create a stunning course.
Spend some time evaluating the different course marketplaces to choose the platform that will help you achieve your goals.
Maximize Your Income
Looking to sell more courses and maximize your income? Here are a few ways to design a product that will stand out in the marketplace.
Come up with an attention-grabbing title:
The title of your course needs to resonate with potential students, so you’ll want to spend some time crafting an attractive, attention-grabbing title that includes powerful keywords relating to your topic.
Take your time with this! Coming up with a powerful title that will instantly capture attention is a critical component to your course’s overall success.
You need your title to connect with your audience immediately so you can keep their attention long enough to persuade them to enroll in your course.
Create a detailed course outline (but don’t give too much away):
You want to give student’s as much information as possible so they know exactly what to expect from your course, but at the same time you don’t want your description to be so long and wordy that you lose the attention of your audience.
Begin with a course summary that appeals to skim readers, and then fill in the gaps with a bit more information about what each module offers. Use sexy, powerful trigger words throughout your copy.
While your course title is a powerful magnet at drawing students in, your course description should keep the momentum going so work at building excitement throughout your copy.
Use bullet points to break up your content and better highlight important information that you know your audience cares about the most.
Then, upload an attractive, professionally designed image that illustrates the quality of your course. You’ll want to make sure your image is 1280×720 for most course platforms.
Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse:
If this is your first online course, consider setting a lower price on your content initially to generate reviews. Then you can increase your price once you’ve gotten your course off the ground.
The more reviews you have, along with the higher number of enrolled students, the more appealing your course will be to new users who haven’t heard of you before.
Idea: You could also create two courses: one that serves as a basic, introductory course at a lower price and then a more in-depth course for those who wish to continue their education after they’ve invested in your starter program.
You’ll want to research what other courses in your niche are selling for so you have a better idea as to what people expect to pay. This will help you determine an average price point so you can come up with the best pricing strategy for your course.
You want to set a reasonable price without under valuing your content.
You also need to keep your personal goals in mind, such as:
* The number of people you are trying to reach. Obviously, a lower price point will drive in a higher number of learners.
* Your income objectives. A higher price point will generate more money even with a lower enrolment.
Stick with The Top Marketplaces:
This is very important if you aren’t interested in having to market off-site!
By featuring your course on one of the top platforms, rather than hosting the course on your own website, you’ll be able to start making money even if you never promote your course anywhere else!
Leveraging the popularity of the top marketplaces allows you to tap into the marketing and SEO efforts put forward by the companies, meaning that you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money promoting your course on your own before you can see results.
Of course, if you wish to promote your course on your own you can easily do so by sharing it through your social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and twitter, but it’s not necessary.
Regardless what your course is about, you’ll make money from the exposure you’ll receive by being listed on these marketplaces.
One thing you should do is in encourage your students to leave reviews. Just like with books on Amazon, the higher number of reviews, the easier it will be to convince potential students to enroll in your course.
You can motivate students to leave reviews in a few different ways, including by offering to send them free content upgrades or an extra module just for leaving feedback.
Everyone has valuable knowledge to share with the world. Begin by evaluating your own skillset, interests and passions and look for ways to design a course that will teach your students one new skill.
Don’t try to create a course that covers every aspect of your topic! Instead, provide students with a clear path to achieving one goal, or mastering one main skill and you’ll have a surefire winner on your hands.
Remember, when students pay you for a course, they’re not just paying you for information—they’re paying you for results.
So, when planning your course content, start with that desired outcome and work backwards from there.
Courses have the potential to generate thousands of dollars a month in passive income. Best of all, this is a sustainable income system that you can easily scale as you create new modules, or extend the scope of your content.
You’ll have to put in a little work upfront, but once you have a solid foundation for your course, you’ll be able to sit back and continue to earn money!
To your success,
Step 1: Validate your topic idea
Make sure you’ve researched your market to verify overall demand and give your course the best chance at success.
Step 2: Create your Course Outline
Building a course from scratch can take time, but if you work with an outline you’ll have a strong foundation for your training product. It will also help ensure you stay focused while covering the most important steps needed for your students to be successful.
Step 3: Create your Course Content
Try to provide a variety of formats, and always include at least one video module in your training program.
Step 4: Give your course a sexy title
Come up with a powerful, attention-grabbing title that will stand out in the market, while giving students a clear idea as to what your course is about.
Step 5: Launch your course!
Chances are you’ll sell access without doing any off-site marketing of your own. However, if you want to maximize your income, you should do your best to connect with your audience and make them aware of your training program.