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How to Create an Online Course

Learn how to create an online course step by step. From deciding on a topic to posting the course, here’s how you do it.

Online courses offer a more convenient—and often more affordable—way to learn, which has made them a staple in modern education. People no longer have to find a local college or move to another city to go to school thanks to online courses, and some courses even allow you to get certified or earn your degree. Because these online courses give more people access to education, there’s a fast-growing demand for online courses on every topic.

If you have some knowledge or expertise to offer people, you can create an online course to spread your knowledge. Whether you’re a marketing expert, a talented graphic designer, or an expert chef, you can create online courses to boost brand awareness and show people how much you know about what you do. Not only can these online courses be a good way to make money online, but they can also increase sales of your products or services.

Learning how to create an online course might seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually not that difficult. As long as you’re a decent writer and you know how to make a website, you can create an online course in as little as a few days to a month or so, depending on the complexity and length of the course.

Want to learn more about how to create a digital course to help build your brand? Keep reading to learn about the benefits of creating an online course and how to create an online course for your business.

The benefits of creating an online course

You might be wondering why you would want to create an online course as a business owner, especially if you’re teaching people the skills or knowledge you use to earn a living. Perhaps the biggest benefit of creating an online course is the fact that you can make a nice chunk of change. If your course is in high demand, you can keep earning money passively well after you’ve created your course. This supplemental income can be especially helpful for small business owners.

Business owners and entrepreneurs can benefit a lot from learning how to create an online course and using their knowledge to create a handful of courses. Once you find a format you like and learn how to work with an LMS, you can quickly and easily create new online courses as you discover more high-demand subject matter.

7 steps to create an online course

You might be wondering how to create an online course and how much you’ll have to spend. You can create an online course for free using a free learning management system (LMS), but you’ll need to find a place to host your online course as well. The cost of creating an online course with a paid LMS varies, and the steps involved partially depend on the LMS you choose. However, these are the general steps you need to take to create an online course.

1. Choose your subject matter

The first thing you need to do is choose your subject matter—the most important part of your online course. You should choose something you’re knowledgeable about. If you want to reach a wide audience, you need to provide valuable information about a subject that’s in high demand, so choosing a subject matter can take some time.

It may take a while to find specific subject matter that’s in high demand. You don’t have to switch subjects entirely; simply choosing a less-covered topic in your area of expertise can be a good way to find the right subject matter for your online course.

2. Test the waters

Once you’ve found the subject matter you want to cover, test its popularity. Start by creating a landing page where visitors can sign up for notifications for when your course goes live. If you get a lot of signups, that’s a good indication that you picked a high-demand subject. If you don’t get a lot of signups, you might want to tweak your subject matter a bit and see if you get more interest.

3. Do your research

When you have a subject for your course and you’ve tested it to make sure it’s in demand, next, research to prepare for the course. Even if you think you’re an expert on the topic, researching helps you make sure you’re covering all the right points. You can look at social media and forums to figure out what kinds of questions people have about the subject, that way you can design your course around the information people want to know.

Thorough research is an important part of how to create an online course, so take your time to figure out what people want to know and make sure you have a good understanding of the subject matter.

4. Outline the course

Now that you’ve got the initial preparation out of the way, it’s time to start working on the course itself. The first step is outlining your course.

You want to present your course in a way that’s informative but also easy to digest, and a clear outline helps with that. Plus, outlining your course before you start makes it easier to actually create an online course.

5. Flesh out the course

Perhaps the most important step in creating an online course is filling in the actual content of the course. This is where you can really separate yourself from other course creators by finding the best way to provide information about the topic in a way that’s easy for people to digest. Maybe you want to stick to short bullet points and numbered lists, or perhaps you want to incorporate a video with every lesson to help people understand the subject matter better. This can be a very time-consuming part of the process, from finding a learning management system to fleshing it out.

6. Launch your online course

Finding the right learning management system is only one part of how to make an online course. Once your online course is ready to launch, you need to find a platform where you can host it. You can host your online course on a basic website, or you can use a website like Udemy to host your online course for you.

When you launch your online course, you might want to offer it for free for a while. There are a lot of marketing strategies that can help you reach a larger audience, but offering your course for free for a limited time is one of the best ways to encourage more people to enroll.

7. Market and sell your course

Once your course has been live for a while and you’re ready to take off the training wheels, you can sell your course and start to generate extra income. Take some time to find a price point that works for you and your students. If you feel like people aren’t taking your online course because it costs too much, you can always test a sale for a limited time. If you suddenly see more sales with a lower enrollment cost, you might want to lower your price a bit.

As far as marketing goes, getting your course out there on social media is a good place to start. Anything you can do to reach a larger audience and let them know you’re teaching a course will help you market and sell your course.

The course creation journey

You can learn how to create an online course with no website development experience, but it can still be a long journey. Take your time to find the right subject matter, research it properly, and create a course that teaches people what they need to know without overwhelming them. In the end, you hardly have to manage your course and you can earn passive income.

If you want to learn more about how to create an online course, Mailchimp can help. We can provide you with the resources you need to create, host, and market your online course. If you have knowledge you want to share with the world, create your online course with Mailchimp today.

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