words Alexa Wang
It doesn’t matter what your profession is, whether you’re a writer or an online marketer, it’s always beneficial to monetize your skills in order to earn some extra cash.
Building an online course is one of the most effective ways in which skilled individuals can make money online through their existing knowledge and experience. Here is a simple guide to help build and sell your online course.
Utilize a Learning Management System
Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are the best way to run your online course. If you want a turnkey solution, an LMS will provide you with all the tools you need to start teaching and selling courses right out of the box. You can simply add your content and pick from a variety of templates that allow for custom branding. While there are plenty of LMS platforms available online, you need a platform that has the right features you need for building or selling an online course. Reading a review article about the top LMS platforms or notable emerging LMS platforms can help you decide which one is the best fit for you. Being a complete beginner to building an online course can be challenging, but your LMS platform can guide you through the process, especially if it is easy to use and has a wide range of customization options.
Start with a Free Platform
If you’re just getting started building an online course, then it is recommended that you use one that offers free options. Thinkific is one notable platform that offers a unique free plan full experience with no hidden transaction fees and no time limit. You can always upgrade to a more robust tool later or choose to stick to this platform. But if you don’t have basic time-tracking and grading functionality now… it may be worth investing in one of the paid tools because they may come with any number of other features that you might want down the road as well. Of course, this would depend on how well your progress with a free platform is.
Let’s say that you go with Thinkific. You can start building your course materials using its user-friendly interface and easy steps.
- Selecting a template – Thinkific has a public API that provides you with numerous templates that you can review and use. You can create a landing page to a sales page, learning modules, and more using the templates.
- Naming your course and building chapters – You need to name your course and fill it with individually built ‘chapters’ to start building. At this stage, you can choose to break your course down into manageable chunks for your students and have the option of adding completion certificates to the end of each of these course chapters.
- Giving your chapters descriptions and links – The descriptions are useful in giving insight into the courses to your students. Keep them short and concise. You can customize this part by adding teachable course links and resources for your students. To add course quizzes for your students, go to ‘Add Lesson,’ and you should see a button labeled ‘quiz.’
- Finalizing your online course – Click the ‘Settings’ tab and begin the finalizing process to complete your course. This step includes altering the URL to your course and uploading any final course multimedia you want to add.
Things to Remember When Building an Online Course
The most important part is to be consistent. How often are you planning on posting new videos or assignments? Will students have access to the material 24/7, or are there certain hours when they can go through it online? These are all questions your students want to know the answers to, so make sure your course schedule is displayed prominently on your site.
Make sure that when people sign up they have easy access to a calendar that shows them all of the materials being released throughout the duration of their enrollment. That way they’ll always know what’s coming down the pipe and when they should expect it.
Don’t Miss Your Deadlines
One of the ways to lose a student’s trust and respect is to not follow through with the course schedule that you’ve laid out for them. If you say that they will have something every Wednesday, then make sure they have it every Wednesday… even if you’re swamped one week and can’t get their video or assignment uploaded until Friday morning.
Also, remember that students are paying you money so they expect more from you than just a free platform. You can build the most amazing course in the world, but if your students have to wait too long for materials or communication from you, then they’re going to want their money back.
This is just a general rule to live by, but if you’re going to build an online course then treat it like a business. Stay professional and operate at a high level of quality because that will help people trust and respect your brand more in the long run.