There are tons of courses out there, but finding the perfect course isn’t always easy – and this means that there is always space for you to enter the market with your shiny new course!
There are, however, lots of things to consider before starting a new course. From choosing a topic to creating a curriculum, there are plenty of steps involved in developing a successful course.
This course creation checklist will guide you through every step of the way, from deciding on a topic to selecting a format – and we have put together all you need to know to create your very own course – read on for all you need to know!
Why Create A Course?
Before we take a closer look at the nuances of creating your own course, you may be wondering why this could be beneficial for you. There are a number of reasons to create a course, and these include:
You Want To Make Money Online
Courses can be a great way to earn some money – but if you want to make money online, then it’s important to understand what makes a good course.
The best courses are those which provide real value to their students, and they do so by providing them with practical skills and knowledge.
This can range from teaching people how to use social media effectively, to helping them learn how to write an eBook or even teaching others how to start a blog.
You Want To Share Your Knowledge
If you’re passionate about something, chances are you’ll want to share that passion with other people.
If you’ve got a lot of experience in a certain area, then offering your expertise to others is a great way to help others as well as yourself.
Courses can be a great way of sharing your knowledge, whether it’s through teaching others how to do something, or simply giving advice on how to get started.
You Want To Help Others
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a teacher is seeing the impact that you’ve had on someone else’s life.
Whether it’s teaching someone how to cook, or showing them how to manage their finances better, there’s nothing quite like knowing that you’ve helped another person improve their life.
You don’t have to teach everyone everything you know – but if you feel that you’d benefit from sharing your knowledge, then why not offer it to others?
You Want To Build An Audience
One of the biggest benefits of having a course is that you can build up a large audience who would love to receive updates from you.
By regularly posting content, you can keep your audience engaged and interested in what you have to say – this can be very useful if you are planning to sell future projects or courses to an audience.
It is a good idea to have a clear understanding of each of these points before you begin creating your first course. Once you have done this, you should be able to decide whether or not you want to create a course.
So, just how do you go about creating your online course? Read on for our complete online checklist.
1. Choose A Topic
The first step in creating your course is to choose the topic – the rest of the course will be built around this, so take time to make sure that you have made a perfect choice.
What Should I Choose As My Topic?
The next thing you need to think about when creating your first course is what you want to focus on.
Choosing a topic is one of the hardest parts of creating a course because it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of information available.
However, once you have decided on a topic, you can narrow down your options based on what you already know, and what you want to cover in your course.
The following questions should help you determine what kind, of course, you want to create:
What Am I Interested In?
The first step in choosing a topic for your online course is to ensure that you have a subject you are interested in.
The reason for this is that you’ll likely end up spending a lot of time working on your course, so it’s best to choose something that you enjoy doing.
Do I Have Enough Experience In This Area?
This question is simple enough, but it’s often overlooked. Before you jump into creating a course, ask yourself if you have any experience in the subject matter.
Do you know anyone who has created a course on this topic? If you don’t, then you may find it difficult to create a high-quality course.
Do I Know Enough To Answer Questions That May Arise From Students?
If you’re going to be selling your course to students, then you need to make sure that you have all the answers to common questions.
For example, if you plan to teach people how to use Excel, then you need to ensure that you understand how to use Excel and that you have the confidence and skill to deliver this information in a clear, logical way that benefits the students.
2. Decide On Your Course Format
Once you have chosen a topic, the next step is to decide on the format of your course. There are many different ways to structure a course, and you should consider which option works best for you.
Should I Create A Video Course? Or A Text-Based Course?
There are pros and cons to both video and text-based courses. When deciding between them, you need to consider the type of learner you expect to enroll in your course.
Video courses are great for learners who want to learn how to use technology. They allow you to show learners exactly how to perform certain tasks using a variety of tools.
You can also include screencasts, animations, or even voiceovers to explain concepts.
- Easy to produce
- Can be used as an interactive learning tool
- Requires more technical know-how
- Takes longer than other formats (text-based)
Text-based courses are ideal for learners who prefer to read rather than watch videos. These courses are easier to produce, and they take less time to complete.
- Less expensive to produce
- Easier to consume
- Not very engaging
3. Choose An Audience And Content Strategy
After you’ve determined the format of your course, the final step is to decide on your audience and content strategy.
Who Is My Target Audience?
When determining your target audience, you need to think about their needs and interests. What do they want to learn? How will they benefit from taking your course?
How Will I Deliver Content?
When thinking about your delivery method, you need to consider whether you want to offer your course through one medium or multiple. Some options include:
- Self-Paced Learning – Self-paced learning allows you to set the pace of your course. Learners can choose when they start and stop working through your course.
- Group Coaching – Group coaching involves having a group of learners works together to achieve a goal. It’s a popular choice among online entrepreneurs because it helps them build community.
- Online Classroom – The classroom model is similar to traditional face-to-face classes. However, instead of meeting with a single instructor, you meet with a virtual team of instructors. This approach is perfect for online entrepreneurs who want to provide ongoing support to their students.
4. Developing Your Course Outline
Now that you have decided on your course format, audience, and content strategy, it’s time to develop your outline.
What Should Be In My Course Outline?
You should also consider what types of activities you’ll include in your course.
For instance, if you teach people how to make money blogging, you may want to include exercises such as creating a blog post schedule, writing a blog post, and promoting your posts.
5. Create Your Lessons
Once you have your outline ready, it’s time to write your lessons. Before you begin writing your lesson, ask yourself these questions:
- Will this lesson help my audience accomplish their goals?
- Is this lesson relevant to my audience?
- Does this lesson contain enough information so that my audience can easily understand it?
These factors are known as your lesson goals, and should also be accessible to your learner – this will help them to understand the purpose of each session, as well as see how they are progressing.
Lesson goals also help you to create and write the lessons of your course – they provide a clear structure to work through, and a point to refer back to.
All you need to do is check that everything you write and create comes back to these overall goals and aims, and you’ll be fine!
6. Write Your Assignments
After you’ve written your lessons, it’s time to turn your attention to your assignments. These are the tasks that your learners must complete before moving on to the next lesson.
They could include anything from reading an article, watching a video, completing a quiz, or even doing some research.
Before you hand out any assignments, think about why you’re giving them. If you want to get feedback on something, then give them a task that requires them to reflect on what they’ve learned.
Otherwise, you can assign them a simple task like answering a question or taking a test.
Having a better understanding of why you are creating assignments, and your intended outcome will help you to create more effective ones.
7. Test Your Content
Your last step before launching your course is to test your content. You don’t want to launch a course without knowing whether it works, so it’s important to test your course early on.
There are many ways to test your course, but one of the most common methods is to use Google Analytics.
By using this tool, you can track how many visitors come to your site, where they came from, and what pages they visited. This data can tell you a lot about your course and its effectiveness.
If you’re not sure how to set up Google Analytics, there are plenty of tutorials online for beginners. Once you know how to use it, you can start testing your course by looking at the data.
You can also test your content on a small portion of your potential audience, perhaps also offering a discount or deal in exchange for their time.
Ask for feedback via surveys or interviews, and use this information to improve your course.
8. Set Your Price
Finally, once you’ve tested your course, it’s time to price it. There are two main types of pricing models available when selling courses: subscription-based and pay-per-download.
Subscription-based pricing means that you charge a monthly fee for access to your course, with no upfront cost. This allows you to enjoy an ongoing income stream, rather than having to spend money upfront.
It also makes it easier to offer discounts in exchange for signing up for the subscription scheme, making this more tempting for your users.
The other main option is to offer your course for a fixed one-off rate – users pay once and have unlimited access to the course forever.
This method is often used by free resources such as YouTube videos, and is ideal if you want to make money from your course, but means that you are not making ongoing income from the course.
9. Launch Your Course
Once you’ve created your course, it’s finally time to launch it. Make sure you have a good description, including a link to your website, and share it on social media channels.
Once you’ve launched your course, it’s important to keep an eye on it. Monitor your analytics regularly, and look at the number of people who sign up for your course each week.
This gives you a clear indication of how well your course is performing and helps you to decide whether it’s worth continuing to develop it further – we will take a closer look at this shortly.
10. Promote Your Course
Now that you’ve launched your course, it is time to promote it to ensure that you reach the maximum audience. There are a few ways to achieve this, and these include:
One of the best ways to promote your course is through email marketing. This involves sending emails to your list telling them about new updates to your course, or special offers.
This way, you’ll be able to build relationships with your subscribers and encourage them to buy your products.
Promote It On Your Blog
Another great way to promote your course is to create a blog post about it. Include links to your course, and any extra materials you may have made available.
You could also include a short video explaining the course, or some screenshots of the interface.
Use Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is another effective way to promote your course. Create posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., and invite your friends to join your mailing list.
Sharing your posts will help to increase the visibility of your course, and attract new customers.
Use Paid Ads
If you’re looking to get even more exposure for your course, then paid ads might be just what you need. These are advertisements that appear on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
They are usually displayed above organic results, so they tend to be seen by more people.
11. Track The Results
After launching your course, it’s now time to track its performance. This can be done using tools such as Google Analytics, which allow you to see where your visitors come from, and how many people are visiting your site.
You should also monitor your conversion rates, and use this information to improve your course.
For example, if you notice that most of your traffic comes from Pinterest, you could add a Pinterest button to your landing page, or change the order of your content in your courses.
12. Improve, Repeat and Expand
The final step is to continue improving your course over time. As you learn more about your target market, you’ll be able to improve your course based on their needs.
If you find that your course isn’t converting as well as you’d hoped, try changing the design, adding more content, or offering different types of lessons.
You can also make money from your course by selling additional products related to it.
For example, if your course teaches how to write better sales letters, you could sell ebooks teaching people how to write better sales pitches.
As you can see, creating a successful online course doesn’t require much effort – all you really need is a little creativity, plenty of hard work, and our handy checklist, and you will be ready to get started and earn some serious income!