Online learning and training have become an essential part of our society. Reading this guide will help you develop your own online course, from the inception of the idea to publishing.
With an ever-evolving knowledge-based economy, the need for online education has become apparent. Professional trainers are becoming digital education entrepreneurs, moving from a traditional face-to-face coaching/training into a digital classroom. Launching a digital school or academy enables them to reach a wider audience, complement their offline training and grow their businesses.
Creating and selling courses online can be quite profitable with many professionals achieving 6- and 7-figure incomes. There has never been a better time to join the growing industry of eLearning.
Should I create an online course?
If you are asking this question to yourself, then, probably the answer is YES!
Creating an online course is much easier than most people think, and you probably have some knowledge that others are looking for. You only need to be able to
Years of experience can provide valuable information to younger professionals that no university could ever provide. Reusing your blog’s content can also be a good idea. Monetizing your blog as an online course is quick and easy, and you already have the people interested in that following you.
If you have already been doing speeches and workshops, you can easily record and sell them online. You can start earning your passive income by launching your own online course!
Creating an online course in 5 easy steps
Step 1: The idea
Looking for inspiration on how to create an online course? Then look no further from your everyday reality and ask the following questions:
You can create online courses in everything that people are looking advice for, from dating to technical how-to walkthroughs or even office survival skills.
Step 2: Plan the course outline
Let your creativity roam free. Brainstorm all the things you would like to include. Write everything down in a piece of paper.
Then, you need to get them in a logical order. There are many ways you can break down your course into. Two easy ways for your students to be able to follow is by subject category or from easiest to hardest skill or knowledge.
One little trick that always helps me is writing each piece of information into a small piece of paper. Rearranging my ideas physically makes for a better brainstorming session. Playing is a powerful way of learning and solving problems, and by including a “playful” activity into your course structure creation, is a great way to find the best solution.
Step 3: Research the subject
As one of my university professors use to say “Google is your friend” and I couldn’t agree more. Looking into what people are talking about online, asking and teaching (potential competitors) on your subject is essential. Learn your area as no-one else become creating your own course.
That will help you update your brainstorming ideas (step 2) and include more information, find information that will add to your own knowledge and add to your course’s bibliography, external links for study and your own material.
Teaching requires you to be knowledgeable.Researching and studying material similar to your subject is as important as creating your own educational material.
Step 4: Write the content
Whether you are preparing a video course, an ebook or quizzes, you need to write down the content. Here is where you are combining your course outline with the collected information into an actual course.
You can read more on how to write for your course on our blog post here.
Step 5: Create your course and upload the content
Uploading or creating your first course on LearnWorlds is quite easy and no technical skills are needed. All you need to do is follow the step by step instructions here and your online course can be ready in a few minutes.
But first, a brief introduction. LearnWorlds is one of the top platforms to create and sell online courses. It offers a state of the art Course Builder to create upload and create your course material and a course viewer with built-in social functions.
In short, you got all the tools you need to create, host and promote online courses. You only need to choose the right learning unit and then simply edit the text, settings or upload your material.
Repurposing Content as an Online Course
Experienced trainers and educators can easily create a course from scratch. But the best approach to launching your online academy is by repurposing your old content. Looking through your old (and newer) files you can find a lot of material to reuse.
You probably have a number of digital material from informative leaflets to word documents wtih valuable information. Do you write a blog? Have you recorded your last workshop, training or webinar? It’s a good idea to do it next time!
Take a look at your computer and find some material that might be great for repurposing as an online course and save yourself precious time. Here is a list to inspire your search frenzy:
Video and Presentation Recording Tools
While there are many choices on text editors, you will probably choose one that fits your computer like Word for Windows, Pages for Mac, OpenOffice for Linux and for those that prefer cloud services Google Docs or Office 365.
However, you will also need video recording and presentation software.
A powerful video editing software to create professionally looking videos and easy to record your screen or edit your videos. Camtasia can be used both for windows and mac.
It offers the best combination – ease of use and price. Not only it is free but it also records your webcam as well as your screen with some really nice features that you don’t get in any other free screencasting software and comes with a paid pro version.
Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder. It is a free and open source software. If you are looking for a good easy to use audio editing software to create audio courses, it is your one-stop option.
Whether you are doing how-to videos or recording examples from your screen, Filmora is a top-notch video recording & editing software. You can also use it on all devices, yes even mobile recording and editing!
Going for the most professional and premium choice, Adobe Premiere might need some time to get used to and learn, but it is considered the most powerful and professional tool of the video editor market.
Looking for tools to convert your presentations into video presentations for your courses? You can read more here.
Choosing the right Camera and Microphone
We suggest you start small and grow as your audience grows. The most important thing is the quality of the content, knowledge and the personal experience you are going to offer to your students.
That can be achieved with text courses and the interacting with your students in a social learning environment.
Recording your first course with your laptop’s camera and microphone could be enough, and if you feel like upgrading to better quality, you can re-record it after you have your first paying students.
However, if you have the budget to spare, here are the cameras and microphones we suggest to create quality videos for online courses.
Sound recording tools for course creators can vary based on what you are doing. Giving live webinar training or Youtube Live classes might require a different microphone than pre-recorded video courses.
Going into a higher quality tier, most professionals suggest the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. It offers excellent quality audio and is an easy to use plug-and-play microphone with a USB connection.
Are you looking for a higher quality recording than what your laptop’s camera can offer? You can start with the Logitech C930e Webcam and going a bit higher, the Panasonic HC-V380K for full HD recordings.
Going to the next tier of professional online video recording, the Canon PowerShot G7 X is a small, versatile camera with incredible video quality and a lot of features.
For a top tier camera, you can go for Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR. This is suitable for experienced course creators with an audience and a budget to support it. Long battery, a great autofocus system, and user-friendly touchscreen. With full HD 1080p support and 30, 24 and 25 fps offers an awesome quality of image.
Start Your 30-Days Free Trial of LearnWorlds
Are you ready to create your first online course?
Take a look at our sample school. Get ideas on how a landing page can look like and how you can attract your students with sales pages that convert or sign in to check the social environment of LearnWorlds’ schools.
Launching your own online school is not a venture to go alone and we will be there along the way.
Launching your online course? Here is your chance to start your own online school and create an online course today!
Your First Course With LearnWorlds: A Step-by-Step Guide
Having the material ready, it is time to create a school and start realizing your dreams.
1Click on “Manage Your Online School”
The Dashboard is what gives you access to the administration (back-end) of your school. All the magic happens there and you can create and customize every part of your school from there. Remember, you need to sign in to your school first with your admin email to access the admin dashboard that controls your school. There you will have all the course building tools you need.
2Go to Courses –> All Courses Manager
“One page to rule them all”. Easy access to all your courses to quickly access and edit them!
You are now at the headquarters of your amazing online school. Your left sidebar is your map to your “facilities” and the tools to create and sell online courses. For now, you will need to click on the “All Courses Manager” link.
3Click on the “Create Course” button
Here you can see a list of all your courses currently in your school. You can go to the Course Manager to edit, delete, duplicate or change them, or click on the “Create Course” button to start making a new one.
4LearnWorld’s New Course Wizard – Your course’s title
Creating an online course is getting easier while using LearnWorlds. We have created a unique course creation wizard to guide you through the process of building your courses. The wizard will guide you in adding and changing the most important settings without the need to go look for them.
Our years of experience helping course creators, edupreneurs and online trainers transformed into an easy to follow process.
A good Course title will help you sell online courses. It will show up on search results (SEO), social media sharing and influence the decision to buy or not. That’s the first thing you need to decide, and don’t worry, you can change it later.
Looking for inspiration for catchy ecourse titles?
5Simple, Friendly and SEO optimised link
It’s important to write a simple, friendly and SEO optimized url for your course. The easier it is to be remembered and the more explanatory the url the better your results. Allow your course to be found in Google and shared by word of mouth with an easy to remember url.
Follow our instructions on the left for better results!
6Setting up the course price, type and description
With the flick of a wand and some fairy dust … or the help of a genie … eh, eh … wizard, you will be able to quickly add the price of your course and set other important settings such as type (Free Course, Paid Course, Draft Course etc).
Afterwards, you will be redirected to the course page. There, you can customize your ecourse’s landing page as well as the contents of the course. You can also change the settings, access, upload videos and access the course’s dashboard.
Here you will be able to choose from a list of Learning Units to upload to your newly created online course.
Do you have your content in a word format? Upload and convert it into an interactive ebook.
Having a course without a content is not going to help (except if you are pre-launching your course). You don’t need to create everything from scratch.
Common mistakes to avoid
Online course creation beginners might be susceptible to easily avoidable mistakes. What are those?
Attention spans are getting lower. Video courses should be lower than 20 minutes, avoid lengthy and crowded videos. There are three categories of video lengths:
Worrying too much
One of the worst mistakes. Being a perfectionist is one thing, but if you are overly worried about the quality, your audience or any other factors, your course will never get live and that is the biggest of your problems.
Without trying, there is no chance of success. Give it a shot, test your market, make a sample course and try to get your first paying customer. Do not worry about all the details and make-up as you go. Use the lean startup method (and read the book, it’s an eye opener) on building your online course or any other venture.
Are you ready to create your own course? I bet you do!