Learning 27 MIN READ

How to Create an Online Course in 2020

Online learning and training have become an essential part of every online business. Creating and selling online courses can be quite profitable, with many professionals achieving 6- and 7-figure incomes.

The whole elearning market is expected to exceed $300 Billion by 2025, and that includes both individuals and corporations spending more and more into online learning. There has never been a better time to join the growing industry of eLearning.

But, in case you have thought you have something to share with the world, there is a lot to concern:

Well, we created this massive guide to answer all those questions for you.

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First Steps to Creating an Online Course

There’s a perfect chance for the people in your circle, you’re that expert on something. You might already know what that something – your gift or skill that people come to you for – is.
If not, continue reading, and you will find a subject to teach!

Consider by yourself:
– Have you ever purchased an online course?
– What has worked for you?
– What compelled you to buy?

How to write a course?

There is no one way to write a course. All you need is patience and imagination. Most of all, if you love the field of your expertise, everything will come into place. There are hundreds of tools and resources out there to create a stunning course! In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about how to create an online course.

How long does it take to create an online course?

It depends on how much material you have that is ready-made. If you have all PDFs and videos stored and want to upload content, create some quizzes, a certificate, and a landing page a week is more than enough to create an online course if you work two hours a day on it.

How much does it cost to create an online course?

Again depending on whether you have created the media you will use, the course creation may cost from zero (except the learning platform charges) to thousands of dollars. For example, some instructors invest a lot of money in video production.

How to make an online course interactive?

The more you have in mind to interact with students while creating your content, the more the final result will be interactive. How do you want to engage your students? What kind of interactivity do you want to include? Do your research, and keep those things in mind in the planning stage.

How hard is it to create an online course?

Creating a course is not that hard as it seems. When you have finished content uploading, you have to find smart ways so that people reach your course and buy it. And this is the hardest part for course creators. The good idea is to reuse your blog’s content. Besides, you already have the people interested in following you.

You can easily record and sell online speeches and workshops; you have already been doing. Turn your training into a profitable online course!

How to create a profitable online course?

If you want to create a profitable online course, the most important thing is to get acquainted with your audience, learn what their interests are, and come up with the best course idea. If people see that you are solving a significant problem for them and that they will learn new skills, they will want to buy your course. A successful course always:

– Solves problems for others.
– Teaches something new.
– It helps achieve a goal.

Your experience can provide valuable information to younger professionals.

Six types of Online Courses

And now lets’ see what types of courses you can create.

Masterclass

A Masterclass (or a signature course), as defined by Wikipedia, refers to ‘a class given to students of a particular discipline by an expert of that discipline -any occasion where skills are being developed. Examples of masterclass training themes:

– Music
– Painting
– Cooking
– Writing
– Acting
– Dance
– Fashion
– Sports

A signature course is usually a small class for advanced students, especially a class in performance skills conducted by a distinguished artist.

In the beginning, a master class was and still is considered to be one of the most effective means of musical development at the same level of examinations, competitions, and practice. Today it is not only limited to music but also music theatre, all other types of art, and the sciences such as mathematics.

Delivering a masterclass isn’t for the faint-hearted, and it takes a vast knowledge, understanding, and preparation to create one.

A master class brings all the aspects, activities, and tools together into one towards creating an effective and aspiring learning ‘concert-like’ environment that allows different playing styles and opinions to be heard. No other educational setting gives it such a focus.

Students of a masterclass can access tutorials and lectures pre-recorded by experts and have regular one-to-one classes from the master trainer.

Recent research findings support that success in a master class depends on several factors:

Coaching

In coaching courses, an experienced person, called a coach, supports a learner in achieving a specific goal by providing training and guidance. Coaching courses are specially designed to perform a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance. Coaching happens when focusing on specific tasks or objectives.

The tasks can be time-bound and spread within days or weeks. Coaching courses usually use drip-feed courses (released in intervals), so that the coach can control the flow and not overwhelm the student.

Coaching refers to fields such as sports, performing arts, acting, business, education, health care, and relationships. Coaching type courses you can create are:

– Business Coaching
– Career Coaching
– Family & Relationship Coaching
– Meditation Coaching
– Yoga Coaching
– Personal Success Coaching (tailored to the person)

It is a type of course that supports clients in any human endeavor. There may be some overlap between certain types of coaching activities.

If you want to create a coaching course, you should be more experienced and expert than your students and offers advice and guidance as the latter learns; Coaching focuses on specific tasks or objectives.

You should use a range of communication skills (such as targeted restatements, listening, questioning, clarifying) to help students discover different approaches to achieve their goals.

MOOC

MOOCs were first introduced in 2006 and emerged as an accessible mode of learning in 2012. A massive open online course is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and public access via the web.

In addition to traditional course materials, MOOCs special support is given to community interactions among students, professors, and teaching assistants.

A MOOC should be offered for easily repeatable courses, offer pre-recorded, and fixed courses include quizzes and exams, and have optional instructor support or participation help in case of questions.

Good courses for a MOOC are:

MOOCs come with many benefits for students:

MOOCs in general offer in addition to traditional course materials, also interactive courses with community interactions, as well as immediate feedback to quizzes and assignments.
According to Wikipedia, by June 2012, more than 1.5 million people have registered for MOOCs. The range of students enrolled is broad and diverse, mainly among English-speakers in rich countries.

MOOC courses must be challenging. Therefore a significant amount of data is generated from assessments and is evaluated massively to show instructors how to create successful courses.

Corporate Training

Corporate Training is provided to educate employees. Organizations today suffer from a lack of skilled professionals. And it takes 3-5 years to fill all the skills gap. Companies have to train and retrain employees and managers to grow endlessly.

This is why companies make an increased investment in in-company training programs. It may consist of a formal university or college training or informal training.

Apart from formal classroom training, there are multiple ways people can consume training. Online learning platforms, for example, are becoming accepted corporate training tools.

Cultivating employees’ skills and preparing them for career advancement provides a better trained and more productive workforce.

In addition to training courses, companies also give certifications to drive performance improvement. Those certifications allow employees to achieve recognition for validated expertise in achieving business results. Before receiving a certificate, employees demonstrate their competency that is measured against predetermined metrics. A certification distinguishes an employee from their colleagues and can be woven into career development paths, promotions, or assignments on special high profile projects.

Professional trainers outside the company can also provide training to industry employees such as:

– Hospitality
– Manufacturing
– Services & Customer Support Centers
– Health and related services
– Administration
– Human Resources & Employee Onboarding
– Customer Education (Marketing & Sales)

Additionally, Continuous Professional Education Training and retraining of employees to update their skills or re-qualify for regulated industries can be a branch of corporate training.

Mini-Course

A mini-course is a short online course that takes 2 hours or less to work through.

A mini-course doesn’t require nearly as much effort or time. It’s not as big of a commitment. It might be made up of repurposed content you have published somewhere else and can work more of a teaser.

That’s a good thing when you’ve never created an online course before. You’re trying new tools, experimenting with new social media platforms, and generally finding your way around the world of online marketing.

A mini-course can also be used to test the market for their interest in the course you are interested in making.
Mini courses require less resources and can be 0.5 – 2 hours long.

A mini-course is an incredible tool if you want to find and grow an online audience. You can offer, for example, a mini-course for free as a lead magnet, or you can offer it as a gift to high-paying students.

With a mini-course, you can see interest in your topic before investing your time and resources into a much more extensive course. If your audience buys your mini-course, that means that you have evidence that your larger course will sell. And you will also have some experience in creating an online course.

On top of simple list-growth, a mini-course can earn you recognition as an expert for a particular topic. If you can become the go-to for one tiny topic in your field, you’ll be more memorable.

Academy & Software Onboarding

Educating customers on the use of your product can bring in new leads, customers, revenue streams, or increase retention.

The feeling of becoming more competent with your product will make people come for more.
Here is why you should educate your customers on your product:

People will get to know the real value of your product:

Academies are the prestigious educational part of companies. If you are offering a variety of workshops and training, then you can create a stronger brand under one academy, providing all your practice in one place.
Branded as an academy, a software company (SaaS) can create their academy to educate their customers on the use of their software, capture valuable leads, and upsell to customers.

How much money you can make

Launching an online school or online courses can, of course, bring you a passive income or a significant new source of capital. Still, it can also offer other multiple benefits to you or your business.

There’s a vast potential to make money through online courses.

From simple online lectures to intensive boot camps, you’ll find courses that charge anywhere from a few hundred dollars to nearly $20,000, depending on the topic.

How much money you can make with online courses mostly depends on the resources at hand, including the value of your personal or company’s branding, your industry or target group, and the work you put into creating, marketing and selling courses. You could be earning from a few hundred dollars per year to a six-figure income and more.

However, changing people’s lives by sharing your knowledge is invaluable. And when your course income comes in, it’s a good idea to invest more in your online business 😉

Launching new courses will bring repeat buys from current satisfied customers, with each course launch bringing in more income while improving your course’s content will allow you to sell it for a higher price!

Think Positive and Avoid Mental Blocks

Lot’s of negative thoughts are spinning around your head when you think about creating an online course:

“I don’t have enough money to start online courses.”
“I am not an expert.”
“What if this doesn’t work?”
“I don’t have the technical skills required.”

But your course, and ultimately the business that you want to create, is somewhere outside of this circle.

If you are waiting to have the right mindset down pat before you start building your course, you’ll never get started. Procrastination is a mental block holding you back.

Specify the negative thoughts you are having. Stuffing it away isn’t the best strategy.

It will just build up and explode. You have to acknowledge your feelings so you can replace the negative thought with a positive one.

And don’t think of yourself as a person trying to start your own business. Think of yourself as a business owner already.

Own it.

Like it’s already ingrained into who you are as a person.

The truth is, besides that, no technical skills are required to use a course platform, and you don’t need thousands of dollars to create a course.

Also, you have to embrace the possibility of failure. If you let the fear of failure hold you back, you are missing out on your real potential. Failure may be the most significant thing keeping you in your comfort zone.

But the thing is.

You don’t have to be afraid of failure. Be fearful of not getting back up.

You can learn a valuable lesson through failure that will get you that much closer to your success. That’s another aspect of the CEO mindset you want to develop. The ability to bounce back from failure and try again.

How to Create an Online Course (Step by Step)

1Decide the Course Topic

Finding the topic for your course shouldn’t be a struggle at all. We suggest that you look no further from your everyday reality and ask the following questions:
– Do your friends, customers, and colleagues ask for your help in a specific thing that you are considered an expert?
– Have you solved a problem that you think others are struggling for?
– Are you an expert on software or a method that others want to use?

It’s all about creating a course about anything you are passionate about.

How excited are you about creating this course? You’re likely to quit before you get there if you hate working on something!

The other important factor of starting a course topic is the profit potential: The profit potential is high if you are solving a problem that people would pay for.

So, think about the following: “Do people already spend money to solve this problem, in the form of books, apps, services, etc…?”.

A technique that will help you define the most profitable courses is asking for people’s opinions through surveys.
Here are some questions you can use:

“Tell me about your experiences with…”
“What’s your biggest challenge with…?”
“What would you achieve if you deal with these challenges?”
“What communities are you a part of online? What blogs do you read frequently”

Once you have created your course, you can make a smoke test to see how many of your audience enroll already. Setting up a landing page should take you a few hours and maybe two or three days to get it out there.

Actively go and find out where your potential learners are hanging out and make a public post asking if they sign up. Also, if you have an email list, do an email blast advertising your course. Then, you have the time to get feedback and make the necessary changes to your course.

2Research the subject

Research and planning the course is the most crucial stage of your course creation. You can’t have an excellent course if you don’t have a plan. Besides, you don’t want to be giving out unorganized information that people could get anywhere else for free.

Let your creativity roam free. Brainstorm all the subtopics you would like to include in the course. Write everything down on a piece of paper.

After that, go for an online search and study your topic as much as possible. You may already be an expert. But there is always something new out there. Looking into what people are talking about online, asking, and teaching (potential competitors) on your subject is essential. Learn your area like no-one else.

Doing that will help you update your brainstorming ideas and include new subtopics, find new literature and external links to add to your course.

3Plan the Course Outline

After your search, you probably have many ideas about what subtopics you can include in your first online course. Break down those ideas even more. Then, divide them thematically. Put all those topics in a logical order and make a list. You can follow, for example, this course template:

Topical Course Outline Template
(Course subject)

– Main topic 1
– – Subtopic
– – Subtopic
– – Subtopic

An example of such a list could be this:

Course subject: Improving writing skills at home

Main topic 1: Introduction on writing as a skill
– – Subtopic: Using vocabulary
– – Subtopic: Combining meanings
– – Subtopic: Organizing content
Main topic 2: The importance of reading texts
– – Subtopic: How reading affects writing
– – Subtopic: Practices to improve writing
Main topic 3: The benefits of writing summaries
– – Subtopic: How summaries affect learning
– – Subtopic: Practices to turn summaries into new texts

Although this step is helpful, it is not obligatory. What is most important is to know what exactly you want to teach and the impact you want to create.

You can also follow Dr. Finley’s Unit Plan to plan your curriculum as a new teacher. His eight-step plan can guide you from research to development of the teaching curriculum and comes as a downloadable PDF.

4Writing Goals and Objectives

Learning goals are the heart of a course and need to be made clear at the planning stage. They are broad, general statements of what we want our students to learn and provide direction, focus, and cohesion for our work with learners.

Objectives tell the learner or us how they will be able to know whether or not they have learned and understood the lesson. This way, the instructor can see in which ways they can shape each lesson around their main priorities for learning.

Why is this step we are explaining so important? It is as simple as that: With goals and objectives:

What is the Difference Between Goals and Objectives?

Learning goals are long-term, broad, and achievable, but not necessarily measurable. On the other hand, learning objectives are also referred to as learning outcomes because they are immediately linked to the expected results – what we can expect learners to be able to do by the end of the course.

Goals-Objectives-Assessment

Changing one of these three components utterly affects the other two. So, this process is dynamic while you design a course.

Distinguishing goals from objectives help to achieve a better course design. Use the following planning map to turn your goals into objectives.

Tip: Learning Goals are great pitches for your course sales page, and you should use them to increase sales.
Below you can see two examples of an instructional goal vs. the objectives for an Art course and a Photoshop course.

How to Form Your Instructional Goals

Write at least three goals to shape your ongoing course design. To make it easy for you, complete the following sentences regarding your course goals:

“In this course, I will emphasize in…”
“The main themes learners will go through are…”
“The big picture I want to promote through this course is…”

How to Form Objectives?

Objectives should be specific, concise, observable, and measurable. Each learning objective should target one particular aspect of student performance and be expressed with a single action verb.

But how do we set those objectives?

There is a specific order according to which learners process information in a course.

Bloom describes levels of student learning, that could help a designer set the right objectives for each level of learning:

Following this, taxonomy is the most surefire way to boost knowledge to a higher level. The following table depicts everything we are talking about. In it, there are examples of verbs and activities you can use to formulate your course objectives.

Examples of how to use the listed verbs:

– Learners will be able to use a rule to determine if a sentence is grammatically correct. (Application stage)
– Learners will be able to classify foods according to their origins. (Analysis stage)
– Learners will be able to discriminate between the program’s peculiar features. (Evaluation stage)

See how it goes? This method provides an analytical design, which makes it worthwhile to try out! You will see how much clearer picture you will have of what you want to achieve. In the taxonomy, learners start at the base layer, or the “Remember” step, and work their way up as they master the content in the increasingly complex layers.

Using the table above, design your Learning Objectives.

Quick Tips:

How to Use Objectives with Activities

For each objective of the course, write down some corresponding activities that you are planning to use to accomplish that objective. Through these activities, students will achieve the goals you set for them. Other activities not mentioned above are:

Remember:

To use your assignments to achieve an objective you have to give learners valuable, on-time feedback.

Ideally, as you are drafting course goals and learning objectives, you are also beginning to develop the assessments for the course. Decide which questions you will include in your questionnaires or exams (as well as the type of questions you will use) or the content of your assignments based on the objectives you have set.

Align your assessment activities with your objectives. This way, you can be sure that your learners have the desired progress.

Reflect on your objectives

Choose your methods

Teaching is about delivering information in an efficient, effective, and appealing way. For this reason, you should always have an instructional plan in mind.

1. Small Wins

Small wins are simple activities/challenges in your course that give your students a sense of accomplishment and confidence. They keep students excited about learning more.
Include small wins throughout the training, mainly where students should have accomplished a particular challenge and are ready to move on to more challenging activities.

2. Scaffolding

Scaffolding is layering the learning experience, so students build on the concepts they already understand. Scaffolding requires that you gradually layer from simple concepts more challenging ideas by telling students how this new information fits into what they already know.

3.Active learning

Learners must DO something to learn.

It is not enough to include dozens of videos of yourself speaking into the camera or do a lot of screen recording.

Allow learners to apply the content they are learning about. Use quizzes, assignments, and interactive elements in our new video editor to transform learners from passive to active. Social activities such as starting a dialogue in the discussion section or sharing pictures of the activities can increase the engagement of students.

5Creating the Course Content

The next step is to create the actual content.

Based on the course plan and the activities you have planned, you will probably a variety of media productions for your course.

Where to get the material from

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.

You probably have some digital material from informative leaflets to word documents with valuable information.
Do you write a blog?

Have you recorded your last workshop, training, or webinar?

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:

Map your production schedule.

You’ll find that the course creation process will go more smoothly if you follow a specific plan.
Take your calendar and choose dates for the four phases of course creation:

6Video and Presentation Recording Tools

How do you want to present your course material?

You have several options:

For instance, videos and images might serve you better if your course teaches students how to complete a craft. Text descriptions are easily misinterpreted, and your students will want to see you complete each step up to completion.

You will need video recording and presentation software, like Camtasia, Screencast-O-Matic, Audacity, Filmora, Adobe Premiere.

Are you looking for tools to convert your presentations into video presentations for your courses? You can read more in our article on how to make educational videos. You can also join our free course on Video Based Learning to learn how to create professional high-quality video courses.

While choosing the right camera and microphone, we suggest you start small and grow as your audience grows.

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.

If you have the budget to spare, you can get yourself some professional equipment for the job.

Microphones

Cameras

7How to Nurture Learners Into a Community

Τhe best value your students can ever get is from a community.

Although learning is somewhat of an individual activity, it is still a social process.

Learners love to communicate with people who are on the same journey with them and love to share ideas.

It’s a great idea to encourage communication within the members of that community, allowing them to have a shared journey in their learning and foster a sense of peer support. Establishing that sense of camaraderie between fellow learners will be beneficial for everyone in the long run.

Besides, it is impossible for you, as an instructor, to have all the answers. By building a community around your online course, what you’re doing is helping your students become self-sufficient and rely on the group more than on you.

Create groups in your course, your blog, or social media and initiate discussions.
Looking for ideas to create an engaging community? Then read our top article about 8 Ways to Build an Online Learning Community.

How to Price Courses

Earning enough money by selling online courses can be a tricky job.

To price your course, you must find that sweet spot where your course price is attractive to your learners. There is a direct correlation between how much you charge for your course and the engagement level of your students.

The higher you charge, the more engaged learners will be.

When you make your content free or cheap, people are less likely to trust it and have low expectations for results. If you increase the price, people inherently feel that they’re getting more value.
Once people purchase your course, they immediately feel compelled to see a return on their investment. So, don’t hesitate to price your course as it deserves and not lower.

To help you further with this, keep in mind to price most of your courses well above $100.

Only your smaller courses intended to attract new students should be priced below the $100 mark.
Also, don’t compete on pricing.

The worst way to do marketing is by competing on pricing. You can do discounts to earn demanding or price-sensitive clients, but a price competition with someone that offers a cheap course is not a solution.

If you want, you can learn more about how to price your own online course.

Choosing an Elearning Platform & Uploading the Content

Next step is choosing the right management system to host your academy and upload your course.

While marketplace options like Udemy, Khan Academy, Udacity, or Skillshare are great places to find a lot of students, you have no control over your brand, pricing, marketing, and data of the students.

Course marketplaces will take a significant share of your earnings and sell your competitors’ course on the same page as yours. On the other hand, WordPress plugins help you create an online course, but in them, you may not find the variety of features you can find in standalone platforms.

They are also not that convenient.

The best way is to use a standalone course platform like LearnWorlds to create, market, and sell your courses. Those three are online course platforms where you can host your course, your website, and sales funnel all under one roof and keep all your earnings and students’ data.

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, and your online course can be ready in a few minutes.

Creating Your First Course With LearnWorlds

You have researched, planned, and developed your course. Now, it’s time to get it into a learning management system your students will drool over to join.

First things first, you will need to get a free 30-day trial with LearnWorlds.

Get your fully social, engaging and interactive online school.

Launch your school!

Click 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.

Click on Create a Course

Look on the top menu of the page. You can click on the + Icon to Create a Course. Easy, right?

Follow the Wizard

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 critical settings without the need to look for them. If you want to change something later, don’t worry, you can do that by visiting the settings of your course.

Write a catchy course title which will help you sell online courses and follow the steps by clicking “Next”.

Creating a Course Wizard

Pricing and Types of Courses

Give a price to your course. If you haven’t thought of the cost, then read our guide on pricing courses. Then, choose the type of your course:

There are more advanced course types to choose from after you finish the wizard, and you can always change any course between them:

Create a Structure and Add the Course Material

Go to the tab “Contents” of your course and add your first section. Then, choose from a list of Learning Units to upload to your newly created online course:

Note that Quizzes are just used for self-assessment and not formal exams. Students get immediate feedback on their answers, but they are not getting a score at the end of the test. If you want to create a formal test, then have a look at the Exam learning unit.

Exam: What better way to monitor your learners’ progress than assigning them an exam. Within your LearnWorlds school, you can create the most fantastic exam activities with either multiple choice or true/false questions, to always be aware of your students’ potential and course progress.

The exam learning unit can be used for creating formal tests, and with it, you can create any test type by adjusting settings such as the duration of the test, maximum number of tries, passing grade, etc. Here are some necessary steps you can take when creating your exam learning unit:

Assignment: You can easily insert assignments into your courses. Assignments are open-ended (text) questions that your students have to answer, and the instructor can manually grade.

Certificate with Exam and Certificate of Completion: “Certificates of Completion” are awarded to students after they have finished studying a course (they have visited all learning units, or they have successfully passed all the tests of a course).

PDF is one of the most frequently used learning units. You can save your presentations as a pdf and upload them at the platform.

YouTube: You can easily include YouTube videos in your courses using the YouTube embeddable code.

External Link: This option will give you the ability to include a webpage, an article or another external resource to your course.

Embed: Our platform supports embedding so you can import all sorts of web content to your courses.

Do you have your content in a word format? Upload and convert it into an interactive ebook.

Prepare the Course Landing Page

You got the course material, but you still have to sell the course. With LearnWorlds’ pages builder, you can create awesome course landing pages to sell your courses.

It’s as easy as choosing the template you like and editing it as you would an MS Word document or for Mac users a Pages document. Click here for a detailed guide 😉

Landing Page example

How to Market & Sell Online Courses

Once you have created your excellent course for a specific audience, you shouldn’t stop here. Grow your email list as much as possible using email marketing techniques. For example, you can use lead magnets so that people pay you with their emails, capture emails from your own website, or through social media.

Here are some ways to sell a course:

1Pre-Sell Email Campaign

Of all the sales strategies we’re going to share with you, this is the only one that requires that you have a reasonably extensive email list (at least 100 subscribers), but it’s also the most straightforward. Try our online course launch email templates.

2One-on-one Sales Conversations

This is the best way to sell your course if you have a small (or no) audience, or if your audience is cold and unengaged. But this is also the most uncomfortable sales strategy because if the person says no, you feel the rejection acutely.

3Free Coaching Calls

All you have to do is to reach out to the people you spoke with during your market research and present your offer to them. Follow your offer outline.

These are only three of the most effective ways you can fill your pilot course. Gather feedback throughout the course. Ask students for suggestions and other feedback by sending surveys at the beginning, middle, and end of the course.

Selling online courses is a big deal, and much more than what we can say in a blog post, you can download our free ebook or read our ultimate guide on how to sell online courses!

Common mistakes to avoid

Are you making an online course for the first time? You might be susceptible to frequent and easily avoidable mistakes. Follow these rules of thumb for a successful online course.

Lengthy videos

Attention spans are getting lower. Video courses should be smaller than 20 minutes, avoid prolonged 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.

Forgetting to Test

Like all new ventures, testing your product with real users, friends, and family is a great way to avoid silly mistakes. You might have forgotten to add a video, deleted a quiz you mention on the previous assignment or didn’t include a “buy button.”

Test your course, and have someone proofread your landing pages and content for mistakes. When you work on a project, you tend to become “immune” to errors from the many times you have passed over the text.

Your Journey Has Just Begun

Awesome! You’re at the end of a super long article on how to create an online course that’s exceptionally superior to most courses that are out there.

You now know how to use the two powerful concepts of co-creation and piloting. We’ve covered preparation, research, and validation, as well as how to create and publish an online course that delivers not just information and skills, but also transformation.

You’ve also learned three ways to sell your course — even if you don’t have a broad audience or a big advertising budget.

Finally, you’ve seen how you can evaluate the results of your piloting to create a full-scale online course.

It’s an extraordinary process that yields exceptional results.

If you create your online course this way, both you and your students will have a higher chance of succeeding. And you’ll be well on your way to achieving the impact and income you aspire to.

Now all you have to do is to use what you’ve learned. Go back to the table of contents, take a pen and paper, and implement, step by step this guide, beginning with determining the direction of your pilot course.

We’ve done our best to make this page as comprehensive, helpful, and actionable, but as educators, we realize that all this may not be enough. If so, then sign up for LearnWorlds Academy, we have a ton of resources for course creators to start building their first course, and, when this is done how to sell it!

We wish you the best as you learn how to create an online course… that doesn’t suck!

And, as long as you are here, your first step in publishing your course is using LearnWorlds’ course platform. We do offer a 30-day trial to help you get started and a stellar support team to help you on the way 🙂

Get your fully social, engaging and interactive online school.

Launch your school!

Further reading you might find interesting:

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Senior Digital Marketer at

Nick Malekos is a Senior Digital Marketer in LearnWorlds. He is a results based and well-rounded Digital Marketer with years of experience in the education industry, writer and digital literacy trainer.

Course Designer & Content Creator at LearnWorlds

Anthea is a Course designer and Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team. She holds years of experience in instructional design and teaching. With a Master of Education (M.Ed.) focused in Modern Teaching Methods & ICT (Information & Communications Technology), she supplements her knowledge with practical experience in E-Learning and Educational Technology.