Sell courses online and it will become a passive income stream that will last you a lifetime providing you with some welcome money.
- What is a course creator?
- How do I become an online course creator?
- What skills do you need to become a course creator?
- What qualifications do I need to become a course creator?
- Where can I learn to create an online course?
- How much can you earn as an online course creator?
- What online courses are in demand?
- How much does it cost to create a course?
- How long does it take to develop an online course?
- Where can I create my own course?
- Sell courses online – Conclusion
What is a course creator?
A course creator is somebody who has expertise in a subject or a topic that is relevant to others. They then use their knowledge to arrange the information into a format that will enable others to learn or master the same subject.
A course creator is also known as an instructional designer.
How do I become an online course creator?
These days it does not take much to become a course creator. Most of the skills of a course creator can be self-taught as there are many free resources out there. You must just be prepared to do a little bit of work and develop your own skills.
If you have the interest and the drive to start a successful online course there is nothing that can stop you but your own actions. All you have to do is to understand the concept behind it and find where you are lacking in skills. Creating online courses is also a case of the more you do it the better you get at it.
Not all course creators create the perfect course the first time around.
What skills do you need to become a course creator?
In order to be a successful course creator, there are some skills that will be to your advantage but not a necessity. As I’ve already said you will be able to develop skills that you do not currently possess.
You will develop new skills every time you create a new course. These skills will also help you in creating other income streams.
Here are some skills that will help you to understand and develop courses that students will love.
- Instructional design
- Creative writing
- Course development
Instructional design is a standard practice that designers are using to put information together in an organized manner. This is a qualification on its own but it is not a necessity when you are creating online courses.
It is a very good idea to read up on it so you can understand the logic behind it and the methods used.
By doing this you will understand better how to structure your courses so that students will see the logic. Without instructional design, the information you are trying to teach might not make sense to somebody else.
There are many places on the web where you can learn the skill of instructional design for free. The concept is very easy to understand and it should not take you very long to acquire the basic skills of instructional design.
It does help to be a creative writer because it will help you to design your content in a way that will be interesting to your learners. One thing you must know is that learners get bored very quickly and you need to keep them engaged.
If you cannot engage your learners you will not receive very good reviews at the end of the course.
I would suggest that you read up on creative writing and how to engage learners. There is a lot of free content on YouTube that will assist you in developing strategies for learner engagement. Creative writing will also help you to develop engaging exercises for your learners to complete.
When it comes to course development structure is the most important part of your creation.
Learning more about course development and what learners will expect does help to get your courses approved by most of the online providers. They will not approve courses that will put their reputation in jeopardy.
Showing that you can design a well-developed course can also put learners at ease. This will help you to solve future courses without any complications. Knowing the basics of course development will also help you to plan better and create courses faster.
If you are going to develop courses where the video is the main medium you will have to also learn the skills of scriptwriting. The transition from a written course to recording on video can sometimes be difficult for a beginner.
With the information available on the web, you should not stop yourself from developing your first course.
All it needs is a little bit of effort and you will be able to do your own scriptwriting. In the future to save time and to make sure that your videos look and sound professional you might be able to outsource it.
There are many freelancers on platforms such as Fiverr, IWriter, and Upwork that can take care of that for you at a very low price.
Videography sounds very intimidating but all it is actually telling you is that you will need to learn how to create a video for your course. Not all platforms require video but sooner or later you will have to face the challenge and create your own video.
There’s a lot of free software and tons of advice on how to do it the best with inexpensive equipment. You do not need top-of-the-range equipment to put out good-quality videos.
Shooting a video for the first time can be a daunting task for a beginner. Trust me when I say that it is not easy if you are not used to it but it is a skill that can be developed over a period of time.
To put your mind at ease I will advise that you go to YouTube and look at your favorite YouTuber’s first videos. Compare that with the new one and you will see the difference that only experience can bring.
To be a good storyteller can only count in your favor. Knowing how to tell a story in an engaging fashion will help to retain the attention of your learners. Good storytellers always make for the best lecturers.
It is not really a skill that can be learned but it is worth knowing what good storytellers are doing to engage people.
Storytelling will also make it easier for you to create content in a logical manner. Learners will always be attracted to someone who even makes the most menial task sound interesting.
What qualifications do I need to become a course creator?
To sell courses online you do not need any professional qualifications. If you do have qualifications in instructional design or teaching then it will be to your advantage.
The advantage that you have will be in the fact that you already know how to construct lessons for learners.
Unless you are planning to work for an organization all you will need in the world is to learn and create. There are very few online learning platforms that will require you to have a professional qualification but they do exist.
When it comes to online learning the quality of your courses and the benefits the learner gets from it counts more than any qualification. Always remember that online courses are used by people with specific problems or needs.
Should you be able to provide the necessary solutions for your learner it will be deemed a good course.
Where can I learn to create an online course?
There is no shortage on the web for finding information about creating online courses. That is why you find that beginners get totally lost in the information overload and never actually end up designing a course.
To help you not get lost in the information I would suggest the following places:
- Online learning platforms
When it comes to learning new skills the only place I will go to is YouTube. What I found on YouTube is that most of their content is duplicated so the secret is to find the origin of the content.
I will normally look for a YouTuber that focuses on one topic only and have a lot of content on their channel.
When you look at a video you will know if you can find a connection with the presenter or not. If the content looks organized and makes sense to you I would suggest you stick to only the one channel.
You will find that all other channels are trying to reverse engineer the presenter’s success and therefore you will see the same information coming all the time. This wastes time that you could spend on developing your course.
Online learning platforms
If you have already decided what platform you will be presenting your course on then I would suggest you stick to what they are telling you. Most online learning platforms will have an introduction video for presenters or specific guidelines that you must follow.
You cannot go wrong by following the advice from the platform you will be using. There is also nothing that stops you from visiting three or four platforms and looking at their free course creation videos.
To sell courses online according to a specific format the platform requires will increase your chances of approval and resales.
Browsing eBook platforms is another option but select only one book or even a free book to read on instructional design or course creation. You will find that most of the information in the book will relate to what you have already seen on YouTube.
Having an eBook as a reference is easier than trying to go and find the same video you watched before.
How much can you earn as an online course creator?
Earnings as an online course creator can never be guaranteed. There are just too many factors that will affect your chances of making any money online with courses. The only thing that we know all that there are some creators who are making a killing online with their courses.
When you look closely you will find that those are the ones that have been around for a long time. They know how to create engaging courses and how to market them to the right audiences.
The Beginner might find it a bit tougher to break into the market but once again it will all depend on quality. No one can promise you that you develop the course today list it tomorrow and start making a fortune tomorrow.
Some factors that will affect the sale of your course.
- Free resources
For you to make money with your course you must ensure that there is actual demand for it. Too many course creators presume that there is a lot of interest in the same thing that they are interested in. When they make no sales they give up and move on.
To avoid this it is important that you do your research properly. Make sure that there is actual demand for your course before you waste time and effort.
Rather do your research and find what is in demand then develop a killer course on that topic.
The topic that you select for your course should be researched. It is nice to know that people interested in that topic experience enough problems or have enough questions to warrant a full course.
Not all topics can be extended into a six-module course and guarantee learner engagement.
Do not overcomplicate things as most people looking to improve their skills are looking for a simple way to do it. Unless it is a technical subject or niche you will not make money if it looks too complicated.
Learners looking to learn more technical subjects will rather study something where a recognized certification or diploma can be obtained. Sell courses online to the right market to see better results.
Make sure that during your research you establish how many free resources there are for the topic or subject that you are planning to create a course on. It is no use creating a course if all the information in it can be obtained freely.
The only way you can then rescue the situation is to make sure that your course is well structured and can offer the learner a better experience. Being more comprehensive about the topic can also help as most free stuff are never complete.
Most important for your earnings are all the way that you market your courses online. Consistent and regular marketing of your courses will be required. Listing a course and then just sitting back waiting for sales will not work at all.
To sell courses online will require some extensive marketing strategies. There are many ways that you can do your marketing and your sales will be a direct reflection of how well your marketing is done.
No matter what you do but at the end of the day it all comes down to the content of your course. Courses can be structured perfectly but if it does not contain content that the learner is looking for it will not make money.
The learner would buy the course for a specific purpose and if it is not found in your content they will leave a bad review. Bad reviews will prevent any further sales of your course.
The learner will look at the content and decide at the end if he’d provide good value for money or not. Bad content is similar to selling a physical product that does not work.
What online courses are in demand?
There will always be some courses that are more popular than others. When you do research you will find that each platform will have a different type of demand. For instance, if you look at a platform focusing on web development will have internet security courses in demand.
A general platform with no specific niche might have cooking courses as being the most in-demand.
It is better to do research on several online learning platforms to establish what causes are most likely to be in demand at this time. Demand can also be seasonal or based on the current global economic climate.
During the Covid 19 pandemic, the courses mostly in the demand were in the work-from-home niche. Always try to sell courses online that are in demand or your sales will discourage you quickly.
If you are looking for fairly evergreen niches we can with confidence say they will include:
- Start your own business
- Web design
The problem with high-demand courses is that the competition will be high. You will have to identify a micro-niche and offer something better.
How much does it cost to create a course?
Unless you are planning on purchasing all your course creatives online it should cost you nothing.
This is if you are creating courses to list on online learning platforms. If you do intend to create your own website from where you can offer your courses using your own software then there will be an outlay cost.
Even in this case, there is a lot of free software available but I would suggest as a beginner you start on online learning platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare, or Thinkific.
Most platforms will allow you to list your course but take a handsome percentage on every sale that you make. This can range between 5 to 9% but keep in mind that they will provide you with hosting your horse and already have organic traffic.
There are some platforms that will charge you for membership and you have to compare the cost against the cost of giving away a percentage.
How long does it take to develop an online course?
How long it will take you to develop a well-structured will depend on your effort and experience. To sell courses online will require patience if it is to be a quality project.
As a beginner, you will find that most of your time is spent on research, structuring, and content writing. There is no specific time on how long it should take you to write your course.
In the beginning, it might take you one to several months to get a decent course online.
With Time comes experience and it is not impossible to create and list the new course within one week. Some creators claim that they can compile and list a course in one day but as a course designer I have to question the quality they put out to learners.
It is also obvious that if you are doing it for a sideline it will depend on how much free time you have available.
Where can I create my own course?
There are several platforms where you can create your own course but I will always suggest Udemy for beginners. This is because I have found their platform very easy to use and they have excellent resources to help new creators design their own courses.
Although challenging I still find it informative in its guidelines and free creator courses.
My other favorite platform is Openlearning where they have a simple user interface with a dashboard that basically walks you through setting up your own course. It is a paid platform however the price they charge is not much worse than the percentage you are giving away on two other platforms.
My only concern is that it does not seem to be popular globally but rather targets specific geographic areas such as Malaysia, Australia, and Singapore. I suppose marketing your course to other areas can make a difference.
Sell courses online- Conclusion
As an online income stream creating courses can provide you with a steady passive income over the long term.
By doing intensive research and ensuring that you are targeting the correct market you will be able to make consistent sales while growing your online portfolio.
Creating courses does require effort and willingness to learn new skills.