How to Create an Online Course
So, you want to create a course, and then use it to help people learn new skills - excellent idea! This article will show you how to get started, maximizing your chances to come up with a high-quality, sought-after product.
Most course makers are specialized in a particular niche. This is a good thing, because people in the entire world are interested in learning more about a specific sector, be it digital photography, online money making, computers, various technologies, crafts, health, dieting, law, literature, parenting, relationships, science, and more. The good news is that you can come up with wildly successful ideas for your courses without having to spend a lot of time doing research. Just see what's trending on Amazon, for example; if people buy lots of books about a particular topic, chances are that a course that targets the same niche will be successful as well.
Head over to Amazon's Best Selling Books page, and then explore the top results. I see a book that's gotten over 100K reviews in the #1 spot on the bestseller list, so I assume that it has sold a few millions of copies. This doesn't mean that you must use the book as an inspiration for your course; it may discuss a topic you know nothing about. So, scroll down the list until you find something that inspires you.
Maybe you are a brilliant cook, for example. In this case, "Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking" may be right up your alley. Fortunately, Amazon will allow you to see the book's table of contents, and the TOC items can serve as brilliant ideas for the chapters of your cooking course.
Ideally, you want to create a course that helps people solve a pressing problem. So, if you are a cook, it makes a lot of sense to join a few cooking forums and see what people need help with. Write down every question that has a big number of views and/or replies. Don't forget to jot down all the suitable answers as well; you may want to use some of them.
Q&A sites like Quora can be a goldmine. Visit the website, and then type in the topic that interests you in the search box; I guarantee that you will get at least a few hundreds of laser-targeted results. If you see that some questions (and variations of them) repeat over and over, it's a clear sign that many of us are constantly looking for solutions to that particular problem.
People purchase online courses because they want to improve, to learn new skills that will make them feel happier or have an advantage (an increased reputation, a higher paycheck, etc.). So, figure out what those people want to achieve, and then write your course in a way that makes the entire journey straightforward for them. Not because the process is dead easy, but because you are breaking it down into manageable steps.
Okay, by now you should have a great course idea, as well as its outline. This doesn't mean that it will be an instant hit, though. To increase your chances of creating a successful course, you need to validate the idea, before investing hundreds of hours of hard work in it. So, create the first few chapters, bundle them as a mini course, and then try to sell it; if people are willing to pay for it and you don't receive lots of refund requests, you may be onto something.
Visit those industry-related forums, contact people on social media platforms, ask your friends... make it a habit to contact 50 targeted people a day for an entire week. Then, count the number of clients vs. the number of refunds; the ratio should be at least four to one.
By the way, make it easy for people to get their money back in case that your course doesn't live up to the hype. You want to let your potential customers know that they do not risk anything if they entrust you with their money.
Let us assume that your mini course is successful; if this happens, you can create the rest of the modules, and then start selling it. Read the "How to Learn Digital Marketing" article if you plan to take care of the course promotion aspects yourself.
Don't forget to help your students, answering their questions and providing additional information whenever it is needed. Happy customers will tell their friends about your great course, and this will lead to an increased number of sales.