Remote work isn’t the only trend that boomed during the pandemic, but eLearning or online courses captured the spotlight too. Learning different courses online isn’t only applicable to students, but also to working professionals who want to upskill. Be it a course about marketing, writing, or graphic designing, everyone on the internet just loves learning about new things.
According to the statistics by Think Impact, employees say that they learn five times more via eLearning than traditional learning. Moreover, 77% of companies in the United States already provide online learning opportunities. The world is indeed going digital, and more people are doing education and business on the internet.
If you’re an online entrepreneur wanting to create online courses that sell, you may wonder: what content should you include in your course? And how to prepare for your course creation and design? This article will cover foolproof tips on the things you need to research and prepare to create, market, and sell the best courses online.
Table of Contents
What Is an Online Course?
An online course is a modern electronic course where you can share and create learning content in creative digital ways. Like traditional courses, it consists of study plans and curriculums organized in units to help the learner understand the lesson systematically.
Online courses can include images, videos, text, and hyperlinks. You can set them up through various course authoring tools and easily share them via an email invitation or link.
The top industries that use eLearning are healthcare, computer and information technology, retail and e-commerce, education, and construction. It’s big, and it’s growing. As revealed in the study by Forbes, the worldwide eLearning market value is expected to hit $325 billion in 2025.Related: 7 myths about selling online courses successfully- busted
What Is Course Authoring Software?A course authoring software is a tool that allows businesses and online entrepreneurs to create learning content and courses using different types of media. These courses can also be saved in various file formats. Many user-friendly course authoring applications are available on the market. And you don’t need any technical programming expertise to create a course because most tools come with pre-programmed, ready-to-use templates that you can easily manipulate with just a few clicks. Additionally, you can conduct tests with learning management system (LMS) software and monitor course interactions.
8 Steps to Researching and Preparing for Your Online CourseLike any business endeavor, selling the most profitable course online starts with good research and preparation. Here are eight ways to conduct your research to create the best online course, reach the right customers, and gain high profits.
1. Choose the Type of Course You Want to Sell
A good starting point to creating an online course is determining the type, of course, you want to create. If you’re running a business, make sure the eLearning material is aligned with your niche. If you’re a startup and haven’t figured out your niche yet, you can begin by researching the most enrolled online courses today.
As per a report by Class Central, some of the most popular online courses are in the fields of machine learning, science, business and humanities, and language courses.
When brainstorming about teaching ideas, make sure you’re familiar with all the topics. From there, you can select the one closest to your interest, explained further in the next section.
3. Select Your Winning Course Topic or IdeaPhoto by RODNAE Productions from Pexels
So, you already have a course theme and several content ideas. In the third step, you need to choose your winning course topic. To hone in on your winning idea, you can use these guide questions:
- What can you teach other people that they’re willing to pay you for?
- What’s your expertise?
- What’s in demand in your industry?
- What’s so relevant that you can teach other people with ease?
- What gaps in skill or knowledge do you find in your industry?
- What have you accomplished that can be followed by other people?
Always remember, it’s not enough to just select the topic because you’re familiar with it. You need to make sure your course topic is useful for your target market and in demand in your industry.
4. Conduct Market ResearchOnce you have a good idea of your topic, it’s time to ensure your course idea is marketable and attractive to your target audience. Market research will help you define your audience and determine whether your course is actually profitable or sustainable.
Here are top market research strategies to get feedback and data for your online course:Related: Why branding is important for your online courses.
5. Interview Successful Course ProvidersThis step is pretty much included in the market research, but it’s highlighted because of its importance. When conducting research for your online course, all you may think about is our target audiences and competitors. However, it’s important to get insights from the experts.
Sure, some of these experts might be your competition, but there’s no harm in asking. Well-established online course providers can provide training context, background history, and specific information about your course topic. You can also learn the type of audiences they have and the most common challenges of selling online courses.Also Read: Best Platform to Sell Online Courses.
6. Survey Employees and Possible Course TakersEmployees are ideal for surveys if your course topic focuses on remote work, for example. But you can specify the type of employees you want to conduct a study with. For instance, you can reach out to social media specialists and digital marketing managers when your topic is about online marketing.
The main goal of surveying your possible course takers is to know what they like, what learning format they prefer, and how they learn. You may also need data about their job experience, job motivators, and the tools they use in their work.Related: A killer guide on how to promote your coaching institute online
7. Research About the Topic ExtensivelyWhen conducting research for your online course, you shouldn’t forget to study your topic extensively. This step may involve looking for different sources on the web, gathering your course content, and structuring your course plan. You may also start creating possible learning outcomes, determine the most effective delivery methods for your course plan, and set your pricing.
8. Test Your IdeaThe research will remain research if not executed. Well, this ain’t to tell you that you immediately need to implement LMS software for your course plan. You can test your idea to see if it’ll work. To do so, you may create a page for your upcoming online course through a landing page builder. You can also utilize course authoring templates as a starting point.
Start Your Journey to Sustainable and Profitable Online Course Creation
By now, you should have a general idea of how to conduct research before creating and selling an online course. Just remember the steps above and aim to create profitable course content, reach customers that will pay for your course, and generate good income. You may also invest in the top course creator tools to market your content effectively.