Posted on Jun 21, 2018

How to Create an Online Course

The ability to inform is fundamental to every marketing campaign and to every business. Your audience wants to hire you to help them with something they cannot handle themselves.

Therefore, as you grow your online marketing presence, it’s crucial to provide your audience with information they cannot get anywhere else and to clearly demonstrate your company has the domain space knowledge to guide them through important decisions. One of the best ways to do both is to offer an exclusive online course.

In the following guide, we’ll outline which platforms are ideal for instruction and generating traffic, how to identify which subjects to cover, and how to present digestible, didactic information for your audience. Read on to learn more.

Check Out Your Platform Options

The platform you choose is directly related to the kind of content you want to build. If you are an adept script writer, video producer, and editor, then you may want to simply create an online course that’s based entirely on YouTube. However, if you want to use written content as well as multimedia, then you can choose from Udemy, Teachable, and other multi-channel platforms.

To put an online course on Udemy, you will first go through the company’s Instructor Dashboard, which features a repository of articles about how to create an online course. Experienced course makers can skip this step and head straight to Create a New Course.

Teachable allows users to create their own school, an umbrella under which all future courses will get filed.

Both of these platforms let you upload audio, video, written content, images, and PowerPoint presentations. They also give you the ability to respond to student’s comments, give quizzes, and email your student body. This allows for an interactive, motivating environment and will help you increase engagement over time.

Choose a Course Topic That Aligns with Your Expertise

Avoid trying to teach a course topic you think your audience would like. Trends come and go. You do not want to be associated with teaching something that’s popular instead of something that’s useful. Instead, pick a course topic you know intimately—a topic that will also give your audience a singular benefit. For the sake of your business, the topic should at least be tenuously related to one of your services.

Later on, when you have a suite of relevant courses, you can incorporate some buzzworthy course topics.

Diligently Research the Course Topic You’ve Chosen

More than likely, you know this course topic like the back of your hand. It doesn’t matter. Even if you didn’t need to do a single hour of background research, your online course content will still require, at minimum, fact-checking.

Approach the course creation with humility and do your due diligence to make sure your content is relevant, recent, and accurate. This may require several hours of background research. It may require only light double-checking. Regardless, your credibility as an instructor and as a thought leader is on the line. You do not want to be responsible for publishing inaccurate or out-of-date information in your course.

Create an Outline That Makes the Information Digestible

Industry experts and thought leaders often have so much specialized knowledge that they have a hard time breaking it down for the layman. Don’t go over your audience’s head. Take the time to outline your course, lesson by lesson. This process will allow you to weed out tangents and less critical information from the course, stripping away those superfluous elements until you are left with the essence of what you are teaching.

Remember that you as an expert will have a wildly different knowledge base than your audience. It may be helpful to ask someone in your business, such as an intern or a person outside of the executive team, to review your outline.

Younger professionals or people without your specialized experience will ask questions that uncover assumptions you are making about your audience’s knowledge. Using this feedback, you can incorporate transitions, sidebar information, and other basic explanations of relevant terms. By the time you’ve finished your outline, your lesson structure should seamlessly connect idea to idea and offer a robust understanding of the topic you’ve chosen.

Connect with Your Students and Respond to Their Questions

Online courses are a great way to increase engagement with your audience. Most digital education platforms allow you to provide your students with assignments, comment on their work, respond to their inquiries, and email them with more information about your course. This kind of engagement helps you grow your student body and, subsequently, your online presence.

Build a Strong Online Presence

Don’t bumble your way through creating an online course. Use our guide to publish a highly effective, targeted digital education that your audience will truly appreciate. What ideas do you have to start your course? Share your thoughts and experiences below.