Selling Courses online- feb 2021
If you’ve been on the internet lately, you’ve probably come across a growing number of courses being sold online. If you’re looking to start a business in this way, you’re not alone! Because you’re simply sharing what you know in an organized way, you’re providing value to your customers and a great opportunity for yourself.
So in this article, we’ll go through exactly how to sell an online course, starting with course formatting, the best platforms to use, and effective marketing strategies. If you’d like to learn more about content creation for online courses, you can see our post here.
The first part of selling courses online we’ll go over today is proper course formatting. Without an easy to understand, well put together course, your learners are likely to have very little engagement, and will be unlikely to share the course further. If you have a large budget, we would highly recommend hiring an instructional designer, just to save on your time. However, if you’re working with a lower budget, making your own course is probably the most cost-effective way to get started. This leads into our next important point, educational platforms.
When creating the course format yourself, you’ll want to make sure the content is standardized so it looks good everywhere. Two easy ways to do this when you first get started is to use pdf files and Microsoft PowerPoint or google sheets. Both these options are highly standardized within the learning community which means that most, if not all, learning platforms will work seamlessly with them.
With a pdf, you can make the files read-only or write-only, which provides an easy and intuitive method for fill-in-the-blanks or other quiz questions. This can help to provide a basic level of interactivity to boost course engagement. PowerPoint can be an amazing tool for self-created educational content because it allows you to export data in the SCORM format, short for Sharable Content Object Reference Model.
The great thing about SCORM data is that it can be easily integrated with any learning platform, as all support this data format. This will allow you to spread your content over almost every course platform and gain more of an audience for your material. SCORM compatibility is one of the most important details for any online course.
“ This can help to provide a basic level of interactivity to boost course engagement. PowerPoint can be an amazing tool for self-created educational content because it allows you to export data in the SCORM format, short for Sharable Content Object Reference Model.“
The second component of selling online courses is finding the right platform or platforms for your courses. Although there are many platforms, we’ll go over the most common three here.
First up is Moodle, a platform many of us have used in high school and college. Because it is so widely used and has such a large community of active learners, it can be a great place to start marketing your course and creating a following. It also contains many features which help to develop and build online courses, which can be very helpful when just starting out.
Secondly, there is Totara, which is also free and contains a bit more functionality than Moodle. For example, it allows performance, team learning, and accreditation management, as well as personal development plans. Although this platform is used most often in the corporate learning environment, it does contain some great features when looking to expand your online educational footprint.
And thirdly, there’s Joule, which is a paid learning management system, although it does offer a free 15-day trial if you’d like to try it out first to see if it’s worthwhile. Joule provides a huge amount of added functionality, as well as a full support team and an easy way to create and manage educational content online. If you’re looking to get serious about selling courses online, then Joule is indispensable.
“ Although this platform is used most often in the corporate learning environment, it does contain some great features when looking to expand your online educational footprint.“
And finally, the most important aspect of selling courses online is marketing. First of all, it may be worthwhile to start a blog in your industry to help drive traffic to your course. By blogging about interesting content related to your course, you can pull potential customers in and get additional exposure for your material.
Secondly, you’ll need to have a dedicated website for your course. This is because it allows you to optimize your course for search engines (SEO), and create a central hub for your catalog of courses, with extra description and media. This can be the most effective way to start driving traffic to your course.
Thirdly, make sure you have a dedicated social media page for your course, and make sure to post content regularly that you find interesting or you know your audience may find interesting. This improves SEO indirectly and improves traffic directly as more customers are exposed to your social media presence. You’ll want to do everything you can to boost engagement with your social media accounts, because it’s one of the best ways to find traffic.
And finally, try to follow up with learners after the sale. Are they finding value in your course? What do they like and what don’t they? This helps you create more effective course offers as you can tailor them directly to your target audience of people who are most likely to buy your course. Additionally you can try to connect with them on social media or even use tools like CourseCRM to easily manage learner profiles and datasets.
“This helps you create more effective course offers as you can tailor them directly to your target audience of people who are most likely to buy your course.“
Selling courses online- feb 2021
These three components of content creation- effective formatting, finding the right platform, and marketing are all essential to selling online courses.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, mastering these basics will dramatically improve traffic flow and the success of your course in general.
To become an e-commerce genius today, sign up for our newsletter below and gain valuable insights into the world of online business, marketing, and course selling.