Ever since the internet was born, learning new things is no longer limited to the classroom setting. Chances are, you could teach me something useful that I don’t already know and you could also do the same thing online with thousands of people, earning an income from your skills and knowledge.
In other words, you can learn how to make money selling online courses. Here are some tips to help you get started.
What’s The Trend for Your Skills?
The most common mistake that people make is that they think they need to have a certain qualification to teach something online. That’s not entirely true. While some niches do require you to be a professional, most niches don’t. As long as you speak or write with experiences, people will naturally flock to you for the knowledge.
The first thing you need to do is to understand how people search for information online. For example, when you want to learn about something, what do you type in Google Search? You would ask short questions or use key phrases, right?
The next step would be to find out the popularity of these key phrases. Do people really want what you have to offer? What’s the market demand like for your skills? To find out, I have randomly picked three key phrases that I know nothing about and plug them on Google Trend. Here are the results;
Buttermilk, Spanish and apps – these are three interests that has a great upward and on-going trend which means, people are willing to pay in order to acquire the knowledge. So when you are planning an online course, you want to be following the trend as close as possible.
What Are The Basic Tools That You’ll Need?
(1) A Domain Name
The first thing that you need is a domain name which is the web address that will direct people to your online course. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but at the very least, it should reflect what you want to teach. Similar to coming up with a business name, it should also be easy to remember.
You can buy a custom domain for a small amount of fee that’s renewable every year. Here’s an example of a domain name that’s available at SiteDomains for $13.99 that includes an email account, WhoIs Privacy, and Protection.
(2) A Website
The next step is to connect the domain to a website and my favorite choice would be to use WordPress. The advantage of using this platform is that you can customize the site using various plugins and see which one works best for delivering your courses. For that to work, you’ll need to search for a good hosting service to ensure that there are no (or minimal) technical hiccups during the teaching process.
Alternatively, you can also use a Learning Management Software (LMS) that offers teaching solutions out of the box which comes with hosting packages and website builders. You can check out some of these popular LMSs for more information.
(3) Social Media Profiles
Just like social profiles, you should also consider creating social media accounts specifically for your classes. This doesn’t mean that you will teach directly on Facebook. Instead, you’ll be posting information/activities/blogs from your website to update the communities around you. When people read your social posts, they would also be directed to your website, contributing to your overall online traffic.
To give you an idea, here’s an example of a chef sharing his cooking skills on Facebook.
(4) Video Creator
Online learning can be quite distractive because these days, people tend to multitask a lot on just one screen. To ensure that your students focus on the course, video tutorials are great for creating that kind of engagement. In fact, videos are thought to deliver a certain message more effectively and help students understand a topic better.
Professional video making tools like Screencastomatic is a good choice if you want to enable more features. If you prefer something more budget-friendly, you can always use YouTube Capture (iPhones) or YouTube Creator Studio (Android) to take videos right from your smartphone and upload it onto YouTube.
Since hosting is free, you can create as many videos as you like and funnel those traffic to your main site for people to check out the details of your course.
(5) Marketing Tools
At some point, you may need to create designs – whether it’s for a website logo, course outlines or eBook covers. Hiring a professional can cost you a bomb, so why not do it yourself? Canva is my go-to graphic design app because they are easy to use and has plenty of stock images to choose from.
When it comes to creating an infographic, which I think is great for teaching, Piktochart is a great program to use. Both of these tools come with free and paid packages, but for beginners, I find that the free versions are more than sufficient.
How to Make Money Selling Online Courses?
The first step to this is to show people who you really are so that they know how much to trust your expertise. Here are some ways to go about it.
Provide a Transparent Contact – There are 3 important information that you need to have; an About Me page, a Contact Page, and a phone number (if you have a physical business). This information reflects your validity and provides convenience for people to get in touch with you.
Blogging – Keep an active blog on your site. Share your knowledge, what you’ve learned and what’s new within your niche. Remember also to create engagement by inviting readers to leave comments on the article. Blogging routinely generates new content which helps in search and social ranking too.
Product List – Your main product is your course and you want to make sure that the list is visible to anyone who’s interested to sign up. Show them clearly what they would be getting and how much it would cost them. Breaking down lessons into different categories will help people make better decisions on what they want to learn.
Bonus Offer – Consider setting up a free trial OR offer a beginner eBook for free. Although you may not be making money with these, when you give people more than what they expect, they are going to say good things about you. And that will result in positive marketing for your brand as well.
Check Your Competition – Find out who are your competitors on the first page of Google and check out the courses that they provide. Are their programs any better? Do they charge at a cheaper fee? How can you make your courses more appealing than theirs? These are some of the questions that you need to consider.
Get Testimonials – If you can get positive reviews from any of your previous students, add that into your website as it would improve your credibility. When people read about good experiences of others, they are more inclined to try things out themselves too.
Join Affiliate Programs – Besides your primary product, affiliate products can complement your online courses too. Although not every teaching niche would benefit from this, if you think there are certain tools that can be useful to your students, recommending these products is as good as getting people to check out your courses.
Pay For Traffic – If you have the budget, paying for targeted traffic is probably the best way to grow your teaching business. It’s pretty similar to creating an advertisement – you are looking for that specific group of people that are highly interested in your course. PPC can be very profitable if you know how the system works. If you wish to learn more about this monetization technique, here’s a series of PPC lessons that can help you out.
Embracing The Virtual Classroom
As more people get access to the internet, online learning in any kind of niche is only going to escalate over the years. These basic tools that I’ve mentioned are readily available and with some diligent research, you’ll be able to share what you are good at through online courses and create a teaching business as a result of that.
Remember, you only need to teach one thing to your audience, deliver it over again and the crowd will naturally come back for more. So, what do you think you are good at? Head over to SiteRubix to create your first WordPress website OR join my recommended online training platform to learn more.
Do you have any thoughts or questions about this topic? We would love to hear about them in the comment space below.