In this article, you will learn how planning an online course helps boost your sales and promote your brand awareness. Take a look to learn more.
If you need help to scale your business, contact us.
Set a topic for the course
You probably have gathered a reasonable and reliable idea of what is it you want to teach by now. We just have to modify it slightly before we continue.
The idea of building a comprehensive and more detailed course on the subject can be enticing, but that’s not how most students prefer.
Many students face a very particular issue. You can send your students emails, interview them on social networks, contact groups and forums to figure out what that specific issue is. Take your time to discover what your students need in your community.
Here is how you would approach those issues when preparing your online course.
❗❗ Problem: I do not know how to write SEO-friendly blog posts
✅ Good idea: Writing blog posts for beginners
❌ Bad idea: Introduction to SEO
You probably know that the same doubts emerge again and again when conducting research. Focus on it.
If you are committed to designing a complete and comprehensive course on the subject, consider producing a course kit.
Producing a course kit means that you can map out five different lessons about writing blogs, for example, and merge them into one final bundle.
This approach gives your audience the freedom to choose what they want to learn on the grounds of what they already know.
Decide who your course is for
When you have set a specific subject, it’s time to determine at what stage your audience is or at what level your course needs to be.
If they already know the fundamentals of the topic, you can help them advance their skills or apply them differently; you don’t need to thoroughly describe the initial steps.
On the other hand, if they’re new to the subject, you’re going to have to put yourself in their shoes and imagine the challenges you’d face when you’re just getting started.
You can often discover this while you are conducting research and asking prospects about their issues.
Do they already know how to optimize a blog and improve their SEO knowledge properly? Or are they complete beginners in the digital world who want to learn how to write a good blog post?
Organize the content
Once you’ve outlined your target, you’re ready to start preparing the material for your online course.
The first thing you have to do is to identify what makes you unique.
What is your course going to teach that highlights you as a coach, among others? At this step, try to be thorough and take your time to build a powerful slogan.
For example, “Learn how to write a blog post” is not flashy enough. Instead, you could say, “Learn how to write amazing blog posts in 5 quick lessons!”.
Besides being able to attract your audience, you have the opportunity to arrange your online course in five lessons.
✔️ Introduction to blog post writing
✔️ Blog posts to promote your brand
✔️ Blog posts to drive traffic
✔️ Blog posts to teach your audience
✔️ Guest blog posts
In addition to arranging your materials, breaking your course into lessons makes it easy for your students to figure out just what they’re looking for.
Choose a content type for your online course
You can publish your online course in more than one format. Classes may be on camera, but you may still have handouts, documents, slideshows, and so on.
Video courses are generally preferred, but take into consideration the fact that using a variety of teaching forms makes the course more engaging and interactive.
When you prepare your online course using video tutorials, you give your class a “character” so that your students can relate to it.
This feature is useful because it helps you describe the content simultaneously as you show it.
In addition to recorded sessions, you can also use platforms like Vimeo to make live streams and have the ability to communicate with your students.
Creating video content is free and quite manageable. All you need is a mobile phone or camera to record, a microphone, and free software like iMovie or Windows Video Creator to edit.
While videos allow more interaction, there are moments when the text and the picture could perform better, such as when you need to explain a subject with various intricacies.
Slides are also one of the easiest ways to achieve this. Many people, for example, often use PowerPoint or Keynote.
The good news is that this is everything you need to do to build the slides. With these free software, you can use text and photos to create material for your course and professional presentations.
You can also add video and audio to your presentations to make your written material easier to comprehend.
If you’re a podcast listener, you know how useful an audio networking medium can be.
Although we suggest using images for most subjects, there are occasions when audio alone can be useful.
For instance, you can record audios with a few extra descriptions. And even create a podcast to chat about a class and address general questions.
Presentations are often perfectly paired with audio descriptions to make the content richer.
🗎 PDFs, spreadsheets and documents
Planning your online course involves thinking about everything that will make learning better for your student.
To accompany the course materials, prepare additional documents.
If you have a workbook, practice sheet, or handout that you want students to respond to quickly, you might want to make it available for download in PDF format.
Offering these extra materials will promote more active learning and make the students feel more appreciated.
Instructors also provide “bonus content” to make their course more enjoyable and thorough.
Some of these content include:
Decide what to use
If your vision is to create a mini-course, note, first of all, that you can’t charge hundreds of dollars for it, so don’t overthink about making too many diverse types of content.
You can also mix audio, images, and text for a powerful mini-course.
A mini-course should emphasize a particular subject to teach in at most one or two sessions.
Use various types of content that better help to clarify, but do not overload the course with too much material.
An intermediate course introduces students to a broader and more detailed subject area.
Realizing that the course is more complex and thus more costly requires time to build specific and specialized content types.
For example, the instructor can use two major slideshows with stories and videos in each section. They take time to create, but they are valuable and thus worth the time they have spent.
An advanced course is the best of the online courses. Significant and well-complete, they have a high added value.
As a result, you would need to differentiate between the types of content presented here to make learning as appealing and as easy as possible.
A video and slide presentation may work well, or you can be creative, for example, by offering bonus material.
The important thing is to provide the student with a constructive and well-crafted teaching experience that demonstrates that you care for your audience’s learning.
Test the result
When you finish preparing your online course, before you start generating all the content, ask someone you trust to review and assess your work.
Ask people what questions they may have to get a feel of what gaps you need to fill.
This step is vital because, when you are well acquainted with the subject, it is easy to transfer clear and obvious topics to you, but not to those who are still learning.
The more expertise and information you have, the more you need a new pair of eyes to realize what’s lacking.
And the most important thing you can ask is: are you going to take my course after reading this material?
If the answer is no, ask what the reason might be and then try to fill in the blanks.