How To Create an Online Course: The Ultimate Guide

As I’m sure you know, online learning has become an integral part of almost every online business. With the COVID-19 pandemic looming over us, people are tending to look for quality content online that can teach them new skills – all from the safety of their home. With this in mind, a number of opportunities are opening up for people to create and sell skills courses online! Sound like something you’re interested in? Well, if you’re looking to create your own online course in order to generate some revenue or to simply share some useful skills with aspiring creatives – you’ve come to the right place! By sharing your knowledge in the form of an online course, you’ll be able to distinguish yourself as somewhat of an expert or authority figure within your field. In addition to this, you’ll be able to create a community of like-minded individuals and expand the reach of your business – all from the comfort of your home!

With the right guidance and a little extra knowledge on the ins and outs of course creation, you’ll be able to reach your goals in no time! In this article we’re going to be giving you the inside scoop into everything we know about online course creation – why you should create one, a step by step process of how it’s done, and a number of other useful tips and tricks.

We seemed to notice that a bunch of the blogs and sites online that cover ‘how to create an online course’ don’t necessarily include all the relevant information about how it’s done or what to look out for in the process. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. In this ultimate guide we’ve put together all the tips, tricks and steps you’ll need to follow to create your own online course – in the most efficient way possible!

Before we jump into the steps of how to create an online course, we’re going to cover a few questions you might have…

Why should I create an online course?

Before jumping into creating an online course, it’s important to know the reasons why it’s worth it. What is all the time, energy and hard work going to grant you? Is it worth it?

Well, put simply, yes.

As we mentioned earlier, COVID-19 has launched a complete 180 degree change in education, learning and communication. Learning a new skill is no longer defined by having access to classrooms, lecture halls and uncomfortable desk chairs! Technology and a shift in perspective has allowed for us to learn online.

In fact, according to research conducted by Global Industry Analysts, the online education sphere is expected to grow from a $107 billion industry to $370 billion in the next 4-5 years. With that being said, now is definitely the time to be creating an online learning course in your field of choice.

How long does it take to create an online course?

Well, this question is a little more difficult to answer, as it all depends on how much material you want to include, whether you need to conduct prior research and a number of other factors. However, as a general estimate we’d say it takes around a week to create your online course. If you have your PDFs, informational videos, quizzes, certificates and the general layout of your course all ready to go – it shouldn’t take long at all. With all of your content ready to go, you shouldn’t need more than 1 week to complete your course, if you work for around 2-3 hours per day.

How do I make sure my course is successful and profitable?

To ensure that your course is not only successful but profitable too, you’ll need to know your audience. And I mean really know them. Once you have identified your target audience, you’ll need to learn what their interests are and what skills they’re looking to acquire. If you are able to teach people skills or solve problems that they might be facing, they will be much more likely to purchase your course. As a basic rule of thumb, successful courses always solve problems, teach something new and innovative and help others to achieve their goals. This is particularly true for younger individuals who are not yet experts in your field.

1. Identify the opportunity

Before creating your course, it’s important to identify which opportunity you’re going to take. Discovering and defining an existing problem that you can solve with your course is the first step you’ll need to take.

To ensure that your course is a success, you’ll need to understand what your audience is looking to learn or gain from your course. Are they looking to design a website? Develop their SEO skills? No matter what it might be, your job is to guide them through the learning process effectively and efficiently. Now, this might seem like a simple task but it does in fact involve a great deal of extensive research. It’s important to make sure that you are creating something that others need.

How do you do this? Well, here are some effective ways to identify your opportunity:

  • Send out a survey to your prospective buyers/students
  • Post a poll on your social media platforms
  • Do some old fashioned research on Quora, Medium and even Reddit.

2. Confirm & validate your idea

Once you’ve decided on your course topic and the opportunity you’re going to be taking – it’s time to test if it’s really going to work. A great idea doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to be a success and generate any revenue. We also think it’s important not to waste your time creating something that has little to no impact.

It’s important to carry out this step before you dive into creating course content. Introducing… the smoke test. Carrying out a smoke test will allow you to see whether buyers are willing to spend money on your course, rather than just show a general interest.

A smoke test is a technique in which you start selling your course online before it is even completed. To do this, set up your landing page and drive traffic towards it. You’ll then be able to see how many people clicked on the course as well as who pressed the ‘buy now’ button. By looking at these analytics you should be able to roughly tell whether people are interested in your course.

3. Outline your course content

Given that your smoke test was a success, it’s now time to put together the content for your course. If you’ve already curated all your course content you can skip this step.

If not, it might be a good idea to look back on any existing material you have on the topic. Assuming you’re an expert in the field, it shouldn’t be too difficult to gather your course content. You can use old podcasts, videos, assignments or blog posts you may have created in the past, and repurpose the content so that it can be used in your course. This is a great time saving tip!

Although videos are usually the most efficient way of putting together an online course, you can also supplement this content with audio clips, PowerPoint presentations or written content. It is also important to create course assignments or tests for each chapter or section of your course. These can be in the form of online quizzes, games or traditional, downloadable PDF documents.

Arrange filming setup for course
Arrange filming setup for course

If you are going to use videos, make sure to read our article about creating effective online course videos, which has some great tips for you!

4. Launch your course online

Now that you’ve identified a profitable course topic/idea, gathered your content and conducted a (successful) smoke test, it’s time to launch your course! This step does however involve a number of sub-steps to ensure your course is as successful as possible. It’s time to set the stage…

Although you may have an incredible course that is carefully curated, it won’t do you much good if prospective students/buyers can’t find it. For your course to be successful, you’ll need to supplement it with an effective marketing strategy. Included in the week leading up to your course launch, its important to gather promotional content.

Examples of promotional content include:

  • Blog posts
  • Email announcements
  • Social media posts
  • Affiliates
  • Digital advertisements (via Instagram, Instagram Stories, YouTube or Facebook)
  • Influencer marketing

It’s important to note that the initial launch period of any product is an increasingly crucial time, and is often highly correlated with the success of the product itself. With this being said, it’s important to get the logistics of this phase right in order to ensure that your  course is a long term success!

New: The Xquissive Academy – Course for Creatives

At Xquissive we strive to stimulate creativity and education among people of all ages in all areas of the world. Whether you’re simply looking to boost your creative side or become a pro creative, our community offers a number of tutorials and articles to do just that! With that being said however, we’ve decided to take it one step further… We will soon be offering online courses and tutorials to match the theory – all provided by our approved online instructors!

We’re going to be launching a platform in which skilled and experiences teachers from all around the globe can share their skills, tips and tricks with other creatives online.

How to become an instructor:

Sell your courses at the Xquissive academy
How To Create an Online Course: The Ultimate Guide 3

We are currently looking to recruit enthusiastic and inspiring creatives willing to share their skills in the form of advanced tutorials or educational courses.

At the moment we are looking for instructors in the following fields:

  • Drawing
  • Logo Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustrator
  • Photoshop
  • Procreate
  • Tutorials
  • Print on Demand

If you didn’t find your related field on this list, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us anyway!

Click here to learn more and sign up!

If you’d like to know more about our LMS, make sure to check out our video in the quick start.

Closing thoughts

As you can see, creating an online course is no easy feat and is likely to be time and energy consuming. However, with the right motivation, dedication and the help of these steps, you should be able to create a successful, profitable online course! Once you have set up your course, make sure to follow up and check in with your buyers. By getting feedback from buyers you’ll be able to adjust your approach to suit their needs and expectations.

Make sure to check back in soon as we’ll be covering a number of other questions you may have regarding online course creation. We wish you the best of luck!

Interesting links

Where can I sell my courses for creatives? You can host (free video hosting) and sell them on the Xquissive Academy.

Want to know more about creating effective online course videos? Make sure to check out our guide.

If you’re looking for video hosting, check out our guide to online video hosting. And just to mention it again, video hosting is 100% free when you sell your courses at Xquissive.

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