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  The 7 Key Steps to Create a Profitable Online Course

Building a successful online course is one of the most fulfilling ways to earn a passive income. It gives you the opportunity to share your expertise and passion with a global audience while earning a living from it. 

With the online education market expected to bring an all-time high revenue of USD 185.2 billion in 2024, there’s never a better time than now to launch your course.

The lingering question now is how do you create an online course that stands out, engages learners, and, most importantly, generates sustainable revenue? 

To unlock the secrets of a successful online course, we present to you the seven key steps that will help transform ordinary courses into extraordinary income streams. 

Read along to discover the key steps that will elevate your course creation journey to new heights.

But first, let’s start with the basics:

What is an Online Course?

An online course is a formal or informal educational program that’s organized according to a syllabus and is available online. 

Unlike traditional in-person classes, with online courses, you’ll have to leverage online membership platforms to deliver your content, facilitate interactions, and assess participants’ understanding. You can cover a vast array of subjects in these courses, ranging from academic disciplines to practical skills.

Additionally, online courses exhibit different features depending on their formality. If you’re launching a formal course, then your course will have to stick to a syllabus. However, if it’s a non-formal course, then your students could pick up and take a break when their schedules allow.

Creating a Profitable Online Course: The 7 Key Steps

You can now create a profitable online course in seven easy steps. Here’s the breakdown:

Step 1: Choose a Perfect Topic

Choosing a perfect topic isn’t necessarily about a topic you like but more about a topic you’re knowledgeable and passionate about. You can easily lose interest in teaching a topic that you’re not passionate about because, when the topic becomes less profitable, you’ll lose motivation to continue.

One of the best ways to brainstorm profitable topic ideas is to think of the unique experiences experiences you’ve lived. You can blend this experiential knowledge with your unique skills and talents to build great course topics that will stand the test of time.

The most practical course ideas you can build aspiration from include the following:

  • Yoga
  • Relationship and Marriage
  • Meditation and Mindfulness
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Video Editing
  • Photography

If the topic you’re thinking of venturing into is wide, you can settle for the sub-topic that excites you the most. Only ensure you go with a topic you can run with for a long time.

Step 2: Research the Market

Succeeding in the online education market depends on how well you set yourself above the competition. Every course idea you think of is already available online and run by people with similar passions and, probably, motivations.

You need to understand the market trends and study your competitors so you know how to position your course in a different but attractive way. 

Step 3: Create a Convincing and Magnetic Learning Outcome

You will agree that you always look for what a course will teach you right before you sign up for it. In the same way, your target clients would want to know what they’re bound to learn when they finally sign up for your course.

That is why creating a convincing learning outcome is crucial to the success of your course. Through it, your students can tell what they’ll be able to do at the end of the course and thus make a decision from a point of understanding.

Step 4: Organize Your Course

Another important step in creating a successful online course is organizing your course into models and plans. For a straightforward course topic like video editing, you can easily go with a course outline format that shows all the topics to be covered under your course.

However, if you’re going for a complex topic like marriage and relationships, you can try grouping similar ideas, themes, and tips into modules. After that, you’ll arrange the lectures in your modules logically and progressively to achieve a flowing sequence of lessons.

A well-organized course is also an indication of professionalism and proof that quality time was invested in creating the course. This could also convince interested buyers who may have had initial reservations to continue with the course.

Step 5: Choose Your Hosting Destination

A complete course outline is all you need before you think of where you’ll upload and sell the course. There are three main options you can choose as your course’s hosting destination. These are:

  • Learning Management Systems – This is a course creation platform where you can host your online course. The common options here are Thinkifik, Kajabi, and LearnWorlds.
  • Online Course Marketplaces – These are popular platforms with a massive reach, like Udemy and Coursera. This option exposes you to a wider ready market, but you have to share a high percentage of your profit with the owners.
  • Self-hosting – You can self-host your course easily if you already have a WordPress website. All you need to do is learn how to create a course with WordPress, and you’re good to go.

Whatever hosting destination you choose, ensure you measure the pros and cons before you proceed. 

Step 6: Determine Your Pricing Structure

To come up with the perfect price for your course, you should consider the motivation behind creating the course. Are you using it as a lead magnet, or do you intend to earn an income from it?

The amount you charge is majorly a reflection of the work you’ve put into creating the course and what your competitors are charging for a similar course. 

Step 7: Launch Your Course

Finally, you need to launch your course and set it out for the world to see it. Launching a course is the last step toward making it available to the public but the first step for marketing it. 

After you launch your course, you’ll need to put in extra work in marketing the course until you have enough flow of new students.

Wrapping it Up

There you have it. Creating a course isn’t as challenging as you may have thought, but it does need some dedication and passion to succeed. 

Whether you’re launching your first course or are looking for better ways to launch your next one, these tips should come in handy. 

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