¿Do you want to create online courses and spread your knowledge all over the world? If you are thinking in selling online courses to earn some money let me say that your idea is not crazy at all.
Maybe you will not earn so much at the beginning. But trust me, if you have something to teach and you are a real master doing it, your success is half granted.
But before that you have to create online courses to get some clientes. And the creation process must result in a high quality course, giving a trustworthy, friendly feeling and gather all in a solid digital learning platform.
In most cases, WordPress may be a good option for creating online courses. It offers plenty of configuration options to achieve that. And there are lots of plugins that also can help.
So let’s get started and learn how to create online courses with WordPress.
Define your marketing strategy
First of all, before creating any course, you should ask yourself several questions in order to define your marketing strategy.
¿Are you going to sell courses about one specific topic or you want to embrace multiple topics?
¿Which is the public that may be interested in your courses and where can you find them?
¿How do you plan to implement monetization?
¿Are you able to create stunning content to share?
Based on your answers to these questions and some others that only you will know, you can have an approach to the best marketing strategy you can apply.
¿What’s the best you got?
There are so many courses online to buy, anything can be found. From “Getting a girlfriend” or “How to cook a pizza” to “Advanced concepts of Databases”. In the middle, everything you can imagine.
So if you want to create online course that really sells, first you will need to ask yourself what are you good at. What is that you master like anybody else does.
Whatever your best skill is, never think that nobody cares about it and there will be no one interested. You are probably wrong.
Sell the best you have, do not keep anything for you. If your course is good enough, be sure that somebody will buy it.
Once you decide which is your main topic, the one you best know, focus on that. You can create online courses about other topics but try to focus on what you’re passionate about, what you’re really good at.
Give what the customer wants in a friendly way
There are many excellent online courses with high level quality content out there, but some of them doesn’t have success and get lost over time with so few students.
¿Why is that? Because the way the knowledge is given is not very friendly, or lessons are excessive serious or academic styled. Or even the teacher can be a real fool and treat students in bad manners.
In any case, besides the course itself, it’s important the way it is delivered to students. Think about that and image yourself in the other side. ¿How would you like an online course to be if you were a student? ¿What do you expect when buying an online course?
Set up your WordPress e-learning website
If you know how to manage a WordPress website it won’t be hard for you to set up a website in short time. Even you will need some advanced techniques to customize and configure it at will, you always can hire a professional WordPress developer. That will help a lot if it’s your first time with WordPress.
You will have to choose a theme that meets your needs. There are many themes in WordPress repository, some of them are free ones and very good. If you have some budget to spend, don’t hesitate in buying a e-learning theme. It’s really worth it.
What you need is called a Learning Management System (LMS). Just search for themes under that tag and you’ll find plenty of them. Pick the one that you most like, be sure it’s updated and read reviews to see what users have to say.
There are some premium themes specifically designed as LMS, they usually come with all the tools you might need. They are a complete and ready-to-use solution to create online courses with WordPress.
Of course you can also use any theme you like. Maybe you want something special to offer visitors a good user experience and LMS themes just don’t satisfy you entirely.
LMS themes comes with special functions and configuration options that makes things easier to createg online courses. But with a little more work getting into customization you can achieve same results, or even better.
Some of the best themes for creating e-learning websites are:
- Course Builder ($39)
- Education WP ($69)
- eLearning WP ($64)
- Academy ($59)
- Education Pack (free)
Choose a plugin for creating online courses
If you choose to use a conventional multi purpose theme you might need to get deeply into code editing and some other advanced tasks to set up your WordPress website.
But something you will surely need is a plugin for turning your WordPress into a solid e-learning platform.
Same as themes, you can perform a search in WordPress plugins main page using “LMS” keyword. In the results, you will see how many LMS plugins are, and they are so many of them.
There are very good plugins both free and paids ones. Just take the one you like the most.
Read documentation so you wont make a mistake when choosing. Make sure your choice will meet requirements of what you have in mind. For that, read documentation, get into plugin forum and read reviews of current users.
These are some of the best LMS plugins for WordPress:
- LearnPress (free)
- Sensei ($129+)
- LifterLMS (free)
- Zippy Courses ($199)
Work hard with your content
If you achieve an outstanding e-learning website, one that visitors will say: “wow, this website is awesome” but your content is below average or poor, I can ensure you that you are destined to fail.
Content is the core of any website, and even more in a e-learning website where content is basically what you sell. Design and general appearance can be the best, but if course content sucks, no one is going to buy.
It may attract some attention at a first glance and sell a few courses, but in long term it will not be profitable and it’s destined to be lost.
It is essential that your courses gives high quality content to your students. And that includes all kind of resources like video tutorials, step by step guides, video conferences, streaming videos and interaction with teacher through several channels.
Before starting to create your courses, you must define some issues:
- Decide what kind of courses you are going to offer. You might put focus in only one or in multiple fields.
- The courses outline. This is vital. You must establish how many lessons each course will have, its duration, title and sections of each lesson, how long the course will be, how it will be evaluated, certification offered and much more.
- Type of content you will be working with. You need to define the type of content you’ll use in the courses because every type of content will be treated differently. It can be videos, slideshows, questions and answers, streaming, pdf documents or any other multimedia format.
- ¿Are there going to be any restrictions? As you may want to limit user’s access to more advanced courses or lessons, you have to define this before creating the courses. Otherwise it will be late to do it.
- The cost of each course and payment methods. To offer some discount, annual or monthly subscription can be a good idea.
Promote your online courses
To create online course is not all. After doing it you have to promote them so people can buy. You can have a great course, but if nobody knows it even exists, they can hardly reach it.
¿Do you know what SEO is? If answer is no, you should get into that to have some visibility in the Internet. ¿How can somebody buy your course if it is found far away down in the search results of Google?
Nobody goes further the second or third page in search results, and if you want to rank higher you need to apply some SEO to your website.
Expand your audience in social media. Study your niche and define which Social media platform is the best to promote your courses, in which one there can be found the more receptive public. There are many Social Media networks out there, it’s not only Facebook, Twitter and G+.
Design the best post for each one and publish regularly in all of them, but concentrate your efforts only in one or two.
Another technique you can use to promote your online courses is email marketing. It is a hard work but it’s worth it. You must build a mails database and get into some advanced marketing concepts.
Finally, if you can spend some money on advertising don’t doubt it. Just be sure your ads are well designed for getting leads.
Advertising platforms usually offer free consultant to their clients. Take advantage of that so you can have a nice conversion rate for your ads.
Hoping this guide helped you in some way to create online courses, it would be great if you can share your thoughts with the world.
¿Are you already selling online courses or you haven’t decide it yet? Please leave a comment and tell us something about it.