I'm so grateful for being able to earn my income from being a full-time blogger. The blogging business model offers a variety of ways you can make money. One of the most successful and lucrative ways you can earn money as a blogger is to create online courses! In this post, I will be sharing how to figure out your course topic, how to plan your course, where to host it and how to sell it to your followers.
What is an online course?
An online course is a class that is taught to students through the internet. The advantages of online courses are:
- They are neither location or time-bound (in most cases) so you can complete the course where you want and take as long as you want to complete it
- You can replay it as many times as you like
- You can take online courses on any device including a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
They are a fantastic way to learn new skills that don't interfere with your day-to-day routine. Online courses can include articles, videos, worksheets, quizzes and more! The beauty of creating your own online course is that YOU'RE in control of the content so you can decide the best way to deliver it. Some courses I've taken have been purely text-based whereas others have had video/audio lessons. When creating your own I would recommend incorporating text AND video versions of your lessons if possible as your students will all have different ways of learning.
What niche should I pick for my course?
There are a HUGE number of topics you can pick for your course. As a blogger, you have the options of creating a course to focus on blogging itself. Blogging topics can include:
- How to Start and Build a Blog
- How to use a particular social media platform to grow your blog (E.g Twitter, Pinterest etc)
- How to design graphics/branding for your blog
- How to monetise your blog
- How to pitch to sponsors for your blog
…and many more! Those are just a few potential ideas to create online courses from.
Your other option is to create an online course based on the topic of your blog's niche itself. For example, if you're a fitness blogger you could create an online workout program for your viewers to take part in or if you're a food blogger, you could create a course on food photography or on how to cook certain meals. You can get creative!
If you're stuck for ideas, look to the questions your readers ask you frequently. Often, there will be enough content from those pain points to create a course in response.
I don't feel qualified enough to create online courses
There is a common misconception that if you're going to share educational content with the world that you'll need a degree or some form of credentials to have any chance of being taken seriously but this is ABSOLUTELY not the case at all!
Chances are, if you've been blogging consistently for some time you'll have already built up a following of people who would love the chance to learn from you. If you've achieved a lot during your blogging journey, that is evidence that you are more than capable of providing value to your audience. All you need to know to teach is enough to help someone get started on the topic you're focusing on. That's all!
How much can you earn from selling online courses?
Your earning potential can be VERY rewarding if you nail your marketing, really hit on a pain point within a niche and produce great results for your students.
Many online course sellers have managed to quit their jobs and actually earn a full-time income from course sales alone! So if you've been considering creating your own course, I'd highly recommend it.
How to create online courses
So you once you have decided on what topic to create your course on, next you need to actually start making it! First of all, I'd recommend opening up a notebook or a word document and writing out all the steps someone would need to go through to get from A to B for your course. Then once you have the outline sorted, start segmenting your text into lessons.
I'd also plan how you want to deliver your course, will it be entirely text-based or do you plan on incorporating video? If you plan on including video, take some time to learn how to film/edit and upload your videos. If you don't have the time or interest to edit your videos, you can always outsource this to a freelancer on a website such as Fiverr.
Once you have all your content planned, the next step will be to decide on a platform for your course.
Platforms to host your online course
Since a course can be structured however you want, there are many ways you can host the content online. It could be as simple as having password protected pages on your website that contain your content or hosting your videos as unlisted on YouTube and sending links out to your students.
Alternatively, you can look into using online course websites such as Teachable or Skillshare. Every method will have pros and cons so take your time on this step to consider what platform will be the best way to deliver your course material for your future students. Online course websites will be a more expensive option but will often have their own communities native to their platform so onboarding new students will be far easier than if you host the content on your own website.
How To Market Your Online Course
You may think the hard part is creating the course, but marketing it is by far the most important step! There are many ways you can market your course including emails to your newsletter subscribers, hosting webinars and offering free lessons. You can also create an affiliate marketing scheme for your course so any current students can recommend it to their friends and family and when they get a sale, you will pay them a commission.
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