We live in the age of information, which means that if anyone needs to learn about anything, they can find it on the internet. Knowledge and information is not limited to a select few of the society, rather it’s out in the open.
Needless to say, e-learning is on the rise. The internet has become one of the best places to learn about new subjects, hone better skills and discuss with other people having the same interests. Thanks to a plethora of tutorials, forums, communities and discussion groups where you can learn about literally anything under the sun.
Since there is a huge demand in the market for online courses on a variety of topics, it is the best time for you to swoop in with your own e-learning material and create a successful business out of it.
If you are good at something, teaching others is one of the best ways to feel satisfaction, gain a following and earn great. There are several e-learning and learning management software (LMS) platforms out there that make it quite easier to reach the right audience, deliver lectures smoothly as well as track your success and failure.
In short, you don’t have to focus on the technicalities of hosting courses, rather focus on creating good content that enables your students to learn correctly in an easy manner.
Let’s discuss the steps needed for launching an online course business.
1. Identify Your Niche
This is the step that seems like the least important, but is the key deciding factor in the success or failure of your whole online course business. You must be able to find an overlap between what you are really good at and has a market size at the same time.
You have to explore what you are good at, what comes naturally to you instead of others, and what would you enjoy teaching others. In short, it should be a topic that you are passionate about.
But there should also be significant number of people who for looking for the subjects that you are teaching, i.e. the market size of your niche should have a decent volume. Lastly, the competition for your niche should not be too high. Avoid those niches that already have a lot of competitors.
Always think in terms of problem-solution; i.e. try to solve a problem that exists in the market and doesn’t have a good solution for it. If what you propose is a better solution than most existing solutions, you won’t have a problem in convincing users to buy your course.
2. Validate Your Idea
Once you have identified the perfect niche for you that has a good market size, less competition and something that entices you, it’s time to validate it.
This validation part comes before you dive into the whole business part to verify the assumptions that you took while defining your niche. The best way to do this is to create a small survey that consists of important questions regarding your idea, and share it in social media groups, discussion forums, and other such places where members of your target group may be present.
Make sure that your survey is to the point, short and the answers are easily quantifiable. Also, you can put a space in the end for a subjective answer as to what these people are looking for in a course like yours.
You should also look at other courses similar to what you provide and look at the feedback that they have got. Especially look out for reviews with 3 or 4 star rating, because they will generally identify what these courses lacked. It can be your cue to inculcate in your course and differentiate from your competitors.
3. Create a Course
Now that you are assured that the course(s) that you are about to sell have a validated market for them, i.e. there are people willing to buy these courses, it’s time to create one.
First of all choose the right platform to host your courses on. There are several e-learning platforms out there where you can simply open an account and start uploading courses. You can even decide to start your own e-learning website focusing specifically on your courses.
For the latter part, you’ll require an LMS (learning management software) platform. Such a platform would be a great help for creating an online courses business, as you don’t have to focus on the technical part of the website.
Just like every other thing, your first course would not be perfect. But it should fulfill the requirements of your target group as close as possible. The important part is that you get your course out in the public and start getting feedback on that to improve in your course.
4. Publicize Your Course
This is another critical step that you need to take to build a successful e-learning business. You need to reach out to your target group and tell them that you exist. You communication should be simple yet effective. Make sure that you are communicating you USP in as clear terms as possible to clearly state what sets you apart from others out there.
Convey the problem that you are trying to solve and try to bond with the target group of people that have this problem. Social media has made the marketing of your online course really easy. Ensure that you have a solid and engaging online presence.
Make a list of email addresses of people interested in your course, students that have taken the course, filled your form and other like this. This email list is your biggest asset, make sure that you engage with them on a regular basis and provide tips, news, and other information about your upcoming courses too.
5. Improve Your Course
Most e-learning and cloud based LMS platforms provide you with critical metrics that you should analyze thoroughly in order to gain relevant insights. Besides this quantitative data, look out for the comments and feedback from your students as you will get invaluable information from them.
Use both the types of data to polish your course and make it the best out there. Persistence and continuous improvement is your key to success in the online course business too.
With the advent of e-learning, there is a huge demand for courses on almost every topic of study. If you love spreading your knowledge amongst others and would like to earn your living out of it, now is the right time.