The better way to sell online

How to earn money by teaching courses online

Running an online business is hard. It’s time consuming, often expensive, and requires constant attention. But with e-courses you can earn money without having to switch on 24/7.

The internet is an almost endless source of entertainment, information and education. People seek answers to their questions online all the time. If you write blog posts, you’re already providing answers. And if you haven’t considered selling e-courses, you’re missing out.

If you’re selling a product or service, chances are you know more about it than the average person. That means that you can teach other people! You don’t need to know everything; just enough that you can educate other people up to your own level and get paid for it.

Online learning is huge: by 2021 it’s expected to be an industry worth $240 billion. So why wouldn’t you jump in?

The perks of teaching online

The biggest perk of selling online is that you can record yourself once and hit send over, and over, and over. Once you’ve invested the time you need to create your course you can sell it endlessly.

And with new platforms, apps and programs popping up creating webinars and e-courses has never been easier.

If your course is online there’s no limit to the number of students you can have. There’s no issues with time zones as your course is pre-recorded, and you can make money through sales on days when you don’t lift a finger.

There’s always a downside or two

Creating online courses take time! Sure, once they’re made you can sell them forever (or until they need to be updated) but you will need to invest time to get them started first.

Most online courses are a combination of text and video: that means you’ll possibly need to record yourself, which requires equipment, and you’ll need to write.

If you host your course on another site you lose some income and ownership, and if you host your own course you might lose potential sales. Your success will depend, in both cases, on how well you can get people excited about your course.

The biggest perk of selling online is that you can record yourself once and hit send over, and over, and over. Once you’ve invested the time you need to create your course you can sell it endlessly.

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Ready for the leap?

If you’re willing to invest your time and take chances, teaching online can be hugely profitable. If you’re ready to take the leap, these are the eight steps you’ll need to take.

1. Pick a subject. The first thing you’ll need to decide on is what to teach. If you have an established blog or business, then you can expand that into a e-course. Simply go more in depth than you already do on your website! Other options include any topic you have a lot of knowledge about, or skills you’ve needed to learn for your personal or work life. If you sell certain products, you could make a course about how to best implement and use them, and if you sell services you could create a DIY course for people in other regions.

2. Find an audience. Before you invest your time into making a course make sure you have a clear target audience. Who do you want to sell it to? Are there people out there who are willing to buy? Are they able? If you want to sell expensive courses to broke college students you might need to rethink your strategy.

3. Create an outline. What will you need to include in your course to make it successful? Which content will you need to create and include? In order for your teaching to be effective you’ll need to delve deep into certain topics. Simply touching on everything won’t give your students the know-how they’ll need. Remember that a lot of what feels like common sense to you might be counterintuitive to a complete beginner.

4. Decide how to teach. Will you film videos? Write guides and chapters? Provide infographics? Most people will expect a variety of teaching methods in a course, so find out what works for you. It might also be worth doubling up on each lesson: if you’re teaching people how to assemble equipment, do a photographic step-by-step and make a video to accompany it. People will automatically choose which option works best for them, and you’ll end up with better reviews.

5. Create, record and write! Once you’ve decided which methods you want to use to teach, you actually have to do the teaching. Creating your lessons is -obviously- the most important part of making a course, and it’s also the most time consuming. Make sure you’ve created all the lessons you set out to, and that everything is up to date and functioning.

6. Open it to the public. Once you’ve created your course, class or lesson it’s time to sell it. If you want full control consider creating a website to host and deliver your lesson. Otherwise, you can use online course services such as Udemy and SkillShare, or something in the middle like Teachable or Ruzuku. Before you decide on which to use read the fine print! Different strategies will incur different costs and will require different levels of technical ability on your behalf.

7. Get the public interested! Once you’ve picked your platform and uploaded your course it’s time to market it. Think about who you created your course for and try to get it in front of them. You can use social media, targeted advertising and word of mouth campaigns to spread the word. When it comes to marketing there are many, many options available, including low cost ones. Find out which works for you, and which effectively targets your dream audience.

8. Do it again. Once you have one course up and running there’s no reason you can’t launch another. For instance, you can create intermediate and advanced course to accompany your beginners course. If you get the hang of it, online teaching can be a lucrative, fun way to gain passive income and take the stress off your shoulders when it comes to your small business.

- Lena Klein

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