Ecourses are growing in popularity for a reason: they enable you to help others even if you don’t know how to do something. Of course, all the information that goes into an e-course is vital, but how much more rewarding is it when you can finally say, “I created this!”
What Is an Ecourse?
An e-course is a digital course on how to do something. For example, it could be learning how to paint using Photoshop or all about how to start and manage your own small business. This guide will teach you how to create, publish, and sell an e-Course.
How Will You Make Money?
When looking at creating an e-course, one of the first things you should consider is how you will make money from it.
The way you do this depends on how in-depth your course will be; there are three main options:
Create an online class and sell access to it (like a book).
This option lets you build in scarcity by only offering the content for a limited time or enrolling users in scheduled lessons over a few weeks. In addition, course platforms like Teachable and Thinkific allow you to sell a course for a limited time or drip out your e-course.
Advertise during or after the course.
You may make money from this strategy by partnering with companies that want to get their name and products in front of your students (similar to how Udemy works).
This option tends to work better when creating more instructional courses where they go straight to the source for how they can attain a skill.
Sell physical teaching materials like books, DVDs, etc
This type, of course, is the most old-school way of making money from creating an e-course, but it will give you a chance to add some flair and personality if you decide on making anything physical instead of just digital content.
Teachable has an excellent product bump that allows you to upsell another course or course bundle. You can also sell coaching on this digital course platform.
Today, most course builders offer you a way to integrate an e-commerce payment gateway like Paypal or Stripe.
One feature that I like with Teachable is that it allows you to add authors. According to the formulas you set, the authors can then be paid directly from the system.
The affiliates are also paid automatically.
Today, Teachable and Thinkific seem to be the more popular, high-quality course platforms. You can also add a WordPress Plugin for a learning management system and add a course directly to your website.
What Will Your Course Contain?
Your course will require a lot of content. But, like how you might choose different sections for creating an ebook, your ecourse can be broken down into smaller parts that make up the whole.
Some things to consider when putting together your lesson plan are:
- Keep it manageable to how long they are willing to sit at their computer.
- Keep the average lesson length between 3:00 and 10:00 minutes (unless you have an excellent reason for something longer or shorter). People tend to lose interest if lessons go on too long.
- Know how much time you can commit each week before deciding how in-depth your e-course will be.
- Create a Course Outline
- Update your course regularly.
Decide How many lessons the course will have. Typically there is at least one introductory video and then between five and thirty lessons.
This number varies widely depending on how advanced or time-sensitive the information is; even if it contains something complex, such as learning how to paint using Photoshop, you can break it down into ten simple steps.
Sit down and list out the learning objectives for your student. What’s the ultimate goal for each lesson?
With Teachable, for example, you can have multiple sections (topics) with lessons in each. Or, you can simply build a series of easy-to-digest lessons.
You can add video, PDF files, Text, Images, and links. You can upload a file or link to something. With various course platforms like Thinkific, you can add in graded quizzes. You can force the user to complete a lesson before moving on to the next.
Your course overview will be displayed on your course sales page or landing page.
How Will You Market Your Course?
Once you have how to create an e-course, the next step is how to market it. Marketing requires a bit of experimentation on your part; but here are some places you could start:
Encourage users on social media platforms: like Twitter and Facebook to share content with their friends or followers.
Establish relationships with publishers, bloggers, etc.: who might be willing to promote how to create an e-course in exchange for some partnership.
Create an Affiliate Program: Market your course through happy clients and influencers and pay a referral fee if users choose to purchase the system.
Create Blog posts: Publish content that ranks on the search engines and is shared on social media that drive users to your course. The more expert you are in that niche, the more courses you are likely to sell.
Create a Facebook group: Be helpful, provide insight, and create engagement. Drive traffic to your e-course when they ask “How-To” questions.
Create a Youtube Channel: Post samples of your course content there.
Build an Email List: By creating an email list from lead magnets such as checklists, guides, and printables, you can then add value to a contact list offering your course from time to time.
Teachable offers some additional, solid advice:
Think about how you want people to find you. Do you have a specific community that would be interested in this course? Use Facebook ads to target a small niche you can target with the right message. Think about how often and how often people are likely to view the course.
How to Charge For Your Course
There are plenty of different strategies that advise how to charge for your course. One common way is to set a flat rate for everything.
The flat rate makes it easy to set up how you will make money from your e-course.
I’ve been creating courses since 2013. My experience has shown me that timed launches increase interest and higher earnings than “evergreen courses.”
Creating urgency and demand is key to getting a reasonable price for your course.
Subscription-based plans work well for me as well. I offer timed courses such as a 6-week program. I offer payment plans to pay weekly or for the entire course at once. My VIP program keeps a nice, steady number of monthly subscribers.
The monthly subscribers tend to pay more overall than the one-time course purchases.
Ready to create your e-course?
Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way! We can’t wait to hear about the success stories from your new course! If you need help, contact our team of experts at Ballen Brands for a free consultation.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.