At the end of 2015, I came up with an idea for my own online course. At that time, I literally had no idea what this whole process means, I just had a willingness to make my own course and I needed for it to happen! So I read tons of useful resources, checked out various samples and learned as much as I can in the process. Here’s your chance to learn from my mistakes!
Let’s start with a bummer: I stopped selling my first course after around two months in the process. I was lacking good marketing knowledge regarding courses, the course itself didn’t feel as good anymore and I was burning out a big time. I just needed to prioritize my to-do list, and online course was the one to go. It turned out to be one of the best business experiences I’ve had!
I’m not the only one with a story like this. So today is the time to forget everything you’ve heard. Here’s what you really have to do to build an online course!
The biggest mistake most of us make
We don’t have time but we’re always trying to squeeze in more. The worst part is -we call it a “productivity” at the end of the day when lying dead in our beds.
Yes, coming up with any passive income source is a hard work. If you’ve chosen this path, you are at least somehow ready for it, which is absolutely great! At the same time, it’s important not to take on everything you can. Most creative entrepreneurs are really passionate about things they do. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about! If I could, would work for 24/7, that’s just how much I love my work. And when it comes to online courses, it’s really easy to take on more and more, and more.
The worst mistake you can make is to read what others have been doing. At first, when you’re just learning, it’s good to soak up some additional knowledge and ideas. Later on, when you’ve already started your process, you will always feel like you need to do more.
The highway to burnout: following the crowd
That’s exactly how I got to burnout. I first started with the idea to create PDF materials with all my online course stored in them. It was not the most genius solution but that’s what worked for me so I stuck with it. Of course, I had to create a sells page. It was yet another choice I made to create it as simple as possible.
And then I fell into a pit (I’m sorry, I’ve been watching Parks and Recreation too much and now I want to sing in Andy’s voice “I feel into pit, you feel into piiiIiIIiIt”)… Anyhow, yes. I was carried away with all the information and discussions I saw and read all around me. Suddenly, I realized that having all online course in PDF is something almost no one does anymore… Sales page have to be very informative and descriptive, including tons of information about the course and course. The price can’t be as low as it was for my course. The colors I’ve chosen for the branding weren’t really right for the course (although I am a designer and I had a pretty solid color scheme…).
Suddenly, there were SO many problems and so much more to do. Instead of PDF, I had to learn how to work with platforms like Teachable. I needed to add videos and slideshows. I had to create additional branding elements. Create an email sequence for my mailing list. And so-much-more. I almost forgot that there is a course waiting to be finished.
All that really matters: content
The thing about online courses is: they have to be like reaaaallly good to sell. They have to be even better to sell easily. So, at the end of the day, all that really matters is content.
Right now, I decided to get myself back to this course creation project and really care about the content first and foremost. After all, the content is what will stay for a long-term, what will make your students happy and what will make your course sell!
Yes, branding, marketing and the choice of the platform are important. But look at it this way – after you really have a powerful content, you can work on literally anything else you can and want to work on. Your marketing campaigns can go on for months and change as much as you want. You can move your course from your website to PDFs, from PDFs to Teachable or any other platform that suits you the best. (P.S. I highly suggest using Teachable – you can post your course right on the platform and edit it whenever necessary which is amazing for further updated).
My biggest suggestion before you start creating your course: choose the type of content that works the best for you – whether it’s writing, audio or video recording – and work with that. Stick with this one and only choice! THEN, after the content is made, you can add in whatever else is necessary. But now, when you’re already struggling to find some additional time in your life, take it slow.
All that really matters is great content. Prioritize it and everything else will follow! Don’t read too much into how and what other people are doing. They might be having long-term experience or super-skills regarding fields like e-mail marketing or design. You have to work with what you have and take care of what’s most important!