If you’re an established blogger, then at some point or another you’ve most likely asked yourself if you should create an online course. You may even have got as far as looking at different online course platforms but then paused wondering if you can create an online course.
Don’t you need a lot of technical know-how to create a course?
Do you need to be a certified expert in your field?
The answer is no to both of these questions. You don’t need to have loads of tech knowledge. In fact, if you have the ability to create a blog, you can also create an online course.
And do you need to be a certified expert in your field? Again the answer is no. If anything, having an online course can cement you even further as an expert in your field.
It can seem like a daunting proposition when you first think about creating an online course, but it doesn’t have to be.
In fact, if you’re struggling to scale your blog into a full-time income source and find that you’re growing slower than the rest of your fellow bloggers, creating your own online course may be exactly what you need to take your blogging career to the next level.
In this post, we will look at the 5 top reasons why every blogger should create their own online course.
What is an online course?
An online course, quite simply, is a course that is taught over the internet.
There are a huge variety of online courses available, meaning that the industry is worth several billion dollars at the time of writing this post.
There are multiple ways of teaching online, including using videos, how-to guides, written instructions, audio files – and the list goes on and on.
The biggest advantage of online courses is that they allow students to learn at their own pace and in the comfort of their own homes. Students don’t have to commute to and from a physical location meaning more time for themselves.
Advantages of online courses
As already mentioned, the main advantages of online courses include students being able to learn at their own pace, and anywhere where they have an internet connection. But other advantages of online courses include:
- Cost-effective for bloggers to set up an online course and for students to purchase
- Easily accessible. Students can access their online course from anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection and an internet-ready device.
- Scalable. Online courses have a huge potential for scalability and generating passive income for your blogging business.
- Promote self-paced learning. The great thing about online courses is that students can work through the material at their own pace. If they don’t understand a concept, they can go back over an online lesson again. In a classroom, the student may hold up others’ learning whilst a teacher re-explains a concept. Equally, if a student is comfortable with the online lesson, they can progress more quickly than in a face-to-face teaching session.
- Enhance student engagement through communities and course forums.
- Can be personalised and adapted to different learning styles. This means you can reach a wider audience which can lead to more course sales.
- Increase student motivation, again through communities and course forums.
Disadvantages of online courses
Whilst the advantages of online courses may seem endless, it’s important to bear in mind the disadvantages of online learning as well. Being aware of the disadvantages means that you can put practical steps in place to remedy and the disadvantages that you and your students may run into when you launch your online course.
The main disadvantages of online courses are:
- Digital poverty. Not everyone has easy access to the internet or an internet-ready device.
- Needing to learn new software. Some people struggle with using technology and are fearful to use platforms which are new to them.
- Dealing with software and technology issues. As a teacher, you need to be familiar with the back-end of your course platform as you’ll need to provide solutions if your students have issues whilst learning.
- The cost of set up/runnings costs. Whilst it can be relatively cheap to set up an online course, there are still set up and running costs which you need to be prepared for.
- E-learning Requires a lot of motivation and time management.
- You can’t gain instant feedback from learners. When someone studies online, you can’t read their facial expressions as easily as in a face-to-face teaching environment.
- The quality of online teacher’s credentials, the course content, and the authenticity of the learning materials can be questionable. You have a responsibility to ensure that your content is authentic and meaningful to your students.
- Not everything can be taught online. It’s true; some skills just need to be taught face-to-face.
- E-learning does not suit all learning styles. There are some people who genuinely prefer human interaction when learning.
- Social isolation. It can be pretty lonely learning at home by yourself. Some people just don’t like this and would rather learn in a group.
- Students aren’t necessarily learning anything. You need to make sure that whatever you teach has value and isn’t just a load of meaningless waffle put together for the sake of making an online course.
To start with, one of the biggest reasons why you as a blogger should create an online course is to boost your credibility within your niche. There’s nothing more credible than being an authority in your field. When you create an online course, you’re cementing yourself as a top expert in your niche and proving that to everyone who decides to invest in you. You might worry that you don’t have enough knowledge to create a course. But if you’re sharing your knowledge on a topic on your blog, you have the knowledge to teach in a course already.
If you’re worried about how you teach online, then book in for a One-to-One Intensive Session with me. Here, I can alleviate your fears about teaching online. I can also answer any questions you might have about creating an online course.
But back to the main point; having an online course increases your credibility in your blogging niche. It, therefore, establishes your authority in your niche as well.
There are a tonne of online course platforms out there. If you’re worried about cost, platforms such as Podia and LearnWorlds offer excellent free trial periods. Alternatively, sites such as Thinkific have a free plan to get you started. These options mean that you can create your online course within any budget or timeframe. In fact, it’s never been easier for bloggers to gain credibility by creating an online course. And the other bonus of creating an online course is being able to connect with new readers.
Control your brand
When you build your own online course, you have complete control over it. You can choose what material goes into it, and how it’s taught. You have total creative freedom to create an experience that your readers will enjoy. And you also get to decide when it goes live and how much people pay for access to it.
Your online course can contribute to your brand and blogging income. Or, depending on your sales, your online course could take over as the main income stream of your brand.
Creating an online course has to be one of my most lucrative ways to make money as a blogger. And another great thing about online courses is that they are an excellent source of passive income. One awesome thing about building an online course is that once you create it, you just need to advertise it.
This means that you have time to concentrate on other aspects of your brand whilst earning a passive income from your online course.
Grow your business
If you’re a content creator or have started a brand, there’s no reason not to leverage your work. Creating an online course is a great way to grow your business and offer something of value to people who might not be able to afford your service or product.
It can also help you reach new clients.
For example, if you run an agency, an online course might be useful for potential clients trying to understand what kind of agency they’re looking for.
As another example, if you’re a lawyer that specializes in corporate law or intellectual property law, creating an online course helps with establishing yourself as a thought leader on those topics. This could allow you to eventually land high-end corporate law clients that typically pay more than other areas of practice.
Even if it doesn’t seem like it at first, teaching content can actually be one of the most effective ways to grow your business without hiring more staff.
Generate Passive Income
When you create an online course, you’re able to generate passive income with little to no effort. This means it can scale your income month after month and year after year.
Think about it, for the average blogger, generating a steady income stream through selling an online course is much more lucrative than relying on ads on your website.
Blogging, on average, generates $10/month per 1,000 visitors. An online course can generate $100-$1,000+ per student if marketed correctly! That’s a 10x increase in passive income!
Marketing your course
You might be panicking about needing to market your course. There are two prongs to this point.
First: create a good enough course and it will probably market itself. Take Stupid Simple SEO as an example. This course has been around for quite a while and I can honestly say that I have never seen it advertised.
So how do people know about it?
Because the course is so useful to so many people that bloggers are happy to review it on their blogs and social media platforms. The course literally advertises itself.
Second: marketing doesn’t have to be overly complicated. In fact, before you gain such a following of happy customers, use your email list and social media channels to advertise your course.
As you build your blog, you should concentrate on building your mailing list as well. You don’t need to worry about sending regular newsletters. But having that list of subscribers means that you have an instant market to advertise your course to when it launches.
Also, get active on social media. You can grow your following to who you can then advertise your course too when you launch.
A note on social media
When it comes to social media, remember, it’s quality over quantity. It’s better to have 100 followers across 3 platforms who are interested in your brand and engage with you, than 10,000 followers who barely interact with you. Out of these two options, who do you think is more likely to purchase your course? Are the 100 people interested in what you have to say? Or the 10,000 who are just coming along for the ride and follow-backs?
Before creating your online course
Building your audience and customer base comes before you even start creating your online course. As you build an audience for your blog, readers will come to trust what you have to say more than other bloggers writing about similar topics. They’ll become true fans of yours. And fans help spread the news about your blog. Not only that but they’ll be more inclined to purchase any products or services you may offer later down the road. And if they like their purchases, they’ll recommend them to others.
See where I’m going with this?
Your blog fans will eventually market your course for you. This loyal following will then help generate your passive income.
Set Yourself Apart from Others
“What’s the point in creating ANOTHER online course? This topic has already been covered!”
Sound familiar? Most likely.
But just because a course has been created before, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do your own version. You’re unique, and so will your online course be. After all, people read your blog for your unique spin on your niche’s topic, so why wouldn’t they want to purchase your online course too?
Yes, the internet is awash with information and courses about thousands of topics. Lots of the information is even available for free, without the need to purchase a course.
But people buy courses anyway. Why?
- They don’t want to research the information themselves
- Because they want information explained in a certain way
- They want the relevant information available in one place
- They want the information from someone they trust and can resonate with
Standing out and setting yourself apart from others goes back to the first point in this post. It helps to establish your authority in your niche. You can further establish your authority through having discussion boards and communities within your online course. These enable your students to ask questions and gain answers directly from you. Such features increase student satisfaction meaning that they are more likely to recommend your course to others.
There are a whole range of reasons why creating an online course is something all bloggers should do. The main reasons are:
- Control of your brand
- Grow your business
- Generate passive income
- Set yourself apart from others
If you’re wanting to build an online course but are unsure where to start, book a One-to-One Intensive Hour with me. During this time, I can answer any questions you have about creating your online course.
Liked this post? Subscribe and never miss an update.