Creating a successful online course takes lots of time and preparation, from creating content to testing your audience and researching the market. These seven steps will help you work through the whole process and hit some areas you may have otherwise overlooked.
- Write out your material
This step in itself takes a lot of time. Once you’ve chosen your topic spend time brainstorming and writing down everything you know about it. From there you can work on details, which will eventually become lessons to build your online course. In the beginning it may be easiest to write down tips, things you wish you knew earlier, and what your personal process was. The more information you have, the more you can work into lesson plans and course structure.
- Test your material on people
It may seem like you may want to wait to share information and lesson material with people until the launch, but the earlier you discuss your topic and sub-topics or details with your followers the better your course will be. People who are just starting out will have tons of questions for you, and hosting a Q & A on Periscope or starting a discussion on a lesson topic will give you a window into where they need information, and what they already know.
- Know your shortcomings
While you’re working on your lessons it’s important to know your shortcomings, or areas where you could be lacking information. This could be forgetting to start with the basics, understanding where your target audience is starting and what they struggle with, or thinking about your formatting like videos, podcasts, or a variety. If you can get feedback and a global picture early on, you’re more likely to fill in the gaps as you go, instead of after launch day.
- Work on lesson order and test it
Structuring all your information in a sequence that has flow and builds on itself will take time as well as trial and error. Be sure to test your lesson order on a small group of people or even discuss it with those close to you. There’s nothing worse than a lesson that’s out of place, or one that feels incomplete without other information. A good way around this is to talk with your following, as simply as asking questions, so you can see what information they’d like to know first and build from there.
- Find course success and shortcomings
After you test your lesson order and some lesson information you will see where you course could be successful and where it may fall short. Maybe you did skip some of the basics or went too fast through the beginner stages. You will learn a lot from testing your lesson order and can use that knowledge through to your lesson plans and details as well.
- Research (focus groups and results)
It’s also important to test your lessons and the entire course on small focus groups and see what their results are before you do final filming and schedule your launch. You can do a seminar through Periscope and reach an audience for a short amount of time since Periscope videos disappear after 24 hours. You’ll be able to get feedback and hear their experience before you finalize your visuals and package the course for launch.
- Final filming
It’s important to go through all of the steps I mentioned before you do your final filming. It may seem as simple as creating a course, making videos, and launching, but spending time testing your product and finalizing your content will save you a lot of time and hassle once you do launch. You’ll find more success and fewer struggles if you do some testing and get some feedback first.
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