7 steps to creating an online course

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Do you have a skill or passion you love to share with others? Have you been wondering how you could reach out to more people? Or maybe you’re exploring how to make a bit of extra cash online?

By creating an online course you can share your specialised knowledge or expertise with others who are hungry to learn exactly that fabulous thing you’re so good at.

At the same time you’ll be building authority and credibility – establishing yourself as an expert!

Don’t know where to get started?

We have you covered with these 7 steps to setting up an online course:

1. Choose your subject or niche area.

This needs to be something you’re passionate about. It could be pet care. Or making your own homemade vegan cheese.

Or perhaps you want to create an online course about a topic somehow related to veganism, but you’re not sure where to start to narrow down a specific subject.

You could check Google Trends to see which topics people are searching for. Is vegan jewellery trending? Or maybe ‘how to make your own plant milk’ is a search query at many people’s fingertips!

Once you’ve narrowed down your subject, or two or three other potential ideas, have a look around online to see if there are similar courses available. Don’t get discouraged if you do find others. This means there’s definitely interest for your subject area! This is also an opportunity to make your online course even better than the others.

When you’ve decided on your topic, research the hell out of it. Make sure you know all the ins and outs. Become the expert on making homemade vegan cheese!

Need some inspiration? Check out these 9 fabulous vegan online courses ideas.

2. Write an outline for your online course.

Once you’re focussed in on the topic of your online course, make a list of all the points it should cover. 

Do some keyword research to figure out which aspects people are looking up online. Use a tool like SEMrush or Ubersuggest to give you a few clues.

Picture your ideal student. What kind of things would they need to know?

Have a look at the content descriptions of other similar courses on offer and see what they’re missing. Consider how your online course could create added value and stand out from all the others.

3. Create the content for your online course.

The next big step is creating the actual content. But before you get started, decide which format to use. Video is very popular but some people find it hard to sit through endless video streams. Will you have a text back up for those who prefer this option? 

PowerPoint-style presentations and animations can provide interesting visuals that can be more engaging than watching a talking head. 

Including live sessions with your students is another way to add value. Be sure to carve out time for Q&As to clear up any questions or issues that may come up.

You’ll also have to consider if you’ll include assignments as part of the course. Having opportunities to practice the theory of what you’re learning is an important part of the learning process.

4. Choose an online platform

You’ll need an online platform as a space to offer a learning experience to your potential students. It’s a virtual classroom of sorts.

With MycoLearn you have the option for pre-recorded lessons, or you can go live. It’s a vegan online course network with the aim to help vegans share their know-how as a teacher or learn fun new things as a student. 

5. Test your online course

Your content is ready, you have your platform set up, and you’re ready to go! 

Before taking the step of putting your online course out there, you may want to consider offering a free test run with the goal of getting feedback and making it even more fabulous. This is also a chance to collect a few valuable testimonials and recommendations!

Put the word out about your free test run in relevant groups or forums, or via your newsletter or email list. 

6. Market your online course

Marketing your online course is the next vital step. Share your exciting news and talk about your upcoming course on social media. Consider which platform makes the most sense. If you cover a topic related to cooking, YouTube could be the best way to advertise. For crafting and anything art-related, Instagram is the place. Facebook is also an excellent option for almost any niche area.

You’ll want to offer a peek into exactly what the course is about, so create a short trailer offering an introduction. Another option is to offer the first lesson for free: this will give the learner a good feel for your online course and spark their curiosity to continue it. Or offer a discount for your very first batch of students.

7. Build an online community related to your course

Another way to create added value is to build an online community made up of the learners who have signed up for your online course. Since learning online can be a bit lonely, this is a great way to bring everyone together in a space where they can share their experiences, raise questions, bounce ideas off each other, and start discussions.

Creating a group on Facebook is a popular way to bring students together in an online community and create networking opportunities.

You can also share news about upcoming online courses or events, and ask participants to help you get the word out about why your online course is the real deal!

Learn more about MycoLearn, our online course network for vegans by vegans!

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